The weekends almost here, plans? What did you do last weekend… the movies, a club, shuffle board? This past weekend was anything but generic as the University of Southern California’s Kappa Sigma Fraternity hosted one of the most talked about progressive house duos in the game right now, Project 46.
…Since the cops did shut it down, it must have been a pretty good party!
As I walked through the doors at the Kappa Sigma house I was greeted with a barrage of strobes, confetti blasters, lasers and two men from Canada dropping a dirty set behind the decks. As I stood there trying to take it all in, I couldn’t get past the sheer number of students in front of me. People everywhere. Raving. Screaming. It was all around crazy fun. Maybe even a few swinging from the roof, I dunno. I do know that EDM used to be something that only catered to a select group of people here in the states. Not so much the case now… if it hasn’t reached every single soul in the country, we’re just about there. EDM culture is everywhere—looking for it is no longer required. So here I am in the thick of it all and despite the sights and sounds in front of me, what truly surprised me was the reaction Project 46 received when they dropped “You & I,” their new single with DubVision. As soon as the vocal kicked in, for a brief second it was like time stopped. No strobes flashing, no lasers bouncing off the wall, no confetti floating down from the sky, everyone began singing along in unison. I watched couples turn to each other while others started waving their hands in the air, the campus rave turned into a pot of emotions. The dramatic pause in action was short lived, though, as the track climbing the anticipation for the drop was thick. The strobes start to flash faster and faster, the lasers shot farther and wider and the confetti machines were cocked back and pointed in the sky. Then all of sudden Project 46 threw their hands in the air in that moment of silence before the drop. Everyone in the room followed suit, and then lost it once the track hit. People screaming, smiles carved into their faces, it was truly a sight to behold.
Few acts are able to communicate emotion and energy through music like Project 46 and simply put this is why they are such a success.
I was able to grab a few quick words with Thomas Shaw and Ryan Henderson (that's Project 46) after their gig. Enjoy…
We got turned down so many times by the biggest people in the world. It just takes that one time where it clicks and things come together.
How was your experience tonight here at the University of Southern California?
Thomas: It was pretty cool. When we showed up, there were so many parties going on and we were like “Which party are we supposed to go to?” When we finally made it to the right house, it was a huge rave and that was pretty sweet. The production the house did was awesome and everyone was raging so hard. It was a really fun party to play. Since the cops did shut it down, it must have been a pretty good party!
How’d Project 46 get started, any interesting antidotes here?
Thomas: We got started by simply doing our own thing. We basically found each other on Soundcloud and Ryan messaged me asking if I ever thought about doing collaborations.
Ryan: We began talking on Skype shortly after and that’s how the ball got rolling.
Why progressive house?
Thomas: Personally, progressive house is my favorite. I used to like trance and deep house. I still do, but progressive is the genre that I felt that I could really express myself in.
Ryan: I have always loved progressive house. I kind of grew up with commercial music and making the crossover was really easy.
What does Project 46 have in store for the future in regards to tours?
Thomas & Ryan: We both just want to play shows! We just love being able to play in new markets and meeting new people. It’s fun going into a new place and have people say that your show is awesome and who are you? That kind of stuff is cool. Unfortunately we don’t take care of our bookings, we wish we could play everyday.
We sent our stuff to so many people when we were starting out…Just send us a message and we will listen. If we like it, we will let you know!
What’s your advice for upcoming artists who think they have something to contribute to the EDM scene?
Ryan: Work hard!
Thomas: Put in your hours; it’s a combination of talent, luck, smarts and being in the right place at the right time with the right skills.
Ryan: Don’t give up!
Thomas: Everyday you get turned down tens and tens of times.
Ryan: We got turned down so many times by the biggest people in the world. It just takes that one time where it clicks and things come together. You got to work hard and don’t get discouraged!
Can we have any insights on your future projects with certain artists?
Thomas & Ryan: We have a lot of big collaborations, and big stuff in the works. But, we can’t talk about it. It will probably all be out by WMC next year.
I don’t know if you noticed the room tonight when you played your new track, “You & I” with DubVision, but it was a sight. What’s the reaction been like overall?
Thomas: The reception was awesome! Every time we play it, it goes off! We played a bunch of unreleased tracks today. I feel like it’s really good to play your songs live and feel the vibe from the people. We find that our music generally plays really well.
Ryan: It was our first time working with DubVision. We want to work with them again. They are really talented guys! They have an amazing release coming out on Axtone Records, a remix. “You & I” is the first song that all the big artists are playing. Sander van Doorn’s playing it. I just saw Tiesto playing it. Kaskade is playing it and so is Thomas Gold. All the big artists are playing it. This is the first time we are having a song that’s getting some big time artist support. This has definitely been a turning point for us.
For artists that wish to collaborate with you, whether they are known or unknown, what is your advice to them?
Thomas: We read everything we get!
Ryan: Everything that is sent to us in a simple format like Soundcloud, we will listen to it. We can’t respond to everything since we get such a high volume of tracks, but we listen to everything. If it’s something we really dig, we will respond to you and say ”Hey, Good Job!” But if it’s something crazy and we see something in there, then we will get back to them for collaboration. We are not against it since we started out the same way.
Thomas: I almost encourage it! We sent our stuff to so many people when we were starting out. It’s just about getting those listens and putting yourself in the position where somebody is going to listen to your music. At that point, your music has got to be good enough so they can be like “Hey, this is something I can work with.” Just send us a message and we will listen. If we like it, we will let you know!
Thanks for your time guys.