Aspire to Inspire 178: Andrew Wilson

Life sometimes has a funny way of getting in the way of our expectations. As they say, “life happens.” Outside factors whether they be family oriented or not, can easily steer us off the path we had originally set out on, leaving us with an unclear grasp of what lies ahead.

For Andrew Wilson, moving around a lot had a significant effect on him and the manner in which he interacted with others. He was born in Southern California, but also lived in Texas and Arizona for a time as well. His father is a pilot for Southwest Airlines so moving from place to place wasn’t out of the ordinary. For a lot of kids that relocate frequently, it can be tough to open up and form deep connections with others when the possibility of leaving again could be just around the corner. This led to Andrew developing a rather shy personality.

That shyness seemed to dissipate, however, when music came into question.

“My first love was alternative music – bands like Paramore and Panic! At the Disco was really my scene back then. I would go to the meet and greets, be against the bar the whole time, and I was young. I was in junior high at that point. That was what started my love for music. I’ve fallen out of love with these genres a bit now unfortunately, but that was what I really enjoyed to do back in my earlier life. I was moving around a lot, which really made me shy so being able to go to these concerts made me feel happy and accepted. I was really having fun and could actually be myself even at a young age.”

Andrew’s interests soon shifted to the electronic music scene as he got a bit older and started to follow the footsteps of his older family members. When his older brother and cousins planned to attend EDC 2008 at the LA Coliseum, he jumped at the opportunity to experience something new.

“We naturally look up to the people that are older than us and I just looked up to them and wanted to do what they did. I was very intrigued. I’m not sure exactly how it came about, but the summer after my freshman year of high school they were planning to go to EDC at the Coliseum and I got a ticket to go with them. That was my first ever EDM show or rave. I felt the love and thought ‘Oh my gosh, what is this?’ That was the major transition for me. I had finally found a place where I felt so happy and so accepted. It just instantly changed my life.”

From that moment on, music became a constant in Andrew’s life. Unfortunately, he had not realized how much of a role it was playing until after he had fallen on hard times.

Change can be a lot for a young kid, especially when there is a lot of it at once. Andrew’s parents had divorced, leaving him feeling torn between them. He had moved again, which felt like he was starting all over from the beginning, and soon had to deal with the illness and eventual loss of his mother. All of this happening within a year’s time made Andrew feel as though his life had been turned upside down.

As he searched for something in the world to make him feel centered, or at the very least, a sense of normalcy, it led to legal trouble as he started to look in more dangerous places.

“All of it happened so fast and then led to legal trouble because I was searching for something bigger than myself and trying to feel accepted and noticed. I unfortunately did not find acceptance as I got into more and more trouble. I was abusing drugs and alcohol. It was probably one of the darkest chapters of my life where I was just using everybody, stealing, and just not the person that I want to be ever again. I went to shows under the influence and did a lot of things that were dangerous. I put my friends and me into situations that were unsafe as well. There were times that something really bad could have happened. That was my way of doing what I needed to do and it was just a really dark time. I am very grateful that all of this is behind me. My hope is that I can show somebody that no matter what they’re going through, as long as they keep working hard and make positive life changes, it is all going to be worth it. It will be hard, but it will be worth it in the long run.”

At the young age of 20, Andrew made the tough decision to get sober and turn his life around. It wasn’t until then that he truly realized how important music was in his life and how it provided an unrivaled amount of support and therapy for him. He tells us, laughing, that even now his friends give him a bit of a hard time at shows and events because he usually ends up shedding a few tears.

But that is what music does. It heals, but isn’t afraid to bring out our deepest emotions in the process. Artists like Above & Beyond and Kaskade have lent a hand in that process for Andrew.

“I actually have two Above & Beyond-inspired tattoos. I just feel like their music has always promoted a lot of positivity in a world that is so filled with hate. It’s easy to get sidetracked by all of that and this gave me the ability to love myself and others. I had the honor of meeting Kaskade as well last year and he is one of my idols. I know that he’s sober for I think religious reasons, but it was really cool for me to meet him and say ‘hey the first rave I ever went to when I was six months sober was one of yours on my 21st birthday.’ I was blown away and it was the best time I’ve ever had. Those are definitely people that I look up to.”

