Ray Volpe's Recipe to Cooking Up Bangers Like “SONG REQUEST” and “Laserbeam”

Ray Volpe is cooking again.

For months, bass music fans lined around the block waiting for a taste of his aptly titled banger, “SONG REQUEST.” Well, opening day is here and Chef Volpe is ready to share his latest creation with the world.

“I think bass music is such a sound design-first genre compared to others,” Volpe tells EDM.com. “There’s a massive emphasis on sound design and creation but not as much on songwriting. I try to emphasize that by making these cooler, catchy ideas that feel easier to remember. I think that’s the recipe for me.”

Bass is Volpe’s specialty but he draws from post-hardcore, metalcore, rock and pop-punk influences. He has an appetite for catchy choruses and hooks. It’s something he leans into when producing a genre of music that’s often light on good singalongs.

“I just want to have the same feeling. I just want that catchiness,” Volpe explains. “So I try to make things that are short, sweet and to the point. I think it’s easy to get really convoluted and very overwhelming with ideas and try to get really complex.”

A viral video and spins from world-famous DJs like Steve Aoki elevated “SONG REQUEST” to one of 2024’s most anticipated electronic music releases. Even Busta Rhymes busted out a filthy bass face when hearing the song. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then his face on video is a priceless co-sign.

The overwhelming excitement for “SONG REQUEST” is drawing comparisons to Volpe’s career-making 2022 hit “Laserbeam,” a song that graduated from an overnight trend to a pantry staple. But he’s much more comfortable these days with the suspense.

A quiet confidence is filling in for where nerves used to take the reigns. Volpe welcomes the ambitious comparisons between his new song and his biggest hit as he works towards his second musical Michelin star.

“‘SONG REQUEST’ feels like the first real sequel,” Volpe says. “It feels like the first really big one. The main difference at the beginning when I made ‘Laserbeam’ is that I thought it was a really cool song. I didn’t know it would do as well as it did.”

“But when I thought of the idea and I put it down on paper for ‘SONG REQUEST,’ I think I knew. Not to say I was cocky, but I remember telling my team and my immediates around me that, ‘This is it. This is the song.’ I felt like there was something special going on here.”

An inclination that a song will perform well doesn’t guarantee it will resonate with the wider public. The same is true for any creative endeavor or business opportunity.

Volpe debuted “SONG REQUEST” while ringing in the new year with Crankdat at Countdown NYE’s “midnight moment” before sharing a clip on social media in February. The response, he said, was overwhelming.

“Social media changed my career. It hands-down did,” Volpe said. “I started off making music in 2010. I started getting on people’s radar in 2016. That’s when I started playing shows. I was doing alright. I had a cool thing going and then things went very stagnant very quickly. I had nothing to really excel.”

Volpe’s knack for social media marketing and love for catchy tunes is serendipitous. There’s a misconception that producing viral moments requires insincerity. Sure, there are best practices and replicable formulas, but there is infinite room for creativity. It’s more cooking than baking.

Take professional wrestling, for example, something of which Volpe is a major fan. There’s a common belief that the most successful characters are extensions of the performers dialed to 11. Volpe encourages other musicians to accept that social media and music have intertwined, shed their stubbornness and figure out how to extenuate their real personalities.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been cringe in my social media approach,” Volpe said. “I think a lot of people look at doing social media with their music career as cringe. The thing is you don’t need to jump around with a funny face in front of the camera to do it. I’ve never done that. I’m not knocking people who have done that, it’s an approach. But a lot of people hate on that. I see a lot of my peers in EDM and very much specifically in bass.”

“You don’t have to. Think of another idea. They just don’t want to think of another idea. They just don’t want to think of another idea because a lot of people—this is kind of a rant—want to do this with a hobby amount of effort and get a full-time career result. It’s not gonna work.”

Watch the full interview below and find “SONG REQUEST” on streaming platforms here.

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Deathpact's Merciless Debut Album Unearths the Fragile Humanity Within: Listen

Even for those of us who don’t feel entirely human, is there redemption for the self-aware?

That’s the question posed by Deathpact in the anonymous, humanoid artist collective’s long-awaited debut album, FROM DARKNESS, which hit streaming platforms today.

When we worked to unravel the puzzling world of Deathpact a few years ago, we demystified a series of riddles embedded in their Discord server, a virtual labyrinth with enough cryptic clues and ambiguous cyphers to pen another Da Vinci Code. And their vicious, cyborgian sound had fans questioning whether or not they had fuseboxes for hearts, but their new album is proof that a heartbeat not only exists, but palpitates with fragility.

