Christian Smith, a.k.a. Crankdat became a breakout star through remixes for Zeds Dead, Jaden Smith, San Holo, and more. In addition, he’s added some equally successful originals to the portfolio, with his most recent being “Need Somebody.” Now, it seems this positive traction has caught Diplo‘s attention, as the rising producer has officially made his debut on BBC Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends.
Fans are in for a big treat here, as the bass-heavy mix features a wide array of fresh IDs from the Cleveland born DJ. He also blends famed remixes with throwbacks, hip-hop — including tracks by Kanye West and Lil Pump — and dance music anthems such as Galantis‘ “Runaway” and Calvin Harris‘ “Summer” (mashed up with some trap-y goodness). The hour long mix is ever-changing and will make listeners wonder where the time went.
Crankdat is currently on his “Outcast” tour, hitting stops all over the globe leading up to an Electric Zoo 2018 performance come Labor Day Weekend.
Made Event‘s titanic New York-based festival, Electric Zoo, is celebrating its tenth birthday this Labor Day Weekend, August 31st–September 2nd. To mark the momentous double-digit occasion, the wildlife-themed event has added two more headlining artists in Alesso and Tiësto to join the star-studded cast of talent that already tops the 2018 bill: Kaskade, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, and Virtual Self.
Made Event’s New York-based electronic veteran, Electric Zoo will reach double-digits this year. Slated to return to its long time home of Randall’s Island Park on Labor Day Weekend from August 31–September 2, Electric Zoo’s celebration of a decade of production will see dance music titans Kaskade, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, and Virtual Self as event headliners.
The first phase of the festival’s supplements its superstar headliners with an array of supporting talent, including 3LAU, Alan Walker, Justin Martin, Illenium, REZZ, and many more. Electric Zoo’s ‘Big 10’ bash will additionally feature stages curated by Anjunabeats, Deadbeats, Hyperhouse, and Sunday School.
Tickets to Electric Zoo’s tenth birthday party are currently on sale to the general public, and can be purchased here.
New York City’s pre-eminent electronic music festival Electric Zoo has announced the dates for its milestone 10th anniversary edition.
Taking place Labor Day weekend August 31 – September 2 at Randall’s Island Park, Electric Zoo: The Big 10 promises to be a birthday blow-out of the most epic proportions. The Big 10 will celebrate the wild ride the festival has seen over the years, featuring the world’s finest DJs and mind-melting production.
Pre-sale launches February 15 at 11:00 am ET here.
“I’m a very beautiful young man” proclaims the vocal sample in New York native Fareoh and Miami-based SMLE‘s newest collaboration. The former has performed in front of audiences at festivals like Electric Zoo and Nocturnal Wonderland, while the latter has begun to accrue a massive following over the past few months, courtesy of a consistent flow of releases. With both artists beginning to see a tangible accumulation of fans, it’s prime time for both Fareoh and SMLE to take center stage.
On their newest single, the up-and-coming pair of artists create a sonic jungle that breathes with a vivacious energy. The future-pop single is carbonated with bubbly synths and tingling wooden drums, a heavy bass line and atmospheric synth gyrate like a sin wave — all the fundamental elements of an infectious future bass track. The track may be one of both respective artist’s best of 2017.
New York City saw yet another successful edition of Electric Zoo pass through it in September. The weekend was a particularly monumental one for the East Coast institution, which saw the reunion of both Deadmau5 & Eric Prydz as well as Sasha & John Digweed within its confines. Furthermore, 2017 was also the year in which Electric Zoo continued its overseas expansion to Brazil, locking it in as one of the premier global festival brands.
Another duo sought widely within the festival’s New York iteration was Tritonal, who graced their festival audience with a jubilant blend of electro house, big room, and sentimental emotive pieces. Luckily for those wishing to relive their magical moments with the outfit, Electric Zoo has kindly uploaded their set up for personal enjoyment.
For Shaun Frank, the future isn’t illustrated in various “Shades of Grey,” but rather in brilliant Technicolor. The Canadian quadruple-threat singer, songwriter, DJ, and producer is riding a career defining high, closing out the summer festival season with a performance at Electric Zoo’s Main Stage, notably his “biggest festival of the summer.” In witnessing the close of one season, Shaun Frank looks to vivid new opportunity in the next as he prepares to open for Krewella on their New World North American fall tour.
