UK Producer & DJ Leslie Wai prepares to hit the road, on the upcoming tour with The Midnight Beast. Meanwhile, he took the time to talk with us about his newly released EP, titled ‘Lift Me Up’. As a side note, it was produced at various geographical locations. Learn more below!
1 – Welcome to Electro Wow, Leslie! How’s it going & what have you been up to lately?
Hi there! Thanks for having me! At the moment, I’m preparing to go on tour supporting The Midnight Beast! Spending countless hours practicing and curating my set!
2 — What inspired you to create your new EP ‘Lift Me Up’?
I think what most inspired me was that I had never released an EP with more than 2 tracks on it. I’ve done a lot of remixes on social media in between, but it felt fresh creating original music just for the pure enjoyment of it!
3 – Which track from the EP would you choose to have remixed & which artist would you love to inject their own take on it?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I think I’d love to hear Zedd, Madeon of Porter Robinson do a remix of the track “We can never stop”. I think there’d be a lot of interesting things they can do with the chord progression and melodies!
4 — Did you find it difficult to produce, whilst traveling internationally?
I actually found it easier to produce whilst travelling! Most of the time it’s during commuting, whether it be on the train or plane. I think my environment gives me the most inspiration, so that’s probably why I produced a lot of this EP abroad!
Yes! I directed the music video to “Lift Me Up” and edited it myself (with the help of my girlfriend filming it in Tokyo!) It took a bit of time to figure out what I wanted to do with the footage, but I just opened up my editing software and just came up with all that trip imagery!
6 – What’s the single best piece of advice, you’ve been given by a fellow industry figure?
I don’t know if this he applies as a fellow industry figure, but I will always remember a quote from Steve Jobs, where he said: “Don’t be afraid of failure”. I’ve always had this mentality when it comes to success, as it really is just a long string of failures until you succeed! I’m a glass half full kinda guy! Hahaha
7 — And lastly, what else do you love to do with your time when you’re not producing & touring?
I like playing retro video games a lot. I’m currently replaying Sonic Mania with its new expansion pack! It’s definitely up there with the best Sonic Games. Oh, and I also like to boast that I’m very good at Tetris. I don’t think there’s been a time where I haven’t beat the high score on “In-Flight Tetris” when I’m on a plane, hahaha.
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COY Swede & Camila Carballo Reveal Single Arriving In 2021 — Interview
EDM lovers will have to read this interview in full. COY Swede and Camila Carballo open up about their upcoming single “Believe In Us,” coming out on January 21st, 2021. The Swedish artists disclose interesting details of this inspirational tune produced in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more below and pre-save it here.
1 – How did the collaboration with Camila Carballo come up?
COY Swede: I have been looking for a singer from my own country for a while. No special reason it’s just that I have been working with more international collabs before. And for this track, “Believe In Us,” I knew I wanted a more Soul vibe in it, so I began searching not only among active or well-known singers but also in the indie music scene. She offers a kind of a new “Sade quality” but still her own sound! Of course, people who know who that singer is will understand the high standard of Camila.
We started talking through Instagram and we sent back and forth some demos during a period of time. I could hear quite fast that we needed to make this happen. Not everybody has easy access to a studio and also make it fit this pandemic plus other things. I also noted that we in a larger perspective share good life values and have a similar drive and passion.
2 – How was your recording process during this pandemic?
COY Swede: That was a huge challenge for both of us, and as a collab employer, safety must come first, and a very limited amount of people in the studio. And always check before that everyone feels healthy throughout that short period of time. So we talk on the phone about how we should solve this as Camila is based for studies in Cyprus. But most of the time when all was recorded we were home free.
Camila: Exactly, Coy Swede explains it well. Our first priority in the matter was always the safety and that based on restrictions of the pandemic only we were allowed to be in the studio or where the projects were carried out, and that the persons involved were COVID negative. For me, it was fantastic to be able to do the recording together and right after my midterm exams were written. I got time for both valuable times with the family back home in Sweden and to turn dreams into reality in a safe way quickly and efficiently in just a few hours.
3 – What have you learned from it?
COY Swede: Stay way cooler, take every step by step. More focus on planning it all very carefully. And still, keep the focus on the long run so to speak. I think both of us boosted as good teamwork.
