A.Def explain the powerful message on “OP8 of the Masses”. Hip-hop artists Nick FuriouStylz and X24 released a new single that refers to the excessive use of technology. Learn more about their views, the pair’s early beginnings, and much more than that, exclusively here!
1 — Where did you get the idea for your artistic name?
NF: Both X24 and I grew up with Attention Deficit Disorder. We have always shared in the reality that are both high energy, eccentric kind of guys.
X24: Yeah… The name was initially Attention Deficit, but I got sick of writing it out. Sort of telling…
2 — How did you come together to work on this project?
NF: We had united forces early on in our Hip-Hop careers in the early 2000s. X was from Santa Fe and I was in Albuquerque but my brother went to the same high school as X. The first-ever real project was called Desert Planet Arrakis. Which featured X, AKA motive, Nick, AKA The Lyrical Gunslingar, and my brother, Kauz Kat. It was a lot of fun and we learned so much but it was a young man’s game with young men’s expectations.
X24: This is around the time when the whole DIY Hip-Hop scene was really in full swing. We were in our late teens but took it all so seriously! I moved to Oakland in 2001. When I move back to New Mexico, Nick and I decided to make a song, and sort of unofficially formed A.Def.
NF: A.Def really came about and took shape over the next couple years with renewed vigor and interest and a focus on being silly, yet cutting edge.
X24: It’s a little crazy that it’s taken us this long to create an album. I mean, we both have solo music, and Nick has other bands and projects as well. A.Def has a life of its own, however. We haven’t lived in the same town since I left Albuquerque in 2001, but we have such infectious energy when we get together to create.
3 — Do you define your music style as Hip-Hop or is it something else?
NF: We truly define what we do as Hip-Hop, both culturally and musically. The stuff that’s coming out in the ethers these days, to me, really isn’t Hip Hop in the true sense. We want you to nod ya head.
X24: We just wanna make stuff that we like. Genre notwithstanding, when we get together, we really try to allow each other to experiment and create whatever we’re feeling. We don’t necessarily like the same music or things, but we always allow each other the space to express how he feels.
4 — Do you agree with the phrase, “Religion is the opium of the people”? Why?
NF: Yes and No. The opium we are referring to in OP8ofthemasses is the lack of affection and a general malaise associated with how technology has coveted all societies. The gradual deadening of what is to be human.
X24: The song clearly references that quote, but it’s not about religion or faith. Like Nick said, we see technology, especially social media, mobile gaming, etc., as literally opiating the masses.
5 — Is your new single “0P8 Of The Masses” a protest song?
NF: More of a wakeup call to humanity. A call to action before it is too late to reverse the course of a bleak future.
X24: But it’s also hopeful. Ava’s character at the end poses a hopeful future and question. It leaves us with a bit of confidence. And though the video ends in a repeated loop, the question “Where is your light?” is what the listener/audience is left with.
6 — Was it easy to agree when it felt done?
NF: Yes. We both work really well with one another. Taking away only what’s necessary to co-create some great art.
X24: Agreed… I think with any artistic venture there will always be differences envisioned initially. But we really trust each other and, despite some minor speed bumps, always trust in the partnership.
7 — How can you interpret the story behind its music video?
X24: The story really centers on the idea that we’re all leeward towards and trapped into the technology of our modern world. But it’s a double-bladed sword. We make music with electronics and computers. We benefit from the technology. We also feel, in many ways, isolated. I think, in a lot of ways, the story is more of a visual representation of the lyrics of the song. The concept and theme are very present in today’s world.
NF: The lyrics centered on the actions of the characters. The blissful sleep, the awakening, the escape, and ultimately the loop takes them right back to where they began. Technology has both helped and hindered humankind and we feel a gentle shift in the world in consciousness, awareness, empathy, and ambition. Our world is no doubt to blame but how does one ever truly get out or “escape” this matrix?
