Castor Troy

Castor Troy was born and raised in Southern California, bringing together influences from all over to form his unique sound of melodic orchestral movements accompanied by aggressive drops and unforgettable sound design. You can often hear the sound of latin influenced percussion and grooves as his intricate drums will definitely keep you on your toes. On stage expect to hear a few surprises & tons of energy. This graduate of Icon Collective Music Production School is sure to make some noise in the music scene as he brings a bit of his rough metal roots in with the dance culture of EDM.  

-No Regrets, Just Rebirth-

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I fell in love with music as if it was a woman…first I was introduced to her and didn’t know why I felt all giddy around her but knew that she would be a big part of my life. I just enjoy the way it makes me feel. In the past music has always been something that allowed me to express myself beyond words. Although music still has that same affect on me, in recent years it has become the connection to my brother who recently passed away. Almost everyone that knew him has said they have had him visit in their dreams, or felt his presence at different times…and I have yet to feel that once. But, I feel overpowered by him every time I hear a song the connects with me…it’s like when we were in high school again and we are both sitting in the car on Friday night just listening to new tracks we discovered…almost like he is showing up just to show me some new music…so for me it’s become the connection to my brother, Pat.

 

Interview


Home Town: Menifee, CA
Currently Living: Murrieta/Glendale/my car/friends couch
Origin Of Name: Yeah, I really wanted a “name name”—not just another unique word or idea. I was originally producing under the alias “Overcast” but I felt it was kinda pigeonholing me to dark tunes. So playing around with the concept of duality, and making aggressive ass baby punching tunes, and still having a strong musical “pretty” side to things…I pulled influence from the movie Face Off where the good guy is the bad guy and vice versa…just watch the flick, it’s a classic. I also took the “Cast” for Overcast and my legal middle name is Troy…so Castor Troy just seemed to do the trick.
Weapon of Choice: “The Art of Flow”
Source of Power: Orange juice…Really musically I’m a bit of a genre whore, but hands down my biggest influences in music has been the band Thrice. Following that it would be Strung Out and Brand New—changed my life…

Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
One hour into the track and it was just clicking. The mix was tight right from the start, the vibe was super cinematic—it just felt right. Even before I got the drop it seemed like what ever happens next that this is gonna sound great. I did feel like it was a different vibe then most 175 BPM tracks; it has one heavy sound that’s driving the drop, which was complete contrast to the musical elements. I definitely felt like my rock roots were showcased with the drums too…over all the track just felt like it wrote itself and I didn’t have to force anything.

Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
My dad was DJ in the ‘70s. Played on 1200s, Cerwin Vega’s, with a huge-heavy ass coffin so I was introduced to a very large variety of music since a young age. On top of dancing salsa for many years, I have this giant melting pot of musical inspiration that bleeds though my music in some way, shape or form.

What do your parents think of what you are doing?
They think it’s great and they see that it makes me happy, but at the same time I don’t think they really realized the magnitude of what winning a scholarship to Icon Collective means. Or winning the Discovery Project…but little by little they are googling and see how big an experience something like EDC is. They are fully supportive, it’s just funny to hear my dad listen to one of my aggressive drumstep tunes and say some thing like, “Oooooohhh I like this…you can dance salsa to it!”

How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis?
It definitely is a balancing act. Family, girlfriend, day job, health/fitness, sleep…I am fortunate enough that I have a really supportive girlfriend who all this is probably the hardest on. I’m living in Glendale, Monday night to Friday night and most weekends I DJ when I’m back home so it’s tough to find time…we have managed to make time somehow and it’s great. Sometimes I do push myself a bit too hard—I really wish sleep wasn’t necessary to live. I pretty much plan my life around my music. If I am on great flow and haven’t eaten or slept…music still takes priority. Of course I have my one rest day every now and then where I pretty much sleep for 20-hours only getting up to eat and then back to sleep. I haven’t gone out with friends in over nine months…there were a couple times I showed my face for 30 minutes or so but really I just want to perfect my craft, so even when I’m not making music, I’m thinking about music.

What is your ultimate career dream?
Career dream is to see my “Cultivate” Idea come to fruition and be up and running on its own… Just to build a place where people can go to to be inspired and make music, dance, paint, sing, make movies…it’s a huge project that is a bit harder to articulate via text but I cannot wait until the day that it is up and running and someone tells me that my music inspired them to do what they love and that my music changed their life. I had that moment in my life and it is the reason I am here at EDC today…I definitely want to be that for someone else.

Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
Depends. Most of the time it’s straight impulse and I just see what happens. Other times I’ll approach things with a concept in mind. As for DJing, it’s mostly improve but on special cases like EDC I will definitely put some thought into the journey I want to take the crowd on.

How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process? What’s the last song you heard that made you drop what you were doing and go into the studio?
Heck yeah! I typically listen to non-EDM tracks and get inspired that way. The leads and grooves from bands like Dance Gavin Dance and Circa Survive are phenomenal and I think putting an electronic spin on that feeling is dope. I really feel that listening to music that you don’t make is a great way to make something no one has ever heard. If everyone is hearing and mimicking the same tracks then we end up with a million versions of the same sound. I want that moment where people ask, “What kind of music is that?” And I reply, “I have no idea.” I believe the last song that made me stop what I was doing to go make music was the Cashmire Cat remix of “Do You” by Miguel. It’s a very unique song and I’m a big Miguel fan so I was set to be critical when I heard that someone remixed it…Cashmire Cat did a great job though.

