Saturday Night Session 002: DJ Ruckus talks about how the evolution of electronic music has influenced pop and releases hard-hitting exclusive mix [Q&A]

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Saturday Night Session 002: DJ Ruckus talks about how the evolution of electronic music has influenced pop and releases hard-hitting exclusive mix [Q&A]DJ Ruckus W2

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.


Few DJs get their start playing high-profile celebrity parties as a teenager, and even fewer people use these opportunities as a springboard into a 15-plus-year career as a performer. New York-born Greg Andrews has done just that, and he’s still going strong despite playing more than 200 shows a year at high-profile events and as a resident DJ in clubs around the world.

Andrews, more popularly known as DJ Ruckus, is married to Victoria’s Secret Model Shanina Shaik. The pair make frequent appearances in mainstream tabloids, and Ruckus is known for various hip-hop-leaning originals. While it is often easy to write off someone in the public eye like Ruckus as a figment of the hip-hop and mainstream celebrity world, he sat down with Dancing Astronaut and surprised with his unique insights on the state of electronic music, along with his interesting collection of music influences.

Ruckus is an open-format DJ and sticks to no particular genre when performing. One night, he may play a hip-hop set, while the next he may mix Latin music with electronic drops, keeping his performances fresh and unpredictable. As someone who spends more nights a year playing than not, this is a way Andrews keeps things interesting for not only his fans, but himself. He has a diverse set of influences that speak to his varied show styles, spanning from The Notorious B.I.G and Drake to Mark Ronson and Flux Pavilion.

DJ Ruckus created an exclusive mix for Dancing Astronaut’s Saturday Night Sessions, and after learning about the artists’ affinity for Flux Pavilion, the heavy drops and trap notes start to make a lot more sense. On December 2, his wife Shanina will be walking in The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show after a two-year hiatus from being an “Angel.” The show will also be a big moment for the electronic music industry, as The Chainsmokers will be featured performers during the show. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion show has historically featured multi-platinum artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, and this showcases that electronic musicians now have a seat at this table.

As someone who has watched electronic music’s rise, Andrews speaks about how electronic music has not only come to the forefront of mainstream music culture, but it has also changed the musical formula behind a “pop hit.” He notes that “[electronic music] has also changed the arrangements of pop, like the breakdowns and crescendos in everything from Maroon 5 to Imagine Dragons. The electronic remix of a song is sometimes more popular than the original now, and The Grammys recognize remix submissions. Pop has almost completely done away with live drum sounds. It has also opened up songs to having instrumental portions, along with the lyrical part as the norm in a pop sound.” In the digital age that is the 2000s, it could be considered the natural evolution of pop music to lean more on computer-bred production backdrops, but Andrews could be onto an emerging trend as the industry reverts back to instrumentals in an artificial age.

While performing 200-plus nights a year pushes even the most resilient past their limit, Andrews responds to inquiries about next year saying, “You think 200 is a lot, wait until you see what we do next year. This is me just getting started.” He also mentions there will be more associated with his name than just music and live shows. Whether it is sneaker collaborations, modeling gigs, or Latin, trap, and deep house originals, Andrews alludes that there is a lot more to come for him in 2019. In the meantime, he’s provided the perfect backdrop for those looking to get ready for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with an eventful Saturday night.


You’ve been DJing since you were a teenager. How has your style shifted throughout that time? Have you gone through different phases?

The game has changed so much, although as I research the evolution I have gone through it is very similar to so many successful DJ and artists. I started out with whatever vinyl I gathered from family members… The Supremes, Bill Cosby Live, and very random soul disco from the ’70 and ’80s. I professionally DJed with hip-hop, R&B, funk, soul, and disco classics on vinyl 2 turntables with not very much microphone use. I always thought of having a “DJ career” as a big deal, and a popular and lucrative profession even though it wasn’t as big as it is now. It seemed massive to me as I was so young, and the scale I was allowed to perform seemed so huge to me.

Growing up in Miami, there was plenty to choose from in the nightlife territory. I moved to LA shortly after that, and witnessed the likes of DJ AM. I slowly watched the electro scene emerge, and then I started to gather a new piece to the puzzle through my travels and exploration of DJ culture from Europe, Asia etc. At a certain time, electronic music controlled pop radio airwaves. This is where we saw the boom in DJ culture. Now it seems to be evolving into all types of music, sort of a pangaea. That is in the commercial top 40 space. As for the underground, it seems to have always remained pretty pure niche and driven by a particular sound.

