Saturday Night Session 028: Justin Caruso reflects on the past and lays out his hopes for the future as he enters the next stage of his music career

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Saturday Night Session 028: Justin Caruso reflects on the past and lays out his hopes for the future as he enters the next stage of his music careerJustin Caruso Press

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.

Justin Caruso has only been releasing music for two years, but in that short time period, he has already made a name for himself on the touring circuit and on the radio. A commercial crossover producer through and through, Caruso started his electronic music career with one of the best mentors an aspiring artist could ask for with Justin Blau, better known as 3LAU. The two went on tour together in 2016, and Caruso hasn’t looked back since.

The now 23-year old proceeded to amass over 50 million streams on streaming platforms across his collection of releases, and he has since gone on tour with the likes of Tiësto, The Chainsmokers, and now Loud Luxury. Few acts have the opportunity to tour with such a heavy-hitting roster of artists at the initiation of their careers, and its a tribute to the quality of Caruso’s original releases and remixes. When asked which tour Caruso would repeat aside from his own previous headlining tour, he notes, “I’d say I would repeat my first ever tour with 3LAU. It was such a wild feeling playing shows for the first time, and I’ll forever remember that tour!”

Caruso’s first headlining tour was in 2017, which he dubbed the ‘Can I dropout yet?’ tour. The producer, who was enrolled in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, did ultimately make the decision to put college on hold in an effort to focus on his music career. He notes this is one of the hardest decisions he has ever made, stating, “This was very difficult not only for me, but for my parents as well. They weren’t fully on board at first, but once music became a full time job, they began to understand I needed to drop out. It really hit me when I physically had zero time to go to class as I was too busy touring.”

Caruso is out with new release “Can’t Live Without” featuring Wyn Starks ahead of his fill Good Parts Tour. Opening with soft keys and a melody that compliments the velvety vocals of Wyn Starks, ‘Can’t Live Without’ serves as the ideal end-of-summer track. The smooth transitions from silky melodies into an upbeat, future-pop driven sound shows Caruso’s strength at enlisting a top of the line vocalist and blending their voice with an atmospheric backdrop that creates a melodic whole.

He speaks on the new release, stating, “I couldn’t be more excited about this new release! I think ‘Can’t Live Without’ expresses the most raw form of love possible, and a lot of people can connect with that.”

Caruso also crafted his Saturday Night Session to highlight the best of his own releases blended with dance-worthy pop releases. The end result is an infectious mix that the listener can sing along to just as well as they can dance to. According to Caruso, his Saturday Night Session prepares the listener for a Saturday night that is, “whatever they want it to be, but for me, I’d say meeting up with your best friends and having a fun night you all always look back on.”

Photo credit: nexus

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You’ve been on tour with some pretty great acts- The Chainsmokers, Tiesto, and 3LAU to name a few. If you could only choose 1 tour to repeat (not including your headlining tour), which one would you do again?

I’d say I would repeat my first ever tour with 3LAU. It was such a wild feeling playing shows for the first time, and I’ll forever remember that tour!

Have you always been musical/what got you into music in the first place?

I’ve always loved music, but I didn’t really grow a passion for making it or DJing until highschool after a basketball leg injury. I had so much time to kill laying in bed that I started to mess around making mashups on my computer, and thats where the love began.

The theme of your previous tour is “Can I drop out yet?” We know you made the decision to put school on hold in order to focus on your music career. How difficult of a decision was this for you?

This was very difficult not only for me, but for my parents as well. They weren’t fully on board at first, but once music became a full time job, they began to understand I needed to drop out. It really hit me when I physically had zero time to go to class as I was too busy touring.

Let’s go into the future and imagine you are now 40 year old Justin. What kind of a career are you hoping to look back on?

I’m hoping my career is still going, and I’m owning a label at that time. I want to look back on a career that made me happy and something I can be proud of. I hope to continue to make music I love and enjoy.

What is something about you that your fans probably don’t know?

I’m a big gamer, and basically any free time I have goes towards video games. I usually bring video games on the road too!

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

One of my guilty pleasures would be loving Taylor Swift’s music, especially her new album

What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session getting fans ready for?

Honestly whatever they want it to be, but for me, I’d say meeting up with your best friends and having a fun night you all always look back on.

