r o t i d eE h T om r F r ette lando L 3 ree Or g C a D 4 E z x GG M au J 6 ii h s an u l n S u o Y 10 d e e a 12 S ZOD ad G o l E n 14 Dow ing e h 16 T llivan K 1 in e t S u 0 r 18 S okings 1 Jennife o e: l B c r i 0 2 ner C 4B n I 21 e+ z a r c 22 A
OM R F R E LETT THE
R O T I ED
OUR STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael Beas OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Kristine Kennedy
November was truly an eventful month. We had the opportunity to cover one of our all time favorite festivals: EDC Orlando! We got to sit down with Slushii, EGZOD, Saeed Younan and highlighted Bite This! boss Jauz for our cover feature. We also got a closer look at the Tampa scene with Acraze and 4B and talked about the future of metalstep with Sullivan King. This edition also goes over insider information and tips to stand out as a DJ and producer in the dance scene with our Bookings 101 piece and Inner Circle interview. Share your thoughts with us on our social media via @RaverMedia. Stay safe, stay happy
and never stop dancing.
CEO of Raver Magazine
Stephanie Piedrahita LEAD VIDEOGRAPHER Bobby Ben-Gal
PHOTOGRAPHERS Wes Cunningham Omar Negrin SENIOR WRITERS
Charlotte Vosbeck Eubin Jin
Sandra Santana STAFF WRITERS Michelle Fetky PJ Fronsdahl
YOU’VE LAUNCHED YOUR NEW LABEL BITE THIS RECENTLY, HOW LONG HAD YOU BEEN THINKING ABOUT IT AND HOW PROCESS HAS BEEN TO GET TO THIS POINT.
So, I’ve been thinking about doing a label for a decent amount of time. I feel like I’ve been talking about the idea of a label for two and a half years now. The most important thing is timing. You don’t want to do it when you’re like, so new. The only person, to be fair, to pull that shit off was San Holo. He came out the gates with Bitbird and it worked out really well so props to him for that….he’s also one of my favorite people ever. Anyways, I didn’t want to do a label when I was so new that it didn’t make sense but I also didn’t want to do it when it was too late. You would be past that point on the bell curve so to speak. Fast forward to a couple months ago and we’ve been putting out every piece of music that I’ve done by ourselves. Through Jen and Mo from Redlight Management, they’re the ones who really help get all the music to where it is, and it got to the point where we asked ourselves “what can a label do that we can’t do on our own?” We have the ability now, we have that power so to speak. The other thing that is important to me about having a label is that I have SO many different songs and I have too much different shit going on that I never have, I guess, the proper time to finish one thing. For example, the song that ended up having GG Magree on it, Ghost, I wrote and finished two years ago. SO, IT’S BEEN A LONG PROCESS TO GET SOME TRACKS OUT. I mean, it honestly sounds a lot different now that GG is on it and she made it much, much better. Certain parts of it changed but there was a point two years ago where the song was “done” and ready to put out you know what I mean? And there was just so many times where I would have a song and I would write it and finish it, some bullshit would happen and it would be pushed off
to the side. It got to the point where it was hard for me to be motivated to finish songs. It was a frustrating place to be. So now, me having my own label and being the boss of it, deciding when this and that is coming out...it’s like a fucking steam roller! [laughs] Now I have no excuse to not finish songs and put them out ASAP. It gives you like a little more of a push. Yeah, pretty much! SO HOW DID YOU AND GG GET TOGETHER FOR THIS TRACK?
GG MAGREE: We actually met through [Jauz Management], and then we kind of just jumped into the studio, vibed straight away, then we did like two twelve hour days together which was fun! Being with me for twelve hours is kind of crazy. JAUZ: I can’t even remember what we did the first day, but we had like the basic idea of what was going on with the track. The lyrics were written-- GG: But we changed everything! JAUZ: Right, and the second day is when she really came in to nail the track. The first six hours were her and I with Yultron, who is actually a really great songwriter and helped us with melodies a bit. It was the three of us plus Slushii. GG: But he had like, this steel drum! I think he was there to keep the entertainment and vibes level up there and make me feel normal during our creative breaks. Then it would be back to work. DO YOU THINK IT’S BETTER TO WORK THIS WAY, A MORE SPONTANEOUS FEEL VERSUS PLANNING IT OUT?