You play more than 200 shows a year. How do you do it?

The answer is a concoction of ambition, passion for the craft, love for travel, and a balance of health and fitness. Also choosing when to drink and when not to drink throughout the year is important.

What is the most over-the-top place or party you have ever DJed?

I like big shows, but I also love private events. I DJed on a temple in Egypt in the Valley of the Kings, which is a place where they don’t even allow tourist during museum visits.

We heard you recently wed Shanina Shaik. Given you were busy at the time, who DJed your wedding?

Haha, good question. I think that’s on Google. It was Rev Run run, DMC DJ kiss, and DJ Politik.

The electronic music industry has completely changed over the past 10 years, transforming into more of a mainstream phenomenon. What are your thoughts on its evolution as someone who has witnessed this from the artist side?

What a world it’s become. From the No. 1 hit songs, to the huge residency deals in Vegas and Ibiza, to the hundreds of festivals around the world, the business has become huge. Electronic music itself has changed in so many ways. It has also changed the arrangements of pop, like the breakdowns and crescendos in everything from Maroon 5 to Imagine Dragons. The electronic remix of a song is sometimes more popular than the original now, and the Grammys recognize remix submissions. Pop has almost completely done away with live drum sounds. It has also opened up songs to having instrumental portions along with the lyrical part as the norm in a pop sound.

It has ultimately brought much of the world together, which is beautiful to me. Electronic music has gone from not being part of hip hop to now almost all mainstream electronic DJs working with hip-hop artists and playing hip hop fusions in their sets. I believe that’s also a testament to how valuable hip-hop is, as it has maintained its presence throughout the reign of electronic music.

What do you think about The Chainsmokers performing at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?

Chainsmokers are the homies – kudos to them and anyone involved in the evolution of dance  music, like Kygo, Snake, Diplo, Major Lazer etc. They all moved the tempo around and opened up some possibilities for the genre to maintain popularity when the trend of big room etc. was dying.

How did you choose your DJ name?

Ruckus was a word I heard in ’90s hip-hop a lot, by the likes of Das Efx, Wu Tang and most importantly to me, Busta Rhymes. I grabbed it and fell in love… it stuck. I got a little nervous when Rawkus records popped up, but I held it down and stood the test of time.

Who are some of your musical influences, both now and growing up?

Notorious B.I.G, Stevie Wonder, Mark Ronson, DJ AM, Marvin Gaye, Jay-Z, Flux Pavilion, Hermitude, Milky Chance, Wizkid, Goldcap, 4B, and Drake.

What is the best and worst thing about your job?

The worst part is never being home, being away from my wife, and the choices an open-format DJ faces – which means keeping up with too many genres and too much music coming out too fast!

The best part is the travel and seeing the world, the wonderful people I know everywhere, and making people happy or being able to change the mood of any gathering with my knowledge of music. At the end of the day, I get to do something I love every day with a bonus of getting paid to do so.

Are there any exciting projects or collaborations we should know about from you coming up?

Unfortunately, I can’t talk about them until they drop. But I assure you I will be starting to fulfill fans with all types of content to be happy about. This is from sneaker collabs and new crystal jewelry to new original music, including Latin, trap, and deep house. I will also have remixes,  live mixes, magazine shoots, and model vibes, to more great parties and events and live shows all over the world. You think 200 is a lot, wait until you see what we do next year. This is me just getting started. If I can achieve a goal, I would like to do a celebrity charity boxing match. If I can get into good enough condition, who would y’all like to see me fight?

If you could have picked the theme song for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show this year, what would it have been?

I’d say Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman” seems like one of my favorite records. It speaks about the wonderful power of a woman, and it denounces our stereotype that God is anything in any shape or form.

Photo credit: Victoria’s Secret

Ultra Australia announces debut edition lineup featuring Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, and more

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Ultra Australia announces debut edition lineup featuring Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, and moreAustralia 2018 Og

In its inaugural edition, Ultra Music Festival‘s Australian lineup boasts some of EDM’s hottest names.

