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Few new artists embody the spirit of downtown NYC more completely than Cazwell. A leading figure in the renaissance of New York City nightlife that has taken place over the last five years, Cazwell’s music—a ridiculously fun mix of electrified dance music and old school hip hop—is the perfect example of the new spirit of pop. Bridging the gap between avant garde club culture and the cutting edge of mainstream music, Cazwell is one of today’s most unique and charismatic performers, who in his own words sometimes describes his style as, “if Biggie Smalls ate Donna Summer for breakfast.”
2011 has found Cazwell tirelessly recording, writing, touring internationally and lending his talents to a dizzying array of other projects, after captivating underground and mainstream audiences alike with a string of viral YouTube sensations. Having first reached over 1 million YouTube hits with the riotous video for “I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King,” (featuring Jonny Makeup and directed by Bec Stupak), Cazwell has since set the internet ablaze with the runaway hit video “Ice Cream Truck” (directed by Marco Ovando) which quickly received over 3 million online views in summer 2010 and continues to increase in popularity with fans worldwide. “Ice Cream Truck” was also quickly picked up by Britain’s hip, health-forward frozen yogurt purveyors Snog and re-worked into “The Snog Shop” song and video. Hot on the heels of Ice Cream Truck, Cazwell released two collaborations with fashion icon and BFF Amanda Lepore, “Get Into It,” a funky fashion-hop duo with a video by by Marco Ovando, and “Marilyn” a sharp and dark electro banger with a video from Leo Herrera. For his first video release of 2011, Cazwell has joined forces once again with the Ice Cream Truck dancers and Marco Ovando to bring fans the highly-anticipated video for “Get My Money Back,” a streetwise electro anthem with Cazwell’s signature naughty-but-nice flair.
In response to the overwhelming popularity of his debut full-length “Watch My Mouth,” Cazwell is also currently gearing up to unleash a deluxe re-issue, hitting stores in May 2011. Having collaborated over the years with a who’s who of downtown New York and abroad— including Amanda Lepore, Larry Tee, Boy George, David Lachapelle, The Ones, Chris Joss, Peppermint, GoodandEvil, Karl Giant and Lost Daze—‘Watch My Mouth” was the natural next step for a performer schooled in clubland and steeped in pop culture. Pulling together some of Cazwell’s most effortlessly catchy singles while pushing things forward with new tracks, “Watch My Mouth,” is perfectly-suited to bring the party. Club bangers like “All Over Your Face” (which first tore up the Top 40 dance charts in ’06) and the viral video sensation “I Seen Beyoncé At Burger King” sit nicely next to newer party jams like “Get My Money Back,” “Tonight,” (featuring the classic Shannon chorus hook) and “Get Into It,” with the addition of “Ice Cream Truck,” and an eclectic package of remixes and videos. “All I wanna do is party and have a good time! I think everyone can relate to that right about now,” explains Cazwell or his mentality for crafting the album.
At a time when artists like Lady Gaga (for whom Cazwell has performed as an opening act and was featured on her no. 1 hit “Just Dance”) are redefining the art and artifice of dance music, Cazwell is finally primed to take center stage. About being one of the first artists to collaborate with the pop princess, Caz exclaims “Gaga is fierce! The first time I performed ‘Just Dance’ with her was in a Lower East Side club on Ave C. She threw me on the stage floor and started riding me, then pushed me off into the crowd. It was amaaazing!”
Cazwell’s music embodies the same spirit of fun and goofball experimentation that was the hallmark of artists like M.I.A., Neneh Cherry, Eminem and Deee-lite. “More than anything I want to inspire people to have a good time,” says Cazwell. “When I go to a club I want to party and I want to make music that makes other people want to party. I’m not necessarily trying to make people think too hard, I’m trying to make them dance.”
Cazwell is also executive producer, brainchild and songwriter behind Amanda Lepore’s upcoming debut album “I…Amanda Lepore” also due in Spring 2011. The album features such Caz-penned Lepore classics “Champagne,” “My Hair Looks Fierce,” (which has already been tapped for a television theme song!) and the rambunctious pop punk ode to love “Cotton Candy.” Caz also guest stars in the “Cotton Candy” music video directed by Bec Stupak as well as the provocative video for Marilyn from director Leo Herrera. About being Sonny to a traninternational Cher, Caz says, “I love working on the Amanda record because she’s so interesting and has had such a crazy life. She has a very different point of view. I think that is makeup for an amazing album. I think we definitely achieved that with ‘I…Amanda Lepore’”
While recording “Watch My Mouth,” Cazwell also has spent the last couple of years traveling the world gigging and making special appearances, soaking up the best beats and making an international slew of new fans. He’s performed at Radio City Music Hall as an opening act for Cyndi Lauper True Colors Tour (“Radio CIty was a big production. Amanda and I performed with 22 drag queen ‘Rockettes’ and an additional 16 dancers with 2 costume changes. I learned a lot about keeping things under control to say the least!”), at the Dior Homme’s 2008 after-party in Paris with electro upstarts Justice (“Performing for Dior was an honor. Very intimidating since Paris is hard to impress. Not to mention having Karl Lagerfeld at your show, you want to turn it out.”), notoriously hosting outlaw Burger King parties in your city with troublemaker Daniel Nardicio (the man responsible for Levi Johnston in PlayGirl!) and hosting and DJing four wildly popular NYC weekly parties. Cazwell has also taken over the airwaves, appearing as a guest judge on VH1/LogoTV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and lending tracks to the soundtracks of shows including HBO’s “True Blood.”
Says Caz about finally unleashing “Watch My Mouth” onto the masses, “I wanted a CD that you could just play the whole thing through at a house party. From working so many parties in New York I definitely took on that ‘good times’ mentality and just to make sure there is something for everyone I decided to put in additional remixes at the end of the album.” Having found a formula for success, Cazwell has already begun crafting his sophomore full-length album.