• Denon DJ Acquires SoundSwitch

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    SoundSwitch. (Source: Facebook)

    Denon DJ has acquired lighting software and hardware company, SoundSwitch. Released in 2016, SoundSwitch enables DJs to integrate custom and automated lighting into their DJ set. The product is currently compatible with Serato DJ and Virtual DJ 8.

    “SoundSwitch is a fantastic addition to the Denon DJ portfolio of pro-level DJ performance products,” said Jack O’Donnell, CEO of Denon DJ in the press release. “The SoundSwitch software will continue to bring even more creative options to our DJ customers’ gigs and shows, bringing a more exciting and vibrant experience of lighting, visuals and sound.”

    Zak Meyers, CEO of SoundSwitch added:

    “Becoming part of the Denon DJ team is a great outcome. With Denon DJ’s support, SoundSwitch will be able to further expand on its vision in both the software and hardware fields at pace. The SoundSwitch team is excited to explore the synergies between the two companies and develop the next generation of lighting products alongside Denon DJ’s impressive hardware.”

    Check out Denon DJ’s Facebook page for more info.

    Related: SoundSwitch 1.2 Released

  • Watch Q&As From the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Conference

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    Maluma at Billboard’s Latin Music Conference at The Venetian in Las Vegas on April 25, 2018. (Credit: Nicole Pereira)

    Latin music’s popularity is at an all-time high thanks in part to artists like Bad Bunny, Maluma, and Pitbull. They, along with other Latin stars, have topped charts and sold out shows in record numbers all over the world over the past year.

    Now, they’ve all gathered together in Las Vegas for the 29th annual Billboard Latin Music Week. The event, which ends Thursday night with the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards, began Monday with a three-day conference.

    Among the festivities at the conference was a series of individual Q&A and panel interviews with the top artists, producers, and executives in the game. Topics included a look back at the past year, how collaborations came together, and future projects.

    We put together some of the best Q&As below, most of which were conducted in Spanish. The list includes interviews by the aforementioned Bad Bunny, Maluma, and Pitbull as well as Ozuna, Maná, and songwriter Descemer Bueno.

    Watch them below.

    Bad Bunny




    Iconic Songwriter Descemer Bueno


    Related: Watch: Nicky Jam Explains How J Balvin Collab ‘X’ Was Made

  • Las Vegas Talent Buyer Dave Fogg Gives Insight Into His Booking Process

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    Dave Fogg
    Dave Fogg (Credit: DMahoney Photo)

    If you DJ or party in Las Vegas on a regular basis, chances are you’ve been to an event that Dave Fogg has booked or performed at. Originally a DJ, Fogg got his start as a talent buyer for Club RA at Luxor in the late ’90s. (RA was the first venue in Vegas to book dance music artists.) From there, Fogg went on to book for clubs at casinos like Hard Rock, Station, and Palms. He’s seen the scene go through various transformations as both a buyer and a DJ.

    Now, Fogg is pushing boundaries as a buyer at Drai’s popular Beachclub and After Hours venues. The Beachclub’s lineup boasts cutting-edge acts like A-Trak, Showtek, MK, TroyBoi, Henry Fong, 4B, Sak Noel, Ape Drums, and Stooki Sounds.

    With the return of pool season in Vegas, we spoke with Fogg about his process for finding and booking new talent.

    What do you look for when searching for talent?

    Relevance is probably the most important, whether it’s a new, up-and-coming artist or an older, established one. There’s also the early buzz surrounding artists and their release schedules. If you’re a working DJ, you have the advantage of getting that information ahead of everyone else. Lastly, I like to book artists that are friends and collaborators with artists who have residencies at the other nightclubs. This is a nice layer because you can get them to show up and hang out, even if it’s against the wishes of some bitter club GMs.

    How do you find new acts?

    Surprisingly, not through industry standards like Pollstar, but through record pools such as DJcity.

    How do you determine how much to pay a DJ?

    If you’re going off other venues in Vegas, then you’re screwed. Those inflated price points will never be a true indicator of value. I’m going off of what the venue can support, strategic booking on certain days of the year, and comparing with other cities with similar markets.

    Does being a DJ influence you as a buyer and vice versa?

    Almost all of my decisions are coming from a DJ point of view, never the other way around. It’s more about me playing someone’s track as a DJ and seeing firsthand how people react to their music. That then leads to me following up as a talent buyer and booking them. For many, it’s their first time in Las Vegas.

    TroyBoi at Drai’s Beachclub on March 24. (Source: Drai’s Beachclub)

    You’ve booked a ton of DJs over the years. Which ones have impressed you the most?

    It’s pretty much across the board. Derrick May, Loco Dice, 12th Planet, Diplo, MK, AlunaGeorge, and Rusko. I’ve been fortunate enough to be creative and a fan of the bookings that I do.

    What is a common misconception about being a buyer?