8 — Is there any funny anecdote that you remember about filming this clip?
X24: Too many to count! We shot the video in an old and dirty basement. It was very cold out, and the heater was broken. The crew were all wearing coats while we were working. There was a lot of conversation between Tim McC, the director, Nick, and myself about the best way to visually represent the song. Thank God the crew and Ava were such heroes, putting up with us as we bickered about the details of the shoot.
NF: We didn’t have a huge budget. At one point on the big shoot day we offered the crew a coffee drink or whatever from a coffee shop. I remember X and I going and reading off a pretty funny order and really entertaining the barista lady. Then we comically juggled 8 or so drinks, both hot and cold, in the car and back to our location barely making it without a disaster. Fun times.
NF: Ava is an obvious “double threat” talent and we agreed that she would bring her unique style and talent to the project. We also gravitated toward a stand out co-star. Ava definitely puts her stamp on the antagonist in the story.
X24: Ava’s amazing. From our earliest conversations about featuring her on the song, before a video was ever envisioned, her enthusiasm and energy were so infectious. She was an obvious choice!
10 — Finally, what is the overall concept of your forthcoming album?
The Soundtrack of a Dystopian Future — We are really excited about the project! Ranging from playful to poignant, aimed at self-awareness and dark, socio-political, storytelling. We are also collaborating with some great musicians and playing with all sorts of sounds. What we are getting into is amazing! It can be difficult working on an album when we don’t live in the same city, but every time we get together, we both bring so much energy to the party. We can’t wait to share it!
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Yoda Popz
DJ & Producer Yoda Popz has an interesting story to tell through this exclusive interview. Funny thing is that he immersed himself in the rave culture at the end of the 90s, and years later his family motivated him to pursue his dreams in the music world. Today, Chris Foster (real name) has released a significant number of original tracks that have gained thousands of streams and the attention of many EDM lovers.
1 — First of all, tell me about yourself. How did you transition to a music producer?
I got out of the Army in 1999 and that is when I was first introduced to EDM music. Techno, Trance, and Hardstyle were the types of EDM I listened to. I fell in love with the rave scene and the culture. Didn’t matter where you came from, who you were, everyone was so accepting. Just there to have a great time and escape with the music. EDM was an escape for me and brought me such happiness. Over the years, yes I’m 46 now, I lost touch with music and it wasn’t until my daughter Devan and son Nick showed me some of their music two and a half years ago. I was blown away as I thought EDM was gone. I showed them the CD’s of the music I used to listen as well. They decided that it was time we went to a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater. My first show was Slander and Dada Life, then a few weeks later, Illenium and Flux Pavilion! I was hooked! My family saw how happy the music made me and I joked and said: “I should make EDM music”. Everyone immediately agreed, so I signed up for Ableton classes with Discosapien Academy and the rest is history.
2 — What has been the most rewarding thing about making tunes?
Watching people react and enjoy my music, in their own unique way, hands down. A friend I met at an Excision concert listened to my song “Hold Me” and said to me, “wow, I just went on an amazing emotional journey, I thought I was gonna cry and smile at the same time”.
3 — How long have you been going to raves along with your family?
We started going two and a half years ago. We have never been able to get all 7 kids together at the same time but we have managed to get 5 with us last year at Electric Forrest!
5 — What’s your favorite music festival? Why?
So far it’s Electric Forrest but we are going to EDC Las Vegas this year for the first time so I will have to let you know!
6 — What can fans expect from your new single “Hold Me”?
This song takes you on your own personal journey. It doesn’t have lyrics for a specific reason. The song allows the individual to imagine words that fit their world and moment. I feel that by the end of the song you’ll have a sense of empowerment or triumph
7 — Surprisingly, your debut single “Crazy About You” surpassed 30K plays on multiple streaming channels. Do you think “Hold Me” will go the same way in time?