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

Hakkasan ushers in fall season with stacked September lineup featuring ZEDD, Calvin Harris, Gryffin, and more

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Hakkasan ushers in fall season with stacked September lineup featuring ZEDD, Calvin Harris, Gryffin, and moreWET REPUBLIC Ultra Pool At MGM Grand Hotel Casino Overview Photo Credit Wolf Productions 2

Leave it to the Las Vegas club circuit to keep things hot, even as summer begins to wind to a close. Following a hefty Labor Day Weekend billing, Hakkasan has delivered its September lineup, consisting of some of the hottest dance acts in the world, from Tiësto, ZEDD, Calvin Harris, and many more.

Between Hakkasan, OMNIA, 1 OAK Nightclub, JEWEL, and the dayclubs, WET Republic and LIQUID, the Strip is the place to be as autumn gets underway. Expect appearances from Borgeous, 4B, Crankdat and more at Hakkasan, while OMNIA boasts ZEDD, Gryffin, and Nicky Romero. What’s more—Loud Luxury, Illenium, Party Favor, and more are also scattered across Hakkasan’s blistering September lineup, bringing the most electronic star power to one place over the next month.

To see Hakkasan’s full September billing or to purchase tickets and tables, click here.

ZEDD, Illenium, Martin Garrix, and Porter Robinson all locked in for Hakkasan’s Labor Day Weekend lineup

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ZEDD, Illenium, Martin Garrix, and Porter Robinson all locked in for Hakkasan’s Labor Day Weekend lineupMartin Garri And Zedd At OMNIA Nightclub Las Vegas Photo Credit Wolf Productions

Ah, the unofficial end of summer – Labor Day Weekend. 

There really isn’t a better party weekend to be had all summer long, and nobody does LDW like Las Vegas. Events giant Hakkasan has curated a stacked lineup in honor of the long weekend, bringing Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, Illenium and more to the Strip from August 29 – September 2. Additional starpower for the weekend comes by way of performances from Tiesto, Playboi Carti, Tyga, and Lil Jon among others. 

Between nightclub properties Hakkasan, JEWEL, 1 OAK, and OMNIA, there’s a taste for everyone, and that’s even before considering the poolside lineups at WET Republic and LIQUID. From Desiigner to Porter Robinson, there’s a party for everyone in Vegas this year for LDW, courtesy of Hakkasan. To see Hakkasan’s full lineups and purchase tickets, click here.

Featured image: Wolf Productions

Tiësto enlists Colombian producer MOSKA for Latin anthem, ‘Acordeão’

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Tiësto enlists Colombian producer MOSKA for Latin anthem, ‘Acordeão’Tiesto Post Malone Jackie Chan Remies

Tiësto has teamed up with Colombian producer MOSKA for a new lively new tune, “Acordeão.” MOSKA is the first Latin American producer to sign with Tiësto’s label, Musical Freedom. It’s also his second collaboration with Tiësto, following their remix of Tiësto’s original track, “Century,” featuring Calvin Harris years ago.

“Acordeão” enlists a famous Colombian sample and composition, “Fiesta En Corraleja,” with full support from the original composer, Ruben Dario Salcedo Ruiz. The track’s Latin flair is effervescent and keeps the listener wanting to dance until the very end. Tiësto debuted the release during his set at Tomorrowland in July.

The release is a part of Tiësto’s TOGETHER project, which features a medley of up-and-coming artists with whom Tiësto has been working and helping to develop over the past few years in his continued efforts to discover and mentor emerging talent.

Photo credit: Rukes

Tiësto, ZEDD, Porter Robinson, NGHTMRE and more descend upon Vegas for stacked August lineup at Hakkasan

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Tiësto, ZEDD, Porter Robinson, NGHTMRE and more descend upon Vegas for stacked August lineup at HakkasanTiesto Hakkasan

Between Hakkasan, JEWEL, 1 OAK Nightclub, and OMNIA, a host of the world’s most in-demand DJs are all flocking to the Strip in August for a stacked mid-summer lineup that’s bursting with headliner energy. Tiësto, ZEDD, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, Porter Robinson, Loud Luxury, and more are all featured on Hakkasan’s sprawling August roster.

The Las Vegas-based entertainment giant is blending top-notch dance and hip-hop throughout the month, with rhymers like Tyga, J.I.D., and Playboy Carti rubbing shoulders with Illenium, Nervo, and Party Favor across multiple stages in the four clubs, Wet Republic Ultra Pool, and LIQUID Pool Lounge. Hakkasan’s consistently well-rounded and tightly curated lineups continue to push through the hot summer months, and August might be the hottest month on the Strip yet.

View the full lineups at Hakkasan, OMNIA, JEWEL, and 1 OAK, and purchase your tickets here.

