Saturday Night Session 021: Elephante opens up about being a vocalist on more music moving forward and gives fans a look into a day in his life

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Saturday Night Session 021: Elephante opens up about being a vocalist on more music moving forward and gives fans a look into a day in his lifeElephante

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.

Every artist has a unique story when it comes to their foray into music. Some come into notoriety carrying out their lifelong dream of becoming an artist and others stumble into the career accidentally. Tim Wu, who is more popularly known as DJ and music producer Elephante, found himself sitting alone in a music studio at 25 through neither of these paths. He admits that, would he have been able to go back and tell his 16-year-old self that he would end up becoming a DJ and music producer, he wouldn’t have believed it.

Wu grew up an avid John Mayer fan, which ultimately inspired him to play in bands and write songs that he would perform on the acoustic guitar at local showcases in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Music has always been an incredibly big part of his life, but Tennis ultimately landed him at Harvard University where he played and locked in a career in consulting after graduation. When he wasn’t at his consulting job, Wu discovered electronic music production, and he became hooked. The more he produced music, the more miserable he became at his job to the point where he quit. He was so concerned about his parent’s reaction that he spent over a year lying to them about the decision to became a full time musician.

He reminisces on telling his parents he had stopped working as a consultant to pursue music, stating, “I think they were mostly confused, and obviously worried. Like what do you mean you’re gonna be a DJ? Can you get healthcare doing that? But at the end of the day, I think they knew how unhappy I was and that it was something I had to do, and were mostly just hoping I didn’t get hooked on heroin or something. I mean, can you imagine moving to a different country, working your ass off your whole life to give your kids a better life, and then having said kid tell you they were quitting their job to be a DJ? I would have murdered me. Now though they are super stoked – I brought them on stage for a couple shows and fans were asking for pictures with them and stuff, so I think they get a kick out of it. My mom still reminds me every time we talk not to do heroin though.”

The rest is history with Wu’s production career, although those who are familiar with the producer’s music would hardly be surprised to learn that Wu’s artistry grew out of his love of songwriting as a teenager. In a world where commercial crossover releases dominate the charts, Wu has found a way to bring vocals front and center in his releases without producing a stream of three note drops that leave the vocals and vocals alone to differentiate one track from the next. His body of work spans for folky “Come Back For You” featuring Matluck to beautiful “Catching On” featuring Nevve.

Wu recently released his own cover of “Shooting Stars,” which is the second release he has put out with his own vocals. Wu speaks about the decision to utilize his own vocals on his music, noting, “I was a singer-songwriter before I started producing music, so I’ve been singing for forever. But it was really important that my voice was the right one for the song, and I wasn’t just singing it for vanity’s sake. If someone else could sing it better, I’d have them do it instead.”

Those who have seen Wu perform live will recognize his rendition of the track, which has been cut in and out of his live performances since he made the cover in 2014. Now that he has begun to release music with his own vocals, Wu has developed a stream of covers that he will be putting out over the next few months.

Wu gives fans insight into his decision to utilize his own vocals, which is a decision more producers have seemingly been making over the past few years thanks to artists like Calvin Harris and The Chainsmokers singing on their own original releases. He states, “Especially after The Chainsmokers had so much success with Drew singing – there were a bunch of DJs who were like ‘oh I can sing too,’ and some really can, and others were like… should you though? And I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of it. Producing the songs I sing feels somewhat different, just because I know I always can go back and change the line.”

2019 will be a big year for Wu, who notes he has multiple projects in the pipeline. For now, he is still inducing euphoria through his live sets and original releases, including a high energy and genre-bending Saturday Night Session that takes listeners through a dynamic journey. When asked what kind of a Saturday night the mix is going to get listener’s ready for, Wu states, ” The best Saturday night of their life!!! You were planning on taking it easy, but instead you listen and are inspired to go out and you meet the love of your life and go get pizza with them and on a whim buy Powerball tickets and you win a billion dollars. That kind of Saturday night.”

