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Sam Blacky Releases Debut Single “Too Late” and Launches Her Stabby Records Imprint

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LA-based DJ/producer Sam Blacky makes an explosive debut with her brand new single “Too Late,” which serves as the world’s official introduction to Sam’s underground-influenced house and techno sound. “Too Late” opens with disco-inspired vocals and a kickdrum driven bassline, quickly setting the stage for a late-night vibe that perfectly reflects her DJ sets; listeners can imagine themselves taking part in one of her “A New World” series, dancing underneath the stars of some of Mexico‘s most beautiful locales. The single is out on Sam Blacky‘s label Stabby Records, which will deliver cutting-edge house music from Blacky herself and other artists, representing the same sonic vision. Sam and Stabby Records have plenty of surprises and new music in the works this year, so keep an eye out for what’s next!

Samantha Black is a multitalented DJ/producer, model, and influencer professionally known as Sam Blacky. Originally from San Diego, Sam spent several years in Australia, where she first fell in love with producing music and performing live. Since moving back to Los Angeles, music and performing have taken a front seat in her life. In addition to her hectic modeling schedule, Sam has performed live across the world from 2017 to 2021, from Mexico to Ibiza to Bali, racking up over 120 gigs a year at some of the premier electronic festivals and clubs on the planet. With the global pandemic in 2020, Sam released a series of videos on Youtube called “A New World,” where she streamed live sets from some of her favorite places in Mexico, giving viewers a taste of vacation vibes even while staying safe at home. Before all the music, her modeling portfolio included brands such as Nike, L’Oréal, Galore, Marie Claire, Superdry, Guess, Sports Illustrated, Malibu, and Playboy, giving her a unique creative perspective to all types of cultures and styles to bring to her music. With the launch of Sam Blacky‘s label, Stabby Records, and her first releases, 2021 is set to be a breakout year for Sam as she expands her artistic brand.

More info on Sam Blacky / Stabby Records:

Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Vonavi Remembers The Importance of Staying Present in New Single, “Regrow”

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Producer and songwriter Vonavi (aka Andrei Ivanov)  has never taken anything for granted when it comes to music.  So many things in his career have been a result of the unexpected –  he never anticipated going from trading CDs to beating professional DJs in a DJ competition as a teen. His new single, “Regrow,” was another happy accident, sprung up unintentionally from a few chords. With this song, he hopes to remind himself to stay in the present, where he feels we are at our most uninhibited creatively. Vonavi is keenly excited for his upcoming debut LP, Reflection, out  November 8th – in his mind, an important first step to laying claim to his hopeful eventual title as a true artist. Listen to “Regrow” below!

Cliché: How did you initially discover your passion for music?
Vonavi: I think around 13/14 y.o. I remember I was into American hip-hop, r’n’b at that time. I was so eager to find the coolest and the newest tracks. I didn’t have an internet then so we were exchanging CDs with my friends. Sometimes you can get the best stuff from my older brother’s friends. Then I switched to dance oriented music: house, techno, trance etc. I got my first internet at 15 and I discovered so many amazing and unique music on Beatport. Then I got my first really crappy CDJs and mixer. I even won a local DJ competition not only because of the music I played but also because my DJ skills. On the last round of DJ competition judges covered LCDs on CDJs so you needed to beat-match by ear and because of my crappy/cheap home setup I had learned to sync tracks without any BPM showing. I was so proud of myself, cause those fancy DJs were beaten by some humble kid from nowhere. At the age of 17 I got my first cracked DAW and started making some really shitty dance tracks. That’s how I started to learn music production.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
It’s quite a hard question. Because I have this tendency to live with one Artist and listen the music till the point where I feel nothing. And then I move on to another. It’s like in a relationship – going through phases. Though there are some of them that keep evolving and I can’t lose interest. Such as Trentemoller, Nils Frahm, Massive Attack, Radiohead, Max Richter, earlier James Blake’s stuff and more.

