[Exclusive] The Rise Of Collin McLoughlin

Posted by on March 18, 2014

We remember when we first received an e-mail from Collin McLoughlin. It was 2010, and he contacted us with a single submission. We were instantly impressed. In fact, we can still remember where we were when we heard his voice. We knew then that Collin McLoughlin was destined for greatness. While the Collin’s road to success has taken him to places like NBC’s “The Voice”, he’s on a new mission. Since July of 2013, Collin has been releasing a slew of impressive remixes and originals that have gained support from just about everyone in the blogosphere. Collin’s profile is quickly rising, so we decided to check in with him to talk about how a Youtube cover singer from New York became one of the most talked about names in the melodic bass world.

1. Forgive me for asking, but how did a guy that was knocked out in the second round of NBC’s “The Voice” become a successful melodic dubstep producer and DJ, essentially out of nowhere?

It took an incredible amount of dedication and hard work. I’ve learned everything I know about production from various online tutorials, Youtube, and trial and error. I also have had some good friends like Carlos Cid who have given me tremendous advice. That said, the majority of my DJ and production knowledge has come from an insane amount of hard hours spent teaching myself.

2. When I look at your body of work, it seems to me that you’re not satisfied with just being a singer. You also produce, write, and DJ. Why not just rest on your vocal chops and call it a day?

In the electronic dance space, singers are far less respected or appreciated than producers are. I mean, think about it. What “singers,” are getting booked for festivals, or club gigs without also being a producer? Or releasing musical projects that people are really getting excited about? Almost none, aside from maybe Nervo. It’s strange to me, because without a great topline to put an EDM track over the top many of these songs are doomed to have short, un-memorable runs on beatport and the club circuit. But because the songs sell such few copies online (a beatport number 1 sells significantly less units than what is considered a “hit,” in other genres for example) singers can’t be compensated at all for their work, whereas producers can tour off of the hit song a vocalist wrote for them for years. In my opinion, this is why there are so many “average” toplines all over the EDM scene, because the more talented writers have opted for other genres where they can be more fairly compensated for their talents than they can and will be in the electronic space.


3. Has your past success as a singer made it difficult to break through as a DJ and producer?

When I released my debut “Tears Of Tempo” EP online, people thought I had a ghost producer making my material, since I had never shown aptitude producing anything beyond super raw acoustic covers previously. On top of that the fact that I was on “The Voice” has made it even harder for me to break that stigma of just being a singer, but I think now that I’m showing people what I’m made of the stigma is starting to change. At this point singing is a tool in my arsenal, it isn’t my defining characteristic any longer. Production for me became a way to extend my artistic vision beyond pure words and vocal melody, it allows me to create entire sonic landscapes that house the words I sing or remix.

4. Two weeks ago, you were in Puerto Vallarta with XTREME Trips and Prime Social Group. We heard nothing but good things about your headlining sets at Mandala and XTINE. How did it go?

Both shows were amazing. I was down at XTINE with Prime Social Group and Xtreme Trips for a spring break show, and it was wild. I had a blast playing at XTINE. The next night, I was invited to play at a club called Mandala for a local crowd in the Malecon. Their energy was infectious. I even sang a live vocal at the end of my set for the locals. It was probably my best show to date.

5. You were recently featured on Laidback Luke and Project 46’s new “Collide” single. How did that collaboration come about?

I ended up working on a song with Project 46, and in the earlier stages Project 46 showed the song to Luke. He loved it, and ended up doing some extra production on what we started. “Collide” released on MixMash records, charted very high on Beatport, and the rest is history.


6. Just a few weeks ago, Dash Berlin premiered an “ID” at ASOT 650 at Ultrecht. It’s the most searched “ID” on 1001Tracklists.com. Many have speculated that your vocals are on the track. What can you tell us about your collaboration with Dash Berlin?

Don’t think I can answer this one yet, but definitely stay tuned!

7. People are getting tired of progressive house. Acts like Tchami and Waveracer are being rewarded for being different. Why have you chosen to produce melodic dubstep versus festival friendly music?

I started producing melodic dubstep because it intrigued me more than other styles. 140 bpm is a tempo thats so open and spacious, it allows for interesting rhythmic grooves, quick or slower melodies and above all else great space for chord progressions. The emotional push / pull of the genre was something I was immediately drawn to, and at the end of the day I think the acts you mentioned previously are being rewarded for having made a style of music they enjoyed regardless of what other artists were making. Artists like Tchami and Waveracer do not strike me as new producers, however, I’m a massive fan of both (as everyone seems to be at the moment) and like most people I think they’re poised to be one of the biggest breakthrough acts this year.


8. There seems to be a “live music” movement bubbling in “EDM” right now. Do you have any plans to incorporate your vocals into a future performance or set?

I do have plans to incorporate live vocals and even instrumentation into my set. I come from a background where a concert was a performance, not a DJ set. To me, an ideal show would use a multitude of different things to keep the crowd engaged, and I hope to incorporate some of them into my performances going forward when the time is right.

9. What’s next for Collin McLoughlin?

I’m headlining for NV Concepts in Boston at NAGA on March 26th. I have an awesome new remix that I completed last night that I plan on releasing at the beginning of April. In addition, I’m working on a variety of pop projects with a producer and writer friend of mine, so stay tuned.


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