2016: The Year In Music

Erick Morillo Brings Vocals Back to the Underground on 'Better Life'

Courtesy Photo
Erick Morillo

While Erick Morillo hung out in Ibiza last summer, he couldn't help but pick up on a few trends.

“I noticed there was a lot of underground music, a lot of cool groovy atmospheric music, but there were no vocals to it,” he says. Being an OG house gangsta himself, he couldn't help but see the trend as a challenge.

“We're trying to really recreate the wheel almost,” he says. “My goal right now is to bring that stuff back, but it's got to be done differently. You can't overdo it. The minute that it becomes too song-y, DJs will just stop playing it.”

Maybe these young bloods don't know how to produce a vocal without cheese, but Morillo has decades of experience pushing singers to get exactly what he wants.

EDX Cops a Few House Feels with Groovy New Single "Touch Her, Feel Her"

So he went with Miss McClore on his latest single “Better Life,” a groovy little thing that folds the soulful songstress right into the modern tech house vibe. Her vocal rings with old school depth and positivity, the music is tinged with new school acid, and somehow, the whole thing works.

“You can still keep it fun and interesting,” he says, “When she starts singing, it comes out of nowhere, but it feels like an instrument. It's not like, 'oh, listen to me, I'm singing.' It's more like she's part of the record, and she grooves along with it.”

Morillo calls the track “a definite sign of things to come.” He's been dropping it around the world, from his hometown in New Jersey to festivals in Australia, and so far, people are going “ballistic.”

“I'm really excited about it,” he says. “I've been very busy producing these kind of vocals, and I'm just excited to see how it's all going to play out. I'm doing what I love and just having fun. Nothing has to happen. I'm just happy to share this with the world.”