We sat down with Shaun Frank at Electric Zoo this past weekend to gain some insight about his production process, his songwriting approach, and of course, what new material he’ll be bringing to the incredibly diverse records ring this fall, where the “Upside Down” vocalist never fails to stand out.
You’re performing at three festivals this weekend, you appeared at Breakaway Music Fest on Friday, today you’re here at EZoo, and tomorrow you’ll be at Sun City [Music Festival] in Texas. Now that festival season is winding down, what will you miss the most about it?
“The festivals. This is the best time of the year as a DJ, you get to play on the biggest stages. This was my biggest festival this summer — I got to play Main Stage at Electric Zoo. I’m gonna miss all the crazy, rigorous touring and I’m gonna miss the beautiful weather, but I’m looking forward to finishing up some records I’ve started and starting to put them out and plan for next year.
You mentioned in a previous interview that you’re starting to add more live elements to your shows. Krewella recently tapped you to open on their upcoming New World North American tour this fall, will you be incorporating any specific live elements in your performances on that tour?
Not on that tour specifically, I’ll probably just be doing my DJ sets because that’s what they want. I think they might be doing a bit of a live thing. Coming into the new year I’m definitely planning on incorporating more live elements. I’m dropping a really cool live video for my song “Upside Down” in the next 2-3 weeks where I play the song on a bunch of instruments, and that’s kind of a taste of the future of my project.
You have a real knack for translating poignant experiences/emotions into songs that are playful and vibrant, despite their sometimes rawer inspirations. What goes through your head when you’re writing a song, what’s your process like?
You know every time I try to just write a banger or a dance record, I always end up going back to my roots which is songwriting. It always starts on the piano or something, and it always starts from a very emotional lyrical place. I don’t know why it always comes out like that. A lot of the vocals are co-writes; “Upside Down” for example is co-written with jenny fatora who is a super talented songwriter, and we usually just sit down with a guitar and a piano and try to write a story. “Let You Get Away,” “No Future,” “Addicted,” they’re all stories. And then I try to figure out how that fits into dance music, and I think that’s maybe why I have a bit of a different sound from other people, because it always starts with the song.
So in that sense you always place the song before the beat that you apply.
Yeah almost always. I kind of write a song and then remix it.
You’ve mentioned that songwriters like Bob Marley and Tom Petty inspired you as a songwriter. Are there any current songwriters in the industry who’ve really wowed you with their work lately?
“Those Louis The Child kids are really talented. They’re killing it in the production game! Songwriting-wise, Ashe and Delaney Jane who I worked with before are such incredible songwriters, and Joni Fatora who I wrote “Upside Down” with is so sick. There’s a lot of great writers behind the scenes, there’s this kid Michael J. out of LA that I wrote a great song with, and Asia Whiteacre who wrote that song “Starving” for Zedd. There’s a lot of behind the scenes writers that a lot of people don’t know about and every single day they’re in LA, they’re writing songs. I did that for a couple months when I first signed a publishing deal after “Closer” the song that I wrote with The Chainsmokers came out, and I wrote every day with these guys, they’re literally the backbone of all of this because they write these titles, they write these vocals, and I have all the respect for them.”
Your single “Upside Down” comes to mind as an example of such a track that confronts an issue, in this case breakup, frontally, but in a way that’s whimsical, in terms of sound and its music video production. You’ve sang on club covers before, but what motivated your decision to sing on this track as opposed to others that you’ve produced?
Well it’s a funny story, I wasn’t supposed to sing on that song originally. I was actually waiting, there’s another song that I’m singing on, it’s actually a duet with Delaney Jane that’s going to be coming out soon, but the original singer on that song had to pull off two weeks before the song’s release. She signed a record deal and the label was like “look, we can’t have you doing any featured vocals right now on dance records, we need you to do your thing,” so she had to pull off the record and my manager was like “alright dude, you gotta go sing it,” so I went in and sang it almost as if ‘is this going to work, you know?’ And I was instantly stoked on the vocal, right away I was like wow this is what I think it was supposed to be all along, because I originally wrote it playing guitar and at that moment it became a really special record to me. The video was really special too and this next video [the live video] that’s coming out is going to be cool.
