LA-based producer Daktyl hits on some chill summer vibes in his new single, “Oscillate,” featuring Janelle Kroll. Released on Counter Records, the multi-instrumentalist has been planning this release for a while, having played the track at “live shows for a year and a half now” according to a Facebook post.
Building on an assortment of acoustics and smooth vocals from Kroll, Daktyl quickly brings in bouncy electronics, deep bass, and light drum hits. This track perfectly aligns Daktyl’s sound with the new trend of chill electronic/future bass music.
Bursting into 2018 with a U.S. tour and the release of his Riyaaz EP, Daktyl is set for a big year. He’ll join Enschway on his “Friendschway 3” Australia/New Zealand tour throughout the month of July before a big performance at HARD Summer 2018 in August.
DJ, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, it’s no question that Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo, has risen to A-list status in the music and entertainment industry. So, it’s only fair that The Oxford Union — one of the world’s most prestigious debating societies — welcomes him as a guest on their Q&A series. Oxford Union has hosted a wide range of international guests at the University, ranging from prominent political figures to the Game of Thrones cast and John Mayer.
“I never imagined my career would take me somewhere like this.” – Diplo
In this 56-minute long Q&A, Diplo essentially sits down in front of a room of Oxford students (most of whom are itching for him to check out their USB or at the very least sign it), and explains who he is, what he does, and how he got there. For those readers who are unfamiliar with his back-story and are interested, this is probably as good as it gets. But for those who are well-informed on all things Diplo — DA has picked out eight facts that we found interesting about Pentz in this Q&A.
1. He almost drowned in the Ganges River because his crazy friend Brent said it was safe to jump in.
“I was for sure I was gonna die in this river…I remember seeing a little girl pointing at me from the riverside screaming that there’s a dead guy in the water.” This story stems from Diplo explaining his early days as a 19-year-old collecting records in India. “I decided I had to get rid of Brent, he was crazy.” (@ 3:30)
2. He paid for a $1000, 6-month trip to India by selling vinyl records in England.
He starts the Q&A by talking about his first time in England (in perfect context), explaining how he managed to travel around the country and sell 100 vinyl records that he collected from the depths of India. “Back then, people were actually buying and selling records.” (@ 6:00)
3. He never thought being a DJ could be considered a career.
“When I was younger there weren’t people that said you can make electronic music or you can be a DJ and that’s how you can live your life.” This stemmed from explaining why he moved to Philly after growing up in Florida, since you “kinda go there to die.” (@9:30)
4. To this day, his father still thinks he deals drugs.
He gets into talking about how as a young person it’s hard to get into a truly creative job while affording to pay the rent and such. He then asks the room if their parents are happy with them pursuing creative careers and while some are, it appears Mr. Pentz Sr. still doesn’t quite understand how his son pays the rent. (@11:15)
5. A writing opportunity for FADER turned into a trip to Brazil where he learned how to produce music.
After writing a cover story about Atlanta hip-hop, Pentz was given an opportunity to write about Brazil for the editor of FADER. However, the editor decided he was a much better writer and would write a story about Diplo going to Brazil. “I was fascinated by this music called baile funk…it’s a combination of almost heavy metal and miami bass.” He utilized the premise of a big magazine story to get into the studio with Brazilian artists and, without knowing any Portuguese, was able to communicate through technical music terms and learn production programs. (@ 13:00)
6. Tiesto experiences jaw pain from smiling so much.
No, we cannot actually confirm this, but damn if he doesn’t look so happy up there.
