Exclusive Interview: Caliago

This week’s Artist Spotlight features Caliago. One half of this Chicago based duo is from California, which is how they got their name. Caliago have been playing shows all over the city this past year and also have some original music in the works. You can catch them live this Saturday at our #Afterlife party. Check out the interview we did with them below.

How did you first begin DJing/Producing?
Well I feel like every bedroom DJ started out toying around with the program Virtual DJ. About 2 years ago, we started messing around with it. Brad is from California and Shane is from Chicago. We had been homies ever since high school and felt like we could start something. Throughout that first year, we had no idea what we were doing, but keep in mind we usually played music at all of the house parties when we went to college and when we were back from college. As the year went on, we started to hone in our skills. We started to realize we had a very different, yet similar song selection/mixing techniques. Fast forward about 6 months (about a year ago from now) and that’s when we participated in our first DJ battle hosted by Barn and Company and Red Bull. There were about 6 djs that participated in this event. This was one of the turning points of deciding whether we wanted to continue Djing or give it up because of the outcome. Nothing seemed to go right that night. We took it as a learning experience and decided to only grow from it.


Who is your biggest influence(s)?
Honestly, everything and anything has the power to inspire us in many ways. Our song selection in the sets varies so much that it’s hard to pinpoint only a couple influences. Diversity in music and song creation is the key. Some of our favorite musicians growing up were Outkast, Jimi Hendrix, Snoop Dogg, Willy Nelson, 2 Pac, Biggie, Three Six Mafia, etc. Our biggest influences in dance music include; Carnage, Jauz, Steve Angello, Kaskade, Tchami, Eric Prydz, Kygo, and the list goes on.


What’s your favorite record of all time?
It’s a debate for us to pick a favorite record among so much history. “Walter White” by Above & Beyond is an amazing track. As far as other dance records go, any Kaskade or Steve Angello song will do it for us.


What was your favorite party of all time that you have played?
The most epic party we can remember playing would have to do be an after party we did while attending Electric Forest over the summer. We had like 100 people just mobbing by the tent. We literally played whatever we wanted and the forest into a house party.


Who do you want to collaborate with in the future?
One of our passions is not only working on our craft, but supporting and showing love to the other amazing Chicago talent. I feel as though we’re one big, unified family. Therefore, working with as many possible local dj’s/producers would come first. If you bring good energy and a fun, creative conversation to the room, we’re happy to work with anybody.


What’s the most embarrassing thing thats happened to you at a show?
Definitely the first gig. It was a DJ competition and the luck wasn’t on our side. The mixer we had planned to use went out right as the set was starting. Then to top it off, the left CDJ went out half way through and wouldn’t come back on. No bueno.


What do you like to do when you’re not working on music/DJing?
Whenever we’re not working on music, we feel as though music is always around us. Whether that be in headphones, or playing off a speaker at a pregame haha. Also spending time with family, supporting Chicago talent, watching sports with the crew are all other hobbies.


What is your opinion on the current EDM scene?
The scene and the music in general has changed so much over the years. It’s been a complete revolution. I find it amazing to see all these young, unbelievably talented producers constantly tilting the shift. The music is way more diverse, with a blend of all different types of sounds and genres. As far as the scene, its mind blowing to see all the love for electronic dance music. The people who show true love for this type of music stand out and make it what it is. On the other hand, the stereotypical “druggies” or “ravers” terms give the scene a bad look from the general public.


What do you think will be the next big thing in EDM?
There’s countless dj’s/producers out there that have such an influence on us. We believe that stage presence is such a valuable and necessary trait to have when performing. Carnage just gives off amazing energy and crowd awareness. He’s up there for us. Brad being from the Bay Area in California, believes Jauz (fellow Bay Area native) will be the next big star. Although, we’d like to think ourselves soon enough. Confidence is key.


What do you think about all these “frauds” in the EDM scene using ghost producers, buying likes and purchasing their own tracks on Beatport?
If they feel the need to live a lie and cheat the fans into them thinking that they were the real creators, shame on them.


Is there any upcoming releases/shows we should keep an eye out for?
Stay tuned. No secrets right now haha. We have some unique, massive projects that we feel will have a major influence on the scene. We post all new material on our Soundcloud: “Caliago”

We’re working on a bunch of originals for 2015. In the meantime, we’re always uploading new mixes and mashups to out Soundcloud. We’re always popping up all over the Chicago/Midwest radar. Bars, clubs, bigger venues are all in our sights for this year. Everything goes.

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