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Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?

I am an electronic music (mostly EDM) producer. I have been writing music most of my life and started playing/writing on guitar. Throughout high school and into college I played in several rock and metal bands and spent most of my time and energy in those genres. Several years ago I was introduced to EDM and fell in love with it. After immersing myself into the genre, I began writing and learning how to produce in a way I never had before. I have pretty much always started a song on the guitar and built it from there, but producing EDM is an entirely different approach… and I love it! My rock/metal and guitar backgrounds definitely come in handy and reflect in my music still because essentially I still try to write catchy "riffs" like on a guitar, except it's with a completely different sound. I'll usually start with a melody idea or "riff" type idea and do my best to play it on the keyboard, then I'll fix it so it sounds how I want it to. From there, it's building the song piece by piece as I hear it and messing with interesting chords so the chords and melodies work together in a "magical" way that sounds best to my ear. I love the way chords and melodies work together and how they can in fact create a "magical" feeling. That's one of the things that hooked me in to EDM so easily. There is a sense of euphoria that I, as well as many other listeners, often encounter when listening to it. I hope that those who listen to my music are able to experience the sense of mystery and wonder that I've experienced when listening to my favorite artists. One of my main goals is to use my experiences and influences to pass along the joy of music to listeners because so many amazing artists have done that for me.

How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years? Do you feel that changing tastes over years as artistic growth? ?

Much like my writing style, my musical tastes have changed a good bit too. I started listening to music seriously with my dad about the time I started elementary school. When he would take me to school in the mornings he would always have a classic rock radio station playing. There I was introduced to the greats (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd etc.) Throughout middle school and high school I got into more modern rock and metal (System of a Down, Coheed and Cambria, Kings of Leon, Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada). It was a wide array of music, and I was fully immersed. In college I began to branch out some and I started listening to artists such as Gorillaz and Daft Punk. My best friend at the time, now my brother-in-law has always listened to a huge variety of music and really got me into those artists, which have been a huge inspiration. In addition to the artists and bands I've listened to, my brother-in-law has been one of my best friends since high school and has probably been more influential than any one single band or artist. We have written countless songs together in several bands and fun side projects, and we have had a blast doing it. I haven't experienced music writing with another person or group of persons on the level I've experienced it with him. There's just something special about it that neither of us can quite place a finger on. As lame and cliche as it may sound, it's like the "magical" feeling I was describing in the previous question when listening to a good song. He's actually helped me write some music for STEV and sings on two of the tracks of my most recent release A Year In the Making. I've learned that while inspiration from music can be great, inspiration from friends, family and experiences can be even greater.

Of course, in the timeline of my taste changing, EDM came into the picture and to this day plays probably the biggest role in my musical influences. I still try to listen to a big variety of music because getting stuck in one place can get old quickly and doesn't refresh and renew my creativity. My main source of music is from Spotify. They have so many cool ways of listening to and discovering music. I love it. Other sources include YouTube and SoundCloud. Each have their own unique qualities and quirks, so I've learned to appreciate and utilize them all. Yet again though, I've learned that people who's opinions I trust are the best way to discover new music. When you share tastes in music with another human, it creates a bond that can't be matched by any other thing.

What´s new right now?

I just released a new album called A Year In the Making that I'm extremely proud of! It's available on all major digital streaming sites (Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon etc.) I'm super appreciative of all the streams and sales I make on these sites because they actually help fund the album itself by going toward the yearly cost I have to pay to keep it available.

Aside from that, I'm always releasing new music on my SoundCloud page that may not necessarily be on all major digital streaming sites (since SoundCloud is virtually free). I love the SoundCloud community and what it has done for independent artists such as myself. It's so cool to always be meeting new people on there and to connect with listeners and other artists. I also appreciate any and every follow I get on there too!

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What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?

I would say trying to tackle too much at one time. When I first started producing EDM I tried to learn too many things at once. Aside from just learning to write a completely new genre, I was trying to learn sound design and a new Digital Audio Workstation which are two VERY in depth things. It's best to take things slow and add on a layer at a time. It's okay to fail and learn from your failures. Every song doesn't have to be perfect. It's okay to write a song and move on from it especially in the early stages. In fact, it's a very healthy thing because it gives you a reference to look back on in the future and learn from.

Also, with social media. There's so much out there and I tried to be available everywhere which is nearly impossible and furthermore even more nearly impossible to manage. You have to think, there are people who's full time jobs are to manage social media and that's what they specialize in. My advice would be to pick one or two sites that you want to focus on and spend your time and energy on those. Don't spread yourself too thin. I did and it came back to bite me. Also, keep in mind that social media, while it can be a very useful tool, is so much less important than the art that you create. I've learned that if you pour yourself into your craft and find joy in that, the rest will fall into place. Networking with people face to face and making true connections with people goes a lot farther than having a bunch of followers on social media. Don't let social media become a distraction because it totally can be. Our time as artists is precious and our craft deserves the majority of it.


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How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?


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What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?


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How do you promote yourself? Do you have any specific promotion tips for other musicians?

Like I mentioned in the previous question, make organic connections with people (whether it be online or in person). That's what will make the difference. There is so much music out there and a market like EDM is so saturated with so much music good and bad, that a personal connection to an artist goes a very long way. People would much rather listen to or go see an artist that they know and like vs. someone they have never met before. If someone knows you and likes you, it brings a whole new light to your music for them because they have a personal connection to it.


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We meet again in one year. What has changed?

Hopefully I will have written a lot of good new music, made some new friends and will almost be ready to release another album!


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