Sam Feldt Discusses “Show Me Love,” Signing to Spinnin’, and Being a Museum Guide [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Sam Feldt hi res 2

Continuing on with our month-long spotlight on Mr. Sam Feldt, we’re eager to bring you an up-close-and-personal, in-depth interview with this rapidly rising dance music star. From the early years, to his recent remix of an absolute legend, we have you covered. Read the entire transcript below.

TMN: Hey Sam! Thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions for us. We’re really excited to have you on board. Let’s kick things off by talking about your latest release, a remix of Avicii’s “Waiting for Love.” How did that come about?

Waiting For Love (Sam Feldt Remix)

SF: Hey guys, thanks so much for having me! The “Waiting For Love” remix request came as a bit of surprise to me, to be honest. A pleasant one, though. Avicii is one of my favorite producers and having the honor to remix one of his tracks is amazing. The original version is an awesome track but more radio oriented, so for my remix I decided to go for a more club-focused version that I could play in my live sets too.

TMN: Talk to us about your biggest hit, “Show Me Love,” which features Kimberly Anne. How did the inspiration to cover/reimagine Robyn S’ legendary tune come about?

Sam Feldt
Show Me Love (Original Mix)

SF: It’s a funny story, actually. One night, I was bored surfing on YouTube (I’m sure you know these kinda nights) and stumbled upon this great cover of “Show Me Love” that Kimberly did in her bed room studio. The audio and video quality wasn’t perfect but I immediately heard that I had to do something with it. My label Spinnin Records agreed and we contacted Kimberly Anne to request the audio file for the version she did. Luckily she responded to our request and shortly after I began working on the track, with only her voice as a starting point. I built the track around the acapella completely and I think that’s one of the reasons the song is so different from the original and the other versions that are already out there.
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Mt. Eden Discuss Influences, Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceoros, and Maternal Love (Or Lack Thereof) [TMN EXCLUSIVE]

two door cienma club

Few things are absolutely certain when it comes to New Zealand-based Mt. Eden. For starters, fans will most assuredly be won over by their inventive, lush, and textural melodic dubstep, trap, and DnB sets, featuring a vast catalog of original work. This much we already knew, having seen them perform in the past. What we didn’t know, but do now, is that any conversation had with members Jesse Cooper and Harley Rayner is sure to result in hilarity.

We were lucky enough to catch up with this cheeky duo down at Beta Nightclub for both of the aforementioned experiences. And, as we said, hilarity ensued.

TMN: Hey guys. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us tonight. Welcome to the Mile High City! This is your second show at Beta, correct?

HR: Thanks man! This is our second show.

TMN: You guys play all over the world, how does Beta compare to some of the other renowned clubs out there?

HR: Imagine a pirate ship, run by Darth Vader.

JC: And Yoda.

HR: Yes, and Yoda. And you put them together and it’s a team operation. Everything is put together super tight. Everyone’s got walkie talkies. There are no problems whatsoever. The sound system is perfect.

JC: The force is strong here.

TMN: So, Electric Forest is definitely on our festival bucket list. How was your experience there? How does the vibe feel in comparison to some of the other larger festivals?

JC: With Electric Forest, it was a real passionate crowd. The forest is so decorated. The vibe was amazing. The security was overly nice. It didn’t feel corporate. The artists were really cool. We met up with 12th Planet, Snails, Vaski, Black Tiger Sex Machine…and everyone was really cool. It was like a family gathering.

HR: There’s no other festival where Macy Grey sings, Mr Carmack plays the drums, and it’s all fun and games. There’s no pressure on anyone to be in a scene.

JC: And there were so many back-to-back sets. It was Skrillex and Snails and Vaski doing DJ sets together. It was really cool! Everyone was mixing and mingling and everyone included everyone. You never felt left out.

HR: We could talk forever about how cool it is. It was one of the best festivals we’ve played at just due to the energy.

