Sleigh Bells is an electronic and noise pop duo formed in 2008 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. The band members are Alexis Krauss (vocalist, lyricist) and Derek E. Miller (songwriter, guitarist, producer). Miller was formerly the guitarist for the hardcore band Poison the Well, and Krauss was a member of the teen pop group RubyBlue.
In 2008, Miller was waiting tables at a neighborhood Brazilian restaurant, Miss Favela, where he encountered Alexis and her mother. When he mentioned he was looking for a female vocalist to work with on a musical project, Krauss’ mother immediately volunteered her. After steadily gaining popularity throughout 2009, Sleigh Bells signed to M.I.A.’s label N.E.E.T. in Spring 2010.
The duo released the 7-track EP Sleigh Bells. The EP received much attention and all but the last two tracks were re-recorded for their debut album.
Sleigh Bells issued the single “Tell ‘Em” as a free download in April 2010. On 11 May 2010, they released their debut full-length album entitled Treats. Amidst blown-out drum beats, fuzzed guitars and synth-pop sensibilities, Krauss balances each song with a voice that is both forceful and elegant. Four other singles supported the album: “Crown on the Ground”, “Infinity Guitars”, “Rill Rill” and “Riot Rhythm”.
Sleigh Bells began recording songs for their second studio album in June 2011. Describing the sound of the new album, Krauss said, “It sounds really huge, so there’s going to still be tons of volume”.
On 15 December 2011, the band released the single “Born to Lose”, followed in January 2012 by “Comeback Kid”. The second album, Reign of Terror, was released on 21 February 2012.
If you were to Google the name AraabMuzik, you would discover many videos showing this music
producer hammering on an MPC as if he was Travis Barker on the drums. With his fast rhythmic touches
on the machine - while donning a New Era fitted, some might call it poetry in motion, others might say
it’s suicide on an MPC, but for the this producer it’s just another day on the job.
Born Abraham Orellana in Providence, RI, the middle child of two other siblings, he grew up with
affection for music starting at a very young age. “I’ve been drumming since the age of 3. When I
was around 10, I started getting into keyboard and producing my own music.” Half Dominican and
Guatemalan, he confesses that his Hispanic heritage has influenced his music to a degree. With his mom
being a one-time professional singer, he’s been around melodies and beats his entire life, however;
growing up in Providence… it’s natural to assume Hip-Hop not having much of an influence in the city,
considering that’s it sprawled so far away in New England. “There’s definitely a lot of Hip-Hop here.
You’ll find a lot of local rap groups, solo artists out here that are trying make it, it’s just the fact that
we’re not on the map like that just yet.” Having found much success working with Dipset members
Cam’Ron, Duke Da God, Hell Rell and others, he’s also shopped beats to Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Cassidy,
Gucci Man, Young Dro and Fabolous. With his rapid beat making techniques, it’s easy to understand
why it’s getting him on shows from state to state because it’s amazing to see. “I’ve been getting booked
by clubs lately to do shows performing on my MPC live. It’s something different and unique, and it
puts me in a position to be a trendsetter, but on the other hand - it’s allowing other producers in the
crowd to hear my sound and see what I’m doing, but I don’t think you can really duplicate what I’m
doing.” Putting a name on how to define his music and style is a daunting task, but under the fabric of
his beats still lies a blueprint from the influences of Dr. Dre, Swizz Beats, Alchemist, Just Blaze, Scram
Jones, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, Hi-Tek, DJ Khalil and Heatmakers. These famous producers vicariously
helped in perfecting his craft to the point now that it’s a full time job. “When I first started making
beats, I went from the keyboard to a software program and to an MPC. My motivation at that time
was just for the fact that I wanted to hear and make my own music. All my old beats on the keyboard
where like a good 3-4 minutes long and as I got better, so did the beats.” Making new beats also seem
to come naturally. “I’m not the type that needs to smoke a blunt or have a drink to be creative. I just sit
down and think of what I’m going to do or how I’m going to do it. It doesn’t take long, no more than ten
minutes for me to complete a beat. It’s always like 10-15 minutes the most and then I’m done.”
As his talents continue to move him forward, don’t ever think he plans leaving his hometown. “Growing
up in Providence, I was blessed because I didn’t have to go through a lot of the things that other people
that I know in places like Boston and New York had to go through. I was raised by both my mom and my
pops and they’re still together this day. Besides, it doesn’t matter where I’m from, just so long as the
people keep liking my beats - that’s all that matters.”