In my insatiable quest to bring party music to the masses each and every week with my Friday Party Playlist, I consistently come across some really intriguing up-and-coming producers. Kid Ranger first caught my ear with his remix of Savage’s “Swing”. This track lit up every party I went to and quickly moved up in the ranks of all-time best for these weekly playlists.

After a while of getting to know Kid Ranger a little better and hearing the depth to his music, we wanted to know a little more. So, today we’re bringing you an incredibly in-depth interview, as well as three exclusive tracks. We hope you get a better understanding of someone you will be hearing a lot more from for years to come.


’Kid Ranger – It’s A Vengeance Sample (Original Mix)’
’Avicii & Project 46 – Crime (Kid Ranger Remix)’
’Big Chocolate – Blue Milk (Kid Ranger Remix)’
’Savage – Swing (Kid Ranger Remix)’

TMN : Hey Sam, thanks for taking some time to chat with us today. First up, why don’t you talk about your favorite moment as a DJ/producer has been to date?

KR: I think I’d probably have to say it was about a week ago, when I was back home in Marin. My mom told me she wanted me to meet a new friend of hers who was in the music industry. Her friend ended up being Narada Michael Walden, who as I found out is a multiple grammy-winning producer/drummer who’s produced a ton of number one hits with Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and plenty more. Basically this dude was the REAL fuckin deal. I walked into his studio in San Rafael, and about 10 minutes into meeting the guy we were sitting in his studio with my computer hooked up, and me hesitantly opening up my laptop to pull up a copy of my Crime remix, in whatever uncompleted stage it was. I could tell he had met with a lot of his colleagues sons’ before and wasn’t exactly expecting a ton from me, but after listening to a couple minutes of the track I guess he was sold.

He kept telling me that I was “funky,” and I couldn’t decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing until he explained it… he said “You see this guy, this girl, this guy,” pointing around to pictures and bobble heads of James Brown and the other incredible musicians he’s works with, “you know what they all had? They were funky. Some people just have it and some people don’t. And you’re funky.”

Granted, Narada isn’t exactly the most exposed person to electronic music, but regardless just having someone at his caliber of skill and success tell me that I had that “it” factor was definitely the most mindblowing experience I’ve ever had. And to put the icing on the cake, he actually asked me to start working on a couple projects with him and Tarpan studios, and while I can’t say much about em right now it should be really cool to see where this stuff goes. I still haven’t really registered all of it yet, it still feels kinda unreal that someone with that much clout would actually be impressed by my work, I just hope I can keep up and exceed the standards I set for myself now haha!

TMN: Let’s go back to your musical upbringings. You played guitar in metal bands as a teenager. How did you transition from metal to EDM?

KR: Yes, I’m another one of those guys who went from metal to EDM, however I never actually saw any success in metal, haha. I started playing guitar when I was about 12 or 13 I wanna say, and it kinda took over my life. And as it came time where I thought I was ready to start playing in bands and actually doing something with all the time I spent in my room, I quickly came to realize that trying to organize a group of 14-16 year old boys for weekly practices was not nearly as simple a task as I had hoped it would be. After starting a couple different “bands” with different groups of friends around my area, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to get some music actually down on paper I’d have to do it myself. And that’s what EDM gave me. One of my friends showed me Swagga, and I remember just being absolutely blown away at the fact that the song triggered the same emotions in me as a metal song would. Shortly after that, one of my best friends picked up a copy of Ableton and started making tracks, and everything finally clicked. I was like, “well, if he can do it that I probably could figure it out too!” hahaha. I definitely had no idea how much I’d fall in love with the genre, I remember a time where I firmly believed I’d never let EDM take over my passion for metal, but there was really no stopping it once it had started.

TMN: Just out of curiosity, who is your favorite metal band?

KR: Oh, man… as I’m sure you’re aware that’s probably one of the toughest questions you can ask a musician haha! I’ll try to keep it brief though… I contribute 100% of my desire to pick up a guitar to Metallica, and at first was totally enthralled in Thrash, and as time went on I started listening to more metal core-ish shit. There’s honestly so many bands I used to and still do listen to that I don’t know if I could really pick just one. Stray From the Path have always been a gigantic inspiration to me, I could and have literally played their track Damien for hours on repeat, it’s just perfect haha. Also I couldn’t leave out We Came As Romans, their melodies and song composition is always so on point. Also Suicide Silence, definitely some of my biggest idols and a large factor of why I got so into heavy ass music. RIP Mitch!!

TMN: Alright, back to EDM. We somehow stumbled across your remix of “Swing” by Savage which has come to be one of our personal favorites as far as Clayton’s Friday Party Playlist tracks go. What made you decide on that track?