How would you describe your sound?
I never stop searching for a new sound, and it can be quite tricky to describe my sound cause I’m constantly changing as a human being. But what remains is cinematic and a bit melancholic colors in my music. It’s hard for me to imagine that I’ll do something 100% upbeat. To me it’s inappropriate, it’s not the soundtrack that I’d make for the life I see.

Talk about your new single, “Regrow.”
Regrow was an unexpected child.  I had finished my album, but I started working on some new ideas for the future and came up with those chords that struck me and I continued building the track. I finished the demo and sent it to Chris James (RUN RIVERS). He was so excited about it and did some vocals. We were sending files back and forth until we were happy with the track. I listened to the track and felt it should be on the album. Production wise, I’m so proud of the strings on “Regrow.” I like to use real instruments if I can and when possible. I know there are dozens of good sample libraries that sound awesome, but real recording is worth a try and it makes music more personal and unique. I recorded all cello/violas/violins just with one musician by placing her in different positions of my studio and also different rooms with more reverb. It was a very meticulous process and I tortured my musician quite hard with moving her and playing the same parts over and over for multitrack recording. But at the end it was worth it!   

What significance does the prospect of regrowth hold for you personally?
For me it is always important to stay in the present. I find my thoughts so many times in the future and that freezes me up to do any actions. I think to be in the present is the most paramount thing in life. It is in this state that one can truly make great art. Enjoy the process, and be happy in the end. I need to practice more of “being in the present”, especially in our “Black Mirror” days.

The track is featured on your debut LP, Reflection out November 8th. Are you excited for the release? Do you feel like it’s sort of your coming out party as an artist?
I’m excited to finally put my record out. Not to impress someone but rather to put my first brickstone in the wall of becoming an Artist. The “Artist” is such a profound word to me. It’s something that you should earn through time by digging deeper, learning, discovering. It’s about the attitude of doing things in the right way or right things in a wrong/unseen way. There a possibility of becoming an artist but no guarantee. I’m not an “Artist,” not at the moment at least. 

What would you say is the overall message of the LP?
There is a message for me. Making this LP was a reflection of me trying to do what I can with means I had at the moment. It was a journey of ups and downs. Absolutely relying on myself and luck. It was a period of time that captured my life, my influences, my struggles. 

Which track are you most proud of and why?
I think it’s “Sunburst”. That was the first track I made. It’s really hard to start and when I made the demo inside I knew that It was a new chapter in my life: something new and exciting. 

You’ve had the opportunity to work on some pretty awesome collaborations. Who else would you like to work with?
Yeah, I was extremely lucky with collaborators. My dream now is to make a track with Thom Yorke. Maybe I’ll be lucky someday, we’ll see!

You also create music for soundtracks and commercials. How do you go about finding the right musical “voice” and tone for a client?
I think through a conversation. I’ve been making music to picture for 4 years now and the biggest skill as composer you should have is a sharp sensibility of what the film needs. Most directors are not musicians and they speak to you through stories not with musical terms. A big part of being a composer is to be a psychologist. You need to guess what the director really wants and then you act. 

Several popular TV shows have featured your music, including How To Get Away With Murder and Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger. What’s that feeling like?
I’m honored to see my music in the credits of these two shows. My cousin once told me that she was watching  How To Get Away With Murder and heard my music in it without knowing that they used it. And then she told me. That feels nice!

Any other new projects in the works?
I’m working on music for upcoming short film by Daniel Uribe (who directed music video for “Sunburst”). And also working on some demos and ideas for my next LP.

Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Vonavi Remembers The Importance of Staying Present in New Single “Regrow”. Photo Credit: Dmitri Bilous.

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Why We Still Need SoundCloud

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When SoundCloud was founded in 2007, it was not necessarily the first streaming service of its kind. Before, there was YouTube and Napster, but what made SoundCloud different was its devotion to creativity. In its initial form, not only was streaming completely free, but also entirely user-friendly. Laissez-faire copyright laws made it easy for unsigned artists (specifically DJs) to post original remixes of popular tracks, which allowed listeners to fall for the romantic notion that maybe music can be free. Now, after a decade, the Berlin-based streaming service has taken quite a few blows—a few of which have steered it away from this original idea of free creativity. However, a closer look at its original values shows why we still need SoundCloud. 

