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April 14, 2015

SLS Miami: Wrap Up

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If you were anywhere else but SLS South Beach during Miami Music Week, you were in the wrong place.

From March 25-29 award-winning SLS South Beach hosted an All-Star DJ line-up with performances by Luciano, Alesso, NERVO and friends, R3HAB, and Gareth Emery. They put on mind blowing shows for four days straight as the heat fired up the crowd and the fans got wild. The week was packed surprise appearances and sold out almost every single day.

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With high-energy and parties that went on all night, SLS Miami was the wildest place to be during Music Week.

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April 9, 2015

Hanging with CrazU, WAVO’s Winner of the Miami Pool Party DJ Invitational

A few weeks ago, CrazU had the opportunity to play in Miami after he won Wavo’s Miami Pool Party DJ Invitation Contest. He won the chance to play a set during Ultra Music Festival Weekend and hang out in the VIP room with the likes of Bynon, the EC Twins, and Rebeeca & Fiona. Wavo asked CrazU a little bit about this life changing opportunity and what he’s been doing since then.

CrazU performing at SLS Miami

CrazU performing his set at SLS Miami

Wavo (W): Congratulations on winning the SLS Pool Party DJ Invitational Contest! How did you feel when you got the news that you won?

CrazU (C): Getting word about winning the SLS Pool Party DJ Invitational Contest gave me mixed but positive feelings! I was in the studio by myself when I got the email and immediate became emotional, then hysterically laughing and cheering with uncontrollable excitement. It was definitely the highest point in my musical career.

W: How did you get into DJ-ing? What’s your history with music been like?

C: Since the age of 4 I have been involved heavily in music. My parents signed me up for piano at a local studio where I became proficient with classical and orchestral composition. After performing countless recitals and charity events in my later teens, I realized that if I was going to “make it” in the music industry, I couldn’t do it through piano, I had to find something else. Some of my friends started DJing and I quickly became fond of the art of turntablism and on the spot mixing. I worked odd jobs in the summer of 2002 to afford my first DJ-In-A-Box kit that included Two Gemini Belt Drive Turntables and one basic Gemini 2-channel mixer. Began mixing in the basement of my parents home and did high school house parties all over my neighborhood on the weekends to gain a legit fan base. I went on a three year hiatus to pursue my 1st passion, [becoming] a professional soccer player, but fell short. I turned back to music because it was my escape from negativity and was accepted to attend The Los Angeles Recording School in Hollywood where I received an Associates in Recording Arts and Music Production. It wasn’t until I started producing my own originals and remixes that I found out that in order to succeed in the industry, YOU HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT.

W: You’ve been DJ-ing for over ten years. That’s a long time to finally just get your first big break. What’s kept you going and inspired all this time?

C: Yes it was, and I have many more years to come hopefully! Through the years, what has kept me motivated is my will to win! Playing sports my whole life I always thought: “Don’t Give Up! (even have a tattoo of that on my arm) There will be times you will be dead last and there will be times you will be at the highest point of your life, just know that by giving up, you are surrendering your heart, your love, your passion, to someone else who is more dedicated and more persistent than you!” (Those were exact words from my father, my mother always said “I will support you in whatever your heart desires.”)

W: Do you have any DJs who you view as your inspiration or motivation? Which artists or genres influence you?

C: Of course! Without inspirations we would not have a thought or a vision of what we love. I am an obsessive music fan in general, there isn’t a single genre that doesn’t inspire me one way or another, but the artist I first saw rock a main stage and changed the way I viewed electronic dance music was Tiesto. He is the ultimate reason why I started producing and performing. My best friends got me DJ-ing and mixing, but Tiesto took me to another level I didn’t even know existed.

W: Tell us about the experience at SLS. Who did you meet?

C: My experience at the SLS was unforgettable. Amongst having to cough up $2000 to get out to Miami during Ultra Music Festival weekend, the experience and the connections I made were priceless, something I can never take back. I got to hang out with Bynon, the EC Twins, and Rebeeca & Fiona in their VIP area and chat with their people, Gareth Emery, Michael Woods, and R3hab all gave me amazing advice and fantastic feedback on what to do from this point on. Danny Avila and EDX were kind enough to take a couple seconds to snap photos with me. It was all unreal yet felt normal, like I belonged there with them.

W: How has Wavo jump started your career?

C: Wavo is a great company that helps platform upcoming talent and put them in situations where they can make the best of their career. The contest are a test to see how bad you want it. I was lucky enough to win back-to-back competitions (Miami DJ Invitational & unEarth Euphoria Festival), and by [doing] so, I realized how much true fan support I have, how talented my creativity can be, and [how] well my parents have taught me to be honest to yourself and the things you love.

