Hate it or love it, LA is home to the entertainment industry and offers some of the hottest nightlife in the world. Arguably one of the better clubs (if the not the best) is the Avalon Hollywood; its been a staple of the LA EDM scene since its establishment in 2004 and has hosted every major DJ from UZ to Tiesto (and everyone in between!). RTT was in the building last Friday and the homie Party Favor was kind enough to sit down with us for an interview before his set alongside Whiiite, Gent & Jawns and Luminox.
Now if you haven’t heard Party Favor yet, I don’t know what the **** you’ve been doing. His big-room style of trap music has been getting major rotation from club DJs, he just put out a dope remix of Miley Cyrus’ Someone Else and we’ve featured his remixes of Showtek‘s Booyah and Hydraulix & Slakk‘s Whole Crew here on the site. His live shows are not to be missed; in a day and age where more and more DJs are flocking to laptops and pre-made mixes, Party Favor can be seen smiling as he closes the laptop and goes to work using nothing but CDJs and a mixer. Just before going on at 2am, the last DJ before ‘afterhours’, he revealed his mixing strategy which seems to be a common among top tier DJs:
“I never know exactly what I’m going to play during a set, I just try to feel the crowd and have fun with it”
And you can tell the difference: his fun attitude and personality literally fills the room and elevates the crowd to new energy levels. Check out what he has to say about making it as a DJ, the future of trap music and how he goes about making such great music:
RTT: Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and what kind of music you listened to growing up?
PF: I was born in Manhattan so I was a city-boy but I grew up in Park city; it was a great snow town and I loved it. Then I came out here to Chapman in Orange County for film school and then through some connections I made there I met Alex… we started this project as a duo and it kind of evolved into me. Music: I consider myself a connoisseur of a lot of genres, when I was younger I used to listen to a ton of metal… when I’m not listing to house music I listen to a lot of reggae, that type of stuff
RTT: What kind of metal?
PF: Metallica when I was young … I actually met them on a music video set when I was really young and it was really cool because it was the first time I got to meet big artists and they were super humble, super nice, and I remember always thinking — at the time I had no idea that this is where I’d be at now– but I remember thinking wow, that was, like, If I ever meet someone I want to give that same experience because we’re all on the same level.
RTT: And what kind of Reggae do you listen to?
PF: Through the roots, Stick Figure, Pepper, Slightly Stooped, you know
RTT: that dub
PF: Yeah I’m just a very positive vibe person so that’s why I’m kind of drawn towards EDM… if you want to say ‘EDM’… and Reggae and dub and all that kind of stuff because you just can’t listen to that stuff and not feel good! You feel good, you feel happy, you feel positive and that’s the best part about it.
RTT: You’re kind of reluctant to call it EDM?
PF: Well no, I mean, I just know how some people give it that bad connotation, but I don’t mind calling it that. I’m glad there’s a blanket name we can all use because there are a million ****ing genres out there.
RTT: You don’t set out to create a particular genre of music when you get in the studio?
PF: I mean, I don’t think so. I think as I’m getting bigger, I’m still trying to find my sound and where I fit… I do a little bit of house, I do a little bit of big room trap, I do some of the twerk stuff… in this day and age there’s just so much stuff that bridges genres… there are no real genres anymore, you know? I mean, you can listen to trap and say how its part hip hop but it’s like, so EDM now and its got these dubstep elements and synths… its really just a melting pot, which I think is the best part about it. But I think that calling it trap is kind of funny because trap is not anywhere near what [artists] are representing… EDM trap is the white term for it…. Trap music originated in the dirty south, you know? People sharing their actual struggles in the Trap. Now trap is more of a blanket term… it’s been taken over by white kids *laughs*
RTT: So wow, you were going to film school and now you’re a big time producer/DJ!
PF: *Laughs* I’m working on it! Yeah, it’s good. Being here with my peers… I remember hearing some of Luminox’s stuff the first time, he’s playing right now, and I was like “wow”… he was one of the first guys to tap into the trap music that we have today and it just feels so cool to be kind of… equal with these guys… in the sense that they know my music or they might play my stuff or… at least they respect me and that’s the coolest part about it all. But as far as film school, I wanted to be an all aspects kind of guy… my emphasis was in editing if you want to get technical with it but I did everything from screenwriting to directing to cinematography to… you name it.
RTT: Do you think you’ll ever go back to that?
PF: *laughs* When I’m not doing this my other day job is still doing freelance video work… editing and graphics and all that kind of stuff.
RTT: A true artist! That’s awesome. So how did you get into music-making?
PF: Well, I guess I always wanted to kind of be a musician but I never could really find an avenue that fit well for me; I didn’t really connect to the guitar very well, I didn’t connect to playing piano and recitals… but it kind of connected through editing… I had to do the scoring and some different things for films I was working on… it introduced me to programs and stuff and I started tinkering… and I think like a lot of guys I just started experimenting and putting stuff out… and I’ve been loving it ever since.
