Backbeat: AraabMUZIK Talks Electro Aspirations While Working with 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes Amidst SBTRKT Masks
Backbeat: AraabMUZIK Talks Electro Aspirations While Working with 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes Amidst SBTRKT Masks

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The costumed crowd awaits AraabMUZIK's arrival. (Photo: Jason Lipshutz)

Costumed concertgoers predictably filled New York's Bowery Ballroom at the Halloween SBTRKT/AraabMUZIK show on Monday night (Oct. 31), as techno fans dressed as convicts, Lil Wayne and "Where's Waldo" and swilled beer in plastic cups while waiting for the show to begin. Backstage, in a dressing room littered with pizza boxes and candy wrappers, electronic upstart AraabMUZIK talked to Billboard.biz about his own costume of sorts -- he's a techno whiz masquerading as a strict hip-hop producer.

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AraabMUZIK poses backstage at New York's Bowery Ballroom. (Photo: Lil Wayne)

After beginning his career working with artists like Cam'ron and Vado, the Rhode Island native (real name: Abraham Orellana) is now exploring his personal passion of drum-heavy, dubstep-tinged electronica, which was highlighted in his debut album, "Electronic Dream." Since its July release, the album has been hailed by Pitchfork and One Thirty BPM, and a boatload of hype has led to a fall tour that kicked off on Oct. 27 and more high-profile production opportunities.

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"I'm pretty much doing both sides," says AraabMUZIK, slouched against a wall in the dressing room as five members of his entourage watch on. "Right now I'm doing shows and keeping myself in the dance scene more than in hip-hop, but I'm still working with a lot of [rap] artists, like 50, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss. The list goes on, but I'm still more focused on putting out more electronic music, doing big shows and events."

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AraabMUZIK spinning onstage. (Photo: Jason Lipshutz)

AraabMUZIK blended the line between hip-hop and electronic music at Monday night's show -- not many silent DJs are introduced by a hypeman who screams into the crowd, "WHO YOU LISTENING TO? ARAABMUZIK!" -- but the results were smashingly received, and nicely set the stage for SBTRKT's headlining set. The producer is headed to the U.K. for a December tour, and sees some major live opportunities shaping up for 2012.

"I'm gonna be doing festivals and seeing if I can get to the spots like Tiesto and deadmau5 and all these major electronic artists," he says.

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RightsFlow's Vice President of Artist and Community Relations, Alex Holz (left) and Billboard's Katie Morse show off their SBTRKT masks on Monday night. (Photo: Katie Morse)

Spotted at the event -- SBTRKT masks scattered throughout the crowd, including on RightsFlow's Vice President of Artist and Community Relations, Alex Holz. The masks were handed out by SBTRKT's crew before the show, and many fans donned their own homemade SBTRKT masks in addition to the ones provided at the concert.

Additional reporting by Katie Morse.