W: Do you have any advice for DJs who aren’t getting the breaks they need?

C: Honest advice that I can give natural talent out there trying to get their big break is to never give up. Just because you don’t win, or you fall short doesn’t mean you are a loser, it just means it is not your time yet. If you stay true to yourself, get a positive and honest following (not bought!), and produce your own music, then you are bound to achieve greatness. Being persistent is always a good thing, BUT being persistent without professionalism and proper etiquette is just annoyance. In other words, don’t bad mouth the industry, respect it!

 

Thanks to Wavo and a great team of his supporters, CrazU will be performing on the main stage at the Euphoria Music Festival in Austin, Texas April 10-12, but prior to that he will stay true to his monthly residency at the UFC Gym in his hometown of Torrance, CA on April 6th.

To follow CrazU’s musical journey, follow him at:

www.djcrazu.com
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud

March 30, 2015

Industry Through the Ages: An Interview with Henrix

Henrix

The industry has evolved quite a bit since Henrix emerged as a DJ. Breaking the charts with his single “Hit It” in 2013, the Miami native has gone from underground hopeful to renowned artist. His recent single “Warrior” premiered last week on Dancing Astronaut and today just released his single “Alright” with Laidback Luke. Wavo interviewed Henrix right before the Winter Music Conference annually held in Miami to talk about the evolution of the industry and where he’s headed next.

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Wavo (W): You have been an active member of the industry for quite some time. It’s been over ten years since you started. Can you speak to how the face and nature of the industry has changed? Do you find the demographics of the industry shifting? What about the emergence of specific genres of music?

Henrix (H): Its been close to ten years now that I’ve been DJ-ing but over ten that I’ve been attending Dance Music parties. In the last decade things have changed a lot honestly. Dance Music was mostly for an older crowd up until 2008. If you were young  in the U.S. it was about Hip Hop and Open Format. Nowadays at a young age you’re already getting into Dance, its not so underground anymore. Also Dance music has always had its sub genres but now theres a sub genre for everything. People have also renamed genres that have been around for many years like Future House. Future House is pretty much house music 10 years ago, haha!

W: Your niche is EDM. How has that genre evolved since its emergence?

H: It’s changed a lot. Back then dance music was eight to twelve minutes long and the tracks built up and told a story. People were more patient with the music, they wanted it to take them somewhere and never end. Now everything is straight to the point, 4 minute songs that are pretty much a set formula. If a song takes too long to finish, people get bored; they have no patience.

Q: You’re a Miami local. Do you find that coming from the Miami scene influences your music?

H: Yes, definitely! Miami is rich in different cultures and with that comes different types of music. I get influenced by many different genres that isn’t Dance and I love it. Makes you think outside the box.

Q: How did you start your career in music? Has anything helped you in particular?

H: Well in 2006, I went to a Tiesto concert at the Hard Rock hotel in Ft. Lauderdale and I was amazed by everything at the show and I told myself that’s what I wanted to do. So I bought some cheap DJ equipment and started practicing in my room. I realized that if im going to get anywhere with this I need to make my own music so thats what I did. I got FL studios at the time and started messing around with it and the rest is history! My drive to get where I want to be has helped me the most. No one cares about your career more than you so you have to have that drive and tenacity. You gotta ask yourself: “What makes you better than the others?”

Q: You have performed all over the world, and I know you have completed a trip to the Netherlands. Are the music scenes different in other countries?

H: Ah yes. Europe is a whole ‘nother monster! A lot of things you play here you cant play in Europe, especially places like Germany where it’s pretty much the techno capital of the world.

Q: Tell us a little bit about performing at world class nightclubs like The Light Vegas. Do you get the VIP treatment all DJs dream of?

H: Haha, yea I guess so. Light has always treated me very well and I love the staff. Most places treat me well honestly. Sometimes you gotta stop and take it all in and realize how lucky you are to do what you love as a DJ.

Q: Your track “Hit It” was one of the biggest tracks of 2013. Your newest track “Warrior” just premiered on Dancing Astronaut. Has your style and sound changed in any way in these past two years when comparing these two tracks?

H: I believe so, even though “Warrior” does have “Hit It” elements with the percussion lead. After I did “Hit It” I tried to move on from the distorted kick thing as everyone began doing it. I’m working on so many different types of tracks. I love working on different genres, it keeps me sane, honestly. Doing just Dance sometimes can be a bit repetitive with the same formula people expect to hear. Working outside of Dance just lets me get more creative. But Dance music will always be my #1!

Q: You have a new single coming out on March 30 on Laidback Luke’s Mixmash and have just signed to Arkade. Is there anything EDM fans should be looking out for?

