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!