Kastello is a name on everybody’s lips at the moment, especially with the release of his debut EP ‘Kosmic’. After graduating from Icon Collective Music Production school it is clear that the young DJ and Producer has some serious talent. Find out a bit more about Kastello and behind the scenes of his EP ‘Kosmic’ below.
1 – What do you get up to outside of your music career?
I work a shuttle driving job during the day. It helps me sustain my finances and also reinvest in my music for whatever I need. Whether that’s a new DAW or new plug-ins, some new equipment, a new laptop, graphic designer for artwork, etc. it helps me get the job done! I’m currently working that job for 50 hours a week and I still manage to get in a bunch of studio time and continue to release content at a good pace. I don’t have and never will have any cracked software, so I continue to work and put that money to my equipment to make even better music with each release. Aside from work and being in the studio, I play video games and basketball. I have been playing basketball since I was about 6 years old and I played organized basketball for about 10 years, winning some championships and what not. I will always have basketball in my life no matter what else I choose to do because no matter what’s going on in my personal life, when I play basketball nothing else matters to me and I get to be away from it all for some time. It feels good.
2 – What was the inspiration behind the theme of the ‘Kosmic’ EP?
My biggest inspiration behind the theme of Kosmic EP came to me while producing each track. I had been merging genres, sounds, and styles that I’ve always been influenced by and thought this body of work comes from somewhere I hadn’t been to physically, but somewhere I had been mentally or emotionally. That’s where all the outer space track titles and cover art come from! Kosmic was also the project where I chose to do a complete genre/image switch with. I really wanted to make a unique impact on the EDM bass music scene. My managers, as well as classmates and friends I went to Icon Collective Music Production School with had heard my unreleased bass music and always told me to make the genre switch because it would work out better for me. Looking back I would have to agree it really did work out for the better! Going forward, I’m so excited to finish and release all the new tracks I’m working on right now! The best is still yet to come…
3 – Do you have a favourite track from your latest EP? If so why?
I can’t decide between ‘Kosmic’ or ‘The Launch’ but I have reasons for both. ‘Kosmic’ is a melodic, peak time banger track that I can use in pretty much any set and get a reaction from the crowd. It’s almost like a secret weapon on my USB. I had the most fun producing this track as well because it touches all the styles and sounds I’ve been the most influenced by in bass music, but I was able to give it my own unique twist and have it stand out in the EP! ‘The Launch’ is the perfect set opener for me, it introduces a happy melody but quickly breaks down into a dark vibe and that for sure will get the crowd’s attention to start things off. I also believe that in both of these tracks you can hear many similarities that distinguish what can be known as my own unique style/sound. The feedback I’ve gotten on these tracks also clarified which tracks really stood out. All in all, both of these tracks stand out and for sure will turn heads to draw the crowd in!
4 – How long did the process of writing and producing the ‘Kosmic’ EP take?
I started working on this project in the summer of 2017. I had ideas all over the place for the theme, the title, the track titles and what I wanted the cover art to represent. I decided to begin with working on the tracks and let it all come together as each piece was finished. I created about 15-20 extra song ideas in the process of trying to write the perfect body of work for what I wanted to represent. That process really elevated my skills and creativity as a producer, and some of those extra song ideas I produced are now being worked on to be tracks for future releases! When each track was finalized, I would always get thoughts of outer space, that’s when the track names started to come to me and my managers helped me come up with ‘Kosmic’ to represent the EP title and the overall energy. The reaction and support I’ve received on the EP thus far have been exactly what I aimed for.
5 – Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I can see myself touring around the world and being a major act in the festival scene. I’ve always had the festival performance mentality and I’ve always dreamt about performing at some of the powerhouse festivals across the globe, such as Ultra, EDC, Tomorrowland, and Coachella. I love to produce and record all styles of music whether it’s being released or not and whether it can be played in a festival set or not.
I would love the opportunity to work with some rappers and produce some hip-hop beats too. I can also see myself doing soundtracks for movies, TV shows, video games, commercials etc. as I have always been amused by the thought of having a movie or commercial go along with music I had created. I would also love to create some sound effects for video games in the future or even gadget devices like phones and computers. I have much more in my arsenal than just EDM or festival music!
6 – Who are your biggest influences?