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Where do you draw inspiration from when you sit down to produce music? Can you give us some insight into your creative process?
Honestly, sounds and melodies and lyrics kinda just pop into my head at random times, sometimes in the shower, when I’m about to fall asleep in a hotel, when I’m listening to music or reading or whatever. I have no idea where exactly it comes from though. I’ve learned to write down or record a voice memo any time one of these little moments strikes, so by the time I’m sitting down in the studio I have a bunch of ideas that I’m excited to work on. Once I’m there, it’s all about just really diving in an exploring that idea – I’m always asking myself what comes next? What would be cool with this? I try to work away from the computer as much as possible – playing piano, jamming on guitar, writing/drawing in notebooks, whatever. And I just try to keep finding that next little cool moment, that next little sound, and then on the good days I come to 8 hours later and something exists that didn’t before. On the bad days the voices in my head are silent, and it’s like well, guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

“Glass Mansion” was your first time singing on one of your songs, and rumor has it you’ll be doing this more often moving forward. Were you nervous at all to jump into also being a vocalist? Does producing a track with your own vocals feel different than producing a track with someone else singing on it?
I was, but for different reasons than you’d expect. I was a singer-songwriter before I started producing music, so I’ve been singing for forever. But it was really important that my voice was the right one for the song, and I wasn’t just singing it for vanity’s sake. If someone else could sing it better, I’d have them do it instead. So it took a long time for me to write a song that I knew I absolutely had to sing, and really feel confident in that, and “Glass Mansion” was the first time I was like, ‘I have to do this.’ Especially after The Chainsmokers had so much success with Drew singing – there were a bunch of DJs who were like ‘oh I can sing too,’ and some really can, and others were like… should you though? And I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of it. Producing the songs I sing feels somewhat different, just because I know I always can go back and change the line, or change the phrasing or whatever, which can actually be kind of a negative. But over the years I’ve gotten better at understanding what works and really building the song around the vocals, whether it’s me or someone else, and not just slapping a beat over an acapella.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Yes, eating almond butter out of the tub. I’m doing that right now actually.

When you aren’t touring, what does a normal day in your life look like?
Ideally I’ll play some pickup basketball in the morning, then eat and hit the studio. I fucking love the studio. It’s what I’d want to do even if I wasn’t making a living doing it. You know how when you’re a kid you have things that you had to finish your homework before you can do, and that’s the thing that gets you through the day? That’s making music for me. It’s so much fun I’m still kinda baffled that I get paid to do it. 

You have a really interesting story- you went to Harvard, got a consulting job, and then quit to pursue music full time. You didn’t tell your parents that you quit for a while though. How did they react when you first told them, and how do they feel about your career as a musician now that you’ve become so successful?
I think they were mostly confused, and obviously worried. Like what do you mean you’re gonna be a DJ? Can you get healthcare doing that? But at the end of the day, I think they knew how unhappy I was and that it was something I had to do, and were mostly just hoping I didn’t get hooked on heroin or something. I mean, can you imagine moving to a different country, working your ass off your whole life to give your kids a better life, and then having said kid tell you they were quitting their job to be a DJ? I would have murdered me. Now though they are super stoked – I brought them on stage for a couple shows and fans were asking for pictures with them and stuff, so I think they get a kick out of it. My mom still reminds me every time we talk not to do heroin though.

What is one thing your fans don’t know about you?
I’m allergic to bees? And dogs and cats and horses and pretty much anything with fur. Which sucks cuz I love dogs. Can’t have it all.

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday Night Session mix going to get listeners ready for?
Best Saturday night of their life!!! You were planning on taking it easy, but instead you listen and are inspired to go out and you meet the love of your life and go get pizza with them and on a whim buy Powerball tickets and you win a billion dollars. That kind of Saturday night.

NMF Roundup: Tame Impala returns, JOYRYDE teams up with GOLD, Gorgon City deliver ‘Delicious’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Tame Impala returns, JOYRYDE teams up with GOLD, Gorgon City deliver ‘Delicious’ + moreJOYRYDE Photo Credit Koury Angelo

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.

Tame Impala returns for the first release since 2015’s Currents with the appropriately titled “Patience.” JOYRYDE continues to show 2019 is his year with the release of “YUCK” with GOLD, and Dabin reveals his sophomore album, Wild Youth, featuring tracks like “Home” with Essenger. Gorgon City deliver the tasty “Delicious,” and Illenium teams up with Kameron Alexander for the soulful “Pray.” Tiësto kicks off NMF with a bouncy big room number, “Can You Feel It,” and Blasterjaxx tap Jack Wilby for “Super Friends.” DJ Snake and Eptic take us to the “SouthSide” with their new bass-heavy collaboration, and Kölsch and Sasha deliver a meditative joint effort, “The Lights.” Zedd reveals a remix pack for “365” and Whipped Cream warps listeners’ eardrums on “Time.” Delta Heavy and Muzzy join forces for s hefty drum & bass tune, “Revenge.” Sofi Tukker paint a relaxing soundscape in “Fantasy,” and Lost Kings unveil a remix pack for “Don’t Kill My High,” which includes a rock-inspired take from Sullivan King. SNBRN gets ready for warm weather with “Feel My Love” and Maya Jane Coles takes on Hozier in her latest remix.