JAUZ: Oh yeah, for sure. For me, I’ve talked about this at length with a lot of people...the way I grew up learning how to make and produce a lot of music is that when I started at fourteen or fifteen, it was me and three of my best friends. One of them was the first one to start
“You write the music that You write because of the person that You are.”
making electronic dance music and then I saw what he was doing but I was trying to be in a band at that time. I thought that if it was something he could do, then I could definitely do it too. I started doing it, then another friend caught on to it and it ended being five or six of us in the group. We would go to my one buddy’s house, smoke weed alllll day and make music you know? I don’t think that’s a taboo thing to say anymore. Anyways, so a lot of my experiences with creating music early on is being in an environment with a bunch of friends who like hanging and dicking around. Fast forward to a couple years ago when I was starting the Jauz project, it was me and three of my roommates who went to [Icon Collective Music Production School]. We wake up super early, light one up, play video games and then start writing music. It was such a carefree environment. My least favorite thing to do is step into the studio and think “I am going to make something today”. GG: I think it’s like too structured as well. You’re meant to be free and whatever comes out, comes out. Being like “We should make it this” or “it should sound like that”...it’ll never sound right. JAUZ: That’s why real producers will, hip-hop and rap producers or pop artists don’t go to the studio for a day or two...they go in for like months. Some days they don’t get shit done...they have a record label to pay for all the expenses but it’s the same kind of concept. They don’t go in with the “get it done” mentality, are given the studio for a specific amount of time but go in every single day until shit happens. GG: I think if you’re in the right vibe and vibe with someone, you’re going to make magic and it might not be within the first one or two hours but eventually something beautiful will happen. JAUZ: With GG it was more of a “let’s hang out together”, cause you have to have that kind of like friendship level kind of shit. You also have to be comfortable enough with that person. YOU HAVE IMMENSE LOVE FROM YOUR SHARKSQUAD. COULD YOU PICK OUT ONE FAVORITE FAN MOMENT?
That’s so tough. I know! There have been so many cool fucking moments. I remember the first time I really realized there was something here. The first tour I did was with Borgore, it feels like forever ago, and I was basically opening up for it. Feel The Volume and a few other records came out, were doing good but still no one really knew knew who I was. There were some shows where the hipster kids would come up to me and say “we came here to see YOU!” and thought, “No, that’s a lie you bought a ticket”. The first time I really felt that ‘holy shit’ moment was when we did a show in Venice
Beach at Peabody’s, which is a sick fucking place. It was this little, tiny sweatbox. The bus would always be parked right outside the venue. We bought skateboards while on tour and would skate around, check out the venue early and I remember that day there were like 300 kids in line already. I just skated by not thinking anything of it because up until that point I thought no one knew who the fuck I am. If they were here this early, they were here for Borgore and was just gonna cruise on by to grab me some fucking pizza. This group of like 60 kids started yelling “JAAAUZZZ” and I sat there for 45 minutes with everyone, they were just SO about it. I was playing some deeper shit back then, still do, but I remember playing a deeper, UK set at that stop...the ceiling was also very low, with exposed poles and I remember seeing kids literally grabbing onto them like monkey bars, mosh pitting to deep house. I thought, either they love partying this much or they’re really into what I’m doing. SO, IF YOU COULD TRAVEL BACK IN TIME AND GIVE YOURSELF ADVICE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Don’t do anything differently. I’m a huge proponent of “everything happens for a reason” and if I had told myself to not go to college or work on music, I never would’ve moved to L.A., gone to Icon, met all people I’ve met and wouldn’t have made the same music. I’m super happy to be where I am right now and I wouldn’t change anything that I did, good or bad. WITH ALL THE CHANGES THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE LAST THREE YEARS, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BALANCE YOUR PRIVATE ‘HOMIE’ LIFE AND THE PROFESSIONAL, ARTISTIC LIFE?
I don’t really have that much of a private, homie life. I would say that 90% of the time, it’s just me and my girlfriend Joanne sitting on the couch, watching TV. Shout out to Jo Jo. She’d probably like to be out, hiking and doing things that are exciting, but I was such a homebody and couch potato before touring that I need that cool down time. I would definitely say that it’s important to have couch potato days...it was after we dirt biked that we all went on the couches and just sat there for like 24 hours. You look at your watch, it’s like noon and then you look again it’s suddenly 9PM. IT’S GOOD TO CENTER YOURSELF LIKE THAT, SORT OF REMINDS YOU OF WHERE YOU STARTED. That’s
the point, I don’t want to be someone who I wasn’t before I started doing this stuff. You write the music that you write because of the person that you are. I still hang out with all the same friends that I’ve had, still do all the same shit, still play videogames and am still the same dude as I was before. JUST KEEPING IT REAL WITH YOURSELF. Trying my best!
