Bass | AWAL Shares About Adaptation, Music Production, Current Inspirations & More

Posted by on April 28, 2016

If someone knows what new things are simmering in the bass-music game, it’s AWAL. The solo DJ brings a global perspective to his music, traveling back and forth from Korea and Canada, which can be heard through his adaptive approach to the area of dance music he dabbles in. His upcoming releases is what really gets me excited. Keep an eye out for those in the next coming weeks.

AWAL focuses on the heavier side of dance music, but your next releases will feature a bit of a genre change, what made you make this decision?

Alex: It wasn’t until recently that I’ve started to find my own sound in the bass scene. A blend of trap, some elements of hardstyle and always lots of energy. My upcoming releases really focus on the energy without always sticking to the same genres. There’s a huge driving electro/bass house track forthcoming on Chuckie’s Dirty Dutch Digital. A Hip-hop/Trap/Hardstyle heater featuring M.I.M.E. A Trap/DnB remix I’ve done for a friend. As well as a huge and wild 155bpm original track. I’m really trying my hand at taking my high energy style to different genres. I play so many different styles in my sets, that I’m trying to explore that in my music too.

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Interviews, Trap | Interview with up and coming producer Crowd Cntrl

Posted by on July 17, 2015

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Rising producer and DJ Crowd Cntrl does a nice job with his remix of Bingo Players “Nothing To Say.” I got in touch with Sully and was able to ask him some questions so check it out on what its like to be making music as a college student. However, more importantly check out his “Nothing To Say” remix. Very nicely done and very clean work from Crowd Cntrl. Watch out for this guys in the future.

Interview:

1) What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me? That’s a tough question to answer because every day is filled with new ideas, opportunities, etc. such as this interview and feature. So as far as a set schedule goes, I don’t really have one unless I’m in class or working at my part-time day job (Guitar Center Sales Associate). However, when I’m not doing school work or working my day-job, its 100% effort into Crowd Cntrl, even if it keeps me up half of the night on exam week.
Currently, I’m working on a lot of original material and I’m digging deep with sound design to develop a type of sound that hasn’t really been “trademarked” yet. If I’m not working on that, I’m usually polishing up remixes, edits, and mixes to keep the hype going around Crowd Cntrl. It’s extremely humbling for me to get all this recent exposure on my two latest remixes, and I only look to continue that success with a lot of hours or work and TONS of coffee lol. I don’t wanna give too much away, but what I can tell you is that this original work doesn’t exactly fit one particular style of electronic music. My goal with my first original project, whether it’s a full blown album or just a 5-7 song EP, is to really spread myself throughout the entire EDM genre spectrum and not follow a style but rather have a hybrid outlook on it.
Besides the music portion of things, my team and I are always thinking of ways to bring fans into my life and really get them involved with what I’m doing to give them a more personal perspective of who I am. Who would I be without everyone supporting me, right? At the end of the day, I’m just like every other 20 year old out there that’s just trying to get his sound heard, so the support is crucial!

2) What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

My personal advice for anyone looking to pursue this career is built upon 3 things:
1. Get GOOD people to work with and work for you. Whether it’s a collaboration, your manager, or social media team, it’s SO important to make sure that these individuals are willing to put in just as much effort into the overall goals of what you are trying to accomplish.
2. Give yourself mental breaks. This career can become very mentally frustrating when ideas aren’t flowing the way they should be. Give yourself a break for a while and come back to it. It’s weird, but I often find my best ideas when I’m not thinking so hard.
3. Have fun with it. The idea that you can entertain yourself and entertain others through music is awesome so enjoy it no matter what level you get to.

3) Why do you think that your “Nothing To Say” remix is one of your best tracks?

It just gave me the chills the first time I played back the song completed. I remember listening to just the bassline harmony in my studio and I was struggling for days trying to come up with a melody that fit it. I think I was at work actually and I just whipped out that melody progression on one of the pianos we had in the store while listening to it on headphones during my lunch break. From there, I recorded in into the studio computer at work and then developed the squarish synth later that night at home. In addition to that, I think the way the brass section creeps into the drop was pretty cool and adds a nice sustained low-end feeling giving it that “festival” feel. I also think the vocal chop carries the song from the beginning to the end and it’s never too overwhelming but still powerful enough to sit in the mix perfectly.

4) What is it like being a DJ/Producer in college? Do people respect it or hate on it?