 

At its best, Soundcloud was an avenue for musical discovery. Made up of mostly lesser-known artists, the service allowed users to scratch beneath the surface of popular music. Artists were allowed to make music without the burden of conventionality weighing on their shoulders while they recorded tracks.

SoundCloud was not about making money or recording instant hits. It was about self-expression within a community of like-minded individuals—a huge deal in the music world, considering major labels and record producers were busy cultivating a harsh climate of cutthroat deals, limited contracts, and perfectionism. This is what made SoundCloud as a platform so liberating: It freed artists from this pressure cooker of artificiality.

This isn’t to say, however, that SoundCloud artists were fated for a life outside the realm of the mainstream. Take SoundCloud’s poster child Chance the Rapper. In 2011, after having his musical aspirations mocked by peers and teachers, he spent a 10-day school suspension recording his first ever mixtape, 10 Day.

In his own words, he chose SoundCloud because it was the only platform that allowed him to upload his work without asking for a subscription payment. As a result, free, accessible music became his purpose (he doesn’t make songs for free, he makes them for freedom). Later came Acid Rap and Coloring Book, two mixtapes that have received wide commercial success despite the fact that he remains unsigned. At the young age of 24, Chance remains one of the most conventionally successful rappers of his time, regardless of the fact all his albums are available for free download.

Chance isn’t the only rapper to find fame through free streaming. More recent overnight sensations include Ugly God, who just dropped his debut album following the instant success of SoundCloud hit “Water,” Post Malone, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp, among others. It would be nearly impossible to list all the rappers who have benefitted from this free platform because, when it comes to SoundCloud, fame isn’t the only indicator of success. There’s something to be said about a song you recorded in your bedroom being labeled art, even if it’s just by one person.

The community aspect of the service fosters a positivity that is missing from the critical “real” world. In this way, SoundCloud operates as a sort of escape from the unforgiving industry. It is a microcosm of the larger industry—one without all the “X out of 10” album reviews, Hot 100 charts, or sale numbers.

Rap isn’t the only genre to flourish under SoundCloud’s guiding hand, either. Perhaps the most unique aspect of the SoundCloud platform was its freedom from copyright infringement laws, which allowed DJs to elevate electronic music to new heights. Unlike YouTube (a competitor with SoundCloud for best free streaming service), SoundCloud allowed DJs to post remixes of pre-existing tracks without fear of their content being removed.

For instance, look at Kygo, whose remix of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” received over 50 million plays on SoundCloud. This was his jumping-off point, and it resulted in his release of “Firestone” on the streaming service, which led to critical and commercial acclaim. His personal success snowballed after this, as did the legitimization of house and electronic music as an artform. In 2016, he became the first house music producer to perform at an Olympics closing ceremony.

It is no secret that this is a very idyllic look at a corporation that has strayed very far from its roots. Since its creation, SoundCloud’s intentions have become much foggier. The corporation has negotiated deals with major labels and artists, allowing at least a portion of contributors to make money on advertisements (a move that betrays the idea of “all music is created equal” in its entirety).

In 2016, they introduced SoundCloud Go, a paid subscription service. Ironically, all of this failed them financially. They had almost gone under this year, but their saving grace was emergency funding. But just because the company is safe financially does not mean that everything that made it great is. It’s quite the opposite; SoundCloud does not only need a bailout, they need to return to the values that made them great. Otherwise, free music is doomed, and they’re going down with it.

Read more Music Articles on ClicheMag.com.

Why We Still Need SoundCloud: Featured image courtesy of SoundCloud

Chloe Jane Talks Her Budding DJ And Singing Career

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Thirteen-year-old singer/DJ Chloe Jane is eager to share her passion with the world. This young artist is writing songs and mixing beats in hopes of pursuing her dream. She has worked with some great artists to help her develop her abilities and she is ready to take on more. Her first single “Superstar” debuted on June 21 and we can’t wait for what else is to come. Here, we chat with the rising artist about when she realized she wanted to become a singer and DJ and what it was like working with Meghan Trainor.

