How did you first get into the EDM scene?
I first discovered EDM when I bought David Guetta's album back in 2012. It was an album like no other back then. That really fuelled my interest in EDM. Then I stumbled upon Tomorrowland live sets on YouTube around the same time, watching sets from Hardwell and Skrillex. That was when I first discovered music festivals. When I saw so many people were partying together in those videos, I was truly amazed. Since then I had always dreamt to play at a festival.
With that dream in mind, I started to research about this scene more and more. I found out that these DJs made EDM on just a normal computer. Then I thought, I have a computer too, I probably can give this a shot too. Soon after I started playing around with Virtual DJ on my computer just out of curiosity. But after a while the interest drifted away.
Eventually, a few years passed by and after my secondary school exams, I finally decided to pick up DJing and commit to it. I joined a DJ club in my new school. I got the hang of it within a few months and with that newfound motivation, I set my sights on making my own edits and music. I downloaded Ableton and started religiously watching tutorials from Youtubers like Zen World and Sadowick.
Finally, in 2017, I managed to finish my first original track that I felt was good enough to release. It was called "Overdrive" and I was super happy that it managed to get 15,000 streams on Soundcloud, which was massive to me at that time.
Looking back, what have been some of the stand-out moments from your live shows?
From the shows I've played, the moment that stood out to me most is playing for the New Year's Eve festival in my home country, Siloso Beach Party, in 2018. I was given this incredible opportunity after winning a DJ competition that was held by the festival organizers.
Being my first festival show, the nerves definitely started to set in during the weeks leading up to show day. But thankfully, everything I prepared for went to plan. I could remember clearly how big and crazy the crowd was despite the early time slot I was playing. Furthermore, it was insane to see pyrotechnics going off to my own music for the first time, that feeling is truly incredible. Both of those made the entire show unforgettable. Of course, it also was a very eye opening to see what goes on behind the scenes, and the hard work the organisers have put in to make this festival happen. Massive respect to them.
There's an undeniable resurgence of the big room scene with many big names coming back to the genre to provide new music. Where do you see this subgenre heading in the future?
The future is definitely promising for big room. The community might not be as big as the early to mid-2010s, but it is definitely stronger than ever! And now a lot of big artists, especially in Asia, are starting to put out more big room tracks, which is very heart-warming to see. With the continued evolution of the genre, I can definitely see big room coming back to its previous glory.
Can you walk us through the creation of your latest release and debut on Nik Cooper, "Universe" so we can get a glimpse into your creative process?
The idea for this song came about two years ago. I made a drop idea as a follow up to "The Logical Song" bootleg I did together with Gustaf Bjornberg. Then as new projects came along, I completely forgot about the initial drop idea. Two years passed and then COVID-19 struck. With my upcoming shows cancelled, I decided to take some time to go through all my unfinished ideas, and I felt that this idea had the most potential.
When I resumed working on this project, I started with the break, since the drop idea was already almost perfect. I always liked combining various styles of music and tastes in my tracks. So with this project, I started off with combining some trance arps and guitar like plucks. Going into the break climax, I went with my signature leads but with a little bit of chorus and phasing effects, giving it a futuristic vibe. In the second break, I didn't want to just copy the first break, so I added a vocal with vocoder effect to really top the track off. I feel with these elements, it made "Universe" a really special track in a niche of its own.
What's in store for the future of the Ezra Hazard project?
A lot of releases have been planned for the rest of the year! I've got a few more unofficial remixes on the way, along with a couple of originals. One of them is another solo single coming in November and the other is a collaboration with a fellow Singaporean artist, Sixth Sense. I also hope to livestream DJ sets more regularly, to showcase new music from me and other artists that may not have the platform to do so.
This pandemic has been a blessing in disguise as it has really given me the opportunity to spend more time producing and evolving my sound. Many projects are in the works right now, and a couple of them are collaborations with established artists. I'm super excited for what's in store for the Ezra Hazard project, and I hope you all feel the same too!
Thanks to Ezra Hazard for taking the time to complete our interview! Be sure to check him out using the links below!
INSTAGRAM SPOTIFY FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD
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Chris W. Lao
Label Manager, Marketer & Writer.
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