I am truly shocked at how many plays this song has. I told my wife I would be happy with 10 plays and likes. I am so humbled by the reaction this song has received. I think “Hold Me” may do better in the long run because it doesn’t have words and the melody is very powerful but only time will tell.
8 — Which commercial or underground DJs from the Dubstep or Future Bass scene do you admire?
There are so many amazing and talented producers and DJ’s out there. I absolutely love Illenium, Excision, Skrillex, and so many more, there’s just too many to list. Illenium is my absolute favorite though because his music is inspiring, emotional and raw and I really dig that.
Yes, one day for sure. When I have the right songs I will definitely look at including vocalists.
10 — Finally, what advice do you have for someone who wants to start a music career?
First and foremost, do this for you, no one else. If you are true to your vision, people will vine with you and your music. This journey has been very difficult, and there’s a huge learning curve. Ask questions, be open to learning and doing things differently than you think you know how. I’ve learned so much in the past two years and I am excited about the future.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With C’Marie
I got the chance to catch up with Carly Marie Masten aka C’Marie to talk about her recent “Be Nice” video, anecdotes, early career, and, best of all, she’s releasing her debut album this year. According to the California-based singer, Rihanna is one of her role models and inspirations, and in my opinion, you can feel that not only in her music but also in everything she does!
1 — It’s so nice to have the chance to talk with you. How would you describe your sound for a new listener?
My current sound is Pop/RnB with a little island vibe. But my sound has such a wide variety of everything.
2 — What gives you inspiration when writing lyrics of your latest track “Be Nice”?
What gives me inspiration while writing “Be Nice” was personal experiences in relationships that I feel like every woman goes through!
3 — The music video looks fantastic! How many days did it take you to shoot this clip?
Thank you so much!! It actually only took us one whole day to film my “Be Nice” music video. It was an amazing day, being able to explore a new city and do what I love was such a great experience.
4 — Can you tell us a funny anecdote while filming it?
A funny anecdote that happened while filming “Be Nice” was we actually almost got kicked off of the Ferris wheel. They didn’t allow any filming on it due to reliability. Soooo then they continued to tell us we weren’t allowed to use the footage… oops lol.
5 — At what age did you discover your singing talent?
I still am developing my singing talents but I started working on it at the age of 11.
6 — What achievement has made you the proudest at this point in your career?
The achievement that has made me the proudest so far is being able to say I have been a solo artist for only a year and a half and have accomplished my first album produced by A1 Bentley and going on my first tour including performing at The Forum!
Tentatively there will be an album dropping this year, I think the most important part of the album is just being able to share my craft with others. This is my first album so I’m just so excited to everyone’s reactions.
8 —Why Rihanna represents a huge influence on your music?
Rihanna represents such a huge influence on my music because I love her attitude and how she is such an entrepreneur. One day I would love to have my own makeup line. Be able to inspire and provide people in other ways besides my music.
The hardest obstacle as a solo artist so far is finding my team and the people are true to what they say. Your team is everything and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.
10 — Finally, what one message would you give to your fans?
One message I would give is never to give up on something you’re passionate about. Find people that support your dreams a go!
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Interview | Questions & Answers With KEOTA
I caught up with rising DJ & Producer KEOTA and got him to share more details of his brand new single “Scars”. In this exclusive interview, you’ll also learn more about some of the story from his beginnings as an artist.
1 — Hello KEOTA, you just released your second single “Scars”. In your opinion, what is this song about?
This song is about love. Love is like a rollercoaster, there are ups and downs and some times you are left with scars which are a reminder of how terrifying yet wonderful love can really be.
2 — Did you write the lyrics? Who is the vocalist?
Me and the vocalist Ashley who is a great friend of mine came up with the lyrics to “Scars”. I chose her due to her beautiful voice and how much of a perfect fit she would be to the beat of my song.
3 — Please tell us about the recording process. What tools did you use in the studio?
