When R3HAB and Jason Derulo first stitched their music together on their first collab, they knew they had something special. Six years ago, two idols in their respective genres decided that not only could they make good music together with R3HAB's remix of Derulo's "Goodbye"...but they instantly understood this was the start of a lasting relationship where they'd create hit after hit for years.

Keep ReadingShow less
Music Features

The Demi Ramos Show: Donna Missal

The new album 'Revel' is out now

Jordan Edwards/Popdust
Last month, Donna Missal released her third studio album, Revel. Coming in at just over 31 minutes, there's no filler. Each track builds on the momentum of the last. It sounds like an artist with the freedom to do what they want.

Keep ReadingShow less

I moved to the New York City area last August, and one of the first venues I heard of was the elusive Brooklyn Mirage. It’s a live music venue located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York where any DJ whose anybody plays night after night in the summer. It draws huge crowds, fans of EDM and people who just like dance music come together in this courtyard-esque venue.

Keep ReadingShow less

Interview and Photos by Jordan Edwards

Softest Hard has been into dance music since she was a kid, and now it's her career. For the last several years, she's built a reputation as a DJ, performing at festivals and clubs around the world.

More recently, she's made the move into production. She teamed with T-Pain last year for "I'm Blue," a take on the classic Eiffel 65 track. In February, Softest Hard reimagined "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJs with Blush on vocals.

We met up with her in LA to talk about her musical background, upcoming projects, and collaborating with her friend Kali Uchis.

Tell me about “My Boo.” How did that track come together?
I would always play the original song "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJs in almost every set of mine. It's just one of those songs that you can drop anywhere and it would instantly light up the room. One day I decided I wanted to flip it, and I got my homegirl Blush to sing on it, and we both fell in love with it.

Why do you think sped up songs have become popular on social media?
I think TikTok brought back and made songs being sped up popular again. I feel like I've always loved the sped up sound, but before it was called nightcore to me. Just like all the other trends, it all comes back around again.

Softest Hard by Jordan Edwards

How did you get into producing? Did you start as a DJ?
My first love was DJing, and I got into that first. Then, as my love for music grew, I wanted to learn more. I then got into producing, allowing myself to bring to life the sounds that I had in my head. There's still so much more to learn, and I'm grateful for all my friends that have taught me as much as they have.

What was the approach with “I’m Blue?” The original is so recognizable, but you want to put your own spin on it.
Growing up my mom and aunties were huge fans of Eurodance, trance, and techno-pop. The likes of La Bouche, ATC, and Eiffel 65. I've always been heavily influenced by that era, so when my manager showed me T-Pain's vocal of him flipping "I'm Blue," I was all over it. It's still one of my favorites, and I'm so appreciative to have worked with a legend like T-Pain.

What producers do you look up to?
I look up to ATB for sure. He's one of my all-time favorite music producers. I'm such a fan of his work. His melodies are insanely beautiful and trancey. I really really love his style. I also really look up to Skrillex. He's one of my really good friends that has believed in me from the start. That man is a genius.

What’s it like to collaborate with Kali Uchis? She's so creative, both musically and visually.
Kali is one of my best friends in real life; she's always been fun to work with. I did the music video with her for the original "La Luz." So when I wanted to remix it, she was down. and that's how "La Luz" reimagined came to life.

Do you have a wish list of people you’d like to work with?
I don't have a list but off the top of my head right now. I would really love to work with Doja Cat and Alice Glass. I love their vocals so much as well as their whole artistry.

You tour a lot. How do you stay healthy on the road?
Yes, touring a lot in and out the country. It's a lot, and it takes a toll on your mental and physical health for sure. But I make sure that I get as much rest as I can in between shows, drink a lot of water, and watch what I eat. My tour manager and I both don't drink alcohol either, so that helps not feeling icky while out and about in these cities.