H: Ah, yes my next single will be with an up and comer thats very talented named Bream with the vocals of Zashenell. Its more of a melodic track. Luke loved it and asked me to sign with him and he’s like a mentor for me so there was nothing else to think about. The Arkade track is with Digital Lab. We sent it over to Kaskade and he premiered it at Holy Ship and loved and asked for it. I also have a lot of new solo music coming. Once I can announce I’ll let everyone know.

Q: Where are you headed next? Where would you love to play that you haven’t done so yet?

H: Miami next! This upcoming week is going to be insane and then I finish the week off in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! I want to go to China & Japan. Heard amazing things about the scene there.

For music, updates and more information on Henrix, find him on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud

January 22, 2015

Wavo Interview: Shir Khan & Mennie

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By: Julia Martineau

With a number of deep house heavyweights on its roster, including Claptone and Doctor Dru, Exploited Records has had much success over the past several years.  Wavo caught up with Exploited label boss Shir Khan and Italian producer Mennie to discuss musical preferences, upcoming projects, and the inception of the brand’s new sub-label, Exploited Ghetto.

Wavo: Mennie – you’ve kept up a residency at Club 999.  How do you prepare for a five hour set?

Mennie: Talking about Club 999 for me is always emotional.  I have so many unbelievable experiences connected to it.  The most beautiful thing is that during every night you can taste the real “Club” essence.  For me, it is like a box containing the most beautiful elements that make you love this job – a huge sound system, never ending lights, being in the middle of a crowd, etc.  All of these aspects help me during a long set.  The idea behind the five hour set is to give the artist the chance to build an entire trip from beginning to end.  It’s like a journey.  Most of the time, I don’t like playing the last record!

Wavo: How did you get into deep house?

Mennie: It’s where I started from.  I feel that it opened me to lots of ideas and creativity.  I’ve always been attracted by soft melodies and complex basslines, and finally, I love using vocals, either from sampling or originals.  I think vocals often give the magic touch!

Shir Khan: I have never liked the term “deep house”, but I am aware that Exploited is considered a deep house label, and we even register our own releases under that genre.  I used to be into skateboarding, and played guitar in several punk and hardcore bands.  As soon as I became a DJ, I got into hip-hop.  My bandmates didn’t like that and kicked me out.  From hip-hop, my interest in electronic music came to rise.  I looked up samples, and then became open to tons of new styles.

Wavo: What’s the concept behind Exploited Ghetto?

Shir Khan: I wanted to keep Exploited for the key artists who release frequently, like Adana Twins, Mickey, Joyce Muniz, and so on.  The sound of the label itself has become a bit more pop, which I don’t think is completely negative, but I needed something more edgy.  Just simple, bouncy tunes I would enjoy playing out in a club.  I was receiving so much good music and so many demos, but most of the time, I had to refuse them – I didn’t want to put another artist on the mother label.  That was why I decided to launch Exploited Ghetto.  For now, it will be a straight dancefloor label and we’ll see how it develops.  So far, I’ve signed four records to the label, and they’re all very exciting.  It’s a label for my extended network.  Most of the artists who release on Exploited were actually friends before or people I knew through friends…we had a very personal thing going on there.

Wavo: Who are some of your favourite electronic artists right now?

Mennie: It’s always hard to choose – I’d name so many! Right now, I would say Max Graef, Detroit Swindle, and Mickey.  These three consistently have interesting aspects and details to their production.  Nothing is left to chance.

Shir Khan: My favourite electronic acts are the same ones I liked years ago – Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Daft Punk, Afrika Bambaata…I prefer timeless artists who have achieved something groundbreaking and new.  There are a lot of great producers out there, but I’d say those names are the main influences of mine on the electronic side.

Wavo: What inspires you most during production?

Mennie: I really love sampling, so I spend a lot of time listening to different stuff coming from different artists.  This really helps inspire me when I sit in front of the machines in the studio.  Listening to a variety of different music is my favourite way to get inspired – sometimes you find something you wouldn’t expect coming from a chopped sample or a strange melody, for example.

Shir Khan: I haven’t really been into production for awhile.  I just don’t have the time for it anymore.  However, you can say that I co-produced at least 50% of the records I’ve been putting out from my artists.  What most people don’t see is the fact that I receive demos from my artists and they sound totally different in the beginning.  Most of the time, I get involved in the production process and tell them what to take out, how to better arrange things, how to mix better, etc.  That’s one of the most time consuming things, and 50% of it is my job.  I also think that’s part of the success of Exploited – there is always quality control.

Wavo: Which artists have you most enjoyed working with?