How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Failure is the goal. Let me clarify that, in life, fitness, nature…whatever…nothing can ever progress beyond its current status unless it reaches its breaking point. You want to get all rip city buff then lift weights until you cant no more—then recover, and do it again. The snake sheds its skin and is revived; the death of the Phoenix is its beginning… you only “fail” when you stop. Someone once told me (I cant remember when) that your “problems” or “challenges” in life are the things you should be most grateful for…when a big obstacle comes your way you should be like, “Awwwe fuck yeah! After this is though I’m gonna be on a new level of growth!” If it wasn’t for problems and obstacles everyone would be stagnant and never progress. If you are not growing, you are dying…plain and simple. So I do not fear “failure” cuz it only exists if I let it stop me. I will fall down often but I always get up. Success is a choice not a destination.

Two quotes I live by:

“Each moment in life is a chance to renew, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the act of falling down, but instead the staying down.” –Mary Pickford

“No regrets, just rebirth.” –Thrice, Phoenix Ignition

Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
All the guys from Thrice, Strung Out & Brand New! The Movement Lifestyle dance company (Shaun Evaristo, Nick Demora, Mariel and Keone Madrid) Jabbawokees, Skrillex, Kill Paris, Kill the Noise, Torro Torro, Anthony Green, Hanz Zimmer, Mumford & Sons, Go Pro, Red Bull. So many in so many different worlds. Dance is a huge part of my life and approach to music, so to work with the team at ML or the Jabbawokeez would be a dream…a multifaceted visual and audio representation of an emotion would be amazing. Those three bands have had a profound effect on my life and it would be an honor to work with my inspirations…thrice changed the game for me with every single album.

The EDM artists are really taping into a sound that I enjoy, Sonny Moore was in from first to last and I used to listen to them back in the Warped Tour days! He does what he wants and it’s just pure expression.

If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
Ingrid Michaelson “The Way I Am.” I have no shame—that song is a chick anthem but so damn good.

What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Genres! Fucking YouTube trolls. Probably all 12-year olds who can’t even wipe their own ass yet bitching about how Skrillix isn’t even dubstep or Dillon Francis sold out because he is making trap now. You can’t expect an artist to paint using the same colors every freaking time and who cares if the song is trance with MoombaStepHouse or GlitchCoreHopSwing elements—who cares what you call it. Do you like it? End of story…damn trolls.

When you look at electronic music and the surrounding culture, what worries you about the future, what do you wish would change?
I do worry that the youth gets a skewed perspective on what partying is. Granted there are drugs and alcohol in any scene (media definitely fueled the fire in regards to EDM) but the craziest, most wild parties or events I have been to have been the ones where nearly everyone is sober and can remember what happened the next day. If you need drugs to make the music better then the music isn’t good enough—or you’re not really listening. Insomniac is a perfect example as they have literally made the best music and visual experience on the planet and if that isn’t enough… holy shit man just look up and see the performer, feel the experience, look at the lights and feel the energy of over 100,000 screaming fans moving as one. If that isn’t enough for you? Drugs will always be around but it sucks that people think it is synonymous with EDM…music gets you higher then anything and it’s real. Go fucking ape shit and stage dive, mosh, crowd surf…and if you don’t do drugs and get shit faced wasted you will actually be able to remember it for years to come.

What are your weaknesses?
Biting off more then I can chew…nom nom nom nom.

Do you have a secret passion?
My passions are pretty apparent—music and dance. I guess motivational speaking is something not everyone knows about.

How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
I would reenact the scene from Tommy Boy where he smashes the shit out of the dinner roll.

Is success physical or internal? What does it mean to you?
Success is a choice; it’s internal. The moment you decide to be a success, you are. For me success is a state of mind, which is why you see all these famous people who look like they have it all and then their personal lives are all screwed up…they thought that reaching “some” goal would complete or validate them. It’s all about the process not the product.

What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
Haha. It was a Xmas party for a infomercial company in Palm Springs but all the guests were from Semi Valley, so by the time it was my turn to play they all had to leave for the long drive home. So I was playing Michael Jackson for an overly friendly gentleman who thought if he called me “good sir” and tapped my shoulder I would play each one of his requests. There were about 500 guests in the beginning and as soon as my set was about to start…450 of them left for home. I was basically playing for the banquet staff.

Tell me about your most memorable night out.
I haven’t had many nights out as an artist yet…but I’m sure this coming weekend [EDC Las Vegas, 2013] will take the cake. As a fan there have been many but the show at the Wiltern Theater in LA with Dear Hunter, Thrice & Brand New definitely stands out. All the bands were incredible and the encore from Brand New was nothing short of amazing—at its peak there were three drummers and four guitar players on stage. It was the best encore act I have ever scene…the song was a live remake of a looped untitled track on their Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me album but instead of keeping it a simple loop they turned it into the heaviest song ever and in the end just walked off stage one by one, eventually just leaving the guitar feeding back and looping the very simple initial melody…bliss.

What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Don’t think, nor hesitate…just be. What ever you are, do that…don’t make a track based off what you “think” the judges are looking for. Make what feels right to you and if they vibe it then great. If not than it doesn’t matter because you made your track, the way you wanted.

Winning Track:

 

 

Winning Mix:

 
 

 


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