What’s next?
I'm playing EDC Vegas this year, got a couple shows with Habstrakt, some shows back in Asia, and then festival season. My album is also suppose to drop this year, so there's a lot going on and I'm so grateful for everyone helping me make it happen. I'm super hungry, and I'm ready for whatever the DJ Gods throw at me.

Softest Hard, T-Pain – I'm Blue [Official Music Video]hardrecs.ffm.to/imblue Follow Softest Hard: Twitter: https://twitter.com/softest_hard Instagram: ...

For more from Softest Hard, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Photos by Meghan Marshall
Interview by
Jordan Edwards

VNSSA is at the top of her game. The SoCal native just played Coachella (with some sick visuals), she has a ton of big sets planned for the summer, and she just released an EP, Music4TheMasses, on Diplo's Higher Ground label.

We talked to her right before she headed to the desert.

You have a busy summer coming up. In general, do you prefer outdoor festival gigs or indoor club sets?
I don't have a preference. I love both. They are both such different vibes. With outdoor festival gigs I usually tend to go for a more disco, fun, house vibe. Whereas with indoor clubs, I can get a little darker. A little more techno. Both are fun in their own different ways.

Tell me about your recent single “In The Dark” and your association with Femme House.
Femme House had told me they were doing a comp for International Women's Month and I had been sitting on "In The Dark" for a minute. It was a great fit, and I'm truly honored to be on such a rad compilation with so many amazing women!

You just released an EP on Diplo’s house label, Higher Ground. How did you become acquainted?
The first release on Higher Ground was my track "Rave Grave" with Walker & Royce, so I have been part of the Higher Ground family since day one. It feels great to release with them again, because it's such a cool label. They're always putting out great music, and I'm happy they wanted to sign this EP.

You grew up in Newport Beach, which makes me picture surfboards and BMWs. What was your childhood like? I know you were really into music at a young age.
For me, it was surfboards and surf rock, not BMW's. I grew up riding my bike to the beach and surfing everyday, then going to rock shows in skate warehouses or wherever we could find them at night. I grew up playing the cello, and then played clarinet in the school band up until high school. Ditched my clarinet and took up drums. I was taking drum lessons every week and eventually started a band with some friends. It ended up not really working out, and my music taste started shifting towards electronic music. I started going to festivals and clubs, and the rest is history.

Your music has a darker edge, but there’s usually some element that gives the track a little levity. Do you ever scrap songs or mixes because they’re too dark?
I don't really release any of the really dark ones. I just think, "Man this is depressing and would totally kill the dance floor." But I also believe there is a time and place for everything. So who knows, you may hear them eventually.

When someone gives you a track to remix, where do you start?
I usually skim through the track to see if I hear any parts I definitely want to use, but a lot of times I only use the original vocal. So I'll start with a simple drum beat and then create a bass line. From there, I'll add the vocal parts I want to use, then add some synths/melodies.

What’s your favorite way to discover new sounds to use in songs?
I usually just play around with my synths and plugins. Right now, my favorite synth is my Novation Peak and my favorite plugin is Diva by U-he. There's at least one of those in every single one of my tracks. I've also been sampling a lot more lately.

What are you listening to right now?
Right now I'm Listening to the Tasty Techno Volume One comp that just came out on Trick. Every track on the comp is so good.

For more from VNSSA, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Music Features

Bassnectar Allegations Prove the EDM Community Enables Rapists

The allegations against Bassnectar come amidst a slew of other disturbing claims against high-profile DJs that have rocked the dance industry these last two years.


TRIGGER WARNING: rape and sexual assault.

For years, the music festival circuit has downplayed the risk of sexual assault.

Camp Bisco's safety guidelines don't mention assault or harassment at all, and merely state that "event producers are not responsible for attendees' actions." Bigger festivals such as Coachella mention "sexual harassment" in their "Every One" promise but follow up the pledge with vague reprimands, stating that harassers are subject to "immediate removal from the festival site." Suffolk, England's Latitude Festival takes it one step further and offers an ambiguous list of "personal safety" tips, including that festival-goers should "keep their wits" about them.

Keep ReadingShow less