With his years of classic piano training and influences from a wide variety of musical genres, Kazlo creates versatile melodic music that resonates with his audience in a way that engenders strong emotions.
Sylvie Barnett had the chance to catch up with New York City based rising electronic music producer Kazlo. Now a senior at Cornell University, Kazlo spires to pursue a career as an electronic music producer. In this interview Kazlo shares everything from what inspires him creatively to the music that he’s listening to right now.
Where are you from originally? What is it like? What do you remember from growing up?
I was born in Torrance, California, but moved to Las Vegas at two and grew up there.
It’s funny because people always have these preconceptions of what it’s like to grow up in Vegas. I promise you I didn’t live in a hotel, and there are occupations outside of working on The Strip. There’s not much you can really do if you’re under 21…but I was always kind of an adrenaline junkie. I skateboarded as a kid and was involved in mixed martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling and Muay Thai. I also grew up playing the piano from a young age.
What sort of music did you listen to growing up? Do any specific tunes stick out?
I was exposed to a wide variety of music growing up. My dad plays both rock and classical guitar, so I was introduced to artists like Eddy Van Halen and Christopher Parkening. My mom listened to a lot of classical piano pieces when I was young since she has played the piano her whole life. She was also really into the Beatles, so I definitely listened to a lot of their music as well. I admired The Beatles’ ability to create music that was both simple and authentic, which resonated with millions of people.
What drew you towards electronic music in the first place? What sort of music did you start with?
When I was a freshman in high school, one of my close friends introduced me to Borgore and Skrillex’s music, which sounded really distinct at the time. I immediately became interested in researching and listening to various other electronic artists and eventually fell in love with primarily melodic electronic genres such as Melodic Dubstep, Chillstep, Trance and Progressive
House. However, the song that inspired me to produce electronic music was Zedd’s song, “Clarity” after it blew up on the radio. In college, I bought a MacBook and decided to learn how to produce music in Logic Pro X. I spent countless hours attempting to produce Progressive House music and eventually experimented with various other genres as I acquired new musical tastes.
What draws you to the styles of music that you find yourself making right now? What’s inspiring to you?
I really love raw, epic and emotional music that tells stories. Honestly, whenever I listen to my old songs I can completely visualize certain experiences or emotions that I felt at that period in my life, whether I was struggling or experiencing something amazing for the first time.
Seven Lions, Porter Robinson, Illenium, Dabin and Koan Sound are some examples of electronic artists I believe all encapsulate that type of emotion in their music. I’m also a huge fan of film scores, so that influences the kind of music I write as well.
How are you pushing yourself further as a musician?
I constantly seek to improve my music from both compositional and engineering standpoints by experimenting, receiving feedback and learning from my mistakes. Even 5 seconds of a song can take hours to finalize. I experiment with genres that are way out of my norm because stumbling through helped me progress my sound. Also, whenever I feel that certain elements in my music sound generic, I manipulate or replace those elements to achieve a sound that is more unique.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2018 and beyond?
It’s been awesome to see the music scene in Las Vegas shift to electronic music. I hope to play shows there within the next several years and eventually collaborate with some of my musical inspirations.
What are your top 5 favorite electronic tracks of all-time?
My top five favorite electronic tracks of all time are:
- Zedd – Clarity (feat. Foxes)
- Skrillex – With You, Friends
- Seven Lions – Strangers (feat. Tove Lo)
- Flight Facilities – Crave You (Adventure Club Remix)
- Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)
What are you listening to right now?
Filous – He’s an artist I listen to whenever I want to feel nostalgic about old experiences.
Jeremy Zucker – He is an upcoming pop/electronic artist who writes, produces and sings in all of his music, and I see a ton of potential in him in the coming years.
Charlie Puth – I’ve been listening to his music since he released covers on YouTube 5 or 6 years ago. It’s really cool to see how much exposure he’s gained in the industry during the past few years.
What are you obsessed with right now?
I am extremely obsessed with sushi and all Japanese food.
If you had to put a mission statement to your work as a producer, what would it be? Is there an end game or particular goal or dream for you that you hope to accomplish?
I’d like to create music that resonates with my audience in a way in which my songs become tied to their personal life experiences.
I believe that rather than having an end game, loving the process of creating music is invaluable. One huge dream of mine is to bring it all back to my hometown and play EDC Las Vegas one day.
Is there anything else that you’d like your fans to know?
I haven’t released music as often as I’d like, but I want my audience to know that I write and produce music every single day to continue to develop my sound, and I only want to showcase my favorite material. I’m working on a lot of music right now and I’m primarily focused on creating original content as opposed to remixes. I’m really confident in the music I’ve been writing, so I really, really can’t wait to showcase what I’ve been developing for years.
By: Sylvie Barnett