Saturday Night Session 007: Jay Pryor gets quirky and crafts the perfect mix for house lovers [Q+A]

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Saturday Night Session 007: Jay Pryor gets quirky and crafts the perfect mix for house lovers [Q+A]JayPryorDJ

Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.

23-year-old Jay Pryor has one of the most quintessential stories there is when it comes to his foray into dance music. A night out with friends at a Calvin Harris show inspired him to ‘become’ a music producer. To this day, he notes that Eric Prydz‘s “Everyday” is his favorite song because when Harris played the track, that’s when he knew that music production was what he had to do. So, he dropped out of college and did it. Pryor notes, “He (Harris) played this song, and it was a moment of clarity for me when I heard it.” He continued, “The place, the song, and Calvin as a figure was just so incredibly inspiring. When I got home from that trip I started teaching myself how to create dance music.”

A few years into this decision, Pryor has gone platinum thanks to his co-production credits with Steve Aoki on “Just Hold On” featuring Louis Tomlinson, and the rest is recent history. Many people who have produced music for decades will not hit platinum, and even fewer who drop out of college to chase this glamorous dream will be able to sustain themselves financially through music production. Pryor has seemingly defied the odds, and he is a true testament to the idea that nature can beat out nurture. He is innately wired to be a producer, drawing sonic inspiration from everything from an Ikea store to the Marina outside of his home in Ireland. In fact, a recent track of his titled “All This” was created after he heard a boat passing by and he captured the sound.

While he has successfully navigated the entry into being a successful DJ and Producer in terms of achieving high streaming numbers on his productions and booking club sets, he is the first to admit there is work to be done. Pryor has spoken about how, with every success, his goals have only gotten bigger. This is especially the case when it comes to live performance, and he says he will not stop until he fulfills his dream of headlining the 3arena in Dublin. Pryor mentions, “I used to go there as a kid, and it’s always been a dream of mine to headline it and play to 13,000 people in my homeland.” A big 2019 will be instrumental for Pryor when it comes to achieving this feat.

Anyone who does get the chance to see Pryor perform live may notice the DJ wearing war paint on his face. No, the paint is not a fashion gimmick, but rather a sentiment to give him the courage to go on stage and perform in front of thousands of people. He explains, “when I was younger I used to be a really anxious kid.” Pryor continues, “My mam used to tell me that I wasn’t a ‘worrier,’but a ‘warrior.’ When I started playing shows, I would get nervous and anxious. I decided to apply the war paint to remind me that I’m not a worrier, but a warrior.” The war paint has now become a trademark of sorts for the producer, who is usually seen sporting the paint during his live shows.

Another location the producer draws inspiration from when it comes to live performance is house parties. He lives in a community in London that houses many DJs and Producers who all get together to play for each other when they don’t go out to clubs. Pryor’s Saturday Night Session mix is an example of what he would play for one of their nights in with each other, and he dubs the hour long Saturday Night Session as the perfect backdrop for a low-key pre-drinks before the night gets too crazy.


For those who are curious to hear more of Pryor’s productions, he has just released a brand new remix pack for his track “Make Luv” featuring remixes by Redfield, Crush Club, Illyus & Barrientos in addition to his own VIP mix of the track.

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You have said that with every success you have, your goals get bigger and bigger. What are your goals right now for 2019?

Yeah that’s true! In 2019 I want to release as much music as I possibly can. I have so much content ready to go as I’ve been in the studio 12-16 hours a day since this past summer. I also have a lot of collaborations lined up for this year, which is something I haven’t really thought about doing until now. A big goal for me this year is to get out there and tour as much as possible. I really love throwing parties and playing to people, aside from working in the studio, it’s my favourite thing.

What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night that you are not performing?

As much as I love working in the studio all day, an important lesson my brother taught me was to create balance between work and social life. I live in London in a sort of campus of apartments where a lot of my DJ and producer friends also live. Most weekends we’ll go to clubs, parties, or host parties ourselves. I love DJ’ing at house parties because there’s a certain vibe that you can’t match at a club or festival. An intimate vibe. I tried to capture that with the majority of this mix.

Do you have any venues you dream of playing in?

