What got you into becoming a DJ? Was it mostly self-taught or did you take formal lessons?
I originally went to a rave after the official after-prom party my senior year of high school. That was my introduction to electronic music, and I was instantly hooked. Not long after that, I got into DJing so I could learn more about the music and how it all fit together. It was a hobby for many years until I decided to take the plunge into the professional DJ world in Nov. 2011. I taught myself (without much success) while learning bits and pieces from other people over the years until I got the hang of it, and was really able to DJ consistently. I did take some formal lessons when I was attending Dubspot in 2013/2014 in order to fill in the gaps in my DJing and production knowledge.
Were you always interested in music and playing with sounds when you were younger?
I only had a passing interest in music when I was younger. I played around a bit with a few instruments, but nothing really peaked my interest for the long term.
While I’ve focused on tech house and techno, I’ve also made tracks in other genres so my sound is pretty diverse.
How would you describe your sound?
I don’t really have a signature sound, per se. My production technique lends to my tracks having a similar feel but not quite a signature sound. While I’ve focused on tech house and techno, I’ve also made tracks in other genres so my sound is pretty diverse.
Was it difficult finding your aesthetics or did it come sort of naturally to you?
Initially, both production and DJing was incredibly difficult. My technical background helped me through the initial learning curves. My DJing got a lot easier once I started producing my podcast and initial tracks. Production certainly did not come easily, and the struggle was very disheartening at times.
What is Evolution Radio?
“Evolution Radio” is a weekly 1-hour electronic music radio show that can be streamed/downloaded on Soundcloud. It is a continuation of my original podcast, titled “128 BPM Evolution”, which I renamed after a brief hiatus. This new edition still has a bit more of a focus on underground sounds (deep house, tech house, techno, melodic house & techno), but it also ventures in the electro/future/progressive house/house, drum & bass, and dubstep spheres.
The episode 231 from Evolution Radio is such a banger. What inspired you to create the mix?
I decided right off whether a show is going to be a single genre show or a multiple genre shows. For a multi-genre show, I pair genres that blend well together such as minimal/deep tech/tech house/techno. Usually, this works out and shows like 231 are bangers that don’t require a ton of effort to assemble. It’s more of a struggle with genres I don’t play very often like electro/future house. That being said, I’ve had tech house/techno shows that literally are so stubborn I feel like I’m pulling my own teeth out, and shows in other genres that fall together in the first attempt.
Tell us what you’ve been working on lately.
I’ve been working on three EPs lately. The first is a 2-track techno EP titled “Deep & Dark”, the second is a 4-track electro house EP titled “Don’t Get Lost”, and the third is a 4-track EP titled “Destinations 4” which is a continuation of my “Destinations” release line. I also recently started my own label called HVMA Records so I can release stuff on my own schedule. That is definitely a work-in-progress though as I’ve never done that before.
Any new releases soon?
I will most likely be releasing the aforementioned techno EP first then electro house EP then the tech house EP. I might release each track as a single though so I can have a more consistent schedule instead of bigger drops with less frequency.
Do you plan on collaborating with other artists?
I’m in the initial stages of collaborating with a couple people I know. However, I generally don’t like collaborating. Whenever there was a group project in school I almost always got stuck with doing most of the work, and I have no desire to deal with that again.
You’re based in Denver. What are your thoughts on the electronic music scene there?
We are always getting diverse names which helps when it comes to finding new DJs to follow. This is due to having solid venues (Beta, The Church, Temple, etc.), music festivals (GDF, Decadence, etc.), and, of course, Red Rocks. However, Denver does have its own issues. The main nightclubs have been around for years, and there is rarely any new club that challenges the long-standing ones (Temple being the latest addition). Since DJing is the chic thing to do everybody is doing it here as well.
What do you look for in a song? What do you think makes a great mix?
This is tricky. I like songs across a lot of different genres, and there isn’t one thing that consistently gets me. It’s anything from electronica like Rezz – “Edge (Original Mix)” music, to a more melodic vibe like Deadmau5’s “Avaritia (Original Mix)”, and in one case it’s a trumpet and vocals combo like Flex Cop – “Placebo (Original Mix)”. I’m not a fan of pop-music influenced tracks.
Do you do anything other than DJing?
I travel extensively, video games, binge-watching TV shows (just finished “Longmire”), and working out.
I’ve developed a rotating production process that prevents me from getting hung up on any one track, and I can approach older, unfinished tracks with a new ear to revamp and complete said tracks.
What do you want the listeners to take away from your mix?
I want people to enjoy listening to my mix and have a greater appreciation for electronic music.
Has your creative process changed since you started out?
I’ve gotten a lot more organized and logical in my approach. I’ve developed a rotating production process that prevents me from getting hung up on any one track, and I can approach older, unfinished tracks with a new ear to revamp and complete said tracks. Having the radio show has exposed me to a lot more music than I would have listened to in the past which doesn’t hurt either.
Say we’re in an Uber and there’s an aux cable. What three songs would you queue up?
Rezz – “Relax (Original Mix)”, Adamwah – “1AM In Sin City”, Julien Jabre – “Swimming Places (Jerome Sydenham Remix)”. I like this question.
Anything you’d like to share with the fans?
Check out “Evolution Radio” with a new episode every Friday. Until then never stop dancing, partying, watching out for your mates, and getting your groove on!
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