There are a lot of Andrews out there in the rave and dance music community. There are stories upon stories that involve dark times and loss, but what most of them have in common is healing. It is tough to support the case of the rave scene’s unfortunate stereotype when there are so many individuals with stories of inspiration and bravery.

By sharing his story, Andrew hopes that some of the stigma will fade and people will understand that there is so much more to it than partying. Beyond that, he wishes that his story helps others find a way out of their own dark times.

Here we leave you with Andrew’s final thoughts on the power of music.

“Music has always been something that has allowed me to connect with people that are not here anymore. That includes my mom and unfortunately, one of best friends Evan who passed away from drug addiction. Music has allowed me to connect and feel them with me on a deep level. I did want to share one of my favorite song lyrics from Above & Beyond’s song “Peace of Mind”…

“It will be only a matter of time, before your life comes through for you.”

Life happens but as long as you hold on and push forward you can overcome anything. Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. Music has connected me to complete strangers, even for a moment, and allows us to forget about the problems of the world and live in peace.”

~~~

If you or anyone you know is suffering from any form of substance abuse or addiction, do not hesitate to act. Taking a screening can help determine if additional help is required. Visit www.mhascreening.org to take a free, confidential, and anonymous alcohol or substance use screen. Visit Mental Health America to learn more about recognizing addiction symptoms and offering support before and throughout recovery. Several global online and regional recovery support communities can be found at the links below:

Mental Health America
To Write Love On Her Arms

Visit JED’s Mental Health Resource Center for information, resources, and tips for how to help yourself or a loved one.

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Aspire to Inspire 178: Andrew Wilson

Your EDM Interview with Atmozfears

Basscon night descended upon Los Angeles this past weekend and hardstyle fans were treated to a spectacular night at the Bleasco Theater. Your EDM got the chance to sit down and chat with hardstyle luminary Atmozfears. The Dutch producer/DJ is wrapping up a highly successful North American tour including a prestigious closing spot at EDC Mexico’s Wasteland stage as well as an appearance with Hardwell. We talked with Tim van de Stadt about the state of hardstyle, new projects, and gaming.

After making your North American debut at Nocturnal, you’ve embarked on a more proper tour. How has the experience been? How is a US tour different than a European tour?

“It’s been really different from the tours in Europe. The people here are more curious and they actually come out to see you. Like in Holland, mostly, they’re really spoiled, so it’s been a treat. So far I’ve been to Houston, Dallas and Seattle. Houston and Dallas were really, really packed. Seattle was on a Wednesday so it was a little bit less, but it was also really good. The people there were raving from the beginning to the end and they were really enjoying it and came out to hear the music, so it was really good. Tonight, I hope, is going to be a highlight of the tour.”

Hardstyle has always been around, but it’s really starting to expand more into the mainstream lately. How does this make you feel as one of the premiere hardstyle artists? Does it provide new challenges or do you feel a need to keep the style true to its roots?

“That’s funny you ask, because I’m currently really looking for a new sound, and a lot of my colleagues feel the same way. I’m really happy that it’s getting a bit more appreciated, not as much like ‘oh, it’s noise,’ and people actually start to enjoy it, so that’s one good thing. But, actually leading the thing is really hard. When I first started out I had to idols to look up to, but now it’s kind of difficult to come up with something new that will expand the scene and get more people toward the hardstyle scene. That’s been a really big challenge.”

Speaking of mainstream, you recently debuted a collab with Hardwell at his final I Am Hardwell show in Germany. What was it like working with someone who is not known for hardstyle tracks, however, is very well known as one of the top artists in the EDM scene?

“It was a really good experience. It started out as kind of a bit of a joke, like let’s do something together. Suddenly he just popped up at my home and we met the first day and immediately started working on something, so there was some magic. But, it was really a good experience for me, and also him taking me on stage, taking me on tours, and saying stuff on stage, it was really a big thing for me.”

What other new projects do you have planned for the rest of 2017? Any more touring after the North America GATE tour?

“I’m doing something different in a while, there’s a party called Capital in Holland. It’s a bit more extreme than what I’m mostly known for, it’s a little bit harder. It’s also fun for me to do something else sometimes, so that’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to. Also re-discovering my sound, I’m really looking for something new to do and exciting myself again to come up with something I’m really happy with.”

Tell us something about Tim the person, what do you like to do when you’re not producing or touring? Also, tell us an artist your fans would be really surprised to hear you listen to?

“At home I listen to a lot of Noisia and Kill the Noise. And what I like to do when I’m not making music is gaming. Like, right now, I’m really addicted to a game called “Overwatch.” It’s been a fun distraction. Thing is, lately I’ve been doing more games than music, I might need to tone it down a notch.”

Do you ever do any online gaming?

“Yeah, yeah, there’s some colleagues I play the game with and it’s six-on-six. With six colleagues we stay up entire nights to do competitive gaming, it’s crazy.”

