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Mavi Phoenix' Own Take on a Tracklib Sample
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Mavi Phoenix' Own Take on a Tracklib Sample

The high-pitched vocal on Mavi Phoenix’ ‘Weekend’ serves a purpose. No soul flip or a chipmunk treatment, but a way to tell a story: one of Mavi’s self-discovery in gender, told through the debut album ‘Boys Toys.’ “Just because my voice is high doesn't mean I’m not a guy.”

By DannyVeekens
(Header photo: Nils Müller)

Three EPs and a handful of singles aside, Boys Toys is the official introduction of Austrian rapper, singer and producer Mavi Phoenix. Perhaps even a reintroduction, if you will: the album follows Mavi coming out as transgender roughly half a year ago. That theme is explored on the album with tracks about masculinity, femininity and identity, fully backed by beats of producer Alex the Flipper. Mavi: “The idea is that ‘Boystoys’ is a little guy. Kind of like Mavi Phoenix as a male kid. Everytime you hear the high-pitched voice, you know it‘s him speaking. ‘Weekend’ was supposed to be his fun solo track.”

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‘Weekend’ samples the track ‘Airplane Mode’ by The One I Ever Had, a project of Illytronic label head Alex Horton. The catchy pop song grabbed the attention of producer Alex the Flipper while digging through Tracklib: “‘Airplane Mode’ is kinda cheesy but it stuck in my head,” he remembers. “So I eventually wanted to turn the pop song into a kind of positive hip-hop instrumental. Mavi came up with the idea to give the song just what it needed. We kept it pretty simple.”

“I love working with samples and making something new out of something old. Just don’t forget to add your own unique touch to it and make it yours.”

—Mavi Phoenix
Mavi Phoenix (photo: bebishoota)
Mavi Phoenix (photo: bebishoota)

Mavi wrote new lyrics to it and even ended up interpolating the original track: "I found 'Airplane Mode' very fun and mesmerizing. I really liked what was already done with the song and didn‘t feel like interfering with it because it worked so well. I‘ve never done that before but it just felt like the right thing.

“Alex has many qualities as a producer and one of them is digging up the right stuff at the right time,” says Mavi about Alex’ idea to sample ‘Airplane Mode.’ “I love working with samples and making something new out of something old. Just don’t forget to add your own unique touch to it and make it yours.”

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