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Dinner With Gerald: G-Eazy Talks Lollapalooza, Endless Nights In The Studio & The Golden State Warriors [TMN Exclusive Interview]

G-Eazy (1)

Oh Well

G-Eazy‘s ascension to hip-hop stardom has been anything but typical. In just four years the Bay Area native has gone from indie rap darling to selling out nationwide tours. It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact moment where fantasy crossed over to reality for the rapper, though if you take the name of his debut album literally, you may be inclined to just assume These Things Happen. Except they don’t. Whether you enjoy his music or not, you have to respect the man’s hustle and the way he’s been able to expand his fanbase organically through a steady release of free music on his SoundCloud page. The hype is very real, so much so that G-Eazy was the only hip-hop artist to headline a stage at this year’s Lollapalooza, a testament to how far he’s already come.

I had a chance to catch up with Gerald prior to that performance as he prepared to take the stage Friday night at The Music Lounge 10 Years After-Party presented by Renaissance Hotels, BMF Media Group and Billboard. Having just landed in Chicago after playing a set at Osheaga Festival earlier that day, Gerald was about to dive in to dinner when we first shook hands. Like many rappers, Eazy’s persona is one that’s built on bravado, but in reality Gerald is an incredibly humble and pragmatic dude. At one point during our interview we were interrupted by a few friends and admirers who wanted to snap a couple pics, which G was more than happy to oblige as he posed with a huge grin while hilariously flaunting a stack of $2 bills (which he subsequently used to make it rain during his set about half an hour later). During this exchange an older gentleman pulled me aside and assured me that in all his years working in the industry, Gerald was one of the nicest individuals he’d ever met, also emphasizing that he was special and always made time for people. Perhaps it’s that charisma and magnetism that draws fans to him in the first place. It certainly translates to his live performance, as G-Eazy had one of the more entertaining sets all weekend. In my conversation with Gerald we touched on what it meant for him to be closing out the festivities on Saturday night, along with plans for his new album and some of his early Bay Area influences. Find out what he had to say below. 

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[TMN Interview] How to be Hard Headed: GANZ on his Vision and Path to Success


The ever shifting musical landscape of today lends itself to short memories and drastic overstatements. Albums are placed in the upper echelons shortly after their debuts, and claims of dominance fly constantly, portraying musicians as the literal godfathers of their respective genres. Part of the blame is shouldered by writers; an over reactive bunch who tend to go a bit overboard in backing their favorite artists. “Godfather” might be a bit of an embellishment, but in the case of Dutch producer Jordy Saamena, it would not be entirely hyperbolic to claim that he spawned an entirely new production style two years ago – one that has sparked a new wave of artists emulating his early success.

Saamena, who has situated himself as a internationally known producer under his stage name GANZ (pronounced gans), took the attention of the electronic music world through the release of his unique remixes – coined as “flips” – dating back to February of last year. While at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco on the first of an 8-stop North American tour, Jordy and manager Dennis Saamena (his older brother) were gracious enough to take some time after his performance and give The Music Ninja a run down on what the past two years have been like, the release of his label, and what he sees for the future of GANZ.

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Tommy Lee Dives Into His Long Transition Into Electronic Music [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee is a legend when it comes to music. You may simply think Motley Crue, but Tommy has had his hands in several musical pots over the years, including side projects like Methods of Mayhem, his own solo work and collaborations with artists like Nick Thayer, Bloody Beetroots, Violet Chachki, along with his current fiance SOFI, who he produced past and upcoming records for. Additionally, Tommy Lee has been DJing since the early 2000’s, both alone and with his homie DJ Aero, even landing on his close friend Deadmau5’s Meowington Hax tour in 2011 alongside Feed Me, A-Trak, and Fatboy Slim.

After killing the game with Motley Crue for so long, Tommy is ready to make his full transition into electronic music. It’s something that has been festering over the years, as one can tell from his lengthy, but patched resume with electronic music. Records have been released here and there on mau5trap, Ultra and Black Hole Recordings, and he has DJed places like Virgin’s mobile’s 10th Birthday, Download Festival as well as Ultra, which was actually his third gig ever with DJ Aero. Recently, we caught up with Tommy to talk about his past, along with what is to come with the new beginning that is on the horizon.