Any words for the Atmozfears and hardstyle fans out there and what do they have to look forward too?

“I can really appreciate the people giving so much love back. I make music for me and that’s the way I’ve always done, and it’s really good to get so much positive feedback and that’s what I would like to thank the fans for. It’s what keeps me going.”

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Your EDM Interview with Atmozfears

Aspire to Inspire 176: Kaitlin Gigliotti

(Original Photo By: Q Brickell)

Music has the amazing power to bring people together. Electronic music, more than any other genre, is about that community and sense of inclusion. Deserved or not, EDM also has a reputation of being associated with drug abuse. For those who are fans of the music and don’t use, they might feel like they’re alone. They are not, though. That’s the story of this month’s fan feature, Kaitlin Gigliotti. Kaitlin has been through quite a bit in her life, but through storytelling, her career, and serving her community, she’s making a difference.

“My drive and goals have always been geared towards helping people. My mother found me in my room at six years old drawing a diagram of the brain – labeling each lobe for different emotions and motor skills. I would often give my couple dollars allowance money to homeless people on the street. I became an emergency medical technician at 18 years old and worked on an ambulance for two years. I currently work as a detox technician in a drug and alcohol treatment facility. I get to share my personal stories and experiences to help others.

When I was 14, my best friend at the time introduced me to Showtek (in their prime hardstyle days). It was different, upbeat, and the bass in his truck rattled my bones & stimulated my soul. We would dance and laugh until the sun came up. That man passed away tragically a year later and I continued to listen to EDM over the years, thinking of him and carrying him in my heart.”

Kaitlin had it rough; she’s battled addiction and depression at a younger age than anyone should ever endure. However, she did have a moment of clarity, where she realized that she was meant for something better. She sought help, cleaned up, and turned her life around. Now not only is Kaitlin clean and sober, she’s just as involved in her EDM community as anybody doing volunteer work for Insomniac Consciousness Group, which provides a sober sanctuary for EDC headliners. Her sister was also a big factor in her changing her life around.

“I’m 22 years old and probably have more life experiences and trauma than the average elderly person. I started drinking and using drugs when I was 11. By the time I was 13, I had become completely dependent on using to get through my days. The events that happened over the following two years, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

I found myself waking up in my own vomit, with bruises I couldn’t explain, amongst very dangerous people. I was hiding in my closet smoking a meth pipe while my parents were asleep on the other side of the wall. I started stealing money, panhandling, and selling my body. At 15 years old, I became desperate and willing enough to change the way I was living and knew the key was to get clean. I started on my journey of recovery. A few days ago, I celebrated 7 years without a drink or drug! What a miracle.”

Despite the struggles and hardships she’s endured over her life, one of her passions is helping others through sharing her experiences. By sharing with others who might be going through something similar she has found a way to make a difference. It’s nice to have a safe space at a massive EDM festival, and for Kaitlin she takes pride in knowing she’s making a difference.

“While volunteering with Consciousness Group, I met a girl at the table who had her younger sister with her. She asked what we were and I gave her the spiel – ‘We are a group of clean and sober music fans that provide a safe place for anyone at the festival who isn’t drinking or using.’ Her face lit up and she had tears in her eyes. She mentioned being about a year in recovery and attending the same festival the year prior. Her story was…she got so drunk and high that she abandoned her sister and barely remembers what had happened.

This particularly touched my heart and brought me to tears because of the relationship I had and now have with my little sister. When I was drinking and using, I brought my sister with me to very dangerous and selfish places. I abandoned her a few times and I’ll never forget the look of fear and terror on her face when I returned. I’m not that person today. I get to be the “cool” sister and take her to concerts and festivals. I get to be responsible enough to drive her, make sure she’s safe, and enjoy the moment fully. I’m very grateful for that.”

You might wonder why someone would be this vulnerable in sharing so many of the terrible experiences they’ve had to endure. For Kaitlin, she enjoys being an example of someone in recovery who still has an incredible time dancing to her favorite artists. She still enjoys festivals and the music, especially hardstyle, and gets to help others. Having gone through many trials, she knows how important it can be to have a support network. Even better…at a music festival where we’re all looking for some way to belong. Thanks to people like Kaitlin, all that is possible.

“I enjoy being an example of enjoying the music without depending on any mind-altering substances. I devote a lot of my free time to helping young women get and stay clean and sober. I’m able to be a mentor for them and share my experiences – good and bad – to assist them in walking through life with grace and dignity. You are NOT alone. As cliché as that sounds, it’s very true. Reach out to people you love or find resources that can help. Whatever the struggle is, remember – this too shall pass.  One thing I’ve learned and am so very grateful for is that pain is temporary. Each struggle I’ve gone through has allowed me to share my experiences, strength, and hope with someone else, which hopefully inspires them to change their lives for the better as well.”
~~~

