Saturday Night Session 027: Borgeous discusses how bass music continues to inspire him coming out of recent EP release, ‘Lights Out’

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Saturday Night Session 027: Borgeous discusses how bass music continues to inspire him coming out of recent EP release, ‘Lights Out’Borgeous Press Shots

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.

DJ and producer Borgeous is long-known for his ability to fluctuate between the trap and dubstep genres while also maintaining a balancing act with catchy commercial releases. His commercial leaning tracks feature flowing melodies without the hard-hitting edge his other works contain. While many producers who have perfected the art of a heavy drop retain hints of intensity in their commercial leaning releases, Borgeous has the ability to display two very distinct creative sides that do not crossover, giving him a dynamic sound and therefore fanbase.

The Las Vegas based producer, whose real name is John Borger, just released a four track EP focusing in on his bass-driven side called Lights Out, and consistent with his previous releases, he has gone straight for an unrelenting compilation of live-performance worthy tracks. He speaks on the EP, giving fans insight into his inspiration for the music and where they can expect it to come to life, stating, “Lights Out is an EP directly connected to my current live shows. I wanted to release music that fit the harder, more bass-heavy sets that I have been playing out at clubs and festivals recently.”

Borger also notes that a crowd’s reaction to his music is one of his biggest inspirations, and that as of late, he has been really inspired by heavier sets at his live shows. The producer is nearing his fifth year with a heavy tour schedule, which is often rumored to be the amount of time it takes for an artist to ‘burn out’ of life on the road. He speaks about what keeps him going, and why burn out won’t be a problem for him.

Borger says, “The energy that electronic music brings to clubs and festivals is unmatched. I wanted to be a part of that movement…Dance music has always been a part of me and has been something that I’ve always been extremely passionate about. I don’t see that changing for me, so burning out is something that has never even crossed my mind.”

When asked what kind of a Saturday Night his Saturday Night Session will get fans ready for, Borger comments, “It gets them ready for a hard-hitting set that they can expect to hear at the next Borgeous show they go to.”

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What initially led you into electronic music production?
The energy that electronic music brings to clubs and festivals is unmatched. I wanted to be a part of that movement.

You’re just hit your five year mark of heavy touring after your breakout single ‘Tsunami.’ Many say that most major artists have 5 years until they need to scale back or burn out. What are your thoughts on that theory?
Dance music has always been a part of me and has been something that I’ve always been extremely passionate about. I don’t see that changing for me, so burning out is something that has never even crossed my mind.

What parts of life do you draw the most inspiration from when it comes to producing music?
I get my inspiration from everything going on around me. But most importantly, I draw inspiration from a crowd’s reaction and response to different sounds and situations.

Can you tell us about the EP you just released?
Lights Out is an EP directly connected to my current live shows. I wanted to release music that fit the harder, more bass-heavy sets that I have been playing out at clubs and festivals recently.

What are your tour essentials- items you can’t live without when you are on the road?
Hat, sunglasses, & a pair of Adidas

Any guilty pleasures?
Candy

What kind of Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session getting listeners ready for?
It gets them ready for a hard-hitting set that they can expect to hear at the next Borgeous show they go to.

Saturday Night Session 026: From being a die-hard Tiësto fan to playing on the mainstage, GATTÜSO talks about his entrance into electronic music

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Saturday Night Session 026: From being a die-hard Tiësto fan to playing on the mainstage, GATTÜSO talks about his entrance into electronic musicGATTUSO STUDIO 2

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.

The journey of becoming a successful DJ and producer is different for everyone, but almost always unified by years of hard work. It’s a grind, and for many, an uphill battle to get booked, grow a fanbase, and score radio placements. Reem Taoz is as familiar with the hard work part of this story as the best of them, but the electronic music industry seemingly woke up one morning and decided that he was going to be a household name. Taoz arrived to the forefront of the electronic music scene the second he got into the studio, and this is almost certainly thanks to his infectious spin on progressive house and club music.

Taoz performs under artist alias GATTÜSO, and the Israel native actually credits legendary producer Tiësto as his inspiration to become involved in the electronic music industry.

He mentions, “I have to credit Tiësto as my biggest inspiration.  I heard him play first in Israel, and when I first started to really travel – it was to go to a Tiësto show, and I ended up following him to shows around the world.”

This led him to Peru, where he started working in the nightclub industry. The more time he spent around the music, the more certain he became that he needed to start creating his own. In 2017, a now New York City based Taoz stopped everything to focus on making music. Two years later he has 12 remixes and seven originals under his belt with 10 new original releases in the works. He has released music on Dim Mak, Armada, Enhanced, and he has his own record label called T&T Records. He has also done official remixes for an extensive list of tier one artists including forthcoming remixes for Galantis, Yellow Claw, and Sam Feldt among others.

The sheer volume of music Taoz has put out despite being a music producer for only two years is impressive. His output begins to make more sense after discussing the amount of time he spends in the studio and what he does outside of work to unwind. He notes, “The past month, I spent 300 hours in the studio, which hasn’t left a whole lot of time…I really try to spend every minute outside of the studio enjoying food, family, and staying healthy.  I’ve said it before, but Im a HUGE fan of sushi, and working out, and I hit the gym and run at least a few miles every day.  I also love tequila and champagne, although I try not to do that every day!”

For those trying to figure out what led to Taoz’s meteoric ascension, one stunt comes to the forefront. Taoz chose the artist name GATTÜSO because he was a huge Genaro Gattuso fan, who is an Italian soccer player from AC Milan.

When asked how he chose his artist name, he explains, “It’s ironic, because the name just came to me one night.  I wanted something that sounded strong and forceful.  I’m a huge football fan (soccer), and I knew that there was a former player for AC Milan, who was a major star, and then went on to coach the team.  I figured that somewhere down the road, we might cross paths, and as it turns out a huge AC Milan fan, with a big instagram account, realized that we had the same name, created a bunch of buzz on it, and we ended up collaborating on a song called ‘Scuza Gattuso,’ which started as an inside joke and went on to be featured in tons of global press outlets, featured on top playlists, and brought me a loyal fan base of Italian listeners.”