 

Cliché: When did you first realize your passion for music?
Chloe Jane: When I was about 10 years old, I started singing and playing the piano. Songwriting came a year later.

What inspired you to become a singer and DJ?
My parents met in Ibiza, which is one of the biggest music islands in the world, and every summer I went to Ibiza. That’s how my ear opened up to music and how I wanted to learn to DJ.

Do your singing career and DJ career go hand in hand or are they completely separate?
My singing career and DJ career do go hand-in-hand. When I sing and record songs, I then play them when I DJ. It gives me a good sense of how people react to my song.

How do you stand out compared to other young artists?
I sing, play piano, songwrite, DJ, dance, and ice-skate. I also do makeup tutorials, write fashion blogs, edit my own videos, design clothes, and design headphones.

When I sing and record songs, I then play them when I DJ. It gives me a good sense of how people react to my song.

Tell us about your single “Superstar.” How was working with Meghan Trainor?
“Superstar” is an exciting song. It’s catchy and upbeat, which is great for my audience. Meghan co-wrote the song with my producers, the Elev3n, who then recorded the song with me. It was lots of fun and a great learning experience for me.

What projects are you currently working on?
This summer, I have a residency at one of the most amazing clubs in Ibiza called Amnesia. I will be performing shows for teenagers and playing great music, including my songs.

What are your plans for the future?
I want to keep writing and recording new music to be released throughout the rest of this year.

Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com

Chloe Jane Talks Her Budding Dj And Singing Career. Photographed by Antoine Verglas

Sweet, Sweet Music with MAAD*MOISELLE

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We’ve sat down with many fashion-forward individuals, we’ve interviewed countless musicians, and we’ve heard dozens of life stories from artists around the world, but we can now say that we’ve interviewed one person who embodies all of these characteristics: MAAD*MOISELLE. She has graced the pages of various magazines as a model, her music has been played at maximum volume in venues, and her style has been pinned on countless Pinterest style boards. Her empowering and classic image has landed her opportunities with websites and blogs like Tumblr, as well as companies like Puma and Fossil. Now, here’s a look into MAAD*MOISELLE’s world, her passions, and what’s to come.

 
Cliché: What came first, the modeling, DJing, or writing music?
MAAD*MOISELLE: Modeling and writing music came around the same time for me. As I was working on getting into the fashion industry, I was always writing and recording ideas.
Tell us about your newest single, “Sweet & Low.” For those that have yet to hear it, what is it about?
“Sweet & Low” is a fun, playful record inspired by the funk and disco era. It’s about a woman who has no fear in telling her significant other what she wants. I’ve always had a thing for the ‘70s and had been experimenting with finding ways to revisit those vibes. My production company, The VAMP, really helped bring those ideas to life.
What was your earliest memory of falling in love with music?
My earliest memory would have to be singing Boyz II Men’s “Water Runs Dry” around the house with my father. I would alway want to study their backgrounds and add my own. My mother played a huge role as well. Every Saturday morning she would blast music like Chic, Luther Vandross, and Nancy Wilson. I grew up in a musical household, so my love for it came super natural.
We LOVE your fashion sense. What or who inspires your looks?
Thank you! The ‘70s is a huge inspiration for me. Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, and Diana Ross are some of my favorites to be inspired by. I really love them for their effortless glam moments.
Speaking of inspiration, what inspired your latest music video?
As the writers and I were penning “Sweet & Low,” we started chatting about concepts and locations for the video. Ice cream parlors and candy shops kept popping into the picture, so when it came time to shoot, it was a no-brainer. The directors and I just wanted the vibe to mirror the playful and fun mood of the record.
What can we expect from you in the future?
In the future, you can expect some more music and visuals from me. I’m excited to start releasing everything I’ve been working on over the past year.
Read more Music Interviews at ClicheMag.com
Sweet, Sweet Music with MAAD*MOISELLE: Photos courtesy of MAAD*MOISELLE

DJ JES Interview

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New York native JES has not left her throne since she entered the dance music game. From her hit song “As the Rush Comes” to “Imagination,” the blonde bombshell is as lovely and beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. From her Los Angeles apartment, JES talks to us about her constant craving for the Big Apple, her two-story studio, and her positive yoga lifestyle. Check out the DJ JES interview below!