If you or anyone you know is suffering from any form of substance abuse or addiction, do not hesitate to act. Taking a screening can help determine if additional help is required. Visit www.mhascreening.org to take a free, confidential, and anonymous alcohol or substance use screen. Visit Mental Health America to learn more about recognizing addiction symptoms and offering support before and throughout recovery. Several global online and regional recovery support communities can be found at the links below:

Mental Health Americahttp://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/finding-help

To Write Love On Her Armshttps://twloha.com/find-help/help-by-topic/addiction

Visit JED’s Mental Health Resource Center for information, resources, and tips for how to help yourself or a loved one.

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Aspire to Inspire 176: Kaitlin Gigliotti

Julian Jordan Announces OMNIA Residency

One of the fastest rising names in dance music is Julian Jordan. The Dutch producer broke through in a big way in 2016 with performances at Ultra and EDC and his track “Pilot” was played all over the festival circuit. Julian started his own record label, GOLDKID, and was even nominated for an MTV EMA for best Dutch act. Now, Julian, has scored a prestigious residency at OMNIA Las Vegas. He’ll be be performing at OMNIA Tuesdays starting April 4. Here’s” what Julian had to say about the big announcement.

“I’m really excited to finally reveal my Vegas residency. It’s a huge honor for me to have my residency at OMNIA, next to big names like Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix and Afrojack. I can’t wait to play my upcoming shows there!”

2017 is sure to be a big year for Julian. His new single “Say Love” is due for release on February 24. It’s sure to please fans of his most recent track “Always” which sees Julian steering toward a more sultry, future house sound. Julian will be making some international appearances over the next month before heading to the U.S. in April. For more on what makes Julian Jordan tick, check out his AsQme interview he did a few weeks back.