GATTÜSO’s inside joke has certainly garnered him a strong Italian fanbase. He also touts an ever-expanding group of loyal listeners in the U.S. and throughout the world. When asked what kind of a Saturday Night his Saturday Night Session will get listeners ready for, Taoz comments, “Life with GATTÜSO is always a party.  Life is meant to be enjoyed – every minute of it, especially this Saturday night! So get ready for good vibes and a playlist you’re going to play again and again.”

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You kind of came out of nowhere- releasing your first original in 2018, and all of the sudden you’re doing remixes for major artists and your originals are amassing millions of streams. Tell us about your entrance into dance music and why you started producing. 

I have to credit Tiësto as my biggest inspiration.  I heard him play first in Israel, and when I first started to really travel – it was to go to a Tiësto show, and I ended up following him to shows around the world.  Thats what led me to Peru, where I spent a few years in the nightclub business.  The more time that I spent around dance music and DJ’s, I realized that it was time to turn my passion for music as a fan into finding myself as an artist.  I played music as a kid and had messed around with some production software over the years, but in 2017 I stopped everything and turned to focus on producing full time.  My first original releases, “Who We Are” and “Dance Stay High” were really personal songs for me, as was “I Will Play.” This writing was directly from my personal life and was very cathartic for me.  Seeing these songs with millions of streams now is very satisfying because I think it shows that other people feel the way I do, and I’m happy to see my music resonating with people around the world. 

How would you describe your musical style to those who haven’t heard you before?

I love progressive, with big drops, catchy melodies, and driven by memorable vocals and great songs.  Thats what I try to do! I balance this out with club tracks, and Im going to be releasing more of those in the near future, since I have a lot of fun making them. 

Given your first original came out in 2018 and you have since released a plethora of remixes and originals- you must spend quite a lot of time in the studio. What do you do to unwind? 

As of this week, Ive actually released about or exactly 12 remixes and 7 originals. I have another 10 originals that I’m working on now, and about 5 are ready to release.  The past month, I spent 300 hours in the studio, which hasn’t left a whole lot of time.  That said, I love to enjoy my life, and I make sure that I carve out time to do that.  I love making music and that time is very special to me, but I really try to spend every minute outside of the studio enjoying food, family, and staying healthy.  I’ve said it before, but Im a HUGE fan of sushi, and working out, and I hit the gym and run at least a few miles every day.  I also love tequila and champagne, although I try not to do that every day 🙂 

How did you choose the artist name GATTÜSO?

It’s ironic, because the name just came to me one night.  I wanted something that sounded strong and forceful.  I’m a huge football fan (soccer), and I knew that there was a former player for AC Milan, who was a major star, and then went on to coach the team.  I figured that somewhere down the road, we might cross paths, and as it turns out a huge AC Milan fan, with a big instagram account, realized that we had the same name, created a bunch of buzz on it, and we ended up collaborating on a song called “Scuza Gattuso,” which started as an inside joke and went on to be featured in tons of global press outlets, featured on top playlists, and brought me a loyal fan base of Italian listeners.  

Do you have any specific releases or remixes coming out soon that you are particularly excited about?

Yes! All of them.  August was a huge month for me, with 4 remixes back to back. There’s a Two Friends remix coming this month, “Dollar Menu” (Dim Mak 9/6), and then Im finishing up great remixes for Icona Pop (who I have always loved), and Starley, which should be out in October. It’s been amazing to work with such great songs and artists, that I’ve been following and listening to for some time now.  They have all inspired and influenced me, so its really awesome to have these kinds of opportunities.  I’m in the process of finalizing some label deals on a handful of originals, and I’m going to release one this month on my own label, T&T Records, called “Love Is Not Enough.”  I LOVE this record and the singer S.A.L.E.M just kills me.  She’s amazing, has something very special I think, which is hard to find.  

I just did a swap with Mark Sixma.  He’s awesome.  My song with Disco Killerz, “Million Things” was on Dance Rising with his song “Million Miles.”  I loved his style, and when I released “When In Rome” on Armada in July, when it came time to get remixes done, I hit him up and we decided to trade.  Really excited for that to come out September 20th.  

Other releases and remixes I have coming out:

Breathe Carolina X Asketa & Natan Chaim “Get Away feat. Rama Duke” (Spinnin Records)

Steve Void & Louisa – Aint Got You (Strange Fruits/Universal 8/23)

Sam Feldt – Post Malone (Spinnin Records 8/29) 

Galantis & Yellow Claw – We Can Get High (Big Beat/Atlantic 8/30)

What is your favorite song of all time?

Thats a tough call.  Lets go with top 3

Radiohead “Creep” 

Dash Berlin “Till The Sky Falls Down”

R3HAB “Lullaby,” and I was fortunate to do a remix for that one.  I have always been a big fan of Fadil’s and he has now become a friend.  

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday night session going to get listeners ready for?

Life with Gattuso is always a party.  Life is meant to be enjoyed – every minute of it, especially this Saturday night! So get ready for good vibes and a playlist you’re going to play again and again.  

Photo Credit: Richard “Parlay” Copier @OneiPhotography

Saturday Night Session 025: Borgore ranks his favorite fast food chains and gives insight into the creative process behind his new single

This post was originally published on this site

Saturday Night Session 025: Borgore ranks his favorite fast food chains and gives insight into the creative process behind his new singleBorgore

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.

Being a die-hard Borgore fan requires one to have a variety of interests; an affinity for a wide-range of musical genres; and an open-minded sense of humor. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Yosef Asaf Borger is known for his hard-hitting releases in addition to his edgy and carefully crafted public facing persona. His persona has come to define him as an artist almost as much as his music, and one thing the artist can promise is that despite being controversial at times, he certainly won’t leave anyone bored.

Everything from Borger’s lyrics to his song art and social media presence are sensationalized, often times featuring the producer surrounded by half naked women who call him ‘daddy.’ Borger’s is known for debuting songs on Pornhub, and his personality shines through unprovoked, such as when the artist confirmed that he could never pick a favorite song because he is ‘a polygamist’ with his music. His latest single serves as a continuation of his Pornhub partnership. The song is titled “911,” and it features adult film aficionado Abella Danger. The track opens with a bass-laden melody and carries into hard-hitting dubstep drops paired with Danger’s sultry vocals.