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: Koury Angelo

NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein reveals ‘Hyperion’ in full, Seven Lions remixes Above & Beyond, Rinzen releases new mau5trap EP + more

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NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein reveals ‘Hyperion’ in full, Seven Lions remixes Above & Beyond, Rinzen releases new mau5trap EP + 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.

This Friday’s slew of releases is highlighted by the much-anticipated release of Gesaffelstein‘s HyperionWe’re also welcoming yet another Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge release, along with a calming new Baltra “Vocal” Remix of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs‘ “Energy Fantasy.” Seven Lions returns on a heartfelt remix of Above & Beyond‘s “Sahara Love” with Zoë Johnston, and Rinzen reveals a tantalizing two-track mau5trap EP, Prologue. Hardwell teams up with Mike Williams on “I’m Not Sorry,” and Pegboard Nerds return to Monstercat with the energy-packed “Gunslinga” with MC Mota. Boombox Cartel links with Karra on “Nothing to Hide,” and Dabin taps Inukshuk and Nevve on the journey-like “Another Day.” Audien and Echosmith craft a radio-friendly tune in “Favorite Sound,” and Lost Frequencies and Flynn “Recognise” each others’ talents in their new collaboration. Dance music pioneers The Chemical Brothers deliver a new original, “We’ve Got to Try,” and Shadient takes no prisoners in his new Gud Vibrations release, “Abberate.” David Guetta and Tom Staar team up for “This Ain’t Techno,” and Alesso unveils Progresso Volume 1 with tracks like “CONFESSION.”

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 Photos

New single ‘Island’ by Seven Lions, Wooli, and Trivecta featuring Nevve is as captivating as they come

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New single ‘Island’ by Seven Lions, Wooli, and Trivecta featuring Nevve is as captivating as they comeIsland Artwork

Seven Lions continues to captivate with a shimmering new collaboration with Wooli and Trivecta titled “Island.” Nevve, a proven vocal talent with multitudes of top charting collaborations under her belt, lends her vocals to what shapes up to be an inspiring listen.

“Island” open with Nevve’s vocals and light progressions that dance around each other until swelling into an ethereal dubstep crescendo that leaves listeners feeling like they’re soaring. The smooth and melodic moments of the introduction ultimately twist into unexpected heavy dubstep chords about halfway through the track, where cutting synths pierce through the lighter notes and overtake the vocals. “Island” finds a way to meld blissful yet abrasive melodic dubstep elements together — a tough task for many, but one that Seven Lions has mastered. The release is out now on the producer’s own label, Ophelia Records.

NMF Roundup: Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve kick off 2019 with a mega collab, Lost Kings deliver fresh EP, Hardwell teams up with JGUAR + more

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NMF Roundup: Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve kick off 2019 with a mega collab, Lost Kings deliver fresh EP, Hardwell teams up with JGUAR + moreSevenlions.da 24 Of 44

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With a refreshing amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today on the first NMF of 2019, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Perhaps one of the biggest releases of today is a mega collaboration from Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve called “Island,” which is packed with cascading melodies and powerfully emotive beats. Lost Kings have also arrived in full force, releasing their Paper Crowns EP, which is headed up by “Don’t Kill My High” with Wiz Khalifa and Social House. mau5trap has released their We Are Friends, Vol. 8 compilation, which features 35 tracks from some of the label’s best rising acts, including i_o, ATTLAS, No Mana, and more. Hardwell kicks off his 2019 releases with “Being Alive” with JGUAR, and Sofi Tukker delivers four remixes for “Benadryl,” including a breezy take from TOKiMONSTA. Ghastly and G-Rex have joined forces on the formidable “Heretic,” and Tom Staar puts a grooving twist on Oliver Heldens‘ “Fire In My Soul.” 3LAU taps the talents of vocalist Carly Paige on his newest, “Would You Understand,” and Galantis‘ “Emoji” gets a rework from BEAUZ in their new remix pack.

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.

