Project 46 has been on a real roll lately as the Canadian duo composed of Ryan Henderson and Thomas Shaw have been churning out fantastic melodic productions. They also managed to enter the DJ Mag top 100 list last year coming in at #100, a huge feat for any DJ/Producer. They have had their fair share of Beatport chart makers, but it is their latest collaboration with Kaskade called "Last Chance" that really caught my attention because it is such an incredible melodic track filled with unbridled emotion. EDM Canada has managed to talk to Ryan from Project 46 while on the road with Morgan Page about the genesis of "Last Chance", their upcoming album, touring, and there's even some solid career advice for those looking to make it in the industry. Enjoy:
EDM Canada: Huge fan of your collab
with Kaskade called “Last Chance” - How did you guys come
together to make one of the biggest tracks from Atmosphere album?
Ryan: We had an idea for the basic idea of a track and sent it over to our manager and somehow he got it into Kaskade's tour bus during the Freaks of Nature tour. He later heard it and hit us up right away saying how he liked the track and how he had a lot of ideas for it and asked if they wanted to do it together through email. Obviously the answer was yes. It's kind of a surreal moment when you see Ryan Raddon in your email inbox. So we started working with Ryan directly. We really didn't get a chance to get to work with Ryan in the studio together as most of the work was done via email and through meetings in a couple of hotel rooms in London, UK and in Hong Kong. The track was done 6-7 months ago. It's been this long process of having this Kaskade collaboration that we couldn't talk about and we didn't know when it was coming out. I think it was better how it worked out anyways because if this track came out when we were smaller we would have had less credibility on the track.
EDM Canada: And it ended up being the first track of Atmosphere.
Ryan: Yep, it's the first track on the album and it will be the 2nd single. Although it is technically released right now, the music video, the extended version, and the radio promo hasn't been done. So it's going to get a lot of love from Ultra and Sony, which will happen in the 1st quarter of 2014. So this track is going to have a super long life as people are getting familiar with it, but it's not yet technically out as far as Ultra is concerned.
Yeah because I'm waiting for Kaskade to say something about it because he hasn't really pumped it up yet.
We weren't really allowed to come out with it on Soundcloud but we did it anyways because it was important for us to have that association. But Ultra does have a big plan for it and it will be big track. So it will be promoted between January and March of 2014. It's really weird because we have another really big collaboration coming out with another artist that we really can't mention yet which is coming out in January too so we hope it won't overlap. We'll see what happens.
You just answered my next question about any future collabs and you can't tell me about it so I'll just move on...
We have cool things that we're working on too as we just decided about 3 weeks ago that we're doing an album set for release early next year. We're trying to finish 12 tracks, which is an entirely different mentality than just trying to finish a single. So we're working on providing a basis for the new album which should be done by the end of the year and then sit down in the studio in January and bang it out to finalize every track. So you're going to see a new single coming out in November, a big collaboration this January, a lead out single for the album in March, and then the album release in April or May.
Are you planning on releasing this new album through a label or will you release it for free on Soundcloud?
It won't just be free because we think it's important to have a major label behind it. The stuff we want to do will be kind of like “Last Chance”, and will be very radio friendly, so I think we need to have a partner on board to take us on and bring it to the next level. If you are subscribed to our email list, we always send our music for free anyways, so you'll be able to hear it for free and if you want to support it you'll be able to buy it on iTunes. It's more important that our music is out there. Every song on the album will probably have a vocal and so we'll have some pretty cool remix packages for each of the songs. At one point we're going to release all of the acapellas for free and we'll also hold some contests. So we have a lot of cool plans for the album, but right now we're just trying to get the tracks together.
You have recently embarked on a massive tour with Morgan Page which will include a bunch of Canadian dates – Is this the first major tour that you have embarked on and how's the tour going so far?
The tour has been awesome. It's the first time that we've toured with another artist. We supported Kaskade and Oakenfold before, and we were also a part of the Swanky Tunes show. This is the first time we're on tour where we are actually rooming with someone as we're living on a bus with Morgan and playing all of Morgan's shows. They're not our shows but they're Morgan's shows. So this is the first time we've spent a fair amount of time supporting someone because up to now it has been all of our headline shows. The cool thing about that is we're able to play at markets there we're not big enough to play ourselves yet. Like we would never be able to play Minneapolis on a Wednesday because we're just not big enough. Getting to piggyback on his fan base is a really cool opportunity and it's really nice for him to support us because it helps a lot. To bring us on board and help us out while building his own brand and his 3D concept is really cool. He's really giving back to his fans because he isn't making any money on this entire tour.
Oh wow – well that's too bad.
Well there's a lot of money right now for a major artist and now we're seeing a lot of them give back now. A lot of people don't realize that Krewella is not making any money on their tour as well. They're selling out all of these shows but since they're spending millions and millions of dollars on production, they're not actually making any money. It's a weird concept right now but it's cool to see artists give back and that is what Morgan Page is doing right now.
You guys have accomplished a lot in 2013 – does Project 46 have any big goals set (besides the upcoming album) for 2014?
It's never been really goal oriented other than working hard and getting music done and let it all fall into place. Me and Thomas would like to play more festivals and playing TomorrowWorld was absolutely mind blowing. Also playing at Skylab was crazy. Whenever you stand infront of 10,000+ people I think it's an amazing opportunity to allow your music to reach more people at once. People really love our sets so hopefully with “Last Chance” and our next collaboration we'll have the opportunity to play more festivals rather than just a club type of atmosphere.
If you can give any advice to DJ/Producers that are trying to “make it” - what words of advice would you offer?
It's all about hard work, and working smart. It's about making allies and not enemies out of other up and coming producers, and people at your same level. Also not being afraid of the word “no” because it comes more often than the word “yes”. Another thing that people don't realize is that when you are turning this into a career is the team behind you is just as important as the music. When you are picking the labels you work with, managers, and the people that will be attached to your brand, you have to make sure you don't jump at the first opportunity that comes to you. Picking the right agents, managers, the right everything. When you get to a certain skill level, people are going to start contacting you, and you have to make sure you are picking the right people. Up until now we still haven't found a label deal yet. It's not that we haven't been offered any, but we just have to make sure that the deal makes sense. So having the right team behind you is important if you are embarking on this endeavour. And hard work. Dealing with the fact that you have to get better, and the fact that nobody is interested, and once people are interested that you pick the right people to work with.
And you guys definitely take good care of your fans.
We try to communicate with them as much as possible. I mean.... We wouldn't be anywhere without our fans right?
My thanks to Ryan for taking the time out of his busy schedule for the interview.
Project 46 is currently touring with Morgan Page as they will be playing in Kingston tonight, in Waterloo this Thursday, and in Ottawa at Barrymore's this Friday. Tickets are still available, and if you want to purchase tickets for the Ottawa date, click here. They will also be traveling solo for 2 Canadian dates in Sudbury on Oct 18th, and at Club 77 in Hamilton on October 19th.