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OUR STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael Beas PUBLISHER Wid Bastian Genius Media Inc.
Summer is almost over and fall is in the air. This month we’ve had the opportunity to capture the best of dance music. Together we have all made this summer an unforgettable experience. That being said, this month we bring you an exclusive interview with Sam Feldt at Marquee NYC. We get to the core of one of EDM’s top producers, DYRO. We talk tacos and relationships with DJ VICE. Also catch out DL List , Workout Mix, backstage festival coverage and more… Follow and support us @RaverMedia Your Voice in the World of Dance Music.
CEO of Raver Magazine
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Kristine Kennedy CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Stephanie Piedrahita LEAD VIDEOGRAPHER Bobby Ben-Gal
PHOTOGRAPHERS Mike Pfeiffer Wes Cunningham SENIOR WRITERS
Amberlynn Anderson Eubin Jin
STAFF WRITERS Charlotte Vosbeck Dakotah Swafford
INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE PIEDRAHITA
You premiered your new song ‘Fade Away’ with Lush & Simon and singer INNA on your radio show Heartfeldt Radio recently, how did it come about to make this track together? How do collaborations usually come about?
For this collaboration specifically, it as Lush & Simon who initially sent me the basic idea of an instrumental, which is the guitar part of the song actually, then I just got cracking with it and made the drop. I thought “Cool, we need a good vocal now” and wrote it together with Leon, a good friend of mine from the Netherlands. Then we thought “Now we need a good vocalist” and it had always been a dream of mine to work with INNA, she has a lot of of hits and a great summer style that I thought would match perfectly with my style of music. So yeah, I reached out to her and she was really happy to sing it for us but a collaboration could come about in a lot of different ways. Hook & Sling worked with me on my latest single, it was a lot different because the vocals were already there. Also because there’s a bigger distance between me and Hook & Sling in logistical terms. He lives in L.A., I live in Amsterdam so we work digitally together so yeah, they could come about a lot of different ways.
Do you usually lay out the track first and then try to find people that fit that sound or have you reversed engineered the process?
It really depends, right now I’m working with vocals because then you know you have a really strong acapella to start off with. I’ve done it the other way around, like making the instrumental first like in Fade Away for example, but then you could have 30 people writing on it and only one comes out good. It’s a lot of waste of time for some different parties involved but if you start of with a really strong vocal, then usually the process of creating the track is a lot shorter. So it would be definitely be faster to complete a track that way. Yeah, if you start off with a strong vocal it’s
easier to build a great track around that but you could also create a really good track and then find a vocal that is just as good or even better than that.
Sometimes it could be a hit or a miss, sometimes you have 30 misses but then you get the one hit. That’s how it all starts. Speaking of vocals, you actually include a lot of live elements in your performance. You bring out singers sometimes but more recently, you’ve brought in saxophone players. Should DJs and artists start incorporating live music more into their performances than focusing stage production?
Well, I think both are important. I started the Sam Feldt Live Band a year ago, so right now we have a trumpet, a saxophone players, me playing live and we’ll be adding a guitar by the end of the year for the album tour. Ultimately, both are important...My background is also in graphic design so I will not argue that visuals aren’t important. Stage design, special effects...but everyone can do that though. Anybody could put up a big amount of money and hire a graphic designer to make cool visuals or pay a lot in production and get flames the entire set. It’s a matter of money. The bigger the artist, the bigger the production is going to be. I think for smaller artists, up and coming ones, placing live elements or playing live yourself can really make a huge difference in terms of energy in your set, in terms on uniqueness and taking it to the next level.
I also think in general at festivals, people are getting tired of seeing a DJ walk on and off the stage, it’s happening over and over again and I think once you bring live elements it becomes more of an act than just the DJ. They are looking for an experience and want to be like “wow” from start to end. You’re doing your tour right now but do you have any projects coming out soon?
So I released my track with INNA, I released a track with Akon who is a really big American Hip Hop/ R&B artist which is something new for me so it’s going to be interesting to work with these kinds of vocals and still keep it “Sam Feldt”. I think we managed to do that and I think it’ll be a big hit. These two songs are going to be on my new album which is dropping in October with a lot of exclusive new Sam Feldt music so that’s
musically what’s coming up over the summer. The U.S.A tour, did Europe in June, doing Ibiza like ten times and I just finished performing two weekends at Tomorrowland. So, I’ve been touring going on but on the sidelines theres an album that’s coming. I think it’s safe to say dance music has increasingly gotten popular in the past five years even though dance music has a very long history before that, how do you feel this rise in popularity has affected this industry and you personally?