Deathpact.

c/o Press

FROM DARKNESS is, at its core, carnage, both musically and emotionally. It’s an album that demands your full attention before dragging you into its churning vortex of bass, and for those willing to take the plunge, it offers an unforgettable experience.

But beneath Deathpact’s punishing beats, a strange vulnerability flickers. Vocals, raw and desperate, writhe and pierce through the fabric of their claustrophobic production like a single defiant flower pushing through cracked asphalt.

To that end, FROM DARKNESS is much more than a mere exercise in sensory obliteration. The album forces us to confront a darkness we all face at one point or another: the primal struggle to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless world. But even at its most nihilistic, the music is laced with exquisite slivers of tormented beauty—a suggestion that solace can still be attained amidst the wreckage of our own forsaken psyches.

Look no further than “FATE,” a woozy descent into spiritual ruin that finds Deathpact dancing with the devil. “I sold my soul to the devil today,” they confess, words dripping with damnation over nasty trap beats. They then confront their mortality head-on in “DUST TO DUST,” where they urge you to “feed your soul” like they so desperately crave for themselves.

Deathpact’s humanity bubbles further to the surface in “SONG 4,” one of the album’s undeniable highlights. Here, anguished vocals float atop haunting electro-soul, lamenting a love’s betrayal before they’re snuffed out by a squelching midtempo bass drop. “Oh look what you’ve done to me / I thought this was real,” they quaver.

Fans of Deathpact’s typically merciless sound will gravitate to “MARAUDER,” a dubstep banger that hilariously samples Chris Tucker’s “You got knocked the f*** out, man” line from the 1995 film Friday; and “MERCURY,” where riddim drops seethe like toxic sludge simmering up from a polluted swamp.

Deathpact.

Brandon Densley/DNZ Media

Much like the controversial OpenAI, Deathpact’s source code remains cloaked in mystery. Even after the release of their debut album, we still don’t know much of anything about the collective.

But for the now-sentient Deathpact, maybe that’s for the best. In moments when our innermost feelings crave to be heard, sometimes it’s best to step back from the bustling world and embrace the calmness of obscurity.

Listen to FROM DARKNESS below.

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Support Independent Electronic Music Artists With Beatport's New Weekly Playlist

Discovering talented producers before they headline festivals is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences for any fans of dance music. Now, finding underground artists is even easier thanks to Beatport.

The company will plug them in their new playlist, “Best New Independent Artists,” which will update weekly to illuminate promising talents without access to the big-budget backing of a major label. The groundbreaking playlist, which Beatport says is the first of its kind, will benefit both fans who want to discover new songs as well as the artists behind them, who will connect with new audiences around the world.

Beatport is collaborating with independent artist distribution partners like TuneCore, DistroKid and Music Hub to curate the playlist, according to a press release. These three partners are now actively accepting music submissions from independent artists who are looking to expand their reach.

Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels and TuneCore CEO Andreea Gleeson.

c/o Press

It’s no secret that major labels wield their influence to market their artists and blitz the electronic music scene, making it particularly difficult for new artists to find their footing when promoting their music. By spotlighting the craft of emerging talent, Beatport is empowering them to forge connections within their strong DJing community.

“By curating a dedicated space for independent electronic music artists, Beatport is not only providing a platform for discovery but also ensuring that standout self-produced artists receive the recognition and compensation they deserve from the get-go,” said Raphael Pujol, Beatport’s Vice President of Global Curation.

“While other platforms may struggle with the distribution of small payments to artists with fewer streams,” she added, “our focus remains firmly on furthering the voices of independent creators and fostering a more equitable ecosystem for electronic music.

Listen to Beatport’s “Best New Independent Artists” playlist here.

GorillaT on His Sudden Life Pivot and What it Takes to Create a Brand from Scratch

From being a college athlete to producing his own music, GorillaT made lots of noise—literally—in the dubstep scene in 2023. The 22-year-old artist, whose real name is Tate Warner, started making electronic music just about three years ago and now finds himself performing on headlining tours, festival lineups and popular stages like Excision’s “The Thunderdome.”

For many in the electronic dance music community—or any community for that matter—there is often a show, moment or song that sparks a deeper passion for it. Warner found this to be true when he went to a Subtronics show around three years ago. GorillaT tells EDM.com that his origin story goes like this: “I went to that Subtronics concert, my friends kind of dragged me there, I remember not really wanting to be there too bad, and then the next day I went home and sold my PS4 and like, half of my belongings so that I could buy Ableton.”