Mennie: I’ve really enjoyed working with Swedish producer Bambook – it’s so easy.  Additionally, our first release, “Slip Away”, was in collaboration with Cari Golden, and her voice took it to another level.

Shir Khan: That’s a difficult question.  I’ve enjoyed working with everyone I’ve worked with so far.  People are different, and sometimes it’s not easy – sometimes ideas clash.  Even I can become quite a diva when it comes to making the final decisions.  But in the end, most of the the time, we’re happy.

Wavo: Do you have any upcoming projects or tour plans that you’d like to share?

Mennie: 2015 is starting off well with the Exploited Ghetto release.  I have another couple of collabs with Bambook on the way, then, I’m working on some upcoming tracks.  Regarding gigs in the next month, I will be playing in Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Shir Khan: We’ve been doing lots of Exploited Events all over Europe and we will continue to do so.  You can catch the whole Exploited crew back at it again at Sonar Barcelona this year, as well as ADE Amsterdam.  We hope to do a US tour at some point, but haven’t really planned it yet.

Check out Mennie’s brand new release, “Phoenix”, on Wavo below.

January 20, 2015

Montreal’s Finest Parties: Igloofest & Piknic.

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At Wavo we’ve worked with promoters across the world from India to Chile but some of the most innovative and creative guys out there can be found in my own city of Montreal. The people behind Igloofest and Piknic Electronique have truly built something special.

Two unique and groundbreaking outdoor parties that curates some of the best underground talent in the world during two completely different seasons. Piknic is the penultimate summer party held every Sunday on Jean Drapeau Island with a beautiful view of the water that starts during the day and lasts until 11. It makes those beautiful summer weekends last so much longer.

As the below video states; it’s the ultimate combo of Epic Chill.

Igloofest is a different beast.

Held every for four straight weekends in January and early February it may be the only party of it’s kind.What started out as a single weekend experiment in 2007 has grown to a massive festival with major production. The Old Port of Montreal and it’s sub zero temperatures are transformed into a playground for partiers dressed appropriately for the climate. There’s something undeniably special about 10,000 people coming out to listen to Techno and Deep House in the middle of January when the weather is -27.

This weekend I caught Justin Martin and Gui Boratto at a massive main stage that rivals any normal summer festival. No trip to Igloofest is complete without a trip to the second stage or what my friends have deemed the “Technodome”. Featuring incredible visuals and a more industrial techno sound the venue is a must visit.

Last year’s defining moment was a performance by Adam Beyer and his wife Ida Engberg on closing night. With many more acts like Loco DiceTigaJohn Digweed, Dubfire, and the closing night with Luciano to come it’s hard to predict where this year’s defining moment will come from. Rest assured We’ll be there.

Buy your tickets and join us.

January 14, 2015

Wavo Interview: Destructo

Destructo - Lights All Night

By: Cody Sharp & Johnny Cranston

Just one day after Christmas, we made our way to the Dallas Convention Center to attend Texas’ premier electronic event, Lights All Night. On the first night of the 2-day festival, we hopped from a visually striking Boys Noize set to meet up with DJ, producer, and industry professional Gary Richards. Richards has seen a surge of success in his HARD events and unique Holy Ship experience as well as a well-received West Coast EP. We sat down to talk about his shift in musical direction, hip-hop, record sales, and much more.

Wavo: If I’m correct, this is your 2nd trip to Dallas this year. How has your time been in Dallas?

Gary Richards: Everytime is great. People here like to fucking party. They like to stay up late!

Wavo: I Guess that’s why they booked you for the after party tonight.

Gary Richards: Oh yeah, I’m more excited about that show later tonight than my set here. It’s gonna be wild. I like to play more where people dance.

Wavo: Why did you decide to move into a different direction fom your Higher EP compared to the recent West Coast EP?

Gary Richards: You know, I always try to do something different. It’s kind of funny actually, the real story is YG rapped on ‘Higher.’ ‘Party Up’ was originally sang on ‘Higher’. He sent it to me, and I listened to it and was like, “You know ‘Higher’ should just be the way it is, vocals are just working on it. Then I went in the studio and thought, “I wanna make a house track and put some rap on it” then I had those vocals so I pulled them up and it just kinda worked! So then he introduced me to Ty Dolla $ign , and then I went in the studio with Ty and that just really opened my eyes to like so much more that you can do with vocalists. That’s really what I think separates the next level, working with real vocals and people that can sing. Cause you know for me, I’ve always been kind of like a club DJ, just playing tracks but now I got a whole new perspective.

Wavo: So would you say that would be the point where you started to incorporate more hip-hop into your already soulful music? I think the vocals from the hip-hop gives it a whole new dimension.