I think what’s cool right now is to see that the U.S. is developing their own dance music culture. Before, four or five years ago, there was a lot of importing of European artists and listening to that kind of music. Now you see genres like Bass House, artists like Marshmello, Jauz and all these other great American artists rising up and doing well internationally. It wasn’t like that before, there were only like a handful of artists that went from the U.S. to Europe five years ago and now it’s so many. So, I think it’s also really cool you guys are developing your own scene, artist and music and as a DJ from Europe, to play in the U.S. is always such an honor and also a great pleasure because the crowds are all insane. If you compare the crowds in America with the crowds in Europe...well, you can’t really compare it. It’s like, I play a track here and until the very last track people go crazy, dancing and jumping. In Europe, it’s a lot harder to get people moving, but then they’ll drink a couple of beers and start grooving. It’s also because we’re used to dance music over time, so I think we’ve gotten a bit more snobby about it. It’ll be like “Oh it’s just Afrojack playing, I’ve seen him ten times already” you know? I hope that’s not what’s gonna happen here in the U.S. Oh I hope not! Yeah, I also see it as an opportunity for artists to keep themselves interesting and reinventing their sound. Speaking of touring, has there been any city that stood out to you while you’ve been on tour?
I think the U.S. it would be San Francisco.
I’m lovIng the musIc I’m playIng rIght now and love performIng wIth the band.
I just really like the vibe there, the culture, the people there are open to new music...Here in New York, it’s different. I think might just be the weather though. Yeah, they’re definitely happier over there! Yeah! New Yorkers are hard working but they still like to party and are also open to new kinds of music but San Francisco is my favorite. This time next year, what are somethings you have hoped to accomplished?
Well it’s always been a big dream of mine to have a #1 hit somewhere. Of course “Show Me Love” was a big hit, had some other cool radio hits but I’ve never had that #1 slot. Whether it be on Billboard or #1 in my home country...well, with the album, the touring and new music who knows? What is your biggest fear?
Right now my life is only touring and playing shows, so you just want every show to go right. Messing up a show would be my biggest fear, stopping the music or... For some reason, I had a show at Firefly Festival and something was messed up on the technical side. So off in my intro, I had to get off stage and they had to come in. You’re in the mood, you’re in the flow and want to give the people what they’re expecting from you and then due to something out of your control, you can’t. That’s frustrating, I think that would be my biggest fear right now. Let’s say one day you woke up and wanted to change your sound entirely, would you back back to dubsteph and electro like when you first started your first project or would you consider something outside of this genre?
Well, I’d rather stay where I’m at right now cause I’m loving the music I’m playing right now and love performing with the band. So first and foremost, I’m really happy with what I’m doing. Another genre I have a really big interest in is techno. For example, the last show I did in San Fransisco, I did a Sam Feldt live show and then I did an after hours party where I played techno. Still, I overdo that sometimes but I think it’s cool to experiment with other types of music.
AVICII FT. SANDRO CAVAZZA - Without You For over eight years Avicii aka Tim Bergling captured our hearts. It was a sad day when we found out he was stepping down from the stage, who could blame him? I mean how do you top success? At Ultra Music Festival in 2016 he performed “Without You” featuring Sandro Cavazza. The song itself is moving, heartfelt and it gives the listener a since of power to overcome all hurt and obstacles that are sometimes near impossible to get through. It definitely empowers you to get back up and move forward regardless of the circumstances that come with life’s journey.
WRITTEN BY MICHAEL BEAS
CID - Believer ft. CeeLo Green This is one of the most uplifting tracks of the summer!!! GRAMMY AWARD winners CID (NY based DJ + producer) and the legendary CeeLo Green teamed up earlier this summer to bring up ‘Believer.’ With an uplifting vibe the track takes you to a higher place. Smooth transitions, and wickedly addicting vocals set the stage for an amazing music video that will have you smiling and enjoying life to the very end.. WRITTEN BY MICHAEL BEAS
PARIS & SIMO - Come As You Are (Ft. Karen Harding) The well-known duo from Montreal, Paris and Simo, drop a brand new track in collaboration with Karen Harding, an established UK house singer. The track is called ‘Come As You Are’ and is being released on Physical Presents. The duo is known for upbeat house music tracks usually coupled with a female vocalist. This track is consistent with their usual style but the group adds a little bit of a funky beat to this track. Karen Harding’s unique voice adds extra depth to this track and we can’t get enough of it! This brand new single embraces the EDM festival culture for people to “come as they are”. It’s fun and funky and just what you need to get your day started.
WRITTEN BY CHARLOTTE VOSBECK
DUBLOADZ AND THE 9000 GHOSTS EP
When I saw that Dubloadz was beginning to release songs off his new LP in early July, I was ecstatic. Dubloadz has always leaned more towards the underground side of dubstep, which matched well with his wobbly sound, but in this LP, he decided to widen his scope. Dubloadz shows an amazing range of skill by making all 13 songs have their own unique style. He showcases his own type of dubstep with songs like “Cringe Control” and “Mind Eraser” and then shows off some riddim skills with “Riddim Rats”. He goes a heavier route with “Break the Rail” by having Sullivan King bring metal guitar leads and vocals into the mix. “For Fuck’s Sake” is Dubloadz’s version of a bass house track with a twist and he even throws in a melodic dubstep song with amazing vocals from Anuka in “Life Goes On”. The most impressive thing about the entire LP is despite all the different genres and techniques involved, you can still tell each song is a Dubloadz creation; he is able to inject his own flavor of music production in each and every track. With Dubloadz and the 9000 Ghosts, Dubloadz is not only pushing himself forward, but the entire genre of dubstep as well.
