“I feel like people who have been following us from the very beginning are going to get a good grasp of what we’re trying to do in the near future” – Planet Giza on Their Journey So Far

Tom Atkinson

By Tom Atkinson

Tom Atkinson

24 Apr 2023

Planet Giza is a Hip-Hop trio from Montreal, consisting of Rami B, Tony Stone, and DoomX. These guys combine elements of funk, jazz, and several other genres into their soothing and melodic take on the genre. Having released their debut album back in 2019, they recently released their sophomore release ‘Ready When You Are‘.

Back in March, we sat down with Planet Giza over Zoom as they prepared for the release of their new record. It was a fun and insightful chat about their formation, evolution, and what keeps them entertained on the tour bus. After this interview, you will have learnt something new about Planet Giza.

Planet Giza
How did you guys first come together?

Tony: Me and Rami, we used to play Basketball when we were kids; like 12-13 years old. We met up again in high school because we both failed maths, we were in summer school. When I met him again I was like oh what do you do now? He told me ‘I make beats’, and I was like what does that mean, you make beats. He was like ‘I make music’ and I was like show me. We went to his house and he literally showed me on FL Studio how to sample; how to make beats. After that day, I went home and started making beats myself.

Further down the line, I met Doom in high school through a mutual friend and he made beats as well. So, we started working on beats heavily every day. One day, I was like well Doom makes beats and Rami makes beats, let’s just all meet up by my house and make music for the whole day. That’s what we did and we ended up making one song called ‘Old School Convertible‘ and we put it on Soundcloud and it just went crazy. From that point on, I was like we might be onto something, we might have to keep doing this together. So, that’s how it all came about.

I feel that’s probably how a lot of people are going to meet, you’re just like ‘Oh you make music, ok’. I bet you’re glad you failed your maths class now.

Tony: It was meant to be you know. (laughs)

I noticed when listening to your stuff that you have a very Sci-Fi/space-esque sound. Would you say that influenced the name or did the name influence the sound?

Rami: That’s a good question. We were just trying to find something I guess unique. Doom at 20 used to go by the North Virus; they were a duo (Doom and Tony) and I used to go by my name Rami. B. It was always the North Virus x Rami. B, but it wasn’t looking good. When we were doing DJ sets, it was written the North Virus x Rami. So, we were like we need to find something better.

We were on Facebook one night and pulling out names together. We came up with Planet Giza because (with) the Pyramids of Giza there is three pyramids and that’s how we started. Around that time, we were only making beats on Soundcloud, a lot of future sounds stuff. It made sense and we kept it. Now, the name has nothing to do with what we’re doing right now but we just kept it.

Tony: Just because it sounds good. (laughs)

It is a good name and hey, a coincidence has happened. I can see what you mean. I feel if you’re all making music together, I think at some point you have to all come under one name.

Tony: Especially as we were doing so much and we were always together. It only made sense.

Planet Giza
The new album is out in a few weeks. What would you say has changed between your previous record ‘Added Sugar‘ and the new one?

Tony: Man that’s four years difference, so the growth, the maturity, the sound just developed and evolved. It’s really light years beyond what we did on ‘Added Sugar.’ You can’t even compare it, to be honest.

Doom: I’d say the growth musically is crazy and also personal growth. When we made ‘Added Sugar‘ we was kids. If you think about it, ‘Added Sugar‘ was a two-year process. It came out in 2019, but we really started in 2017. If you point that out, from 2017 to 2023, even our personal growth is really different. Our mindset has changed completely, the sound has changed completely; everything has changed.

I feel like people who have been following us from the very beginning are going to get a good grasp of what we’re trying to do in the near future. There’s going to be a lot of stuff that is highlighted. Even outside of music, there is a lot of stuff that we’re trying to do. Everything is going to come full circle with this project.

Rami: We didn’t really know what we wanted or what was important to us. I feel that right now we all know ok this is what we want, this is important; this is not important.

You’re right and four years is a long time and a lot has happened in that time to you and just in general. You are going to change as people and as music artists. You find with a lot of artists there is a change between the debut and the sophomore record because as you said, with your first record you were figuring it out, whereas with your second one, you have a better idea of what you want to create, what you want to do and you can definitely see that.

Doom: Also, a lot of people coming into this album are going to expect so much. I don’t know what they’re going to expect but don’t expect nothing, just go in with a free spirit. Don’t even think about oh yeah Giza used to this because there is a lot of things we used to do that we don’t really do anymore. Just be prepared; be ready to have a full experience with this album.

Tony: The sound has changed and you know, hop in the ride and enjoy the experience.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to make the music that feels right to you, so it is going to change over time, as you go through life and have different experiences. When I listened to it I thought it was very good, very different, and very interesting. I feel like it’ll come across to other people; two weeks’ time see what happens.

Tony: What was your favourite song on there if you don’t mind me asking?

I’ve only listened to it once so I don’t think I have got a favourite yet. What I liked about it the most was the vibe and the production and the features all fit in well. It was a very good experience as a whole. I haven’t got a favourite track yet; I’m sure I will as I listen to it.
Who would you say is an artist you’ve seen live collectively or individually that has changed the way you perform?

Tony: We all went to London and saw Childish Gambino perform at The 02. The way he was so intimate with the crowd. It’s The 02, so it is a whole bunch of people, but he made it feel like it was so personal. The way he was comfortable with himself, talking to the crowd and moving around, and being free with his body. We saw that and I was like ‘This is one of the best performances we have ever seen’. Across the board, Childish Gambino.

I’ve not personally seen him live so I can’t comment myself, but I enjoy his music a lot and think he’s a very talented artist. To do what you just said there and make a performance at one of the biggest venues in the country feel intimate is a talent.

