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2017 Music Nova Scotia Awards: Quake wins SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award

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Curtis Waters discusses his new summer 2017 rework of “Mask Off” by Future

Calgary, AB – 17-year-old Calgary raised, North Carolina based artist Curtis Waters just released a brand new flip of Future’s 2017 slapper anthem “Mask Off”.

For his cut, Curtis switched up the pace of the song to give it a laid back, smoked out summer vibe. The flip was actually put together as a track to help Curtis fall asleep.

As a producer, Curtis uses a visual workflow. He likes to pick a colour and work around that to cook up his composition. For this particular track, he chose the colour light blue. He then decided to give the beat a nostalgic, vintage feel by adding piano chords and retro Roland Juno synths into the mix.

The end result is a vibed out, downtempo rework of one the year’s biggest trap slappers that may or may not help you fall asleep at night. Take in the flip below, and check out our in-depth interview with Curtis after the jump.

You need to listen to this Harm Franklin remix of

Q&A: Curtis Waters

HipHopCanada: Start off by telling me about what inspired you to rework this particular track.

Curtis Waters: I get insomnia and can’t sleep. I had been listening to a lot of those 30-hour meditation sound things on YouTube. So I made a few songs myself to help me sleep.

HipHopCanada: Tell me about the first time you heard the original “Mask Off” and how did it resonate with you?

Curtis Waters: First time I heard “Mask Off” I thought the beat was beautiful. Such a simple flip of the classic sample but nothing too crazy to distract it from the flute. I was disappointed with Future’s verse though. Because at the time it seemed too monotone and flow-less. But the more I listened the more I realized how perfectly it compliments the beat.

HipHopCanada: What was your vision for the rework, and how did you facilitate that on a technical level?

Curtis Waters: When I make songs I work in a backwards way where I usually start with a color, name, make the art work and then finally the song. For this track I choose light blue, starting with piano chords and [then] added some retro Juno synths in the back to give it a vintage vibe. Detuned, lofi-ed, and added reverb everything to make it feel more nostalgic.

HipHopCanada: I think it’s so important to change up the entire emotion of a song if you’re doing a rework. You took a banger and turned it into a smoked out, laid back summer jam. How did you do that?

Curtis Waters: I never want to remix a song unless I’m able to add my own ideas to it. Making a banger remix would be pointless because the song is already perfect for what it is. While making this song I had to turn all the lights in my room blue and then let my mind take over. I don’t really make many conscious choices while I’m in the zone of making music. It kind of just happens, depending on the mood of the room and the weather outside.

Twitter: @WaterCurtis

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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