Birth of an Electric Spark: Meet Festiheads
Hey guys! And welcome to another week of Birth of an Electric Spark! As you guys know, one of my favorite things about attending festivals is getting to meet new amazing and creative individuals. They can be from all over the states, sometimes even the world. EDC Orlando was two weeks ago and I met so many amazing people over the course of just two days. Shout out to those of you that stopped to compliment my Zedd jersey or just simply smiled and said hello, or even gave me a high five. Here’s Birth of an Electric Spark: Meet Festiheads.
Birth of an Electric Spark
Among all those awesome souls, there was one creative individual who really stood out to me because of his special craft. As many of you may know, die-hard Marshmello fans love to go all out and buy or make Melloheads of their own in support of their favorite DJ. Many of you might have encountered a Mmellohead owner of your own, and some of you might have even requested to wear it and take some cool pictures with them. A friend of mine, die-hard Marshmello fan if I’ve ever seen one, decided he had to have his very own Mellohead and my rave crew and I got to meet the maker.
Who is your favorite DJ?
Right now it’s Marshmello, obviously. Zeds Dead and Adventure Club got me into EDM, so they’re up there as well. This is the stereotypical politician non-answer, but it’s honestly hard for me to pick just one favorite. It all depends on the mood and setting I’m in. I’m obviously a huge Marshmello fan, but I also love listening to artists like Louis the Child, Porter Robinson, Griz, Big Gigantic, Rezz, Illenium, San Holo, Nvmbr, and Eden. Outside of EDM, I’ve been a huge fan of The Weeknd since his first three mixtapes, so it’s been really cool to watch him grow into such a huge star.
It’s always fun to start following an artist early on in their career and watch them gain success along the way. The notion that you can’t like music because a lot of other people like it is really ridiculous in my mind, and disliking on a DJ solely because they have a lot of followers (or didn’t get them the “right” way, whatever that means) seems to be equally illogical.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to be successful and the only person an artist owes something to is themselves, we’re all just fans of the music that they make. If an artist changes his or her style or who they work with and it doesn’t suit you, it seems like the easiest thing to do would be to just move on – it’s not like there’s a shortage of music out there. There are far more important things to worry about.
What’s your favorite EDM genre?
Future bass is definitely the most common subgenre. It’s the most common thing that can be heard coming from my speakers. Mostly because I like the generally upbeat and/or happy nature of the music. I also like a lot of variety in my music (both inside and outside EDM). I really don’t care for the division in the EDM community over artists and subgenres. People like different types of music for different reasons, so it’s really frustrating to see the flame wars that crop up whenever the topic of favorite DJ/genre is brought to the table. It’s really disheartening to go on a forum or whatever and see someone trashing an artist or an artist’s fanbase.
When and how did you start getting into EDM?
I started listening to EDM back in high school (2009-ish) when I would play games like Halo, Battlefield: Bad Company, and Mass Effect with my friends. I wasn’t much of a social butterfly in high school, so every weekend I would go hang out with them and dump an embarrassing amount of time into playing Xbox.
We probably listened to White Satin, Rude Boy, and Paradise Circus by Zeds Dead a thousand times each in the last two years of high school. I went to college in Kentucky and there was zero EDM scene to speak of, so my involvement in the EDM community kind of drifted off. That changed when I went to Bonnaroo in 2015, though. I had a life-changing experience at that festival and since then, I’ve been going to as many shows and festivals as I can afford to because the experiences and people I meet along the way bring so much joy into my life.
What is your favorite EDM song at the moment?
Not necessarily a track, but I’ve been annoying my roommates with Marshmello’s EDC Orlando set this week. I’m the type of person that hears a song and if I like it, I listen to it on repeat. This one, in particular, is my favorite at the moment, because it reminds me of the weekend I had at EDC Orlando, especially the last two days. I had to spend a few extra days in Orlando because of car trouble and I met a pair of amazing people that let me hang out with them while I figured out what to do with my car. I’d driven to Orlando by myself, so had I not met them I would have been in an unfamiliar city by myself with absolutely no plan as to how to fix that problem.
What is your favorite EDM song of all time?
That’s an impossible one for me to answer, to be perfectly honest. My all-time favorites playlist definitely has a lot of stuff by Marshmello, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, Illenium, and Odesza on it. I lost almost all of my music when SoundCloud deleted my account a few months back, and I still haven’t come anywhere near rebuilding my library.
Who are some of your festival favorites to watch?
Other than the really obvious one, the String Cheese Incident’s Saturday night show is a must-see. I won’t spoil the surprise for people that haven’t been to Electric Forest yet (I say yet because everyone reading this has to go to Electric Forest), but trust me – that show is one that you absolutely have to see. I’ll admit that the first time my friends Derek and Nick suggested it, I was like, “eh, I feel like there’s other stuff I could be doing” but they convinced me that it was worth going to and I absolutely do not regret it. Obviously, Bassnectar is always a must, especially at Forest.