WRITTEN BY EUBIN JIN
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS KRISTINE KENNEDY His name is Jordy van Egmond, but we all know him better as Dyro. Born in Leiden, Netherlands, this 25 year-old Dutch DJ/ producer has been one we have enjoyed watching evolve and progress over the years in the dance music world. From seeing him touring across countries on a bus tour with Dannic and Hardwell to developing his own record label, Dyro has a clear vision for his future in this industry â€“ and heâ€™s perfectly poised to achieve that and more.
We first saw you live in 2013 when you were touring with Dannic and Hardwell and we were impressed! Can you touch on what it was like back then touring with the group versus now with you headlining your own shows?
In the beginning you need peers to hang onto and the three of us helped each other a lot. Obviously Hardwell didn’t really need the help but he was gracious to help me and Dannic. We were under his wing for a while and then at the end of 2014 I started my own label and started doing my own thing. That’s been going really well. I’m currently supporting the duo called Goja – really great producers and they’re making amazing music. And then there is Loopers, whom I have been working with for about 8 years now. This guy has amazing talent. He’s currently working with Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki on some projects. If he doesn’t blow up in the next year I don’t know what’s going to happen! You’ve been fortunate enough to be able to tour the world and showcase your talents and progression. What drives Dyro?I want to leave a legacy in some
by the chords, or the way the artist made the track, or the sound designer. It may not end up being the best charting song but I’m really looking to reward true artists. Obviously we have to make money as a record label, but I think we would rather support raw talent than charting music. Can you touch on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s list and your thoughts on this?
I’ve always had strong opinions on this. It’s hard to balance because I feel like my music is pretty alternative and not always what they are looking for on that list. But for me as an artist and a DJ it is important to be included on the list. When dance music really became popular in America around 2009, a lot of promoters were booking talent off what was popular on this list. Then they learned that just because you’re on top of the list doesn’t mean your club will be sold out. Now the new market is Asia and they’re doing what America did in the past and booking according to who is popular on the list. The only thing that they have is the magazine but at the same time most are not even able to vote for their favorite DJ’s. So it’s very important to be included on that list as an artist.
This indusTry is going To keep evolving and we all need To be able To follow ThaT flow.
I got a lot of help from other producers when I was starting out and I want to do the same for others.
I want to be able to extend my fan base and continue progressing as an artist, so it’s important to me.
I feel like in this industry it is very important to help others. I think that’s why there are so many Dutch DJ’s, too. We have a certain mindset where we want to help and mentor each other. I want to be one of those guys that younger producers look to for help with their development. You know, Tiesto is always bringing up a bunch of DJ’s under his wings and that keeps the scene alive and thriving. I want to leave a legacy someday and I’m working day and night towards achieving that.
Can you explain how you balance the movement between genres?
With your label, WOLV Records, what do you look for in an artist you’re looking to bring on board?
I definitely have my own vision. We’re not going to sign someone just because we know it’s going to work for the charts. I sign songs because I’m blown away
You can’t make everybody happy. Honestly, what you need to do is focus on your steady fan base. Take Skrillex, for example – he’s always switching things up and changing his sound but his fans follow him because they are loyal and expect that change. You are going to have fans who like you for one specific project and then you are going to have those that stick with you from the start. I want to make the music I want to make and play what I want to play. In the end it all blends together well. Big room, dubstep, trap – I play it all in my sets but I also want to be able to create all those types of genres, too. This industry is going to keep evolving and we all need to be able to follow that flow.
Lucky us here at Raver Mag – we recently got our hands on the Novation Launchpad Pro and had the opportunity to test it out in the studio. This product is a game changer for the industry and for DJ’s/producers of any skill level to be able to create a simple beat or develop a complex track. If you’re a new DJ just working on your growth as a producer, this launchpad is a vital tool to your development. At the same time, if you’re a seasoned pro, Novation can bring your music to new levels with this Launchpad. The Launchpad Pro allows your creative mind to wander as you work through the production of your performances. Since we already have Ableton Live 9 in the studio, we used this software. However, the Launchpad Pro is fully functional using any other music software as well. We found the setup to be a breeze – as long as you are already familiar with Ableton or your software of choice. If not, you should take a little time to familiarize yourself with that software before adding another new item to learn into the picture. It’s important to note that this Launchpad comes with Ableton Live 9.5 Lite, which you will be completely competent creating your masterpiece within. However, we’d recommend purchasing the upgrade from Ableton in order to maximize creative potential. We especially enjoyed using this Launchpad to create special effects mid-performance.