After downloading the music production software, the next step was figuring out his sound and means of promotion. Discussing his initial sound, Warner highlights that because Subtronics was his first show, he spent a long time trying to emulate his music.

“When an artist finds an artist that just changes their lives like that, you spend the next year or two trying to make songs exactly like them,” he explains. “A lot of my early songs around those times were more me trying to figure out how to make full songs in the style that I wanted.”

This imitation game didn’t last for long, though. “I understand production now to a level where I give online classes, one-on-ones, I mix down people’s songs, I have a Patreon,” says Warner, who now describes his sound first and foremost as “wonky,” the word appearing in the titles of multiple songs. “Once I figured out what style I liked I could just do it by myself in terms of my own sound design and the way that I like melodies to kind of sit together.”

Despite his success, Warner didn’t always want to be a musician. In fact, he has been a student athlete at Loyola University of New Orleans for the past four years and just recently dropped out to pursue his music career. Now, the only thing that lives on from his past swimming dreams are “a few state records,” he says.

Growing up in the sublime city of Golden, Colorado, a city near Denver and the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the swimmer-turned-musician was given access to a lively EDM scene that would ultimately cultivate a foundation for the dubstep music he wanted to create. “It’s been in the culture of where I’m from,” says Warner, whose experiences at shows by SVDDEN DEATH, Wooli, Virtual Riot and Infekt would eventually influence his own future sound.

About halfway into this three-year journey is when Warner found his music garnering more listeners, recognition and fans. His first single “Stoned Ape Theory” was released just about two years ago in 2022, and after releasing 17 other singles on streaming platforms, his first full album came out in late 2023, marrying many of those tracks under one name: Tales Of A Stoned Ape. GorillaT had his first-ever headline show in July in Minneapolis and in 2023 alone has performed at Forbidden Kingdom, Apocalypse and Lost Lands.

GorillaT performing at Excision’s “The Thunderdome” in Tacoma on February 3rd, 2024.

c/o Gridlock Management

So how does someone make this much wonky noise in the span of just a few years? We all have an inkling of the answer to this question: social media. Warner attributes much of his success to the various platforms that fall under the umbrella term.

“I just don’t see a better way to promote myself as an artist,” he says. “To do what a record label would’ve done for $10,000 I can just get on my phone and spend a few days posting videos.”

With this strategy, Warner finds himself quickly gaining velocity in the industry. “The people that truly understand that are the people that are going to have a way easier time breaking into this,” he says.

Warner values social media not only as a marketing tool, but also as a way to show transparency and gratitude to fans, collaborators and the venues who book him.

“These people make a living for me!” says Warner. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without all the fans.”

As a result, he finds that he is easily approachable at shows when he ventures into the crowd. He also finds that a perfect concoction of social connection with fans and being a perceptive DJ results in an explosion of positive feedback.

“I feel like half the reason they come out to these shows is because they want to see you onstage—of course they love your music. The baseline of all of this is perfecting your craft, and from there you can use social media to do whatever you want really.”

To supplement people seeing him onstage, Warner tries to read each room thoroughly so the crowd likes what they hear. “It seems like every place I go, they vibe with just slightly different things that I’m dropping and that’s why it’s good to be a good DJ and be able to switch stuff up.”

GorillaT.

c/o Gridlock Management

With the new attention his music and DJing is receiving comes new collaborations and knowledge. Warner says that these collaborations aided in the creation and evolution of GorillaT’s sound and brand. “It’s so awesome to collab with people because I always learn so much about their work flow and what works for them,” he says.

Upcoming collaborations Warner hints at include work with ProbCause, Hostage Situation, Ahee and Steller. New visuals and merchandise are also in the works that feel happy, trippy and welcoming, he says.

With a growing platform, though, comes growing scrutiny and a greater chance for burnout. Warner highlights that a career contingent on a computer and internet can easily blur the line between work and play.

“It always feels like play until there are deadlines,” Warner says with a laugh while stressing the importance of self-care. “I’m able to make the best music when everything surrounding the music is on the right path.”

It looks to Warner like this momentum is not going to slow anytime soon—and it also hasn’t quite sunk in. “I don’t think I believe it yet,” he says in disbelief. “I don’t think it’ll ever change, that aspect of how grateful I feel for all of this.”