One of my biggest goals is to headline the 3arena in Dublin. I used to go there as a kid, and it’s always been a dream of mine to headline it and play to 13,000 people in my homeland. Another venue I’ve dreamed of headlining recently is Printworks in London. That venue is next level. I’ve played Ministry of Sound a couple of times, but headlining Ministry is also on the bucket list.

Can you tell us about your nacho disappointment and how you find sounds from stores, like IKEA?

Haha, sometimes on my Instagram I vent my frustrations. And particularly on a certain day, a restaurant I had been ordering from had forgotten nachos from my order 3 times in a row. It was frustrating because I feel quite passionate about the burrito bowl/nacho combo, it’s unmatched. I called them and complained and they gave me some free meals so we’re even now. Regarding IKEA, I decided to drive to my local IKEA recently, sample sounds from the store and make a song out of it. You can check it out on my instagram, jaypryormusic. Shameless plug.

What is the weirdest place you have taken sonic inspiration from?

Back in Dublin I live in a marina, so there’s lots of boats around. I remember one day I was going for a run, and I heard a series of boat noises that somehow became the main melody line for my release ‘All This,’ that would have to be one of the most interesting forms of inspiration I’ve ever taken sonically.

Tell us about the new stripes on your face!

When I was younger I used to be a really anxious kid. My mam used to tell me that I wasn’t a ‘worrier,’but a ‘warrior.’ When I started playing shows, I would get nervous and anxious. I decided to apply the war paint to remind me that I’m not a worrier, but a warrior. I also want to use it as a way to connect people who feel the same way. I want my music to connect people and help them strive for their goals and best lives, despite that inevitable fear at the back of our mind.

What is your all time favorite dance music song?

It would have to be ‘Everyday’ by Eric Prydz. The reason I wanted to create dance music is because I saw Calvin Harris perform in Spain a couple of years back. He played this song, and it was a moment of clarity for me when I heard it. The place, the song, and Calvin as a figure was just so incredibly inspiring. When I got home from that trip I started teaching myself how to create dance music.

What do you think the biggest dance music trend to come out of 2019 is going to be?

I’m not entirely sure. Obviously in the pop space, urban music is still killing the game. Personally, my music has shifted back to my housier roots. I naturally fell back into love with this type of music, and coincidentally I feel like it will make somewhat of a comeback this year. I hope to help bring it to the masses once again.

What kind of a Saturday night is your mix going to get us ready for?

I recorded my mix as if I was playing at a house party. So I think it’s a good mix to stick on at a party, or something more lowkey like pre-drinks (I think you call it pregaming in the US). I really hope people like it and can party hard to it!

Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man release ‘Giant’ new single

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Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man release ‘Giant’ new singleCalvin Harris Credit Wenn

Calvin Harris has teamed up with fellow Brit, soulful crooner and singer-songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man on a new single entitled “Giant.” Out today with an uplifting lyric video to match, “Giant” is the musical manifestation of the “New Year, New Me” mantra: a reminder of the freeing nature of turning a new page and the self confidence that comes with it. The track’s production sees Harris lean in to the pop edge of his superstar DJ persona, with danceable melodic instrumentation keyed out by electric piano as its main guide. Rag’n’Bone Man seals the deal on “Giant” with inspiring lyrics delivered through his signature sincere baritone voice.

“Giant” follows the 2018 release of a slew of collaborative singles for Harris across the pop spectrum.

 

Photo credit: Wenn

NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein teams up with The Weeknd, Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man join forces, Don Diablo flips Panic! At The Disco + more

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NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein teams up with The Weeknd, Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man join forces, Don Diablo flips Panic! At The Disco + moreGesaffelstein Jorge Meza Photos

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

In one of the most anticipated releases already this year, Gesaffelstein and The Weeknd have teamed up for “Lost in the Fire.” deadmau5‘s “Midas Heel” and “Drama Free” have been re-released as part of Netflix’s Polar soundtrack. Calvin Harris taps Rag’n’Bone Man for the soulful “Giant,” and Don Diablo takes Panic! At The Disco‘s “High Hopes” to new heights with a spirited remix. In a powerful mega-collab, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, and W&W have delivered the catchy “Repeat After Me.” Tiësto‘s “Grapevine” sees a fun reinvention by Tujamo, and Lost Kings drop “Anti-Everything” from their new Paper Crowns collection. After months of anticipation, the UK’s Gammer has finally unveiled his notable hardcore remix of Ran-D’s “Zombie.” STANDERWICK puts his stamp on Gareth Emery and Emma Hewitt‘s December release, “Take Everything,” and Luttrell returns with an ethereal number, “Into Clouds.” Party Favor throws it back to 2012 with a release of the same name, and WAVEDASH get heavy in new track, “Whiplash.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.