Gary Richards: Yeah definitely, and you know it’s fun! Being in the studio with all those guys is way more fun than just staring at a computer screen or like trying to figure out what comes after the drop, this snare and that melody. Like that’s all cool and people can do that but like when you have a voice and someone like Too Short, who is a fucking legend, and just being in the studio with that guy and all those dudes is just another whole layer that I think really takes it to the next level.

Wavo: I assume Amine Edge & DANCE were influential to your current sound, and pioneered some of the way for G-house. Any shoutouts to other producers that lent a hand?

Gary Richards: Yeah, well you know I heard their tune ‘Going To Heaven With The Goodie-Goodies’ where they sampled Biggie. I wanted to book them on HARD, but I also wanted to get more songs like that out there, but there weren’t many. Their [tracks] were really good, but that was really all there was. I tried to make one and actually the first one I did was ‘West Coast’ and I used samples. But then I was like “fuck samples I have the vocals of YG and Ty and it just sort of spiralled from there. But you know, it’s good and bad because my tunes are a little different. I blend them in with those songs during my sets, but they’re different. They’re more like songs, they’re kind of riding that balance of something you play at a club and something you can listen to. I wanted the EP to be something you put on from start to finish and listen to and enjoy, but then trying to figure out how to work it into a festival has been tricky. I’m still working that out now. That’s why I like the club better because in the club you can play those tunes.

Wavo: So Boys Noize is currently on stage. You guys are pretty good friends, right? Did he have any encouraging words for your latest EP?

Gary Richards: Yeah, he played out ‘Technology’ and ‘Higher.’ When I showed him ‘Party Up’ he kind of helped me. When we were in Australia, he gave me some ideas of how to make it more interesting. Actually what happened was that I played it [‘Party Up’] for Interscope and told Alex (Boys Noize) “I love you bro. You’ve helped me with so much, but I have this opportunity with Interscope” and he was like “do it.” I mean, I’ve always told him “you should sign with a big label and go for the world-wide thing” but he’s nervous about it because he doesn’t want people telling him what to do. I’ve always told him “dude, just do what you do but just try to plug into their system.” Because Boys Noize Records is dope, they just need more exposure.

Wavo: In this day and age, are online music sales still a viable path for many producers? Do you think it could be more beneficial for artists to strive for playing at events like HARD rather than aim for selling music?

Gary Richards: I think when you’re getting started, you’ve got to just get the music out there and get people to hear it. So I don’t think it’s really about sales, it’s more about Soundcloud or Spotify…just getting your music out there. It’s weird for me now because I’m on Interscope and they’re like “you gotta sell records.” I mean I used to own a record store and I used to always sell records, but in the last how ever many years, I never thought “I need to sell my music.” I just felt like I wanted people to hear my tracks so when I play them live, it works. But now I’m back to “OK…these guys signed me. They paid me money. They need to sell these records.” They didn’t want me to put the EP on Soundcloud, but I said “all my people go to my Soundcloud to hear my music. I have to put it there.” So I have to try to figure out how to balance between getting people to hear it, but also keeping the label happy because it’s a business and they need to sell records. You have to get past the Soundcloud world and get into the iTunes/Beatport world. It’s important to have that, it’s important but it’s tough.

Wavo: It’s hard nowadays when artists will make more money playing shows over selling music.

Gary Richards: What I always said when people used to interview me in the beginning was, “why would someone buy a record when they can get it for free?” It’s like if I was trying to sell you guys oxygen..It’s fuckin’ free. I think the records labels need to rethink their model and how they do it. Because there’s gotta be a way they get paid. But electronic fans are savy, they’ll find a way to get your music no matter what they want to pay for it. But I think it’s good to support music. I’ve been spending hundreds of dollars on music for 20 years. Buying vinyl…buying CDs. Just last night I probably bought $100 worth of tracks on Beatport, just the convenience to have them. What I was doing for a long time was just taking my vinyl and sucking it in, but it just doesn’t sound the same.

Via @HODJmusic

Wavo: Do you have a favorite memory from the Holy Ship events?

Gary Richards: There’s been a million cool moments…just trying to get Pharrell there. We had to helicopter him in because the boat was going to leave and I was like “No, Pharrell is coming. Don’t leave.” And having Tiesto play. I’ve never even worked with Tiesto and then Dillon Francis came up there. We were like “Our special guest is Tiesto!” and then Dillon came out and then Tiesto came out after. But I think the most important thing with Holy Ship is that the people that come on the boat have made these special friendships that will last a lifetime. And that was something I didn’t event think would happen and that just trumps everything because we’ve connected people all over the world through the event. It has created a special bond with people and it’s really cool. I’m in it for the music, but to see that happening…that was the bonus and it’s better than anything.