Fans of GorillaT can catch him at upcoming performances at Ottawa’s Escapade Music Festival and Excision’s Paradise Blue in Cancún, among other tour stops in 2024.

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DOJ Sues Live Nation and Ticketmaster Over Alleged Monopoly Practices

The Department of Justice, along with 30 state and district attorneys general, has filed a federal lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment and its subsidiary Ticketmaster, accusing the companies of monopolistic practices in the live events industry.

The suit marks a critical step in addressing long-standing concerns about the dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in the concert ticket market. The complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that Live Nation has used its market power to stifle competition, resulting in higher ticket prices and limited options for consumers.

The DOJ claims that the company’s tactics have harmed music fans, artists and smaller promoters by fostering an unfair market landscape.

“The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services,” Attorney General Merrick Garland stated. “It is time to break up Live Nation.”

“We’re here not because Ticketmaster’s conduct is inconvenient or frustrating… we’re here because it’s illegal,” he added.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2023 came under fire after cancelling a botched pre-sale to Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour.”

Paolo V

In response to the lawsuit, Dan Wall, Live Nation’s Executive Vice President of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, argued that it “ignores everything that is actually responsible for higher ticket prices, from rising production costs to artist popularity, to 24/7 online ticket scalping.”

Wall also noted that Live Nation’s net profits do not reflect monopoly power, calling such claims “absurd” in a scathing blog post.

“The defining feature of a monopolist is monopoly profits derived from monopoly pricing. Live Nation in no way fits the profile,” he said. “Service charges on Ticketmaster are no higher than on SeatGeek, AXS, or other primary ticketing sites, and are frequently lower. In fact, when Ticketmaster loses a venue to SeatGeek, service charges usually go up substantially. And even accounting for sponsorship, an advertising business that helps keep ticket prices down, Live Nation’s overall net profit margin is at the low end of profitable S&P 500 companies.”

Shares of Live Nation reportedly fell 5% following news of the lawsuit.

How the Beauty of Nature Inspired Chet Porter's Debut Album and the Music In Its Wake

Have you seen everything you’ve wanted to see before you die?

That’s the question Chet Porter posed on his debut album, EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN. Today he continues the story behind the LP with what was originally set to be its final track, “Things I Wish I Could Forge,” a dreamlike collaboration with Vancouver Sleep Clinic.

“Things I Wish I Could Forget” is one of Porter’s more subtle entries. Forgoing the bright, vivid production we heard throughout most of the album, he masterfully enthralls us with a swelling, deeply emotive soundscape.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s signature falsetto beautifully matches his production, gently guiding us with mesmerizing lyrics that voice his regrets. “I should have loved you more,” he quavers repeatedly.

“This song is actually really old, probably the oldest one on the album,” Porter tells EDM.com. “Tim [Vancouver Sleep Clinic] had sent me a bunch of ideas to collaborate on and when I heard this one, I just knew it was going to end whatever record I was making. I want to say it’s at least seven years old… It’s so easy to fall out of love with a song after a few months or a year, let alone seven, but I’ve loved this song the entire time, it’s so special to me.”

But Porter’s love for the track isn’t the only thing to make it special in his world. It was left off the album due to sample clearance issues.

“There was a bridge section that featured this synth part from an old Sony video game that I was absolutely in love with, I felt like it took the song to this extra, magical place,” he added. “Like when that part hits, I’d turn into the floating Spongebob wearing headphones meme.”

Not only did the clearance issue force him to remove the song from EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN, but the project was also delayed to ensure the track would work out. It was always meant to be the final song on the album, Porter said.

“The label didn’t want the album to come out without this closing track, because they loved it so much,” he explained. “It was supposed to be the focus track when the album dropped, but the sample still hadn’t been cleared, so they pushed the album for more time to figure it out.”

While the final version may be missing the sample, he still makes sure to play it out live.

Although the situation was frustrating, it allowed him to carry out the vision for EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN in a deeper capacity.

“The delay meant that I got to finish and add ‘Deep Water’ with EVAN GIIA to the tracklist, and spend a little more time mixing and changing a bunch of things that no one is ever going to notice except for me,” Porter adds.

With those added changes, his message behind the album is showcased masterfully. The LP is a proposed self-reflection, asking listeners to embark on a journey that takes them to new places—some they’ve never seen nor heard before and some they may rethink after experiencing a new outlook.

It’s a message that serves as an opportunity to gain a perspective on the world around us as well as enhance the the one cultivated by his music.

EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN as a title, is very literal,” Porter explains. “What have you seen? Have you seen everything you want to see before you die? No? Okay, go see more.”

“Volcanoes, dolphins deep in the ocean, lush green jungles… it’s insane that we have that shit,” he gushes. “Like, think about what a volcano is for a second. A giant, hollow mountain with a hole in the top, filled with lava? And on very rare occasions it will just shoot all of it into the sky? Like what the fuck, that’s insane. When I’m older and retired, I promise you all I’m going to do is travel and see everything I possibly can.”

Each track on the album carries out his vision, showcasing cohesiveness without any repetition. Meanwhile, its many soundscapes portray different aspects of nature.

“I wanted you to listen to a song, imagine a place, and then when the next one starts, you’re in a completely new place. But still in the same world,” he continues. “Obviously you can decide these things for yourself, but when I was doing all of the visuals/artwork, ‘222† ∂∆ §§§’ is the jungle, ‘Today Tomorrow Forever’ is the volcano, ‘EYES’ is the ocean, ‘Aura’ is a sunset, et cetera. ‘Things I Wish I Could Forget’ is a really misty, foggy beach with big rocks everywhere.”

Porter’s live set takes the message from his album yet another step further. While self-doubt may make him question his own music, he never worries about his live performances. They’re something unlike he’s ever done before, curating a display of his imagination infused with unshakable confidence.

“I don’t have heaps of confidence, I often worry that people may think my music sucks, or that I suck, or that I don’t know how to socialize properly or whatever,” he shares. “What I don’t worry about is the show. I’m so confident in the live show, I think I’m punching way above my weight.”

After such a personal debut and phenomenal tour, what could possibly be next for Porter? “That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” he says.

You can find “Things I Wish I Could Forget” on streaming platforms here.

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This Interactive Totem Lets You Play Classic Nintendo Games in Festival Crowds—But Its Creator Has Bigger Plans

You’ve heard of totems commemorating spiritual and sexual journeys—or just a dank meme—but have you ever encountered one that brought you right back to your childhood?

Without the exuberant camaraderie of rave culture, the pandemic forced onto us a bleak barrage of virtual experiences and “immersive” streams. At that elusive intersection in 2024 is the “Super Nintotem,” an interactive totem taking the electronic dance music community by storm.

Part totem pole, part gaming hub, the traveling “Super Nintotem” is providing a fresh entertainment experience at EDM festivals. The tricked-out totem lets you play classic Nintendo games on a console while in the crowd.

Super Nintotem (0:24)

The totem debuted in 2023 at EDC Las Vegas, its creator, Brian Tai, tells EDM.com. But the idea was hatched a decade earlier at the festival’s mainstage, where he says he vividly remembers talking to a friend about how cool it would be to somehow fire up a game while in the crowd.

Technology caught up along the way, so he decided to go for it. But how exactly does this portable nostalgia machine run?

Tai says lugging the “Super Nintotem” around isn’t easy. It’s heavy and comes with many fragile components, and he can’t move or dance as freely as his fellow ravers.

“It’s designed from the ground up to be modular and packable for flying,” Tai explains. “A gaming system on a desk is pretty easy. A gaming system on a pole is a bit trickier. It uses a 3-piece PVC pole system that fits in a standard suitcase. All of the mounts and connectors are custom-designed and 3D-printed.”

“Thin panel portable screens have come a long way and are reasonably power efficient,” he continues. “Everything is powered by large lithium batteries, and I need to carry several in my CamelBak to last the night. It’s been an iterative process over the last year. The screen got bigger. A wheelable base was created to help with transportation. Moved to cordless controllers to prevent randoms from clotheslining themselves while cutting through the crowd. A light-up amnesty warp pipe was put up top to help with 360-degree visibility.”

The “Super Nintotem” totem.

Brian Tai

The “Super Nintotem” isn’t just a distraction—it’s a fusion of experience, a postmodern Mario mashup where power-ups are found in kindred spirits and the ultimate victory is the shared joy of classic gaming under the electric sky.

However, while totems are an undeniable mainspring of stateside rave culture, many, especially overseas, find them unnecessary and disruptive. Tai wants to show those detractors that totems hold value in places where DJs often numb crowds into head-bobbing hypnosis.

“Totems serve a practical purpose of helping your friends find each other in a sea of 170,000 people at night,” he says. “But beyond that, they’re an expression of creativity, humor and joy. God knows how many times I’ve looked to my side and seen someone’s totem that caused me to laugh and smile. They are a form of communication and interaction. Events are not just insular strangers standing next to each other listening to music on their own.”