Cliché: You’re originally from New York City. Which part did you grow up in?
JES: I grew up on 10th Street between University and 5th. Then when I was around 12 years old, my family and I moved uptown to the East Side, but I still have an apartment in the East Village.

Do you visit New York often?
I never really thought I’d be in LA as much as I am, but it’s much easier because I have a studio and I’m always working. I do go back and forth as much as I can. Last year I really tried to move back to New York. I was there the whole year, but nobody wanted to come with me. It was very hard to be the head of my business and control it from New York when everyone is here in LA. I try to go every month or two and I try to stay as long as possible. These days you can write on a computer, and I have a microphone I bring with me, so I can write anywhere. Recording is a little bit different; if I need to work on vocal production, then I really need to be in my studio. When I am in New York, I like to visit as many museums and take in as much of the city as I can.

Tell us about your studio.
I have a beautiful and huge studio in LA. I partnered with a few people, so it’s actually a full, two-story live recording room with a bunch of different writing and media rooms downstairs. I also have a workroom in my apartment where I can sing all the time with a whisper room so I don’t bother my neighbors! In my New York apartment, I just pretty much close the door and hope my neighbors don’t get mad. My neighbors are funny; they’ll come to me and say, “I really like that song you’re working on.”
What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up? Was there a specific group or artist you gravitated towards?
I was always into songs and voices; I wasn’t necessarily really into groups. I was listening to Madonna and other kinds of pop music. My good friend introduced me to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison. It taught me a lot about songwriting and different styles.

What influenced you to take the step to work with music?
Well my dad is a businessman, but my mom is very musical. Growing up in my house, the radio was always on and we had a piano and a guitar. I grew up going to plays and recitals, and I was humming, singing, and making up songs from a really early age. I can remember being as young as 5 years old and making songs. I went to a performing arts school and was part of the choir and always going out for auditions. I never really wanted to do anything else. I feel kind of lucky that way because I was always surrounded by music and knew what I wanted to do. It’s not easy you know, but I kind of went into it sort of naive. I was working at studios, working for anything that can get me around music.

Would you consider yoga as one of your hobbies or is it more of a lifestyle?
I’d definitely consider yoga a lifestyle. It kind of saved my life. I’ve always done yoga, but I started doing a Vinyasa power/hot yoga and also meditating. Anything that can quiet my mind for an hour or two is relaxing. It’s very hard; you have to be so strong, but it’s such a great workout that has calmed me down and helps me maintain my focus. I know it’s not for everybody, but I find that it’s one of the best workouts for me. I ran a marathon and I work out every day at the gym, but I’ve seen more change through yoga than any other workout. 

Which marathon did you run?
I ran the Honolulu Marathon about two years ago and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I actually had a show on a Friday and ran the marathon on a Sunday. I ran for an LA-based charity APLA and I met a lot of wonderful people. I remember training on the treadmill and I was so nervous about the marathon. I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but I did and finished under six hours, which is pretty good time. I would suggest anybody to run in a marathon because it’s an incredible life-changing experience. I’d love to run the New York marathon, but there’s something very magical about Hawaii. 