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Julian Jordan Announces OMNIA Residency

Insomniac Unveils Brand New Dedicated Dreamstate Stage To Debut at EDC Las Vegas 2017

The Electric Daisy Carnival community was gifted a special surprise last week when Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac, leaked the news that a never before seen stage will debut at EDC Las Vegas 2017. Insomniac’s dedicated trance brand, Dreamstate, will present quantumVALLEY for three days of the best sounds across the genre. Legendary artists from around the globe will take over the massive structure for the largest stand-alone Dreamstate audience to-date, marking the brand’s fifth EDC hosted appearance and its first journey through all three nights of EDC Las Vegas.

Insomniac’s fastest growing brand, Dreamstate, was introduced in 2015 to thousands of fans at the inaugural SoCal event in San Bernardino, California. Since then, the brand has traveled to six cities in four countries including Australia, Mexico, and the UK, proving trance is anything but dead. Last year, Dreamstate brought a monumental crowd of trance lovers to the circuitGROUNDS stage in Las Vegas, showcasing performances from icons like Paul Oakenfold, Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk, Markus Schulz, and Aly & Fila. Previous Dreamstate stage designs, each uniquely different from the other, have raised the festival production bar with visually compelling lasers, futuristic costumed characters and immersive audio environments.

For more information and updates on EDC Las Vegas, follow EDC Las Vegas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Image: Nathan Doran Photography for Insomniac

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Insomniac Unveils Brand New Dedicated Dreamstate Stage To Debut at EDC Las Vegas 2017

Gareth Emery Takes Historic Beatport #1 with “Saving Light”

It’s official: Gareth EmeryStanderwickHALIENE‘s luminous single “Saving Light” is #1 on Beatport‘s overall singles chart.

As many know, Beatport’s chart has been historically dominated by tech house, with a few outliers here and there. For a trance track to enter even the top ten is monumental (the last time that happened was in 2015 with Gouryella‘s “Anahera” in 2015, which took the #10 spot), let alone achieve #1.

This historic moment was made possible thanks to Monstercat‘s “Make Trance #1 Again” initiative, which encouraged fans to buy “Saving Light” in support of the anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label, who will be receiving 100% of the profits from the track throughout the month of February.

Isn’t this what the dance music scene is all about? Coming together in harmony as a human race to ultimately help something bigger than ourselves? Not everyone seems to think so. Trance legend Christopher Lawrence took to Facebook to criticize Emery for “waving the EDM flag for years” while still trying to capitalize on trance fans. Seemingly oblivious to the charitable cause, Lawrence stated firmly “I don’t think trance needs saving.” And with a dedicated new stage at EDC this year, he isn’t necessarily wrong.

His post has since been deleted.

Controversy aside, you can still make a difference by purchasing “Saving Light” here or donating to Ditch the Label directly: https://www.ditchthelabel.org/donate/

 

Image via Rukes.com

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Gareth Emery Takes Historic Beatport #1 with “Saving Light”

Oliver Heldens and Armin van Buuren Take Over Latest Night Owl Radio Episode

Pasquale Rotella’s Night Owl Radio is a show that you can always count on for having some of the top guests in dance music, taking over the mixers for regularly scheduled guests mixes. Last Friday, the Insomniac founder featured two incredible dance music members from opposite sides of the spectrum: Oliver Heldens and Armin van Buuren. The two t0ok over the ‘Up All Night’ and guest mix halves of the show, respectively.

Both artists are scheduled to play major LA shows in February, so the timing makes perfect sense. Oliver Heldens will stop by the Hollywood Palladium on the 18th while Armin took over The Forum in LA on Saturday night. This feature could also be a hint at these two joining the EDC 2017 lineup.

First up, Oliver used his 10 minutes ‘Up All Night’ segment wisely, dropping KAYTRANADA, HI-LO, and one of his one mashups as his three tracks to represent his ‘dusk till dawn’ selection. Following that, Armin delivered 40 minutes of pure trance with plenty of his own tracks, collaborations, and remixes.

Stream it all below and check out the tracklist here.