Tiësto images taken from his Facebook page
He did actually ask Diplo how he performs without the smiles, since (as fans will know) he’s always looking so calm and collected on the 1’s and 2’s. “Tiesto came by to me and he’s like ‘how do you always DJ…and like…you don’t haveta smile the whole time like I do…’ It’s a show sometimes…but it’s still fun for me.” (@22:30)
7. His very first gig involved “tape cassette DJing” and scaring families away from the pool.
A student in the audience asks about his very first gig, to which he explains how he had no idea what he was doing an ended up getting cut off by the hotel. “I played whatever records I had…I didn’t realize you had to create a rhythm and an environment.” He goes on to say how back then there were no real examples of who he could look up to as a DJ or how to make a living out of it. (@39:00)
8. His longest day job was at Subway…and he didn’t like it very much.
“We got robbed so many times I had to quit.” He reminisces on that experience in explaining how blessed he is to make music for a living. (@46:30)
HARD Summer is pulling out all the stops for the upcoming edition of the festival, led by one of the event’s most memorable lineups to date. Slated for August 4 – 5, and returning to a familiar venue at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway, HARD’s flagship event is sticking to their tried and true playbook of marquee dance and hip-hop match ups, laced together by the underground’s finest newcomer talents, dropping off a lineup of over 70 acts. Best of all, 2018 now is officially the year of the back-to-back.
Additional firepower from Mija, k?d, Tokimonsta, Madam X, Joyryde and many more round out one of HARD’s best bookings to date. And with the festival boasting added amenities, updated safety and comfort features, plus a hilarious trailer that pins Diplo as the “Dawson’s Creek looking motherf****r” he is, we’re looking at what could be the most over-the-top edition of HARD Summer yet.
Gary Richards (aka Destructo) has been grinding his way through the music industry since the early 1990s, curating festivals such as Hard Summer, Holy Ship! and more recently, Friendship, a new music cruise experience.
Now, as president of the major event producer LiveStyle, he’s bringing a whole new music festival to Los Angeles called All My Friends. The festival is presented by the company’s entertainment brand, AMFAMFAMF, and will be situated in the heart of downtown LA’s Arts District at ROW DTLA. The area is a unique location for an event of this magnitude, as it is essentially a creative space and shopping district. Attendees can venture outside the festival grounds and will have access to premium shopping, restaurants and 30,000 square feet of local artwork.
The festivities will be a two-day endeavor on August 18-19. Early bird tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. PST on Thursday, April 12. Tickets can be found here and readers can visit ROW DTLA’s website for more information.
When Gary Richards (aka Destructo), father of HARD Events, announced his plans to leave parent company Live Nation after 2017’s HARD Summer, ambiguity surfaced over the future of the festival, which was then celebrating its 10th anniversary. To make matters worse, HARD had been receiving hefty backlash over the controversial 2017 installment of its HARD Summer trailer, which for years has been a staple of the imprint, hosting Porter Robinson and Dillon Francis‘ announcement of the fictitious Spoon Ü.
Nonetheless, HARD Summer is set to move forward into 2018 without its divine leader, scheduled for Aug. 4-5. Unsurprisingly, as it has run through seven locations in its 10 years running, HARD has yet to report where exactly the festival will take place.
Hailing from France, one of house music’s most sonically versatile acts, Mercer, showed little to no mercy amidst his set at this year’s Hard Summer. Hitting the stage for his highly-anticipated deliverance was an equally satisfying spectacle filled with edgy, hard-hitting grooves.
If his recent works on Tchami’s label Confession served as no indication of his uncompromising abilities, his hip-hop grooved set at HARD will definitely do the trick. It’s in-your-face performances like these that launched Mercer in the electronic sphere in the first place. Listen below.
In an Instagram Live address to his fans on August 6th, Electric Daisy Carnival‘s owner and poster boy, Pasquale Rotella, discussed myriad issues concerning the dance music industry, his company Insomniac, and it’s relationship to HARD Events, and big changes on the horizon for EDC structuring and mission. Here are a few keys highlights from the address.
EDC New York may not be returning. The company is putting forth new efforts to desaturate the U.S. festival market that it helped to over inflate, focusing more on “quality over quantity of festivals.” This also means downsizing certain festivals like Nocturnal Wonderland from a three-day festival to a more boutique, limited capacity sized event.
Focus will be put on EDC Las Vegas’s transportation system, especially leaving the festival. Rotella doesn’t want to make an official public statements until all changes are solidified. However, EDM Sauce ventures to conjecture that major changes may include the rumored possible future venue change to Las Vegas’ new NFL stadium.