Originally you would never think that the song was supposed to have another vocalist, your voice fits very well with the track.
Well you know those background vocals? That was her.
Would your songwriting process change or would you go about it differently had you known that you would be the song’s vocalist?
Yeah maybe, maybe, but I only write lyrics that I can relate to, so unless it’s a super feminine leaning vocal, since sometimes lyrics can tend to be feminine or masculine, in that case I wouldn’t sing it, but that one really just fit and it reminded me of a really weird time in my life where I was going through a bad breakup where nothing made sense.
A few days ago you tweeted that your mom “said [your] next single is the one.” Following in the idea that mother knows best, that’s an exciting statement. Can you give us any information about this new single, will you lend your vocals to this single?
My mom texted me right before that [the tweet], she was like “send me your music,” and I was like listen, here’s my SoundCloud login and password, you just login and listen anytime. She has my login, so she always goes in and I guess I posted a rough mix of this new record called “Addicted,” and she texted me and said in all caps “ADDICTED IS THE ONE.” She felt very strongly about it, so maybe everyone better pay attention!
Can you give us any additional info about “Addicted,” are you going to be singing on this one, are you falling back?
Nope, it’s with a girl named Lena. It’s a song I wrote with The Chainsmokers and it was going to be a collab. It was a vocal we were passing back and forth about a year and a half ago, and it kind of got on the back burner, but then a couple weeks ago I opened it up and I was like you know this vocal is actually really cool and so I finished the whole record up in a day.
So that’s been sitting in your que for almost two years then.
Almost two years, but the vocal…me and my manager just kept going back and saying what about that vocal so I redid the whole thing a couple weeks ago.
You’ll have that song coming out, and then you also have the foundation of “Closer.” Do you tend to work with The Chainsmokers a lot?
Those guys are my homies, but this new record is going to be a Shaun Frank record because I ended up kind of just doing my own thing with it, but I am in the studio with those guys here and there.
How would you describe the new record [“Addicted”] if you had to give it a tone?
Her voice is so good and she’s singing about how she can’t get enough of this person, she’s addicted to it, it’s a bit of a generic concept but the way she sings it, it’s all about her performance. The hook on the drop is great, its got this bouncy almost island feel to it. There’s been a few different versions of it but this new version is what I’m really excited about.
Lyrical content and vocal delivery always has a way of transforming a concept even if its kind of appeared before.
Yeah, this is probably the most simplistic vocal that I’ve done in awhile, and I think that’s why I’m excited about it because with “Let You Get Away” and “No Future,” they’re very intense songs. There’s choruses and pre-choruses, this one’s just very basic and I think that’s exciting because I think I need to do that, just a plain and simple record.
Do you have a timeframe for the song’s release?
It’ll be out in the next two months. I’m talking to the record label now to get the permissions.
You often refer to yourself as “Rave Dad.” If you had to “Rave Dad” your younger self, what would you tell him?
I would tell him to keep his head up through the tough times bc as the world and the industry changes you gotta change with it and you gotta keep a positive attitude and you gotta always get back up and start again. I almost quit music altogether four years ago, and if I hadn’t done that then we wouldn’t have these songs, Main Stage EZoo, so you gotta keep gunning for your dreams.
Electric Zoo won’t celebrate its tenth anniversary until next year, but that didn’t stop the New York-based festival from booking a closing b2b Sunday set that was the stuff of an Ibiza fantasy. Of the caliber expected from a festival’s milestone anniversary closer, EZoo’s ability to secure an Eric Prydz and deadmau5 b2b performance has set the bar nauseatingly high for the brand’s tenth anniversary.
The duo took the decks at EZoo’s Main Stage on Sunday evening, playing for a transfixing one-and-a-half hours. When a pairing of such rarity and exceptionality materializes at a US festival, the natural response is to record the set, and that’s exactly what one godsend of an EZoo attendee did with his GoPro camera on Sunday. Whether your goal is to relive Sunday’s set or to catch the performance for the first time, the video appears above.
