EDC Orlando Artist Highlight: ACRAZE [Exclusive Interview]

all photos taken from ACRAZE official Instagram

Electric Daisy Carnival is returning to Orlando this November. This time, it’s bringing a third day to Tinker Field. An extra day means extra music, and one artist you definitely need to keep your eye on is Orlando local, ACRAZE. I had a chance to talk with ACRAZE to learn a little bit about how he got his start in music and what he has in store for the next few months. 

Festival Squad: Living in Orlando and keeping close with some of the venues around here like Celine, I see your name a lot. Tell me a little bit about how ACRAZE got here. How did you start getting into music? At what point did you start to see a career in this industry takeoff for you?

ACRAZE: I remember when I graduated high school, all my friends were on their way to college, and I was still unsure as to what my purpose in life was. My dad convinced me to come work with him doing electrical work, which wasn’t fun at all. While I worked there, I would attend EDM shows in Orlando just to have fun and party. Which I enjoyed a lot. I remember going to EDC Orlando 2014 for the first time ever, and it really opened my eyes. One thing I’ll always remember from that year was when my friend came up to me while we were in the crowd. He said, “Let’s sneak backstage,” and I was all for it (Sorry Pasquale). I think Knife Party was playing at the time, and we some how managed to finesse our way under the stage to get into the booth. I got to see a glimpse of what it looked like from the DJ’s point of view. As I stood there, I got this rush of goosebumps when the crowd reacted to the drop. It was something I’ve never felt before. From there on out, I knew that being a DJ was my purpose in life, and I was meant for music. Two years later, I started producing in 2016. I was a huge fan of the Jersey Club scene at the time, so I started putting my twist on it. I had another job at the time, which was mowing lawns. I remember being at work and getting notifications about all these big artists playing my stuff. Eventually, I quit my job and told my self I’m going do this forever. Now, here I am.

FS: Who were/are some of your biggest inspirations? What advice can you give someone who is just starting out and maybe even looking up to you for inspiration?

A: When I was first getting into production, my main inspirations were Skrillex, 4B, DVBBS, DJ Snake, Pendulum, and Carnage, just to name a few. I do get asked for advice quite frequently now, and one thing I always tell people is to always be consistent, no matter how tough times may get. It is very easy to get discouraged when you start comparing your struggles to other people’s success. One thing you gotta understand In this industry is that everyone’s path is different. Some may excel faster than others, and some may work harder than others. I learned to just to trust the process and enjoy the journey. Another thing I always say is don’t give up. There’s a lot of people who get producer’s block all the time, and honestly I get that myself. When that happens, either I’ll make new designs or new synths in serum for later projects, or even just dig for old samples. Every time I feel like I can’t finish a song, I always think of this photo of two miners trying to find diamonds. The guy on the top is killing him self to find it, and the guy on the bottom gave up just before he struck the jackpot. Don’t give up.

FS: You just had two pretty big releases, “Forbidden,” and “Lucifer,” and if I’m following this right, “Once Again,” is set to come out on the 21st. Can you walk me through a bit of the process of producing those tracks?

A: “Forbidden,” was actually a song I made one day when I got home from a show at 4 a.m. I think I finished working on it at 7 a.m., and then I sent it to 4B. He then wanted to make it our first original together. It was a collaboration for quite some time, but then I was going LA a lot. So I would always be in the studio with him working on new stuff. He’s probably the only person I have a million songs with. So, we kinda just forgot about it, and focused more on the newer ones we have now. We are actually dropping one very very soon… so be on the look out for that. “Lucifer,” was made a day before I played at the Ritz in Tampa which happened to be in July. I was in need of a new intro, so I made that, and it came out pretty fire. I love making 4 to the floor drops, so when I tested it for the first time at that show, I knew it was fire. “Once Again,” is actually going to be my first house release. This year, I’ve been making a ton of house stuff, which I plan on releasing most of it within the upcoming year. I’ve always been a huge house head, and it was the type of music I loved when I first got into EDM. I’m super hyped to show everyone what I’ve got stashed away.

FS: You’re set to play Circuit Grounds at this year’s EDC Orlando. This isn’t your first time playing the festival. You had a slot on the main stage last year, correct? Is there a difference in how you’re prepping for this year as opposed to last year?

A: Main stage was a dream come true for me. I used to practice DJing in my room pretending like I was playing EDC, so it was surreal for me when that dream came true. I’ve been a huge fan of how they put Circuit Grounds together every year, so I’m stoked to play there this November. This year, I’m going to be playing a ton of new music. It will be my hardest set I’ve played yet.

FS: If you were in charge of the EDC lineup, who would be the first three acts you would want to book?

A: Jack Ü just because they paved a new sound into the world and I loved it. Plus I would love to see them come back. Virtual Self. I’ve always been a fan of his work and visuals. And Avicii. I would love to see him play one more time. He inspired millions including my self.

FS: Dream collab?

A: Without a doubt Skrillex. I remember the day he played one of my remixes I did for Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites, and I about fainted. If we ever got into the studio together, we would be making some crazy stuff I’m sure. Sonny, if you’re reading this, let’s work.

FS: What can fans expect to see from ACRAZE in these last few months of 2019?

A: The music I’ve been making lately has been some of my best work yet. I’ve got a few BIG collabs I’m working on right now, and I’m working out a tour with my team right now that I’ll be releasing soon. Thats all I can say for now.

Keep up with ACRAZE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and Soundcloud. If you haven’t purchased your EDC tickets yet, buy them here. And be sure to check out ACRAZE’s set at Circuit Grounds in November!

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