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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Quickfire Interview With: Mike1/2Nelson
Meet charismatic Indie-Pop singer, songwriter, and actor Mike1/2Nelson. His latest single, “Strongheart,” is for everyone out there fighting for what’s good and right. It’s about meeting challenges with bravery and courage. This tune is part of his recent EP, ‘All Are Welcome’, available to stream via Spotify. Check out the short and concise interview I had with the Brooklyn-based artist below.
1 – You’ve been composing songs since…
Since I was 6.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
All the other realms were taken.
3 – Your sound is…
Retrograde and futuristic.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
5 – People should listen to your new EP ‘All Are Welcome’ because…
7 –Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
Releasing my debut project during a pandemic.
8 – Your dream is…
10 – Your all-time favourite track is…
“All Through the Night” by Cyndi Lauper.
11 – Your favourite place to write songs is…
12 – If you weren’t an artist, you’d probably be…
A mime or a cowboy.
I get drafted to the NFL.
14 – In a few years, you want to be…
Recording with Rick Rubin in Malibu.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
Auditioning for the NFL. My tap number needs work.
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Exclusive Interview: Steven Jones On Lockdown & Writing “Shedding My Skin”
Steven Jones‘ recent release “Shedding My Skin” is heavily influenced by swirling synths and drum machines. The outcome of cutting-edge Synthpop with the vintage-esque aesthetic is what makes his music so special. What’s more, the spread of COVID-19 accompanied by large lockdown periods become the inspiration for his latest lyrics. Scroll down and learn more about this interesting song.
1 – When it comes to your music, what three words best describe it?
Dystopian Analog Beauty.
2 – How have you been keeping yourself entertained this lockdown?
I’ve continued to practice yoga on a daily basis. I’ve done more walking in the park than ever before. I’ve made a special project of carefully listening to the back catalogues of my favourite artists. I’ve watched lots of movies and read a pile of books. Lockdown has given me a time to experiment with video, take moody photos, and pen obscure apocalyptic lyrics.
3 – I’m loving the vibes of your new EP, “Shedding My Skin”, what’s the inspiration behind this material?
“Shedding My Skin” is a lockdown anthem. I suspect a lot of artists will have been inspired by the deep strangeness of the world’s response to COVID-19. This EP is our response. The starting point was Kevin O’Dowd’s claustrophobic lyrics. Using these as a foundation, I created a basic demo I tended to reflect the dislocation and fear of the quarantined mind. I envisaged a skeletal soundscape out of which a voice intones images of despair and hope. Once this was achieved, Logan added his cinematic electronics and sleek production. The dub mix, “New Skin” purifies the emotion of the isolated spirit of lockdown into sheer atmospherics. A wordless cry from behind a closed door.
4 – How much time did you work for this EP?
One of the most interesting aspects of lockdown was a sense of timelessness. It’s easy to spend hours recording and experimenting. I suppose I worked on the demo for a few days before Logan got busy with it at Sky Studios. It was a relatively speedy process.
5 – I’m curious about your creative process, what comes first lyrics or sound?
The songwriting process usually begins with sound. A basic demo provides an atmosphere or emotional cue from which the lyrics arise. I usually start by improvising a vocal on the track, singing whatever comes into my head. So often the lyrics come right out of my subconscious. After several improvised takes I’ll begin to feel a structure appearing. Then I’ll begin to edit the lyrics. When there is something the feels like a song, I’ll send the stems Logan who will make suggestions, play in new melodies and add dynamics. We discuss ways to refine the atmosphere or take it in unexpected directions.
6 – Do you have a specific writing technique for the lyrics?
It starts with improvisation around themes that currently preoccupy me. I take inspiration from novels, films, art, overheard conversations, dreams. Sometimes I’ll draw from my own experience and encode this into the song. Many lyrics arise spontaneously in response to the mood of the track. Sometimes we have a song title which guides the overall content of a lyric. I have a very language-based thought process so I can easily generate imagery and curious sentences.