Camila: It was a long time ago, I was in the music business now, about 4 years, so there is a lot you forget that needs to be refreshed both in the studio and in the workaround and all that the music industry involves! Much has changed in a short time and we are constantly learning what works today to succeed in the best way and reach out with our music to as many people as possible. We are both very open to learning, and I think it is a fundamental key to success and understand that not everything happens overnight today but you develop and learn all the time during the journey, and you are never fully learned!
4 – What makes this new song so inspirational for other artists?
COY Swede: We have found our sound. And that is a good tip for others! Test and train yourself, have an open mind. Don’t be negative against other artists. Find your own process and flow and keep it going! But don’t forget to engage in other things in your surrounding with your music and help others! If you feel like people make negative comments about your musical journey, then tell them, pep talk me and boost me or get the hell out of my way! 🙂
Camila: Just like COY Swede says, I feel that our sound settled right away! I was shocked myself that the result was better than expected and could hardly believe that I was the one who sang as everything felt so genuine and authentic. Both the lyrics and the music have really felt right and “us” since the start. For other artists, it may inspire to make music alongside our careers, we are just passionate about this but see it as something we should not feel pressure or stress in. We want to remain in the flow of music to come to us, and not the opposite that we should force the music out of us. I believe this is when music magic is born!
5 – Please, tell us more about the #WeHold hashtag, what does it represent?
COY Swede: It stands for our teamwork focus with this track we made. Passion, follow your vision, boost each other during the process. It kinda wraps the core “grit” we share and what you need in just one word.
6 – Can we expect a new lyric video or a TikTok challenge?
COY Swede: Haha, no clue yet I heard that every artist needs to be there all the time. If someone wants to do some dance, of course, it would be fun and cool! Love it! But I won’t do it just because everyone thinks you need to be on there!
Camila: Everything can happen! The one who waits will see!
7 – If you were able to change something about today’s music industry, what would it be?
COY Swede: As a producer/composer hopefully I could inspire that there are no limits on variations when it comes to sounds and melodies. And I actually think people are getting tired of all these covers all the time. That being said it’s nothing wrong with it. Just try to create something fresh instead of other than ride on someone else’s royalty or core music and from a finished stem.
When it comes to the general music industry I have more to say, of course, I sure do! And things that I passed along the ride that aren’t so nice. The time comes when I need to deal with that more or less. Why remember shit, leave it, like it is, and be determined and move on!
Camila: If there is one thing I would like to change with the music industry, it is precisely that many artists today feel impersonal. There are few artists who actually talk more with their fans about who they are, about why they sing their songs, about how the process went, about problems in society or politics. This is progressing, but I wish more artists were more down to earth! I remember myself as a young teenage girl, above all, how you looked up to artists and the music industry in a way that you listened to aliens, it was a different level. I wish we could show that we are just like everyone else, we have our flaws and we go through tough periods like anyone. I think this personal connection is inspiring and important to try to stick to as an artist! We all started somewhere, and as a role model and mental coach I follow knows as Johannes Hansen says: ”All progress began with an ordinary person who was also nervous.”
8 – As indie artists, what are your biggest struggles?
COY Swede: Time, I need more time for just creating music. It’s a big task to handle everything yourself as an indie producer. That being said I don’t complain, it’s just facts and everyone else knows that! Another struggle is the music scams out there that promise things but delivers nothing. So you need to be careful with that.
Camila: I would say that my personal biggest difficulty has been combining music with my studies. I am studying the third year of medicine, which means more than 10 hours of constant studying daily at least to pass with good grades and succeed as a doctor. For me, you create time for what you prioritize anyway, so replacing other things in my everyday life with music has just like training been pure therapy for me, especially in 2020 with the pandemic.
9 – Have you ever wanted to give up on your music career?
COY Swede: No way, it’s part of my life and has been since birth.
Camila: Since the day I chose to pursue my career in medicine over music, I have done neither or I am a hopeless optimist who sees all possibilities in front of obstacles in this world! So I have always been open to keeping up with music on the side and sang when the time was right but mostly covers for my followers or Youtube. Giving up music completely, however… never, that does not exist in my world and I do not even want that idea in the grave.
10 – I’m so excited to hear it, how would you describe your upcoming single in just three words?
COY Swede: Ah… thank you for that question, Erick! None better than me…! 😉 And that message is for you out there, you are the best version of it! So go and pre-save this amazing fresh soul vibe EDM track today! It’s for you!