Wavo: What artists you’re most excited about being on Holy Ship?

Gary Richards: Ty Dolla $ign and DJ Mustard are coming, so it’s really cool to show them our vibe. It’s funny, I was in the studio with Ty and I was showing him the video for Holy Ship and his roommate was actually already booked. Then I saw this dude on the boat with a mask and he was trying to give me a sticker, I was like “what the fuck?” and I looked down and it was a Ty Dolla $ign sticker and I thought “OK, that must be his roommate.” I’m really pumped to have Flume. I think that Harley is an incredible talent. His music is so good and I’m stoked to have him back again. Also Armand Van Helden. He’s one of my fuckin’ heroes. I feel like Armand is up there with Daft Punk with all the songs he’s made over the years. But just the whole thing really. Annie Mac, she’s there again. Busy P is coming. It’s just so cool, someone like Busy P being there. Pedro [Busy P] was at the first HARD in 2007 and now I’m going to get to show him what Holy Ship is. He has no idea. It’s cool just to show some of the older producers what’s up. I mean, DJ Falcon is coming and he’s bringing like the Prince of Monaco or some shit. But people are going to freak out because I don’t think people know what to expect.

Wavo: With events like Holy Ship, you seem to attract the best fans who are really there for the music.

Gary Richards: Oh yeah, they love it. They go deep and are open-minded. And what’s cool about it is that we have this program where if you went on the first [Holy Ship] you have the first rights to go on the next one. I’m trying to get another ship going out of Europe, but that’s where we added February to try and get more people aboard. I felt like, “how could you keep it special and have another one,” but there’s so many people that want to go so we gotta keep growing. Because I feel that people are like “no, don’t have another one,” but I also feel like it’s selfish. You gotta spread the love.

Wavo: What decade do you think has the best hip-hop?

Gary Richards: For me, my personal favorite is Dre. So, I’d say the 90’s, The Chronic, Snoop, the whole Death Row. Going to high school in LA, that’s my shit. It’s funny because I have a lot of friends from New York and they’re all about Biggie and I mean I love Biggie, you know respect. But for me it’s all about the West Coast. I’m kind of old school, so like late 80’s and the 90’s. My dad was in music and has a platinum record on his wall from ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and that was in the 70’s. That was probably the first record to go platinum in hip-hop and my dad played it on the radio. Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force…I love all that shit. But the new shit is cool too. For me, what happened was I didn’t really pay attention to hip-hop for a while and just recently I started really paying attention to this whole new resurgence and it’s fuckin’ dope. There’s a lot of good shit coming out like Kendrick Lamar. There’s so much good shit now and I just didn’t really pay attention for a while and now I’m really paying attention.

Wavo: Do you plan on expanding HARD events to other states in the future?

Gary Richards: Yeah, we’re working on a tour for next year called the Go Hard Tour. We definitely have a Texas stop planned. It’s on the books. I feel like what’s happened is nowadays all the promoters just go for the big names. I think we can fish out some cool shit that people will be down with.

I hope Richards’ passion about Electronic Music is evident to you after reading this. His devotion to the industry as both a producer and a promoter is unparalleled. And his schedule isn’t getting any lighter. Following the successful January departure of Holy Ship , Richards is preparing for his Ship2Ship Tour featuring additional support from Anna Lunoe and Motez before setting sail again for the February edition of Holy Ship.

For tickets to Ship2Ship visit: www.ship2shipfam.com

Ship2Ship

December 4, 2014

Wavo Interview: Abstraxion

Abstraxion

By: Julia Martineau

French producer/DJ Harold Boué, aka Abstraxion, has been making music for nearly ten years.  His organic, explorative brand of electronica has earned him accolades from some of the industry’s best, from Simian Mobile Disco to Erol Alkan.  The follow-up project to his successful 2013 album, Break of Lights, Abstraxion’s latest offering is the four-track I Can’t EP, available December 8th, 2014 via HAKT Recordings.  We sat down with Abstraxion for a quick chat about his musical influences, inspirations, and upcoming releases.

Wavo:  What was the inspiration behind the I Can’t EP?

Abstraxion: My inspiration for the release came from life experiences.  It may sound cliché, but my music is based on emotions – love, melancholia, and difficulties overcoming life problems.

Wavo: You’ve been producing for almost a decade – what has that been like?

Abstraxion: I released my first EP in 2005, and I’ve had the chance to release music on Biologic, Different, and Marketing, which has been great, and most recently, my album Break of Lights last year on both HAKT Recordings and Nicolas Jaar’s label, Other People.

