Origin: United States
SAYMYNAME hails from the greater Los Angeles area. He grew up in a musical family influenced by many genres of music including hip-hop as his father DJ’d for a hobby. He went on to graduate from Chapman University with a degree in PR and Advertising.
SAYMYNAME boasts the ever so coveted Insomniac Event’s DISCOVERY PROJECT 2013. In order to chase his dreams, he began working over 35 hours a week at Guitar Center after graduation. Any spare time he found, was dedicated into the studio. As a result of years of hard work, he was signed by Paradigm Talent Agency (AM Only).. the premiere booking agency in the industry.
After tinkering with trap and hardstyle, his re-birth came about as he discovered #HARDTRAP. SAYMYNAME has been on the forefront as a pioneer of this sound movement. Numerous blogs and fans have labeled him as the godfather of HARDTRAP. He boasts support from giant names such as The Chainsmokers, DJ SNAKE, and Carnage who play several tracks in their sets. An endless of infamous names that show track support, ie: Skrillex, Tiesto, Afrojack, David Guetta, Flosstradamus, GTA, Party Favor, Nghtmre, Slander, and 12th Planet.
Keep an eye out for this young exciting act which hovers over the deck at 6’4″ and bring his mesmerizing stage presence and ridiculous energy that has created a whole new movement and enthusiasm that successfully converts brand new fans at every show and keeps fan coming back for more!
It’s 5:47 am and I just finished an original song and I have a bacon sandwich in hand and I’m relaxed and content as I watch the sunrise. That’s pretty much my routine, with each day that passes sleep becomes more of a privilege. Balancing my last semester at University, I have found a way to finish my schoolwork by day and plunging into the world of music by night. I wake up with music on the mind and am constantly sharing new songs with friends and exploring new artists. I groove to the rhythms of nature’s beats, connecting with the outside world constantly inspires me. My music is more than a career or hobby, it’s a form of illustration. At shows I zone out, feel the bass and dance the night away. Music is fun, active, art, amusing and full of emotion. At times music and my alter ego are paralleled, with synced movements and a connection only SayMyName can fully grasp. Music to me is colorful with shapes united. Music never hurts or harms, it heals and refreshes after a long stressful day.
Home Town: Born in Arcata, CA, raised in Los Angeles, CA
Currently Living: Los Angeles, CA
Origin Of Name: Yes! The Headhunterz song, “Just Say My Name,” inspired the name. I loved the aggression in the song and the monologue in the break. It is demanding, like my music.
Weapon of Choice: Hmmm, I always choose Mario when I play Super Smash Brothers on the Nintendo 64—he is my weapon of choice in that game.
Source of Power: Bacon, artist including Skrillex, Headhunterz, Armin Van Buuren, Tyler the Creator and Soulja Boy. I also get my power from the clothing I wear, the food I eat and dancing to good hardstyle music.
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?
When I dropped Pegboard Nerds’ “Self Destruct.” I went on automatic turn up mode and couldn’t stop dancing. I love that song and I felt that it just gave the mix some character and a different change of tone.
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
When I was four years old, I remember my father was DJing in my house and my mom picked me up and let me scratch once for like two seconds. It went “scurvurrru screech” and I believe that the moment I scratched it sparked my curiosity in DJing for year…until my dad finally passed down the tables to me after my fifth grade culmination. In elementary school I was into old school dance music through breakdancing and learned more about the hip-hop culture from my father.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
My parents fully support what I am doing and love to come out to some of my local shows in Los Angeles and Orange County. They usually are the first people I show a new song to before posting it online to get their feedback, and they usually are spot on with things I need to improve on in my music. It is funny, though, when I see them at some shows in the middle of the crowd with a bunch of raging teenagers and young adults.
What’s the strangest part of your job?
The strangest part is when I finish a song and go, “Wow, all of those noises were in my head.” It still amazes me that I can create a structured song that people actually like.
What would people be surprised to find out about being a DJ as a profession?
Some people try to undervalue a DJs profession and think that it is easy to do a set. I hate when people are like, “Oh I can DJ—it’s nothing.” Some people need to understand that it is not just about playing music but building a connection with a crowd of 2,000 or even five people.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis? Does it affect your friends and family?
It consumes me in a positive way. I have to fit it in my schedule of work, studies, and social time, and make sure I am still giving it 100 percent on top of other priorities. My friends and family love what I am doing and support it.
What is your ultimate career dream?
My ultimate career dream is to throw massive events and give portions of the profit to ASPCA. I am a dog lover and fully support ASPCA’s efforts to stop animal cruelty and house animals affected by violence and mistreatment.
Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
I usually sketch the whole song out in my head and think about it for about three days before I actually hit the studio. Once I have the idea I literally go in the studio and mash it out exactly how I had it in my head.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process?