EDC will not move to two weekends and will not be changing the experience inside the festival. Rotella emphasized that the EDC brand and experience will always stand for electronic dance music, stressing that attendees likely won’t be seeing hip-hop on the lineup beyond producers bringing out live guest appearances, a decision that belongs to the artist.
Pasquale spoke to Hard Summer Music Festival founder Gary Richards leaving HARD Presents for LiveStyle. Rotella clarified that Insomniac has actually owned HARD for the past few years, based on a creative partnership Insomniac has with Live Nation Entertainment, the event conglomerate who purchased HARD from Gary Richards in 2012. HARD was able to operate on its own up until this year when Richard’s contract ran out.
Beyond the Booth is a feature dedicated to the hidden side of artists that exists outside electronic music— a side rarely discussed with those outside their immediate circle. We venture “beyond the booth,” so to speak, and dive into their deepest passions that tie into their unique personalities. After some self-introspection, each participant then returns to the booth, providing an exclusive mix for the Dancing Astronaut audience.
For years, Louisa Pillot has been a fixture in electro and techno around the world. Louisahhh first rose to international prominence on Brodinski’s recently-disbanded Bromance imprint, gaining a reputation for her gritty production style and haunting, sultry vocals. For the past two years, Pillot has stood at the helm of the RAAR record label, delivering a brazen, unapologetic melange of techno and punk rock alongside her co-founder and frequent collaborator, Maelstrom.
While Louisahhh’s résumé as a musician extends beyond the above accolades, her story outside of the industry is as rich as her contributions within it. Pillot is a dedicated environmentalist, feminist, and a remarkably talented writer; however, her most outspoken societal contribution of late is perhaps her advocacy for sobriety amid a field in which substance abuse can be difficult to eschew.
Louisahhh has been candid about her recovery from addiction, and offers her own experience as inspiration for any individuals facing the struggles that she once overcame, and continues to dominate. Now 11 years sober, Pillot favored a 12-step method in her journey away from her vices, and gives an open invitation for those seeking help: “Slide up in my DMs.”
Ahead of her performance at HARD Summer this weekend, Louisahhh speaks with us about recovery from addiction, maintaining balance, her love of horses, and the impact that sobriety has had on her approach to love. Additionally, the RAAR label-head has provided us with an exclusive mix for the second episode of Beyond the Booth.
Venture beyond the booth with Louisahhh below.
You’ve mentioned in the past that a 2006 intervention saved your life. Do you think you’d have been able to realize (and act upon) your need for sobriety without that experience?
I’m sure that that day would’ve come eventually, and probably with a swiftness as my options were really running out. I was spending my rent money on drugs, I was on academic probation from school, not showing up for an internship that I cared about or my job or friends, couldn’t stay faithful in my relationships, couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror. Everything was falling apart and I was unable stop the bone crushing juggernaut that was my addiction. The intervention just took away the resources I might have had (financial and emotional support of friends and family) that would allowed it to go on for as long as it did and gave me a really direct path into recovery.
For some people suffering from addiction, the notion of recovering through total sobriety can seem insurmountable due to its absolute, “all or nothing” nature. How did you overcome this fear and come to terms with the fact that sobriety was a necessity for you?
That’s the thing, right? If sobriety is a necessity, it’s all or nothing. If it’s not a necessity, it’s not. If I could handle drinking and using in moderation, believe you me, I would. My reality is that if I’m controlling, I’m not enjoying, and if I’m enjoying, I’m not controlling, so moderation is mostly frustrating and futile. This leaves me with two options: continue to grind my life to dust and shove it up my nose or become willing, based on desperation, to make a serious decision. Unfortunately mild discomfort won’t really motivate someone like me – I have to be really suffering in order to take action. The good news is that action brings freedom and serenity that’s much bigger and more beautiful than I could’ve imagined. I hope to plant this seed as a beacon for anyone struggling with that today.
