SNBRN talks family love, new tech house EP ahead of Groove Cruise [Interview]

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After hit release “Raindrops,” Kevin Andrew Chapman’s career took off thanks to his house hits and dynamic live performances. The LA-based producer, who is more commonly known as SNBRN, has releases that span from deep to tropical house, giving fans from a variety of genres something to like.

Dancing Astronaut spoke to Chapman about everything from his favorite book to what he has in store for 2018, and his responses prove that the producer is more than meets the eye. When he is not creating music, SNBRN is an avid reader and family guy, noting how much he loves playing in San Francisco because family is able to come to his shows.

The enigmatic producer has performed all over the world — including fulfilling his teenage dream of playing at Coachella. He is performing on the sold out Groove Cruise this year alongside the likes of Markus Schulz, Dada Life, Thomas Jack. With a new EP on the way, and upcoming tour dates with 3LAU, the house connoisseur is setting the stage for a big year ahead.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
You recently tweeted “Reading books is sexy!” What is your favorite book?

Now that’s a tough one! My favorite book to gift that I’ve read a million times is Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative‎, and my current favorite book is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

 

You became interested in music and music production at a very young age. Who and/or what genres of music were some of your inspirations for this interest? 

My inspiration as a kid came from rock music- Queen, Led Zeppelin & Sublime. As I got more into electronic music, Fatboy slim and Moby pretty much became my idols.

 

Do you have a favorite city and/or venue to play at? 

I would have to say San Francisco. Always an amazing vibe, and my family comes to every show. 

 

What has been the most exciting moment for you in your career so far?

Playing Coachella last year takes the cake! That has been a huge dream of mine since I was 16 years old.

 

What do you have in store for us in 2018?

I have passion project EP of tech house coming out early this year that I am really excited about. I’m also exploring new sounds and tempos for some bigger vocal singles coming out later in the year.

Markus Schulz rings in 2018 with engagement to Adina Butar

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Markus Schulz celebrated more than the start of 2018 during early morning hours on January 1.

During his open-to-close set at Hollywood’s Avalon club, the iconic DJ became a future husband with his proposal to longtime girlfriend, Adina Butar. The crowd cheered for the beaming couple as confetti cascaded down, making for quite the romantic and memorable moment.

Butar – a vocalist and songwriter – and Schulz met back in 2014 while collaborating on a track together. It didn’t take too long for their collaborative work to evolve into a full-on partnership, with Butar becoming a prime member of the Coldharbour family.

Romance seems to have swept the professional DJ world as of late. Dimitri Vegas tied the knot with his beau in September, with Tiësto also making himself an engaged man earlier in December.

 

 

Photo credit: Dave Neven

 

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Markus Schulz as Dakota explores the path to enlightenment in new album ‘The Nine Skies’ [Album Review]

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Markus Schulz and Dakota may be one in the same, but sonically they could not be more different. A euphoric and optimistic trance producer, Schulz revealed his Dakota alias when he struggled to find an outlet for his darker side amidst the trance and commercially relevant Schulz releases. Where Schulz fans thrived on fast paced chords and enamoring vocals, Dakota’s releases projected ominous undertones with a more progressive feel.

‘Dakota’ was born in 2009 with the release of Thoughts Become Things on Armada Music. The alias garnered an enthusiastic following and turned out to be the musical counterbalance Schulz was looking for. The German-American’s paradoxical career has led to six albums as Schulz and now three as Dakota with his newest album release titled The Nine Skies.

The Nine Skies is out now under his Dakota alias, and it is the inverse of Schulz’s feel-good hits embodied by his last album (as Schulz) Watch the World. This is his first return to Dakota since 2011, and it explores all of the darker feelings and thoughts Schulz’s smiling face belies when performing for expectant faces looking to hear upbeat hits and at his energetic shows.

“I always say the Markus Schulz stuff is a reflection of my fans. I write music about my fans for my fans, but the Dakota stuff is what I am writing for me. I kind of block myself out from everything and just go and write about what is inside of me and what I am feeling.”

Dakota’s writing for himself makes it apparent to the listener that he is, simply put, a complicated man whose striving to turn inner darkness into light. Dakota spoke with Dancing Astronaut about his inspiration for the album, which stems from the pain and confusion he has internalized in response to the state of our current global affairs. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 is one moment the producer notes that really sticks out to him as a moment where he really re-evaluated his outlook on the world. This, in addition to his recent fascination with Reiki, came together as the catalyst for the album and the live show.  