RTT: When did music become more than a hobby for you?
PF: Oh man, probably the first time I played here… maybe a year ago? I opened so I was early on in the night but I remember thinking “this is THE venue in LA” whether you’re opening or not, you’re playing crowd that knows and lives and eats and breathes this music so you can’t **** up. So I think for me, when I played a couple of my tracks and people were responding, I knew I was doing something right. And then hearing my one remix I did a long time ago — over a year ago– my Swedish House remix— I heard that on the radio for the first time and it still gets played on KISS FM (one of the biggest radio stations in LA)… that was huge. People say you can sell out and what not but I think for any artist to hear their music on their music on the radio be it remixed or whatever… there’s nothing better than that.
RTT: How do you go about picking which songs you remix?
PF: That’s a good question… I don’t have a specific formula. When I first started, I tried to remix anything that I thought would be a big song, what’s popular right now and I realized that I was forcing my hand on stuff and I realized that I have to really feel song first before I can remixing it. Sometimes I’ll kind of stumble on something but… I recently did a remix recently of Showtek’s Booyah and I’ve gotten a huge response, its been one of my biggest successes for sure… and I remember picking that one because I heard the original I was like “this has so much energy, I wonder what I can do with it” and it just grew exponentially from there.
RTT: So do you have a ton of unfinished projects you’re holding on to?
PF: Oh Yeah. You know, I put out a lot of remixes because I think they’re a fun way for people to hear your own style… especially getting to know an artist… but I have a lot of original stuff that I’m going to be putting out soon that’s just sitting waiting… some of its going to labels but some of its going to be free because I think free music is one of the best things you can do as an artist, you know? It reaches the most fans and I think its a good way to show that you’re not in it just trying make money on sales… and a lot of times there just aren’t huge sales in this music. It’s more just showing the fans that you care and that you want to give them something they can play. I’ve put out songs before and heard other DJs have played it before I’ve even had a chance to play my own remix! So its just kind of funny where there’s that interaction where they’re almost getting just as much VIP as I am… if not more!
RTT: Who do you think is the most underrated producer in trap music right now?
PF: Oh man… I think right now… MEAUX GREEN is killin’ it. He’s from Florida, he put out a couple big hits recently, you should check him out. He does a lot of 100 BPM twerk music. I’m doing a track with him too, I reached out to him because I thought he was doing a great job and he’s going to be a big one for sure.
RTT: If you could work with one artist who you haven’t worked with right now, who would it be?
PF: Probably GTA. Their versatility is something I really look up to, the fact that they can go from house to trap to whatever it is… they go back and forth so seamlessly and I think they create the perfect party set. I think sticking to your guns one way… you’ll never be as big as you could be if don’t show your full range.
RTT: Where do you think trap music is heading right now?
PF: Man, I don’t know, its grown so differently… think its going to continue progressing… People often say that “oh, trap is the next dubstep” but [trap] has much so much more going for it than dubstep in the sense that it’s already more ‘mainstream’ sounding, you know? There are a lot more hip hop elements that appeal to a wider audience so I think it has a longevity but I think that producers are going to have to be putting out music that incorporates other genres and not be stuck to that one gun.
RTT: Do you think trap music will be around in 10 years?
PF: I have no idea. The way that music goes now, man? When I first got into house music a long time ago, I never expected it would be where it is now. I got in to it through mashups and heavy electro and French guys like Haezer and F.O.O.L… it was almost the metal of electro… now its evolved into big room and trancy stuff and [this and that]. So it’s like, I don’t even know how tomorrow’s going to be… I think I just have to be someone trying to make new sounds so that hopefully maybe one day I create that new wave of something.
RTT: You definitely are! Now obviously, as a DJ, you have to listen to a ton of music and you’re really well versed… how do you go about discovering new music and stuff to play in your sets?
PF: Well, I think just like a lot of people now! What’s so cool about social media and how the internet has grown is that blogs have really taken over so much of the A&R and PR. Albums are being released and they’re getting free PR from blogs like you guys or whoever but blogs are run people who actually care about the music so its not like you’re getting pumped full of fake stuff from the label, you’re getting people who actually care talking about the music… for the most part, some blogs are just way too big. So you know, I check Run The Trap, Chute Du Strings… Now that I’m getting bigger I’m able to get promos from other artists and that’s pretty cool because I get to have tracks that nobody else has for sometimes… months… but mostly blogs.
RTT: Alright, last question: Kanye West? Yes or no. He brought the leather jogging pants to Fendi like, 10 years ago
PF: *laughs* that’s a hard question man! Yes to his music, no to his personality. Is that an okay answer?
Check out Party Favor‘s latest heavy remix of Someone Else and keep an eye out for any Party Favor shows in your city! You definitely won’t want to miss this guy on his way to the top. (special thanks to Jason @ OhDagYo.com for the great photos!)