Maintaining a clean lifestyle is arguably a greater challenge than becoming sober in the first place. What tactics have you used to ensure that you continue staying the course after 11 years?
You’re correct in that stopping is easy(ish) and staying stopped is the tricky part. I’ve needed a consistent program of action in the 12 steps in order to stay present in the gratitude of this life, this freedom, and to ensure that my experience with the suffering of addiction turns into my greatest asset in that it specifically qualifies me to help others that struggle with the same thing. It’s this goal of altruism, of constantly turning the internal compass from self obsessed fear (with or without drugs) to loving presence, that really gives my life meaning today. It might all be a cult, but it’s free and it saved my life, so I’m okay with that possibility.
How have your did your passion for horses initially develop, and to what extent would you say that it’s helped in your recovery?
I started riding when I was six and it was literally all I did or wanted to do until I discovered dance music. I was a working student at a barn in the Hudson Valley and rode and trained competitively through my early twenties (and continued to ride and show in recovery). It was my inability to show up for my horse (Jesse James, love of my young life) that kind of woke me up to the fact that the problem was more serious than I was admitting to myself. You see, humans are fallible. Friends, parents, boyfriends – everyone was disappointing somehow, I could point out their shortcomings if they tried to talk to me about addiction. My horse, on the other hand, was unconditional love and trust – to not be able to show up for him, to not be present when we were together, especially in the show ring – this was both dangerous and heartbreaking. He’s the reason I got sober in the first place. I wanted to be who he thought I was, but when I couldn’t choose him over drugs, it got scary.
I was touched by your tribute after Jesse passed away, wherein you wrote, “The heart heals quickly and also never.” Did you feel compelled to use again while struggling through the combined grief of loss and the disruption of your passion?
Bizarrely, the thought didn’t cross my mind. He was such a huge part of my journey in recovery that to use over that – the loss of a true friend from natural causes (he was 26, he colicked) – would’ve felt like sacrilege. The thing is: when I’m caught in Self, whether I’m using or not – it’s about me, my little plans and designs, how the world owes me a living, if things aren’t how I nee them to be, I suffer. In that mindset, it might have been an excellent reason to get high. However, having recovered (one day at a time), I can see the time we got to spend together for what it was: entirely a blessing. 16 years, most of which I was sober – I am so grateful that I got to be present for it. If I surrender my idea of what ‘should’ be (the things I love shouldn’t die), and live in what is (grief is an evolution of Love), all is copacetic.
What steps did you take to move past this difficult experience without falling back into old habits?
Unexpectedly, fell in love and made an album.
For most people, love is a vague, almost supernatural notion – one which is rarely discussed pragmatically. Can you elaborate on how you view love as a pedagogy?
What a segue! I am really a novice at this loving thing, but it’s been meaningful of late to see that instead of something to hunt ruthlessly in the world, something to ‘get’, perhaps love is a skill I can cultivate. Perhaps it is something that I can learn to work like a muscle, to be courageous and openhearted, even when I’m not receiving it in the way that I would like. Interpersonally in a romantic situation, this means not only being in a relationship to suck up love like a vampire, but hopefully for both parties to be constantly teaching each other how they like to be loved, and expressing love in a way the other can tolerate and receive it. The notion of ‘love’ therefore becomes a learning process, not a destination or a fixed totem. In my experience it requires a level of vulnerability that makes me want to throw up a lot of the time, but it’s also super magical and unexpected and uncanny.
How has this intellectual approach to love strengthened you as a sober individual?
I think maybe it’s the other way around. Sobriety has taught me how to really ‘love what is’ with a ferocity. It’s cute to say that when things are going my way, but when stuff gets disappointing or tragic (as life is wont to do), that’s kind of when the rubber hits the road. Over time, the measure of my sobriety is less based on ‘how many days without a drink’ and more how kind and loving can I be, today, no matter what?’. This doesn’t mean I’m not human, I’m still working on toning down ‘being an entitled dickhead in airports’, for instance, but it’s enabled a teachability, especially in relationship, that I wouldn’t have if I was constantly anesthetizing my experience with drugs.