Camila: Oh, as previously mentioned, I love this song! It is so simple but still, you take it to yourself and can relate it in so many ways! 3 words… Hope, power, and festival nights!
1upboy Talks New Track “Digital Aesthetic World” — Interview
Originality in music production is worth more than generic stuff. In the case of 1upboy, he works hard to be as authentic as possible. Take a listen to his newest single “Digital Aesthetic World,” a Hip-Hop/Future Bass hybrid which is the fruit of his own imagination and love for video games. Don’t miss the chance to read this great interview.
1 – The rhythms of your new track “Digital Aesthetic World” seems to be authentic. Creating hybrid forms of music is a strategy, a trend, or something else?
I like to believe creating hybrid forms of music is just taking different elements from things you like and putting it into something that represents you.
Thank you aha. I thought it would be a cool idea to make GBA style cover art, because “Digital Aesthetic World” seemed like a game you would pick up at a game store.
The meaning behind the lyrics is basically saying, ‘You do you’, really. I talk about topics like how I “leveled up”, a former lover and how we could not be together but there’s no offense to her, how I can’t associate with people who end up bringing me down, so I pretty much wanted the listener to know that I was just being me, being comfortable in my own place, hence “Digital Aesthetic World”.
4 – Is Anime and video games culture part of your signature style?
Yeah, to an extent. I’m a big fan of chiptune-y, happy melodies. Also, at the beginning of “Digital Aesthetic World”, I added ocean shore sounds as well as a Game Boy Advance starting sound effect to the beat (produced by snorkatje btw, shout out to him) to make the listener feel like they were sailing to a different place like they were playing a new game.
No one, in particular, inspired me to make this song, I just wanted to make it because I’m the type of person that likes to make stuff. One day I’m going to get old and I want to be happy knowing I made the art that I wanted to make.
6 – Are you planning to release visuals?
No, but hopefully eventually! That would be cool.
7 – What type of listeners will probably like your music?
People, who are into artists like Lil Uzi Vert, and people who like Anime. Maybe people who are into somewhat adjacent music genres like Kawaii Future Bass. I don’t really know honestly, I just make my music sound for myself.
I don’t do anything technical or anything like that. I just try to not slump over and I try to breathe through the diaphragm.
9 – Are you currently working on new music? Can you reveal to us what’s next?
I’m currently working on one new song, and two potential ones, so look out for them!
10 – If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
If I wasn’t an artist, like making any type of art at all, I think it would be cool to be a chef or a marine biologist, haha.
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Steve Marinangeli Reveals Details On Debut Album, ‘Hidden Thoughts’ — Interview
23-year-old Steve Marinangeli is a rapidly rising indie artist who has topped the Luxembourg iTunes Top Songs chart twice. This success is due to the fact that he writes and sings songs close to his heart. The way he connects with listeners through his intimate lyrics is simply outstanding. Not to mention, his first two singles resonate with daily experiences that lead you to meditate on his words. If this sounds interesting, learn more about his upcoming debut album down here, which is coming out in 2021.
1 – What’s the name of your upcoming debut album? Do you have a release date yet?
The name of my upcoming debut album is ‘Hidden Thoughts.’ I’m still working on the album so I don’t have a release date yet.
2 – What came first the music or the lyrics?
The lyrics came first. For most of my songs, I already had the perfect situation in my head and wrote it down. A lot of the lyrics I’ve written are very personal so that made it easier for me.
3 – What’s the overall theme of this material?
The overall theme of the album is kind of a self-reflecting concept. It’s gonna be a very personal album that will describe struggles, sadness, and dark thoughts, but they will all turn into something positive, good, and uplifting. The message I wanna put out with the album ‘Hidden Thoughts’ is, “No matter how down you are, there is always a way out. It’s okay not to be okay. You are not alone!” There will be a lot of more sad/slow songs on the album, but overall I just think they will fit perfectly in the theme of the album.
Since now, I have a few songs which put me in a good mood, like for example, “It’s You,” “Dance with Me,” and “Under The Moonlight.” I won’t give away too much yet though.
5 – How did lockdown affect you artistically?