However you may feel about totems, there’s no denying the emotional response elicited by the “Super Nintotem.” Tai over the weekend brought it back to EDC, one of the world’s most popular EDM festivals, where over 500 people played games on it. And the reactions were all the same: pure, unfiltered bliss.

View the original article to see embedded media.

As he’s spent more time with it, Tai has realized it accomplishes a number of benevolent goals despite requiring little from participants: inclusion, participation, immediacy, a form of gifting.

The totem’s cornerstone, however, is its ability to connect people through shared experience—both past and present.

“So much of social media is me me me,” Tai says. “Everything posted on the supernintotem account is focused on the players, none of the posts are about the totem or the people running it. It’s a snapshot frozen in time, with lots of really happy people.”

How Brandi Cyrus Is Fusing Her Country Roots Into DJing Ahead of Landmark EDC Performance

Sometimes the stars align just right. For Brandi Cyrus, her constellation is the DJ booth.

Stepping into the booth felt like a natural evolution, but not right away. Cyrus spent her early twenties as part of an electropop band, with whom she learned a lot about the nuances of electronic dance music production. Following a hiatus from the band, she found herself drawn to the fashion world as she began frequenting LA parties, often attending events featuring female DJs.

That sparked an immediate and incendiary passion within, so she began learning how to spin. Today, she’s been DJing for six years and even landed an official 2024 residency at Wynn Las Vegas.

Now she’s preparing for her another triumph in Sin City, her debut performance at the iconic EDC Las Vegas, one of the biggest and most popular music festivals in the nation. As the vibrant neon lights of EDC beckon, we caught up with her to chat about the watershed moment in her career and her appreciation of dance music.

View the original article to see embedded media.

Country-influenced EDM, colloquially dubbed “YeeDM,” is experiencing an undeniable surge in popularity. Diplo is leading the charge at Stagecoach, where his curated HonkyTonk Dance Hall stage featured Marshmello and The Chainsmokers this year. Insomniac Events, the organizer of EDC Las Vegas, is now unveiling a Wild West-themed dancing hub on the festival’s grounds called “YeeDC Saloon.”

That’s where Cyrus will perform. With country music deeply woven into the fabric of her upbringing—thanks in part to her father, Billy Ray Cyrus—she finds solace in its nostalgic melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

Despite her foray into dance music, Cyrus doesn’t limit herself to just one genre, instead blending diverse sounds and styles to deliver a dynamic experience for all.

“You can always expect to hear a little bit of everything,” Cyrus tells EDM.com in a Zoom interview.

From timeless classics by Whitney Houston to the emotive melodies of Tim McGraw, her genre-bending sets promise a thrilling fusion of familiar favorites and unexpected delights.

“I always call it one big dance party,” she gushes. “I want everyone to have fun. I want the energy to be high and I’m just looking to have a good time.”

Brandi Cyrus.

Jessica Amerson

Cyrus is now eager to immerse herself in the magical energy of EDC Las Vegas for the very first time. Beyond the festival’s pulsating beats and larger-than-life ambiance, what truly resonates with her is the sense of kinship and inclusivity within the dance music community.

“I think my favorite thing about it is just how much of a family it feels like,” she explains. “The dance music community really is so loving and so welcoming and loves to discover new artists and new music. I think that’s such a cool thing that you don’t see all the time.”

From fans to fellow artists, Cyrus says everyone has welcomed her with open arms. Through countless shows and festivals, she’s learned invaluable lessons, including the importance of three essentials for surviving the weekend: comfortable shoes, staying hydrated and having a good crew by her side.

She’s also learned to prioritize self-care. When she needs to recharge from the breakneck speed of life on the road, she seeks solace by returning to her home just outside of Nashville to reset. Surrounded by nature as well as her horses and a few dogs, she’s able to replenish her soul when she feels depleted.

“It’s important to unplug and make sure I’m taking care of me,” Cyrus says. “At the end of the day if I’m depleted, I can’t go out and give my energy to everybody the way I want to when I play.”

View the original article to see embedded media.

As her career continues to soar, Cyrus is already looking ahead to her next projects. Currently, she’s hard at work producing her own music at the intersection of country and EDM. While she’s keeping the details under wraps for now, she hints at exciting collaborations with fellow country artists and promises to tease the tracks during her DJ sets.

“If you come to my sets, you’ll hear some of it,” she says. “So if I see you at EDC, I’m sure I’ll play it for you.”