Emotional intimacy is terrifying and uncomfortable on first examination – at least for me – but if I sit through that, that there is this thing on the other side that I didn’t know about, that’s feeling seen and accepted and understood and inspired and nourished, and like I am capable of giving those things to my partner, even in their humanness.
It goes without saying that substance abuse (and, for some, addiction) is inextricable from the music industry. What advice would you give to people who are heavily involved in the club/rave scene (be it professionally or as consumers), yet have issues with drugs that they feel unable to defeat?
If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, there is help available to you. I highly recommend 12 step programs as a way out. Slide up in my DMs if you want to talk about it.
You’ve been somewhat of a staple of HARD Summer over the years. What’s drawn you to be so involved with the festival, and what are you most excited about for this upcoming edition?
HARD is a really special thing for dance music in America and Gary Richards has consistently supported me and what I’m doing . After a decade, it really feels like a family affair, and I’m really excited to see so many old friends and get to meet people that I don’t know yet. I rarely plan sets, but for something like HARD I really want to bring my A-game, so my knives are gonna be super sharp – really excited to play new material for such a dedicated, educated, enthusiastic audience of fans and peers.
With two days remaining until her HARD Summer appearance this Sunday, August 6, Louisahhh gives the Dancing Astronaut audience a glimpse of her current tastes. Her Beyond the Booth set features selections from Skream, Boys Noize & Mr. Oizo’s Handbraekes project, Aphex Twin’s AFX moniker, and more.
Louisahhh – Tonight (Cover/Bootleg) Tom Jenkinson – Happy Little Wilberforce The Horrorist – Take This Step (Lenny Dee Remix) Louisahhh – ID Parris Mitchell – Ghetto Booty Jubilee and Burt Fox – Keys Wallet Phone Feadz – Go On Girl DJ Funeral – Shutterbug Jlin – Malkina Skream – Bang That (Club Edit) Louisahhh – Super Bust (Bootleg) Boys Noize – Midnight (Boys Noize & Mr. Oizo’s Handbraekes Remix) LFO – Tied Up Electro AFX – p-string DJ Slugo – Freaky Ride DJ Rashad & Gant-Man – Heaven Sent GA Girlz – Heaven Sent SYNC 24/MORPHOLOGY – Ragtop Manu Le Malin & Nicollaps – ID RP Boo – Off Da Hook SHXCXCHCXSH – LTTLWLF Yan Kaylen – Mirage X84
Featured image by Nachtschaduw. Artist headshot by Marilyn Clark.
After spending more than a decade building his revered nightlife brand HARD Events, it is rumored that Gary Richards is being pushed out of it’s crown jewel event Holy Ship!
News is surfacing today from multiple sources close to HARD and parent/partner companies Live Nation and LiveStyle that due to an enduring feud Richards will not be booked to play or tapped to participate in Holy Ship’s 2018 iteration, set to sail this January 6. Sources also suggest that Richards’ future at the head of the HARD brand itself is now in question.
One source described a call received from a colleague close to HARD and Gary Richards as a heads up to those connected within the industry and a wake up call to fans whose noise on social media might impact the situation.
“The call was more or less an explanation of todays events,” the source disclosed. “He had asked me to spread the news amongst the community as the Holy Ship! community is very much dedicated to it’s founders and HARD.”
The source also revealed that a statement will be released to those directly involved to “keep quiet” about the events that are transpiring.
Multiple sources have suggested the root of the feud lies in the ongoing contentious relationship between Bowery Presents’ parent company AEG and Live Nation. Bowery Presents notably helped Richards arrange the first Holy Ship events by facilitating a partnership with Cloud 9.
According to interviews given by Richards earlier this year, 2017 is the last in a 5 year contract the promoter had with Live Nation which saw him at the helm of the brand and its crown jewel event Holy Ship after HARD was purchased by Live Nation back in 2012. In a recent interview, Richards sounded less than optimistic about contract negotiations, saying he’d reached “the end” with the company.
