Gari Safari have been throwing some of the best parties in LA for a minute now. Led by singer and songwriter Anabel Englund alongside producers and DJs, Human Life, Matt Ossentjuk and Mont Blvck, their wildlife-themed parties are the ideal balance of house’s hedonistic roots and underground obsession. Now they’re launching their own record label, Gari Recs, a new home for their work both together and apart.
To kick off the label Anabel, Human Life, Ossentjuk and Mont Blvck have joined forces for monstrous new single ‘Rising’. Vocalled by Anabel, who is the granddaughter of iconic director George Englund and actress Cloris Leachman btw, it’s a towering anthem of a song, that incorporates everything from Italo disco to minimal tech with an enormous sense of fun. It officially enters the world on Friday, complete with a stack of remixes, but we’ve managed to secure an exclusive first listen alongside a chat with Anabel Englund ahead of the release. Listen to ‘Rising’ below and read our interview with Anabel after the jump.
How did Gari Safari come together?
Anabel: Gari actually started off as a silly term of endearment my brother, Jackson & Matt Ossentjuk would call each other & it just kind of caught on in our friend group…one day we all just thought it would be a fun idea to throw a party called Gari Safari when we did & it was super fun & an amazing turn out we just realized we should do more!
What’s the ethos behind Gari Recs?
The ethos behind Gari Recs is to provide a platform for our crew to release music that we are excited about without a bigger label telling us that the demo is great, but we need to tweak some things. Its pure, unfiltered access to the sounds we are inspired by. In general, the releases will come with remixes that represent house, techno & tech-house. To start the label, we will release music from the 4 Gari founding artists (Anabel Englund, Human Life, Matt Ossentjuk & Mont Blvck) but eventually, we’ll be branching out to include releases from our friends as well.
What can people expect from the label in 2018?
2018 will begin with the first EP from Mont Blvck (my brother Jackson Englund and Diego Cuevas’s project). They have been developing their live show and testing music at Gari Safari for the past two years, and now they’ll release their debut EP on Gari Recs in February. It’s an amazing cross between live vocals and instruments and electronic music and we think fans of all genres will appreciate it. We’ve also got three outstanding remixes planned for that release that we will reveal soon. After that, you can expect releases from the rest of the Gari crew (Human Life & Matt Ossentjuk) as well as myself & collaborations we’ve done with more friends.
Has your family’s film background influenced your music at all?
I definitely would say that being brought up around tv show sets & missing school to go to movie premiers allowed me to dream big & believe those dreams can come true. I think also with my grandma, Cloris Leachman being so successful in her career its inspired to shine my light as bright as I can & achieve whatever I think is possible.
You cut your teeth singing theme songs for ABC – how did you become a house vocalist?
Well, I moved to LA & quickly became immersed in the scene. I honestly just loved house music & although I was writing for ABC Family, I made sure to make myself known. It’s funny because I feel like I’ve always just done what I love & music chased me. Everything honestly was very effortless…I knew what I wanted, so I went & got it.
What’s the story behind ‘Rising’?
I actually wrote it about a girl who is a pyromaniac; it’s about the feeling she gets when she sets something to flame. She feels the impulse from the depths of her body & has to follow through. When the smoke is clear, she is cold inside, but the embers still burn in the back of her mind.
Why did you want to release a collaborative track for the first Gari Recs’ single?
I think most importantly we wanted to show off our talents as a team & as a family. We do these parties by working together & same for the label so it would only make sense to have the first song be done by all of us.