From watching your music videos and performances, you have a very rockstar style. What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet?
I do so many shows and it’s kind of funny because you can’t wear things too many times. I like a lot of vintage pieces and my sister is an amazing photographer in New York who finds some really nice pieces. I also work with a designer here named Maggie Barry who designs a lot of stuff with me. When I’m in New York, I check out downtown shops, and in LA there’s a place called Santee Alley, which is a great place to go for cool jewelry and artsy/trashy boutiques and shoes. I’m kind of eclectic with things that I put together. When I started out, I was the girl with the corn rolls. Now, through the years, I am a little more dressy, but I love the sneaker wedge craze. I know they aren’t the most beautiful things, but you can find some really cool ones and for long shows they are very comfortable. I love to dress up and I get the opportunity to indulge that when I perform.

You collaborated with ATB and are featured in three of his songs on his album Contact. How was the experience working with him?
I did shows over the years with him and we’ve always bumped into each other. We’ve been wanting to work together for about five years now and when I put out my song, “Higher Than the Sun,” he wrote me and said, “JES, I’m doing my album; we gotta sit down.” It was a wonderful experience and he’s such a sweet guy. Unfortunately, we were too busy to actually be in the studio together because he’s in Germany, but we went back and forth for a year with tracks and he really pushed me in certain directions. I was very happy because the first track we did was a mid tempo ballad and I’m very known in the EDM world, but I really come from the rock/pop world, so it was nice to be able to collaborate on different tracks. They had different elements and they really came out great. The track “Together” is one of my favorites. “Hard To Cure” is a big dance anthem that I think will be one of the singles, and “Right Back to You” is a little more pop. I love them all and I’m so happy with the way they came out. We did a few preview shows for the album in Chicago, San Francisco, and Roseland Ballroom in New York City before it closed. My mother came and it was a really special and wonderful show. It’s very exciting and I’m really looking forward to doing more shows.

You have collaborated with many artists over the years. What has been one of your favorite collaborations?
Like I said, I don’t always get to go in the studio with artists, but one of my favorites and one of my most successful collaborations was with BT. I had a song called “Every Other Way” and we performed it with a huge orchestra. It was like a dream; it was amazing. I actually have been able to work with him in the studio so that’s special. I think Tiësto and BT are the only two people I went in the studio with. BT was one of my favorites and we’ve written so many beautiful things together and are very good friends.

Since you’ve DJed all over the world, what is your absolute favorite city to play in?
You can’t beat Ibiza, but I love so many places because they’ve been so wonderful. Mexico City and Kuala Lumpur are amazing. One of my favorite places to play is the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

JES’s Interview “The Queen of EDM” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue.

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Grand and Warren Share Their Sound