Richards continued, saying:
“there are other forces at play here that are running the electronic scene in different directions than me, and they kind of battle with me and that part of it’s not fun — and it’s unnecessary.”
Though HARD has branched out into a series of festivals and shows, the Ship has remained one of the most cherished events in dance music due to its intimate atmosphere and, largely, the efforts of Richards himself. Many of the artists who’ve been featured on the ship were given attention and a platform on the HARD bill at crucial breaking points in their careers.
Now, in a show of solidarity, sources are reporting that those artists are pulling out of contracts to perform Holy Ship. Many are allegedly unwilling to participate in the event without Richards at the helm.
Though this information comes from sources close to the brands in question, neither company has responded to requests for statements at the time of publication. It is worth nothing that Holy Ship has yet to release an official lineup, despite releasing that information in May or June in many / previous / years.
As of publication, neither Live Nation, HARD, nor Gary Richards have responded to requests for comment, but the rumors have already begun to rock through the Holy Ship community—who have already started a petition and a hashtag #NoGaryNoShip. Sign it, here.
We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Richards posted the following statement on his personal Facebook:
To all the HARDfam & Shipfam :
I am leaving Live Nation after this week’s Hard event to pursue an incredible new opportunity that I will share with everyone in the weeks to come. Accordingly, I will not be attending or curating the next Holy Ship cruise event in 2018. I have the utmost respect for Michael Rapino and Live Nation.Let’s make this week’s 10th anniversary show the best HARD event ever! – Gary Richards AKA Destructo
This statement is of course a stark contrast to the rumors currently circulating, and the kind of civil response one might imagine would come from someone amidst a high profile business split — especially if there are new opportunities being pursued underneath the controversy. That said, if Richards indeed has an “incredible new opportunity” in the works, this can be taken as reassurance that the beloved figure will continue to play a large role in the electronic sphere regardless of where his alliances lie. Hopefully, some more light will be shed in the foreseeable future as to what the rave magnate has in store.
One thing is for certain: his confirmed absence at Holy Ship has already sent somber shock waves throughout the community. Comments on the original post are pouring in from fans expressing their undying support and wishes that he will be able to attend the annual affair last minute.
No way would I have ever done @HOLY_SHIP if it wasn’t for @DestructoHARD …almost positive I can speak for most of the artists
Dylan Ragland, known by most as Party Favor, has cultivated an edgy, exhilarating and thrilling style that has helped pioneer the festival trap genre. With anthems such as “Bap U,” “Booty Loose,” and his latest release, “Caskets,” the young artist has garnered support for his signature trap style that infuses different musical elements in each release, creating a diverse lineup of tracks in his arsenal of original music. The Mad Decent regular delivers an energetic, innately danceable sound, and his high-energy live performances, are exhilarating and unforgettable.
This Sunday, July 23, Party Favor will deliver a headlining set at Hakkasan Nightclub in Las Vegas where he is rumored to drop several IDs that have been in the works. The Los Angeles producer has numerous upcoming shows planned, including appearances at HARD Summer Music Festival and Electric Zoo. Party Favor will undoubtably bring passion into his set, moving the crowd with his eclectic song selection and seamless transitions. In an exclusive interview, Party Favor sheds light onto some of the projects he is currently working on, and mentions who should be on our radar in 2017.
Your new song “Caskets” has that radio crossover appeal. You deviate from your traditional sound but keep your signature elements in the track. What was your inspiration for the piece?
For me I’ve always been trying to evolve my sound and everything that I’m doing in terms of music, and what’s fun for me is that I’m able to make a song like WAWA a couple months ago which is kind of a crazy big festival trap banger and then I can make something like this which is really fun for me, and is more of like a song, and I’m trying to build my songwriting abilities and different production for other people and other producers and pop stars and it was really fun for me to make a summer song, it was a challenge for me to make a fun summer vibe song that made me feel good, and hopefully people can still hear me in the song, I don’t think I sold out at all.