Almost all people respect it, obviously you get haters here and there, but I’m sorry I’m not playing top 40 for you unless it has some filthy drop behind it lol.
It’s an experience that has evolved for me over time. I am now currently a double degree at Western Michigan University in both music production/recording arts and business management. It is quite the work load which is where the coffee and long nights come into play but the school work is going hand-in-hand with my personal journey with music all at the same time, so it’s nice and I’m learning a ton as I go. On the DJing aspect of things, being in a large network of people definetely helps a lot and my shows continue to grow in size every time I play. It’s something about being on stage that is just the biggest high in the world for me and I can’t imagine doing anything else then making people move and producing music that I love.

5) Do you DJ your own college parties?

There have been times where we have thrown our own events like tailgates, big apartment complex events, etc. for strictly promotional purposes. However, we mostly we stick to bars, clubs, fraternity/house parties, and a few festivals with our bookings; at least for the past year or so. This fall we are really looking to expand and get to new areas of the midwest region and country and see what can develop from that. Right now we are handling all our own booking but are looking to get into a talent agency in the near future as my popularity and value increases steadily here in the next few months.

6) What makes you unique and separates you from other rising artists?

A lot of artists would answer this question with something along the lines of “my talent”, “my hard work”, “my determination”, yadayadayada, I’ve seen these kind of answers everywhere. SO to be unique, I’m just going to say I would rather have everyone else answer that question for me and just let my music speak for itself. I’m just going to keep doing my thing and finish this un-trademarked sound. The sky will be the limit from there.

Remember to check his remix of “Nothing To Say” out!

Cover, Interviews | CJ Holland Covers “Chains” & Talks Influences, Debut Album

Posted by on April 2, 2015

CJ Holland is back with his latest cover, this time adding some soulful flavor to his acoustic cover of Nick Jonas’ hit “Chains.” As he’s continued to amass a steady following and work towards his debut album, we sat down with him to learn more about his work and what we can expect next.

Catch the interview after the jump!
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Albums, Interviews | Just Blaze DjCityTV Interview

Posted by on July 9, 2014

DJCity | YouTube

Shout out to DJCity for sending over their latest interview with Just Blaze! Having met the veteran legendary producer a few weeks ago, and hearing the man speak the truth on the current state of the music scene, and his transition into the DJ realm, I felt the need to share this. I had a chance to catch him live in Miami, as he filled in for a set after Kaytranada, and I can tell you for a fact the man does more than push buttons, going as far as beatboxing on the mic when the sound system accidentally shut off, to keep the party going! Respect to DJCity, and respect to Just Blaze! This is a must watch interview!

Alternative, Featured | Meet Great Good Fine Ok, Your Soundtrack to Summer

Posted by on June 2, 2014

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By: Annie Dineen

If you’ve danced it out to a funky synth line, tested the limits of your shower’s resonance with high notes, or dabble in keytar solos, you’ll love Great Good Fine Ok. Made of creamy-smooth falsettos and hip-shaking synth beats you won’t need a degree in twerking to dance to, Great Good Fine OK is the indie-synth-pop ice cream bar dipped in R&B syrup that you’ll be craving all summer.

I spoke to the band before their show at Baby’s All Right, a colored light infused venue in Brooklyn replete with elaborate drawings spanning the walls and copper crocodiles carrying incandescent orbs in their mouths. The exuberant twenty-somethings, fresh off a few of their first shows ever at South by Southwest, were particularly excited to be opening for Tove Lo, the Swedish pop goddess whose affinity for black mesh shirts and eating dinner in bathtubs has met with massive recent success. “We’re both big fans of Tove Lo, we’ve been listening to a lot of her,” they tell me. “It’s funny cuz we actually are fans of her, we’re not just saying that.”

Great Good Fine OK is Jon Sandler and Luke Moellman, two Brooklynites who, despite growing up a town apart in upstate New York, didn’t meet until moving to Brooklyn. “We worked together on a couple musical projects, and I was saying some day we should write a song together and it just like, never happened for a while. Then one day we ran into each other on the street like after months of not seeing each other and we were like let’s do this, let’s write a song. That night he sent me the music to “You’re the One for Me” and the next day I wrote the lyrics and the melody to it, kinda sent it back and forth, and we were kinda like ‘oh shit, we have something here.’”

Though they often finish each other’s sentences, Jon taking the lead as they talk and Luke filling in to expand or clarify, when it comes to songwriting, they’d rather be far apart.

