When it comes to mixing and mashing genres, few do it well. And even fewer do it with finesse.
DJ Phoenix is a prime example of someone who blends and fuses genres of music together to create his own unique sound. A self-proclaimed metalhead, DJ Phoenix admits he “was first inspired to try [his] hand at making music when I first started listening to nu-metal in my teens. Bands like Korn, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson all made me want to try my hand at singing. When it was obvious that I couldn’t sing with a damn, I looked for other inspiration with the talent I do have and ended up looking to Daft Punk, Deadmau5, and the Crystal Method for inspiration and that’s what ultimately led me down the path to making electronic music.”
He further explains “Korn and Limp Bizkit were my first main two influences back in the day that really made me want to get into music. Slipknot came about later along with Adema, Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Orgy, Powerman 5000, and Marilyn Manson.” He also offers that “Mechanical Animals” was a masterpiece.
This inspiration forced DJ Phoenix to really take a look at the EDM (Electronic Dance Music) genre. “I’ve been a fan of metal since my teens and when I got into EDM I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of genre bridging going on. All EDM sounded the same, used the same formula and it was almost taboo in the EDM community to create music that incorporated different genre elements. For example when Avicii bridged EDM and country people said his career was over, and he took a lot of shit for it – but over time it became one of his most popular tracks. When Korn and Skrillex collaborated everyone hated on Korn for changing their style and incorporating dubstep.I’m the type of artist that tries to learn from others mistakes, and improve upon the concept. Ultimately I’d like to try and bring nu-metal back to the spotlight in a certain regard and merge some metal elements with the current form of EDM music that hasn’t been done before. ” This idea of genre bending is very refreshing. As DJ Phoenix points out, a lot of musicians are criticized harshly at first. But eventually, when people finally listen, they see that the blending of genres is actually quite pleasurable. Though his albums sounds vary from release to release, DJ Phoenix states that he believes his song “Dark Matter” embodies his sound.
When he first began working with EDM, he believes his “music was very simple and not too complex. It had more of an old school techno/rave feel.” But as he delved deeper into the genre, he noticed that “[o]ver time it’s become more complex, diverse, and incorporated way more instruments and genre styles. I bounce around genres a lot now, from progressive house, electro, dubstep, trap and even heavy metal. So I’d like to think that over time I’ve managed to expand my skill sets and polish my music a bit more than I did originally. “
Even with 13 releases under his belt, he still gets excited to see his music in stores and hear in on the radio. “[I feel a] sense of accomplishment and pride for sure. Music runs in my family and no one since my grandpa really has pursued music besides me, so it feels as if I’m carrying on a legacy to some degree.”
Carrying on this legacy is, perhaps, part of where his stage name comes from. “The name came about when I was first starting to think about getting into making music. I was going through a dark and difficult time in my life and one of my friends told me not to worry because I’ll rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. The name stuck ever since.” (And here I thought it was because his music was lit.)
Whatever the case may be, DJ Phoenix is definitely a force to be reckoned with. He leaves with these parting words to his fans “I probably don’t tell my fans I appreciate them and their support as much as I should. So they all should know that any time I see a fan share, promote, buy or stream my music, that I do in fact see it all and even though I can’t thank everyone individually all the time, it’s appreciated and fuels me to keep making even more music for them.”
DJ Phoenix’s current single “Stuck On You” is available on most music sites. Stay tuned for a review of his newest album “One Man Apocalypse.”