TELL US THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME SLUSHII!
IT MUST BE SUCH AN AMAZING FEELING TO CONNECT WITH SO MANY PEOPLE THROUGH YOUR MUSIC. It’s one of
So, originally it was DJ Sushii. Sushi with two i’s. There’s this Japanese word for cute which is ‘kawaii’, I use the word all the time, it looked really cool and super cute with the two i’s! Then I thought that Sushi was probably taken most likely so I was like what’s the next best thing? I like sweet stuff...Slushies! The most perfect frozen beverage in the world. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SLUSHIE? Blue Razzberry! It’s the realest.
those things where it seemed like there was a time that no one even wanted to hear me out. I feel like everyone hits that point in their life where they’re not sure what they want to do or where they’re going. For me, I write music so… to the younger people that don’t know what they’re doing...I didn’t know what I was I doing either, BUT it gets better. You just need to put in into a positive outlet, you just have to be patient with things and go about them the right way.
YOU JUST HAD A PHENOMENAL SET, FROM JOURNEY TO TRAP MUSIC AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN...IT FLOWED
BEING OF PUERTO RICAN DESCENT, HOW GOOD WOULD
PERFECTLY! Yeah, of course! HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR A
YOU SAY YOUR SPANISH IS?
DJ TO HAVE VARIETY IN THEIR SET?
It’s one of those things where like, I don’t even really think there’s a crazy science to it. For me, my sets are me playing the music I would want to hear on a some DJ mix somewhere, you know what I mean? I play ‘Bulletproof’ by La Roux, I LOVE that song, I play ‘Gucci Gang’ by Lil Pump and just...my jams. It’s just songs I’ve been feeling, so I’ll add a song if it’s stuck in my head or make an edit for it or find a way to mix it in. It’s like “Julian’s iTunes Playlist EDC Edition”. SO YOU GO THROUGH SONGS YOU LOVE AND CHERISH AND THEN THROW IN NEW MUSIC RIGHT? Definitely. SPEAKING OF NEW MUSIC, YOU JUST DROPPED AN ALBUM! HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN LIKE FOR ‘OUT OF LIGHT’? HOW LONG HAD YOU BEEN WORKING ON IT?
I had been working on Out of Light for like, 5 years now. Some of the songs date back to me writing them in high school. You just, feelsy, angsty teen emotion. You know, not having the production skill really flavored them they way I wanted them to sound. So recently, going back and polishing the album, a lot of these older songs came up and I was really able to flesh them out. I’m super happy with how people accepted the album and like have taken it in, cause they could’ve just been like “Oh, it’s trash” or whatever...but I feel like my fan base wants to hear what I have to say and the story I have to tell. I feel like it’s one of those things where like you had a friend vent to you or you’re venting to a friend, I feel like that’s what my music does. I’m trying to show that a lot of people get depressed and that’s okay. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself because you have bad days. Even the most amazing person in the world in your eyes has bad days.
[laughs] I took like a year and a half in middle and high school, I stopped once I hit my required amount so I’m like conversational up to a certain point but then I’ll start speaking like random words. Have you ever done it during a set? I have! I’ll just start going ‘Uno...uno, dos, tres’! That’s so awesome, how does it feel to be on such a massive global stage, with fans all over the world? It’s crazy, I’m just some dude from Jersey. We out hea! To have people from the UK, Spain and Japan or wherever like my music is insane. It just goes to show that music is universal, it doesn’t matter where you are. I hear stuff that is ot even in the language that I speak but you feel the emotion and you feel whatever they were trying to say and it speaks to you. Even if I don’t know what they’re saying, if I feel they’re going all in you just relate to it. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU DECIDED YOU WANTED TO BECOME AN ELECTRONIC MUSIC ARTIST?