Thomas Jack is in the midst of a transformative musical journey. The Australian DJ and producer rose to prominence in early 2013 after coining the term tropical house and leading the trend in the buoyant and breezy melodic genre. The evocative atmospherics of the genre grew so quickly, in fact, that it could be heard in every corner of the globe, eventually finding its roots in mainstream pop music.
However, for someone who has a taste for consistent experimentation, Thomas Jack’s leading status in tropical house was only one phase in his course for creative ascendancy.
Last month, Jack released The Versus, a genre-defying EP, which showed off a more embellished side of his artistic sense. The project, which built upon songs from RY X and The Acid, communicated a heavier, more profound scope of his musical intuition — something that has, until recently, only been witnessed through his assorted deep and progressive house performances. The Versus solidified the Jack’s steps toward a broader range of directions that will, ultimately, see the artist presenting his extensive proficiencies both in his production and behind the decks.
As Thomas Jack returns to this year’s edition of Electric Zoo, fans can fully anticipate a gratifying and colorful display of the artist’s mellifluous catalog of music. Leading up to his set, the forward-looking artist connected with Dancing Astronaut about his new music and anticipation for his headlining Sunday performance at this year’s Elrow stage at “The 6th Boro” of New York.
Read our interview with Thomas Jack below.
This isn’t the first time you’re performing at Electric Zoo. Do you have anything special planned to set this weekend apart from other festival sets?
I think all sets I play are different but for sure have some surprises and loads of new tunes for this one. For me, it’s a real honor to be asked to close Elrow. I am such a big fan of their party – so there will be some fun vibes for sure.
What excites you most about joining the elrow lineup this year? What is it about the legendary party series that differentiates it from rest of the stages at Electric Zoo?
I think its got its own special vibe of crazy shit going on I’ve been going to them for awhile and always had a good time. They have such a long tradition and legacy of entertaining, they really understand all the elements that combine to make a great party, and how to make it fun for the artists and the fans. It’s a special group of people!
With this year’s festival theme as ‘The 6th Boro,’ what’s your favorite part of playing to NYC crowds? What’s your favorite thing about the city that never sleeps?
Normally when I’m in New York I stay in Brooklyn. Love all the food around that area and the night life. This is one of the world’s best cities, and it has such a rich history of electronic music and clubbing – from disco, to house and techno. It’s always fun to come back, and great that we get to play a festival of this size in the city.
The new ‘The Versus’ EP that you released last month presents a shift from your former tropical house output. Compared to your previous releases, what made you want to switch things up in this EP?
I always want to continue to evolve throughout my career and for me I felt this was the vibe I wanted to go, there’s loads more to come. Tropical house for me was just a moment in time, a new sound I found. That’s really what I’m all about, discovery and curation, it just happened that one blew up. But I’ll always be searching for what’s next, and the chance to get to work with folks like Ry-X and The Acid was so exciting, they are amazing talents I’ve admired for years.
If you could give some advice to your past self just entering the music business, what would it be?
Don’t second guess yourself, do exactly what you think you should be doing. I’m enjoying living my own advice at the moment!
What are your plans for the future of Thomas Jack? Any exciting releases or performance in the works?
Yeah there is load of new music, I haven’t toured as much this year so I’ve had a lot more time to create. I’ve filled my studio with analog gear which has been amazing. I have been in Europe at Hi with a residency all summer, and that’s been really inspiring to be based over there. I’m really excited about the future, and eager to hear what people think of the new stuff.
Electric Zoo, revered as New York’s premier electronic music festival, has unveiled its 2017 theme: ‘The 6th Boro.’
For those unfamiliar with New York City’s geography, the city is composed of five local boroughs: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Naturally, Electric Zoo aims to be the Big Apple’s sixth unofficial borough.
Already celebrating its ninth year, Electric Zoo is set to return to Randall’s Island over Labor Day Weekend for another year of top-shelf dance music, unprecedented production and one enthralling New York City skyline.