Aaron-Carl’s music career began in 1996, when he signed to Underground Resistance’s "Mad" Mike Banks’ label, Soul City Records. The Metro Detroit native refused to be boxed into just one style and quickly made a name for himself by releasing his first two records, both of which were completely different genres, at the same time. "Crucified," a deep soulful vocal anthem, met instant critical acclaim; while "Down," an explicit electro-house track (the b-side to "Wash It"), became – and remains – one of Aaron’s biggest records to date.
Aaron-Carl’s extensive discography showcases his powerful versatility; with releases on labels such as Subject Detroit, Ovum Recordings, Metroplex, Afrosyntrix, as well as his own imprint, Wallshaker Music.
His music has been remixed by some of the industry’s top producers; such as, Ewan Pearson and Grammy award winner Peter Rauhofer / Club 69. Aaron has also remixed a variety of big-name artists, including jazz legend Manu Dibango and techno pioneers, Underground Resistance. In addition to producing and remixing, Aaron is an international DJ. He has captivated audiences throughout the world with his Detroit-style blend of house, techno and electro.
As a vocalist, Aaron displays a well-seasoned, four-octave range. "People often ask me who the woman is, singing on my records," he recalls. (Answer: AC himself !) From the sensual, seductive whispers of "Down" and "21 Positions" to soul-stirring shouts of "My House" and "Sky," Aaron delights in living up to his "genderless," 10 ft. tall reputation.
Signing a global distribution deal with Cratesavers Muzik; owning and overseeing the successful Wallshaker Music label (including sub-label "Cherry Juice Recordings"), plus heading his own music publishing company, Symphonic Storm Music Publishing, Aaron-Carl proves himself as a definite force to be reckoned with – and shows no signs of slowing down.
Aaron-Carl is featured in the ghetto-tech music documentary "The Godfather Chronicles", and also has songs featured in movies such as "Pick Up the Mic," and House music documentary "Maestro."
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Interview with Aaron-Carl by Kazuumi Ishii
You’ve recently launched your own radio show called the Aaron-Carl Experience. What inspired you to do this and what is the intention of the show ?
When the opportunity came to me to launch the radio show, I jumped at the chance ! For me, it’s just another way to share myself with the fans. I love interacting with the fans as much as possible; whether it’s through a blog, an album, a radio show, a live performance, etc…
Do you have any memorable experiences from one of your gigs/good stories ?
I DO ! One of the best experiences in my life was one night I performed (and DJ + Live set) in Vienna, Austria. My show was over, and the crowd wanted more. I didn’t have an encore, so I asked them what they wanted to hear. Almost in unison, they shouted "CRUCIFIED ! CRUCIFIED !" I searched through my record bag, but didn’t have it. So I grabbed the microphone and sang it acapella for them. They still talk about it to this day, and I will NEVER forget such a wonderful experience.
Where are you most looking forward to playing ?
JAPAN, of course !
I saw you in Detroit, at DEMF, that was great. So, what about DEMF ?
I was so proud to be part of something that showcased Detroit talent to the world. And thank you for enjoying that performance. I had a lot of fun with my family on stage. I can’t wait to do that again !
In Detroit Ron Murphy has passed on… How did you feel about that ?
Losing Ron was like losing a parent. It was a bittersweet moment for me, honestly. I’ve known Ron had health problems for a long time, so I feel good that he’s no longer suffering. However, I loved spending time with him and hearing his stories. The knowledge he gave me, you just can’t buy. I will miss that the most.
Your track, Sky with the Terrence Parker remix was massive last year. How would you describe the feeling you were trying to give on that epic track ?
SKY was my way of paying tribute to my father, Phallis-Carl Ingram, who was killed when I was a teenager. I think the message is timeless, really. I will always miss my father. And God bless Terrence Parker; who offered to remix SKY as a tribute to my mother, Patricia Ann Ingram, who had just recently died. My feelings are the same. Now I have both of my parents watching me from "somewhere up in the sky…"
So in the mean time you’ve been working on your new album. Do you have a release date yet ?
Bittersoulfulsweet is my next labor of love, and should be delivered to you sometime in March this year.
Have you played your new album to friends and family yet ? What do they think ?
I’ve played ONLY ONE TRACK to friends and family. Their initial reaction was "what is THIS ?!" Then afterwards, they were like, "DAMN, that’s FIRE !" I’m keeping the rest a secret, because I want to surprise everyone at the same time.
How would you describe the sound overall ?
The sound is different for ME… Like all of my albums, they’re rooted in House music. But I do expand my genres to include R&B, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, Electro – or whatever I’m feeling. I listen to EVERYTHING, so you never really know what sound might pour out of me on any given day.
Tell us about all the collaborations on the album ?
You realize that this is the FIRST time I’ve EVER collaborated with ANYONE on my album, don’t you ? I’m working with Detroit’s DJ Nasty (who also stepped outside of his "normal" zone), Gerald Mitchell (Los Hermanos); I have a duet with Veronique (Wallshaker’s first lady), and ANOTHER duet with KHAN of FINLAND (formerly of Captain Comatose) – there’s a few others, but I have to tease you just a little bit, right ? Otherwise, I wouldn’t be ME !
Your last album, Detrevolution, had an especially strong message. Do you know if your music caused the effects you desired ?
Absolutely. It caused the effects I desired and than some… It satisfied my current audience, but at the same time, expanded my audience. I have my House fans, my electro fans – I have TECHNO fans, which is a huge surprise for me. Plus the hardcore fans, who appreciate me for being brave enough to step outside of my box and experiment.
What would you like people to change after listening to your new album ?
I want people to realize that Detroit is still the music capital of the world ! I also want people to realize that music DOES bring people together – my crowds are as diverse as my musical tastes, and that’s exactly how I like it. So please, listen to the new album and ENJOY it for what it is…
What’s more creatively inspiring, happiness or sadness ?
In my life, sadness has inspired me more creatively. Hardship, pain, struggle – it forces you to think, speak and sing from the SOUL. And when you deliver your messages from the soul, people can relate to them better. People FEEL them more…
Wallshaker Music Discography
Aaron-Carl – Homoerotic, 12"
Aaron-Carl – Switch, 12"
Aaron-Carl – Sky, 12"
Aaron-Carl – Hateful, 12"
InBetween DJs – Animal Jazz Vol. 1, 12"
Aaron-Carl – Sky (the Silver Lining remixes), 12"
Todd Joseph – The Todd Joseph Project, 12"
InBetween DJs – Beat These Bitches EP, 12"
Aaron-Carl & Benjamin Hayes – The Devolver EP, 12"
DJ E. Dubb – Disconnected EP, 12"
Veronique – Use Me (the Essential mixes), Digital
The Deaken – The Unemployed EP, Digital
Veronique – Beautiful, Digital
Aaron-Carl – Drive (I-75) (remixes), Digital
Aaron-Carl – Detrevolution, CD
Cherry Juice Recordings Discography
Laurent & Lewis – Motion, 12"
Hanky Panky – Want My Body, Digital