When searching for new and up-and-coming EDM artists, I really try to look for DJs and producers who tend to stray away from the mainstream house and electro-pop scene. Lately, the electro world has been flooded with generic sounds and heavy baselines, giving the genre and culture a bad name. Thankfully, Gazzo has answered our prayers and sorrows with some funky-fresh tunes that are sure to turn that frown upside down. The New Jersey-based DJ has quickly moved up the ranks and released official remixes for Telepopmusik, Work Drugs, YLUV, and Annop Desai. Since the summer, Gazzo been busy releasing new remixes and performing on his east-coast tour. Lucky for us, he found the time to do a quick interview with Oh So Fresh! Music.
When did you start producing?
I started producing music when I was about 15 years old. It all stemmed from playing guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and singing in various bands growing up. Getting my first software (TC8) was insane for me at the time. It was a very simple piece of software, with only 8 tracks and about 3 different effect knobs that had minimal parameters you could work with.
Who are some of your biggest influences and why?
My biggest influence is definitely my family. My mom, dad, and sister have been there since day one supporting my musical dream even when I was a kid. Although I started my collegiate career taking a more "socially acceptable" future in marketing, I quickly realized that my love and passion for producing and playing music was something I needed to explore professionally. Taking that step was a difficult decision but clearly the right decision. My family has been supporting me ever since, and I have continued to work hard to provide my family with a better life. My dad was also a huge influence musically. When I was super young, he sparked my interest by playing an eclectic choice of music for me on a daily basis. He is what's known as a "stereophile," which are basically people who are extremely knowledgeable in things like acoustics and overall sound. They also tend to collect and trade stereo gear, so I've been able to listen on some pretty insane systems over the course of my life.
As far as musical influences, I would have to say Fedde Le Grand, Mark Knight, Thomas Gold, Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, Disclosure, and Hardwell. I think all of these DJs/producers have unique styles, and I take what I love from each to inject into my own sound (coupled with inspiration from outside musical tastes like Gov't Mule, Coldplay, and more).
If you could pick anyone in the world to perform with, who would you pick?
I would love to do a back-to-back set with either Fedde Le Grand or Mark Knight. Even Hardwell would be incredible. There style of music, although different to each other, is well-aligned with what I love to create and play. There also incredible DJs each in their own way. I'm actually playing with Fedde Le Grand as direct support on Oct 11th at Power Plant Live Main Stage in Baltimore, MD, which I'm super excited for! On a completely different scale, I would love to be on the same stage as Coldplay one day.
What is your most memorable live show?
I think the most memorable live show that still trumps all is Dayglow Baltimore (now known as "Life in Color"). I was actually DJing as a duo with Rob Calabrese at that time, and we were put on the bill last minute for the sold out show. It proved to be one of the most insane gigs I've played to date. With a set during the first paint spray. We played from 11-12:30am, which in my honest opinion, had the most incredible amount of energy I've ever felt even as a headliner on other shows. Incredible!
What do you think the future holds for the EDM culture?
I think ever since it became a phenomena in the US, it has blown up even greater than it ever was. In a lot of other countries, like Europe, this genre of music has been their bread and butter for years. Huge electronic festivals have been happening all over the world for a long time, but I think now it's completely worldwide and sort of "mainstream" in a sense. Although that means a lot more generic "noise" music, however, there is still an incredible amount of talented artists and producers coming up with some of the most unique music to date. Producers are getting younger and becoming more talented, which only means everyone else has to work even hard, even at the very top! I'm just really excited to begin the journey and meet amazing people along the way. The future of EDM in my opinion is going to be long and prosperous.
What are your plans/goals for the future?
My real goal is to play on the mainstage at every major festival. I think that what drives me the most is that not only music is a true passion of mine, but the yearning to change people's lives through music. People look at these shows for an escape from whatever problems their having in the "real world" and to play the mainstage, with the most amount of people watching, means changing that many people's lives at the same time. Oh, and also raging our fucking faces off!!
When picking samples, what do you look for/what makes you want to use that sample?
Most of the samples I use are either form sample packs shared by other artists or my own samples. I think a lot of artists use sample kicks and percussion from other tracks, but I tend to stray away from that most of the time. The combination of making them from scratch and using pre-made ones creates some unique sounds. When looking through, I mostly look in bulk and sift through. Quality is super important, but getting the quantity is what I do first so I have an array of samples to choose from or manipulate. I think I currently have over 50,000 samples on my external drive.
What was your favorite song to produce and why?
I think my overall favorite has been my "Breathe" remix. Capturing the original emotion, but adding even more dynamic and feeling with my own sounds, was quite quite a process. I made a total of 5 different remixes, all with similar cord progressions but different vibes, It was about a year in the making, and when I finally made the latest remix, everything seemed to click. Such an amazing array of vocals in that track. There's also a ton of subtle stuff that I would have to point out in order for everyone to hear it.
You've released some new free remixes lately, will you be releasing a full-length album/EP anytime in the near future?
Right now I'm pretty much working single to single to single. I think that timing will really be a huge factor in making an EP, and I just don't feel like right now is that time. I have, however, been working with a ton of extremely talented people, from Cash Cash & The Disco Fries to Dani Deahl & Aylen. That list continues to grow and I'm super honored to be able to make music with all of them. Currently spending most of my time on remix work for bands and other artists, but I also have a about 10-15 original tracks done, with another 15 still in the works. I'm also working on a side project with some dope dudes, but we're keeping it pretty low key at the moment.
Will we see Gazzo performing in the Philadelphia/East Cost area anytime soon?
Of course! I'm East Coast born and raised. I currently have residency at one of the best clubs in Baltimore, Mosaic (where I'm based) but in the next 5 months, I'm moving closer to NYC so expect to see more of me there. I've also played at Lavo NYC a few times, and I CANNOT wait to get back there. The sound system is unreal, and I love everyone who works there. I have a huge a show with Fedde Le Grand in Baltimore on Oct 11th and another with Morgan Page, Audien,, and Maor Levi at Best Buy Theatre in Times Square on Oct 18th. I'm currently working on Philadelphia and Boston dates as well. My upcoming shows are also posted on my Facebook fanpage.
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