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Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of the 2010s, Ranked

December 11, 2019

(via Unsplash)

When it comes to selecting a personal “best” song, there’s so much more that goes into it than how far it charted on the Billboard Top 40. In fact, that doesn’t play a role to me at all.

What matters is how I felt about the song during its prime, if I feel the same way about the song now, if it had a legitimate “moment” in my life and if it brought some kind of unique sound or formula to the table. With each of these factors in mind, I’ve spent literally all of 2019 jotting down all my most monumental songs of the decade in a notebook as I thought of them.

With 10 years to account for, obviously a slew of songs came to mind. And while I’d have to say music basically died after 2014, the earlier years of the decade brought some of the most iconic songs of all time. Keep reading for skyelyfe’s 20 best songs of the 2010s, ranked. *Note: I left out all remixes even though some were absolutely amazing.

20. ‘Wide Awake’ – Katy Perry (2012)

While probably the last single you think of when you look back on Katy Perry’s iconic Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection album, “Wide Awake” was not only a powerful ballad from the characteristically gimmicky singer, but also one that came out during a trying time in my personal life when I felt like the world was crashing down on me and I was trying to recover from a rough patch. I found the song to be therapeutic in many ways, and I highly respect that this is a detour from much of the singer’s other work.

19. ‘Ice Tray’ – Quality Control, Quavo, Lil Yachty (2017)

This is simply the quintessential song you want to hear on a night out. I can’t tell you how many times I danced to this after-hours. The dark, pulsating track even managed to make Joe Budden relevant again for a hot sec. Had the song come out earlier in the decade, it would have made an even bigger impact, but it definitely holds a special place as one of the best of the latter years.

(via YouTube)

18. ‘I Met You’ – Anna Lunoe + Flume (2012)

2012 was such a year for electronic music. The genre expanded in so many ways, and I was absolutely obsessed with this track. I remember playing this and No. 17 interchangeably nonstop all throughout my work days that year. I very much miss this musical moment.

17. ‘All My Life’ – Gigamesh f./ Jana Nyberg (2012)

Much like the aforementioned track, this was on my Spotify rotation nonstop in 2012—so much so that the app listed it as my most listened to song of that year (not shocking!). Still when I hear it to this day, I don’t like it any less.

(via YouTube)

16. ‘The North’ – Summer Heart (2011)

Summer Heart seemingly came out of nowhere, and this song is hands down one of the most beautifully melodic tracks I’ve ever heard. Not to be fooled by the artist’s name, this song had every bit of a solemn fall vibe, accompanying the season swimmingly that year.

15. ‘Dreaming’ – The Knocks (2014)

The Knocks stole my heart in 2014, and I’ve seen them live countless times since. Their infectious energy lights up a stage, and I truly can’t think of a livelier duo. “Dreaming” is every bit the upbeat track that got me on my feet in 2014 (even when the year got me down).

(via YouTube)

14. ‘Nocturne’ – Wild Nothing (2012)

Seriously bless Wild Nothing. They were my most listened to act of 2012 on Spotify, and have truly never let me down since. They encapsulate everything I could possibly want in a band, with their light, dreamy alt. rock melodies. I can seriously listen to “Nocturne” (and its album of the same name) forever. Just thinking about it makes me happy.

13. ‘Silhouettes’ – Avicii (2012)

Avicii’s tragic death last year was by far one of the most impactful and saddening. Not only a legendary trendsetter in electronic music, the Swedish DJ didn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body (at least from what we know). On top of it all, he created some forever memorable tracks, including what I consider his most underrated, “Silhouettes.” This song takes me back to his then-signature sound when he first hit the scene with “Levels” in 2011. RIP, Avicii.

(via YouTube)

12. ‘Operate’ – ASTR (2013)

Short-lived electronic R&B duo ASTR was an act I found from my old-school favorite indie music blog BitCandy, and I instantly fell in love with them. They disbanded after 2015, but in their time together, Zoe Silverman and Adam Pallin released two insanely outstanding EPs that will forever hold a place in my heart. “Operate” was the first single they released, and therefore the most legendary. I got my entire group of friends hooked, and therefore they definitely made a large dent in my musical memories of the decade.