FKI first, who you collaborated with on “Caskets” is a producer from Atlanta known for his trap infused melodic instrumentation. What was your experience like working with him?
It was great, he and I have been working on a lot of stuff, so it was really cool to work and get with someone who sits more on the other side of things of the isle on the hip hop world. I actually mainly worked with him and he originally recorded the vocal for it, so I took the acapella and made the song my own, and then I kind of brought him in last minute and he added a couple of things and that’s what became the track, for me I wanted everyone who had a hand in the song to get credit for it.
You starred in the HARD Summer Music Festival trailer which was the center of some controversy. It is true, that 97% of producers in DJ Mag’s top 100 are men. How do you think we can achieve equal representation of men and women at big festivals?
I think creating a place where women feel more comfortable, where women can get out there and make their voices heard in terms of what their making music wise. There’s a lot of talented female producers out there, but a lot of times they aren’t heard or get chosen over by a man. A lot of times women get discouraged because if you look out it’s kind of man’s game, in a lot of music genres as well, its not just a problem in Electronic music, I think creating a dialogue and creating more opportunities for women to be able to showcase their skill, because obviously they have just as much talent as men do, I think the trailer is what they were trying to push, and it pushed some buttons but that’s what the directed (who was a female)’s goal was to get the conversation started. And Its never going to be an easy cakewalk.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?
Hectic, in a good way. I like to say that just because I love stuff that has a lot of energy, I love dance music because it makes me feel a certain way and it makes me feel happy and energized, you don’t even need coffee or a Redbull when you have those heavy beats. I think for me I like when people can come and they can get a little bit of twerk, get some trap vibes, some house, some poppier throwback elements all in one, and for me I try to mash everything up together.
After you graduated college, you worked at NBC and you originally aspired to be an actor. What changed that led you in the direction of making music?
I kind of stop going after the actor thing when I was a freshman in college because I was like there is no way I’m going to make it because its really hard to make it in that industry, so I gave up on the actor thing. I had always loved making my own films and went to film school and graduated and worked in the film industry and i still love it, I’d love to go back and work there again, but I’ve always wanted to do music as well and I hadn’t found the outlet that was right for me. It turns out I really fell in love with dance music in the end of high school and through college and started kind of dabbling and making my own, and after a long time of making bad music, here I am now.
What’s your favorite thing about the Mad Decent label?
Diversity in the music and how they are always pushing forward sounds and vibes and styles. You look at all the guys and girls on the label and they are always on the forefront of whats next. For me, its an honor to be a part of a group of people that are always pushing me to be better.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done at your show?
There have been people that have climbed on the rafters and jumped off into the crowd. Two girls took off their underwear mid-set and threw them onstage, and one actually hit me in the face. I saw a girl who was sitting on top of a subwoofer at this ratchet warehouse party in New York and just orgasming. Things have definitely calmed down once I began to play more legitimate events. One time a couple was having sex in the crowd during one of my sets, if they had a kid I hope they name it after me.
You’ve worked with a number of artists in the past including Dillon Francis, Sean Kingston, Gucci Mane, and Rich the Kid to name a few… Any future collaborations you may be doing?
I’m doing some stuff in the hip hop world making some hip hop beats with some really big names such as 2 Chainz and Lil Jon among others, so it’s really exciting for me to not just put my name on it but being the producer and trying to branch out and do a lot of different stuff. I have a lot of bigger collabs coming out later this year but I’m keeping tight lipped for now. Kendrick if you’re reading this, shoutout, I’d love to collab with you
Who are you currently listening to, and who, in your opinion should be on our radar?
I was actually listening to Tom Petty on the plane ride over here… but someone on the radar who I’m listening to is Awoltalk who is based out of San Diego and is making some crazy stuff. He’s an awesome dude who’s done a remix of “Caskets” for me which is going to be really cool. There is a lot of talent out there, I make the mistake of not paying attention to up-comers because I’m so focused on my own stuff. But I love hearing new songs from people because it makes me work even harder.