 

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Oliver Heldens and Armin van Buuren Take Over Latest Night Owl Radio Episode

Insomniac Founder Pasquale Rotella Dishes On EDC Las Vegas’s New Stage, Kineticfield + More

Since its move to Las Vegas back in 2011, Electric Daisy Carnival has quickly risen to become one of the country’s, and the world’s, flagship EDM festivals. They’ve become so successful in fact that they’ve continued expanding globally with events across the globe including their recently launched EDC Japan.

Speaking to the Las Vegas Review-JournalInsomniac Events founder Pasquale Rotella looked back on how far the festival and EDC brand had come since moving their flagship event to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway while revealing some new details for the upcoming EDC 2017.

Right off the bat, it looks like the flagship main stage kineticFIELD will be completely reimagined for the upcoming event and modeled on the Greek goddess of the Earth, Gaia. Rotella also mentioned there would be a big new surprise for festival-goers but opted not to go into the details, merely adding that he wants “people to have that ‘wow’ moment when they walk in.”

Speaking of stages, he also revealed that there would be a new stage which would reflect a genre of music that had been rapidly growing in the United States over the last several years. Perhaps he could be referring to a brand new future bass stage? In case you’re wondering, Rotella won’t be raising the capacity to accommodate the brand new stage, and presumably new fans, so we’ll be curious to see how they manage to pull that off logistically.

Speaking on the artists, Rotella was also pleased to add that not only was the line “99 percent done,” but that they had added “artists we’ve never, never had before” which should surely be some exciting news for festival-goers.

Lastly, he also addressed the question of expanding to two weekends, which he’s previously considered. “I’ve considered lowering the capacity to do two weekends, to alleviate some of the traffic challenges. I’ve also considered keeping it on one weekend but changing the time of year so that we can do camping, kind of like they do at NASCAR, so that there’s not this influx each night. It’s been considered.”

Whether or not they decide to move towards two weekends or consider camping at all there’s definitely a lot of exciting news sure to be announced in the coming weeks so stay tuned for all that!

 

H/T: Las Vegas Review-Journal | Featured Image Source: Rukes

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Insomniac Founder Pasquale Rotella Dishes On EDC Las Vegas’s New Stage, Kineticfield + More

Swedish House Mafia’s Last Show Ever At Ultra 2013 [Video]

10649084_1010627968963305_3437918529641673585_oFor this week’s flashback Friday, we are taken back to the end of an era. It’s coming up on almost two years since the disbandment of Swedish House Mafia and most of us have yet to move on from the transition. Yes, Axwell / Ingrosso are great and Steve Angello is also doing well, but I can’t help but feel a void that their individual acts cannot fill.

The reality of the situation is that for those who entered the EDM scene circa 2009-2011, Swedish House Mafia most likely played a vital role in their introduction and immersion in the EDM culture. With their departure, we are older and wiser and our tastes have changed and evolved; yet, as we look back on what it was like just a few years ago, we can’t help but get a good kick in the nostalgia feels.

Relive the end of the Swedish House Mafia below:

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Swedish House Mafia’s Last Show Ever At Ultra 2013 [Video]

Borgeous, Whoo Kidd, Wiz Khalifa, & Waka Flacka “Toast” To The Weeknd [Free Download]

borgeous-wiz-khalifa-waka-flocka-flame-toast-youredm

Get ready for the trillest track yet. The infamous Borgeous teamed up with Whookid, along with two of rap’s biggest stars, Waka Flocka Flame and Wiz Khalifa, for an absolute monster of a song, “Toast“. Borgeous has a knack for creating the most electrifying hits that simply turn dance floors into pandemonium. This latest track is no exception as Waka and Wiz both provide an incredible presence to this banger, making you just want to grab a drink and turn up with the crew. I couldn’t think of a better song to kick this weekend off, be sure to listen below and grab the free download as well!

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Borgeous, Whoo Kidd, Wiz Khalifa, & Waka Flacka “Toast” To The Weeknd [Free Download]