I would definitely have to say some of my biggest influencers are Daft Punk, Skrillex, Deadmau5 and Swedish House Mafia. They were the artists I would say that really made me fall in love with electronic music in the first place. I remember being 7 years old and hearing Daft Punk for the first time and my mind was blown! I was constantly asking my brother for the song name or artist name but neither of us could find out. For months we went on and almost forgot about the track but then we finally came across it on TV with the track name and song title and it was all history from there! My brother is also another huge influence on my early days listening to electronic music. He was the person who introduced me to the artists I’m influenced by and would tell me more about them. He actually wanted to be a DJ/producer before I ever did. If my brother never showed me those tracks and artists and told me more about them, I might have never had the interest to want to produce electronic music and be what I am today.
7 – What has been your favourite event to DJ at?
Recently in September 2018, I played a show in Las Vegas. I was humbled by the introduction the promoters gave me when I arrived and when they checked me into my room. I was offered rides from the hotel drivers to go around Las Vegas and was also offered free drinks during and after my performance! The show was great, I had the crowd really energized and the promoters even told me I had the best performance of the night which was amazing to hear! I felt very accomplished to know that I can definitely rock a Vegas club crowd! I had lots of fun that weekend and was truly an eye-opening experience. I absolutely can’t wait to be back there again for another performance!
8 – Do you have any funny stories from a gig you’ve played?
Going back to my early days, one time back in high school when I would DJ house parties, I was the DJ for one of the craziest high school parties I’ve ever been to. So the night started off slowly with just a few people showing up and I was thinking to myself, “why did I agree to DJ this party..” but I just put my head down and started to play the music I had prepared and was trying to make the best of it. About an hour later I slowly realized by doing that it really got the party started and the dance floor was starting to fill up over capacity! The chaos started here, the white walls of the house turned black from bodies grinding up against it while dancing at capacity, one guy’s girlfriend was so drunk that he tried to wake her up by punching her and only gave her a black eye passed out, and we had about $25,000 of damages to the house that had to be remodeled. Someone also smashed a whole watermelon in my DJ equipment boxes but luckily none of my equipment were inside the box. This is still the craziest and funniest gig I’ve ever performed at.
9 – Do you have any more upcoming projects or gigs we can look forward to?
I have just started working on my second EP, I still don’t know what the theme of that one will be but I do have goals in mind. My debut EP was ‘Kosmic’, and with that, I produced all 5 tracks by myself and really wanted to show off what I’m capable of as a solo producer. So with this second EP, I’m taking on vocalists and other producers to collaborate with. I’m planning on producing anywhere from 5-7 tracks for that EP. I have already started contacting a few vocalists that I would love to be featured. Aside from the new EP, I have been contacted by three different record labels and I’m preparing some demo tracks to send to their labels for possible releases. I also got an invitation from a top 10 DJ’s record label and I’m very excited to share my demos with their team and see where that goes! I can’t say who it is yet but I’m sure you guys will hear about it when it’s being released!
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Exclusive Interview: Dhyan Talks Debut Album ‘The Sun Never Says’ & More
In our latest interview, the Maryland-based artist, Dhyan talks about his debut 10-track album, ‘The Sun Never Says’. So many emotions, it’s been quite a sonic journey so far. Press play on the album below and dive into our interview to learn more about it. He has revealed a music video is on the way, and more…
1 — Thanks for your time, how long did it take you to produce your new album ‘The Sun Never Says’?
‘The Sun Never Says’ took me about 4 months to fully create it. I put out “Lady In the Shadows” and “Speak of the Devil” as singles a while before tho haha.
2 — So, what was the initial concept for this record?
Initially, I wanted to make the entire album have a darker more mature vibe to follow my two singles. I eventually wanted the project to be more diverse to show I can capture different types of emotions.
3 — In your opinion, which track has the most memorable melody?
I would say “Back in Business” has the most memorable melody while “Lady in the Shadows” has the catchiest beat.
4 — Is the acoustic sound part of your signature style as an artist?
I LOVE THE acoustic sound and incorporating into Pop and Hip-Hop. I usually am not the biggest fan of putting myself in a box for genre but I would say I definitely say the acoustic melodies are part of my sound.
My favorite lyric would probably be “Lookin in the mirror and I see / the person staring in front of me / does he know who he is?” in “Speak of the Devil”.
6 — How many people participated in this project?
Me, the producer, and the two people I collaborated with! And, of course, the people in my life that sometimes spark inspiration. 🙂
7 — What’s one thing you could change about this finished album?
If I could change anything I wish I could have included the Lady in the Shadows Remix I’m currently working on. 😉
9 — What about upcoming music videos?
I definitely have a music video coming soon. I have an insane animated music video coming up for my song “Hypocrites”.
10 — Finally, why people should listen to ‘The Sun Never Says’?
