Emerge, a California-based DJ and producer has been making waves in the dance music scene since 2009. With a specialized combination of progressive and trance, John Espinoza has carefully created and mastered, his stage name, Emerge. With a huge release in 2010, and only growing since, Emerge has proven time and time again a force to be reckon with.
Using top production, mixed with passion and creativity, Emerge has gained a mass following of fans all over the world. With support from Dash Berlin, W&W, Estiva, and many more, as well as reaching the Beatport Trance Top 100 multiple times, we know that Emerge has what it takes to succeed in such a tenacious industry. The DJ has also landed residencies, and lineup spots including EDC, Beyond Wonderland, and many more.
Knowing the industry like the back of his hand Emerge takes his mixing to a new level, with Emerge Life Radio, which listeners can hear every fourth Saturday on afterhours.fm. In addition, he is the A&R manager of the forward-thinking SF based, Adrenalin Room. EPIC had the opportunity to discuss the history of Emerge, and future plans, including tracks to be released on Future Sounds of Egypt, take a read below!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Can you describe your Emerge sound in your own words?
Emerge: My goal when I started producing as Emerge was to create a welcoming sound. Melodic but with a edge to it. The kind of music that will get any music enthusiast dancing. It falls in the realm of progressive trance for sure. It has the ability to shake the walls and go as hard as any other genre, yet balances itself out with beautiful lush textures.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What is one song you would recommend to someone who has never heard of you before?
Emerge: I would have to say my release on Armin van Buurens “A State Of Trance” label. The track is called “Surreal”. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments as an artist.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: When was the first time you really fell in love with electronic dance music and the music scene?
Emerge: I was six years old when I listened to Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd. I knew then that music was my life. When I was in school for music production around 2006 I was introduced to dance music. I instantly fell in love with the vibes. Before that I was into electronic stuff like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What is your experience in the music industry, and what led you to where you are today?
Emerge: I started out really young in music. I was in a lot of punk and metal bands growing up. The attitude was very DIY and that kind of set me up for how I would approach music going forward. The attitude was very much “just make things happen, don’t wait for big labels”. As technology has advanced that very mindset has worked perfectly with what I do now.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Who are some of your biggest inspirations both in and out of the music industry?
Emerge: A lot of my inspiration actually comes from books. I love to read. It ranges from ancient stoic philosophers like Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, to more modern authors like Ryan Holiday, and Robert Greene. Musically I adore Radiohead. In terms of dance music I am an enormous fan of everything that Above & Beyond / Anjunabeats does.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You have played a ton of shows both big and large scale events, do you have any pre-show rituals?
Emerge: I never drink before a set. Right before I got on, I do some breathing exercises to get myself locked into the moment.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What made you think of the name Emerge?
Emerge: I was reading a lot of books on Eastern Philosophy. I came across something in a book that said “we have the ability to emerge from our suffering”. It resonated with me so I decided to call myself Emerge. It’s sort of a personal mantra i guess
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Like I mentioned earlier, you are no stranger to the stage, what has been your favorite show or festival you have ever played at?
Emerge: I would have to say Life In Color. That was unreal energy. The room was really vibing to the music. Connecting to a crowd that size is truly a cathartic experience.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Now from the other side of the stage, what has been your favorite show or festival you have ever attended?
Emerge: Hands down EDC 2008 at the LA Coliseum. Ask anyone who went!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You definitely have a lot of shows and festivals under your belt, but if you could play anywhere in the world where would it be?
Emerge: I’ve heard nothing but great things about Australia. Also Ibiza would be pretty cool lol.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Can you tell readers about your Emerge radio show?
Emerge: I’ve been doing Emerge Life Radio for well over 5 years. I would mainly release it on soundcloud. However, the show was just picked up by Afterhours.fm and will air every 4th Saturday of each month. This station is home to legends like Markus Schulz, Super8 & Tab, and so many more. The show is going to be a monthly showcase of my favorite trance and progressive music. Sometimes including my own original work.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: If you could collaborate with any artists who would it be and why?
Emerge: Andrew Bayer. That dude is a genius. Hands down the best in my book.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What is up next for yourself, new music, shows, collaborations?
Emerge: Up next for me I have 3 releases coming out on FSOE Excelsior, and some remixes coming out on Infrasonic Recordings, and Emergent Shores. The radio show kicks off on Afterhours in September. As for live gigs I am getting things lined up!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Favorite Food?
Emerge: I love Indian and Thai food!
Follow us + Emerge on social media as his three releases will be out soon, and be sure to check back here for all the information on his new tracks. Let us know where you'd like to see Emerge play next in the comments!