Amsterdam-based DJs and production duo Yellow Claw recently released “Bassgod” via Barong Family. “Bassgood” features the talents of Ramengvrl, Sihk, and Juyen Sebulba.
Made up of Jim, aka Jim Taihuttu, and Nils, aka Nils Rondhuis, Yellow Claw burst onto the scene in 2010, hosting a night party at the Jimmy Woo in Amsterdam. They followed with a series of hot singles, rocketing to the top of the charts in the Netherlands and Belgium.
They signed with Diplo’s Mad Decent label in 2013, followed by dropping their debut EP, Amsterdam Trap Music, followed by performing at the Tomorrowland Festival. Since then, Yellow Claw has started their label, Barong Family, created a dazzling line of merch, hosted writing camps in Asia, and released four LPs. Their music attracts 3 million monthly Spotify listeners and habitually tops Billboard’s Dance charts.
Yellow Claw’s status as elite music producers has allowed them to work with artists such as Saweetie, DJ Snake, A$AP Ferg, Ty Dolla $ign, Quavo, Becky G, Tyga, and many others.
Tattoo had the opportunity to speak with Nils, not only about Yellow Claw’s wickedly contagious music and the new single/music video “Bassgod,” but about Nils’ ink, of which his favorite is the one on his right hand.
Which music artists are you listening to right now?
Doja Cat, Yaeji and Audrey Nuna.
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
Sold my motorbike when I was 17 and from that money bought my first turntables. Soon after I scraped enough together to buy a computer and Logic and I never looked back.
What musicians/singers influenced you the most?
Everybody that brings something new to the table, to be honest. From Mura Masa to ZHU to Blocboy JB.
Is your sound evolving? If so, how and in which direction?
Definitely. We try to redefine ourselves every year. It keeps everything fun. New shit only.
What inspired your new song “Bassgod?”
We were actually in a studio camp in Thailand when we first worked on the original demo. Just us and our best friends from the Barong Family label in a big, big studio compound close to Bangkok in Thailand. The inspiration was basically just hanging out in an awesome place with like-minded friends and working on crazy music that excites us in various ways.
How did you come to hook up with Ramengvrl, Juyen Sebulba, and Sihk?
By now I can definitely say, just longtime friends we made over the years touring in Asia and more specifically visiting Indonesia. Juyen we kinda just adopted. We found him wandering the streets of LA somewhere and decided to help him out a little bit.
Yellow Claw has collaborated with all sorts of big artists. Of all the artists you have not worked with, who is at the top of your ‘Want-To’ list?
Sixnine and James Blake.
Let’s talk ink. What do you have and which is your favorite?
Until a couple of years back I had nothing actually. A blank canvas. Now I got a bunch on my legs. Like both my shins. Top and below my knee. Both my upper legs. And did one on my stomach a while back. My favorite one is on my hand. A simple one on the top of my right hand and also aligned to the right. It says: ‘Hey Baby.’
What is the significance of ink to you? Is body art, or commemorative, or spiritual, or what?
I often compare it to buying clothes. Like a really, really good item. It’s all about dressing yourself. Either with ink or with fabrics. I see it the same way.
Do you always go to the same tattoo artist or do you venture out?
I got tattoos by two guys but most of my stuff is done by Edu de Leau. (@Leau_tattoo). A good friend of mine. We go way back. We rarely plan any sessions. Most of the time we just get a good idea during dinner or something and then just head to his studio after to put it on there.
How are you handling the coronavirus situation?
I try not to worry too much about the future. I take each day as it comes. We normally plan a bunch. We kinda let that slide as well. We’ll see when we are able to tour and travel again. For now, Jim I both are just staying put. Doing what we do. Making music and living life.
Looking ahead, what’s next for you?
“Working on our patience during this pandemic and plotting plans for the future. Stuff that excites us. We are talking about maybe trying to shoot a movie together and tryna go all out with the music around that. Stuff like that. True new adventures to explore.