Wavo: Who are some of your greatest musical influences?

Abstraxion: I would say Aphex Twin, Caribou, James Holden, and my father.

Wavo: How did you decide who to work with on the remixes for “Around Me”?

Abstraxion: I met Jake (Fairmont) in Barcelona, and I really liked his energy, and, of course, his music.  We’ve kept in touch since that meeting, and felt that it would be interesting to remix each other’s tracks.  I also really respect My Favourite Robot’s work, and felt that they would be the right ones to do a second remix of “Around Me”.

Wavo: Who are some of your favourite artists right now?

Abstraxion: I really like DJ Koze, John Talabot, Roman Flugel, Soundstream, and Barnt.

Wavo: How does it feel to have the support of some of the biggest names in electronic music?

Abstraxion: I’m really happy with the feedback I’ve received so far on the release of my album.  I met both James Holden and James Ford from Simian Mobile Disco a few years ago, and I love the work that they have been doing, especially on their last albums.  They also really influenced my creative process in the studio.

Wavo: Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Abstraxion: I’ve finished an EP with Kasper Bjørke that will be released next year on Biologic Records, and we’ll be touring for the label’s ten year anniversary around Europe.  I’m also starting to work on my second album, so I hope to give you more news soon.

Stream Abstraxion’s I Can’t EP on Wavo below.

December 1, 2014

Sitting Down with Sonny Alven our Kuaga Contest winner

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We love when Wavo opportunities work out better then we could anticipate. Sonny Alven entered his incredible remix of Kuaga into our remix contest and got released worldwide on the legendary Cr2 Records.

Sonny Alven is definitely going to be  a producer to watch in the coming year! He’s only  21 and hails from Norway. There seems to be a lot of talent coming from there these days with names like Kygo and Jerry Folk quickly becoming international stars.

We sat down with Sonny to talk Kuaga and what’s coming up next.

What inspired your remix of ‘Kuaga’ and is this a style you’re hoping to make your own?

What really inspired me to remix ‘Kuaga’ was the amazing vocal sample that Pierce used. I think the original master is great, a super solid production. But I wanted to make a more chilled out version and turn it into a more tropical/deep house track. I also got very inspired by the great chords that he used, so I wanted to stick to them, but switch them up into another rhythm, which I think turned out great. It was a super fun track to remix. This is definitely a style that I am really into, it’s all about creating a good vibe, and that’s what I want to do with my music. If you blend a good vibe with emotions, then you got something special. 

How did you get started with music production?

I’ve been a huge fan of electronic music for the last 6-7 years, which means that when I was listening to music, it was mostly house and electronic stuff. Around three years ago I got myself a macbook with Logic 9, and instantly got hooked on music production. I’ve always been a creative person and interested in technology. I’ve always felt the urge to create something. Earlier on I was really into film making and that was my passion, but when I opened up Logic for the first time, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. So for the last three years I’ve been making music pretty much everyday. Always trying to find new techniques to improve my craft.

Have you always produced house?

Yes, I have always produced house music. I just love the groove and the feeling you get from listening to it. I have done tracks in some other genres, but that was more as an experiment to become a better producer. 

What usually inspires your original productions?

I get inspiration from a lot of places. Watching movies, discovering new sounds, grooves, and of course other music and people. Most of the time I start my tracks with some chords, and build the rest of the track upon that. 

Besides House, what is your second favourite style of music?

That’s a really hard question, as long as I think the music is good, it doesn’t really matter what style it is. I listen to everything from pop to indie, maybe even some jazz sometimes. I really like all type of music. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Hopefully I’m making a living from music and spend my time writing, producing and performing. I don’t know what more to say, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Maybe I’m even married and have kids, who knows, hahah. 

What’s been your highlight of the last year?

I think this year has been great for me, I have managed to get my name a little bit out there. In May I had like 200 followers on Soundcloud and now I’m soon at 4000, which I think is great. Winning Pierce Fulton’s remix contest is definitely a big highlight! I can’t wait till next year, I know it’s gonna be a good one! 

November 20, 2014

Wavo Interview: Pat Lok

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By: Julia Martineau

Vancouver-based DJ Pat Lok has had an incredible past year, consistently releasing dance floor friendly originals and reworks of artists from Olympic Ayres to Sirma.  Available exclusively on Wavo today, Lok’s Could Be Mine Remixes features the smooth, soulful vocals of Patrick Baker along with quality production work from Wantigga, Chores, and Red Milk.  We caught up with Pat for a quick chat about his musical inspirations, creative process, and upcoming projects.

Wavo: What’s the story behind this new remix package? How did you decide who to work with on it?