“We’re rarely in the same room when we write,” Jon says. “Luke is the producer/engineer and writes. The formula we’ve been working on is…” Luke picks up the slack. “I’ll like write the music to it, the instruments, everything, and then give it to Jon and he comes up with the melody and the lyrics and then sends it back and he’ll have comments about what I did and I’ll have comments about what he did. That’s sort of the formula, that’s what’s been working for us, and it’s really awesome because we both get to focus on what we feel like we’re best at.”

“It’s cool,” they say of their hyper-2014 digital songwriting sessions. “You can sort of turn off the part of your brain that’s really critical if there’s nobody else around.”

The sound that emerges is heavily pop, often compared to artists like Passion Pit or M83. I ask them to describe their sound. “I think the most accurate things people have said is that it’s like a mix between synth pop and R&B,” they tell me. “We’re using a lot of elements that are in Passion Pit and M83 and all these comparisons we’re getting. At the same time, I feel like we’re a little more influenced by more classic 70’s and 80’s.. Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson. So any description that combines those two worlds is really cool and it is really hard to verbalize.”

“Our favorite descriptor we got was that somebody called us ‘PBR Kelly’. Isn’t that amazing? We’ve talked about it a lot. I hope the people that wrote it know that we love it.”

I ask them what they’ve been listening to lately. “I have a car so I listen to a ton of top 40 radio, so I can tell you exactly what I like in the top 40 world,” Jon says, laughing. “I like that Paramore song “Ain’t It Fun,” I like the new Justin Timberlake jam [“Not A Bad Thing”] – it’s amazing! My favorite band in the world is Steely Dan, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the type of music we play.”

Dreams for the future? “I always say this and I think it bothers Luke,” Jon says. “But I would love to go on tour with a big pop artist like Lady Gaga, somebody like that who does kind of artistic things within the pop. Does it bother you?” Luke retains a stoic poker face. “I always say Lady Gaga because like while she writes pop songs and she’s like on Top 40 radio, I feel like it’s how in that respect she’s kind of trying to be creative, not just in the confines of a pop machine.”

“It would be extravagant. Lights, smoke, maybe some fire. Fire mostly shooting out of Luke’s instruments.”

Luke laughs. “I’m beginning to warm to the idea. No pun intended.”

So start practicing your #bodydiamond (no, they did not explain), and get ready to fall in love with the infectious groove of Great Good Fine OK. With or without pyrotechnics, they’re lighting a spark in the pop scene.

Trap | Mr Collipark – NO DISCRIMINATION W/ MEAUX GREEN FEAT. DPK + Interview

Posted by on May 12, 2014

NO DISCRIMINATION W MEAUX GREEN FEAT. DPK

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Ladies and gentlemen the godfather of twerk, the man to whom many of you should thank for sending those good vibes to your bum bum, Mr Collipark, responsible for the success of the Ying Yang Twins, Souljah Boy and many more, has decided to come back full throttle with a banger that fits right in with the trap gods DJ Snake and Diplo’s releases! In exclusivity we had a chance to speak with the legend on his thoughts on the current twerk epidemic, EDM music, and what advice he’d give to all of the producers/MCs. Check it out on the jump and t his is a must listen and a must download!

Free Download: NO DISCRIMINATION W/ MEAUX GREEN FEAT. DPK

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Exclusive, Pop | King Deco — Tigris EP & Interview

Posted by on April 24, 2014

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Amidst this facile pop culture climate—in which producers and writers alike have problematically concluded that lucrativeness follows the more nugatory and hollow creations—an artist with a clear identity and sound is at once both palpable and powerful. Hence, my enthusiasm for King Deco. A month after releasing her EP’s lead single, “One”, the full project is here, adding two mesmeric and lushly-produced tracks in “Laila” (produced by Adam Pallin) and “Ocean” (produced by Cobra Starship’s Ryland Blackinton & One Love), as well as a Kinetics verse with every bit as much of the intricateness and carefully-crafted lyricism we’ve come to expect from the astute rhymer. What is most compelling, though, about King Deco’s project, is how much depth and weight this project bears in just three songs. She excels at combining lyrical tension with her softening, tranquil harmonies, and ultimately leaves us craving a more ample dose of her world. Luckily, we don’t have to wait long, with her Euphrates EP release around the corner. For more, we spoke to the talented songstress herself:

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