You've mentioned in other interviews that you used to be in the military. What can you tell us about that part of your life and how you transitioned from that rigid lifestyle to the the life of a musician and performer?
I was introduced to EDM before I went into the military, but I started to like it more while I was there. I was stationed in a city called Stavanger, which was south of the village I was living in. Back then, I didn't go out all that often, but whenever I did, I would always take notice of the DJs playing and it got to the point where I wanted to try my hand at it. My uncle gave me some inspiration as well - he was a DJ in the 90's. When I ended my short military career due to problems with my legs, I started to go out more often and meet other DJs in a city near my home town, Haugesund. This is where I got to know some of the resident DJs who gave me opportunities to perform. Everything went really fast from that point forward.
Your release that came out this Friday is a bit of a departure from your normal future house sound by slowing things down a bit. What caused this shift in music direction and can we expect more like this from you in the future?
For my first mainstream track, I wanted to draw on some of the music that I enjoyed as an 80's kid, namely disco. I've always loved listening to music from the likes of Daft Punk and the Norweigian band called Lemaitre. With "One in a Million," I experimented a lot with these sounds as well as retro wave, which I often use in my other tracks. I used some real instrumentation in this one including a groovy guitar line from my extremely talented friend Martin Meneilly, and catchy vocals from Sander Nijbroek. The end result is very funky and easy to listen to. Right now, I don't have any plans to make a track like this again, but you never know where my creativity takes me!
What words of advice would you give to up-and-coming artists to ensure that their tracks perform well on Spotify?
My first piece of advice is to make a network of curators. Contact private tastemakers on social media and ask for placements in exchange for sharing their playlist. There are also many playlist curators that will take a fee for placements. Always do some research before you buy these, though. There are a lot of not-so-active playlists out there where you won't gain any plays. What I often do is visit other artists' profiles that are in the same genre or have the same vibe as you. From there, you can see which playlists they are in. This is where you will find all of the "holy grail" type of playlists that you can't find by just searching for them.
It's also important to build your own social presence on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and your own Spotify playlist. With that network in place, you are able to trade tracks with other artists and so on.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Oh where to start! (laughs) I got the professional certificate as an electrician eleven years ago, and did that for seven years before quitting to do music full-time. Currently, I am back in school studying electrical engineering and will have finished my degree this coming summer. I went back to school so that I would have a safety net to fall back on if music doesn't work out for me. Hopefully it won't come to that because I will do whatever it takes to make music work for me!
What's coming up next for you?
Well, 2019 is going to be interesting! I have a lot of collabs coming up with a mix of both well-known and unknown artists. I can't talk too much about that just yet. But, you can follow me on social media if you want the latest! Beyond that, I have a lot of new music coming up and the music video coming on Wednesday that I mentioned earlier. I have also just announced my first festival appearance for the summer at Skral Festival in Norway - one of my favorites! I'm also in touch with several other festivals but nothing is confirmed yet. My plan for the rest of the year is to keep pushing out new music, and do my best to get out and perform on the big stages around the world. I feel very lucky to have this "job" where I get to spread my ideas to so many different people through music and travel all over the world.
A huge thanks to Stisema for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to follow him on social media using the links below!
Chris W. Lao
Writer, DJ, and Student.
High 'n' Rich
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