With much clarity, Entel has answered all my questions! This interview definitely explores interesting facts about the young DJ/Producer from Columbus, Ohio. Beyond this, he has just released his ‘Leaving My Mind’ EP, and I took the opportunity to talk with him about this powerful Progressive House material that will fascinate you.
1 – When did your music journey start as Entel?
My journey as Entel started at the end of my senior year of high school in 2011. DJing was something I did to relieve stress and relax in my free time. I played my first gig at the end of my freshmen year at Ohio University in 2012. That’s when I finally put a name to what I was doing. I connected with a local promotional group called Dave Rave that was run by my now good friend DJ B Funk. He put me on a showcase and I haven’t looked back since! Shout out to B Funk, without him and Dave Rave I don’t think I would have gotten the opportunities I have today.
2 – What were you listening to while growing up? How much has it influenced you?
I grew up listening to an array of music. Early on I listened to a lot of classic rock, and that eventually grew into a love for Punk / Ska and Metal music. Bands like As I Lay Dying, Blink 182, Dance Gavin Dance, and From First to Last (to name a few) were a staple in what I listened to daily. As I got older I started expanding and listening to stuff like Flying Lotus, Portishead and then some Hip-Hop. As long as it isn’t country music or recycled Pop music, I’ll probably dig it.
I think the biggest influence I pulled from all these different genres was how it made me feel emotional. Creating a song for a specific setting, or feeling is something I try to in capture in everything I write and release. 🙂
3 – How big is the EDM scene in your hometown? What do you prefer festivals or clubs?
Columbus has an amazing scene! I love my hometown and the different styles of shows we have to offer. I can confidently say no matter what type of electronic music you listen to, we have a weekly, or monthly event that is for you! We are an incredibly welcoming, and open scene and that’s something I have loved since day one.
Picking between festivals or clubs is a tough one for me because they’re totally different experiences. I try to go to at least one festival a year, but if I had to choose one, as of lately it would be club shows. Nothing beats a proper club night for me. Something about showing up at the beginning, and watching as the night evolves is something I really love.
My EP is titled ‘Leaving my Mind’ because that’s what I was trying to do when I wrote it. At the time I started writing, I felt like I had confined myself musically, and in my personal life. These songs were my response to that. I also felt I hadn’t been writing music that I truly loved, but rather following popular trends. I took some time to write some music I felt was a proper representation of me as an artist, and how I wanted to be seen. I wrote about 6 songs over the span of two months, and then picked three to go on the EP. Through this process ‘Leaving My Mind’ was born!
5 – What’s your favorite track off the new EP? Why?
Ahh man, this is a tough one. The way “Paradox” starts may be my favorite intro wise. As a whole, though I’d have to say “Drifting” because of the upbeat, yet darker feel it has. Also, it was supported by Mau5trap on their first Zambah playlist. Deadmau5 and everyone from the Mau5trap camp is a huge influence on me. To have something I made be recognized by them meant so much to me. It was a goal of mine I made when I started Entel, and it seemed crazy. To have achieved that is an amazing feeling.
6 – Is there someone you are a dreaming of collaborating on a future release?
As clique as it might come across, Deadmau5 would be a dream come true. His earlier releases from Random Album Title or his Space & Time remix are timeless to me. I would love to get in a studio with him and see what the outcome is.
7 – What do you believe are the main ingredients of a top quality track?
A good melody followed by good progression and tension. The emotion a track creates with a melody is what I listen to most. All my tracks start with me playing around on a piano. Once I think I’ve found something I like, I will start adding strings, pads, synths and whatever else I feel it needs to compliment the feeling/emotion I am going for.
Yes, I do! I love to skateboard or play golf. Both are a way for me to relax and clear my head in different ways. I also grew up playing hockey, so I try to get out and play rec league or shoot around as much as I can.
9 – What social networks do you use actively these days?
I am most active on Twitter and Instagram but have been doing my best to keep my Facebook page up to date with what I have going on. I will say I love how much more personal I can be on Twitter. Connecting with people and interacting with other artist is something I try to do daily.
10 – What can we expect from Entel for the rest of 2017?
Lots of new music! I spent the end of 2016 writing as much as I could to make sure I was consistently putting music out in 2017. I am excited to take my music in a direction I truly love and believe in, and get these songs to people’s ears. I have an array of Deep and Progressive House tracks lined up to be released in the coming months to follow up my EP. I also have a second EP done, but I don’t expect to put that out until later on in the year. For now, I am most excited for my song “Oasis” to be released on June 12th via Suicide Robot, an imprint under Plasmapool Records.
Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’
Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!
1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?
My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.
2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.
It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.
3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?
I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.
A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.
6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?
It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?
We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!
8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?
I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.
9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?
Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.
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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!
In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.
1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.
Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.
2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?
We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.
3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?
I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.
4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?
We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.
It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.
6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?
It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.
Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.
8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?
Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.
9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?
I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.
10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?
Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.
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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”
You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.
1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?
My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.
2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?
The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.
3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?
When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.
4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?
Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.
5 — What’s the story behind the song title?
“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.
I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!
7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?
I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.
Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.
9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?
I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.
10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?
Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.