Amsterdam Dance Event 2017

The main event of the year for the Electronic Dance Music community is back once again. Amsterdam is currently partying to the sounds of electro house, techno, trap, house, trance, big-room and many other subgenres that EDM has to offer.

Unlike other dance music events such as Miami Music Week or Ibiza season in the summer, Amsterdam Music Week not only becomes the spotlight for clubbing events and festivals, but it’s also a place where workshops, multi-genre showcases and networking events are held – and all are relevant to EDM.

The music festival side of ADE takes place in 115 clubs and venues where 450 events and 2,220 EDM Djs/producers are featured over the span of five days. ADE gathers and unites about 350,000 people from all over the world and creates an enormous electronic music community in the Dutch capital.

Many big EDM labels such as Armada Music, Revealed Recordings, Spinnin’ Records and OWSLA, along with local Dutch radio stations, are some of the main contributors for the club events, which lead up to the main event of the weekend: Amsterdam Music Festival 2017.

Amsterdam Music Festival, also known as AMF, will be hosting the reveal of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs for the fifth consecutive year. Within the show, awards such as Top House DJ, Top Trance DJ and the world’s No. 1 DJ for 2017 will be revealed in front 35,000 people in the Amsterdam Arena.

Past DJs who have had the honor to be ranked No. 1 DJ of the World include Martin Garrix in 2016 (youngest ever to do so at the age of 20), the Belgian duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike in 2015, Hardwell in 2014 and 2013, and Armin van Buuren in 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 for a grand total of five wins (the most any DJ/producer has ever won).

The lineup for the awards show includes artists such as David Guetta, Marshmello, Yellow Claw and a very special back-to-back set by Dutch natives Hardwell and Armin van Buuren as Two Is One.    

Amsterdam without a doubt knows how to create a party like no other.



Buying Concert Tickets Secondhand Sketches Me Out

In 2016, tickets to EDC Las Vegas sold out before I got the chance to buy my own. At that point, I accepted the fact that I didn’t get my ticket and planned to just go to EDC Las Vegas 2017 instead (which I did).

However, curiosity hit me and I started looking through the EDC lineup. With names such as Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Deorro, Alesso and Tiësto, I knew I had to find tickets somewhere. I started looking through Craigslist for people near my area who were selling their wristband for two days (EDC Las Vegas only sells 3-day wristbands), and it was a challenge. 

First of all, I had to find a person and make sure that they weren’t sketchy, which was a very difficult thing to do. Also, most people on the site ask for a deposit so they can have a form of assurance that you won’t back out – and that’s something I’m hesitant to do. But, I couldn’t find anyone who was willing sell me their wristband without a deposit, so I decided to go along with the precedent.

I found a woman from San Diego who was selling her wristband for the last two days. We set a day to meet up and were ready to go forward with the transaction. But then, an idea popped into my head. Since she was asking for a deposit, I should create a way to cover my a** – just in case she doesn’t follow through.

So, I wrote a contract covering every single loophole I could possibly think of, as well as consequences if any form of fraud were to occur. And, I included that I would require a picture of their I.D.

I contacted her and said I wrote a contract for the transaction so that I too could have some form of security. To my surprise, she did not agree to it and started acting all sketched out. She backed out of the transaction, leaving me without a potential EDC wristband.

I started looking through Craigslist again and decided to try it one last time. This guy from San Marcos was also looking to sell his wristband for the last two days and asked for a deposit for his wristband along with my social media.

I didn’t mention the contract that I made for the deal immediately, because I wanted to see his terms first. I then texted him saying what security I wanted. I sent him my contract and he actually agreed to it (upon some amendments to be made)! To my surprise, he was impressed by it, and thought that I was some lawyer because of the apparent complexity of the legal document I drafted. We agreed to meet up, and we signed the contract, took pictures of our I.D. photos and then I gave him my deposit.

At this point, I was relieved and hoped that I had placed trust on someone that wasn’t going to try to screw me over. Then I played the waiting game. It was a whole month of thinking about the worst possible scenarios and outcomes.

June finally arrived and it was time to drive to Vegas. I contacted the seller once I arrived, and he didn’t reply. I went to the location he told me to meet him at (his hotel) and he wasn’t there. I started worrying and was stressed out of my mind, because not only did I give him my money, but the sole purpose of my Vegas trip was in jeopardy (I was 19 back then so there wasn’t much to do).

An hour later, I got a text notification. It was from the seller, apologizing. He didn’t reply or show up because he had had a wild night, and wasn’t awake on time. He came down from his room to meet up with me and then gave me his wristband.

I did it! I was going to EDC Las Vegas!

Best of luck to any other dedicated fans just trying to go to a show. 

Kygo Releases a Surprise EP

Fans of the Norwegian tropical house producer were expecting just a new single on Sept. 22nd. Kygo had something else in mind.