Nick Thayer & Tommy Lee featuring Mikill Pane
Fly Shit

TMN: What was the first thing that got you into electronic music?

Tommy Lee: I got my first Mac IICi in 1984, and I started messing with the program Digital Performer. I started editing and chopping guitars and drums and I got into MIDI. It just opened up my whole world! I was like “oh my god, you can do that!?” You could flip the sample backwards and cut it and stutter it. I lost my mind basically. Once you realize what you can do with the computer, you just lose it. I got into electronic music and started messing with everything I could get my hands on. Probably one of my earliest influences was like harder industrial music like Nine Inch Nails, and Skinny Puppy; more the aggro shit. Even before then, I always gravitated towards beats, because I’m a drummer. Before computers, I was digging disco and funk. It all just makes sense why I gravitated towards electronic music.

TMN: Who are some artists that you are currently into?
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Cazzette Talk the EDM Movement, Finding Artistic Freedom and their Upcoming EP [TMN Exclusive Interview + BTS Video Premiere]

Together (Till The Morning) Feat. Newtimers

I can still remember vividly hearing my first Skrillex song in a hazy dorm room about five years ago–it was around the same time that “EDM,” to some people’s chagrin, became an unstoppable force in mainstream music. For the college kids of that generation, like myself, it was an exciting moment hearing a completely new genre of mind-altering compositions. While frantically looking for all the EDM I could find, I stumbled across a Swedish duo by the name of Cazzette, who created an enormous dubstep remix of one of my favorite songs at the time, “Monster” by Kanye West.

As Cazzette rose to popularity, they signed with legendary manager Ash Pournouri, who’s best known for helping launch Avicii‘s career, and ended up supporting Avicii on his world tour when “Levels” was making him a household name. Just as with every new wave of music, though, EDM eventually hit a pinnacle of commercialization that began taking away from the artistry and originality that once made it so enticing. In the last five years or so, the term has become tied to a negative stigma–some detracting rationales more valid than others. Meanwhile, a number of the popular artists at the time’s music started sounding the same, with only few emerging from the EDM bubble with a distinguishable style.

Cazzette have seen EDM from its inception to its current, somewhat stagnant, state working to push their music forward exploring various soundscapes along the way. EDM’s legacy resonates, at least to some degree, in almost all genres today and electronic music, in general, is in an absolutely fantastic place thanks to the path it paved. In recent years, Cazzette have shown a determination to break free from classification and their upcoming EP, Desserts, sees the two escaping the constraints of EDM, instead focusing on pure grooves across sub-genres of electronic music. Artists are often at their best when they abandon genre restrictions and that’s exactly the crossroads where Cazzette stand now.

We were lucky enough to chat with Alex and Seb of Cazzette and it’s a fascinating, candid retrospective on the EDM movement as well as a powerful story about the artistic freedom displayed on their EP. Enjoy the interview below as well as the premiere of a behind the scenes video about the making of the track “State of Bliss” from the forthcoming project, which drops on August 14th on Spotify and August 28th on iTunes.

TMN: Can you tell us a bit about your first experiences with music—whether it be your parents playing you a record or the first time you tried an instrument.

Alex:  So for me, I’ve always been around music. I never played anything–like I never went to school for piano or anything like that but I think one of my earliest memories of music was being in the car with my dad and I remember we arrived to where we were going and I had to stay in the car because I had to keep listening to that Michael Jackson song “They Don’t Really Care About Us.” I think that’s like, well that wasn’t necessarily electronic music but that’s like one of my first memories of feeling like, music is so amazing, you know?

And then for electronic music I think, I must have been in high school and I went to this super lame disco and some techno song was playing and there were lasers and stuff. I was just really, like, hypnotized by that and after that I started DJ’ing and producing.