Photo credit: Jorge Meza

Hakkasan reveals stellar 2019 roster topped by Tiësto, ZEDD, Calvin Harris, and Martin Garrix

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Hakkasan reveals stellar 2019 roster topped by Tiësto, ZEDD, Calvin Harris, and Martin GarrixTiesto Hakkasan

Las Vegas has always been host to entertainment’s cream of the crop — from Frank Sinatra to most recently Lady Gaga. However, in terms of electronic dance music, Vegas is more than just the big leagues, it’s the Hall of Fame. The world’s best all seem to make their ways to Sin City and 2019 is no different. Entertainment powerhouse Hakkasan Group has debuted this year’s talent roster for Wet Republic Ultra Pool, OMNIA at Caesars Palace, and of course Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand. Topping the bill this year is seven-time Hakkasan resident, Tiësto, as well as returning resident headliner Calvin Harris, who is contracted through 2020.

Grammy-nominated producer ZEDD will return to Vegas in 2019, along with Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, and a host of top-tier and up-and-coming electronic performers, ranging from new breakouts Loud Luxury to NGHTMRE, Illenium to Party Favor, and interestingly, Porter Robinson too. “Playing for the crowds in Las Vegas at these amazing venues is an honor for me. I’m fortunate I get to do it again in 2019,” says ZEDD of his return to Nevada for the upcoming events season.

See the full lineup for Hakkasan Group below and grab tickets here.

Hakkasan lineup 2019:

Calvin Harris
Tiësto
Zedd
Martin Garrix
Steve Aoki
Borgeous
Burns
Cash Cash
Chantel Jeffries
Crankdat
DJ Drama
Fergie DJ
Generik
Gryffin
Illenium
Jeff Retro
Lil Jon
Loud Luxury
Mark Eteson
Nervo
NGHTMRE
Nicky Romero
Niiko x SWAE
Party Favor
Porter Robinson
4B

 

Are Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, and Tove Lo making some tunes?

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Are Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, and Tove Lo making some tunes?1052629 10151528878621169 134958093 O

It’s 2019 and Calvin Harris is already making noise. The Scottish producer was recently documented in the studio with singers Tove Lo and Dua Lipa. Harris and Lipa created a spring anthem in “One Kiss,” so another collaboration between the two is unsurprising. Caught via Twitter from a Dua Lipa fan account, the collaborators were also hanging out with Swedish singer/songwriter Tove Lo.

Harris appears to be the missing piece in the Tove Lo/Dua Lipa puzzle. The latter took to her Instagram page to notify fans of the pairs two-day songwriting session, and now it seems they’ve found a top talent to produce the underlying track. Harris also teased an upcoming collaboration with English vocalist Rag’N’Bone Man, proving that great things are in the horizon.

 

Calvin Harris teases new collaboration with English vocalist Rag’N’Bone Man just ahead of official release

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Calvin Harris teases new collaboration with English vocalist Rag’N’Bone Man just ahead of official releaseCalvin Harris Coachella 2016 Credit Billboard

Calvin Harris has what sounds like another chart-topper on his hands. A short, albeit sweet, preview for a new collaboration with English vocalist Rag’N’Bone Man has surfaced, signaling another hit is likely underway for the superstar Scottish producer.

Rag’N’Bone Man, Breakthrough British Act at the 2017 Brit Awards, is carving out success behind his rich, deep crooning. In the newly released preview clip for the forthcoming collaboration, dubbed “Giant,” the emerging singer’s smooth vocalwork is paired with Harris’ buoyant piano chords, in what sounds like a seamless follow up to last year’s sweeping Sam Smith-assisted hit, “Promises.” Preview “Giant” below ahead of its official release on Friday, January 11.