11. ‘L.A. Lights’ – Grum (2010)

There’s no song like this one (or like the album Heartbeats) on this list. In a shocking move, Grum (aka Graeme Shepherd) went from a retro synth sound to joining the Anjunabeats label going full-force trance. Prior to his musical transition, he released “L.A. Lights,” a beautiful melody that felt ever so fitting to my many late nights under the… L.A. lights.

10. ‘I Get the Bag’ – Gucci Mane f./ Migos (2017)

Out of what was one of the most atrocious years in hip-hop (hip-pop?) came “I Get the Bag,” the Metro Boomin-produced track that made me give Migos a fair chance (I wasn’t big on “Bad and Boujee”). As a longtime fan of Gucci, he absolutely delivers here, on what was one of the best rap songs of the latter part of the decade.

9. ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ – Ke$ha (2010)

And this is where we cue the tears! 2010 was such a magical year for music, and Ke$ha (with then-dollar sign) was a huge proponent of that. Her album Animal came out on the very first day of the decade, setting the precedent for what was probably the best year of my life. This song, album, era brings back so many memories. I know the singer’s in a much healthier, better place now, following her horrifying experience with Dr. Luke, but there’s no denying her songs from the early 2010s will never compare to anything present.

(via YouTube)

8. ‘In the Morning’ – ZHU + Kaskade (2016)

This was my No. 1 song of 2016, and there’s no doubt in my mind why. I only knew like one song by ZHU at this point, but the collab with Kaskade was perfectly executed into melodic bliss, setting the tone for not just my Coachella vibe that year, but for the year as a whole.

7. ‘Slow Love’ – MØ (2014)

I found MØ on the brink of her No Mythologies to Follow album release, and it was a game changer. The unique style of songs is solid from head to toe, and Slow Love sounds like nothing else I’ve heard from her (or any other artist for that matter). According to Spotify, it was my most listened to song of 2014, and according to my blog, the song and the album were both my No. 1 picks of that year.

6. ‘Skin’ – Rihanna (2010)

Name a sexier song of this decade—I’ll wait. Rihanna took her provocative nature to new heights with this dark, alluring melody and bold lyrics to match. While definitely one of her most underrated songs of all-time, it’s hands down one of the best (especially if you were around to improvise an accompanying music video with my group of friends).

5. ‘Loyal’ – Chris Brown f./ Lil Wayne + Tyga (2013)

This classic came out at the very end of 2013, but definitely made its mark the following year. Between the video and Nic Nac beats’ music production, this trio of artists nailed it on what became the party anthem of 2014, in an otherwise lackluster year of hip-hop.

(via YouTube)

4. ‘What’s My Name?’ – Rihanna f./ Drake (2010)

Whenever these 2010 songs come up, I get super nostalgic. I literally remember exactly where I was and how I felt at the peak of these tracks. Rihanna’s Loud album was a surefire favorite of that year, and this was without question the best song that came from it. Major fall/winter vibes I will absolutely never forget.

3. ‘Super Bass’ – Nicki Minaj (2011)

Ah, simpler times. “Super Bass” epitomizes the old-school, inspiring, happy-go-lucky vibe Nicki Minaj’s music brought the world when she first stepped on the scene. Her Pink Friday album felt so pure, and to this day, no “love song” in the hip-hop genre has topped “Super Bass.” Every bit upbeat and sweet, even in my crazy year known as 2011, this song helped keep me sane.

(via YouTube)

2. ‘Ayo’ – Chris Brown f./ Tyga (2015)

This song needs no introduction. If you’ve ever been in an Uber with me, at a house party or in my living room, then you’re no stranger to this Nic Nac beats-produced track. As my most-played song of the whole decade, it absolutely deserves this No. 2 ranking.

1. ‘Teenage Dream’ – Katy Perry (2010)

And now, for the ultimate tearjerker… talk about the good ol’ days! “Teenage Dream” epitomizes carefree bliss and everything light that pop represented early in the decade. It’s easy to forget Katy Perry released one of the best pop albums of all-time, and I think I speak for everyone reading this that no pop song (or Katy Perry song, for that matter) will ever compare to this one.