Borger speaks about his creative process for the new single, stating, “I wrote ‘911’ and didn’t even know if it’d be on the album, it’s so different. I was sitting on the instrumental and felt the only thing that would make it perfect is a sexy female vocal on it.” He continues, “I met Abella a while back on my “Savages” music video shoot (she and the rest of the girls killed that music video), and saw her around just regular LA hangouts. She’s one of the nicest and most humble people I’ve come to know, she was just the perfect fit. We met 2 or 3 times to record the verse because she’s such a perfectionist, funny enough I eventually just ended up using the first take.”

While Borger has historically been most closely associated with dubstep and trap music, his musical progression since his start in the electronic music industry is noteworthy. He has released a variety of musical genres, and the artist continues to push the boundaries of his style while still delivering dubstep tracks to a fanatical core fanbase. Borger speaks about this, saying, “I like producing all music! I just enjoy producing, in general. I’d say the more complex the more interesting for me, hence the dubstep or jazz.”

Borgore recently released single “Summerlake,” where he enlisted himself as the vocalist on the track. Utilizing the producer’s own vocals have been a trend that many of the electronic music producers have been experimenting with as of late, and Borger comments on his decision to do so, noting, “I like producing with my own vocals cause its more control over the song and I’m a control freak. It is also a much quicker process. I feel like my audience would like to hear what I have to say and a lot of the time I say things no one else would.”

When asked what fans can expect moving forward from him, he states that ‘fans should never expect anything from him because he is very unexpected.’ The producer crafted a hour-long Saturday Night Session that is filled with cutting drops and energetic builds that is sure to get the listener energized for a big Saturday night. Borger’s parting message is that the mix is ‘so good that people won’t even bother leaving their house.’

Photo Credit: Cybele Malinowski

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The last 6-10 tweets on your account have been about food, and more specifically fast food. Give us your top three fast food places please.

Oporto no question is my #1. McDonald’s is #2 because I don’t care what people say, everything on the menu is amazing and consistent. Sorry. #3 is A&W but only in Canada because of this habanero chicken sandwich they have that is flying under the radar.

What inspired your YouTube series, Lunch Time?

My YouTube show is the mastermind of my management and myself. We tried to find a way to deliver funny content that people can watch while they are eating lunch.

While you are most closely associated with dubstep/trap music, you have really spanned a variety of genres. Which is the most fun for you to produce?

I like producing all music! I just enjoy producing, in general. I’d say the more complex the more interesting for me, hence the dubstep or jazz.

What can we expect from you moving forward?

Moving forward you really can’t expect anything from me because I am very unexpected.

We know you lent your own vocals on recent single “Summerlake.” Is producing a song that uses your own vocals a different creative process for you emotionally?

I like producing with my own vocals cause its more control over the song and I’m a control freak. It is also a much quicker process. I feel like my audience would like to hear what I have to say and a lot of the time I say things no one else would.

What is your craziest fan story?

I can’t really pick one because I’m crazy, my fans are crazy, and I think it’s crazy when someone’s normal.

What is your favorite song of all time?

I can’t choose just one song, it’s impossible. I’m a polygamist with my music.

What kind of a Saturday night is your “Saturday Night Session” going to get listeners ready for?

My Saturday night session probably going to be too good for people to even bother leaving the house.

Saturday Night Session 024: Tritonal opens up about what could be their most personal body of work to date and craft custom mix to celebrate the release of ‘U&ME’

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Saturday Night Session 024: Tritonal opens up about what could be their most personal body of work to date and craft custom mix to celebrate the release of ‘U&ME’TritonalMatadorBeachShoot21518 0038 1

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.


Producers Chad Cisneros and David Reed of Tritonal are known for creating some of the most uplifting songs electronic music has to offer. Their ascent into notoriety is thanks to their ability to blend a catchy vocal with a hard-hitting progressive drop that resonates in a night club and still maintains radio appeal. Over a decade into their careers, Cisneros and Reed have cultivated an avid fanbase dubbed ‘Tritonians,’ and their productions are as popular as ever.

Whether it’s through their music or their in-person presence, Cisneros and Reed emanate an infectious positivity that has come to define the Tritonal brand. Those who know their stories know their hardships make their uplifting moniker the ultimate irony. Both artists have faced their own demons, and being DJs and music producers wouldn’t be the first career choice for many who have faced similar setbacks.

Cisneros faced a severe drug dependency during his youth, and even ended up incarcerated for a time. As many can imagine, being a DJ after facing addiction isn’t an easy life, which he is the first to admit. There are few careers that are as physically draining and provide as much temptation as being a touring artist. Cisneros has maintained his sobriety, and he is now the co-founder of Infinite Recovery in Austin, Texas. He and co-founder Michael Dadashi have worked to create a place that provides a path forward for those looking to beat addiction. To Cisneros, helping others is his way of nurturing his own sobriety.

Cisneros comments on the battle he and co-founder Michael Dadashi face on a daily basis, stating, “He and I are both in long term recovery, and my role outside of Tritonal is primarily to help others who are suffering from addiction. I balance this like most people- sometimes very well and in stride, and sometimes I feel like I’m absolutely losing control! Ha! Life can be as serious as you make it, or as trivial.”

Reed too has found himself in a career that exacerbates his severe fear of public speaking, which he has battled since he was a kid. Being in front of a crowd and engaging an audience isn’t just important in this line of work, it’s vital. He continues to work through this fear when it comes to both live performance and press opportunities, and he is the first to admit he is still very much a work in progress.  

Reed notes, “It does make it a taxing job internally. I honestly tend to overthink things or say the wrong thing when in my head I know better. I will say though, I was much worse before I was exposed to being in live environments such as this kind of career. So in a way it has helped me to grow more aware of myself, which helps me accept that this is just the way I am. I will do my best each time to have a good interview, to not be awkward, but yet be as real as possible. So yes, it is a fear of mine, but I have no fear in showing that public speaking is my weakness.”

While many artists lead with their hardships to define their brand, Tritonal has historically embodied hope and happiness. Both Cisneros and Reed are very focused on wellness of the mind, body, and spirit, which is where the concept for their third and newest album was born. The duo released 19-track U&ME, which takes the listener on a journey through the group’s best. Trance, Progressive house, and even some drum and bass is featured throughout the compilation.

Cisneros and Reed give insight into their inspirations for the album, stating, “U&ME is a pointer towards Unity.  So much of humanity is based in dualistic mentalities – ‘us vs them.’ We wanted to flip that base level unconscious mindset, to a title that reminded us that at a core level we are all the same. This body of work was made in Love.”

