Tell us about your new album "Road So Far" and how you went about promoting your self-release.
The Road So Far album is an accumulation of many styles I have adopted throughout this epic seven year long journey of making music. Last time I released a full length album was in 2014 with the "Victorious" LP. Looking back, I'm not proud of it anymore even though some tunes have still held up. With Road So Far, I wanted to present some collaborations with talented, up and coming artists who are mostly underrated and unknown. The goal was to help them by generating streaming hype by releasing through my label.
The story behind the album is more meaningful and conceptual than you might think. I view life as a constant battle. For the past five years, I have been fighting for survival in a very poor environment surrounded by alcoholics, drug addicts, and criminal elements. On top of that, I've been dealing with physical health issues as well as multiple deaths of loved ones in the past years.
What was it like to reunite with Micah Martin on "Where We Are?"
To be absolutely honest, this tune started out as a more Marshmello-type tune but then I bashed the concept and passed it to fellow collaborator, LENNY. He made this darker trap banger out of it.
Tell us about the EDM scene over there in Latvia and your experience with event hosting over the years?
I've been throwing events in Latvia since 2017 as part of the teams responsible for six RAVE Reborn events and two Next Sense event series. There are lots of cool DJs here, but not enough skilled producers when it comes to electronic music. With the RAVE Reborn series, I was trying to unite the scene and make it more open minded towards multiple genres of electronic music. I wanted to give people the freedom to play what is closest to their heart. Through this, I hoped to open people's minds to new types of music because in my opinion, the scene is somewhat divided into the drum & bass scene and house/techno scene. Also, the harder bass styles are barely present at all. I just felt like people were missing out. With both series, we brought out 250 to 450 people for each event which is great by Latvia standards. The country has about two million people under a difficult political and economical situation in general.
What have been some of your most memorable moments from the events you've hosted?
There have been so many of them! Things like girls dancing and raging with me on stage to the moments backstage where I've been able to talk with so many different, interesting people about all sorts of things. That's what I love about rave culture in general - the music is kind of aggressive in many cases, but people are so peaceful and cool.
From your perspective, what are some of the things holding producers back from reaching their maximum audience and potential?
There are many different reasons that hold people back. I know lots of them don't feel motivated enough, or they work hard for years and don't see any significant results. Expectations get fooled and they get depressed. Some live in countries where their surroundings are so depressing that it eats them and they just give up. A lack of resources can create tons of problems. Some lack knowledge, some lack discipline, some lack contacts, friends, or have picked the wrong people to be around. Sometimes it just comes down to not being lucky enough. Luck plays a significant role in being successful.
Some don't see trends, don't want to follow them or know how to implement elements from hype music to make themselves sound more fresh. Most importantly, some people just don't feel influential enough to actually set trends. The fact is that we work together as one scene to create them. Some don't understand that we are actually inspiring each other. I would also say that it takes a solid character in general to be successful in the music industry or anywhere for that matter. You have to be a warrior.
Not too long ago, we released Urban Stars Compilation VOL. 1 featuring Puffin, Dropheadz, Misfit Massacre, bassReaper, Frepz, Prismatic, Papercut, and so I heavily recommend listening to it!
Thanks so much to Urbanstep 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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Tom & Jame