(via YouTube)

Listen to the entire playlist below (and come back next week for my top 20 honorable mentions of the decade):

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Music

Skyelyfe’s 20 Best Songs of 2016

December 22, 2016


songs-best-2016
Time to bid adieu to 2016, the year rap and hip-hop officially died.

The genre has been getting increasingly worse over the last few years, but this year really solidified its transition into an auto-tuned genre of its own called hip-pop. Yeah, I hate it. And unlike in 2015, this year we didn’t even have a Nic Nac Beats to swoop in and save the day with his supremely produced Chris Brown tracks. Whether it was rap, pop, electronic or otherwise, there definitely seemed to be more bad than good (in fact, you can check out my worst songs of 2016 list).

But, not all is atrocious. After much thought, I’ve managed to scrounge up a handful of redeeming tracks I genuinely love, and I’m sharing them below (in particular order):

20. “Champions” – Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 2 Chainz

Not a fan of Kanye solo, but I’ve always said that when he collabs, his songs tend to be much better—and this song is no exception. Great track-mates, great hook, great song.

19. “Might Not” – Belly f./The Weeknd

Honestly, this track may have made it higher up on the list if it weren’t for that gawd-awful 2 Chainz remix. Like if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it! Ugh

18. “Into You” – Ariana Grande

This song stands out because it is says OK, I can be sexy and I don’t even have to be trashy to do so! A rarity for this artist. Great track.

17. “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd f./Gucci Mane

Mike WiLL Made-It + Gucci = no-brainer recipe for perfection

16. “Say It (Clean Bandit Mix)” – Flume f./Tove Lo

If you read my Worst Songs of 2016 post, you will see my distaste for nu-school Flume. But this track happens to be great, and might I add that Tove Lo’s Lady Wood album (though this song is not part of it) is the best of the year.

15. “Want You” – Bearson f./Cal

While Bearson definitely identifies with “electronica,” he hasn’t nailed a signature sound, which is great, because I love all of the varying tracks he sends (via airwaves) my way—and this song is no exception.

14. “Either/Or” – Mt. Si

If you dig Classix, you’ll love Mt. Si.—which makes sense, given that 1/3 of this trio is Michael David of the incredible electropop duo. Seriously, it does not get better than this sound.

13. “The Winds of Change” – St. Lucia

Granted, nothing by this artist compares to “Elevate,” but this jam is pretty darn awesome. If you like that sound, you’ll love this, too!

12. “Valley of Dreams” – Cavaliers of Fun

See No. 4

11. “Be the One” – Dua Lupa

Dua Lupa has a beautiful voice/face/hair/sound etc. That is all.

10. “Freeway Lights” – Goldroom

I’ve been listening to Goldroom since he first debuted in 2012—and while it was definitely weird (and a little hard) to see his album featured at the Interscope pop-up shop at Hollywood & Highland alongside Lady Gaga, among others, I refuse to call him a sellout, because while perhaps slightly more produced than before, his sound is overall the same, and this a very light, sweet track that should appeal to everyone.

9. “Bullet” – Chelsea Lankes

How this girl is not a household name is beyond me. Each of her songs are well-produced, well-articulated and relate to everyone. This track is super uplifting and empowering.

8. “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake f./Justin Bieber

Personal woes aside, Justin Bieber is an incredible artist. Granted, this track goes to DJ Snake, but Bieber’s vocals are definitely an invaluable asset to this recording. This is a genuinely wonderful song from start to finish. It’s pretty, powerful and poignant.

7. “Innerbloom” – RUFUS DU SOL

This is your universally appealing track. I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.

6. “Into the Night” – Cardiknox

This track is fun and light. Do NYE makeup in your mirror to this! It will get you pumped up–promise!

5. “Goin Up” – Deorro f./DyCy

Let’s be honest—when we think of Deorro, we think “Five More Hours,” right? Welp, he’s got a catchy new little jam called “Goin Up,” and (no pun intended), it’s quite uplifting.

4. “Astral Division” – Cavaliers of Fun

Like their name suggests, these guys (guy?) are quite fun — well, at least judging by their music. Granted, I don’t know what this song means and I don’t know anything about the people (person?) on the track. They’ve done quite the job of maintaining a mysterious presence (we’re talkin’ 249 Twitter followers, folks!), but that’s what makes them all the more fun! Anyway, they are the only act to make this list twice (see No. 12), and I really hope to hear more (maybe learn more?) of them in 2017!