Yes, I remember the specific moment too. I was in my living room, on YouTube and one of the suggested terms was Skrillex. I thought it was a genre at first [laughs]. It sounded sick so I checked it out, and so the first dance music track I heard was the Skrillex remix of ‘Going In For The Kill’ by La Roux. I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard...I was also playing Dance Dance Revolution that had techno at that time so I ended up loving all of it. I remember showing to my mom, begging her to listen to it and once he put the headphones on she says, “This is never going to be popular” but I was still so amazed. I sort of went on this journey to mix that sound with the heavy, raw attitude with the nice, cutesy DDR side. That’s the basis of what my music really is.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST START DEVELOPING AN INTEREST IN ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC?
INTIMATE CLUB SETTING OR MASSIVE FESTIVAL VENUES?
My main interest started back when I graduated high school in the early 90’s, 91’ or 92’. I was always into new wave and nu disco but full on electronic music became my favorite around that time. Just going to Tower Records and looking through hip-house vinyl records was exciting to me. Would you still play with vinyls if you could? Well, I started out with hip-hop doing battles so vinyl is a big part of my life. So, yeah if you throw on two turntables right now, I’ll rock it!
Both are two different animals. To me, I love intimate venues because the energy that grows in a room is unbeatable compared to a festival. Then again with a festival, you can experiment a little bit more. You can open up more doors and try different things. People always go for it! It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges in a way, but if I had to pick between the two...I always gravitate more towards intimate venues.
THAT’S A PRETTY INTERESTING SHIFT, SO HOW CAN AN ASPIRING ARTIST FIND THEIR SOUND THE WAY YOU DID?
I basically heard other DJs, everyone has to start somewhere. For me to find my kind of unique style, I had to hear other people and bring my own feel to it. So for example, when I dived into dance music trance was big. That’s where I first began...I loved percussions, I loved bass so I thought about sow I could incorporate that and move that into something more that I feel. So that’s when I started incorporating tribal and percussion grooves and basslines to electronic music, creating something that is mine. So basically, trying a little bit of everything until you find something you’re comfortable with? Yeah, absolutely. Anything that feels right for you, you know? Don’t chase the flavor of the month. “This is hot, I’m gonna do this and that”, that’s the wrong way to go about it. It’s almost like a passion to find what you like. You sound has to be your passion. HOW DO YOU HOPE THAT THE DANCE SCENE EVOLVES IN THE NEXT FIVE OR TEN YEARS?
It’s almost like the stock market, you can never predict where it’s going to go. Like, I love what I do with tech-house and techno, I love how festivals like EDC are bringing in massive tents and showcasing that sound. It didn’t happen before, festivals of this size used to be exclusively “EDM” or pure dubstep, bass music. Now, techno and tech house artists are getting their own stages so I’d like to see that further evolve in the next few years.
YOU’VE HAD THE HONOR OF PLAYING ALONGSIDE CARL COX AND OTHER TECHNO LEGENDS. HOW DOES THE TECHNO COMMUNITY DIFFER FROM THE TYPICAL CROWD?
Playing with Carl is always such an amazing thing, he’s a great pal, he’s a great mentor to me and not just to me but to a lot of DJs. There’s a lot of love between the artists in this scene. When it comes to the fans, not to say this in a bad way or anything, to me is seems the techno/techhouse crowd--they’ve been in it longer. They’ve done their research. Like I said earlier, everyone starts somewhere but it depends if you want to dig deeper or not. You want to see how far the rabbit hole goes. So, to me, the techno crowd have done their homework and they are where they are because of that. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY? I KNOW YOU ALSO HAVE A VERY ACTIVE LABEL, YOUNAN MUSIC, AND EVENTS LIKE JOIN THE TRIBE. TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT.
Join The Tribe came out of and is labeled under Younan Music, it’s the party associated with the label. Now we get all our artists and hit the road, host the party and it’s been amazing. The label has been doing amazing, we’re releasing a lot of stuff, signed great new artists, just hit our 150th release and celebrated our ten year anniversary. For a digital label, you would think it’s lifespan would’ve been short. As for my releases and production, I just released a new track on Moon Harbour Recording which is Matthias Tanzmann’s label, working a couple of remixes and also just releasing on my own label to keep the momentum going.