    That you have to go to Ibiza, ADE, SXSW, and all of the big festivals to “scout” for talent. It’s such a crock of sh#t. It’s honestly just an excuse for free vacations, and no worthwhile work will ever get done.

    How do you feel about the current state of the Vegas scene?

    I’d say it’s in a fairly stagnant state in some respects, meaning that the big clubs on the strip will not stop how they’re programming anytime soon. In other ways, the circle of music trends is becoming interesting.

    Where do you think its headed?

    We had EDM a few years ago, hip-hop last year, and currently there’s a return to electronic music, specifically the underground.

    Follow Dave Fogg on Instagram.

    Related: Four Color Zack: The Politics of DJing in Las Vegas

  • Dee Jay Silver Talks Blending Country and Dance Music

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    Dee Jay Silver
    Dee Jay Silver at Rehab Beach Club in Las Vegas on July 4, 2016. (Credit: Key Lime Photo)

    DJcity’s country music contributor Dee Jay Silver recently spoke with Las Vegas Weekly about the crossover between country and dance music. (View his DJcity country club edits here.)

    The Texas native will kick off his 2018 residency at Rehab Beach Club on Saturday and spin at Jewel and the Foundation Room in April. Those dates coincide with the Academy of Country Music Awards.

    Las Vegas Weekly writes:

    “Country has been bleeding into dance music for a while now, but things have come to a head: ‘The Middle,’ Zedd’s latest track pop with rising star Maren Morris, is solidly atop Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic chart.”

    Silver adds:

    “And look at Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line. ‘Meant to Be’ is one of the top radio songs in the country across any format. I’m excited to see where these [collaborations] will go next.”

    In addition to his residencies and role at DJcity, Silver holds it down as Jason Aldean’s tour DJ. He also has three original singles on the way, including a trap collab with Atlanta rapper Constantine.

    Follow Dee Jay Silver on Facebook, Instagram, Mixcloud, and Twitter.

    Check out all of DJcity’s country club edits here.

    Related: Four Color Zack: The Politics of DJing in Las Vegas

  • Diplo Talks About His Hip-Hop Roots, Lil Xan’s 2Pac Comment

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    Diplo at Premier Nightclub in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Jan. 26, 2018. (Source: Facebook)

    Before dropping his California EP on Friday, Diplo sat down with the popular No Jumper podcast for an in-depth interview. The conversation, which spanned one-and-a-half hours, covered a wide range of topics, like the current Las Vegas scene, the EDM bubble, and his most difficult DJ gig.

    The Mad Decent founder also discussed his hip-hop roots and Lil Xan‘s recent controversial comment that 2Pac is “boring.” (Diplo has a track with Xan on his EP.)

    On Diplo’s hip-hop roots:

    “When I grew up, I loved hip-hop because I was obsessed with the graffiti. I was obsessed with the culture. … It sounds corny, but I was break dancing. I was doing graffiti. I was obsessed with the art side of it. … So I dug into the history. I watched this movie called Style Wars. I got into the history of old school hip-hop, like what it meant to be a DJ and I’m lucky that I learned that way. I’m obsessed with the old records, the old sounds, like what DJ Premier was doing all the way to like what the DJ are now.”

    On Xan’s comment about 2Pac:

    “I grew up loving West Coast hip-hop. [Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride of the Pharcyde] is probably the album that made me wanna be a producer. … And then like Freestyle Fellowship, and then I got into like Snoop [Dogg] and [Dr.] Dre. … I wasn’t a big 2Pac fan, but then as a DJ I became a huge fan because [all of his music] worked. So I mean music just affects you differently, but people have the right to be fans and not fans of music.”

    Watch the full convo below.

    Related: Diplo to Launch His Own SiriusXM Channel

  • Four Color Zack: The Politics of DJing in Las Vegas

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    Four Color Zack
    Four Color Zack at Holy Ship! 10.0 on Jan. 7, 2018. (Credit: Rukes)

    Four Color Zack recently sat down for an interview with the Reflections of a DJ podcast (a.k.a. R.O.A.D. Podcast). The show is hosted by Las Vegas DJs Crooked, D-Miles, Jaime Da Great, and Neva.

    Among the topics discussed were the politics of DJing in Vegas. A fan of the show, Zack told the hosts that he values their inside perspective of the Vegas club scene. The conversation that ensues covers what it’s really like DJing in Sin City as well as some of the dos and don’ts of holding down a residency.

    Watch the clip and listen to the full interview below. New episodes of Reflections of a DJ go up on Wednesdays on iTunes and SoundCloud.

    Follow Reflections of a DJ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

    Related: Shecky Green: How DJ AM Became the Highest Paid DJ in the World

  • How Marshmello Built One of the Most Successful Brands in Dance Music

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    Marshmello at Lollapalooza Argentina in 2017. (Source: Facebook)

    Marshmello has become one of the most successful brands in dance music, and in a new feature story in Billboard, the DJ/producer and his manager discuss how they built it.

    Of course, Marshmello wouldn’t be famous without his music. But the business and brand strategies that he and his manager Moe Shalizi used are a key part of the equation.