Unity points towards the ultimate balance, and when asked how he finds balance, Cisneros jokes that his answer makes him sound like someone reading from a wellness page. He maintains that sobriety, exercise, meditation, and living out their truth are key to both artist’s happiness. Given the duo currently tour, run a record label, produce music, and have families with young children at home, their tips are certainly worth listening to as they continue to prove they can do it all.

Tritonal’s Saturday Night Session is the perfect representation of what fans can expect from U&ME. The hour long mix takes the listener through album highlights and blends their newer releases with the energetic drops that fans have come to know and love from the duo. 


Chad, the fact that you’ve started Infinite Recovery is amazing. How do you balance being a musician with your work at Infinite recovery?  

Well, I should start by saying that I’m an investor & co-founder of Infinite Recovery, but all of the hard day to day work and credit should be given to my long time friend and CEO Michael Dadashi. He and I are both in long term recovery, and my role outside of Tritonal is primarily to help others who are suffering from addiction.  I balance this like most people- sometimes very well and in stride, and sometimes I feel like I’m absolutely losing control! ha! Life can be as serious as you make it, or as trivial.

David, how do you maintain such an extroverted job (and heavy tour schedule) given you have battled with a severe fear of public speaking for your entire life? You’d think this would make performing a very taxing job for you.

This is something I definitely do struggle with, especially when it comes to live, on camera, on radio.. it does creep up on me at times, and other times it doesn’t depending on the environment. You’re absolutely right, it does make it a taxing job internally- I honestly tend to overthink things or say the wrong thing when in my head I know better. I will say though, I was much worse before I was exposed to being in live environments such as this kind of career. So in a way it has helped me to grow more aware of myself which helps me accept that this is just the way I am, and I will do my best each time to have a good interview, to not be awkward, but yet be as real as possible. So yes, it is a fear of mine, but I have no fear in showing that public speaking is my weakness. 

What is the best and worst thing about this career?

Chad – stepping into the
studio at 10am w/ a fresh cold brew and a good nights sleep –
ready to get weird. 

Dave – I think it’s safe to say the
worst thing about this kind of career, although there’s much gratitude for
seeing the world, the amount of travel and late nights can be pretty fatiguing
and taxing on your body! We try to rest as much as we can between travel and
studio production! 

How do both of you balance young kids, a heavy tour schedule, your radio show, producing new music, and maintaining your sanity?

Chad – Well, as stated before we both undulate in and out of what we consider “balancing well”, ha!  Hard to feel balanced sometimes when you’re upside down from a flight back home from China. That said, sobriety, meditation, exercise, responsible diet, and living our Truth are KEY points.  They sound like something read off of a wellness page, but in reality meditation is crucial to building presence and awareness moment to moment.  Sobriety while touring enables faster recovery times from jet lag, or lack of sleep. Exercising daily rejuvenates serotonin, and resets the body.

Can you tell us more about the title U&ME and what this album embodies for you?

U&ME is a pointer towards Unity.  So much of humanity is based in dualistic mentalities – “us vs them.”  We wanted to flip that base level unconscious mindset to a title that reminded us that at a core level we are all the same.   This body of work was made in love.

Can you each tell us your personal favorite track off of the album? It could be because of the track itself or the process that went into making it!

Chad – Mine is “Medicine!” This record at a fundamental level, reminds me of why Dave and I fell in love with Trance – even though it’s got a Drum & Bass beat and bpm. 

Dave – “Medicine” as well for me! I also really enjoy “Diamonds.”

Photo credit: Oh Dag Yo

Saturday Night Session 023: Morgan Page discusses drawing inspiration through collaboration and gives fans insight into his forthcoming release

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Saturday Night Session 023: Morgan Page discusses drawing inspiration through collaboration and gives fans insight into his forthcoming releaseMorgan Page Press Shot

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.

Grammy Award nominated Morgan Page has kept the momentum high in his career for over ten years, and that’s almost certainly thanks to his ability to produce music that stands the test of time and appeals to listeners regardless of what the ‘popular’ sound is. Page is the first to admit that maintaining success for over a decade is a rarity, and it requires his production abilities to evolve and to continue to get better despite his success. A new focus of his has been diving into sound design, synthesis, and experimenting with distortion and treatments to create incredibly distinctive sounds. As he continues to push his creative boundaries, his fans reap the benefit of a diverse collection of work that is all tied together by Page’s ability to identify a polarizing vocal line and a sonic warmth that leaves a listener feeling good despite the genre of his production.

An important component to Page’s ability to stand the test of time has been his ability to read current musical trends and adapt. The producer elaborates on how the bar gets increasingly higher for those who want to thrive as a music producer in 2019, stating, “Records these days are so loud and punchy that the bar is set really high, and they really need to cut through in a live environment. Every element needs to shine.”

2019 has seen a continuation of Page’s dance-inducing creations thanks to his recent release of “Gone My Way” with Pex L, and he will be releasing a new track on Armada titled “Fire and Gold,” which includes Page himself playing guitar on the release. He discusses how this release will be different than what fans have heard from him in the past, stating, “The new single is ‘Fire & Gold’ with Vivid feat. Allé and Damon Sharpe. I really like the way this one turned out. We experimented with a lot of different frameworks, but felt we needed a dancefloor-focused mix that had some edge to it. It’s a very songwriter vibe kind of song, almost with an Of Monsters and Men sound, and I wanted that contrast to work well with a big room progressive sound. I even played the guitar on parts of the song to add some extra hooks. I’m a much better piano player, but writing melodies on a different instrument helps to create something special and original.”

In addition to producing music, Page has more recently taken to mentoring up and coming producers, which in part he is able to do through his own website that features quick tips in addition to his own interests. His quick tips have been such a success that he has even launched the top 20 quick tips into a card deck. Page elaborates, saying, “I’ve taken 20 of my best quick tips and turned them into a professionally illustrated and printed card deck that will be distributed with special orders from OWC.  They make amazing Thunderbolt drives, docks, and Mac upgrades.”

Page’s sets, just like his music, are notorious for keeping the energy high and the mood uplifting, and his Saturday Night Session doesn’t disappoint in this regard. He explains what listeners can expect from the mix, unsurprisingly noting that it will have “lots of energy, unique sound design, and vocals that stick in your head.” In addition to lots of energy, those who want a first listen of “Fire and Gold” will finally get one.

