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

Beyond Wonderland Releases Stage Lineups For 2017 Festival

Beyond Wonderland is coming up in just over a month here in sunny Southern California. To be precise, Beyond Wonderland will return to the NOS Events Center on March 24 & 25 with a heavy dose of all of dance music’s finest. Today, Insomniac and Beyond revealed the day-by-day lineups for each stage (no set times yet), including the mainstage, Queen’s Domain.

Featuring names like Hardwell, Diplo, NGHTMRE, Sander van Doorn and more, this is where you’ll want to be for the biggest lights and sounds.

Other stages include The Outer Realm, which will be home to Bassrush on Friday, Cheshire’s Cove and more. Check out the lineups for each of those stages below.

Tickets are still available! Don’t let this ship sail… Lock down your Beyond Wonderland 2017 tickets before they’re gone! ➙ insom.co/Beyond2017

 

Photo via Jake West for Insomniac Events

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Beyond Wonderland Releases Stage Lineups For 2017 Festival

BOOMRAT x YOUR EDM Present ZEDS DEAD HARD Day of the Dead 2014 Playlist

boomrat-youredm-zeds-hard

With Halloween coming up quickly, California is never one to disappoint with nights of mischief, mayhem, and good music. HARD’s Day of the Dead festival in Southern California this year being no exception. With a massive two day lineup, this is not something to miss out on! But hey, sometimes my word may not be good enough for you so I’ll give you a taste of some of the acts you’d get to enjoy over the two day’s of shenaniganery. Night one is giving you a heavy dose of bass with the likes of Knife Party, Diplo, Gesaffelstien, Odesza, Pretty Lights, and if that doesn’t sweeten the deal, there will be a special back-to-back set with Eric Prydz vs. Deadmau5. Remember, that’s only night one! Night two will certainly bring you to your knees with joy from sets by Bassnectar, Tchami, Borgore, Calvin Harris, Zedd, and the list goes on. You get it. It’s “stacked!”

But today’s special treat comes to you in the tune of a specially curated playlist by Zeds Dead themselves for this year’s HARD Day of the Dead festival by our good friends at BOOMRATZeds Dead, if you haven’t heard, is a Canadian DJ duo from Toronto, Ontario, comprised of Dylan Mamid (DC) and Zach Rapp-Rovan aka “Hooks”. DC and Hooks have been producing music together since 2004 and have had such hits as “Rumble in the Jungle” (Mad Decent) & “Ruckus the Jam” (DIM MAK).

This exclusive playlist gives us a rare inside look into the duos favorites, both on and off the decks. Take a scroll through the list below and you’re bound to find some new tunes to add to your ever-growing iTunes collection today. You won’t be disappointed.

The festival is likely to be one of the best in the Fall season and for good reasons. Tickets can be found HERE and highly I recommend snagging them quickly, because this one will sell out. Check out the hilarious trailer HARD produced for this year below.

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: BOOMRAT x YOUR EDM Present ZEDS DEAD HARD Day of the Dead 2014 Playlist

The Human Touch with Live Electronic Music Artists: Minilogue

Listen here: The Human Touch with Live Electronic Music Artists: Minilogue

Minilogue, “an animalistic music concept without the boundaries of genre” is one way of defining or labeling the electronic music duo. On a more technical standpoint. Minilogue is the portmanteau of minimal and dialogue, emphasizing that music is a way of communication for all listening. This sounds just like Minilogue with their music of electronic sounds but with a human feel. While out on some of the Southern California hiking and biking trails I enjoyed the surroundings of nature listening to my music of choice including a few Minilogue songs. The performing duo have brought a refreshing presentation of how they setup, create, and fall into their music in this 15 minute video.

Such a delight to know that the music I enjoyed listening to in nature was also inspired by the two being connected to the Universe more than I would have imagined.

minilogue ahap edmsauce 600x332 The Human Touch with Live Electronic Music Artists: Minilogue

The foundation of a proper studio is always different depending on the artist and the music. Minilogue is surrounded by 360 degrees of Swedish Countryside. Trees swaying and birds chirping with the two electronic music producers to create new music. From the foundation the two setup their equipment, start jamming together and let the music organically come to be. After a jam session, a hike into nature or yoga and meditation is their break to free the mind from distractions. Clearing thoughts and separating feeling and thought is crucial.

This is one of my favorite Minilogue songs remixed by Roel H. This was played a lot while I began running again after a major neck Surgery. One of the classics that I will always enjoy to listen to and play in my DJ sets.

Expression is the next stage which is trusting your intuition and gut feeling. Hoping the flow of the music comes together is the goal. Minilogue makes it look so simple and beautiful while watching and listening to their live performance.

minilogue setup edm sauce 600x332 The Human Touch with Live Electronic Music Artists: Minilogue

Just as a DJ reading the crowd, Minilogue feels the energy of a crowd and add or remove instruments accordingly. Throughout the years the two have been collecting sound samples from all over. They are all about analog and feel with the music. They feel that visual adds distraction and makes you think more which sometimes takes away from creativity and the “feel” of creating music. As for what gear to use to have a “human feel” they recommend a controller with a computer is a good start to emulate human feel with electronic music. With all the varieties of hardware and software, sticking to one instrument and getting to know it and feel it creates a human touch.

“I very rarely feel freedom when I try to get endless opportuniites. but when I limit the opportunities and I accept that, I can get free with kind of, not caring. Freedom is not to do whatever you want, but to be free doing what you do.” -Minilogue

Watch The Coachella ‘Go Far’ Teaser Clip

Listen here: Watch The Coachella ‘Go Far’ Teaser Clip

As Southern California gears up for Coachella’s 3 day, 2 weekend event, Coachella has released their short teaser clip called ‘Go Far.’ One theme you’ll notice from this teaser clip is the Coachella Snail that glides through the fields and stages during last year’s event as Lusine’s “Gravity” plays in the background.