Sikdope taps Nevve for new single ‘Lost In The Blue’

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Sikdope taps Nevve for new single ‘Lost In The Blue’Sikdope Press Shot

Sikdope is back with another infectious single, this time recruiting singer Nevve for “Lost In The Blue,” unleashing all the feel-good vibes as we transition out of the high-octane summer events season. While the Polish DJ/producer is best known for his bass-heavy style, this new collaborative record sees a much softer, more melodic side to his production capabilities.

“Lost In The Blue,” as the title of the song would suggest, was written in a more unassured headspace admits Sikdope, which seems to follow a trend of more expressive, and perhaps even off-brand productions from many DJs and producers across the spectrum, as talking about mental illness in the entertainment industry continues to be less stigmatized. Sikdope’s latest follows a steady track record of club-ready releases including “My House,” and “Bubblegum” in 2018, and as his profile continues to build, “Lost In Blue” is a welcomed insight to the emerging force’s repertoire.

NMF Roundup: Gramatik is full of surprises, Feint’s melodic whirlwind of emotion, Afrojack is rowdy and irreverent as ever, Alex Metric gets retrospective, + MORE

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NMF Roundup: Gramatik is full of surprises, Feint’s melodic whirlwind of emotion, Afrojack is rowdy and irreverent as ever, Alex Metric gets retrospective, + MORENMF 3

The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. 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.


For their debut Diynamic release, Alex Metric and Ten Ven bring melodic, UK garage, and a dash of acid house to their nostalgia-laden three-track EP, Transmission 1. 

Chicago duo Danny Cancino and Grant Stakenas, aka Htbx, tout an equal parts menacing and cinematic sound design in their new experimental house track, “Dj Qualls.”


Longtime Liquicity talent, Feint, has taken his transcendent drum ‘n’ bass to Pilot Records with his newest jolting track, “Mirror Signal (Destinations).”

This week’s woes fall away as Nicky Romero, Stadiumx, and Matluck’s progressive-inspired new tune, “Rise,” bleeds into the consciousness.

Ahead of his new Press Play EP, Afrojack lets chaotic bass infiltrate his newest track, “Bringin It Back.”

Their latest on Insomniac, Jupe and Reach fuse wonky dub and pummeling trap for their unconventionally screechy new single, “10 Years Later.”

Drawing from the frisky French Touch brand of house, Samaran’s latest on Big Beat Records, “A New Beginning,” uses its stop-and-go rhythm to incite widespread dance fevers.

Samantha Harvey lends her smooth and saccharine voice to Alex Adair and the Delayers trio’s new up-tempo bass-pop track, “Dominos.”

The forever-funky Gramatik has teamed up with serial REZZ-collaborator, Kotek, for their free-form, instrumental frenzy, “Vitalik Buterin,” in tribute to the blockchain wizard of the same name.

Fairlane enlists Nevve, whose voice can be found on tracks of scene favorites like Boombox Cartel and 3LAU, for his latest track, “Wildfire,” an atmospheric chill-step odyssey.

EDM world power, KSHMR‘s latest, “Good Vibes Soldier,” featuring Head Quattaz, is a reggaeton-influenced anthem drawing forth images of a warm-weather utopia.

Jack Back’s newest independent release, “Overtone,” is a winding, astral-inspired journey through deep house accents of the highest order.

KSHMR is a master at infectious rhythms, and he conquers with his Head Quattaz collaboration, “Good Vibes Solider.” It listens like a wonderful blend of tropical, Eastern, and big room influences that hit the right spots on the main stage dancefloor.

“C.Y.M” pounds us into submission with pungent tech trance kicks set at BPMs high enough to transport listeners to space. A classic effect of Mr. Jordan Suckley…

John Dahlbäck caps off NMF with his high-strung dance cannon, “Deep Inside,” out on Armada Music.

 

Photo Credit: Andrew J. Rauner

Elephante has something for everyone in new album ‘Glass Mansion’

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Elephante is known for his ability to produce everything from pop and alt-rock electronic fusions to bass and commercial house. His wide variety of production styles is showcased throughout the producer’s sophomore EP titled Glass Mansion, which is out now.

The nine track EP features four previously released singles and five brand new tracks.  Listeners got a taste of the new EP after the LA-based producer released hit tracks “The In Between” featuring Anjulie and “Have It All” featuring Nevve during the months preceding the EP’s full release.

New highlights of the album include “Otherside,” also featuring Nevve. The singer’s enthralling vocals captivate, and the drop falls into a catchy commercial pop melody that will resonate in listeners’ heads far after the song’s completion.