KR: I think that I was listening to Miss May I cover of the track, which keeps so much of the integrity of the original track while also making it super heavy at the same time. I had a moment of clarity where I was kinda like “this would work even better with EDM, why the fuck has no one done this yet?!” It actually took me like 5 months to finally find the acapella for it, but I’m glad it took so long because it wouldn’t have turned out nearly as good as it did otherwise. The whole track all came together in the matter of one or two days, and the rest is history I guess. In full disclosure I actually can’t stand this track anymore, mostly because I was still so early into my production when I made it, but it’s cool to see that other people actually enjoy it.

TMN: You’ve recently decided to stop going to film school and switch over to Icon Collective, the electronic music production school in Glendale, CA. Talk to us about that decision, and what influenced you to make it.

KR: Yeah, I was a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University for film, and even though I love film and enjoyed the school I just had no drive whatsoever academically. It really started when I first got there as a freshman, when I was still really serious about my music but still considered it more of a hobby. As the year progressed my passion for music kept exponentially increasing, drowning out whatever drive I had to participate in school. It got to the point where I’d miss a day of classes just to keep working on my music, and at a certain point I realized that enough was enough. I never was a very good student, and music was really the one constant thing in my life that I could spend endless amounts of time on without losing focus for a second. At first, I had just left school to re-evaluate what I was doing and see how I could help myself get more focused, and then my mom asked me if I had thought about going to music school. Pretty much the next day I had set up an appointment for her and I to take a tour of Icon and meet Varun, the admissions director. The next day after that I had sent in my deposit and was already spending nights in the studio at school before I even had started my first semester. When I first stopped going to school, I was pretty upset about the whole situation, and now that I’m where I am I couldn’t be happier that everything happened exactly how it did. Icon is without a doubt the best decision I could have possibly made, both for my music career and my personal life.

I really can’t put into words how awesome the school is… like it’s actually impossible. I’ve been trying to figure out how to word it and there’s just too much to talk about, I could write a 10 page essay about why this place is so damn great. Every person I’ve met here has instantly became a great friend and resource, and everyone here is just so driven to succeed and better themselves musically that it forces me to work even harder than I already do. Most weeks I spend 5 or 6 days at school, from 11 in the morning to 2 or 3 in the morning. And I only have class 3 days a week, for about 4 hours each day so most of that time is purely just sitting in the studios working, or even hanging out and talking to one of the teachers or a student… no matter what I’m doing, it’s always about music and I’m always learning something new. Plus, just being able to be in a room with Protohype, MakJ, Brian Matrix, Dirty Deeds, Steve Duda in the same room is insane, and thats only to name a few. To sum things up, if there was ever a chance of me becoming truly successful as a musician, it was by going to Icon. The experience I’ve had so far has been truly invaluable, and if I’ve learned this much in just the first three months I can’t fucking wait to see what happens for the next 6. Should be pretty interesting!

TMN: Let’s change the pace up a little bit. If you could only listen to once musicians/bands musical collection for the rest of your life, what would it be?

KR: I think if I had to pick one t’d probably be Architects. Every song and/or album they have came out with is some of the most awesomely structured and composed music I’ve heard, and it’s always so fuckin’ brutal! Even their totally melodic shit is so damn beautiful, every time I listen to their songs it’s one of those “how do you even….” kinda moments. I definitely think that their whole discography has been one of my biggest influences, I try to make sure my tracks have a good blend of melody and heaviness and I’d attest a lot of that to them.

TMN: Ok, here’s another random one. Name three things that are always in your fridge?

KR: This one made me laugh a lot… mainly because I don’t know if I could even tell you the last time I legitimately went grocery shopping. I spend so much time at school nowadays that it just doesn’t make sense to have food at home, since I’m really there to just sleep. I’m not kidding… I get home anywhere between 2 am-5 am, and am up by 8 or 9:30 am to get back to school.

However, three things that I can tell you we always have in our fridge is our mega-industrial-sized Brita tank, at least a couple boxes of almond/soy milk and a bottle of Sriracha. The Sriracha is the most essential part for sure, I don’t know how I’d survive without it even though I didn’t even really know what it was until not too long ago haha.

I definitely have an unhealthy relationship with it and I don’t see it ending anytime soon. The burn you get in your chest is the Sriracha’s way of showing you it loves you, mmmm…..

TMN: Being a young producer you haven’t really toured that much just yet. Are there any particular cities or venues that are on you’d love to play in?

KR: Haha, I haven’t really toured at all! I’m really stoked to start playing shows though, whenever that ends up happening.

I have a lot of friends in the colorado/boulder area, and I’ve always wanted to play at the Fox in boulder. So many awesome people come through there and the town is so much fun, being able to go out there and have a ton of fun as “work” would seriously be a dream come true.

I’m really not all that picky though… as long as I get to go see cool new places and share my music and the music I love with a crowd I’ll be happy. There’s really nothing else like playing out your favorite tunes and watching people go nuts, and I’ve only experienced it on a pretty small scale… I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to play something like EDC or Ultra, but hopefully soon enough I will! That’s the plan at least, hahaha.

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Kid Ranger