Since I cannot afford expensive, nice equipment I mainly stick to FL Studio and my midi keyboard. First I test the waters by messing around on my keyboard with different beats and compressions. Then I will just play around with them until I make a melody, which can take a while. Once I create a melody that touches my heart I then look for a voice that would best fit the melody.
4 — Are you considering collaborations for a remix package?
I have not thought of collaborations for a remix package, but I am open-minded about it and may do so in the future.
5 — Which famous Producers have influenced on your electronic sound?
When I was 12 years old I would always turn on tunes while vacuuming the house. I heard one of my friends talk about EDM music so I tuned to the EDM station on Pandora. The first song I ever heard was Krewella’s “Enjoy The Ride” and I was automatically in love with the genre of music. I love Krewella’s style of music which includes vocal EDM tracks. I know strive to create EDM songs like them, but hopefully, I will be better.
7 —How would you describe the EDM scene in your local city? Have you ever played at clubs?
I come from Tri-Cities in Eastern Washington state. The EDM scene here is very small as not many people listen to that genre of music. However, it has been increasing over the past couple of years. I have played at a couple of clubs in Seattle and in Tri-Cities, but I hope to get my feet more dirty by playing at more clubs and festivals!
8 — Is your family supportive with your artistic career or is it just a hobby?
I do truly love creating music for everyone but it is just my hobby as of now. I am focusing on the United States Marine Corps as I am enlisted and leaving in only a couple of months. However, I do plan to make it a career once I am finished with my term of enlistment and I will still be uploading songs while overseas.
9 — What is probably the most important lesson you have learned since you started producing tracks?
The most important thing I have learned since creating tracks is to have fun. Skill comes from experience and the more experience you gain the more skill you will obtain. I started off on an online EDM music creator and my song was awful. But as you just have fun and try different things you slowly learn more and more. Also, it is important that you love your music. For if it touches your heart it will guarantee touch someone else’s too.
10 — Finally, is there any new tune you’re excited to release soon? If so, can you share with us more details?
I am excited to announce a new song called “Illuminate” that I am currently creating. It will be a Progressive House and, of course, will have amazing vocals.
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Quickfire Interview With: Asher Laub
Get to know a fast-rising artist from New York, his name is Asher Laub and wants to conquer the world of EDM with his violin. Incredibly skillful, you’ll be easily amused by his first-ever single, “Neon Dreams”. The following interview paints a clear picture of his identity as an artist in the past, present, and future. Happy reading!
1 – You’ve been playing the violin since…
I started the violin at age 2. I began on a margarine box with rubber bands serving as strings. I learned the Suzuki method and memorized most of the music until I could read at about age 3.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
My mother claims I chose the instrument that early. Hard to believe, but I know that with all that formal training from such a young age, and decades of playing in orchestras and with jazz bands, playing the music scene as a professional came pretty naturally. I always loved music, it was an easy way for me to make money while in college. And so I spent my evenings and weekends playing club dates and weddings to pay my bills.
3 – Your sound is…
Hard to define my exact sound, since I cover many different genres. I have strong classical, but also fusion jazz influences. Bluegrass, pop and rock music also play a major role in my musical styles.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
I’m inspired by folks who overcome personal challenges, be it physical, emotion, or anything else. Teddy Roosevelt is one of the first people that comes to mind. He’s one of the reasons why I was able to discover a way out of adrenal insufficiency. He refused to accept his physical limitations and far surpassed peoples’ expectations.
5 – Fans should listen to your new single “Neon Dreams” because…
Neon Dreams is my first original single and marks a significant milestone in my music career – one that seemed impossible just a short few years ago. It marks the realization that my dream of making it in the music industry was very much attainable. This song is like none other, in that it merges sophisticated classical with modern EDM music. It doesn’t compromise that technical arpeggiation found in concertos but is still totally relevant and accessible to electronic music fans.