Title track “Glass Mansion” blends upbeat guitar solos, rock-leaning vocals, and progressive electronic accents to create an interesting blend of the producer’s past and current musical inspirations as displayed by his diverse portfolio of releases.

Those who have been to one of Elephante’s shows will likely recognize new release “Red Smoke” with its intense chords and propelling bassline that commands the attention of listeners to their core.

Elephante spoke about his inspirations for the EP in an official release.

“Glass Mansion is about wanting more. It’s the dream that we’re chasing” adding that “no matter how beautiful and strong what we build is, it’s ultimately fragile and one stone could bring it all down”  –Elephante

Glass Mansion gives fans of many genres something to like, and the new EP is likely to propel the producer into having his most successful year to date.

NMF Roundup: Yellow Claw bring the heat, Elephante tugs at heartstrings, SLANDER remix Above & Beyond, and more

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The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. 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.


Sydney producer JVLY teams up with the sultry SARAI to create a groovy atmospheric tune full of pulsing synths and clean high hats.

The production trio known as Brohug take the original “Too Good To Be True” and turn it into a vibrant house heater that entices dancing from beginning to end.

Blasterjaxx and Bassjackers perfectly execute a dynamic big room track, with a heavy kick and mesmerizing lead synth. Festival-goers will stand no chance.

If future house is on the agenda for the weekend, then Jay Hardway and Mesto are claiming their spot with a track that bounces with stuttering synths and a catchy repeating vocal, leaving some of us not wanting to be saved.

Building anticipation for their new album on June 22, the Yellow Claw duo release yet another silky tune featuring Rochelle, full of brassy horns and a fat snare.

Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa sound like a dream duo, until Valentino Khan comes along and puts his spin on “One Kiss,” turning it into a classic house beat riddled with alluring piano.

Elephante taps on the powerfully elegant Nevve to bring “Otherside” to life, that speaks about trying to remember a dream you had and the pursuit of getting back to it.

1788-L creates a literal “CYBERSPACE,” by building an epically cinematic and intricate track full of gritty synths that makes one feel as if they really are in the future.

SLANDER create their own emotional rendition of Above & Beyond‘s “ALWAYS,” that dramatically builds from minimal elements to an all encompassing drop.

Melbourne duo Two Can deliver a melodic beauty “Got Habits” in the form of one knocky wood block, a hypnotizing vocal, and strategic synths.

Delicate guitar riffs ring, as deep bass slowly take over on Tom Budin and Kopa’s splendid new track “Things Change.”

Australian multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mickey Kojak, delivers a refreshingly unique tune full of retro vibes from the arpeggiating pluck to the funky bassline.

The mysterious In.Drip. project feels something like driving in the rain. With his crispy yet mellow beats, laden with his effortlessly gentle voice that delivers verse after verse, he makes any drive a pleasant one.

ZAXX pulls on the heartstrings in “Together” with playful xylophones and a huge synth drop, that leaves the listener in a world of their own.

Newcomer OTHER creates a catchy tune from his soulful voice reminiscent of Blackbear and Mike Posner, to the clean guitar and exciting electronic drop.

Elephante captivates with ‘Have It All’ featuring Nevve

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The countdown for Elephante‘s widely anticipated album Glass Mansion has begun with the release of his fourth single of the collection. The track is called “Have It All” featuring Nevve, and like all of his other productions, it is unapologetically catchy.

The listener is initially captured with Nevve’s enamoring vocals in “Have It All.” The track then builds into a commanding electronic drop with Elephante’s signature progressive sound. The producer released an official statement about his forthcoming EP.

“Glass Mansion is about wanting more. It’s the dream that we’re chasing – whether it’s a career, art, a relationship – and the place we build in our heads that we think will ultimately make us happy. We spend all our time constructing and improving this imagined place, redecorating, buying furniture, planning the next addition. It’s never enough and yet we keep building anyway, because we hope that once it’s done we’ll finally be satisfied.

This project is about realizing that no matter how beautiful and strong what we build is, it’s ultimately fragile and one stone could bring it all down. It’s about coming to peace with the fact that it all might never be finished, and that’s okay. It’s about realizing that our Glass Mansion isn’t the answer to all our problems, and it’s about the journey of finding grace and happiness in a half-built home.”

The California-based producer has used this album to showcase his wide-ranging production abilities, from acoustic “Come Back For You” featuring Matluck to progressive and upbeat “The In Between” featuring Anjulie. If the first four tracks are indicative of what we can expect from the full album’s release, the rumored June 15 full release date cannot come quickly enough.