He’s is a magician in a league of his own, and I have many treasured memories of moments from every single one of his shows. GriZ and Gryffin are always amazing. The chance of having a life-changing moment at Porter Robinson, Above & Beyond, or Odesza is right around 100%, so I never miss those artists if I can help it. Illenium, Louis the Child, Zeds Dead, Adventure Club, and Rezz are shows that I always try to see as well. Dillon Francis is always a fun party and If I’m with my festival group, I honestly don’t care who I’m seeing. I always joke that it could be a monkey banging on a trash can lid in an empty cornfield and I’d still have fun if I was with them…it’s a stupid joke, but it is true. I’ll go to any show or festival if it means I get to be with my friends and have a good time.
What’s the best set you’ve experienced?
Bassnectar’s Bonnaroo 2015 set sticks out in my mind because I saw it with my dad (and it was an incredible set, obviously). That’s something not many people are fortunate enough to say, and I’m eternally grateful that I had that opportunity. Bonnaroo 2015 was a life-changing festival, so the fact that I actually got to see such a good set with the person that made it all possible locks that one never forget that moment in time.
What is your favorite festival memory?
My favorite solo memory probably has to be from Bonnaroo 2017 when I wore the Mellohead with a map of Earth on it at Marshmello’s set. The short version of the story is that people basically cleared the way for me to get close to the front because I was wearing that helmet. I got there late due to a pretty dumb and easily preventable error on my part and due to the kindness of complete strangers, I was able to see my favorite artist from the best spot I’ve ever had at any of the festivals I’ve ever been to.
Is there a festival you’re dying to attend/experience?
I’ve been to 16 major festivals so far and I’m nowhere near crossing off even half of the ones that I want to go to on my list. Obviously, EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland Belgium & Brazil, and Burning Man are up there. I haven’t been to a festival on the West Coast yet, I’d like that to change soon. I’m really wanting to do Okeechobee this year, and I’m honestly dying to return to Bonnaroo and Electric Forest.
I did both weekends of Electric Forest 2017 and had the most incredible time. I actually went to weekend one by myself, which was definitely pretty scary. What I was doing didn’t really hit me until I had the car packed with a ten-hour solo drive staring me in the face, but I did it anyway and had the time of my life. My festival fam (nearly 20 people) came up for weekend two and I somehow had an even better time…although by that second Monday I was pretty drained and ready to go home to civilization. Festivals are great at making you appreciate the modern conveniences of running water, your own shower, and a mattress to sleep on. Now that I’ve done one festival by myself and seen how much fun it is, I’m definitely motivated to do that more in the future.
What is one thing rave culture has taught you?
Festivals have definitely taught me that small acts of kindness go a long way, and I really try to apply that lesson to “regular” life. You never know what someone is going through, so even something as simple as a smile or high five can turn someone’s day around. The rave culture has taught me that life is a precious gift and that being alive is a ride that you should actually enjoy – not spend the entire time tearing people down and/or trying to grow your pile of money because that ultimately doesn’t matter.
Being happy and sharing that happiness with others is really what makes life enjoyable, at least for me. Before I started going to raves and festivals, I didn’t necessarily have that outlook. Festivals have taught me to appreciate the little things in life and to live in a way that positively affects the world around you. I’d love to be successful one day, but only if I can share that success with others in a positive manner.
Any advice for people attending their first festival/rave?
The most important thing that I’ve learned (other than DRINK WATER) is to go to have fun and be yourself. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone or offer a high five to a person that looks down on themselves. If your group wants to do something and you want to do something else, don’t be afraid to break off from them and do your own thing, as long as you’ve got a phone and/or a meeting spot. If you’re separated, it’s not the end of the world. You’re with tens of thousands of your best friends that you haven’t met yet, don’t hesitate to ask for directions or offer water to someone that looks like they need it.
Pretty much every person you meet at a festival has the potential to turn into a best friend. I’ve made connections in four days that will last me a lifetime – the fact that I’m best friends with people that I only see a handful of times out of a year is testament to that. When someone shows kindness to you, pass it along to someone else. Try to spend as much time as you can actually enjoying the experience instead of putting the entire thing on social media (I’m definitely still guilty of this from time to time).
These are all things that should be applied to daily life. Festivals are about finding out who you are. You can be who you are without judgment. Also by others and enjoying the company of perfect strangers, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. If you never push the boundaries of what you’re comfortable doing, how would you ever grow as a person?
Tune in next week for another exclusive interview on Birth of an Electric Spark.