Kicking off in Melbourne on February 23, 2019, Ultra Australia will bring names like Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, Adam Beyer, and more to the Land Down Under. While these are the only names announced thus far, Ultra promises there are “many more” to come to the festival’s debut edition. The event will take place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse on February 23, followed by day two at Parramatta Park in Sydney.

Ultra’s Australia presence kicked off earlier this year with a Road to Ultra single-day, single-stage event back February, bringing names like Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Afrojack, KSHMR, and more to Melbourne. 2019 will mark the festival’s first multi-day experience in Australia.

“After watching the success of the event in Miami over the last 20 years and across the globe, it’s time we experienced this fantastic festival down under,” Ultra organizers said.

Tickets to Ultra Australia are available here.

Ultra Australia announces debut edition lineup featuring Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, and more

This post was originally published on this site

Ultra Australia announces debut edition lineup featuring Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers, and moreAustralia 2018 Og

In its inaugural edition, Ultra Music Festival‘s Australian lineup boasts some of EDM’s hottest names.

Kicking off in Melbourne on February 23, 2019, Ultra Australia will bring names like Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, Adam Beyer, and more to the Land Down Under. While these are the only names announced thus far, Ultra promises there are “many more” to come to the festival’s debut edition. The event will take place at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse on February 23, followed by day two at Parramatta Park in Sydney.

Ultra’s Australia presence kicked off earlier this year with a Road to Ultra single-day, single-stage event back February, bringing names like Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Afrojack, KSHMR, and more to Melbourne. 2019 will mark the festival’s first multi-day experience in Australia.

“After watching the success of the event in Miami over the last 20 years and across the globe, it’s time we experienced this fantastic festival down under,” Ultra organizers said.

Tickets to Ultra Australia are available here.

The Chainsmokers rock Monday Night Football halftime show, performing ‘This Feeling’ with Kelsea Ballerini

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The Chainsmokers rock Monday Night Football halftime show, performing ‘This Feeling’ with Kelsea BalleriniMgid Ao Image Mtv

In the midst of a historic Monday night NFL game between the two best teams in football, the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, The Chainsmokers rocked the halftime stage with vocalist, Kelsea Ballerini, to perform “This Feeling” off their new album, Sick Boy…Beach House.

Ballerini took center stage, while Andrew Taggart slowly made his way in with an acoustic guitar and his verse. The two vocalists combined their voices in a folksy harmony for the chorus, as Alex Pall and his synths jumped in for the second half of the hook.  Pall plays the part of DJ in the background, repping Rams quarterback Jared Goff’s jersey. Matt McGuire is opposite Pall on the drums.

With all the glitz and glam, The Chainsmokers showcased their ability to rock one of the biggest stages on TV. The timed fireworks certainly helped.

NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens remixes CHIC, SLANDER and Spag Heddy team up, Ray Volpe flips Ookay + more

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NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens remixes CHIC, SLANDER and Spag Heddy team up, Ray Volpe flips Ookay + moreOcaso Festival Tamarindo By Pablo Murillo 06 01 2018 0525

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday.

This week’s releases are true stunners. After announcing a collaboration with Lights back in July, deadmau5 has finally unveiled “Drama Free” as part of his mau5ville: Level 2 EP. Oliver Heldens throws it back four decades by remixing CHIC‘s 1978 hit “Le Freak,” adding in a pounding bass to accentuate the original’s groovy beat. Bingo Players and Bali Bandits bring the funk with “Body Rock,” and SLANDER and Spag Heddy waste no time setting “Running to You” on fire. Ray Volpe puts his own spin on Ookay‘s “In My Mind,” while Party Favor taps Naïka for the hefty “Blame.” As part of What So Not‘s Not All The Beautiful Things remix package, AC Slater‘s put his signature bass-fueled house spin on the famous “Goh.” Kill Paris has put his own laid-back twist on Alison Wonderland‘s “Easy,” and Ross From Friends thrills with a take on Thundercat‘s “Friend Zone.”

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: Pablo Murillo

The Chainsmokers go vintage electronic with new track ‘Beach House’

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The Chainsmokers go vintage electronic with new track ‘Beach House’Chainsmokers Australia Brisbane Show 2524 Med

The Chainsmokers‘ latest track, “Beach House,” may sound familiar to indie/dream-pop connoisseurs. That’s no accident, as the song indeed alludes to the unparalleled experience of listening to Beach House. Drew Taggart sings on the vocal-led song, while a wistful guitar pluck summon flashes of retro pop, ultimately giving the release a new dynamic than fans have yet to witness in recent memory through Chainsmokers’s productions.