We found this to work smoothly with regards to the transitions. Initially we found the buttons to be a bit stiff, but it turns out the harder you press on the pad, the faster the transition occurs. We loved the amount of control this pad gave us while bringing in so much more creativity to our performances. Keep in mind this tool is lightweight too, so it will be very easy to transport to and from events. As a test, we invited a friend who has limited DJ experience over to the studio to test this product. He also had limited Ableton knowledge and had never worked with a Launchpad, but was able to overcome any learning curve rather quickly. He found that the how-to videos on YouTube were especially helpful. We had an absolute blast testing this product and we’re giving it five out of five stars from us here at Raver Mag. This product brought a whole new world of creativity into our sets and we just wanted to keep exploring the product’s capabilities more and more. Needless to say, there were a few nights when we skipped dinner and just ordered takeout for more studio time with this Launchpad. We highly recommend aspiring producers/DJ’s to those highly skilled in the industry to add this vital tool to your arsenal.
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS
You went for one hell of a run today according to your Snapchat. How was it? Oh yeah – I literally had just gotten into town and I dropped my bags and ran out there. Just three miles to warm up and then I got on a CitiBike and biked back to the hotel another three miles. We were in Washington DC and Cleveland the two nights prior so I had to sweat out some of the tequila from those shows. Speaking of tequila, talk to us about tacos. What’s up with this taco love? Tacos and beats! I grew up in Los Angeles – born and raised. I do not speak Spanish, but tacos are in my blood. I love finding different tacos in different cities as we travel on tour. I’m always on the hunt for the best tacos. Some people are all about different coffees or drinks they want to try, but I’m all about tacos. On top of that, I spun this love into a web show called Electric Taco, where I run around with different celebrities and I pick them up in my car and we go grab tacos. I’ve had everyone from A-Trak to Mario Lopez to Travis Barker…the list goes on! It’s all about good conversations, good people, and good eats. One of our favorite tracks of yours is still “World is Our Playground”. Talk to us about how that came about. That was actually my first single that I got to put out on my own label called Flight Club. I got introduced to Mike Taylor, the artist featured on it, through a friend of mine who played me a demo of his and I was like “this guy’s voice is insane!” It has a little bit of a Phil Collins touch to it and his voice is so unique and so dope. I met with him and his vibe was even better. We got to get in the studio and he had already written the lyrics to the track and together we produced the final piece. I really love that single as my first single because I’m all about traveling. I don’t get burned out by hopping from city to city so when I say that the world is our playground, that is what I treat this world as.
So you’re married. This industry can be tough with traveling – what is your key to a successful marriage and a happy family? Balance! It’s really just a balancing act of understanding each other’s time and when we are with each other to make it all about that other person. Every time we eat dinner together, I put my phone away because my time is limited when I am back home with my family. If I only have one hour to spend with my daughter I make sure that full hour is just for her. My other tip for success is to try to meet your significant other in their world. My wife and I are two very different people – her world is hiking and meditation and being in the moment. I try to calm my pace down and meet her in her world. Then if I really want to go out one night, she’ll jump right into that mode and we’ll go out. That’s the balance right there. Talk to us about your shoe stores. Shoes are my other obsession. The obsession started when I began to buy vinyl records – hip-hop records like N.W.A. and Run D.M.C. and it was all about their shoe game! As a 9 year old boy I thought that was how you looked cool. Plus rappers always rapped about shoes. So it just became a thing for me, like you could have the most raggedy outfit on but if you have fresh shoes it pops everything out. It really wakes up your outfit. From there I opened two shoe stores in Santa Barbara 8 years ago called CRSVR. Then when Marquee opened at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, I opened a store right next to that as well. So eight years later I’m still a shoe salesman. I just don’t sell tacos yet! What’s in the future pipeline for Vice? We hear you have a new single out now and you’ve got a lot in the works. I’m signed to Atlantic Records now so that’s a really big deal for me. I’m a year into that and onto my third single. The newest single is called “Obsession” featuring Jon Bellion and it’s super dope to have been able to work with him on this. I’m a big fan of his, even though I’ve never met him. On top of that, I have some really big remixes coming out. I have Deorro in the pipeline for a remix as well. I’m still a fan of just everybody. I hope to work with many more people.
INNE R C I RC L E
As a photographer, in your last book, Dancefloor Thunderstorm, you focus on letting your picture tell the story of rave culture. Why did you decide words were needed this time around? Well, I’d been working on Dancefloor Thunderstorm for four years. I’d been living, eating, breathing and sleeping that photo book, so the truth is, I needed a break from photos! (laughs) What I really wanted to do was tell the larger story of the rave scene through a series of individual stories, and for that I needed more input, from outside sources…meaning other ravers and such. The people whose voices have historically been overlooked by the mainstream media….one of the reasons why I wrote Dancefloor Thunderstorm, and the primary reason behind putting together The Raver Stories Project—to give those least represented in the rave scene a voice, and demonstrate to the rest of the world that the rave scene is not some terrible, frightening underworld. What was your ploy to get the writer’s to tell you their stories? My “ploy”? Jeez, you make it sound so underhanded! There was no “ploy”.