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In the past, you’ve explained that working with up and coming producers in the studio has been a good creative exercise for you. Is there anyone you’ve worked with as of late that has really made an impact on your creative process?

In the last year, there’s been a lot of great collaborations – some in the studio, some with strangers and now friends across the globe. I love how fluid the process can be. With “Gone My Way,” PEXL, a producer from the Canary Islands in Spain, sent me a song he had in progress with a Splice vocal sample, and I went in and added more progressive flavors and chopped up some more bassline samples to give it a hybrid future house / progressive house feel. It came together really quickly and naturally, which isn’t always the case! With songs that are more lead vocal focused, it can take months or back and forth production work. With this collab, it was just us swapping stems back and forth, which felt very natural.

Are you doing anything new as of late to continue to push the boundaries and creativity of your sound?

I’m really diving more into sound design, synthesis, and experimenting with more distortion and treatments to really dial indistinct sounds. Records these days are so loud and punchy that the bar is set really high, and they really need to cut through in a live environment. Every element needs to shine.

You do a lot outside of producing and making music. Can you tell our readers more about your different hobbies and interests outside of working in the studio?

Right now my #1 non-studio project is my baby. She’s almost a year old and it’s been the most insane, beautiful experience. It forces you to be more deliberate with your time because your life and schedule will never be the same again. I’ve also created a site for music producers and creative types called http://mpquicktips.com and @mpquicktips on Twitter. It features over 800-bit sized tips on creativity and workflow methods for the studio. In my spare time to stay sane, I do a lot of trail running here in LA, which is my form of meditation

You have a new single coming out on June 21st on Armada- can you tell us more about this release?

The new single is “Fire & Gold” with Vivid feat. Allé and Damon Sharpe. I really like the way this one turned out. We experimented with a lot of different frameworks, but felt we needed a dancefloor-focused mix that had some edge to it. It’s a very songwriter vibe kind of song, almost with an “Of Monsters and Men” sound, and I wanted that contrast to work well with a big room progressive sound. I even played the guitar on parts of the song to add some extra hooks. I’m a much better piano player, but writing melodies on a different instrument helps to create something special and original.

Do you have any other upcoming projects or singles in the near future you can tell us about?

We are about to launch a card deck for my http://mpquicktips.com project – which is exciting to finally see in physical form! I’ve taken 20 of my best quick tips and turned them into a professionally illustrated and printed card deck that will be distributed with special orders from OWC.  They make amazing Thunderbolt drives, docks, and Mac upgrades.

Can you tell us about your ideal Saturday Night if you aren’t playing a show?

A lot of high-end boutique wine with friends, a great dinner, then bed. I really like the inverted schedule of the DJ life though. I’ll go out mid-week, so Tuesday or Wednesday is Saturday night, then I work Friday through Sunday.

What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listeners ready for?

Lots of energy, unique sound design, and vocals that stick in your head.

Saturday Night Session 022: Alok reveals his own record label is coming and gives fans a look into growing up with DJs as parents

This post was originally published on this site

Saturday Night Session 022: Alok reveals his own record label is coming and gives fans a look into growing up with DJs as parentsAlok

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.

Many artists tout the cliché that ‘music is in their blood.’ Few artists can actually claim this as fact, and Brazilian DJ and producer Alok is among the few. Alok Achkar Peres Petrillo was born in Goiânia, Brazil to DJs, Ekanta and Swarup. His parents are pioneers of psytrance in the country, and creators of the Universo Paralello, an electronic music festival. As Petrillo puts it, ‘his video game was a pair of decks as an 11-year-old,’ and growing up with the music has made it only natural for he and his twin brother Bhaksar to pursue careers as DJs and music producers. For those who do not know, breakout hit “Fuego” is a collaboration between the Petrillo twins.

Petrillo is now a globally renowned act, and he is truly one of the first current global powerhouses in electronic music to come from Brazil. The country itself has a vibrant electronic music scene, and Petrillo explains that there are many artists from the market on the horizon who have the potential to be as widely recognized as he is in the years to come.

When asked what it is like to be a breakout artist from Brazil, Petrillo states, “It does feel like I am still coming to terms with the reality at times. Although I feel that there is still a lot to be done and achieved, many other Brazilian artists are also progressively gaining recognition and admiration around the globe.”

Petrillo teamed up with Quintino for his latest release titled “Party Never Ends,” and according to him, this is the first of many forthcoming collaborations fans will be able to expect from him for the remainder of the year. “Party Never Ends” is geared towards live performance with its bouncing synths and catchy whistling, which is infused with the production backdrop. The kicking beat takes the listener on an energetic journey with builds culminating in dance-inducing releases, keeping the production true to Petrillo’s signature style.

Petrillo describes his goal for the release, stating, “It’s the type of track that makes people want to let go of their worries and dance. Life should always be a never-ending party. Happiness is healthy, and partying makes people happy. The goal of this song is to put listeners in a party mood forever.”

One promise Petrillo makes about the year to come is, “There are a lot of amazing collabs and productions going on at the moment with very prominent artists and singers, but I can’t give much away. The secret is part of the surprise.”

He will also be launching his own record label, Controversia, and his first release on the imprint is set to come out at the end of June. Petrillo will be putting out the official remake of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” called “The Wall.” While remixing Pink Floyd may seem surprising, few realize that the group has been one of Petrillo’s largest musical influences to date in addition to The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.

Petrillo’s Saturday Night Session is a good representation of what fan’s hear when they see the producer perform live, and it’s a great start to a big Saturday night. As Petrillo puts it, “Saturday night is always magic, so I prepared a set to let the party never end. I like to cross over styles and this is the kind of set I play during my shows. Fun, energetic, and exciting enough to fully charge your energy. Alone or with friends, at home or out, I hope you enjoy this Saturday Night Session prepared especially for you. Have fun!”

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You have really been a breakout artist from Brazil when it comes to being globally recognized. How does it feel?

It does feel like I am still
coming to terms with the reality at times. Although I feel that there is still a
lot to be done and achieved, many other Brazilian artists are also progressively
gaining recognition and admiration around the globe.

We know your entire family has been immersed in electronic music for
your entire life. What was this like growing up?