beatport’s #17 tech house artist of 2017
YOU GOT TO PERFORM A 1PM SET AT THE BOOMBOX ART CAR, A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR UPCOMING PRODUCERS/DJS. HOW DOES SOMEONE BREAK INTO THE INDUSTRY AND LAND A SLOT AT EDC? It was a great set! I mean, it was really hard for me to get here, especially if you come from another country and you don’t know anyone. So I’m pretty glad that EDC has happened for me in just two years, it was kind of quick for me at least. It was hard in the beginning but I’ve met a lot of people who have supported and helped me move forward. Now we’re here! WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO DO ELECTRONIC MUSIC, PRODUCE AND PERFORM IT? I’ve been into music since I was like twelve. I started learning how to DJ, playing a lot of other people’s tracks. At some point I was like, “I want to make my own stuff” and started from there. When I came to the U.S., I wanted to take it more seriously. I started the EGZOD project two years ago and haven’t looked back since. TELL US THE MEANING BEHIND THE EGZOD NAME. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC TO SOMEONE WHO HASN’T HEARD IT YET? EGZOD means escaping to a new world - it fit the vision of what I wanted my music to be. It’s funny to bring it up because at first, it was me and another friend playing instruments under that name. Later on we just stopped making music. Then two years I ago, I wanted to create something different, remembered the name and wanted to use it again. I would say my sound is a combination of electronic music and world music influences. Spiritual even.
YOU’RE ORIGINALLY FROM NICE, FRANCE. HOW DIFFICULT WAS THE MOVING PROCESS FOR YOU? Well, let’s start with the fact that I barely spoke English [laughs]. Family, friends and anyone I knew were back home too. It’s been a great journey though. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? Right now, I have four tracks waiting to be released. Two are going to be through NCS, a label based out of London. Another will be on Ridevillel Records[check], which is Snap’s label.[check] Then, another one on a label from Canada [name]. YOU HAVE COLLECTIVELY OVER 5 MILLION STREAMS ON VARIOUS MUSICAL PLATFORMS, HOW DOES ONE GET ATTENTION FROM A LABEL OR THEIR MUSIC IN A PUBLIC SPACE? I honestly don’t know sometimes which is why labels are so important. NCS, for example, has a huge network. They have like the third biggest YouTube channel I believe, which thousands of subscribers but they hit me up through Soundcloud. Sometimes it is random, the will contact you and ask to release it. Networking yourself and presenting yourself as an artist helps, especially because social media has made it easier. You have music platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud and social sites like Facebook that could help you put your music out there. YOU’VE ACTUALLY BEEN ABLE TO DO COLLABORATIONS BECAUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BEFORE. Yeah, the last one was with Clips x Ahoy, we had met through Twitter. We decided to meet, get in the studio together and a track was done.
DO YOU HAVE ANY DREAM GIGS OR VENUES TO PERFORM AT? Well, EDC was my first festival but so I would definitely like to continue doing that. Burning Man! I would probably do a sunset set. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CONCERT YOU’VE ATTENDED.
Probably one when I was a teenager still, around 16. I saw Aviici, and during that time he had just started to blow up, and I remember thinking how good the concert was from the music to the production. IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND GIVE YOURSELF ADVICE? Be patient. I was way too eager when I first got here and just wanted to release any and every track I made. Now I know, you can’t do it as quickly as you’d like. You have to program everything...it’s part of the process.
FLIGHT 49 (BLASTERJAXX EDIT) WASBACK & D3FAI
PROMISES - TURKUM There comes a song that every now and then that falls into my lap, never knowing that I’d have it on repeat just hours later. Promises by Turkum definitely falls under this category for reasons you wouldn’t expect. It’s a straight up honest track that comes from the painful side of love and relationships, there’s a sense of vulnerability there that definitely translated so it hit all the marks. The melodies are haunting piano chords that compliment the somber, subtly powerful intent behind the vocals. The buildup is atmospheric, truly filling in space with synths and beautiful layering of the vocals, replicating thoughts that flurry around your mind while you’re playing tug-o-war with your heart. Sometimes it’s good to revisit past hurt and dive into a song like this, we’re human so it’s good to connect on the deep emotional level with music. Thread carefully but feel freely. WRITTEN BY EUBIN JIN
Flight 49 by Wasback & D3FAI is definitely a throwback for me. The track reminds me of house and electro music from years ago with shades of Swedish House Mafia, Benny Benassi and the like. This is the sound that I grew up with; the sound that started off my EDM career. The high tempo, yet subdued bass and laser sounds keep the crowd moving without being overwhelming. The second buildup makes use of huge synth sounds that is truly reminiscent of that era of EDM. While I have been praising the song for taking me back to my roots, I really want to commend Wasback & D3FAI for being able to produce this kind of music beautifully and bringing this old sound into the present. If there was one word I could use to sum up this song, it would be nostalgic; I hope to hear them continue to create and expand this style of music going forward. WRITTEN BY EUBIN JIN