Surprisingly, the lockdown was kind of a positive trigger for me artistically, cause it made me start writing lyrics. I‘ve spent a lot of time during the lockdown to get even more into music and discover more different genres of music. During lockdown then, I started writing my own lyrics and with the help of other people (singers, producers, etc.) we transformed the lyrics into music and created some songs.
6 – Did you collaborate with other artists on this project?
Yes, I did. It was hard for me to begin and take the first steps in the business, so I had the company YourSongmaker helping me with my first few songs. They turned my words and lyrics into some fantastic songs and they have a brilliant team, so thanks to David and their team. I also was looking for other ways to make music so I was looking for singers, producers, mixing and mastering engineers by myself and I’ve been in talks for some interesting collabs for the next songs.
7 – Who is your latest single “It’s You” dedicated to?
I didn’t have any specific person in mind when I wrote the song “It’s You.” I put myself into the position of being in love and having the feeling of loving someone very much and transformed it into a song. It was more general as I didn’t have someone specific I thought about. It’s certainly a song with which a lot of people can identify.
8 – When you created these songs do you have the American audience in mind or do you think it’s more oriented to European listeners?
Well, that‘s difficult to say. I didn’t focus on a specific territory while writing and creating music. My music is available for everyone to listen to. My debut song “Rescue Me” had more success in Europe, while my second single “Sacrifice” had also some success in the US and South America. My music should be there for everyone to listen to, appreciate and love, with no exceptions whatsoever.
9 – How would you describe your music to someone that hasn’t heard it before?
For me, it’s hard to already put my music into a definite genre because I‘m still in the process of finding my own sound and thinking in what genre, my music fits the best. Right now, it fits definitely in the Pop genre, sometimes a bit more slow, dark, sad Pop songs, sometimes a bit more upbeat, and funky. I do have some musical influences which are Westlife, OneRepublic, and Bruno Mars for example, but I wanna create a unique sound so that people immediately know, oh yeah that‘s a song by Steve Marinangeli, a bit like in the case with Billie Eilish. Everyone immediately recognizes a Billie Eilish song because they are so unique.
10 – Finally, What do you love the most about your followers?
I love most about my followers, that they support me and my music and that they are open to listening to my music. They support me so well and even though I’m not very known. They helped me reach 2 No. 1 iTunes singles here in Luxembourg already which is unbelievable for me. They are just the best and I can’t wait to see what can still happen in the future. I‘m very grateful for the fans I got, and I love them!
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Exclusive Interview: The Story Of DJ/Producer Jacob Colon
Jacob Colon has been working his way up the musical ladder for some years now, coming from humble beginnings in his local church band before discovering House music and falling in love with the genre. He taught himself how to DJ and produce and has since released some sensational tunes such as “Bliss” and “I Want My House Music.” Now he has his very own imprint and renowned radio show called ‘Made To Move’. We caught up with Jacob to find out more about his story and how he got to where he is today.
1 — Tell us about the very first moment you discovered your love for music?
I started my musical journey in a church band when I was in my teens. I played the keyboard along with 4 other musicians. While playing in the band, I taught myself how to use the workstation within the keyboard. Luckily for me, my mother used to clean the church and had the keys to get in when nobody was there. Therefore, I would use her keys to get into the church and record beats all night in the keyboard. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to save my work, so I would turn off the keyboard when I was done and delete all my work. During this time is when my passion and love for music began to grow.
2 — What was the first instrument you ever tried to learn?
My aunt purchased me a toy keyboard when I was young. Though I wasn’t playing like Beethoven just yet, it sparked my interest in instruments. I played the oboe in a school band but later continued playing the piano.
3 — What type of music were you brought up listening to?
Growing up, I always heard my parents playing music that was released back in the ’70s and ’80s. They listened to guys like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and other RnB, soulful artists. When I began playing in the church band, I listened to a lot of gospel, alternative rock, and jazz.
4 — How did you continue to progress your talent as you grew older?
Practice makes perfect.
5 — When did you decide that you were going to pursue a career in music?
After I started making my first beats, I knew music was what I was made for.
6 — Tell us about your first ever gig?
My first party was at a lounge/restaurant type of venue. Of course, because it was my first gig, I invited the whole entire world and made it a huge deal!
7 — Who were your musical role models growing up?
When I first got into the music scene, I started producing hip hop and RnB music. I wasn’t a DJ at the time, so my influences came from producers like JUSTICE League, Alicia Keys, Scott Storch, and Swiss Beatz.