Revisit Tomorrowland Weekend One, with Charlotte de Witte, Tiësto, KSHMR, and more

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Revisit Tomorrowland Weekend One, with Charlotte de Witte, Tiësto, KSHMR, and moreTomorrowland

Year after year, the most in-demand electronic acts from across the globe
and their cross-continental patrons gather in Boom, Belgium for what is unquestionably one of the most bonkers celebrations in dance music. This year, for its 15th anniversary, the festival saw familiar faces from across the electronic genre continuum, like techno tidal wave and Belgian native, Charlotte de Witte, trance’s enduring patriarch, Armin van Buuren, and the Godfather of EDM himself, Tiësto; while DJ Diesel (Shaq) caused quite a ruckus over at the main stage for his Tomorrowland dubstep-fueled debut.

The quintessential dance music domain saw a colossal main stage revamp of its 2012 theme, the Book of Wisdom. More larger-than-life performances are practically guaranteed for weekend two, which kicks off Thursday July 25, and closing out on Monday July 29.

Tiësto offers Illenium and Jon Bellion’s ‘Good Things Fall Apart’ a bigroom rendering

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Tiësto offers Illenium and Jon Bellion’s ‘Good Things Fall Apart’ a bigroom renderingD5f5h0EAAr4js

This past May, Illenium disclosed the fourth and arguably most prosperous offering from his third studio LP, ‘Ascend‘ with “Good Things Fall Apart” alongside Jon Bellion. In an unprecedented sighting earlier this week, the Godfather of dance music himself,Tiësto, was revealed to be the single’s first official adapter.

The rendition serves as a shining complement to Illenium’s original breakup ballad, as the Dutchman pores over progressive synths while still maintaining the emotive epicenter of Bellion’s sultry lyrics. Fan expectations remained wary upon the remix’s initial announcement as it seemed improbable to do justice to one of 2019’s most colossal dance releases, but Tiësto has proven over time that doubt only emboldens him. With Illenium’s forthcoming studio album slated to hit shelves August 16, subsequent remixers will be hard-pressed to eclipse an offering of this caliber.

Featured image: Rukes

NMF Roundup: REZZ and Deathpact link up, Wave Racer unveils new single + more

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NMF Roundup: REZZ and Deathpact link up, Wave Racer unveils new single + moreRezz Porter Robinsin Divinity Remi Live Debut

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

REZZ and Deathpact take no prisoners in their new collaboration, “Kiss of Death,” and Wave Racer follows up recent single, “Auto,” with the soothing “Summer Rain.” Skrillex makes an appearance on Ed Sheeran’s latest, “Way To Break My Heart,” and Tycho reveals his full Weather LP on Mom+Pop/Ninja Tune. Ekali and Reo Cragun bring “Runaway” to Big Beat, and Madeon continues his tour de force with “Dream Dream Dream.” Keys N Krates have released a brand new “beat tape,” featuring tunes like “Sad Piano,” and TroyBoi returns to OWSLA for “PAPI CHULO.” Camelphat throw it way back with a remix of Dirty Vegas’ iconic 2002 release, “Days Go By,” and KSHMR taps Mike Waters for “My Best Life.” Moon Boots and Steven Klavier are all “Tied Up,” and David Guetta and Martin Solveig deliver a club mix of “Thing For You.” Tiësto crafts a big room remix of Illenium and Jon Bellion’s “Good Things Fall Apart,” and Armin van Buuren, Avian Grays, and Jordan Shaw team up for “Something Real.” Sofi Tukker get groovy on “Swing,” and Valentino Khan and Diplo collaborate on a hefty house heater, “JustYourSoul.”

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: Rukes

Tiësto reimagines Martin Garrix, Macklemore, and Patrick Stump’s ‘Summer Days’

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Tiësto reimagines Martin Garrix, Macklemore, and Patrick Stump’s ‘Summer Days’Summer Days Tiesto Remi

Martin Garrix surprised fans by teaming up with Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy and Macklemore for “Summer Days.” Given the star studded list of collaborators, the song has unsurprisingly become a global hit, reaching the 18th slot on the Spotify Global Top 50. “Summer Days” is catchy to its core with a groovy production backdrop that serves as a foundation for both collaborators to steal the show with their vocals.

Longtime mentor and electronic music legend Tiësto has remixed the release, and in typical Tiësto fashion, he has transformed the song into a booming big room track perfect for the mainstage. He retains the vocals from Stump, but he makes the entirely new big room house production the focus of the track, having the vocals serve as a complement to the electronic elements. Tiësto’s remix of “Summer Days” is out now via STMPD Records.