You can stream it here:
6 – If you want to know who Asher Laub is, listen to the track…
“Neon Dreams”. This song is the essence of what I’ve been trying to achieve. I have a number of songs in the works that have taken Neon Dreams to a new level of musical excitement, but they’re still being crafted at the moment and won’t be published for another month.
7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Too many to count! A few of my top career moments include featured performances at Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, my debut of Neon Dreams at Master Theatre and my recent, and 2nd feature on PBS. I would say that the best is yet to come with my performance at Carnegie Hall Sat. June 29th. I can’t wait to connect with my audience.
8 – Your dream is…
To headline my own world tour. It’s in the process, but I’m taking baby steps at the moment, working on regional tours, and large-scale venues.
9 – Your next release is called…
My next violin cover is Charlie’s Puth’s “Attention”. The video will be released in a week.
10 – Your all-time favorite track is…
Aside from my own music, is Vanessa Mae’s “Contradanza”. That song is a pure work of genius. I have no clue how she wrote it. It’s full of excitement and passion, has a ridiculous Irish groove and still is true to classical music. I hope someday to produce something along those lines with my own unique voice.
I love Lord of Rings. I grew up on that and the hobbit. Nothing beats fantasy, in my opinion. Much of my music and music videos are actually influenced by fantasy.
12 – If you weren’t a violinist you’d probably be…
A nurse. I actually have a nursing degree from NYU and 3 degrees in the sciences. Seems pretty random, but I was raised in a pretty science-focused family.
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I physically cannot longer hold up the violin, and even then I’ll probably continue to compose. I hope to continue performing on stage until I’m 99!
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
Me, with a clearer, understand of what my fans want to see and hear. I’m looking to connect with my fans in a deeper, more meaningful way. I’m looking to produce music that they absolutely love to hear and anticipate more of. This is my passion.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
It’s the weekend and I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’ve got 5 songs and 3 collaborations in the works at the moment. Lots to do, but all of it is what I look forward to doing every day, and feel blessed that this is my full-time career.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With Kid Loose
Today I had the honor to interview Kid Loose, a veteran DJ from California who has many years of experience in the clubbing scene and has participated several times in radio shows. In the 90s he used to promote and play at underground parties. Consequently, he made a name for himself due to his energetic live sets. Time passed, and Ian Gottlieb (real name) makes a comeback in 2019 to shake any dance floor. Discover more below.
1 — Hello Kid Loose, can you describe your first show experience as a DJ?
Yeah, but it isn’t cute. I remember being very nervous and it was a massive rave that I had promoted in Oakland, CA. There was like eight or nine rooms of music and mine was the smallest, but still had a decent amount of folks in it… before I went on at least. I wanted to try and mix into the last track from the previous DJ as I was trying to demonstrate my medal as a DJ for several of my friends, who had recently filtered into the room for my set. Unfortunately, TRAINWRECK! Bad. Not a quick one either. I tried to get it back on beat repeatedly, but instead, I found myself overcorrecting one way and the other for what seemed like an eternity. It was a minimum of 45 seconds of “shoes in the dryer”. Funny thing, I didn’t clear the floor, yet. An awfully patient group at first, but by my third track, I was so rattled by the first mistake, that I had lost all sense of focus. It was like I didn’t know how to match a beat, at all. The dance floor was empty save for my few friends who just cheered me on like I was rocking the main room at midnight… bless them. Good thing I was a great promoter because I was given more opportunities which my talent hadn’t earned, but my hard work did.
2 — What do you miss from the 90s dance music scene?
So much. The general caring nature of partygoers as well as the number of entrepreneurs all in one place, hustling their asses off. Even the drug dealers had a hint of good nature and great business ethics. Example: getting a refund or replacement for your drugs if they didn’t “work” was as easy as asking the person you got it from. Usually a complete stranger you met upon arrival. Also, There was certain respect amongst other DJs and performers that you don’t see now. Back then, it was much harder to “fake” a performance. Ergo, anyone you were “competing with” for gigs, you knew that on some level, they had gone through what you had to, to get to that point. Had to spend $$$ on records and equipment. Had to learn to beat match which is a very long process to get dialed in enough to be in front of people trying it. I think I miss the opportunities the most. Back then, there were 2 or 3 or even 5 parties on any given Friday and Saturday night. All successful. Plenty of gigs for everyone. Not quite like that anymore.