“Beach House” is reminiscent of the pop-dance fusion releases that ascended Pall and Taggart into rampant stardom with Memories…Do Not Open. The track will undoubtedly be a contender for a fan-favorite with seasoned Chainsmokers fans, while further cementing their status as pop icons. In addition to continuing their stream of Sick Boy releases, Pall and Taggart recently performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, a performance slot previously held by the likes of Fall Out Boy and Taylor Swift.

The Chainsmokers expland on new ‘Paris’-inspired film at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

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The Chainsmokers expland on new ‘Paris’-inspired film at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show37849324 1977488555616858 6034302061581959168 O

The Chainsmokers spoke with Billboard on the red carpet at the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to talk about their performance for the event, Kelsea Ballerini, and their upcoming film endeavors based around their hit, “Paris,” off their 2017 album, Memories, Do Not Open.

Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall expectedly raved about Ballerini, and how her voice carries their production. The duo seemed surprised when asked about their “Paris” film project with Pitch Perfect author, Mickey Rapkin. Taggart went on to explain how Rapkin brought the story to their friend Dan who runs the Chainsmokers’ new production company, Kick the Habit. Parts were re-worked, and the team worked on the project and pitch for about a year. Finally, the major film studio TriStar, a subsidiary of Sony, bought the movie. Taggart went on to explain Kick the Habit has tons more in the works with TV, film, and Internet content. They seemed excited to hone their creative abilities into more than just music, noting creativity should work down multiple avenues.

H/T: Billboard

The Chainsmokers get heavy with new track, ‘Siren’

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The Chainsmokers get heavy with new track, ‘Siren’The Chainsmokers Profound

Apparently The Chainsmokers‘ recent release with NGHTMRE isn’t the only hard-hitting release on Sick Boy. The duo continue their stream of releases from the now seven-track collection with “Siren,” which is a collaboration with Aazar.

The opening of the track features Drew Taggart‘s vocals. Those who have listened to the duo’s live sets will recognize Taggart’s singing, as the duo has been cutting in his vocal clips into their performances. His singing leads to an intense drop, which was seemingly manufactured for club play, thanks to its infectious notes.

The Chainsmokers’ Sick Boy EP has been an intriguing mix of commercial chart-toppers and gritty dubstep releases, taking the duo back to their electronic roots. “Siren” is another example of their versatile production abilities, following the release of other EP hits like “Everybody Hates Me” and September’s “This Feeling.”

ZEDD shines, Marshmello wins big, and Taylor Swift dominates at this year’s American Music Awards

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ZEDD shines, Marshmello wins big, and Taylor Swift dominates at this year’s American Music AwardsReactions Taylor Swift 2018 AMAs Performance

The American Music Awards took place in Los Angeles last night, and if nothing else, it proved that Taylor Swift still rules the world. The artist made her first awards show performance in three years with track “I Did Something Bad.” She proceeded to take home four awards including the award for Artist of the Year, making her the most awarded artist in AMA history. If nothing else, this year’s award ceremony showcased that hip-hop and pop stylings still predominate mainstream music preferences, but electronic music continues to prove it is worth the seat it now has at the table.

Electronic music highlights include ZEDD performing his “Lost In Japan” remix with Shawn Mendes. The “Happy Now” producer played the piano while Mendes captivated the audience with his singing, all supported by a live band in the background. ZEDD was the only electronic music act to perform at the award show. Elsewhere, The Chainsmokers continued their campaign to bring electronic music to the mainstream with their consistent representation at the biggest music industry award shows. Nominated for one award this year, the duo along with “This Feeling” collaborator Kelsea Ballerini were stage hosts presenting Post Malone‘s performance.

One award was dedicated to electronic music, with Marshmello beating out both The Chainsmokers and ZEDD for the Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist award. The full list of awards and winners are listed below.