People should listen to this album because it’s a lot about raw emotion and honesty. The project name is inspired by a poem by a Persian poet named Hafiz which discusses loving without expecting anything back. ‘The Sun Never Says’ you owe me. The project was meant to capture feelings like lust, infatuation, curiosity, confusion, harmless fun, impulsiveness, and ends with a message selfless love. I think a lot of people my age would relate to a lot of the songs because of the sheer frustration we all share in this aspect haha. Lastly, I have a diverse variety that could be Pop, RnB, Hip Hop, Latin Trap and more. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With PhiloSofie
PhiloSofie like many new rising artists is making her way into the music industry with a high level of originality. Here she talks to Electro Wow about the early stages of her career, plus, the new single “Go-To”, which is a favorite among her fans. Singing, and songwriting ain’t only a hobby but also her true passion. Learn more below.
1 — First of all, how did you come out with your artist name PhiloSofie? What does it mean to you?
My brother was the one who initially came up with the name and suggested it to me when I was about 15 years old. I was attracted to it because the word ‘philosophy’ itself asks people to look inward towards values and thought. The name ‘PhiloSofie’ captures an ongoing search for wisdom and purpose. My music serves as a vehicle to get me closer to whatever that may be. Songwriting and producing allow me to explore and cross boundaries within myself.
2 — When did you start your music career? Was your family supportive?
I’ve always been writing and making up little songs since I was little, six years old. As I grew older, I would borrow my dad’s work laptop and use Garage Band to make music and then post what I made to SoundCloud. Writing, singing, and producing have always been my passion. Putting the three together into music-making served and continues to serve as an outlet for my emotions as well as a way to tell stories. My family always supported it because they saw how passionate and happy creating made me feel. When “Do My Thing” with Lucian came out, I realized I could do this as a career.
3 — How has your music style changed over time?
My music is constantly evolving and expanding over time. The collaborations allow me to stretch in ways I wouldn’t normally do and put me in genres I wouldn’t normally listen to. This helps inform my own sound as I can take what I like about a particular collaboration and apply it to my own music. No matter how simplistic or sophisticated each song may sound, there is still a dreamy element to my music that is distinctly ‘PhiloSofie.’ No matter how my sound may change, I would like to keep that.
Prince, Prefab Sprout, Stevie Wonder, The Gorillaz (still have the T-shirt from their second album “Demon Days” which is my personal favorite album of theirs), David Bowie, Gene Kelly, Lily Allen, Empire of the Sun, Norah Jones, Queen, Fergie, The Internet.
6 — Let’s start talking about your newest single “Go-To”. What was the inspiration behind its lyrics?
0:12 – 0:35 seconds and the vocal chop that comes after was recorded a year ago. I decided to revisit the project and write additional vocals centered around the ‘you’re my go-to’ line because there is someone in my life who is indeed my ‘go-to’ and who the song is directly inspired by. I wanted to capture the feeling of being in love and being with someone who is your everything. Not everyone is in love, and not everyone wants to be, but I want to be able to create what one may not have in his/her daily life, even if it only lasts for 3 minutes and 31 seconds. If I can do that, then that is a day made in my book.
7 — Are you planning to release a music video in the near future?
Yes. To begin with, a video of me singing with the song playing in the background, I’d like to have some visual so people can see how I move and create. There will definitely be a music video to one of the tunes I’m currently working on. There is a note in my phone that contains a huge list of scene ideas. It is high on the list of priorities to turn these ideas into videos.
A professional music studio offers a creative space that is optimal for collaboration because you can hire an engineer to do the technical work. You can also work just as well on your own or with other musicians in a bedroom. I still use the same midi microphone I used when I was in high school. Owning a preamp and monitoring speakers do really help the production and recording process but these are still tools you can easily put in your bedroom and that you don’t need a studio for. It really depends on how you work. I would love to get inside a studio that has all sorts of gadgets and analog instruments to play with as well as work with an engineer and musical team to produce some insane music.
9 — What equipment or basic tips do you recommend for beginner artists?
Find a DAW that works for you. It is relatively easy to learn the layouts of other DAWs when you have a good understanding of your own. I use Logic pro but would love to learn how to use Ableton as Ableton is a great DAW for live performances. Get yourself a pair of over-ear headphones. These block out most outside noise and keep you in the zone. One of the biggest tips I can give for beginner songwriters that I wish I had listened to time and time again is to be truthful in what you write about. You don’t need to tell the truth, but whatever you’re writing about, let it come from the heart.
I see myself being able to live within my means from the music I create.