Let me put it this way: my video game
was a pair of decks when I was about 11 years old. Since then, my entire
existence – as well as my twin brother Bhaskar and both of my parents Ekanta
and Swarup who are DJs – has spun around music. It was quite natural, and I bet
it was much easier for me back then to get in touch with electronic music, CDJs,
mixers and parties as my whole family has always been deeply involved in this universe.

Who were some of your biggest influences growing up? Which artists are
currently inspiring you?

Without a doubt: Pink Floyd,
Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers with their unique style and electronic and
psychedelic influences that they have given the world.

What can we expect from you in the coming year – more new music? Tours?

We have crossed the 4 corners of
the planet in half a year. For the rest of this year and most of next, we are
looking pretty busy tour wise. Next month I’ll be playing in Los Angeles,
Mexico, Ibiza, and then at the end of July, I’ll fire up Tomorrowland in
Belgium. I’m so excited.

I’ve already made some truly
international collaborations this year, including Conor Maynard and Timmy
Trumpet, plus I teamed up with Felix Jaehn and The Vamps. There are a lot of
amazing collabs and productions going on at the moment with very prominent
artists and singers, but I can´t give much away. The secret is part of the
surprise.

What I can say is that I’m very happy to announce my new own label Controversia. It’ll be launching at the end of June and the first release on the label will be my official remake of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ called ‘The Wall’.

Can you tell us more about your song “Party Never Ends?”

It’s the type of track that makes
people want to let go of their worries and dance. Life should always be a
never-ending party. Happiness is healthy, and partying makes people happy. The
goal of this song is to put listeners in a party mood forever.

A lot of our readers are based in North America. What is the Brazilian
market like in terms of music, festival, and club scene compared to say, the
U.S.?

When it comes to electronic and
pop music in North America and Brazil, both markets have grown exponentially
over the last 3 years in my opinion. Even the more underground artists have
reached places that they never imagined before. I have seen a video of Fisher
playing for thousands and thousands of people at Coachella. For a tech house
artist, that is something so surreal to happen. The same thing is happening in
Brazil where we have artists getting to play their music at places that were
considered “impossible to play” before.

What are your hobbies when you aren’t producing music?

Most of the time when I’m not producing, I’m doing something related to music. I like to listen and search for new songs. It’s so important for me, as an artist, to be involved in different kinds of styles and genres. Besides that, my biggest hobbies are: working out, keeping a healthy lifestyle, reading, and spending time with my lovely wife and family.

What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listener’s ready for?

Saturday night is always magic, so I prepared a set to let the party never end. I like to cross over styles, and this is the kind of set I play during my shows. Fun, energetic, and exciting enough to fully charge your energy. Alone or with friends, at home or out, I hope you enjoy this Saturday Night Session prepared especially for you. Have fun!

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

This post was originally published on this site

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.

Saturday Night Session 020: DVBBS gives fans a look into their lives when they aren’t in the DJ booth and reveal 2019 will see the most music from the duo fans have ever seen in one year

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Saturday Night Session 020: DVBBS gives fans a look into their lives when they aren’t in the DJ booth and reveal 2019 will see the most music from the duo fans have ever seen in one yearDVBBS Press Shot Paul Capra

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.

Those who have been electronic music fans since before the boom of music festivals and commercial crossover releases will long be acquainted with electronic music duo DVBBS. Born Alexandre and Christopher van den Hoef, the brothers released breakout single ‘Tsunami” in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. For the past three years, the brothers have balanced playing over 250 tour dates a year amidst releasing a stream of hit singles, including “IDWK” with Blackbear, “I Love It” with Cheat Codes, and “Without U” with Steve Aoki ft. 2 Chainz.

The duo have now released a new track “GOMF” with a thumping bassline that paves the way for friend and vocalist BRIDGE to paint a melancholic vocal storyline. The track builds into a house drop with echoing vocals, all of which has seemingly been manufactured for club play thanks to its bumping backdrop and infectious builds.

Alex and Chris speak about the release, explaining the title and the meaning behind it. They state, “It’s simple … ‘GET OUT MY FACE.’ Haha don’t take it (the song) too seriously. This one is for everyone that just needs to know YOU are fucking awesome, and NO ONE can get in your way and stop what you have coming for you in your amazing lifetime.”

The track is only the beginning for them this year according to the brothers, who state 2019 will yield “The most amount of DVBBS music you have ever heard in a year … period.”

While the brothers are seemingly mainstays in the industry now, they are the first to comment on how much the industry has changed since they got their start. When it comes to their personal fulfillment as artists, the industry’s commercialization has encouraged them to give up producing music they only see becoming a ‘hit,’ and focus on releasing music that is fulfilling for them as artists. The clutter has encouraged them to ‘just do them’ as they would put it.

Chris and Alex are discuss how much streaming has impacted not only artists, but how the industry has monetized and functions as a whole. They comment, “The business suits in the industry still control a majority of artists, BUT I do see and pray for movement in the way things are handled in the music industry and what is right and what is wrong. Just like many other movements and voices being heard, I truly think it’s time for the artists themselves the musicians themselves stand up and get what they deserve.”

When it comes to artists getting what they deserve, the brothers do a good job painting a picture for fans as to what this means, and how complicated it can be for them behind the scenes. They state, “Because no one else other than those real true raw emotion filled artists are sitting 18 hours in blacked out rooms and bedrooms creating art that can be ripped away from them or turned down in the matter of minutes because they aren’t fully educated on what their options are.”

DVBBS has certainly found a way to balance the complicated industry, but even they admit that it takes time to adjust to the crazy lifestyle. The duo have crafted an energetic hour long Saturday Night Session that is the perfect soundtrack for a night out. They take the listeners on a hectic journey, leaving everyone wanting for more.

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When did you first start listening to electronic music, and what inspired you to start producing?

Electronic music was instilled in us before we even knew… we spent some time growing up in Greece, and even all the amusement parks or what they called ‘luna parks’ just had trance and euro beats cracking all night long hahaha

I would say we truly got into electronic music when we were around 17 years old and started producing it a few months later … I remember having talks with Chris about not being a band anymore and almost remolding how we performed and crafted music, which turned into DVBBS.

What is the best and worst thing about working together as siblings?

Best thing is that we are blood and nothing can come between that 4 life —- worst thing, things can get brutally honest and flip the switch real quick.