3. “Somebody Else” – The 1975

How this song wasn’t nominated for a Grammy is beyond me. Not only are the lyrics hard-hitting, but the melody is exceptionally beautiful. I will forever stay stumped while blasting on repeat.

2. “Kiss It Better” – Rihanna

I believe Rihanna was still dating Chris Brown when this song was in production, so it’s your guess as to whether or not he is the subject matter of this incredibly powerful song. But the highly underrated track allows you to feel both her desire and pain.

1. “In the Morning” – Kaskade/ZHU

I love this song from start to finish. I don’t think I’d ever get sick of it. It’s so reminiscent of old-school Kaskade, circa 2004. If all songs were like this, the world would be a much happier place.

**To note: “The Middle” by DJ Snake technically came out last year, so it was no. 3 on last year’s list, even though it didn’t break out until 2016. I feel the need to acknowledge that so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle 😉

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Music

Skyelyfe’s 20 Worst Songs of 2016

December 21, 2016

songs-worst-2016For so many people, 2016 is considered the worst—and the selection of music releases this year has been no exception to contributing factors.

From Meghan Trainor‘s typically obnoxious, overbearing ditties to Lady Gaga‘s eyeroll-worthy “comeback,” to some very questionable collaborations, I just could not with these year’s tunes.

But it’s not all bad news, folks! Come back tomorrow for my list of 2o best songs of 2016!

In the meantime scroll below to see my least liked (in particular order):

20. “Starboy” – The Weeknd f./Daft Punk

The Weeknd’s album with this song’s same name is definitely not a disappointment, but the song itself is douchery at its (not so) finest.

19. “For Free” – DJ Khaled f./Drake

UGH. Again, douchery at its (not so) finest. Sorry, call me a hater, but present-day Drake is so annoying.

18. “Million Reasons” – Lady Gaga

I’m sure I speak for others when I say I’m not buying Lady Gaga’s folky, “real me” schtick. I think people want to hear and see her based on the reason they liked her in the first place: her over-the-top character image and her poppy persona. I don’t take this Joanne nonsense seriously at all. I mean, heck, I am the first to admit I even love Artpop, for crying out loud!

17. “Don’t Wanna Know” – Maroon 5 f./Kendrick Lamar

For such a strong lyricist, you’d think Adam Levine could come up with something a little more crafty than “I don’t wanna know, know, know, know who’s taking you home, home, home, home and loving you so, so, so, so…” Also, I have an issue with songs that throw rap verses in when it doesn’t really serve a purpose.

16. “Hymn for the Weekend” – Coldplay

Come on, Coldplay, you can do so much better than this!

15. “oui” – Jeremih

I’ve never been much a fan of Jeremih, and this whiny, pathetic track (with terrible lyrics to boot) doesn’t help his case. “Hey, there’s no we without you and I” (<–well, duh!)

14. “Me, Myself & I” – G-Eazy f./Bebe Rexha

Luckily for Bebe Rexha, she had some decent material this year, post-this horrible song. G-Eazy on the other hand? I can’t get behind any of his 2016 material.

13. “Never Be Like You” – Flume f./Kai

As someone who has been listening to Flume since 2012, this radio-heavy track is such a terrible downgrade from the Australian’s incredible signature, under-the-radar experimental electronic sound. In fact, the whole Skin album is a disappointment. Sorry.

12. “One Dance” – Drake f./WizKid and Kyla

I meannnn…. see No. 19

11. “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” – Mike Posner

I totally agree with Time‘s take on this song (in fact, I agree with most of Time‘s 10 Worst 2016 Songs list altogether): “Originally conceived as a folksy pop song in the vein of Jason Mraz, there was something clever about Posner’s withering takedown of drug-taking EDM bro culture. But the much more popular Seeb remix sapped it of its wit, turning it into the exact thing it was satirizing. What a comedown.”

10. “A-YO” – Lady Gaga

It’s funny how we go from last year’s No. 1 skyelyfe track “Ayo,” by Chris Brown and Tyga, to this cringeworthy country-pop tune by Lady Gaga. Yes, I’m aware they have nothing in common except the title, but still, this a far cry from the 2015 tune.

