Just in the past few years, DJ Panic City has given us some of the hottest remixes I have ever heard. The San Francisco native is certainly making a name for himself in the industry. From Diplo contacting him for Mad Decent and BBC1 Radio releases, to releases on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak records, I have no doubt that this artist will soon be a household name. He has played festivals alongside of EDM bigwigs and has produced official remixes for some of the most famous music artists in the world. After hearing his recently released remix “All My Love” from Major Lazer and Ariana Grande, I was hooked on his music. And when I say hooked, I mean that I have probably contributed to 1,000 of his 3 million plays on SoundCloud in the last few days. I had the opportunity to interview him this past week to delve a bit into his story and his hopes for 2015… and let me just say, he is one of the nicest people I have had the opportunity of interviewing. #TeamPanicCity all the way.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: 2014 was a huge year for you starting with Soundscape Music Festival NYE alongside Chuckie, Carnage, and Borgore, and ending it with Temple NYE opening for 3Lau. If these huge events are any indication how crazy of a year you’ve had, we are in for some big things from you in 2015. Any exciting new projects that you are working on next year that your fanbase can look forward to?
Most definitely!! I have a bunch of original music I've been bursting at the seams to put out, but we wanted to find the right home for them and I think we finally have. 2015 should be interesting.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Everyone says that the holiday season is the best time to look back on the past year and reflect (I dont know how true this holds if you had a really horrible year or if you were Amanda Bynes’ twitter account). There are so many options to choose from, but reflecting back on 2014, what was your biggest accomplishment?
I'd have to say putting out my first commercial release with Dim Mak. Thousands and thousands of producers out there want the same opportunity. I couldn't be more stoked be backed by a label as huge as Dim Mak.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: It must be such a surreal feeling having your tracks released on Diplo’s Mad Decent label and Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label, do you feel like you are on cloud 9 yet?
Ha! Totally. I felt like a yung Amanda Bynes once I got the news. But for real though, I couldn't believe it was happening, in 2013 I’m watching Aoki on stage at Ultra Miami, and in 2014 I’m inside the Dim Mak office playing my own music, bobbing my head up and down with the A&R’s. It’s been an unreal journey so far!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I think my initial reaction would be to cry (tears of joy, duh!) but tell us what was going through YOUR mind when Diplo supported you on his BBC1 radio show…
I definitely woke up, found out over twitter, then busted out some spontaneous dance moves. Although, I remember in the beginning of the year I lost my shit when I got an email from him asking for my Zedd remix. I literally woke up and got an email from Diplo himself. Very rare.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You seem like a pretty chill, down to earth, Surfer from LA (that is a redundant stereotypical statement but its true!), what keeps you grounded? Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the traveling , producing, and raging you do?
I literally laughed out loud, is it that easy to read me through social media? The people who were with me since day one keep me grounded. I talk to them everyday. As for the traveling, producing, and raging, yeah it can get very overwhelming. After a night of partying til 4am, you might have to catch a 5 hour flight at 7am, just to get to your next show on time. Your body’s clock gets jacked up because you’re traveling coast to coast. Then you have to do it again the next day, every single weekend... while trying to make quality music when you’re tired and recovering. Real life eat, sleep, rave, repeat.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Nightclubs, yachts, pool parties, and festivals, you’ve played at them all. Do you change your sets depending on what type of venue you are performing in? Which has been your favorite to perform at so far? (and don’t just say pool parties because of the EDM babes in bikinis- not an excuse, I see less clothing at festivals!)
Exactly! Honestly, I love it all but nothing compares to playing a festival. Nightclubs are way more intimate and sometimes you get requests from people wanting to hear stuff you’re not trying to play. Festivals on the other hand, got me feeling like a 2008 Barack Obama and thousands of people are hanging onto my every word with every song I drop. Everyone’s there knows it music, the energy is unmatched….It’s the best. Also, I definitely freestyle all my sets. When it comes to the subject of DJing i definitely think similar to guys like A-Trak and Laidback Luke.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You dropped your "All My Love" Remix with Major Lazer feat. Ariana Grande earlier in the month. What type of reaction are you hoping for?
I could have went so many obvious directions with it, but I wanted to do something from the heart and show my fans I’m going to be taking some risks in 2015. I decided this is the year I wear my heart on my sleeve and show people what I’m really about.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Your style is unique and I am always curious to see which artists inspire others. Who has been your biggest inspiration throughout your entire musical journey?
Calvin Harris, hands down. I’ve been the biggest fan since the beginning. I remember I was playing his tracks in the club in 2007 and critics were giving his first album bad reviews. Fast forward just a few years and he took that sound and not only became the highest paid DJ, he broke the record for most #1 singles on an album in the UK. His melodies are simple but the most infectious in the game and shows you don’t have to be a mad scientist in the studio. You hear him on the adult radio stations and the kids radio stations. Not many EDM producers can cross over like that, and he still makes all the music HIMSELF. I can keep going on and on. That's the kind of producer I want to be.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: If there is one fun fact about you that you want your fans to know that they might not already know, what would it be?
I’m obsessed with science, space, and UFO's. I’m a huge science nerd.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Alright, last question. If you could listen to only ONE song for the rest of your life, what would be on repeat all day errr day? Why?
I remember walking through the Las Vegas airport last year and “Help Me Lose My Mind” by Disclosure came on for the first time in my headphones. All of a sudden I had a bounce in my step and a big ass smile on my face. The vibes are the best and the tempo makes it a perfect walking around song. If everyone on earth played in on their iPod (including YOU Kim Jong Un!) the world would be a better place.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out his music already, you can follow him on Soundcloud. Check out his journey through photos and tweets on Instagram and Twitter @DJPanicCity. Thanks Nic- we will be rooting for you in the upcoming year. Can’t wait to hear what you are going to do next!
AUTHOR CREDIT: AINSLEY ASHTON