Pat Lok: As a music nut and DJ, I’m always looking for producers doing cool things regardless of genre.  At the time, Wantigga and Chores both popped up on my radar, while Red Milk was actually on the same compilation as the original “Could Be Mine”.  All the remixes are so fresh and add a different vibe to Patrick Baker’s vocals, I’ve been riding them hard in my sets and think listeners will love them too.

Wavo: What’s your approach to production like?

Pat Lok: Usually I’ll start off messing around on my Rhodes piano to find chords or a melody I like.  Once there’s an idea, I’ll quickly lay it down in Ableton and sequence drums to create a basic beat.  Before that gets too repetitive, I might chop up some vocals or samples to give it a bit more life, or write a bridge / B section.  Sometimes the idea comes together easily and it just needs refining, but other times the track can be a long process and the end product is something like the 75th version! For example, my original, “Body II Me”.

Wavo: What inspires you to make music?

Pat Lok: Total cliche alert, but I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life and everyone in my family plays something.  In terms of what gets me excited to write, a mixture of new and old music combined with whatever’s going on in my life.  I try to see a lot of live shows and still do my share of crate digging – even if that’s more on YouTube now.  It’s hard not to get excited when you hear a genius riff played by a long-forgotten session musician from Philadelphia, or a vocal off a B-side from a 90’s one-hit wonder.

Wavo: You have a monthly party, White Noise, in Vancouver.  What started that?

Pat Lok: White Noise is a monthly party founded by myself and my friend Nathan (of WMNSTUDIES) made possible with the help of several friends.  We were getting booked a lot together and realized there was no reason not to just start our own party.  At White Noise we support our favourite artists, but are also building “more” than just your typical DJ night – from impromptu live jams, special guests, and contest giveaways it’s always fun and unpredictable.

Since our February launch the crowds have been great – we’ve had established names like Moon Boots and Bit Funk but also given up-and-comers like Rainer and Grimm and Bear Mountain their first dj shows here, which is exciting.  Our Halloween party sold out and we’re about to announce Goldroom for New Years’ Eve, so more big things in the works!

Wavo: Who are your top three artists, dead or alive?

Pat Lok: Gotta defer to my man Dave on this one (c/o Skratch Bastid).

Wavo: What’s your favourite city and venue to play?

Pat Lok: So tough to pick.  For venue, probably the legendary Razzmatazz in Barcelona.  Favorite city, probably Bogota (Colombia) or Mazatlan (Mexico) because of the people…but you need to have some CanCon in there too, so Toronto gets an honorable mention for always bringing it!

Wavo: Any tour plans or upcoming projects you’d like to share?

Pat Lok: There are a few things – I’m constantly writing and searching for new artists to work with.  In the near future, my official remixes for The Knocks – “Classic” and Gold Fields – “Hold Me” will be out, likely January.  I’ve also got an original featuring this terrific singer named Desiree Dawson dropping as a Toolroom Records exclusive, and another single featuring local Vancouver band Dirty Radio that’s a little more poppy.  Hopefully people will be into the new music!

Stream Pat Lok’s Could Be Mine Remixes on Wavo below.

November 17, 2014

Artist Round-up : ODESZA – ‘Say My Name’ Remix Contest

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Wavo, ODESZA & This Song Is Sick would like to thank all the artists and voters who participated in this month’s ‘Say My Name’ Remix Contest. We had a great collection of artists from a variety of genres enter the competition and the standard of submission was incredibly impressive! A huge congratulations to the top three contestants Auto Laser, Luke Shay & The Geek X VRV!

1st place : The Geek X VRV
2nd place : Luke Shay
3rd place : Auto Laser

With such a high quality level of submission, ODESZA have chosen five more remixes that caught the eye. Make sure to check em’ out!

Basic Tape - Quality House rework from Basic Tapes. He brings the deep disco vibes with a tasty piano line, some fine guitar licks and a thumping kick.

Dapa Deep - Groovy deep progressive mix from Dapa Deep. The Vilnius producer kills it with a fat bass-line, beautiful atmosphere and strings and a well-effected vocal! 

Stelouse - Stelouse brings the future bass with a smashing rework jammed with super melodies, great energy and a stellar drop.

CLNQuality down-tempo electronic mix from CLN. Dreamy atmospheric touches and soft pianos keys the standouts.

Dub Scout - Killer future bass remix from Dub scout, beautiful arps & great use of the Zyra vocal. A whopper switch-up with the drop too!

Check out the remixes below!


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Once again, congratulations to The Geek X VRV for winning the competition and a big thanks to all who participated! We hope to see all artists in our future contests!

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