    Why Marshmello wears a mask:

    Shalizi: “It doesn’t matter who’s under this helmet. The ethos of the brand is creating something that doesn’t symbolize one person as an icon, but a movement of people.”

    How the mask creates curiosity:

    Marshmello: “It’s not every day you see something like Marshmello … You’re like, ‘Wait, what does [he] even do?’ You search and find the music.”

    How he’s instantly recognizable, unlike many DJ/producers:

    Shalizi: “It’s like Coca-Cola … When you see red and white, what do you think? We created an unforgettable ­character; a logo, essentially.”

    How wearing a mask helps him avoid the spotlight:

    Marshmello: “Everybody says, ‘Man, you have it made.’ … [Fame] is such a volatile ­situation, and it’ll usually change people for the worse. I’m happy not to be in that.”

    Why he turned down offers from major labels:

    Shalizi: “[The offers] weren’t genuine … It was like, ‘We don’t know if you’re real, but we’re willing to throw sh#t at the wall and see if it sticks.’”
    Marshmello: “We bet on ourselves.”

    Related: Migos Team With Marshmello for New Single and Video, ‘Danger’

  • DJ Snake Launches His Own Record Label

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    DJ Snake performs at XS Las Vegas on January 22, 2018. (Source: Facebook)

    DJ Snake has launched his record label, Premiere Classe. The label, which is set to drop its first release “Whistle” by DJ/producers 4B and TEEZ on Wednesday, will feature artists across the world.

    In addition to releasing popular tracks, Snake is an influential tastemaker. DJs and fans alike often check his playlists to see which tracks he has played, so it makes sense that he has started a label.

    In February, Snake released a dancehall-influenced single titled “Magenta Riddim.” The track was one of DJcity’s most downloaded songs of the month.

    The Paris native announced the news on social media:

    Today, I’m announcing the launch of my very own record label “Premiere Classe”. This has always been a dream of mine. I wanted to first build a platform and then use it to shine a light on music/people that I believe in. This record label is for people across all corners of the world, to showcase all genres of music. I grew up influenced by different cultures, sounds, feelings, emotions and I want “Premiere Classe’’ to be a representation of that. I was given a chance some time ago and it changed my life forever, I want to be able to give the same chance to the next generation of artists. There’s a new wave coming, and we are going to be a part of it. No politics. Just dope shit. This is history in the making, here we go. William (DJ Snake)

    A post shared by djsnake (@djsnake) on

    Related: DJ Snake Drops New Single, ‘Magenta Riddim’

    Posted in Music Industry
  • Producer Rvssian Talks Upcoming Migos and Bad Bunny Collab, Producing ‘Krippy Kush’

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    Jamaican producer and singer Rvssian recently sat down for an interview with DJ Lechero from Power 106’s The Cruz Show.

    Born in Kingston but based in Miami, Rvssian is best known for producing Farruko and Bad Bunny‘s Latin trap hit, “Krippy Kush.” The multi-platinum selling producer hasn’t always worked in Latin music, however. He got his start in dancehall in 2010, working extensively with Jamaica’s Vybz Kartel and Konshens. It wasn’t until 2014 that he crossed over, bringing together Sean Paul and Farruko for a bilingual track called “Passion Whine.” The 27-year-old has since become one of the most sought-after producers in the genre.

    During the interview, Rvssian reveals that he’s working on two big collaborations: one with Migos and Bad Bunny, and another with J Balvin and Farruko. He also discusses being an English-speaking producer in a Spanish genre, among other topics.

    Watch the interview above.

    Related: Bad Bunny Talks Breaking Barriers, Future Collaborations, and Getting Latin Trap on US Radio

  • Diplo to Launch His Own SiriusXM Channel

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    Diplo at XS Nightclub in Las Vegas on Jan. 21, 2017. (Source: Facebook)

    Diplo has announced that he will launch his own, exclusive channel on SiriusXM called Diplo’s Revolution. It will replace Electric Area on channel 52.

    The channel, which will launch March 22, will feature tracks selected by Diplo, as well as original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis, and Major Lazer members Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire. Diplo’s Revolution will also air live coverage from electronic music festivals around the world like Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, and more.

    Diplo will host a weekly show, Records on Records, that will air on Fridays at 7 pm ET. He will also host a monthly show, Diplo’s Wavelength, which will showcase the cultures and music he discovers while touring the world. Diplo’s Wavelength will air the first Friday of every month.

    He said in the press release:

    “Back in 2012, I had a show with [SiriusXM] called ‘Blow Your Head,’ and it’s awesome to be back in the family launching this project together … I’m excited to share my favorite music from all over the world, and can’t wait to have tons of friends on to do the same.”

    The channel will be kicked off with a live performance from Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9 pm ET. It will feature DJ sets from Diplo and others.

    Related: Diplo Teams With Lil Yachty and Santigold for New Single and Video, ‘Worry No More’

    Posted in Music Industry