Faisal is definitely representative of a new generation of Belgian beatmakers that would make you think Belgium is some sort of tropical heaven where everybody from Namur to Antwerp’s low riding on sunset, sipping colourfull cocktails with little plastic umbrellas in them. Host of the aptly named “Playground Faisal” show on Studio Brussel, the Lommel-based 24 year old producer sent us this Exclusive mix a while back with just this one piece of advice accompanying it: “listen to it in a bathrobe while smoking a cigar and snapping your fingers.” So get the bubbles going, turn the volume up and let the vibes do the rest.

Exclusive Mix 29: Faisal by The Word on Mixcloud

Can you describe yourself in a few words?

I’ve always been into all kinds of stuff. My first real love was rap music at the age of 14, but at the same time i was playing guitar in a heavy-metal band. I can’t listen to one type of music for too long, never have, so i’m loving this whole cross-genre thing that’s going on.

How did you first start making music?

I made my first beats on a crappy playstation game when i was 14 and after that, like most producers at some point, on a pirated version of fruity loops. I haven’t gone a week without touching a drumkit or VST ever since. I must have heard about a billion different snaredrums in my life. (and there are only about 15 good ones out there)

Is music a full-time thing for you at the moment?

Sort of. I also have a job producing jingles for a radiostation here in Belgium, so even while working i have some freedom to experiment with sound and music. Besides that i have my radioshow going and i roll from gig to gig in the weekends. Somewhere in between those things i make beats. My ears don’t get a lot of rest.

Can you describe the mix in a few words?

I didn’t really think about the structure or overall feel of the mix, something i usually do. I just knew which track i wanted to start with and took it away from there, looking at it one transition at a time, so it’s quite spontaneous. This is the first time i’ve made a mix without gathering stuff weeks beforehand and overthinking every mix or filling it with inside jokes and trying to impress the music nerds out there, like myself.

A great portion of the tracks in the mix have some sort of jazzy touch to it, whether in the sound or chords or whatever,  so i guess that ties it together in a way. Maybe listen to it in a bathrobe while smoking a cigar and snapping your fingers.

Can you tell us about the exclusive track on the mix?

It’s my remix of Title’s song Sometimes. Title is a good friend of mine and makes some crazy music. I just flipped the track for fun on my way to a gig in his hometown. He’s been trying to convince me to finish it ever since i played it out there, but i haven’t gotten to it yet. In the meantime only a few people have heard this demo version.

When and where did you record it?

I recorded it in my little home studio, it has a nice big window and a calming view on some trees and an apartment in which they never turn off the lights for some reason, i hope they’re alive. I’m moving out there in about 3 weeks so this is probably the last mix i recorded in that studio.

What’s your favourite track on the mix?

Photay – No Sass, also in the running to become my favorite track of 2014.

What are your top 3 albums of the year so far and why?

freddie gibbs & madlib – pinata

Moodymann – Moodymann

schoolboy q – oxymoron