10 songs to listen for during Diplo’s Belly Up Aspen extravaganza

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10 songs to listen for during Diplo’s Belly Up Aspen extravaganzaDiplo 2017

Belly Up Aspen is none of Colorado’s premier winter music festivals, showcasing a diverse range of genres and artists of every caliber. Their calendar was stacked high in 2018 with memorable performances by Keys N Krates, Nora En Pure, Lost Kings, and Cold War Kids taking the same stage as superstars like Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, deadmau5, and Stephen Marley.

To top off a historic year, Belly Up will bring the one and only Diplo to the stage on December 29. From side projects Silk City and LSD, to releasing his first solo EP in four years, Wesley Pentz has had immense success this year, which all the Aspen Mountain skiers can celebrate. Here’s a playlist of ten songs attendees should look out for during the set:

1.Silk City, Dua Lipa feat. Diplo & Mark Ronson – “Electricity”

One of Wesley Pentz Jr.’s greatest moves this year was teaming up with legendary producer Mark Ronson. Silk City instantly popped into the spotlight, bringing in one of 2018’s hottest artists in Dua Lipa for this one. The track was pushed further with an “electric” music video.

2. Ape Drums – “Me Solta”

Miami-based producer Ape Drums is no stranger to dancehall, a genre that Diplo has coined from his Jamaican influence in Major Lazer. Drums is also a friend of the Mad Decent imprint with several features on BBC Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends. Here’s his latest release “Me Solta,” earning a SoundCloud re-post from Diplo himself.

3. LSD feat. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth – “Thunderclouds” (MK Remix)

The famed trio LSD made a lot of noise this year, with four official releases and an innovative, unique sound. “Thunderclouds” marked Diplo, Sia, and Labrinth’s third work of art, receiving a groovy house edit from MK. The Miami-raised producer has a tendency to go deep in his sets, making this remix a prime candidate.

4. Wuki – DADADADA (Holiday VIP) [wukileak]

It’s always easy to throw Wuki in the mix. The New Jersey-born producer already performed a “wukipediamix” for Diplo and Friends and has been heard in a myriad of past Diplo/Skrillex sets (having released tracks on Mad Decent and OWSLA). His wild reworks brought him into the spotlight, most notably his edit of Busta Rhymes’ “Look At Me Now” verse. Although, this one comes with a holiday twist primed for a pre-NYE show.

5. Wuki – Pon De Time [wukileak]

Here’s another gem from Wuki’s endless list of goodies on his WUKILEAKS SoundCloud page. This one stems from one of Diplo’s earliest tracks “Pon De Floor.” Mashed with the fan favorite “One More Time” from Daft Punk, is there even a question of whether or not he’d throw this in?

6. Diplo feat. Lil Pump, Juicy J, Famous Dex, French Montana – “Welcome To The Party”

 

This track serves as a perfect bridge between and hip-hop, featuring rap goliaths like Famous Dex, and fresh-in-the-limelight rapper Lil Pump. This electrifying single is sure to show it not only connects genres, but also jump starts a vibe. “Welcome to the Party,” was featured in Deadpool 2, one of the highest grossing movies of 2018, and Diplo would start off his farewell to 2018 with his imprint on one of the most impactful soundtracks of the year.

7. Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)

If Diplo is anything, it’s that hard to pin down, transcending expectation and genre. He’s an enigma that’s always working on some new project, but staying true to his nature. He’s also not one to forget the past.  Another classic Diplo remix from 2012, the year Calvin Harris’ “Sweet Nothing” with Florence Welch took hold. Diplo got together with Canadian producer Grandtheft for this one. 

8. Ellie Goulding feat. Diplo & Swae Lee  “Close To Me”

“Close To Me” features some of the industries best and brightest. Swae Lee’s vocals are starting to become familiar to fans across all genres, while Ellie Goulding has been riding with the scene from the start. This track is Diplo’s latest release and has major traction across streaming services sitting pretty at number one on Diplo’s Spotify under popular, with 73 million streams. Definitely keep your ears keen for this one.

9. 4B & Teez – Whistle (Nitti Gritti Remix)

Diplo re-posted this track on his secret SoundCloud account page “diplo approved,” and he’s been known to thread approved tracks into his sets. Additionally, Nitti gritti recently opened for Dillon Francis’ Brooklyn Halloween show and hosts multiple genre and drop changes. Diplo fans will surely recognize and get down to this track.