Cyrus’ upcoming EDC debut has all the makings of a can’t-miss experience. While she may be a newcomer to the festival’s cosmic grounds, she’s arriving with the energy that encapsulates the community and togetherness at its heart.

You can catch Cyrus at EDC Las Vegas on Sunday night at the “YeeDC Saloon” from 1:30am to 2:45am.

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Music Royalty Transparency Platform Mogul Surpasses $100 Million of Tracked Funds

In the music industry, where financial transparency often feels like a mirage, Mogul is emerging as a lifeline for artists seeking clarity in their earned compensation.

Mogul addresses the longstanding problem of financial opacity in the music business by centralizing royalty data across all rights types into a single actionable hub, an effective go-to solution for artists aiming to simplify their finances and capture every cent of their earnings.

According to a press release shared with EDM.com, the platform has now tracked over $100 million in royalties since its debut in early February, a clear sign the company is establishing itself as a promising, transformative force for artists.

“Surpassing $100 million in tracked royalties so quickly is a clear sign that the industry’s opaque and fragmented nature needs to be remedied,” said Mogul CEO Jeff Ponchick. “Artists and their teams receive an ocean of data from each royalty source and have little to no tools at the ready to make sense of how their business is actually working. We’re thrilled Mogul is filling that need for new artists every day so that they can understand their business and generate more income.”

Ponchick has an established track record of success when it comes to developing artist-friendly tech tools. The serial entrepreneur famously founded Repost Network, an artist-facing distribution and promotional tool that was later acquired by SoundCloud in a $15 million deal in 2019.

“I’m excited about what Mogul can do for artists at all levels of the industry,” added Aloe Blacc, an early adopter of the platform and frequent collaborator of the late dance music icon Avicii. “To have a system to synthesize all sources of income in a transparent way is transformative tech we all need.”

You can find out more about Mogul via the company’s official website.

Rezz's Crystal Ball: Inside Her Wonderfully Wicked Mind and Plans for New Curated Event, “Hypno Circus”

“Can you see me?” sounds like a rhetorical question. But for Rezz, it’s as tangible as the dark magic in her album of the same name.

Rezz’s tendrils are creeping into the wider consciousness as she claims the mantle of electronic music’s necromancer supreme. She’s no longer a whisper in the shadows—the prophecy of 2017’s breakout debut, Mass Manipulation, is coming true.

“I can’t explain to you how much that matters to me. I want to be influential,” Rezz tells EDM.com in an exclusive interview. “I want people to think that I’m going to go down in history. I will not settle for anything less than that… I’ve been realizing more than anything, I want people to really respect me.”

Grammys and plaques are welcome in her trophy room but true value lies in influence. Isabelle Rezazadeh, the beating heart of Rezz, seeks to place an irreversible hex on electronic music, but not all curses are evil.

“It’s not about external levels of success,” she tells me. “It’s more that I care about people, my peers, artist friends, industry friends and, obviously, fans. I want the realest ones to know that I’m a respected artist [and] the things that I’ve done have influenced a lot of people. That, for me, is priceless.”

My wife and I were indoctrinated by Rezz in 2017. Her performances are ominously and remarkably distinct from anything else on a lineup. The lights go black and the party stops. Her red eyes pierce the abyss and the ritual begins. Whether you are a fanatic or a heretic, it’s impossible to look away as the first note strikes, when paralysis gives way to an irresistible desire to move as if pulled by marionette strings.

A new-age puppetmaster, Rezazadeh’s supernatural ability to weave dance music and horror into a transcending spectacle has earned her immeasurable acclaim. Backstage at a festival in Vancouver in 2021, deadmau5 told me that Rezz was a “shining example” of innovation in a “stagnant pool” of electronic music.

Rezz.

Tessa Paisan

Clock ticking away as she moved her next chess piece, Rezazadeh spent years traveling from stage to stage, rooting herself into the raver’s subconscious and sprinkling breadcrumbs. Now she’s architecting a wicked world of her design by virtue of Hypno Circus, a multi-day, festival-style event akin to a dark carnival of the occult.

“Whether it ends up being a whole festival, who knows, but one thing is for sure. I’ll definitely be having an event and it’s going to be called Hypno Circus,” Rezz says. “Maybe it won’t end up being a crazy Lost Lands scale of festival, but maybe it’s two nights at a really sick venue where people can fly out to the event and have two days. My stage is going to be very circus-branded.”