All I really did was remind them of the fact that the scene that they loved so much had historically been given short shrift by the media…. I knew that every raver has at least one story in them, about why the rave scene means so much to them. One story is long enough to tell something good, and short enough so that the story authors could focus on them without being intimidated by the prospect of writing an entire book by themselves. Did you end up with more stories than you had room for? I did, and I had to narrow things down…that’s what an editor does, after all. I felt the need to keep the book down to a reasonable size, because after a certain number of stories, you run the risk of your book becoming repetitive. There were some submissions that were incomplete, some others that were a bit less than coherent, and a few that were just not a good match for the project. Fortunately, it proved to be not too difficult to whittle things down to thirty stories, which is enough to keep things interesting, I think.
What I think a lot of people that are new to the dance scene don’t realize is just how hard and adventurous it was to find these raves. It seems like the uncovering of it was a big part of the experience…
The other part of it, as you suggest in your question, is that much of the scene has migrated out of its underground beginnings and has found its way into the mainstream, either in the clubs or in festivals. I mean, EDC has its own app—that shows you how far things have come.
Oh, it definitely was. The map point wasn’t just a way to throw off the police, it was a teaser for the ravers as well. It was one example of the interactive nature of raves, where the fans had to be proactive in finding out where the gig was. It wasn’t just served up to them on a platter, or on the Internet. You’d have to call the info line just before the party was supposed to start, because that was when they’d post the directions to the map point. The thing is, sometimes the map points were in pretty sketchy areas of town— but then again, so were some of the parties! Then when you found the map point, you had to play it cool. You couldn’t be just another frat boy douchebag, because otherwise you might not get the map.
Do you have a favorite story or one that you like to call out?
Then when you finally made it to the party, there was often a real feeling of accomplishment. You’d gone through the scavenger hunt, and now here you were in this special, secret place, with other people who were just as big fans of the music as you were. The anticipation was sometimes so high, you couldn’t wait to party, or to see what other off-thewall people were going to show up. Did the internet kill that part of it or was it more about the scene becoming more legit? A bit of both. The Internet definitely made it easier (and cheaper!) to promote a party online, so that was a factor. The ability to get word about a party on your smartphone means that the system has become a bit more flexible. There’s no need to hit the record store any more to get the fliers with the info lines on it, you can get all the data on Eventbrite or Facebook. As a result, the underground thing has been lost a bit.
My favorite stories tend to rotate. One of them is actually in The Raver Stories Project – it’s about a 1998 desert rave called “Dune 4”, which was held wayyyyy out in the middle of nowhere near the California/ Arizona border. I particularly remember this event because at around midnight, a huge sandstorm whipped up and blasted its way through the party. I’m talking about winds up to 60 MPH, which was more than just a mild annoyance. Christopher Lawrence was spinning at the time, and his tone arms were being blown all over the place, so they had to tape stacks of quarters onto the arm so the needle would stay on the record. The problem was, Christopher was spinning with a lot of acetates that night, so a bunch of his records ended up being totally destroyed by the sand that was ground into them. What is it about the rave scene that made it so personally influential? For me, it was the allembracing nature of the rave scene that drew me in—along with the enormously high quality of music, of course. I had had my fill of the preening Hollywood VIP thing, and I really liked the fact that the 90’s rave scene did away with that. I respected that the rave scene was inclusive, rather than exclusive. At its best, it removed so many social barriers, like race, class, social status and sexuality. It just tossed them out the window, for it had no use for them. There was really only one criterion: did you like the music? If the answer was yes, then boom, you were in, and you were under no obligation to be a Kandi Raver, either… You could be whoever or whatever you wanted to be in the rave scene, without fear of ridicule or reprisal.
Tell us the story of how you two met and decided to work together.
DANIEL: We met back in 2006 at the Winter Music Conference during Ultra Music Festival through a mutual friend. We were watching either Sasha & Digweed or Rabbit In The Moon. DOONS: We actually hated each other when we first met. We didn’t get along until we started talking about music with one another. DANIEL: We’ve been talking every day since!
STEPHANIE PIEDRAHITA Daniel Carabetta (left) and Doony Marrero (right) have risen from the underground to become one of Miami’s most sought after techno duos and have left their mark at festivals like BPM, Electric Forest and renowned venues Heart Nightclub and Trade South Beach. Their mission is to take their deep, driving techno sound around the world and get people dancing from sundown to sunrise. #NoTechnoNoParty.
So Daniel lives in Connecticut and Doons lives in Miami, how does the distance affect your creative and professional dynamic as a duo?
DOONS: I love answering this question because...there’s no particular answer. We don’t share music ever. When we produce, Daniel pretty much does the layout and then I’ll go in and nitpit and do all the automation. Everything just comes together. We never practice our sets because we’re 2,000 miles apart so we just get together, we start playing and things happen. It’s been like that since day one.
we make music bas we don
I first got booked at a club called Room 960 in Hartford, CT through Danny. I was an individual artist and so was he at the time and we ended up doing a B2B. We connected right there and then.