3 — Is there any artist that inspired you to become a DJ?
Two actually. DJ King James (SF) and DJ Tosh (Sacramento). James’ older brother was a DJ and he let him play on it. That was when I was first introduced to mixing and scratching. Tosh was the first talented person to take me under his wing and breakdown the industry as a whole and where I saw myself in it. I was such a fan then… in fact, still,
Besides my headphones, I’m going to say a monitor (speaker). I don’t use the auto beat matching feature on most setups these days and still match beats the old way. To pull that off, I need a speaker right in my ear behind the decks.
5 — Please let us know more about your inspiration or track selection for your latest mixtape on Ghetto House Radio.
Radio mixing is different than club/event mixing. There are many levels of programming involved. It needs to be way more familiar than most House sets I would play because although it’s a niche audience, it’s still radio and people are tuning in to hear songs they already know and like. Also, there is a standard 1 male vocal, 1 female vocal rotation in radio that I tried to adhere to as well. That and remove any songs from being applicable, which could have been played in the last two hours and you can begin to see how your options get further and further narrowed down. Then I take into account the key of the various tracks to avoid key clashes and to have a harmonically sound mix. As it applies to this particular mix, I went with some slamming bootleg remixes of a couple of Pop hit tracks to stay away from other songs that were recently played and intertwined it with a couple of my own current favorites which I had recently acquired. Came out much better than I expected.
6 — Are you an active member of this radio station?
Not currently. This was a guest appearance hooked up by an old associate, Josser, who hosts the show. There are some really talented people (Nick G, Ron Reeser) that are in steady rotation as the GHR residents, along with the big names that play on that show weekly. So it could be a long wait for me to become a resident, however, I’ve been on this show several times before and can’t wait to do it again.
7 — What’s the name of the latest track you produced?
Still working on my first release. Kinda sad when you consider how long I’ve been doing this and moreover, that I had a full-time with benefits, producing job at one point. With that being said, I hope to have something out by the end of April! Where can we stream it? When I’m finished, it will be posted on SoundCloud and most of my social media.
8 — Are you currently a resident DJ on any club in America?
I have a tentative residency set up at London in Sacramento California when that opens later this year. Other than that, no. I took a 9-year hiatus to work on my family life and now I’m trying to re-establish myself as someone who can still move a crowd.
9 — What’s one track that partygoers always lose their mind to?
Wow, that has changed over the years. I remember when tracks like “Children” from Robert Miles, “The Launch” by DJ Jean, and every Club Kids track had the same result back in the 90’s. Before a couple of weeks ago, any decent Michael Jackson remix would win the night easily. Nowadays, it’s not that simple. A great buildup combined with a slamming bassline re-entry will produce the same results that any hit song will… if played at the right time.
10 — Finally, do you think your music style still evolves?
Oh god yes. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t have had the successes that I did. As musical artists, we all have a choice to evolve or become stagnant. Where do you see it going? Hard to say. The one consistent in my music selection is bass. I’m a bass head, plain and simple. I look to the history of genres like Hip-Hop for clues to where dance music is going as a whole and then adjust my course accordingly. I think with Hip-Hop, you had a unique sound that was expanded upon greatly when intermingled with other genres. Rock, Jazz and so on. Country seems like an obvious natural crossover to me, but for whatever reason, has rarely worked. I feel like dance can coexist with many other genres so I guess for me it’ll be finding the right combo, at the right time. I’m thinking a Folk, Hip-Hop and House combo is next.
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