Peering into her crystal ball, she expects Hypno Circus to be on a scale similar to “Rezz Rocks,” her branded shows at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. She’s yet to confirm a date, but sooner than later, she’ll signal for her birdies to flock home.

“The key is it definitely being two nights,” Rezazadeh continues. “The idea is that people travel to the event. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to talk more about it with my team. It’s definitely a matter of figuring out the location… In a perfect world, I would say next year, but we’ll see what happens.”

Rezz didn’t get this far by being reckless. Many ambitious souls have trapped themselves in entrepreneurial prisons trying to pull off large-scale events. Nearly all first-year independent festivals burn cash—venue rentals, artist fees, stage design, sound production, security, cleanup and competition might as well be the Seven Deadly Sins of event planning.

It’s a Herculean marketing feat for new organizers and a daunting risk for artists staking their reputation on the outcome. This nightmarish burden isn’t lost on Rezazadeh.

“Sometimes I’ve been told by people who have been in the industry much longer than me to not even do that,” she says. “‘Go to the music festivals, make your money and f—ing walk out. Don’t put yourself through that headache.’ I know a few people personally, a few really massive artists who’ve had festivals, and they’ve had very mixed reviews about what that was about. It was apparently really stressful.”

“There are a lot of financial things to consider,” she adds. “Whether I want to take those risks, because it would not be f—ing cheap. That would cost some serious, serious money.”

Rezz.

Tessa Paisan

Hypno Circus will be Rezazadeh’s biggest tool for control, but it’s not her only means of influence. The “Cult of Rezz” can spread her message more potently than ever after the announcement that she’s selling her signature LED glasses.

Another ritual item on every treasure hunter’s list is the “Hypno Dildo,” a Rezz-branded sex toy that sold out in less than 30 minutes. The demand is high but fans shouldn’t expect a successor anytime soon.

“We haven’t really had conversations about the V2 thing yet because it was for fun and also I wanted to see how the people who got the dildos were going to behave with them,” Rezazadeh explains. “I certainly am not trying to create any sort of uncomfortable environment for anyone. I’ve already seen a couple of cases of people bringing the dildos to events. That’s why we made sure to make a very limited amount.”

“Obviously, my intention of selling it was a joke and if you’re going to use it, keep it at home,” she continues. “You can’t control what everyone does. The only reason I’m not fully shown about the V2 yet is because I don’t know if I want to open that situation. We’ll see what happens but it’s certainly not on the conversation radar in terms of merch right now. I have way better ideas. But that was funny as shit and hilarious and I’m glad it happened.”

Rezz’s pursuit of immortality is well underway. However, the green eyes beneath the swirly red lenses are very much human.

Rezazadeh is candid about the toll that touring takes on her. She has previously expressed how she spiraled into depression, insomnia and a hospital visit while embarking on 2022’s “Spiral” tour, the biggest headlining tour of her career.

Those struggles spurred her to scale back road trips and produce her newest project in a home studio. Rezazadeh swells with pride when talking about her latest album, CAN YOU SEE ME?, describing herself as a legitimate fan of the project.

The overwhelming impact of the “Spiral” tour encouraged her to manage her workload better. Performances are more thoughtfully spaced to cater to her physical and spiritual needs and she now has “a pretty decent grasp” on them, she says.

Still, like everyone on this interstellar rock, Space Mom is prone to miscalculations.

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“There was a moment where I was almost about to collapse on stage,” Rezazadeh reflects when discussing a sprint of performances in Australia last year. “Literally. I was on my fifth show in four days and I had just flown with a jet from one city to land and play another show. I was severely nutrient-deprived. Severely dehydrated. Lacking of sleep. Delirious and had to sit in a chair while playing the show. I was like, ‘This is another example of something that I thought I could and I did, but it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t worth it. And I’m not going to do it again.'”

“I feel bad because I feel like international fans are obviously upset because I don’t go there much, but I literally can’t put my health at risk in this situation. I’m not built like some other people,” she laments. “Some other people are truly built differently. I don’t have the same build in terms of being able to function on two hours of sleep. I’m like a psychopath when I do that.”

Many artists are prisoners to touring, feeding the industry’s gluttonous appetite. But Rezazadeh has crafted herself a better reality. She has enacted the law of equivalent exchange, trading an overwhelming travel schedule for bountiful creative expression.

Her latest album is her most fulfilling, her performances are tentpole occasions and she’s assembling the pieces for a wonderfully wicked world all her own. It’s a scary proposition for the lingering non-believers, but their time will come.

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