I have a confession to make, even though I work with it constantly, appreciate a lot of the history and artists, and even listen to it a fair amount now, I haven’t always liked “Electronic Music” I use to be one of those people that thought the majority of it was just people mashing buttons like when I play Street Fighter or an adult tries Mario Party, but over the last few years I’ve been introduced to a growing amount of electronic music and EDM that I have come to truly enjoy, realizing that the “buttons” they are “mashing” are just a new instrument and way to express an art form, and the programs and methods they choose to use and combine different artistic styles, but ill be honest- I still hate most of it.
Which is why it was especially awesome to come across the chance to interview “up and coming” artist, producer, and button masher PartyWave in advance of his appearance at Organic Music Fest. I listened to his Soundcloud for far longer than I intended to, brought in by the wide array of horn samples, tribal music, dark to heavy transitions, and kept around by constantly being surprised by the differences in albums and tracks without losing quality. In an ocean of artists and genres that are all trying to replicate someone else’s career path, sound, or virality, the only person he is interested in competing with is himself, and the last thing he’s trying to do is sound like anyone, even himself. “I get sick of the sounds in my songs by the time I am done making it, a lot of people will use the same drum kit and same sounds in every song and I just don’t get it, I’m not hating on anybody but just personally that’s why sound moves so much, I like the weird shit.”
As you all know here at Euphoric, we love the weird shit as well. Before we sat down with Corey to chat about what fuels the PartyWave, he was kind enough to let us listen to his Organix Mixtape which we are also premiering right here, right now, so go ahead and jam it while you meet the man behind the swell.
So we’re doing this interview from Hawaii, your SoundCloud URL says SD, I know you have roots in Santa Cruz, and the location says CA, whats the deal?
I just have it on there as California for now, eventually, I’m probably going to add Hawaii in there, but I just recently moved out here permanently. I grew up in Clairemont in San Diego, and was living in Pacific Beach up until like last year, and for a while after SD I was hanging out with Shlump and Trevor Kelly in Santa Cruz, producing and touring in Nor-Cal and that was kinda my home base. Last December I came to Hawaii for what was only supposed to be the winter, but now I’m actually residential here, I just finally got all my stuff out here to Maui very recently. I’m just gonna keep it as CA for right now, *laughs, mainly for booking purposes because not everyone is looking to deal with an artist all the way in Hawaii. It’s just something that I know would cross people’s minds when they want me to play, and they don’t always realize when I’m on the road it doesn’t really matter if I’m living in Hawaii, it’s not like I’m flying out for one show individually. I really just want my “Hometown” to be west coast bass culture in general and represent that.
Speaking of genres, i think especially in the EDM world people have become obsessed with nailing down a name for everything, Acid trip, party bass, beach goth, whatever, with an artist like you who has a wide array of song styles, influences, samples, and genres do you find people trying to put you in a box sometimes? Do you even care about what genre you are in?
Yeah, people do kind of try and stuff me in a box, a trap box to be more specific haha. I have a tune coming out in a week or two on EDM network that is just way different from anything I’ve ever done. I’m using like 10 different genres in the song, and sure there’s that one “trap” drop somewhere that is gonna make someone call it trap music, I have nothing against that it just gets semi-annoying to have it applied to everything you do. It seems that a lot of people in the industry these days are just calling “808” music trap which is ridiculous., I mean I use that as a starting point if someone has never even heard this type of music, does not know who Bassnectar is , and they’ll be like “oh yeah I’ve heard of trap before.” On the other hand, when you’re in the industry and hearing these terminology and genre descriptions every day where everything is so narrowed down, like using a different high hat puts you in the different genre with some people. In my opinion, it’s a little too nitpicky, if anything you should just call it Bass music because that’s essentially what all of it is.
Obviously, I’m sure the music was a big part of your life growing up, but when of click that you wanted to do this as a career?
Well when I grew up my dad was in a band, and my parents actually split up around the time I was 5, so when my dad moved out his house was kind of a pseudo band practice and recording studio. He played the drums, so we had an electric drumset, a regular drum set, 2 pianos, a guitar, and some other odd instruments-so basically anything a kid could want ha. I got really into the drums and the piano, and both of those ended up transferring over to the EDM genre pretty well, most of the riffs I write are on a MIDI keyboard, and a lot of my beats are based on me knowing drum patterns and coming up with that background.