The compilation depicts suffering, growth, and the journey to enlightenment through different phases. Its journey is explored by eighteen distinct songs, and it takes only a brief listen of The Nine Skies before it becomes abundantly clear that this is not an album that was thrown together to achieve a few radio hits. Tracks range from two to seven minutes long, and each one has an incredibly unique sound. The one thing linking all of these songs together is how intricate the productions are. While each track is deserving of its own story and description, that is what the live show sets out to achieve. A few highlights are detailed.  

“Bravo On The Go” is the perfect example of Dakota in the midst of the darkness phase. It has commanding chords that propel the darkness forwards with mystical vibes interlaced throughout.

His interpretation of “Cafe Del Mar” opens to 90 seconds of trance chords that smoothly give way into orchestral undertones. Suddenly, high pitched synths break through the calm, leading to a pulsing bassline and a deeper vibe that rebuilds into the high pitched synth breaks. It can easily be broken into three thematics, which Schulz masterfully combines into a whole, and is indeed a refreshing take on the original anthem.

“Changes” is more reflective of the Schulz style versus Dakota. Catchy vocals serves as the entry point for the track, but techy trance synths make this incredibly energetic track the perfect feel good song to induce total euphoria.

“Follow Me” is less trance more electro with throwback 90s electronica chords that are upbeat and accompanied by breathy vocals. This is the ultimate club track, and has the capacity to energize any room.

Mota Mota” is one of those tracks that trance fans hear a lot of at shows and festivals, and for good reason. The mysterious thematic and commanding chords are engineered for a live performance.

While the album came out on December 8th, Schulz unveiled the entire project in May of 2017 at Dreamstate San Francisco. He originally planned on keeping the project to nine performances so as to keep it special, but after performing The Nine Skies live and seeing the incredible crowd reactions, he notes that he may want to continue to share the experience. Fans will have to wait and see if the tour is extended into 2018. 

 

 

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Cosmic Gate & Markus Schulz’s ‘AR’ remix competition offers insane prizes

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Since the September release of “AR” on the Materia – Chapter.Two album, collaborators Cosmic Gate and Markus Schulz have kept up the momentum of the track with a huge remix opportunity.

Partnering with Groove Cruise Miami, MetaPop and Native Instruments, the duo are giving fans a chance to remix the trance anthem for a shot at some huge prizes. The winner of the remix competition for “AR” will get an opening DJ slot with Schulz on Groove Cruise Miami, taking place Jan. 26-29. In addition, the winner will receive an ocean-view stateroom for two guests, a Groove Cruise Recordings schwag bundle, and a debut of the winning remix on the Global DJ Broadcast with Schulz. To beef up the winner’s studio game, they will also receive Native Instruments’ Komplete Ultimate 11 (valued at $1,199), Native Instruments’ Maschine Mk3 (valued at $599), a Native Instruments store voucher for $200, a one-year pro subscription for LANDR, and a commercial release on Black Hole Recordings.

Those interested in submitting to the remix competition have until Nov. 29 to do so, and entries may be submitted here.

 

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Ariana Grande, others speak out following Manchester tragedy

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Explosions rocked Manchester Arena at following Ariana Grande’s performance late last night in a tragic turn that made many music lovers’ worst nightmare a reality.  As of publication, 22 have been proclaimed dead with dozens more are injured after the apparent suicide bombing. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility, and a 23 year old has been arrested in connection to the attack.

The Manchester bombing hits close to home for the music community as we are reminded that even attending a concert, which is supposed to be an escape, puts people at risk at our current day and age.

Grande took to Twitter to express her devastation shortly after the bombing.

Ariana Grande TWEET

Fellow artists such as Dillon Francis and Martin Garrix are taking to social media to show support for Grande and attendees. Dillon Francis has even promised to pledge money to relief funds following the incident.

Dillon Francis Tweet
Martin Garrix

Markus Schulz, whose upcoming project “The Nine Skies” was in part inspired by terrorism, also took to Twitter to express his disbelief and condolences.

Marcus Schulz

Fans and artists alike have come together in a show of strength and hope during this sad time for Manchester victims and the industry as a whole. We are glad that the electronic music scene has banded together to provide such overwhelming support, but devastated that it has come to this.

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