Rami: Also, Tyler, The Creator for the stage design. I think it was (his) IGOR (tour), we went there and the stage design was crazy.

Speaking of London, you’ve previously performed there, and looking at your Spotify it was your second biggest listener base overall. Are you planning to perform in the U.K. again and what would you do differently from your last show there?

Tony: Definitely in the plans to go back to the U.K. We love the U.K. Performance-wise, what we would do different? We would try to make it bigger; (a) bigger venue. We had Kojey Radical at our first one so probably bring him back and bring back more people; have a full party in London. I think that would be the plan.

Sounds like a good plan. Kojey Radical is on the new record, I’m sure he’ll be down. I’ve not seen him live yet, but I imagine he is a great performer. Sounds like it would be a good show and I imagine these tracks live would be good as well.

Tony: Whenever we do have that show, we’ll send you tickets and you will come through and we’ll have a good time. Shots on us!

Planet Giza
I noticed there were a lot more collaborations on this record than on your previous one. What made you decide to go in that direction?

Doom: We had a talk about it as on ‘Added Sugar‘ we didn’t have a lot of collaboration and thought it would be a great idea to have more people join in, even if it was on the production side or someone’s laying down a verse. We were just trying to make a bigger album and trying to make a more collaborative effort on this one.

There was a wide range of features I found. As you said, Kojey Radical; Mick Jenkins, Venna. But, I was wondering, what was the artist you had the most interesting creative process with?

Rami: Maybe Saba and Topaz (Jones) actually. When Saba came in, he was really chill; really open to anything. He was asking Tony ‘Yo, just lead me to the song’ and we didn’t expect that. We thought he’d walk in with a verse already written and just do his thing. But, it wasn’t like that at all.

The same thing with Topaz. Even Topaz, he has a range; he can sing, he can rap, he can do a bunch of things and we didn’t know that. We thought he was just rapping and s**t. When he started doing harmonies and stuff, we were like ‘Oh s**t, the guy’s serious’. That was a cool session, both of them.

That’s good and the fact they took you by surprise shows they brought their A-game to the track. I don’t know if you guys have had that, but I do find sometimes on some records people come in and do a feature and do the bare minimum and then leave. The fact they brought their A-game and they surprised you and melded their creative process with yours is cool.

Rami: Every feature did their thing. They all took us seriously, even femdot., he came in (really cool dude) wrote his verse; rapped it. We weren’t sure with Mick (Jenkins), femdot., Topaz, Saba, and of course Sun. We did the song with Kojey like three years ago, so he sent his verse way back. All good sessions man.

Tony: I also feel what helps is that to create such a good song and feature verses is the vibe we create while in the studio and how everything is easy-going. You can tell that we are really passionate about this and that we’re going to convey that passion. Same with artists in the studio with us. Every time we get in the studio with an artist, we sit down with them and talk about their creative process, where they are at right now in life; are they working on anything. The fact we create that little dynamic, little relationship makes them able to trust us and see where we are going with their vision.

That’s what happened with Saba, we just talked to him and built this working relationship where he was like ‘Alright, tell me how should I harmonise this part’ and I was like alright, do it like that. (It was) interesting the result that it gave. The song really, really was taken to another level.

Rami: Also, every time in the studio, Tony always asks the artist ‘What is your writing process?’ I feel like when they started explaining, they can see Tony could relate to that (and) they got way more comfortable.

Having come from Montreal, who are some other Montreal artists who you think deserve to shine?

Doom: Sun, Da-P.

Tony: Luke Phelps.

Doom: Mike Shabb, Nicholas Craven. There’s a bunch of them.

Tony: There’s a lot of talent.

What would you say stands out about these artists to you?

Doom: Everybody got their own style. Some of them are producers, but every person with a name they don’t sound like each other. Everybody got their own style. There is not a specific sound in Montreal. Everybody got their influence from the same type of things but nobody really sound alike. You can’t name another group or person that sounds like us or every person that we named. You can’t pinpoint a resemblance with any other person. That’s what’s cool about Montreal in my opinion.

When you guys are going out on tour who has the aux lead?

Tony: Well, first off, we’ve never been on an official tour before. We’re looking forward to that. Who has the aux? I think we share the aux. We have similar taste in music so we listen to this album or that.

Rami: Most of the time it’s Doom actually.

Tony: Sometimes we listen to a podcast.

Do you have a go-to artist or go-to podcast?

Doom: We listen just to podcasts to laugh, so we listen to Akademiks podcast. (laughs) It’s dramatic.

Rami: No Jumper, things like that.

Doom: Just to laugh. Not to gain any knowledge or anything. (laughs) Just to make the time go faster.

What would be your advice for up-and-coming artists?

Rami: To do what you love basically. (Do) not try to fit in, follow trends, or anything. It always comes back, so you can do something that 5 years ago wasn’t trendy, now it’s the new thing and you used to do that so you’re a master at your work. That’s pretty much what happened with us. When we were in Montreal, that wasn’t the vibe; (what) we were doing, but we liked it so much and we see other people all over the world doing it and we’re like f**k it let’s do it. Right now, we’re doing pretty good with that actually and we’ve already mastered our craft because we’re doing it for the love, not for the hype or anything. That’s my advice, personally.

Tony: Not only musically, but creatively just do what you love and be yourself about it. Don’t try to follow any trends just like Rami said. Be yourself because if it’s authentic to you, it might be authentic to someone else, and (you’ll) feel that emotion, that energy that you’re not trying to be something that your not. Like, all of our songs, the ones that hit the most are the ones where we were super honest with ourselves and people relate to that.

Doom: Also, to not get disturbed by looking at other people. Just focus on yourself. Don’t look at what other people got going on because they have nothing to do with you. So, focus on your craft and water your garden the right way and you’ll see a good return at the end.

Planet Giza is on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.