10. “Get It Right” feat. MØ

“Get It Right” is hot and fresh off the California EP. Diplo played this joint as recently as September 14 at the Brooklyn Mirage for Mad Decent Block Party and even brought out MØ to perform live. It’s flush with style and contemporary waves. One can only hope that Diplo drops it again for this New Years weekend set.

Ring in New Years in Las Vegas with Calvin Harris, Tiësto, ZEDD, Kaskade, J. Cole, and more

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Ring in New Years in Las Vegas with Calvin Harris, Tiësto, ZEDD, Kaskade, J. Cole, and moreOMNIA Zedd Photo Credit Mike Kirschbaum 2

For dance revelers and hip-hop heads alike, one of the premier destinations for New Year’s celebrations is always Las Vegas. The Strip never sleeps and with Hakkasan Group‘s reliably stacked programming, the best of the best are lined up to be soundtracking the final club nights of the year. Party goers can expect to ring in 2019 with performances from ZEDD, Tyga, Tiësto Lil Jon, Calvin Harris, Kaskade, and more at some of the country’s most in-demand super clubs — OMNIA, JEWEL, Hakkasan Nightclub, and 1OAK.

Festivities begin at MGM Grand on Saturday, December 29 with Party Favor, rapper Tory Lanez at JEWEL, and ZEDD kicking off New Year’s Weekend at OMNIA. Hakkasan’s collective New Year’s roster rounds out a massive year of performances along the Strip this year, and points to an even bigger year of billings ready to get underway.

See Hakkasan Group’s full lineup and schedule of artists and venues for New Year’s, and purchase tickets here. 

Calvin Harris lets fans engage him in impromptu Twitter Q&A, distances himself from EDM

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Calvin Harris lets fans engage him in impromptu Twitter Q&A, distances himself from EDMCalvin Harris 1

Calvin Harris took a short break yesterday from cranking out number No. 1 records and posing for Armani underwear spreads to engage in a slew of Twitter exchanges with fans on the state of his music and “EDM” at large.

The Scottish “Feel So Close” producer answered music and non-music-related inquiries alike with a bit of comedy and a great deal of candor. A glaring takeaway from the repartee is Harris’s delineating his current chosen production style with the now-ubiquitous umbrella term, “EDM.”

Upon a fan asking whether or not he’d be “going back to EDM at some point,” Harris replied,

“EDM has been sad, slow songs for years now. Doesn’t have anything in common with the music I love to make. 2010-2014 edm was more house influenced to me. Anyway now I’m out the bubble and making big records with amazing singers that sound like house music to me…”

Additionally, Harris took the opportunity to suggest he’ll be diving back into the festival circuit soon–now that many of his large-scale projects (namely Funk Wav) are in the books. He also announced an indefinite retirement from his former live performance setup, having purportedly exhausted the format at this point in his career. However, make no mistake: at 34, Harris continues to flex his adventurousness in the studio. Just this month, he offered one of his rare vocal demonstrations on his new house single with Benny Blanco, “I Found You.”

Photo Credit: Rukes

 

 

Benny Blanco taps Calvin Harris for vocals on infectious new single, ‘I Found You’

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Benny Blanco taps Calvin Harris for vocals on infectious new single, ‘I Found You’I Found You Calvin Harris Benny Blanco

Longtime fans of Calvin Harris might recall that in addition to his penchant for creating irresistibly catchy EDM records, the Scotsman is also quite the crooner. Quite a few of his productions — including his smash hits, “Feel So Close,” and “Summer” — involve his garbled, yet in-tune lyrics. However, it’s been quite some time since we’ve heard Harris get behind the mic.

That’s all changed now, thanks to Benny Blanco’s new single “I Found You.” Blanco, a legend in his own right who’s produced records for everyone from Ed Sheeran to Cashmere Cat, coaxed Harris back into the studio to lend his vocals to the mix, and the result is a sunny house tune whose mellow piano chords and grooving bassline feel like the sonic equivalent of a sunny day. The collaboration is destined to land in the heads of the people it touches — and stay there.