9. “Bad Things” – Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello

I saw Machine Gun Kelly live in 2011 at the now-defunct West Hollywood House of Blues, where he was another white, aspiring gangsta rapper. Welp, guess that life didn’t pan out for him so well, because now he’s lending his lyrics on a terrible hip-pop rendition of Fastball’s “Out of My Head” with now-former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello.

8. “NO” – Meghan Trainor

The song’s title speaks volumes.

7. “Me Too” – Meghan Trainor

If you’ve followed me on social media at all this year, well, you know all too well how I feel about a particular artist…

6. “Make Me…” – Britney Spears f./G-Eazy

The only thing worse than this song is quite possibly the music video (but, at least with the video, it’s entertaining in its own special way). It’s hard to believe this was the first single from the hotly anticipated Glory album. The album was actually pretty good, but with this (among a few others) as the so-called “breakouts,” it definitely didn’t sell me.

5. “Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots

The two Twenty One Pilots dudes said it best themselves at the American Music Awards: “I think we’re only getting these awards because we were the ones who showed up!” Yeah, I mean their songs got more play than almost any others I heard on the radio this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. I would definitely be a-ok with never hearing them again!

4. “7 Years” – Lucas Graham

I think I speak for many when I say I have no idea what this dude is talking about, and quite frankly, I haven’t been able to make it all the way through the song to find out.

3. “Private Show” – Britney Spears

See the third sentence in No. 6

2. “i hate u, i love u” – gnash f./Olivia O’Brien

The only thing that gets me misty-eyed over this melodramatic, aspiring tearjerker of a tune is that it got so much airplay this year. OY so bad.

1. “Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots

See No. 5

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Music

Coachella 2016: This 52-Song Playlist Is Your Guide to Must-See Festival Performers!

April 12, 2016

CoachellaImageWe all know the Empire Polo Fields are a destination we can rely upon yearly to bring music aficionados performances from their favorite artists – big and small.

2016 is no exception, as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicks off its first of two weekends in Indio, CA, on Friday, April 15 with Calvin Harris as a headliner, along with Guns N’ Roses and LCD Soundsystem – who are both coming together (separately) for reunion performances.

My excitement particularly lies in a few of the other highly touted acts (Flume, Miike Snow, The 1975), a handful of my standard under-the-radar go-tos (Goldroom, Tensnake, Miami Horror, Rhye) and a couple of on-the-risers (Zella Day, SOPHIE).

But festival goodness isn’t limited to just the artists listed above. Click the playlist below for 52 songs by acts skyelyfe suggests lending an ear to at the annual event! (And if you’re feeling especially nostalgic for last year’s dance party in the desert, check out my Coachella 2015 playlist.)

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Be sure to check back next week, as I will be hitting the hottest parties in the heat this weekend and giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know about what you may have missed!

Music

Cardiknox, Chairlift, AlunaGeorge & More: 40 New Songs!

January 25, 2016

Cardiknox_into_the_night_skyelyfeKick that case of the Monday blues with some new tunes!

I have 40 fresh tracks for you today from a slew of fun favorites, including The Knocks, Flume, Adventure Club, The 1975, Tep No and Lincoln Jesser.

But what I am loving most right now is Cardinox‘s “Into the Night,” Chairlift‘s “Moth to a Flame” and AlunaGeorge‘s “I’m In Control.”

And if you’re a disco house lover like myself, you will be obsessed with Louis La Roche‘s “Don’t Break My Heart.” So good!

Click on the playlist below for the full selection of new music, which also includes Cheat Codes, Weekender, Tourist and Destructo.

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Music

Indie-Rock-Electro Duo The Fame Riot Talks ‘Outer Space’ Fashion Sense, Seattle Roots and Musical Influences

October 14, 2015
The Fame Riot_skyelyfe

Photo credit: Erin La Rue

From Tacoma, Washington, just outside of the alt-rock-friendly Seattle area, The Fame Riot (brothers who go by stage names Liz Scarlett and Shazam Watkins) are shaking things up in the Evergreen State with their indie-electro debut EP Dust Funk (scroll to the bottom), which was just released yesterday.