8 — How has your life experiences impacted your music?
Life is a marathon. The bumps in the road are all a part of the path you need to take to win.
9 — What goals have you achieved so far?
The goal is always to be the best I can be at what I do. Thus far, the biggest accomplishment I’ve had was charting #1 on Billboard’s Best Dance Song list with a remix that I produced with Crystal Waters and Sted-E & Hybrid Heights.
10 — What piece of advice you would tell your younger self when you were first embarking on music?
Don’t stress about where you currently are. Continue to strive because your later self will be grateful you did what you did.
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CDJ Discusses Music Career And His Newest Song “Mama” In Interview
With a career that’s spanned the best part of a decade, CDJ aka “The Godfather” is widely recognized for his smooth swag, making full use of his storytelling abilities. In this new interview, he talks about his career and the new single, “Mama”. Recently, he’s focused to put social consciousness at the forefront through music. Learn more below.
1 – Were you always a natural singer or did you get trained?
I’ve always loved performing in front of a crowd from a very young age. Back then I enjoyed imitating different rappers and singers that were quite trendy, you know the likes of Prince, KRS, etc. It’s something that came naturally to me, however when I decided to become a full-time artist I took some coaching to polish my skills because I felt that there were some aspects that were still raw.
2 – Why people call you “The Godfather”?
The moniker was given to me by one of my fellow musicians after a gig. He’s like, “why do you always act like you’re the godfather”. I think he meant my mannerism and how I deal with my band members. Whether it’s true or not I can’t say, but nevertheless, the name has stuck.
3 – As an artist, have you achieved financial security in the music industry?
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to achieve financial security. There was a time when I was pretty close to reaching that goal, but at the moment with this pandemic, it is almost impossible for artists to have some kind of economic stability. I hope things get better soon as we are all finding it difficult to make ends meet.
4 – What is the most rewarding thing about your career?
Working with people from different walks of life, especially the creative exchange with people of different backgrounds. You never stop learning from others, it’s about feelings and emotions put in the right perspective, plus having the chance to send a positive message and to accept all living entities on this planet with all the different value systems at hand. I get a chance to raise my voice against injustice, discrimination, and all those stifling isms, last but not least, the overwhelming love and support from my fans.
5 – Who inspired you to become CDJ?
Revolutionary individuals like Mahatma Gandhi, Bob Marley, or Allende were inspiring. Critical minds that stood and made themselves count in a society full of inequity. Musically, a childhood friend who could play different instruments with ease – I looked up to him. My parents were not in the entertainment business, nevertheless, they inspired me subconsciously by introducing me to great music of the flower power generation; jazz of the highest quality; sweet soul, and David Bowie.
6 – Is your music influenced by contemporary trends or is it something else?
My music is shaped by modern trends in the music scene and our society in general. It is also influenced by modern trends in electronic, hip-hop, and house, at the same time the mind-set of the musicians in the ’60s has left a mark. Sometimes, I feel I’m guided by some abstract fountain of energy.
7 – What keeps you motivated when it comes to writing lyrics?
Lyrics are something like my mouthpiece, they give me a chance to reach an incredible number of people. My environment, my surrounding, and the people I interact with on a day-to-day basis also fire me up. Fact of the matter is that as an artist you have lyrics on your mind 24/7, it comes naturally without giving it much thought. I simply observe what’s happening around me, this kick starts a process of lyrical exploration.
8 – Why people must listen to your new single, “Mama”?
To reflect on the present situation in the world, this is something we just forgot to do too often. It’s about the changes we are going through and how we interact with ourselves and nature.
“Mama” talks about the need to respect our ecosystem, in other words, all that has been presented to us by the universe. The slow destruction of our planet is at the heart of the song and the dawn of the era of the Anthropocene.
9 – Who is this song dedicated to?
It is dedicated to “Mama,” meaning Mother Nature, which is actually where it all starts. If you like, some kind of a reminder that we have been given all we need, but we still haven’t learned how to allocate our resources, instead we have created an imbalance on the planet. “Mama” is also about the mothers of the world including mine, those who give life and illuminate the world.
10 – What’s next for CDJ in the next months?
We have an album in the pipeline with the working title ‘The Source’, so we need to put the final touches on that. I’ll release a track or two on my various platforms to keep my fans engaged.
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