You’ve been listed alongside techno heavy hitters like Nicole Moudaber, Pan-Pot, CHUS + CEBALLOS…how
You were one of the winners for Insomniac’s Discovery Project competition and got to perform at Electric Forest back in June. How was that experience like?
DOONS: A lot of these people are people who we look up to and that have mentored us - not in a personal way but in a sound way. To be amongst all these amazing icons is a great feeling. It really emphasizes our walk in this whole scene and that we’re moving in the right direction slowly but surely. We just need to keep working hard so we can keep achieving our dreams.
DANIEL: Honestly we were VERY excited but the service were I live is terrible so when I got the phone callDOONS: They actually left him a voicemail! [laughs] He tells me “Dude, I got a weird call from Washington, D.C.” so we jump on a conference call and it turned out to be Insomniac’s people. We thought it was a courtesy call to tell us we made it to the top ten or something but we spoke to this lady who told us “No, you guys are actually the winners!”. DANIEL: The whole time I could only hear bits and pieces so I’m trying to put together what’s going on! [laughs] It was a great accomplishment for us.
What do you think set you apart from your competitors? DOONS: We have a thing where we make music based on what we’re passionate about. We don’t try to please anybody. We made a track- it was actually Danny’s idea- it was an EP based on the history of Hip Hop. Basically, it included an interview with DJ Kool Herc who played the first block parties in New York. He heard the interview and thought it would be great to use it as a vocal on a track. It worked! The EP was called ‘1520’, which is part of the address of the birthplace of hip hop where Kool Herc played at.
does it feel working along side them?
Finally, who or what drives/ inspires you? DANIEL: Well...it’s not Ben Franklin! It’s definitely our fans. For me, I want to spread the sound I believe in. It’s more than a sound, it’s a culture. DOONS: You can watch a movie, you can hear a story and it’ll move you emotionally. When you’re actually performing as an artist and you’re able to touch someone emotionally whether or not you’re on a stage or close to the dance floor, that to me is an amazing feeling. To be able to interact with someone without physically touching them or talking to them just with music alone.
The techno scene is massive and supportive of rising stars within it.
sed on whaT we’re passionaTe abouT. n’T Try To please anybody. 17
Global Dance Festival was everything I imagined and more. The butterflies I get before shows definitely continued throughout the whole weekend. The festival being in Colorado was such an amazing experience. Being surrounded by the beautiful mountains was more than enough to make this experience the best it could possibly be. With Global being at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, having the skyline of downtown Denver in the background, was so surreal. Watching the sunset falling behind this stadium, while enjoying ZHU’s set was so perfect. That was the first time seeing ZHU. Being at the Northern Lights stage during dawn was so magical. I have always wanted to see them, and I couldn’t have asked for a better stage than that one. Their performance blew me away. I always love to see DJ’s bring in different instruments and them playing the saxophone was unexpected but so incredible.
So many things about this festival helped me appreciate the production of it all, so much more than I ever have before. I had the honor of interviewing four DJ’s. It really took to me another level of understanding their minds and why they do what they do, especially when sitting and talking to MIKNNA. They were so welcoming of us and it truly made me feel so grateful to be there. I always love being able to sit and enjoy a festival without having an itinerary, but working it was so much more. Seeing how passionate the DJ’s are about their work and seeing where they come from and who their influences are created so much more of a respect of it all. It truly was worth every minute. There’s so much beauty in this festival that I absolutely loved. The girls were dressed so adorable, with their matching cat outfits, their matching makeup, and matching wigs. These were outfit goals! It is so inspiring to see girls not care about what the world out there
thinks. Another thing was the carnival rides. I saw so many couples get onto the Ferris Wheel and that was such an amazing thing to see. The love everybody has for each other is something you don’t see everywhere. I have been to many festivals, but the people at this one were so much more respectful. Let me get to the dancers! They were incredible. I have never seen such caring dancers on the stage. They interacted with the crowd a lot, which made for a more personable time. It was fantastic getting to see some of my favorite DJ’s live again. Even though it was pouring rain for Kaskade’s set, it was just as beautiful as always. Along with Crywolf. He always puts on a show full of instruments and always proves to me how much of a musician that he really is. We watched Porter Robinson’s set further back so we could appreciate all of our surroundings and could watch how everybody was so in tuned with the events that
were going on; and trust me, it was worth being back there. Getting to move around and dance to the songs, being able to feel every goosebump, even the ones on my scalp, was something worth experiencing. Even the people working the vendor booths were able to hear the sets performed at The Summit Stage and were all dancing and smiling and that made me so happy. I really enjoyed the silent disco too. Three DJ’s doing their thing, but being able to choose which one you wanted to listen to through the headphones was super cool. It was pretty entertaining to look around and try to guess who was dancing to which DJ. If you ever get the chance to check out a silent disco, I highly suggest it. All in all, I will be attending this next year, as it continues to grow, and I will say over and over for everybody to experience this extraordinary weekend at least once. WRITTEN BY DAKOTAH SWAFFORD PHOTOS BY WES CUNNINGHAM