“I think the music sort of speaks for itself, like that I  think it’s a big mixture between all the types of really good vibes you get along the west coast,” Scarlett tells skyelyfe. “It really sort of influences the music in that sense. [The EP] is a soup. It’s a soup that never stops cooking, you can try it any time you like.”

“Heart Stray,” the first single off the EP, gives listeners a taste of the dance-rock style the duo dishes out on the remainder of the nine-song selection of tracks.

Drawing inspiration from their surroundings and the past four decades, The Fame Riot – who performed at Seattle’s Bumbleshoot Festival during Labor Day weekend –  has been described as “a mix of electronic, pop, disco, rock, and everything in between.”

the-fame-riot-EP-cover-skyelyfe“Aw man, we love the old stuff, like back to [David] Bowie and Queen, and freakin’ Iggy Pop, and David Byrne, all the way,” Scarlett says. “We could push it back further, but I think those and Michael Jackson.”

As for modern music, they list Hot Chip, Empire of the Sun and Flume as some of their go-to artists.

Their colorful mix of musical influences also reflects their own personal style. Sporting crazy prints and shades, it’s safe to say they aren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd. 

“We go to outer space and take little adventures and we come back with different garments,” Scarlett jokes. “No, we like thrift shops, we like antique stores. I like to find old air-force fur coats and anything that’s lasted 30 years. [Vintage items] usually [have] a good energy about [them] when you put them on.”

Adds Watkins: “People give us a lot of clothing that they don’t wear anymore. So, when you wear their clothing on stage, it’s sort of like a transcendental sort of transference of this energy they had back in the ’80s, ’70s, and then we’re sort of continuing it on.”

The guys seem pleased with how far they’ve come as musicians, but Scarlett acknowledges the road to success as an independent artist is no easy feat.

“I think the biggest challenge as an artist is continuing to grow everything on your own – acting without a label and acting without someone doing everything for you,” he says. “It’s a challenge to keep doing it yourself and keep topping yourself with your own assets and your own resources and capabilities.”

Luckily, the guys describe their Tacoma home base as “a constant creational environment.”

They also said they would eventually love to live out here in the Golden State.

“It’s very much calling our name,” Scarlett says. “A big part of us is still in California, so I believe we’ll be back many-a-times.”

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Music

New Music Monday: Sage the Gemini, Cazzette, Late Night Alumni & 25 More Artists!

June 8, 2015

Sage-the-gemini-NMMRapper Sage the Gemini enlisted the help of Nick Jonas‘s vocals to take things down a notch on the R&B-influenced “Good Thing.” The collaboration works impressively, making this track one of my favorite to kick off this week’s New Music Monday.

And speaking of mellow tracks, Late Night Alumni‘s “Another Word for Love” follows in their signature dreamy, downtempo sound.

Cazzette gets the party started with “Together,” TJH87 takes you on a fun little nu-disco adventure with “Lost Into the Night,” Wynter Gordon brings some stellar pop vocals with “World on Fire” and Bonnie McKee released one heck of an ’80s fitness throwback video with “Bombastic.”

Click on the playlist below for 27 new songs, also including tracks by Lincoln Jesser, Flume, Major Lazer, Tear Council, Karmin and Lolawolf:

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Music Uncategorized Featured

Electronic Duo Cazzette Dishes to Skyelyfe on the ‘Problem’ with ‘EDM,’ Who They Think Will Be the Next Big Thing in Music and Why They Miss the Old Stuff!

November 4, 2014
cazzette

Photo Credit: Alex Wessely

Cazzette has made 2014 their year! The Swedish duo, consisting of Sebastian Furrer and Alexander Björklund, are fresh off the heels of releasing their new melodic dance track “Blind Heart,” and they feel like they’re in a great place.

The lovely lads, who are under Avicii‘s LE7ELS label and are best known for 2012’s “Beam Me Up” and this year’s “Sleepless,” recently sat down with skyelyfe on the picturesque rooftop of Sixty Beverly Hills to talk about being more in control of their sound now than before, why they refuse to be classified as “EDM” artists, how they are “down to earth guys who don’t do crazy stuff” and why Flume is going to take over the music world.