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601e99_4f420995c7142bdc923f804c091914e7The term “disc jockey,” created in 1935, was made in reference to those who operated or worked with vinyl records. Fast forward a few years to the discos of the 1970’s, and dance music is a not only a phenomena, but a culture captivating the lives of those in afros and white platform boots. Dance music is continuing to change, even today, and in 2013, dance music has taken on a completely new form. There are so many different styles of dance music that have evolved: hip-hop, rap, trance, electro, house, and dubstep are just some of the latest.
According to New Jersey’s up and coming DJ’s Grand and Warren, “DJing now, compared to DJing from years ago, is like night and day. Nowadays, DJing is only a fraction of what we do. Anyone can call themselves a DJ, but in order to stand out from the rest, you have to be on your game both in and out of the DJ booth. It takes countless studio hours, meetings with new connections, and constant marketing and promotion. DJing is our best time to interact with new people and when we really get to display our talent.”
The talented duo, James Alexander and Gary Rabbitt, originally met at Saint Peters Preparatory High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, which sits on the intersection of Grand and Warren. Although they were acquainted with each other for some time, they did not collaborate musically until a few years later. The two coincidentally spun at the same bar (Celebrities in Haledon, NJ) and decided to change their game up by performing at the same time, as opposed to having two separate sets. With the recent release of their original tracks, “Lion” and “Tonic,” Grand and Warren have just begun their journey to the top of the electronic scene.
Cliché: How have you progressed as artists and as a team since you began your DJ career path?
James Alexander: We do a lot of listening. I’m not talking about music. I am talking about listening to what everyone has to say. No one’s opinion is considered “stupid” or “irrelevant.” We realize where we are in the industry at this time, and we only want to get better.
Gary Rabbitt: We have definitely grown since the start. Like James said, we like to listen to what people have to say, and we draw our own business plans based on the knowledge we acquire.
Do you plan on having careers outside of this industry (if you don’t already)?
James: I definitely plan on making a few investments outside of this industry. Growing up, I learned and taught myself how to become a barber, and I am very blessed to be working with the best barbershop in the world, Fabulous Stylz!
Gary: Music has been my passion for most, if not all, of my life. So, whether it be producing music or helping others in the industry, I intend on keeping my career path focused here.
What aspects of your life (both past and present) influence your music?
James: The fans, the crowds we play in front of, Pacha in New York City. The list goes on…
Gary: For me, our music is just a reflection of our experiences that we’ve shared throughout our lives. Sometimes, capturing that one sound or writing that one verse is all it takes to bring back memories, both good and bad.
How do you come up with the concepts for your original tracks, in addition to mixing songs?
James: It’s all over the place. We hear so many great productions from other artists, and it can get very inspiring. Then, all of a sudden, something pops up in your head while listening to the track, and next thing you know, you are writing your own.
Gary: It’s difficult to really pinpoint where the concept for an original comes from. Sometimes, I wake up from a deep sleep with a melody, and I’ll have to make a dash for the piano just to jot it down. It comes and goes; it’s a gift and a curse.
Other than performing, name other projects that you are currently working on or aiming for.
Both: Producing and collaborating with other artists.
Which are some of the best and worst experiences in your musical career thus far?
James: Best experience by far was playing at Pacha NYC. We worked so hard to perform there, and it was everything we expected. The worst? Not too much. We enjoy the late nights in our studio, and everyone who helps us out and stays on top of us with everything we do.
Gary: For me, my best experience was when we produced our first track, “Carbon.” It was the moment when we realized we had a lot more talent than we expected.
In this type of musical genre, are there rivalries between artists similar to those in the rap and pop world?
James: Not that I am aware of, and I hope it never gets to that. This industry is filled with artists that use other artists productions to better their live performances! It’s beautiful.
Gary: From our understanding, this industry is more about love and passion rather than competition and “who’s better than who?”
Where do you see Grand and Warren within the next five to ten years?
Both: At the top! We can’t wait to show off our talent and share it with the rest of the industry’s best producers!
What activities do you participate in outside the DJ life?
James: Not too much. When I’m not working on music, I am usually in the barbershop.
Gary: I am fully involved with our music 24/7.
What advice do you have for artists pursuing the same passions?
James: Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do it, and surround yourself around good, positive people.
Gary: As LaidBack Luke said to us, “Just keep going, work the hardest you can, never ever give up on your dream, and you will!”
Does pop-culture or the electronic world have any influence on your music?
Both: Every genre of music influences us.
What are some upcoming musical trends that electro-lovers should be looking out for? More dubstep, trap, or something new?
James: Dubstep made its way and is continuing to grow. Trap is definitely coming above ground, for sure!
What should fans be expecting from Grand and Warren in the not-so-distant future?
James: A lot of new productions and crazier parties! We are currently working alongside a girl by the name of Nicole Medoro. What a voice this girl has!
Gary: Absolutely. Nicole Medoro is a phenomenal person with a beautiful voice. We are putting out our remix of her song “Running Back” very soon.
When it comes to DJing, James says, “It is more than music: It is an art, it is creativity, it is sharing,” and he is absolutely correct. This passion for music is what separates them from other DJs and has lead them to perform at locations such as Pacha (NY, NY), 4Sixty6 (West Orange, NJ), Teak on the Hudson (Hoboken, NJ) and many more. Listen to their free, high-energy podcasts on the Grand and Warren podcast channel (available through iTunes) and download a handful of their songs from Soundcloud. For a further peek into the duo, don’t be shy—send them a tweet at @grandandwarren and like them on Facebook.
Photo courtesy of grandandwarren.com