When I first started taking music seriously Dubstep was getting really big, I was living in SD and starting going out to a lot of local shows with friends. Around that time I met this local legend who was an old school Vinyl DJ that lived around where I lived in Pacific Beach. He ignited my interest in a lot of the more underground stuff at the time that wasn’t mainstream like dubstep, I was listening to a lot of different stuff, what you might call trap nowadays ha. At the same time, he was also teaching me to spin “the old school” way with real Vinyl, and I was learning how to use Ableton, so between both spectrums of electronic music I was feeling like I really found my Niche in life and music. It’s not like being in a band where you need to get a lot of people together, you can go at your own pace and put as much time into it as you want when you want to, I just took it by the balls and learned everything I possibly could. I feel like learning “the hard way” has made me a better DJ in the long run, beat matching with headphones and no computer, then I finally downloaded Serato and kind of pick the songs that I wanted to DJ. Also, I started spinning at new clubs in LA and SD who didn’t even have Vinyl so I really had to learn CDJS. These days I do everything in Ableton for my live set pretty much, I feel like it gives me the most potential for creativity and doing abstract stuff in my live set which I think is important.
Have you had an “I made its moment” yet?
I haven’t really had that “moment” where I feel like I’ve “made it”, but this year at Emissions was pretty amazing. I had been in Hawaii for awhile where no one really knew who I was, and I came back to this big crowd and following for the show and it was just humbling, it made me realize how deep I am in the scene, and how I’ve become part of this sonic movement with guys like Trevor Kelly and Shlump, so I’m just really stoked to be a part of that. I don’t care if I’m in front of 10 or 10,000 people, I just love that the people who are there are super into the music and the movement which makes me feel like I’ve made it in a way.
A Lot of the songs on Ohana have a kind of, sci-fi, star trek kinda vibe, even a little 8-bit stuff in there, almost like nerd bass, which I dig. One of my favorites on the album, Mana(which sounds super Blade Runner-y) is a fictional term sometimes. Were you into fantasy, sci-fi, spacey kinda shit?
Haha no not really, I mean of course I’ve seen some of it but I’m not super into it. Ohana, and Mana too actually, are both Hawaiian terms. Mana means power and Ohana means family, I wrote most of the album while I was living in Hawaii over the last year, so I wanted to go with a more Hawaiian vibe to tribute that and the tribal vibe of the album. I never really have a certain sound that I’m trying to nail down every time I make an album or track, if I’m feeling a song I’ll sample it and kinda go from there. As far as the Sci-Fi thing you mention, in Mana I really liked this Saxophone sample, so I snagged it and switched it up with a little darker feel and threw a big beat behind it which is that trippy spaced out vibe you get, and like most of my other favorites of mine it kind only took a day to carve out. Overall I’m stoked with how the album turned out and was received.
What thing influences your music the most, besides other music.
Well, i’ve been surfing pretty seriously for over 10 years now, I’ve definitely come off of it over the last year because I’ve been traveling a lot to places with no ocean, haha, and actually the small break from surfing has been nice. Before when I was living in SD I was surfing non-stop, now that I’m in Hawaii I’m diving a lot, I’ve gotten into that more because I feel like when you really go underwater and swim with big fish, whales, sharks, you really connect with the ocean in a deeper way, pun intended haha, but I’m not sure if that’s actively influencing my sound. Also, my name is actually referencing surfing, which kinda started out as a joke, a Party Wave is a wave that more than one people share at a time. It’s actually kind of funny because especially when you get away from the west coast people don’t know its a surfing term and automatically assume it’s about drugs or something. I kind of started to play shows and didn’t have a name, so like I said it was a joke at first, but over time I realized it was actually a funny representation of me, and I didn’t wanna come up with some weird ”transformer” name. It’s become even more relevant know that I’m living in Hawaii which I find pretty funny because that was not planned at all, it just works, which is nice.
So coming up you have Organic Fest in CA, you released the ohana EP not too long ago, got any more swell coming for the party wave in the near future so to speak?
Yeah actually I do, right now I’m in transition because I just got back to Hawaii after being on the road. I’m going back for Organic Fest in August which I’m really stoked on, I’m super proud of those guys, Greg, and the whole organic team. They’ve been throwing parties forever, and I got linked up with them around a year ago when they threw a party at Lupin Lodge. It’s been awesome to see them grow as a group and end up with this awesome event. I have a new EP coming out in September on Shadow Trix which is the label it on with Shlump and Trevor Kelly, and that will be my first release with them since my Trailblazer EP, hopefully right before I play symbiosis in September, which will feed directly into my fall tour. The Places are totally tied down yet, but my new manager and booking agent are doing that whole ting right now, things are looking solid and I have a lot of new music, remixes, and originals that are gonna be coming your way. I try to release stuff in a timely fashion because my sound is always developing, and sometimes ill have a track that’s only a few months old and ill think it sounds like “old party wave”. But this new EP is probably the most different and heaviest thing I’ve ever done, so you guys are gonna like it.