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There is possibly no other DJ/Producer out in the scene as interesting and dynamic as Ghastly. The L.A. based artist has rocketed onto the scene thanks to his fresh style and productions over the last few years and is now taking full advantage of his career by showing off his energetic live show all over the world. With a debut album on the way, Ghastly is ready for the next level.
I had the chance to sit down with Ghastly after his sold out show in Ottawa/Gatineau at the Riverside Festival. This interview is well worth the read, check it out:
EDM Canada: How has your summer festival season been?
Ghastly: It's great, I just came from Electric Zoo, which was epic. But the crowd over at Riverside Festival was on par because their energy, not once did I see them do the “I'm too cool for this” swaying vibe. My summer has been really hectic at points because of the traveling but I love it, and keep on doing it. I think I've garnered around 4 hours of sleep in the past 3 days.
"If you don't give all of it, at all the time, then you're wasting everyone's time. In my opinion."
So you must be ready to crash right now?
Nope, I'm doing an afterparty tonight (laughs). I asked for it bro, I'm happy to do it.
So you're at 100 all the time.
If you don't give all of it, at all the time, then you're wasting everyone's time. In my opinion.
Your rise in the scene has been steady and fast, what do you think sets you apart from different artists?
My brand has changed consistently from day 1. If you go back to my career on day 1 you'll notice that my look was completely different, my logo was completely different, and everything I'm doing is completely different. I kept on shifting because my brand always as I grew as a person. The longer I do it, the more my brand changes, just like me as the longer I live, the more I change.
I've gone through 3 different logos, 3 different phases, and I make every kind of music because I believe life should be like a cheese platter. You should have all kinds of variety. You just don't want fucking cheddar, you gotta have the provolone, that goat cheese, and that feta.
How would you describe Ghastly right now, the end of summer 2017?
Just another dude trying to add little positivity onto this planet. But as far as my branding goes, I've been writing an album, and it's going to be 13 songs. I'm very excited about it. I don't want to give too much away right now because it's still in its writing process but it's almost done. That's going to be a big movement on what exactly I'm trying to portray right now, which is terrifying things can be beautiful. That's what I've always done with Ghastly, in trying to redefine that word.
“We Might Fall” is a spectacular track, can you talk a bit about it and how it was working with Matthew Koma?
I sent a remix to a band named Jimmy Eat World and they aren't down with it (laughs). They were like “fuck EDM” I guess, and they even said “fucking millennials!”, I was like “nice bro, nice positive message you got there”. So I had to take it down, and I didn't know what to do.
Did they DMCA you on Soundcloud for it?
Yeah man, I got a strike for it and went after me for doing it. I was like dude, I love your songs so much and I re-interpreted it and made a remix out of it. That was my biggest expression of appreciation. I took time out of my life to appreciate you that much more.
So I had to remove the vocal and the day after Matthew Koma hit me up if they wanted to collab.
Right time, right place
So I had to re-write this whole song to fit his style, and that's “We Might Fall”.
What's next for Ghastly for the rest of 2017 and next year?
I'm pretty sure the album will be called “Black Mamba”, it sounds like a dance but it's actually a very deadly snake. I wrote a song on acid not too long ago and made it about this girl from the 1950s doing an interview with a doctor analyzing what it's like to take acid for the first time. I made a whole song based around that and it's very similar in energy to “We Might Fall” in terms of cords, but very different atmosphere.
Are you going to release your album under a label?
My team has been self-releasing everything lately. We love working with labels as I owe so much to Mad Decent, OWSLA, Buygore, Dim Mak. All of these labels helped me big time in me coming up. But self-releasing your own music is just as beneficial and just as long as you have a strong team and good friends to help circulate it – then it always works out better that way. Less paperwork and less people involved – you're in full control.
Any collabs on the album?
There are 4 but I won't say just yet.
What kind of advice can you give to new producers and DJs?
Expect struggle, expect it to be difficult. If you think it's going to be easy with things handed to you, then you'll have a big pile of reality shoved into your face. You have to fucking earn it. If you're upset that you have to go through some hard times and make some sacrifices, then you clearly don't want it the way you need to.
Rainman told me about you in 2015 as someone to watch out for, now who do you think is an artist to watch out for in 2018?
Check out Ghastly's latest "I'll Wait":