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Interview | Questions & Answers With FUREA
The Internet is a magical place where you can discover so many great artists. Such is the case of FUREA, a genuine Electronic Music Producer/Singer from Germany. Electro Wow caught up with him to know all the facts about his latest gem, “This Can’t Be Happening”. A fresh track I’m listening on repeat mode!
1 — Thanks for your time. You have put out a new song called “This Can’t Be Happening”, can you tell us more about the lyrics?
Thank you too! Yes, sure. The lyrics are about the younger generation, my generation and how suppressed we are when it comes to doing things that we love. We fear a lot of things and it is even cool to be negative these days.
2 — What do you expect listeners to take from it?
I want people to understand, that they should believe in themselves because everyone is unique and you can do a lot of beautiful things in this world. It is just a matter of time!
3 — What were the steps you took to produce it?
I was in The Hague in a hotel lobby when I was producing this song. I started with a House song and ended up with an experimental witchy Trance sound like this. I like Trance but I wanted to use my own sounds.
4 — What challenges did you overcome during the production process?
Vocals were pretty much all over the place because I layered them a lot. It worked well though.
Absolutely, I think that it is something different. So yes!
6 — What kind of music did you grow up on?
I always tried to do my own thing with my music so I don’t know if a genre exists for me. My label also focuses on this element, Graycrest wants artists to name their own genres.
7 — Do you draw inspiration from contemporary artists?
Yes, for example, while I was growing up a really big Bring me the Horizon fan. I still am. They still inspire me.
I’m going to dissatisfy people with my answer but I guess I just like nice computers. Otherwise, if I had a retro synth I would use it but I don’t really own one.
9 — What do you like to do when you’re not working in the studio?
I like to be in nature and meditate. Sometimes I go out with certain people I love and care about.
10 — Finally, what made you want to start a career in music?
Everything and especially my perception of happiness. I thought I could be happy if I persuade the right thing in my life. The people who have supported me really increased my courage to do so. Thank you all!
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Quickfire Interview With: Mr Hudson
I had the absolute honour to interview Mr Hudson. The artist who is ahead of his time is back with a futuristic album entitled ‘When The Machine Stops’. This 11-track project is probably his best work to date and it revolves around modern isolation. As a music fan, I wanted to find out the intimate details about his career. Scroll down for more info.
1 – You’ve been Songwriting and Producing since…
I was nine and wrote a song called “Will You Be Mine” always the sensitive soul.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
It’s the closest thing to a religion that I have.
3 – Your sound is…
Sad robot music.
5 – Fans should listen to your new album ‘When The Machine Stops’ because…
It’s the best thing I’ve ever made.
6 – If you want to know who Mr Hudson is, listen to the track…
“There Will Be Tears”.
7 – Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Meeting Elton John on the beach and taking him to the studio to work on MBDTF with Kanye.
8 – Your dream is…
9 – Your next release is called…
“When The Machine Stops”.
Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.
11 – Your favourite venue/club is…
The Greek Theater in L.A.
12 – If you weren’t a Songwriter and Producer you’d probably be…
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I lose my hearing.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Sitting on a plane to London.
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Quickfire Interview With: RETNA
RETNA is a DJ and Producer from London whose whole life has revolved around music from learning the mix on the decks at the age of 10 to graduating Point Blank Music School to having his debut EP supported but some of the industry’s leading artists such as PAX, Eskuche, and Detlef. With the release of his “Teach Me” coming in a few weeks, we caught up with RETNA for a quickfire interview.
1 — Favourite song?
I have so many to choose from, but one of them is DMX’S “Where The Hood At” that one always seems to get me going whenever I hear it.
2 — Biggest Inspiration?
All the young artists that are smashing the scene at the moment and obviously the legends that have paved the way for us all and finally my family, as their encouragement, love and work ethic, drives me forward every day.
3 — Worst Habit?
Being on my phone and getting easily distracted, I probably could have had an album ready now if it wasn’t for my iPhone – definitely need to limit my time on that!
4 — Biggest Career Achievement?
Getting signed to a reputable record label
5 — DJ’ing or Producing?
Producing, that’s another addiction!
7 — Best DJ Set You’ve Ever Seen?
Adam Beyer at Ants in Ushuaia, Ibiza went off!
8 — Funny Career Memory?
Trying to get my Dad in the studio to record some lyrics for one of my tunes, which he eventually did after more than a few glasses of Courvoisier! Playing back the tapes is something that will stick with me for a long time!
10 — What’s up Next for RETNA?
I’m thinking of starting up my own record label and events company, sometimes you just got to make your own luck, because time waits for no one!
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