Category: Interviews

Sullivan King on his Lost Lands set, new Vantablack EP

Manila Killa: “Music is always there for me” [interview + giveaway]

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Photo credit: STruong Photography

Some people go to work at a consulting firm after graduation. Others might go to graduate school. Chris Gavino aka Manila Killa is ending his I Want You tour in Chicago this weekend after performing over a dozen shows across the country this fall. That’s what he’s been doing since graduating from George Mason University in Virginia earlier last year. Continue reading

Champagne Drip on trying new things: “Learn the rules to break them”

Win a pair of tickets to see Cosmo’s Midnight!

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Credits: Cosmo’s Midnight

I remember listening to Cosmo’s Midnight on Youtube when I was a senior, writing my college application essays in a Starbucks one evening. This was before Spotify and Soundcloud took over, when I was listening to channels like Majestic Casual and Pandora to find new music.

You might have heard their remix of Flume’s track Sleepless, which has been streamed more than 3 million times on Youtube. I love them for their mix for Complex UK, 40 minutes of vibrant, cheery tracks. Keep scrolling for a playlist of my favorites!

Their newest single, Mind Off, is upbeat, luminous and beachy. The perfect way to end summer.

When these Australian twins first announced their show at Beat Kitchen, it felt as though my foray into electronic music had come full circle.

Cosmo’s Midnight will be at Beat Kitchen on August 25! Buy tickets here or…

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free pair of GA tickets to their Chicago show:

C: What is it like producing and performing with your twin brother? 

It’s a pretty good deal, to be honest. We are close enough to not worry about getting touchy about not liking something the other person is doing. If something isn’t sounding right in our music, we can immediately voice it without worrying about offending each other.

C: So you’re currently touring the world – are your performances a mix of live instruments/acoustics and mixing? Or what?

So we have a drum pad and some live percussion that we mic, and a small keyboard to play some parts of songs. I (Cosmo) also control the set flow, although we might at some point have the set entirely pre-made so we can focus on only playing instruments.

C: From Lido to Wave Racer to Swindail, who have been some of your favorite people to work with and why?

Swindail is great to work with. He has a fresh and honest perspective on our music and is also good to bring into a session to shake out any bad habits that might be forming in our production. He’s very insightful and is definitely a great person to have around.

C: What’s next for Cosmo’s Midnight? New music, concerts and performances, collaborations? Spill!

We have a bunch of shows right up until the end of the year and we’re working on a lot of new music so we’re excited to tie some new songs up and get them out there.

C: What songs/artists are you guys currently loving?

sampha, Steve Lacy, BROCKHAMPTON, Jorja Smith, sam gellaitry, Kllo…. too many to mention really.

C: Are there any other up and coming artists and producers from Australia that we should be looking out for?

As just mentioned I’m really liking a group from Melbourne called Kllo. They’re really pushing a sound that isn’t really supported in Australia so I’m really proud of them for going against the grain and trying to contribute a different sonic aesthetic to what can sometimes be a stifling musical landscape.

C: What do you guys like to do in your free time when you’re not working on music?

When I’m at home I’m usually playing games or trying to find new music to enjoy that is as far removed from our own style as possible. In summer we go to the beach nearly every day. You can’t live in Sydney and not make the most of our great beaches.

C: What advice would you guys give your former selves when you were first getting into music?

To be honest I’m pretty happy with how we got into music and how we transitioned into music being a career. It all felt very natural and we didn’t really force anything. We’ve slowly built our sound and discovered what we like to make. However, if I could, I would’ve liked to have had a little more certainty on the type of music we wanted to make before we got more attention than I think we deserved. Because suddenly people might expect a certain type of music from you when you don’t even really know what you want to do or what your sound is.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.

StéLouse: on stage and in the studio

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source: SoundCloud

You’d never guess that Ross Ryan, known by his stage name StéLouse, started out in a rock band.

The Denver native, who recently performed at Electric Forest in Michigan, took a few minutes to chat with me about his zest for live performance, his new music, and what he does when he’s not making new music. Continue reading

Interview w/ Bad Royale: “That’s us, the Caribbean bass guys”


Photo: Bad Royale

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might remember (you probably don’t) my review of Bad Royale’s Move Like EP that came out in 2015.

If you like the reggae instrumentals of Bob Marley set against the fast-paced, bass-heavy electronic music put out by Baaeur, you’ll love Bad Royale’s new EP, Move Like, which came out earlier today on Mad Decent. – Move Like: Bad Royale’s new EP

Since then, the group has produced a litany of trappy, moombahton tracks and even worked with Diplo on a remix of “Look At My Dab” that I’m sure you’ve heard – it’s got nearly 4 million plays on Soundcloud.
Bad Royale will be back in Chicago with Gent & Jawns Thursday for TRVPPED at The Mid! They put together an exclusive promo mix that highlights the best of their production and taste.

If you RSVP, you can get in for free before 11:30 PM!

How’s the tour been so far? Give me some highlights!

The best highlight so far has been Shaky Beats Festival in Atlanta. We opened the stage and we’re afraid it would be dead but we packed that place with an amazing crowd! Fun times.

Why’d you pick Gent & Jawns to tour with you guys?

Gent & Jawns to us are one the most underrated artists out there, we are huge fans of their music and personality so we click very well musically!

So some of you guys also do your own stuff on the side – how is working in a group different from making music on your own?

We work the same within Bad Royale. We each make something different and then fight about it.

What sort of individual music influences and styles do you guys bring to the table?

That’s hard. Kevin, Bruce, and Maor are all from trance backgrounds and are fairly melodic. Elias just makes noise.

In an age when it’s so easy to replicate other artists and create similar beats, how do you guys keep things interesting and original?

We basically started this whole thing with a Caribbean twist because we felt that was lacking in EDM. We feel like we have that niche carved out and totally own it now. That’s us, the Caribbean bass guys. Lately, we’ve been bringing a lot of pop influences into our music as well.

What’s next for Bad Royale? Productions, collaborations, performances, festivals, etc.

We have a lot in store for the upcoming months, more north American dates and some European too, and of course lots of secret collaborations and some big singles, but we can’t say much yet!

Oh and a music video!

Lightning Round:

Who manages your twitter? All of you? Your manager?

All of us, that’s what makes it interesting, we all have a different type of approach and personalities, so it keeps the interaction with fans going. Definitely not management though, they hate what we post.

Where’d the name Bad Royale come from?

Credit goes to Paul Devro from Mad Decent, we were basically known as ‘The Kingdumb’ as some might know, but before Paul signed us to Mad Decent, he felt we should take ourselves a bit more seriously, so we gave him a bunch of emails that related to king/royalty, and he helped us choose. Thanks, Paul, we still hate you.

Who are some of your close EDM/music producer friends?

Big shout out to our homies Above & Beyond, Valentino Khan, Diplo, Walshy Fire, Jillionaire of Major Lazer, Party Favor, Gent & Jawns, ETC! ETC!, Borgore, Styles&Complete, Wax Motif, Herobust and the list goes on and on…we love everyone. They probably don’t love us back though

What’s a song you’re loving right now?

Rammstein – Tier

Who would you love to perform with/collaborate with?

Would love to do another track with Major Lazer for their next album. Diplo, pls answer.

Calling all Stööki heads to Chop Shop


Photo source: COLORSBERLIN

It was back in my freshman year of college that I first heard Stööki Sound. My friend Maddy showed me their track “W2L” with Troyboi. I remember being so taken back by the way it sounded unlike anything I’d ever heard before, especially with the signature “Stööki Sound” audio byte cleverly inserted into their tracks. Continue reading