Kiwi teen nabs Ty Dolla $ign, DJ Dahi for new single

Eddie Johnston, aka Race Banyon, at work in the studio during his time in Los Angeles. Photo/Red Bull
Eddie Johnston, aka Race Banyon, at work in the studio during his time in Los Angeles. Photo/Red Bull

A Wellington teen who makes music from his bedroom in his parent's Island Bay home managed to score some big names for his new single.

Eddie Johnston, a 19-year-old bedroom boffin who produces under the name Race Banyon, worked with DJ Dahi and Ty Dolla $ign on his new single, What Are We Doing - and it's earning rave reviews.

Johnston, who also performs indie folk music under the alias Lontalius, wrote the song with DJ Dahi, who has Dr Dre, Drake and Kendrick Lamar production credits to his name, during time in a Los Angeles studio, before R&B star Ty Dolla Sign added his vocals.

The Red Bull-funded project saw Banyon spend a week in LA last November working on three songs, and the 19-year-old says they came together remarkably easy.

"We just made some music. DJ Dahi was a really nice guy, very sweet and approachable. I felt comfortable because he listens to a lot of different types of music - and I come from an indie-rock background."

What Are We Doing melds thick slabs of bass with Ty Dolla $ign's suggestive lyrics in a track that reminds of Flume, The Weeknd or Majid Jordan.

It's earned rave reviews overseas, with Fader calling it a "a tempered take on Ty's lovelorn ratchet," while HotNewHipHop said "Race Banyon and DJ Dahi shine on the beat, an electronic-influenced R&B joint with big bass".

Kiwi producer Eddie Johnston, aka Race Banyon, worked with some big names on his new single.
Kiwi producer Eddie Johnston, aka Race Banyon, worked with some big names on his new single.

Stereogum said the track reminded of Drake's signature sound: "Those familiar bouncy, muted conga drums center the track as playful synth keys, rumbling bass, trap-y clicks, and resounding claps surround it. The title serves as the hook, and it's an honest question delivered with sincerity, wonder, and feeling."

Despite the praise, Johnston says his main focus is his other alias Lontalius, and the release of his debut album under that moniker, I'll Forget 17, on March 25.

"Lontalius is the career focus at the moment ... but with Race Banyon, they're different, but they share the same kind of qualities, that atmospheric, feelings-focused kind of thing," he said.

"I like the song. It's a good song .... I just don't want to be the next P-Money. That's not my thing."

- nzherald.co.nz

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