EDC New York Discovery Project Spotlight: OOF
May 24, 2014
It may take two to tango, but it requires three musically inclined islanders to make the dance floor say, “OOF.” DJ Frizel, King Kekai, and Graves are Hawaiian natives that have been making some serious waves as a supergroup in the Aloha State. Not the type to merely tread water, they saw the opportunity to combine their shared expertise within the DJ/producer, audio engineering, and vocalist categories to become a triple threat in EDM. As the latest winners of the Discovery Project DJ/producer competition series, they used their big-room sound to land an opening slot at EDC New York. See what they have to say before they rip it up on the kineticFIELD!
What was the first thing you did when you found out you’d won the EDC New York contest?
We looked up the Insomniac rep that contacted us on Facebook to ensure she was real and wasn’t one of our friends playing a joke on us. (Laughs.)
What is your history as a DJ/producer up to this point?
Before teaming up, the three of us all had fairly “successful” local DJ careers. Since we’ve kind of been the big fish in the small pond, we’ve had the opportunity to open up and play alongside some of the biggest names in EDM as they come through Hawaii.
What was your winning Discovery Project submission, and how does it reflect your vision as an artist?
We definitely wanted our mix to stand out, so we took a gamble and started it off with an actual Hawaiian song. It reflects our artistic vision in the sense that, instead of looking at being from Hawaii (which is such a small market) as a disadvantage, we wanted to just own and represent it. So, we incorporated some of the stuff we grew up with and twisted it into what’s popular now. As for our original track, we chose to go with our signature sound of big room and festival-style progressive house that sounds really wide and like something you’d hear on the main stage. Also, we made sure to add vocals that were catchy and complemented the melody.
What is your favorite aspect of dance music culture, and why?
We love how open and positive everyone is.
A producer/DJ should never... A producer/DJ should always…
Never worry about what other artists are doing. Focus on what you do, and become great at it. Always try to stand out. With the DJ/producer landscape filling up so quickly, you have to distinguish yourself from the pack.
What’s the best set you've ever played?
Best set? When we opened up for Major Lazer, we were allowed to totally rock out and incorporate live singing and live instrumentation.
What purpose does music serve in your life?
This is such a cliché answer, but music is literally everything (and not just dance music). Living in Hawaii, we are surrounded by all kinds of different sounds and influences that we experience on a daily basis.
What are you most looking forward to at EDC New York? What are you planning for your set?
Showing everyone that three guys from a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean can hold our own and entertain on such a big stage. We’re also excited to show the fans some of our original work—an original sound with a Hawaiian twist.