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Drake
Imagine Dragons
Post Malone
Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift *WINNER

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Camila Cabello *WINNER
Cardi B
Khalid
Dua Lipa
XXXTENTACION

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug, “Havana” *WINNER
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage, “Rockstar”
Bruno Mars & Cardi B, “Finesse”
Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be”
Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey, “The Middle”

TOUR OF THE YEAR
Beyoncé & JAY–Z
Bruno Mars
Ed Sheeran
Taylor Swift *WINNER
U2

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug, “Havana” *WINNER
Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”
Drake, “God’s Plan”

FAVORITE SOCIAL ARTIST
BTS *WINNER
Cardi B
Ariana Grande
Demi Lovato
Shawn Mendes

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — POP/ROCK
Drake
Post Malone *WINNER
Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — POP/ROCK
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Taylor Swift *WINNER

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP — POP/ROCK
Imagine Dragons
Maroon 5
Migos *WINNER

FAVORITE ALBUM — POP/ROCK
Drake, “Scorpion”
Ed Sheeran, “÷ (Divide)”
Taylor Swift, ‘reputation’ *WINNER

FAVORITE SONG- — POP/ROCK
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug, “Havana” *WINNER
Drake, “God’s Plan”
Ed Sheeran, “Perfect”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — COUNTRY
Kane Brown *WINNER
Luke Bryan
Thomas Rhett

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — COUNTRY
Kelsea Ballerini
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood *WINNER

FAVORITE DUO or GROUP — COUNTRY
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line *WINNER
LANCO

FAVORITE ALBUM — COUNTRY
Kane Brown, “Kane Brown” *WINNER
Luke Combs, “This One’s For You”
Thomas Rhett, “Life Changes”

FAVORITE SONG — COUNTRY
Kane Brown, “Heaven” *WINNER
Dan + Shay, “Tequila”
Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, “Meant To Be”

FAVORITE ARTIST — RAP/HIP-HOP
Cardi B *WINNER
Drake
Post Malone

FAVORITE ALBUM — RAP/HIP-HOP
Drake, “Scorpion”
Lil Uzi Vert, “Luv Is Rage 2”
Post Malone, “beerbongs & bentleys” *WINNER

FAVORITE SONG — RAP/HIP-HOP
Cardi B “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” *WINNER
Drake “God’s Plan”
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage “Rockstar”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — SOUL/R&B
Khalid *WINNER
Bruno Mars
The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — SOUL/R&B
Ella Mai
Rihanna *WINNER
SZA

FAVORITE ALBUM — SOUL/R&B
Khalid “American Teen”
SZA “CTRL”
XXXTENTACION “17” *WINNER

FAVORITE SONG — SOUL/R&B
Khalid “Young Dumb & Broke”
Ella Mai “Boo’d Up”
Bruno Mars & Cardi B “Finesse” *WINNER

FAVORITE ARTIST — ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At The Disco *WINNER
Portugal. The Man

FAVORITE ARTIST — ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Shawn Mendes *WINNER
P!NK
Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE ARTIST — LATIN
J Balvin
Daddy Yankee *WINNER
Ozuna

FAVORITE ARTIST — CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
Lauren Daigle *WINNER
MercyMe
Zach Williams

FAVORITE ARTIST — ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
The Chainsmokers
Marshmello *WINNER
Zedd

FAVORITE SOUNDTRACK
“Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By” *WINNER
“The Greatest Showman”
“The Fate of the Furious: The Album”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Kevin Winter

The Chainsmokers perform new collaborative single ‘This Feeling’ on ‘Ellen’ [Watch]

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The Chainsmokers perform new collaborative single ‘This Feeling’ on ‘Ellen’ [Watch]Chainsmokers This Feeling Performance Ellen

The Chainsmokers brought their pop-forward Kelsea Ballerini collaboration “This Feeling” to The Ellen DeGeneres Show for its debut performance. Both The Chainsmokers and Ballerini brought their A-game to the live rendition, sticking the vocals and bringing some headliner energy to the morning show audience. The song is slated to appear on The Chainsmokers’ forthcoming Sick Boy LP.

Ballerini’s country-tinged vocals blend perfectly with drum, guitar, and vocal backing courtesy of  The Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall and Andrew Taggert. The performance marks the first time the EDM crossover duo has appeared on Ellen, despite dominating top 40 charts with sinfully catchy singles for the past three years. For Ballerini, the collab has a precedent of sorts with Zedd & fellow country crooner Maren Morris striking crossover gold with “The Middle.” “This Feeling” has already accumulated over eight million Spotify streams and counting since its September 21 release.