We can appreciate both as warm and icy sounds soundscapes, but I know Logan likes to focus on vintage hardware, that was used to create the synth soundscapes for the final Visage albums recorded before Steve Strange died.
Live performance is exciting and it’s an amazing feeling to sing one’s own songs but I prefer recording. I find it immensity fulfilling to write and record songs and then allow them to live in the world. I feel it’s like capturing time. I think my love of recording has its roots in my life-long passion for records! I’ve always preferred listening to an album than going to a performance. Gigs are cool but nothing beats immersion in the self-contained sonic world of a great album!
8 – Is your music only suitable for nostalgic lovers of the 80s or Synthwave fans?
I suspect that a lot of people view us as a Synthwave duo arising from a scene based in nostalgia. And while it’s true that our musical DNA can be traced back to the electronics of the early 80s, I’m keen that our records are creatively vital and future-thinking. Our music is a direct reaction to modernity and not a flight from it and we actively reject pastiche!
Some of our songs draw upon the world around us. “Corrupt State”, “Deluxe Tourist” and “Supply Chains” look at issues of corruption, “Syria” is an ode to the ongoing war and “For Europe” laments our departure from the EU.
My current reading list consists of the surreal poetics of William Burroughs. I recommend “Cities Of The Red Night” for a journey into the bizarre. And for light relief, “An Officer And A Spy” by Robert Harris.
“The English Patient” for doomed romance. Polanski’s “Macbeth” for windswept tragedy and “Network” for a cynical take on the media!
10 – Lastly, if you could design your dream music video right now, what would it look like?
A virtual swim through the cosmos, a shimmering journey from darkness to light…
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Tyler Okun Reveals What His Music Is All About + New EP ‘The City’ In Interview
Music has been the focal point of Tyler Okun’s entire life. He has the ability to easily convey his feelings through relatable songs that touch your soul. Not for nothing, his debut EP, ‘The City’ is full sincere emotions and contemporary melodies for your pleasure. Tyler wishes to impact the world positively and bring smiles to those who listen. Learn more about his amazing music below.
1 — Who are your musical influences?
Growing up, I was exposed to many artists from the 70s/80s, so I’d consider that my backbone for influences. But since then I’ve grown to really appreciate Pop and Alternative. I’d say my main influences are Green Day, The 1975, Troye Sivan, and Tom Misch.
2 — Why do you have a special interest in guitar-based music?
I was introduced to the guitar when I was five years old when my aunt bought me a beginner acoustic guitar. Naturally, I was drawn to music that I could play along with. Some of my earliest memories include strumming along to concerts playing on my TV.
3 — How would you describe your signature sound?
I play into what people would consider “Pop” sensibilities. However, with each song, I try to find a cool way to integrate other genres into that Pop sound. Take “Basic” for example, I had this really awesome baseline in my head, as well as a really catchy hook, and then I and my producer decided it would be crazy to add giant 80’s style synths and a trap-style drum pattern. And it just worked.
Absolutely. I find songwriting to be a very cathartic experience because there’s been huge highs and lows in my life. Putting it to lyrics is my way of communicating it to everyone so that I can get the gratification of knowing at least one person who hears this song has gone through the experiences I write about and can relate.
5 — What subjects do you prefer to explore in your songs?
Writing about love was my way of writing songs. The first song I’ve ever written “Serenity” was my way of explaining such a powerful emotion. Since then though, my songs have evolved into territories like empowerment, dancing, heartbreak, and even depression and anxiety.
6 — You just released a new EP, titled ‘The City’. What does this project mean to you?
For the majority of my time actually making music, I was writing acoustic songs and never even considered what I’d do with a larger sound. That all changed when I started working with my producer, Matt “Malto” Loss. We spent so many hours just trying anything possible in the makeshift studio in his basement. This EP is displaying my new sound that I was able to find while recording there. This sound feels more like me, more fun, and just plain awesome.
7 — Which is your favorite song from this material? Why?
