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Producer Seven Lions has never had a problem breaking rules and transcending musical boundaries to satisfy his creative vision. Catching his break after winning a Beatport remix contest in 2012 with his dubstep-focused version of Above & Beyond’s “You Got to Go”, Seven Lions, born Jeff Montalvo, garnered early support from the likes of Skrillex and his OWSLA label. 2013 tour dates with Porter Robinson and Krewella pushed Montalvo and his genre-bending production style to the forefront of the modern electronic music scene.
Putting sheer technical production prowess to work in soulful, deep, hybridized creations all distinctly his own, the multi-talented musician is single-handedly changing the sonic landscape for future generations to come by bridging the gap between the soaring, ethereal vibe of trance and intensely adrenalizing bass music. His productions have seen stages at world-renowned festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival (New York and Las Vegas), Electric Forrest, Electric Zoo, South by Southwest, and HARD.
After several successful releases under the OWSLA label (his debut EP, Days to Come, reached #2 on the iTunes Dance charts), Montalvo released his highly anticipated 2014 follow-up EP, Worlds Apart, on Republic Records’ dance imprint Casablanca. Containing several notable features which include Ellie Goulding and Tove Lo, Worlds Apart debuted at #1 on the iTunes Dance charts, and the title track was also featured in Billboard’s “Top 10 Electronic/Dance Songs of 2014” list. Even with the release of his fan-controversial single, “Lucy”, Seven Lions continues to receive high praise from notable EDM publications glorifying his itch to avoid creative stagnation. According to Billboard, Montalvo “continues to champion [dubstep’s] melodic potential” and Dancing Astronaut, while acknowledging that “Lucy” was a significant departure from his previous sound, praised the track as “a potent crossover track that is destined to go over well in trance and big room sets alike”.
Seemingly not content to simply alter the soundscapes that people will associate with EDM, Seven Lions has also begun to rearrange the way tracks are released and grouped, forgoing the typical “track by track” scheme for a more thematic EP format. 2015’s “The Throes of Winter” hints at a larger seasonal theme, to be continued through to his future releases. When asked about the spark for this vision, he explains, "Since artists aren't releasing proper albums anymore, it makes sense to create something that's digitally artistic with real cohesion as opposed to tossing out singles and just haphazardly seeing what sticks… I wanted to start making the music more thematic, interesting, and part of something larger.”
Bucking more trends and breaking from convention, his 2016 Creation EP [Casablanca Records] represents the next chapter. Instead of relying on the standard digital approach, the artist and producer (a.k.a. Jeff Montalvo) followed a different path for his latest body of work. “This time, songwriting really took place on guitar,” he explains. “There are more acoustic elements in the songs, and that ties it together. I wanted to get a little more experimental. I didn’t worry if something was going to be a big banger on the dancefloor or not. I just made what felt right at the time.” Ultimately, Seven Lions continues challenging himself and musical genres. “I want to do something different,” he concludes. “Everything doesn’t have to fit into just one genre. I want people to walk away loving different kinds of music and sounds.”
At the top of 2016, Tritonal’s Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed release a long-coveted but previously unavailable single, “Blackout”. Featuring Steph Jones’ delicate vocals and a pop twist on the duo’s melodic sound, “Blackout” quickly becomes Tritonal’s fastest-selling and -streaming single to date. Its impressive success is the latest in a series of milestones for the Austin, Texas songwriters and producers.
Over the previous year alone, Tritonal surpassed 53 million streams in aggregate on Spotify, over 10 million of that coming from their Chainsmokers collaboration, "Until You Were Gone". Tritonal also remixed Adam Lambert’s hit “Ghost Town”; reached millions of listeners on iTunes, Soundcloud and Sirius via their podcast, Tritonia; and sold out the majority of their The Untouchable tour with Cash Cash, including iconic venues like New York’s Terminal 5, San Francisco’s Warfield, and L.A.’s Club Nokia. As of early 2016, the tour’s title song, “Untouchable”, had been streamed over 19 million times.
The duo has been building up to this winning streak since they first formed in 2008 and broke through with a head-turning succession of progressive singles on premium imprints like Anjunabeats. Moving to Will Holland’s Enhanced Music, which they came to co-own, Tritonal raised their profile with a series of celebrated releases, including dozens of remixes, most notably a pivotal 2009 Ferry Corsten rework; their hit-laden 2011 debut album, Piercing the Quiet; and their acclaimed 2013-2014 Metamorphic EP trilogy featuring the euphoric favorites “Follow Me Home” and “Now or Never”, which broke into the Top Five on Billboard’s Airplay Dance chart, a placement recaptured by their follow-ups, “Anchor”,“Colors”, “Untouchable”. In a first for the duo, “Now Or Never” also became a sports anthem when the song was licensed to the NFL for CBS’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts in 2015, introducing the duo to millions of new fans weekly.
Tritonal’s evolution and success prove that compelling songwriting, innovative production, and exuberant performances will always resonate with music lovers of all kinds, from underground purists to stadium crowds. As the lead character in the “Blackout” video narrates before connecting with her kindred spirit, “I’ve always been on the inside looking out, never belonging, never fitting in. I was told that I was too different to be loved, too different to be understood. But I know, somewhere in the darkness, there is a light.” It’s a universal longing that Tritional has mastered transcending with every release.
& Kill The Noise
The music of Jake Stanczak, better known as American producer and DJ, Kill the Noise, was born out of an era where Ridley Scott imagined utopian futures on the silver screen, and artists like NIN and Aphex Twin rocked MTV.
After channeling the influences of his youth through over a decades’ worth of forwarddriven electronic releases (Roots, Kill Kill Kill, Black Magic, Occult Classic), and charismatic live shows (Coachella, EDC Lollapalooza, Hardfest), the name “Kill the Noise” has become synonymous with some of the leading acts in dance music — getting creative in the studio with the likes of Dillon Francis, Deadmau5, AWOLNATION and Skrillex — and as 2017 unfolds, he’ll be unveiling even more material.