Seb: Yeah I think Michael Jackson was for everybody–for many kids in our generation, that was the shit. So that’s my first memory, but then how I got into electronic music was through my dad who always played me house music, trance music, like psych-trance, all this kind of weird stuff. And I think that’s how I got my interest in electronic music. it’s pretty much the same story for me as Alex, my dad introduced me to everything when it came to electronic music. And my mom also had really good taste–she listened more to like Prince and stuff like that.

TMN: When you guys first linked up, it was online, right? What drew you to each other’s styles?

Alex: Yeah, I think we found interest in each other’s music pretty early. We just started talking and sending demos back and forth. We’re a lot alike in the way that we didn’t really think about “Oh I do this genre, you do this genre”–you know like 2 separate genres. And then we started being influenced by each other. But this was more casual, you know, we were both like let’s just make music.

TMN: Can you talk a bit bout the landscape of electronic music back then? Because it was so different with EDM not quite being a full-blown movement yet.

Alex:  Yeah, it was very different. I mean now it feels like you know, every third person you meet is a DJ, right. And it’s a little bit different–I mean I remember watching videos of Axwell and Ingrosso and those guys, they were playing these shows and there were maybe 600 people there or something. Everyone was just going nuts and it was a completely different atmosphere. I’m not saying that it’s worse now, not at all. I think it’s great that it’s available for all these people because I think music should be available for everyone. So it’s awesome. But it’s just different, it was just more underground in a way.

Seb: For me it was very different at that time. I think electronic music was really more interesting back then. Everything was very new, changing all the time, always evolving. Now I don’t think it is as interesting any more, but it’s still good.

Alex: You know what differs the most? I think the arrangement of the songs, actually. Continue reading

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Rose Quartz Sits Down With TMN To Discuss New Album, Record Stores & More [Exclusive Interview]


Denver based Rose Quartz has long been a staple in many of The Music Ninja staff’s music diets. Back in December, the now four-piece released their re-tooled, textured and evolved debut EP as a full four-piece, Leaving Now, which we fell head over heels for and most recently dropped a collaborative ‘TMN Premiere’ single with Brothertiger, “Pleasure & Pain”. Last weekend we had the chance to take in one of our favorite music festivals, The Underground Music Showcase, in Rose Quartz’s backyard of Denver, which this year featured headliners like DIIV, STRFKR, Tennis and of course, Rose Quartz themselves for one of the busiest three-day stretches we have the pleasure of consuming all year.  After taking in their Saturday performance on the Main Stage, we caught up with Ethan, Alex, Clay and Matt after an intimate and enthralling set on Sunday at the Hi-Dive to discuss the important things in life. Like disco, Schlitz Malt Liquor and loads more. Read our entire interview below.

TMN: First off, thanks guys for sitting down with us, we’ve been huge fans since it was just Ethan & Alex as FLASH/LIGHTS, and then of course to the debut Flashlights EP from Rose Quartz. We’re just going to keep it super casual, so let’s just get right into it.

So, now that you’re a full live quartet with the addition of Clay on bass and Matt on drums, there seems to have been a shift in sonic temperament from the Flashlights EP  to your most recent EP Leaving Now, which we loved. Can you talk a little bit about how that shift has affected the songwriting and recording process for you guys.

Alex: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of different things now that we’re a four-piece. We’ve been writing for the entire band now, and shifting our influences much more to a funky, disco kind of influence. We’ve been listening to a lot of the BeeGee’s, Hall & Oates, and Michael Jackson…

Clay: …The Gap Band

Alex: …Yeah The Gap Band, and a bunch of good 70’s funk and disco. And I think that just that has really helped out, and then having four people, whether it’s on stage or in the studio, just having three other people to smile at has made us want to play I guess, happier and more upbeat in regards to the music.

Ethan: And now that we’re a four-piece band, the writing style has changed. When it was just the two of us we had to write stuff that could be performed by two people and didn’t look shitty. *Laughs from the room* Which limits the kind of writing we could do in terms of our live performances. So now that we can do it as a four-piece we can write much more complex stuff with more layers, and more tasteful ways we could actually recreate live. So that was a big shift for us definitely. Just.. finding the groove.

Read the rest of our interview with Rose Quartz after the jump….

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