I’d have to say the title track “The City”. It’s just so fun, and it just gives me so much energy every time I hear it. I was able to really shred my guitar and pull off some really high notes with my vocals. I think it’s the perfect way to get people ready for what’s to come with the rest of the EP.
8 — Are you open to remixes? If so, what are the requirements?
Definitely! Requirements would be just to have fun with it and present my song in a new, interesting way! Side-note, I really dig electronic remixes so I’d be really curious to see what an electronic specific artist could do with my stuff.
Playing my music wherever I can, and spreading positivity with it, I think the world really needs that right now. And who knows? I’ve got a lot of plans for more future releases!
10 — Finally, what’s the best career advice you’ve received as an artist?
Honestly, I’d have to go with my Dad’s classic phrase “Knock ‘em dead!”, his way of saying to just give it all I’ve got. He has always believed in me from day one. From the first time I performed anywhere till now, my Dad would always say that phrase to me before I’d start anything. So in everything I do, I go into it hearing him saying that to me, and I know I’ve given it my all.
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Lailien Talks His Gigi D’Agostino Cover + More In Interview
Meet the magician of music, Brad Shubat aka Lailen. Carried away by his great creativity and imagination, he gives new life to Gigi D’Agostino’s classic “Fly With You”, which is featured in the crime thriller Uncut Gems. Known for experimenting with electronic music, pop, and rock, you can learn more about how he works and much more in this exclusive interview.
1 – First of all, what made you want to do a cover of one the greatest hits of Gigi D’Agostino?
In the words of my collaborator and co-singer Ruby Perl, the song is divine! We both love the song, including its many other formal iterations of covers and remixes. We had just finished our version when I heard it play at the end of the new Safdie brothers’ film Uncut Gems, soundtracked by Oneohtrix Point Never, so I knew the stars had aligned for sure!
2 – What’s the new perspective you want to bring with this cover?
Every artist brings their own peculiar idiosyncrasies to a cover if they’re doing something interesting and I felt that the generosity of this tune was still far from exhausted in its sonic possibilities. Primarily we wanted to take it into new stratospheres of playfulness and jubilation.
3 – Which is your favorite lyrics’ line on “Fly With You”? Why?
“I still believe in your eyes, I just don’t care what you’ve done in your life”
It’s so powerfully eloquent. A perfect encapsulation of the prospect of innocence at religious depths of profundity expressed through common phenomenological beauty, the eyes being windows into the soul.
4 – What do you use in your studio when producing these types of tunes?
Lots of various equipment and software, including Ableton, Logic Pro, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, UAD plugins, Waves plugin package, a Neumann M147 mic, Gibson Les Paul guitar, Music Man sub-bass and more!
I do think it’s very important. Humans exude technological extensions of our imaginations and studio equipment provides a basis for catalyzing new possibilities. I will say though that one can have all the most expensive equipment in the world and still not make anything interesting if the creative spirit isn’t properly attuned.
6 – Besides producing the catchy beats, did you also record your own vocals for this track?
Yes, and here I have to give a massive shoutout to producer and all-around brilliant musician Mark Zubek who was absolutely crucial and essential on this track. All my songs are recorded with him at his Zedd Records studio in Toronto.
7 – Who is the singer that collaborates with you on this cover?
Ruby Perl. She is such a beautiful soul and was the driving force behind this particular song’s creation. This is actually her first professionally recorded tune so I’m super psyched by her performance and what’s to come next!
8 – Are you planning to release more covers or remixes in the near future? If so, tell us more.
Not currently, but I do have a lot of original material coming out soon, including several videos!
9 – Where do you usually find inspiration?
There’s a poet friend of mine named Michael Boughn who told me he believes in perspiration over inspiration. That always stuck — putting in a consistent work effort regardless of the day to day fluxes of motivation. Thankfully though I do find myself inspired most of the time regardless, especially by what other musicians are making, the poetry I read, and the love of creating in general.
10 – Do you believe the electronic music scene will evolve after the pandemic ends?