Who have been your biggest influences for this and throughout the development of your career? I like certain
artists. I love Kendrick Lamar. I love famous Persian singer’s/ song writers. I love Persian Classical Music in general. Travis Scott, I love Travis Scott. It is definitely really universal. At what age did you start creating music? When I was
five. First, I learned how to play piano and then in fifth grade I started to learn to play different instruments. I was in a band and then started looking into producing and I loved it and have been doing it ever since. I started messing around with software stuff when I was about fifth grade, found Logic when I was in seventh grade, and then started to really produce when I was in eighth grade. High school came, my dad bought me a Setar, I really loved it and started taking lessons and I started getting good at that. I have always wanted to fuse Persian music with electronic music, produced this and that and eventually went towards Persian trap music. I started DJ’ing and really hated it. I was just bored with it. There are some really legendary DJ’s out there that I respect so much, but it’s not my thing, but I wanted to perform. When I saw the machine, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Tell us about your hometown in Ohio. What is the dance scene like there? The dance scene sucks. Everyone wants
to go out and have a good time and party, but I don’t personally believe that there’s a good dance scene there. I think it could be better. There’s some really good talent, but I don’t think they get enough recognition from the promoters. What were some of the responses/reactions you got when first playing your new sound locally? Oh, they loved it. I remember my first actual Asadi show, I was DJ’ing, it was crazy. I had my whole high school come. It was at some small venue called The Basement. How long have you been to the level where you are at now? Just this summer. For me, I realized that it was about
time. I have been doing music all my life. When I come to shows people see so many different things that they’ve never seen before. I don’t like to be most DJ’s naming the cities like ‘how are you all doing today, 3 2 1 jump’, and then never saying anything the rest of the set. I hate hate seeing DJ’s that are just playing on counter tops. It is getting old. I really hope that people are inspired by me. It is hard as sh*t, but people look at me and say “woah who is this kid”, and I get on the mic and say I make Persian trap music and I feel like it’s really new to people so that is why I play like Spongebob, Kanye, and all of the mainstream stuff to get them to be familiar with it, but one day I am sure I will be playing Coachella or Downtown Tehran playing all Persian trap and classical music with my own orchestra. When you were developing your style, bringing the traditional music, what did your family members think of it? Oh, hey love it. They don’t understand it really, but
they love it, you know. It’s funny, my mom is starting to get it a lot, she just keeps suggesting me songs here and there. I really hope one do people will understand what I am really trying to do. It is to bring the beauty of the melody of Persian Classical Music, or any ethic music in general, and bring it to the modern world, you know, and bring the heart hit to this generation of the beauty of the melody from the past. It’s harder for DJ’s to play these computer melodies, that are synthetic and fake. I love playing instruments. I play instruments. I play Persian Trap. I play Persian Setar. Mainly that is what I play, along with some other instruments. When my dad brought home the Setar, I just saw it with my eyes and thought what a precious thing. When I started learning it, I thought that how amazing it was. Do you plan to incorporate those instruments into your sets? Yeah, actually my set in Toronto, I will be playing Persian instruments. It is a festival in downtown Toronto. They are awesome, they know what they are doing. I have never played there before, but I have been there, and I absolutely love it.
Due to the enormous dance scene out there, was it easier or harder to get your music out there and up and going? How did you two meet? MIKE: We met through a mutual friend, because Ken is actually very multitalented, and we met through a friend, and then two years later I was working at a tech shop in West LA, and I saw him skateboarding down the street, and he was like ‘what are you doing here?’ and I was like ‘I work down the street.’ KEN: Originally I was going to start working on Mike’s
album, just producing his album. We released a few tracks and started to work together. After maybe three songs, we developed a new style and sound, and it is something that we have been doing individually, and then we decided to keep this wave going and see how we can build off of this sound. One of the tracks on our project 50/50, called ‘Can’t Hold You,’ that was the first song that we decided that we wanted to create something new, more as a duo. It was about maybe two years ago when we started actually forming a duo and deciding to create a project together. You describe your sound as ‘Electro Soul’ on your Facebook page, what sort of musical elements go into your production and performances? MIKE: So it stems from a lot of things. Myself, with my love for hip hop and R&B, from pop, like 2pac and Jay-Z, and Ken.. KEN: Yeah, I have a lot of different influences, heavy into a
lot of 80’s sounds. I grew up listening to hip hop, classic rock, drums, playing different instruments, trying to fuse a bunch of different sounds together. So me and Mike kind of met in the middle, when it came to late 90’s early 2000’s, R&B, hiphop, we kind of mixed all of our influences. It is not just electronic music, we really want to create that soulful part with being able to feel like lyrics with stuff that people can relate to.