“Stargazing” was released as a five track EP, which consists of “Stargazing” (featuring Justin Jesso) and “This Town” (featuring Sasha Sloan), two new songs that Kygo has not released before.

In addition, “It Ain’t Me,” with Selena Gomez, “First Time,” with Ellie Goulding and “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” with U2 make up the other three songs that are featured in the EP. All three of them have been released as singles earlier in the year, and are familiar to most of us. 

“Stargazing” remains closely tied to the producer’s tropical house sound. With Justin Jesso’s vocals complimenting the Kygo sound, the song becomes an emotional trip that can either be positive or negative, depending on personal interpretation.

The classic piano sound from Kygo’s past works is heard throughout the entire song, which becomes a contributing factor that helps create a happy, euphoric vibe.

The story Kygo envisions for the single “Stargazing” can be seen in the music video he released on Sept. 26. Like in some of his other music videos, a death is featured within the storytelling sequence.

In this case, “Stargazing” is about a boy whose dad passes away and tells him through a note he left behind to “find me in the stars.” Through the video, the lyrics obtain a concrete meaning, stirring up a combination of a sad, uplifting and happy feeling all at the same time.   

Something different is felt in “This Town.” Kygo experiments away from his tropical house sound and creates a smooth, relaxing background that fits perfectly with Sasha Sloan’s vocals. This new atmosphere may be confusing to the listener at first, but after a couple of repeats, an embracing of wanderlust through sound starts to form. A music video hasn’t been released for this song, but one can probably guess what the topic will be, based on the lyrics.

“Stargazing” is a nice little surprise that contained some familiar works and some new works from Kygo. Without a doubt, the EP is a tease for what is yet to come, considering that there are songs Kygo played at Ultra and EDC Las Vegas this year that are still unreleased.

Illenium’s Sophomore Album Is A Journey

“Dude you gotta check out this Illenium guy!”

In the past, some of my friends have told me to check out this random EDM DJ/producer, but I never listened to them.

One day within the month of August, I decided to let Spotify DJ and play random songs for me on my drive. The immersive sounds of the bass line and the featured vocals of Annika Wells in the song “Crawl Outta Love” captivated me and left me wanting more of the future bass artist.

A month later, Nick Miller, better known as Illenium, released his sophomore album “Awake,” consisting of 13 tracks that all play a crucial role in the journey it takes you on.

The album starts off peacefully with “Needed You,” featuring Dia Frampton singing com vocals that compliment the build up of the song. The uplifting beat of this song picks up the overall tone of Illenium’s work within “Awake.”

“Crawl Outta Love” picks up where “Needed You” left off and takes things up another level, with lyrics that paint a picture of a relationship that should have never been – one side struggling to forget memories of the past.

Things slow down for a bit with “No Time Like Now,” which then prepares us for “Free Fall” featuring RUNN. Her smooth vocals are the main buildup before the drop, which then takes things back to that immersive sound of the synths and bass.

“Where’d You Go” pulls off a feel good vibe similar to the one that Porter Robinson and Madeon’s single, “Shelter,” radiates. Though neither a rise nor a fall, this track keeps us in a neutral position of an uplifting state of mind, waiting for more to come.

The chords of a guitar and the sound of the drums welcome you to the world of “Fractures” featuring Nevve and her soothing, high notes. Synths, drums, bass, guitar chords and vocals all make a recipe for a work of art that should be heard.

“No Time Like Now,” is one of those falls within the album that showcases the calm elements that make up part of the Illenium sound.  

One of the most beautiful songs within the album has to be “Leaving.” At first, the song starts out really slow with audio of a woman leaving a voicemail. This song is full of surprises, and gathers every single awesome individual aspect of Illenium into one: surprising, uplifting, and emotional. This song is one of the best tracks in “Awake.”

“Lost,” featuring Emilie Brandt, switches things up with a change of tone and pace that is very unique for the album as a whole. The same feeling is found in Illenium’s “Sound of Walking Away,” featuring the high the vocals of Kerli.

“Taking Me Higher” starts to hint that the journey is coming to an end soon, and plays a part in one of those massive falls of energy that are seen within “Awake.” A rise is brought back once again with “Feel Good” and “Beautiful” reminding us that the album is not complete just yet.

Illenium, along with the musical group Ember Island, decided to end things with a soft vibe through “Let You Go.” The title, positioning and delicacy of the track signify closure, but the lyrics beg-to-differ, creating a deeper message than the soft melody of the song would convey at first listen.

Illenium shows how he can integrate rises and falls within “Awake,” making it feel as if he was performing a solid live-set.

“Awake” is definitely a valuable gem for the EDM community. It’s a journey; a journey where every single emotion one can possibly feel is conjured by each song – songs that no one could ever get enough of.