What can we expect from you in terms of new music in the coming year?

The most amount of DVBBS music you have ever heard in a year … period.

Craziest fan story?

Our fans are our family, but we’ve definitely experienced a few crazy ones …. I guess this has happened a few times now, but when people stalk your hotel room and end up banging on it all night until you answer or security comes. There was one incident in China where some random girl was completely naked trying to rip out the wires from where you put the key to your room and trying to break in , meanwhile it was 5am and I was half asleep. My own tour manager thought I was playing a prank on him when I called him tripping out.

Hahaha I don’t know for the most part everything is pretty harmless and we got love for everyone …

Can you tell us about your new release “GOMF” – particularly, what does the title mean?

simple … GET OUT MY FACE

Hahaha don’t take it too seriously, this one is for everyone that just needs to know YOU are fucking awesome and NO ONE can get in your way and stop what you have coming for you in your amazing lifetime.

The electronic music industry has changed a lot since 2013, which is when you all released hit ‘Tsunami.’ As an artist, has your experience transformed as much as it has seemingly changed for the fans and listeners?

Was is 2013 or 2014? Haha I don’t know anymore, man so much has changed with the scene and just even with us as artists and producers

I guess for us, we truly make music for ourselves now. We love that our fans love it, but this shit is therapy to us now, and we are so blessed to be able to just create vibes and be the soundtrack for the world.

Industry wise —- the real survived and the stale ones died off, and everything is pretty much Spotify/Apple/streaming platform based releases —- the business suits in the industry still control a majority of artists, BUT I do see and pray for movement in the way things are handled in the music industry and what is right and what is wrong. Just like many other movements and voices being heard, I truly think it’s time for the artists themselves the musicians themselves stand up and get what they deserve.

Because no one else other than those real true raw emotion filled artists are sitting 18 hours in blacked out rooms and bedrooms creating art that can be ripped away from them or turned down in the matter of minutes because they aren’t fully educated on what their options are.

What kind of a Saturday night is your ideal Saturday Night?

My perfect Saturday night is a relaxing home cooked dinner, and just enjoying the simple things life has to offer now … obviously we still love to go out with the fam and day ones, but things are feeling really good at the moment, just balancing this crazy roller coaster of a life DVBBS, and a personal life.

And then just creating every night of the week, like I said it’s like therapy and a blessing, and we wish to only continue being this blessed forever.

Photo Credit: Paul Capra

Saturday Night Session 019: Nicky Romero discusses how Protocol Recordings empowers his creativity and talks staying balanced despite a near constant life on the road

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Saturday Night Session 019: Nicky Romero discusses how Protocol Recordings empowers his creativity and talks staying balanced despite a near constant life on the roadNicky Romero Press Shot

Few artists have the ability to represent a genre with a simple mention of their name, but when it comes to Nicky Romero, over a decade of producing upbeat progressive house anthems has made the producer’s moniker seemingly synonymous with the genre. While Romero started producing in the early 2000’s, he recalls the moment he realized he ‘made it’ as a music producer.

Romero notes, “‘My Friend’ was the breakout moment for me when I really started getting attention on an international level followed by ‘Toulouse,’ but the game changer was ‘I Could Be The One,’ which I made with Avicii. Working with Tim on that record was a transformative experience, and I’m grateful for the time we had creating together.”

“I Could Be The One” catapulted Romero into international notoriety and gave him the platform to reach a mass audience, and this reach coincided with a fundamental shift in dance music itself. Progressive house peaked from 2010-2013, and from there, the sub-genre played an integral role in the commercialization of dance music. Progressive House allowed for big-name pop artists to come in and be vocalists on electronic music backdrops that were likable to global and commercial audiences. Romero’s own music evolved during this transition, and he has found a way to balance producing mainstage worthy electronic releases while also producing music that could just as easily belong on a top 40 radio station.

Embracing this shift in dance music has enabled Romero to remain at the forefront of the genre for over five years and counting, and he shows no signs of slowing down. When asked about how he manages to balance touring and releasing a steady stream of music over such a long span of time, Romero notes, “It’s not easy. I have a great team that works day and night to keep everything on track. Guarding my rest and health is what keeps me going as well. It’s important to find a balance and remember that there must be time for life as well. Touring and travel has allowed me to see the world, but I also cherish the moments at home with my family and friends.”

In addition to releasing his own music, Romero is label head and founder of Protocol Recordings, one of the most impactful labels for dance music as it stands. Record deals, management, and a multitude of other factors make the music world a tricky one. Romero’s favorite thing about running Protocol is that the label is an outlet for him to bypass what can be an admittedly complicated world and release what he feels passionately about, whether the music is his own or another artist’s.

He elaborates on this, noting, “We get to release the music we want without restrictions. When we find an artist we’re passionate about or I produce a record I’m in love with, we don’t need to ask for approvals or waste time. We just release it to the world.”

Romero put together a high energy hour long Saturday Night Session mix, which is the best representation of the producer’s ability to float between hard-hitting and festival-ready tracks alongside smooth vocal driven releases. He tries to tell a different story through each of his sets, and the mix certainly does just that in order to get listeners’ ready for their Saturday night.

PC: Darryl Adelaar

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You have been releasing music now for over a decade. Are any of your track’s particularly personal to you or stand out to you as being one of your favorites above the rest?

“My Friend” was the breakout moment for me when I really started getting attention on an international level followed by “Toulouse,” but the game changer was “I Could Be The One,” which I made with Avicii. Working with Tim on that record was a transformative experience, and I’m grateful for the time we had creating together.

You produce everything from mainstage electronic tracks to commercial crossover releases to working with big-time acts like Rihanna. Do you have a specific genre of music you prefer producing?

Progressive house will always be my starting point but I’ve loved experimenting and pushing my boundaries over the years. Its tough to put yourself in a creative box and only stick to certain forms of music. I find it challenging and exciting to push my limits. 

What is your favorite part about running the label?

We get to release the music we want without restrictions. When we find an artist we’re passionate about or I produce a record I’m in love with, we don’t need to ask for approvals or waste time. We just release it to the world.

Is there any part of you that still gets nervous for big performances or studio sessions with other high profile artists? Or have you been doing this for long enough now that it is all standard and just another day on the job?