ECLIPSE - LOOKAS Lookas is well-known for his production skills and has shown his talent around the world, but after listening to Eclipse, I can tell he is looking to push the envelope. On the first listen, the combination of the scratchy snares and deep bass seemed off-putting; there wasnâ€™t much in the mid-range to dull the sounds of the higher tones and bassline. However, I began to love the song the more I listened to it. Eclipse hits this strange, but fascinating note in the hard trap subgenre. The bouncy snares that permeate the song lean more towards an old-school trap sound, but the bassline is more new-school dubstep, with a mix of high and low BPMs. This combination allows listeners to headbang or jump to their hearts desire, a rare feat to accomplish in dance music. WRITTEN BY STEPHANIE PIEDRAHITA
BOSS - AFK & CARBIN After speaking with AFK at Lost Lands, it is plain to see his experimental nature and how much influence he draws from sources outside of dance music. Carbin has a pretty special style himself, making more use of lasers and other alternative sounds to replace the traditional high hats. Boss is a showcase of their ingenuity and uniqueness within the genre of dubstep. It is honestly difficult to call Boss a dubstep song, the classic sounds and cadence of dubstep and riddim are blended together with a dash of something different to keep things spicy. The bassline no longer is the consistent undercurrent of the song, the high tones and laser effects now fill that role. The bass in the song is instead dynamic, similar to a classic dubstep track, but now plays second fiddle to the more pronounced lasers and sound effects. This song creates a happy, middle ground that can have any bass music fans raging along to its topsyturvy mix of music. In a scene where innovation is seldom seen, AFK and Carbin are aiming to change the game. WRITTEN BY EUBIN JIN
WAS MAKING DUBSTEP ALWAYS THE DREAM?
It was something that just came up and I really wasn’t expecting. At one point I put down guitar for about a year to focus on production. Finally, one day I realized I wanted to be a guitar player and saw this as a great avenue to take. My initial goal was to be a guitar and dubstep and electronic music was a totally different way of doing that as a musician. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE EMERGING “METALSTEP” SUBGENRE?
I think it was always an area that needed to be pioneered and no one was really ready to go do that because there were avenues that were more attainable at the time. It just took a few people to jump on it to really get it started. But this evolution was a long time coming for sure. WHAT OR WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INSPIRATIONS BOTH IN AND OUTSIDE OF ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC?
There are so many, I feel like it depends on the decade. I mean you got Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Van Halen, Billy Joel and even some country stars like Kenny Chesney. It’s not so much about the style that draws me in, but they all have something there that can spark inspiration in me. There are some more recent bands like Green Day and Linkin Park that also played a big role in getting me into music, but it was the older bands led me to become a musician.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF CREATING AND PERFORMING MUSIC?
Really just seeing kids have the reaction to the live music and what they’ve loved their entire lives coming together. I forget the exact quote, but someone tweeted at me and said that Sullivan King is someone my 23 year old self and 16 year old self can agree upon. That pretty much sums up why I do this. It’s everything you grew up with and have fond memories of and everything happening right now coming together. I was sitting in the studio of the school I went to around 2013 thinking to myself, “What am I doing right now? What am
I making and why am I making it?” I finally decided that I could do this whole metal thing and there is a really good chance that no one would get it. I would be the only kid doing it and I would go nowhere. But I made the music I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear someone do a guitar solo to a dubstep song, I wanted someone to do a remix of an Excision song and make it sound like this. If people got behind, great! If they didn’t then at least I tried. I went out there making music I wanted to hear and it’s nearly every show I hear people say that they were waiting for a sound like this. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR UP-ANDCOMING ARTISTS?
You really just have to trust yourself. You got to do what you love and it really is the longer route most of the time. Your sound probably isn’t going to sound what you’re thinking right away. I mean it took me a good two and a half years to get my music to a point where I was just happy with it enough to be like “Ok cool, this is where I want to go with this.” That was October or September of last year, so it’s been in this last year where I was happy with my sound and I’ve been making music for four to five years. It takes time, trust yourself and what you want to make. You’ll probably get shot down a lot but just keep on going man.