KEN: You know, we never thought about going towards
anything specific. We just liked what we were doing and we created something that we felt was cool and we just wanted to put it out and see what happened and people just gravitated towards it. To us, we don’t listen to a lot of different music. We don’t try to follow what the scenes are. We are trying to pave a new lane and create something that could fulfill us and what we enjoy listening to. We just make music that we would like to hear and there is a lane for that because of all of the different styles together. The dance scene is cool, but I think that it is kind of at the end of its road where people are wanting to pay attention to more live performances and they want to be able to feel things more and they want to connect with lyrics, melodies, and that’s what we are going for, and not going after what is right now. Melodies that we have created and the production behind it, we always keep in mind, ‘is this going to be a classic’ where you can look ten years from now and still be able to vibe with it and feel good with it and take you back to this specific place and time. MIKE: And also when we started making music we always,
before we made it, we kind of pulled from the different influences, and similar influences, and the major things we focused on was what kind of records hold weight in every type of situation, whether you’re in a car or at a festival or if you are at home. KEN: Yeah, we want to be able to play it, which is what got
us here. We are nowhere close to EDM, but we were still able to get into an EDM festival, but we are also doing a hip hop festival, and we always get R&B shows. We are just kind of finding our way and our own style, being able to bridge all of those gaps together.
Where did the name Joyzu come from? We have a
How did you two come together? We are both from
Sacramento, but for college he went to here and then once our music got going a little bit he decided to move back to Sacramento, and we finally moved in together to start motivating each other more and we built a studio in our garage and now we are just banging out tunes left and right and trying to make something out of it. Did you guys have the same influences and just grew together or did you take each other’s? Yeah I think so,
because we grew up together. We became friends when we were around 12 and I am 22 now so we have been friends for 10 years so we basically grew up getting into the same music when we were getting into the electronic scene. We basically just listened to all of the same stuff. We were throwing parties in high school, DJ’ing left and right all over. We decided if we wanted to keep this going to needed to start writing music and luckily we were musically inclined a little bit and just studied it like a book.” So when was your first show together after that? “Well we have had a few different names. Joyzu has only been a thing for about a year. As Joyzu, just in our hometown, a small little club out there. We started just playing there a few times, probably once a month, and then eventually we started getting bigger and bigger and getting more of a following and trying to make as much fun at a show that you can for people. What show up to now have been the best/your favorite?
Snowglobe Music Festival was our favorite, because that was our dream. Someone asked us when we first started what our goal was and we said that we wanted to play Snowglobe Music Festival and a year later, somehow we did it. Now coming out here and traveling different places, sharing our music and meeting cool people and stuff like that just makes it awesome.
meaning to it. As we started getting into the industry we noticed how chaotic the music scene can be, so we are just trying to bring some happiness and joy into this zoo industry. We made it simple and easy to remember. It has a flow to it and it describes our music a little bit. Is it all really exhausting? It is tiring, but you keep going
because it is so exciting and there is so music energy. Everybody is so ready to party and all of that and it takes a different person to be able to keep up and do all of that.” Do you have specific things that keep you motivated or just the music in general? “I think meeting people, and people listening to you stuff, we were just sitting drinking a beer and with some of our interviews they were like, this is Joyzu, and these two girls were just like ‘oh my gosh.’ They are from Wyoming, and they said they love our stuff. It is just really weird, because we were just doing this for fun and it turned into something and now we are fully taking it on. So what is another big festival that you both really want to play at? We are hoping to just do a whole New Years
running, but goals long run we are wanting Coachella. We are not going to stop until we get to the top. Are you currently working on new music? All the time. We are sitting on probably fifteen tracks and ready to go. It takes a long time for the record labels, if we wanted to release a song immediately, it would take about five weeks for the planning and artwork and making the actual release date takes forever. We are really picky too. A lot of our songs change over time, including finding vocalists and something that really means something to us takes a long time. We don’t just want to push content just to push content, we want it to be something worth it, but there’s also how you need to be pushing content, so we try to get as much out as we can to stay relevant.
Bob Sinclar ft Akon – Til The Sun Rise Up (Club Mix) Fedde Le Grand vs Ian Carey – Keep On Rising (Extended Mix) Jaded – In The Morning (Alle Farben Radio) Don Diablo – Momentum (Extended Mix) Aevion – The Journey (Oliver Heldens Extended Edit) Oliver Heldens – Ibiza 77 (Can You Feel It – Extended Mix) Sunstroke Project – Hey Mamma (Cerruti Re-Touch) Christopher Phonk – Back 2 You (Chris Feelding Remix) Benny Camaro ft Dez Milito – This Is How We Take It Off David Guetta ft Justin Bieber vs Popcorn Poppers – Rotate 2U (Luke DB) Lika Morgan – Holding On (Original Club Mix) EDX – Bloom (DJ Edit) Calippo – What Is House (Original Club Mix) Teddy Cream x Szabo – Horses (Tenzin Remix) Throttle – Baddest Behavior (Extended Mix)
Published on Sep 5, 2017
This month in Raver Magazine: Exclusives with Sam Feldt, Dyro, and DJ Vice and more. Get the lineups for the best in Dance Music Festivals...