Bijou Shows Off with Debut Album ‘Diamond City’ + Interview

G-house genius Bijou has pulled out all the stops in creating Diamond City. And what we got were 15 slappin’ tracks that go beyond the sexiest genre of electronic music. Bijou says that this album represents the city where he is from, the beautiful city of  Phoenix, Arizona. Bijou has poured out his heart for the last 2 years on this impressive album which shows off how spectacular house music is. It’s time to grab the keys to the Benz and blast this damn album on repeat and you know what… I deserve this, I needed this album, sorry I shed a tear while simultaneously grabbing my food from the Burger King drive-thru.

Listen to Diamond City by Bijou:

A Review of Diamond City

Bijou has established himself as a contender for the top of the g-house food chain. Why do you ask? He has flexed his big creative brain to add so much depth to this album. We got a hefty amount of hip-hop infused house music. “Benjamins” with Wifisfuneral is the first song you hear on the record, which infuses the two genres. This song comes out of the gates swinging with hefty basslines and impressive leads.

Deeper in the album we get some more of that west coast hip hop influence with “Westside.” The collaboration with Mr. Dr. Fresch and Willy Northpole has been a classic record since it came out earlier this year. I feel like I’m at the club listening to this tune, sweating off my problems on the dancefloor to dark and deep bass. We know the magic Bijou and Dr. Fresch make together in the lab with their multiple collabs, but you should listen to this tune for more of that magical context.

One of the big surprises on this album is actually a pure hip hop tune “My Woes” with Splashwoe. Bijou goes more in-depth about this tune in our interview… But we gotta keep it movin’ with the next song “Keep it Movin” with Marco XO (see what I did there.) The shift from an upbeat hip hop tune to a dirty drop really makes me want to throw my ass in a circle till I die. “Laid Back” with Black Smurf gives you the 4 on the floor shuffler vibes and “Swag” with Blk Llama brings the BASS in this bass house tune.

You hear a BUNCH of hip-hop influences in Diamond City, but you get so much more wrapped up in this early Christmas present.

This album definitely surprises with the RANGE of production. “FTP” with Denzel Curry blends hip-hop, g-house, and psy-trance elements in one of the most diverse songs on Diamond City. “Willful” with Chetta on the vocals and Jacknife with the assist really flipped the album on its head. If you said there was some mid-tempo bass mixed with g-house elements on this album, I would have slapped you silly. But there is, and I’m not mad, I’m vibing to this tune.

Speaking of vibes… One of the most anticipated songs from the album, “Fantasy,” flows beautiful vocals and dirty g-house basslines to make an absolute heater thanks to Bijou and the talents of DLMT and Vannah. “New Ways To Love” is a classic house hit with Bekah on the vocals and honestly, you will simp over this song. If you are a summertime vibe guy or gal then “New Ways to Love” is the song for you.  Bijou teams with Tyler Graves on “Crown” which really impresses from start to finish. There are hints of big room while keeping very grounded with various g-house elements. 

But you know Bijou had to come with the HEAT with some g-house anthems on Diamond City.

One of my faves on this album is “Baller” with Cuban Doll. The song embodies house music from start to finish. From the repeating vocals to the classic house elements of alarms and risers and that deep bass followed by some serious leads. Toss all those in a blender and you have an absolute banger. “Whoa” with Party Favor is also a bop. You got the boots n cats, you got the one-hitter bass, you got the loud leads, this song has it all.

Bijou ends the album with some solo records. “Throw It Up” is an intense g-house anthem that will make you put a hole in the floor with your shuffle stomps. Finally, “G-Code Part 2” wraps up the album with some vintage Bijou’s sounds. The g-house bass do be hittin in this song. But honestly, this whole album do be hittin. 

I had the chance to speak with Bijou about the album, the great state of Arizona, and what the biggest influences to his music are. 

Sean: First off, I love that you incorporate the album behind where you’re from, which is Phoenix, Arizona. Where do you sprinkle that Arizona flavor in Diamond City?

Bijou – Thank you! You can see a lot of it in the aesthetic of the art which I felt was super important as visually Phoenix has such vibrance that I’ve always noticed. Musically you get every piece of me from house to hip hop and being from Phoenix you get my music so in my eyes that flavor is throughout every piece of this album.

Sean: Now.. the Diamond City album art is crazy as well, where do all the elements of the art come from?

Bijou – So aesthetically I wanted to incorporate the oranges and reds that you really get in Phoenix sunsets. The train tracks and bats come from my early and past lives. I’ve always been an avid fan of trains growing up with an active track behind my parent’s house and the bats come from my 18 years of playing baseball. Then you get that little Versace sprinkle with some of the accents within the art.

Sean: Okay, this is the last question about the great state of AZ. Where is your hangout spot or favorite places to go in the entire state? Maybe a place to chill with friends, or hang out by yourself?

Bijou – I have this secret spot at the top of a mountain near my house that is driveable. Anytime I need some inspiration or a moment to myself I’ll hit this spot and it always reels me back to where I need to be.

Sean: One of the songs on the album is a bop with Party Favor called “Whoa.” But what is the ‘whoa’ song on the album that will shock people? 

Bijou – I personally think the “whoa” song on this one that’s gonna shock people is “My Woes.” Its the only full hip-hop record on the album and it’s my personal favorite of the bunch. You really get a different side of me with that song.

Sean: You are building your brand of g-house music, but when did it come across that you wanted to make house music and how did it start?

Bijou – I started making house music back in 2012 after toying with some other genres. I always wanted to find a way to mesh hip hop and house from when I discovered house music in 2010. I finally figured out that putting hip hop vocals over a house beat with some nice bass plucks really brought it to life.

Sean: Your music has a ton of hip-hop influences. Where does that come from?

Bijou – Honestly I can thank my cousins for showing me Tupac, Snoop, Dre, and all the real west coast hip-hop when I was like 6 years old.

Sean: You have helped a ton of up and coming artists on your label Do Not Duplicate Recs, but what is your proudest accomplishment regarding your label?

Bijou –  Straight up its’ been just that! One of the main goals with the label has been to develop artists and its been really exciting to watch artists like Nostalgix, DLMT, Wenzday, MASTERIA, and others really come up and make a name for themselves in the house scene. 

Sean: You have released a ton of songs with Dr. Fresch over the years, but we have to ask, is he really a doctor and is he ‘Fresch’?

Bijou – This is a great one! Hes definitely NOT a doctor but the man is Fresch as hell! 

Sean: Speaking of other DJs, who are some artists you’d love to work with?

Bijou – Right now my focus is more on solo records and working with rappers. So if I was to name a few I’d say, Freddie Gibbs, Vince Staples, & $uicide Boy$

Sean: If there is one outrageous place that is not a huge stage that you would DJ, where would it be?

Bijou – I think it would be sick to play a show in the Himalayas. 

Sean: So here is the basic ‘you’re on an island question’ but this time you can only bring the 3 best songs in your opinion to listen to, what are they?

Bijou  Pop Smoke – “Enjoy Yourself”, Spice 1 – “Strap On The Side”, Dr Dre. – “Still Dre”.

Sean: Lastly, what’s coming up for Bijou for the rest of 2020?

Bijou – So I’m going to keep it rocking with releases through the rest of the year and keep things consistent as always. Have a collab with Cheyenne Giles coming out on Tiesto‘s label Musical Freedom in September. Full remix album and some other stuff I can’t say just yet!

Thank you so much to Bijou for the interview and for working so hard day in and day out on Diamond City.

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