PR is changing, the roles of blogs, publications, social media etc. There is no set formula, so keep thinking big and outside the box! IS THERE ANYONE YOU LOOK UP TO PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY? I am so inspired by everyone. Each artist that I work with is so passionate about what they do, same with all of my friends. That is one of my favorite parts about living in LA. There are so many people who came here to chase a dream, and are willing to put in whatever work it takes to make art, regardless of what that art may be. Everyone I meet makes me consider a different perspective, and look at the world a little differently. There is nothing more motivating than being around people who are on their work grind 24/7. Besides my friends and the guys I work with, Sarah Diebel at Red Light has been a huge inspiration and mentor to me. Kira Judah at V-Moda/Roland, and of course Moe Shalizi and the rest of our team from the artists, their TM’s, agents, creatives etc. THE PLUR IS REAL.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET EXPOSED TO ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC? I was super into pop punk/ alternative. I played field hockey in high school and we went to play in Europe, and that was ALL I heard. I knew I loved it, but wasn’t really sure what it was or where to find it. My senior year of high school, I found a ton of podcasts, blogs, and through some older friends, made my “rave crew”. From there we had a shared dropbox where we would upload music. My first night of college, I went a day before I was scheduled to move into the dorms for a Steve Aoki show. Of course ended up meeting the people that I eventually started a company with, some of whom I still work with today, as well as my “forever festival friends”. WALK ME THROUGH A TYPICAL DAY OF YOURS WHEN YOU’RE ON TOUR! HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO BALANCE ALL YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES? A typical day is wake up and do 10000 things you never imagined doing/ thought you were doing + everything planned! Each artist is so different, each city, each show. I make working to-do lists everyday, so if I think of something I write it down. I also try to not ever go to bed with any unread emails. Of course on tour, everything is advanced so there will be a calendar for the planned things, and promoters and liaisons do so much to help out the artist and their team. The other stuff...You gotta just go for it. The mentality of “I’m gonna make this happen and figure it out no matter what” never hurts for the random situations that present themselves both on the road and off. WHEN IT COMES TO THE PUBLIC RELATIONS REALM, WHAT’S A COMMON MISCONCEPTION PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY? That you can 100% control the narrative of any situation. The internet is crazy, and you can say one thing that is interpreted completely differently by half the community.
HOW CAN AN ARTIST GET THE ATTENTION OF A LABEL LIKE BITE THIS!? Honestly, with Bite This! it is all about the music. We go through all the demos and Sam (Jauz) is so proactive about searching for artists that he believes in, and really taking the time to work with and collab with them. There is a fine line of stalking someone, and being persistent, but putting yourself out there in a respectful creative way never hurts. This industry is so unpredictable and as cliché as it sounds, timing is everything. Following up every day is excessive, but never be scared to reach back out! Also spam filters suck. WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU WERE GIVEN WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED? The best advice I was ever given was you are not above any task. If someone asks you for coffee, you get that coffee with 50000% effort. Honestly, getting a manager a cup of coffee is essentially what got me into his office and hired a few weeks later! You have to WANT it, for the right reasons. Be willing to work for free, it’s a privilege to be able to work for the people who inspire you, to help people create the memories that inspired you to do what you’re doing. However, at a certain point know your value. Be confident in your decisions, but also willing to listen to others, observe and learn. Someone told me to learn from everyone, both what to do, and what not to do. There are so many different people in the office with so many different strengths, backgrounds and experiences. Take their strengths, vow to operate differently than the things you see as weaknesses. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH FANS DID MORE OF AT SHOWS? WHAT DO YOU WISH THEY DID LESS OF? DANCE!!!!! That’s why you are there! Make new friends, say hi to someone new, and enjoy the music. Take of care of your friends. The worst thing in the world is seeing someone alone, who does not look like they are in a safe situation. All my favorite festival memories have been completely while I was sober. I am not naïve to the fact that there are people who will ingest substances, but please be careful! Be there for your friends, don’t be afraid to say no to a drink, and if anyone ever looks like they are not ok, there are SO many people around to help! Utilize them! After this interview was conducted and approved to publish, Jen left RLM, signed RUSKO and will be continuing her own venture. Follow @jenergizerr to see where GA Jen goes next!
This month in Raver Magazine: Download your FREE Copy TODAY! Exclusive coverage interview with JAUZ, Slushii, Saeed Younan, Sullivan King,...
Published on Jan 29, 2018
This month in Raver Magazine: Download your FREE Copy TODAY! Exclusive coverage interview with JAUZ, Slushii, Saeed Younan, Sullivan King,...