Prior to music, you started off as an actor — what made you decide to switch tracks andgo into music?
I’m extremely grateful for my experiences in acting and all of the shows I had been on, but there came a point where I had to take a look in the mirror and ask myself if what I was doing with my life made me happy. I realized I had been in denial for a very long time and that since life was short I needed to make a decision quickly.
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I could either stay pursuing acting, being miserable, hating everything about that world or I could take a shot in the dark, take advantage of my musical background in piano, and attend this school gaining a big reputation churning out awesome music producers in Icon Collective. I chose the latter and I’d have to say it’s the best decision I’ve made to date.
I think we all have an idealized dream of what life as a dj is like — what is the one mostunexpectedly enjoyable parts of being a DJ? What’s the least glamorous part of your job?
I like to think of myself as a pretty outgoing person. I spent a lot of years in the crowd as a trueraver and fan of the music and culture, so every time a fan of mine or another DJ I admire comes up to me and gives me a compliment about my work literally means the world to me asDJing and music production is my way of giving back to the culture that has given me so much. I truly enjoy meeting and talking with as many fans as I possibly can.As for the least glamorous? Let’s just say there are a lot of factors you can’t control as an artist.You just have to be able to roll with the punches and make the best out of what possibly couldbe a rough time, whatever it may be.
You studied Geography and your music has a deep sense of place and movement, howdoes the theme of geography resonate for you personally?
I was lucky enough to study Geography under Pulitzer Prize winning author Jared Diamond,PhD. when I was a student at Ucla and I came to realize that Geography is a discipline thatshows you how the world works and how societies have come to be from a geographicstandpoint.
I come from such a mixed background that, for me personally, understanding howgeography has shaped roles in the evolution of people, their ideas, places, and environments,gives me a greater understanding of my mixed ethnic heritage. The subject has really helpedme understand global interdependence and how I can be the best global citizen possible.
You describe your music as an accompaniment for interstellar travel — how does thescience of astronomy influence your work? Do you do research or is it more emotive?
While I do pay attention to new developments within the science of astronomy, my music relies much more on the emotive. At the center of it all, I try to score mini movies within my head that happen to fit into a dance floor setting. For example, say there’s some distant world in another galaxy that has a hostile environment filled with unknown hostile beings. What would would the soundtrack to flying into that world sound like to me?
What experience would you like people to come away with after listening to your music?
Each track I make was made with a different concept behind it, but overall I’d like my music totake you out of this world, if even for a brief moment, and into another world not of this Earth, all while keeping you dancing and grooving.
What’s your favorite celestial body?
Europa, one of Jupiter’s icy moons that has an ocean beneath its surface. Though it’s alongshot, that ocean can potentially harbor life and NASA already has plans for a mission thereto hopefully find out.
As far as as musical influences, what are you listening to on heavy rotation right now?
A little known fact about me is that I listen to a ton of rap music even though I producerprogressive and techno music. I got Young Dolph’s new album on heavy rotation at themoment, so many tracks are pure bangers. My manager recently put me onto Drakeo The Ruler and that guy has one of the more unique flows I’ve ever heard.
We’re a grooming magazine, so I have to ask — nightclubs are notoriously difficult tostay fresh in and as a dj you’ve got a lot of late-nights. Do you have a grooming routinethat you follow? Any tricks or tips you can share with our readers?
Clubs get hot, people get sweaty. Stay away from wearing colors or fabrics that show sweatoutlines more. If you don’t smoke, don’t go out to the smoker’s patio to avoid smelling like achimney at all costs.
Do you find self-presentation to be an important part of your work or is it more about themusic? How has your personal style changed since becoming a DJ?
Self-presentation absolutely is an important part of my brand and I think all artists should taketheir self-presentation seriously. Everything an artist does, from the way they dress, to how they do their hair, etc. is an extension of their own brand, and that brand is often how fans can connect with them outside of just the music. Let’s be absolutely clear though, if an artist’s music is sub-par then their self-presentation, no matter how good it is, will be overlooked because that artist is delivering a bad product.Since becoming a DJ my personal style has actually become simpler. I usually wear all black,most likely a black long sleeve with a relaxed, but not baggy, fit, and black denim from myfavorite brand Kith. I pair that up with either some black leather old skool Vans or somethingfrom my new favorite sneaker brand, Filling Pieces. That’s pretty much my trademark outfit.
What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
I’m lowkey obsessed with F1 racing. I wish for one day that I could race the hell out of LewisHamilton’s F1 Mercedes car to see just how incredible driving at that speed is.
If you could have coffee with one person (living, dead or fictional) who would it be andwhy?
My dad. Is he dead? No, he’s very much alive. As I get older I cherish spending quality time withloved ones. But as I get older I know that there will come a day where I won’t be able to grablunch with him, so I’d choose spending time with him now over anyone from the past or anyfictional character.
5 Favorite Grooming Products
Crop Natural Antioxidant Facial CreamOne of the best face creams I’ve ever used. Goes on extremely light and has a matte-type finish. I’ve seen a huge difference in my skin not looking so “tired” since I began using the product months ago, especially under the demands and odd hours of being a music producer and DJ. The fact that it’s organic, has no PEGs, no parabens, no phthalates, and no sulphates is a huge plus.
Creed Green Irish Tweed CologneMy signature scent that never goes out of style. This is literally the only cologne I’ll ever wear. The Creed family have been master perfumers since the 1700s, so to say they know a thing or two about their craft is an understatement. I get compliments daily when I wear it.Pro Tip: Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory, so don’t be afraid to spend a little moremoney on a beautiful fragrance. It will set you apart from the rest.
Kith DenimI mentioned how I wear Kith denim earlier, but I can’t say enough about their denim program.They crush the game.
Marvis Whitening ToothpasteI’ve only used whitening toothpaste since I was in high school and it’s worked wonders. My new favorite whitening toothpaste I used non-stop lately is from the Italian brand Marvis. It’s also one of the best tasting toothpastes I’ve tried.
Baxter of California: Soft Water PomeadeLight hold, soft finish. Keeps my hair in place while I perform without giving me helmet hair.Fantastic product.