I actually am more of a visual person when it comes to getting inspired from music sometimes. I would search like “Skrillex live in 2013” or “Hardwell live” on YouTube, watch these DJs drop these massive songs and observe just how the crowd reacts or how a certain part of a song might make a DJ like Funt Case flare and shake his hands in the air like a madman and get inspired from that. The last song that made me go to the studio was Brennan Heart’s “Freaqshow.”
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
The Reason 5 program I produce on is the heart of everything. Without it I wouldn’t have software to produce the tunes on.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Very important. SayMyName started as an experiment, I wanted to be a DJ that was different, spontaneous and thought outside of the box. When I had the idea to remix the Barney theme song, I doubted it a few times during the process of making it. I thought that remixing a child’s song like Barney could harm my career, but I just went in “YOLO Mode” (yes I said YOLO) and did it. It is my most popular song, surprisingly, and proves that you never know what might catch on…you just got to go hard or go home, eat some bacon and find inspiration in whatever makes you smile.
Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to make music with Skrillex, Wolfgang Gartner, or the Headhunterz, because those are all inspiring artists that I listen to on the regular. I want to make the finest and most delicious gourmet bacon meal with Chef Ramsay one day, as well.
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?
My iPod is lame with barely any music. If you pressed shuffle on my iTunes however I would probably be embarrassed if “Naturally” from Selena Gomez came on (yes I have that song). Nothing against Selena, she is dope and doing her thing.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of deep hardstyle bass drums that go “Baawm Baawm Baawm Baawm” or something like that.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Seriously some people need to shut up about house music, trap and dubstep being “dead!” They are not dead, festivals are still selling out, I still hear those genres on the radio and at shows—they are still alive and growing. Another thing, Skrillex did not kill dubstep, if anything he actually contributed to the growth of the genre.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
I get excited when I think about what the next movement might be. What sound. What style. Electronic music changes up so much and so quickly. Last year complextro was popular on the charts, now simple big room minimal style drops are the thing. What is next?
When you look at electronic music and the surrounding culture, what worries you about the future?
The only thing that worries me is the growth of it. And when I say growth I mean the number of people trying to DJ because “it looks fun.” And the essence of saying, “I am an EDM DJ” having no real impact anymore because everyone is somehow a DJ.
What are your weaknesses?
Do you have a secret passion?
I like to write research papers and essays. Even though I dread starting them, I get a thrill out of the whole process of writing a paper on the most boring topics ever. I guess it is the challenge of taking something uninteresting and making it appealing that I enjoy.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
I would give a deaf person some bacon to eat, turn on a muscle car, put their hand on the hood of it and have them feel the vibration of the engine roaring. I think that would be the best way to describe my sound.
Is success physical or internal?
I believe success is internal…when you realize mentally that you have grown to a content stage in your career and progressed in your arts and mastered your craft.
What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
My first DJ gig was with my best friend at my high school’s Halloween dance in 2006 during my freshman year. I never used CDJs in my life and that is what he brought for us to use. Looking back at it I had a bad playlist of songs first of all, second of all I ran out of music 40-minutes before the end of the event. Luckily we had a student band perform which killed sometime. I remember my transitions being a train-wreck at times, because I just could not get used to CDJs after three years of using turntables. The highlight song of my set was Lil John’s “Get Low,” and of course we all got low. I am laughing to myself because I just remembered my best friend had a pre mixed CD that he played once we ran out of music. I learned the greatest lessons of being a DJ that night; know how to use other equipment, and come with more than enough music for the evening. Overall it was a fun and stressful first gig experience.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far?
The hardest professional lesson I have learned so far is just being myself. Before I launched SayMyName, I struggled a bit with trying to sound like other artists but eventually just did me and made the music I wanted to produce rather than go with what is “new” or “hot.” It made my life easier because I was able to make these hardstyle remixes and attract a different crowd of trap fans who loved the music I enjoyed.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
The first time I saw Armin Van Buuren live was the day I decided to pursue a career in the EDM scene. He played his track “Tuvan” and I fell in love with the scene, the vibe and the energy—it was awesome! This was in 2009, by the way.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Don’t compare yourself to artist bigger or smaller than you that enter the competition. It is not a popularity contest so just be you. Remember you have 30-minutes to let your mix shine out of over 400 other entries, so make it memorable and thoughtful.
Any last words?
I just want to point out how cool the Nervo ladies are (I am a huge fan). I also think it is really awesome that Insomniac is bringing major hardstyle artist to EDC. I have never experienced hardstyle music live and I am pretty excited to catch Isaac and the Headhunterz set! Thank you once again Insomniac for the opportunity to perform at EDC this year!