SL: What do you guys think of L.A.?

Sebastian: We love L.A. It’s a very nice city and obviously the weather is very nice. There are very good vibes here. It’s obviously a big city to music and film and we’ve been meeting people here. It’s so easy to meet people in the music industry. Everybody’s here basically, so it’s nice. I wouldn’t move here because I’m still in love with Sweden and I’m a big New York guy more than a West Coast guy, but I love it here for work and for a short amount of time to hang out.

SL: You guys recently performed at Avalon in Hollywood. What was that experience like?

Alex: Avalon is great. It’s a big venue, which is cool. It has that theatre vibe, which we like. And this time was the most fun we’ve ever had playing there because we’ve changed a lot over this past year. I feel like we’re way more honest to ourselves now and with the music that we make and play. It’s more exciting to play now because we’re playing 100 percent what we like. We slightly try to educate the crowd a bit with playing the music that we grew up on even though it doesn’t sound like the typical Top 40 for music. We play tracks from 2004-2007, like old Axwell, all old stuff.

SL: Going off of that, who are some more artists whose old style of music you miss?

Alex: Laidback Luke. I miss his old stuff.

Sebastian: Yeah, he was great before. I mean I haven’t heard his [newer] stuff that much. I just love his older stuff. Everybody has to evolve in a way, so I get it, but his old stuff was incredible. As producers, we were like, “Whoa, what’s this?” It was so interesting at the time.

SL: What’s your take on this whole “EDM” craze?

Alex: I think there’s a problem with that word “EDM.” I mean, sure, it’s electronic dance music, but I’d rather it be “EM,” electronic music. You can’t compare dubstep and house. They are two completely different things.

Sebastian: I think they misuse the word, and that’s the problem. This became a big term in America. It probably will never be a term in Europe. I’ve never heard anyone use it there. I think when people got educated here, they put it on blogs and they were [labeling] a dubstep act with EDM. I’m not saying not saying it’s the blogs or anyone’s fault, I just think it’s been misused. People think everything is EDM and it’s the same stuff. If you compare rock music, it’s very broad. There are tons of stuff within rock music. There’s indie rock and there’s pop rock, but you can’t put them in the [exact] same category. And that’s the same here. Dubstep is completely different from house music. House music is completely different from electro and techno. Of course they have the same elements, but it’s still different vibes.

SL: Do you guys classify yourself in what’s considered “EDM” or in some kind of sub-genre?

Alex: It’s a problem for us because we’re like so many different kinds of genres, but right now I would say house.

SL: Congratulations on “Blind Heart.” Tell me about the inspiration behind that song

Alex: The inspiration was from just listening to the acapella. That’s usually how we work if we receive an acapella. When we hear something, it’s like, what kind of vibe does this track have? How are we going to capture what we fell for in the acapella?

Sebastian: It was a very long process to make because we were changing our minds all the time about arrangement. We were discussing what the chorus is, but then we decided, fuck it, there’s no chorus. Let’s just go with vibe and people can decide what the chorus is. The song is very specially structured. It’s not the typical verse-chorus.

SL: Aside from people you’ve worked with, who do you admire in the music scene in general?

Alex: Kanye West.

Sebastian: Pharrell Williams, Moby, Justin Timberlake, obviously. From the hip-hop and trap stuff, we like Flume. He’s incredible. There’s a guy from Sweden called Skogsrå. He’s a new guy. There are so many people who inspire us in general. We love rock, we love hip-hop. Sometimes we listen to jazz.

SL: Any predictions on who’s going to be the next big music thing in the states?

Sebastian: I think Flume is just going to get bigger. What he does is incredible and he’s just going to keep growing.

SL: What’s something about you guys that your fans don’t already know?

Sebastian: [laughs] We have no dirty secrets at all. We just want our fans to hear our music. Our personal life is kind of irrelevant because at the end of the day, it’s about the music. Of course it helps if you have  a personality. I wouldn’t say we’re boring, but there’s not too much to know. I think we’re very calm. We’re down to earth guys who don’t do crazy stuff. If there’s something people should know, we work a lot. We always spend time in studios. That’s our crazy life [laughs].

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Photo Credit: Alex Wessely

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