Of course, that is being human. Festivals still give me a rush and I hope that is a feeling that never goes away. I feel most alive when I’m on the stage playing my songs for fans that have given me so much support over the years. 

The amount of music you put out is incredibly impressive. How do you balance it all? Running a label; touring; putting out new originals and remixes; and theoretically having time for a personal life as well?

It’s not easy. I have a great team that works day and night to keep everything on track. Guarding my rest and health is what keeps me going as well. It’s important to find a balance and remember that there must be time for life as well. Touring and travel has allowed me to see the world, but I also cherish the moments at home with my family and friends.

You’ve got a lot of great shows coming up this summer including your performance at Laroc Club – how much do you enjoy playing in front of a Brazilian crowd?

The fans in Brazil are some of the most supportive in the world. It’s such a beautiful country and I’m always welcomed with open arms. I cannot wait to be back.

What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listener’s ready for?

I try to tell a story in my sets and keep the momentum going while still allowing the listener to experience different emotions through the music. 

Saturday Night Session 018: Young Bombs explain their unique creative process and tell the story of how their artist name came to be

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Saturday Night Session 018: Young Bombs explain their unique creative process and tell the story of how their artist name came to beYoung Bombs 2

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.

Canadian friends and self-proclaimed ‘bros,’ Martin Kottmeier and Tristan Norton have a lengthy history when it comes to creating music together. While many DJs set out from the start to be the next Calvin Harris, Kottmeier and Norton started their journey in an indie rock band. After discovering hybrid acts like Cut Copy, they started layering in synths and drum machines into their music, infusing an electric flair into their indie-sound. It wasn’t until a few years later that Kottmeier visited Sweden, where he notes that he “discovered a bubbling artist named Avicii’s demo “Spår”, which actually ended up being “Bromance.” That’s when we caught the EDM bug. From that moment on, we both knew this is what we wanted to do.”

Now known as Young Bombs, Kottmeier and Norton have been picked up by the same management team as The Chainsmokers, and in the last year alone, they have played the mainstage at Ultra as well as released no less than 85 remixes in addition to their own original track, “Starry Eyes.” Because their musical style has evolved over the years, doing remixes has often kept the duo engaged, allowing them to experiment with a variety of musical genres, tempos and moods.

If one were to expect a meaningful explanation behind their chosen moniker of Young Bombs, Kottmeier and Norton would be the first to admit the origin of the name is far from significant.

They explain, “Once upon a time, we temporarily formed a band with a friend. We say temporarily because it only lasted a day but that friend of ours came up with the name. After we parted ways we asked if we could keep it because we thought it was cool. He was fine with it. It’s a very inaccurate name. “Middle-Aged Bombs” would’ve been more appropriate.”

Kottmeier and Norton’s production process is nearly as unique as how they selected their moniker. The duo happens to have an assortment of talented videographer friends, and they draw sonic inspiration from the visual. They explain, “we often mute their videos on YouTube while creating music and draw inspiration from the visuals. Nature videos inspire us.”

Young Bombs aim to release new music every four to six weeks in the new year, which is aggressive, but if they can release 85 remixes in one year, its most certainly doable. The duo crafted an hour long Saturday Night Session, and they explain what the listener can expect to come, mentioning, “There’s three moods with this mix: the first is a bit more vibey and ambient; the second is energetic and slightly ironic; and the final third is sad and reflective. We wanted to capture the highs and lows of everyday life. Sometimes you’re on top of the world sharing a laugh with your friends, other times you’re lost in your own thoughts, contemplating everything. Hopefully this mix captures a bit of that.” If one thing is for certain, there is certainly a lot to expect from the up and coming group, and 2019 might just be the year they bring it.

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I know you both started your foray into music by playing in bands. Can you tell us about how you eventually ended up in music production and what that journey from band to Young Bombs looked like?

That’s a great question. Yes, we played in an indie rock band that initially was a guitar/bass/vocals classic type set up but as our musical taste evolved and we began to discover hybrid/electronic bands like Cut Copy and the Presets, we started  incorporating synths and drum machine elements into our sound. But it wasn’t until a few years later when I (Martin) went on a trip to Sweden and discovered a bubbling artist named “Avicii”’s demo “Spår”, which actually ended up being “Bromance”, that we caught the EDM bug. From that moment on, we both knew this is what we wanted to do. Tristan already had Logic on his laptop at this point so it was just a matter of figuring out how to make it haha. I think we’ve watched every YouTube tutorial ever made

Young Bombs- whose chose the name and what is the story behind it?

Once upon a time, we temporarily formed a band with a friend. We say temporarily because it only lasted a day but that friend of ours came up with the name. After we parted ways we asked if we could keep it because we thought it was cool. He was fine with it. It’s a very inaccurate name. “Middle-Aged Bombs” would’ve been more appropriate.

What is your dynamic? Both extroverts? One the loud one and one the quiet one?

I’m (Tristan) definitely more introverted and need my alone time to recharge. We both alternate back and forth a bit but Martin definitely energizes off of people. He’s like the Energizer bunny if the Energizer bunny looked like Jon Snow.

Who do you draw inspiration from when producing?  

We have a lot of talented videographer friends so we often mute their videos on YouTube while creating music and draw inspiration from the visuals. Nature videos inspire us. If we ever get stuck on a track we put on “Sailing” by Christopher Cross and let the smoothness carry our worries away. After one solid listen we’re usually good to go again.

You guys have done a TON of remixes. Are there certain genres that are harder to remix than others?

In a strange way the more that we bounce around genres/styles the more we keep the creative juices flowing and avoid our sound becoming repetitive. It’s always a fun challenge. Coming from a band background it only feels natural to cover different tempos and moods.

What can we expect from you guys this year? Do you have specific goals for yourselves and your career?

In terms of goals, we definitely just want to keep these originals flowing now. We’d ideally like to have a brand new release every 4-6 weeks and  make the best music possible. If we could sell out Wembley Stadium 5 nights in a row that would be great too.

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday Night Session going to get us ready for?

There’s three moods with this mix: the first is a bit more vibey and ambient; the second is energetic and slightly ironic; and the final third is sad and reflective. We wanted to capture the highs and lows of everyday life. Sometimes you’re on top of the world sharing a laugh with your friends, other times you’re lost in your own thoughts, contemplating everything. Hopefully this mix captures a bit of that.