Team EZY Talks Working With Skrillex, Steps Out of Comfort Zone on Hot 100 Fest Mix: Exclusive

Liam Underwood
Team EZY

Before he started working as an A&R for Skrillex's OWSLA label, Team EZY cut his teeth as the star's DJ tech. As a preview of sorts fot this weekend's Billboard Hot 100 Festival, EZY whipped together a mix made entirely from acts that will be playing at the event, including Rae Sremmurd, Madeon, Desiigner, and more.

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"This is the first time I’ve made a festival specific mix where every song/artist is performing at a festival," he tells Billboard Dance. "It was a personal challenge to see if I could create a vibe with so many different styles and genres."

Listen below, and read a short Q&A with EZY.

How did you first discover electronic music?

I grew up in LA and was a hip-hop kid sampling my parents old vinyl records and making beats on my MPC.  I went to college in Denver around the time guys like Pretty Lights and The Glitch Mob were taking off.  They were all using Ableton live for their shows so I bought a copy and was off to the races.

What was your technical experience before you became Skrillex's DJ Tech?

I was a DJ/producer playing parties in LA, that's pretty much it... self taught, no training. 

How did you connect with Skrillex?

I met Sonny under pretty unique circumstances.  He had just started his Mothership Tour (2011/'12) where he debuted the Skrillex Cell, a show that featured 3D projection mapping and motion capture technology.  A couple of my friends were designing the show and called to ask if I knew about motion capture and Ableton Live.  I told them I've been using Ableton since version 5 and had seen Avatar in 3D IMAX …  Next thing I knew I was on a plane joining the tour and working directly with Sonny in his dressing room on a bunch of aspects of the live show.

What was the toughest part about that job?

The toughest part was actually being "on tour" and adjusting my life accordingly. 

How did you make the move from tech to A&R?

When the tour finished, Skrillex told me that there was no longer going to be the motion capture position for his upcoming shows but he would love for me to stay on the road with him.  From there it was a very organic transition, I became his right hand creative/tech on the road, supporting with A&R for him and OWSLA, live show development, and so on.  

I have always loved discovering and sharing new music. Working with Sonny was so fun because we would constantly play each other new music and trade tracks.  After a while it was pretty obvious we had similar tastes. 

What's your mission as an A&R? 

My mission (as an artist/A&R/human) is to push culture and let amazing music shine. 

Who are some of the artists you've helped find for OWSLA?

Marshmello and Wiwek are two current OWSLA artists I'm super proud of. They are both great examples of artists who have created their own worlds.

What's your goal when you make a mix like this one?

For this mix specifically I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and do something I haven’t done before.

Check out the full tracklist below.

Team EZY Hot 100 Mix:
Porter Robinson & Madeon - Shelter   
Tove Lo - Talking Body (Gryffin Remix)
Team EZY & Skrillex feat. Njomza - Pretty Bye Bye
Rae Sremmurd - No Type (Luca Lush & Josh Pan Remix)
Rufus - You Were Right (Thomas Jack Remix)
Team EZY & Boxinbox/Lionsize - ID + Brillz feat. ETC ETC - Old School (Prince Fox & Yookie Remix)
Haywyre - Impulse
Madeon - Technicolor (Grandtheft Edit)
Marshmello - Find Me
SNBRN feat. Kerli - Raindrops (Prince Fox)
Desiigner - Timmy Turner (Tails Remix)
Paper Diamond - Towers ins

Billboard Hot 100 Fest 2016


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