The pandemic will definitely have an impact, but not in some homogenized, congealed manner. I expect an ongoing proliferation of diverse and nuanced artistic practices to reverberate and emerge. Life constraints have always informed and propelled creative agency, sometimes in paradoxically nurturing ways, so if anything I hope it brings further compassion, respect, and appreciation to artists in general which in turn blossoms into magnificent new works.
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Exclusive Interview: Ronni Zag Talks New Single, “No Me Llames”
If you like Latin Pop and Reggaeton, you must discover more about this up-and-coming artist called Ronni Zag. Charismatic, passionate, creative, and visionary are the best words that describe his personality. You can expect a high dose of energy with his next single, “No Me Llames”, out on June 26th.
Ronni is available to help indie producers with his technical feedback and further input via Instagram. Scroll down to read this exclusive interview.
1 – You’ve been composing songs since…
I have been composing music for quite a long time, since 2007. Even though I didn’t know much about composing then, however, my passion for music helped me to progress with rapid improvement. There is a saying “if you love what you are doing difficulty gets out of your way”.
2 – You got involved in the music realm because…
I got involved in the music realm since I was born in a family where both of my parents were also into this cultural activity. Luckily enough, this became my influence from an early age and I’m so happy about it.
3 – Your sound is…
Since the “sound aspect” is something that changes through the years depending on the progress and my influence, I cannot answer this question directly, but what I can say with certainty is that the main characteristic of my sound is between Latin Pop and Reggaeton with summery vibes. I also love the Spanish language hence the song “No Me Llames”.
4 – Your biggest inspiration is…
My biggest inspiration is traveling to places that I have never been before and exploring other countries’ cultures.
5 – What was the most difficult times in your life…
The most difficult time in my life was when I was pretty much “sentenced” by medical experts that I will live the rest of my life with an excruciating back pain. “You will have it for life” they said. To their surprise, I managed to not only get over it forever but people around me could never believe what was happening. After those dark days of my life, I feel that if I could manage to overcome that difficulty (which seems impossible at the time) then anything else is pretty much doable. That works out as a motivation for me as well.
6 – People should listen to your new single “No Me Llames” because…
If you ever caught yourself dancing in a club just to find later that this happened because of a catchy hook that was playing, that is the reason you should listen to “No Me Llames”. The catchy rhythm and melody make the song memorable to your mind which is a vital part of any hit song these days.
7 – If you want to know who Ronni Zag is, listen to the track…
Some of the songs that represent the style of Ronni Zag are “Mi Gente” from JBalvin and Willy William + “Bailando” from Enrique Iglesias.
8 – Your most memorable career moment so far has been…
One of the most memorable moments of my journey is when I worked as a sound designer on vital-audio.com. This helps me see things more clear so I can have a bird’s eye view when I make music.
9 – Your dream is…
My dream is to live in Bali-Indonesia away from any distraction so I can write music living in a place full of inspiration and exotic beaches. That gives me a tremendous amount of appetite for making music and gets me in the zone of creation and abundance.
10 – Your next release is called…
The title of my next release has a name that I am not aware of it yet. I want to create music as I get the inspiration and not preschedule releases heavily just for the sake of releasing music. Prescheduling releases can lead to a lot of issues regarding the quality of the music.
11 – Your all-time favourite track is…
This is definitely an answer that includes a big list of tracks but one of them is “Reggaeton Lento” by CNCO.
12 – Your favourite place to write songs is…
My favorite place to write a song is when I go to places out of my everyday activity or my routine (whether this is vacations or anything else that can make me recharge my energy). My creativity mode gets wild and I can tap into ideas that I could never imagine I can come up with.
13 – You’ll only stop making music if…
I would say a reason that could be an obstacle for me to stop writing music is some kind of a serious health condition as I already had one, but thankfully enough I made it all the way through and now I am stronger than ever.
15 – What are you doing for the rest of the day?
I love reading personal development books as it can help me stay on track with every aspect of my life. What I also like is working out regularly and staying fit.
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