VAN TOTH (Toe-th) made his San Diego debut at RADIUS Festival earlier this month, and he absolutely blew us away: This Miami-based 20-year-old prodigy threw down an eclectic set that radiated stellar energy and fully-loaded bounce across the masses that flooded to his stage. Which is to no surprise to anyone, as his sound has been unavoidably compelling across the worldwide spectrum over the last few months, with heavy looks and play support from the supreme board of leaders in EDM including Tiesto, Laidback Luke, and Wolfgang Gartner. And this is only the beginning.
Even away from the decks, this hyper-driven producer maintains his manic ways: literally power-housing it inside the studio solo, as well as collaborating with his friend DJ JWLS on an equally compelling side-project called GTA. All this in addition to a host of massive plans he’s currently stirring up for himself for the near future. We were fortunate enough to catch up with young speedy VAN-zales and talk with him in person about his crazy Cali trip so far, dubstep, and tigers; and of course, his inspiring and exciting progression as an imminent future breakout artist in the global electronic music realm.
Full Interview and Music From VAN TOTH after the jump!!!
TheMixster.com: So is this your first time in California?
TOTH: No, second time.
TheMixster.com: Alright well welcome back… So what’s been the highlight of this trip?
TOTH: Well, just meeting random people, like Congorock, LA Riots, and a lot of other cool people as well.
TheMixster.com: Sounds pretty surreal?
TOTH: Yea, I’ve never really done anything like this… Crazy.
TheMixster.com: So you’ve played a couple shows now in California, how receptive would you say, are Cali audiences to your sound?
TOTH: Pretty good! At first everybody gives me this look like “o I dunno”… But then the drop comes and they all like, flip a shit! So ya know… pretty good so far.
TheMixster.com: How do we compare to Miami?
TOTH: Pretty much about the same except [audiences] are used to it in Miami – like the real tribally stuff which is more my sound. But ya know, pretty much the same, at least from what I’ve seen, people seem to go a little crazier in Miami…
TheMixster.com: So as an up-and-coming artist what would you say have been the biggest challenges you’ve been confronted with?
TOTH: UM just trying to get music out to people and out to different artists. I would say that is pretty much the hardest thing. But once it gets to them everybody seems to get on it, once it gets out.
TheMixster.com: So you’re 20 [years-old] right?
TheMixster.com: Do you find that you face even more challenges being that you’re underage?
TOTH: O yea of course! Not being able to get into certain clubs just because I’m not 21 yet, even though I am a DJ, it doesn’t matter. Just because I’m under 21… I’m sure a lot more opportunities will come once I get over that age barrier.
TheMixster.com: In the studio where do you see your strong points as a producer?
TOTH: From what I’ve seen and from talking to other people, probably like how fast I actually come up with a track and finish everything. I pretty much complete an entire track in 4 or 5 hours.
TheMixster.com: Jesus. That’s incredible.
TOTH: That’s how we do! Actually our new song (From side project GTA) that we just came out with and that we just finished our singer, Zashanell, we actually met her because well I work in a mall in Miami and she just works in another store there. But one day we bumped into each other, random shit, and later she came over to the studio. Me and Julio (JWLS) had come up with this piano riff already, the melody, and then within 30 minutes, we had the entire track pretty much done. Then we just laid it out in the next couple of hours.
TheMixster.com: That’s serious.
TOTH: It’s fucking crazy.
TheMixster.com: I know you tend to frequently hop between different genres, but what sound are you generally trying to achieve?
TOTH: Everything. I just like everything, so that’s what I’m trying to do.
TheMixster.com: So would there be a specific genre you would characterize yourself under?
TOTH: My own stuff is like the real hard tech, tribal tech stuff, and everything with a lot of energy I love. I’m really just going for anything with that energy, I don’t really want to call it a certain thing…
TheMixster.com: Alright well if your music were a type of animal what would it be and why?
TOTH: A Tiger. I got tiger blood! (laughs)
TheMixster.com: And why is that?
TOTH: Because they’re fucking crazy… Why not?
TheMixster.com: Focusing on the EDM sphere, who would you say are your biggest influences?
TOTH: God there’s so many to name! They go from everybody, like the classic names like Tiesto, [Marcus] Schossow (looks across the room and points at him) fucking so inspirational… All the new guys, Avicii, and Laidback Luke of course… I mean there are just so many names.
TheMixster.com: Is there any one person or group who has helped to get you to the point that you’re at now?
TOTH: Actually when I first started getting into house and stuff, was pretty much because of Benny Benassi. When he started coming out with tracks like ‘Satisfaction‘, he was the one that really got me into the whole “house thing” and electronic music.
TheMixster.com: Hmm, so that really wasn’t that long ago huh?
TOTH: Yea (laughs)
TheMixster.com: So looking into the near future who are some artists you would be interested in collaborating with?
TOTH: Um, pretty much anyone! The whole Erick Morillo and the Miami stuff, I love all that. I’d love to do real housey… stuff.
TheMixster.com: So when you’re not in the studio who are you listening to these days?
TOTH: Um, I listen to a lot of Essential [BBC Radio One] Mixes. My favorite BY FAR is the Nero Essential Mix. I love dubstep, and drum n’ bass stuff too. Pendulum’s Essential Mix is my number two. But I listen to a lot, I listen to everything. I even listen to a bunch of old metal stuff like Pantera, Slipknot, fucking crazy stuff. I listen to everything. Our future [music has] been the new stuff I’ve been listening to…
TheMixster.com: So do you plan on making a dubstep track soon?
TOTH: Actually I have a few! I used to have them on my Soundcloud… Actually some of the stuff you can find… I collaborate with my other friend in Miami called Animal Krackerz and he’s actually producing on his own and producing his own dubstep stuff coming out on Basshead Records down in Miami which is pretty big dubstep stuff.
TheMixster.com: So are there any particular shows coming up that you are really excited about?
TOTH: Um the MixMash Pool Party which is the Thursday before ULTRA (March 24th) Dada Life, Laidback Luke, Gina Turner, Bart B More, and a couple others and both of us (TOTH & JWLS) as GTA are playing too! (Side Note: Check out event deets here!)
TheMixster.com: Wow that’s HUGE! Well other than that what’s next for you? Are you planning on a country-wide tour soon? New EPs coming out?
TOTH: Couple EPs planned, stuff with MIX MASH as GTA and still working on the Van Toth side. Hopefully starting my own label so I can just put out my own stuff.
TheMixster.com: Yea waiting on label people is challenging.
TOTH: Yea, it’s ridiculous! But yea, nothing really with tours yet, but maybe soon in the future,
TheMixster.com: So in addition to pushing yourself, you’re pushing a side project GTA as well, do you find that’s really hard to push both?
TOTH: No I don’t.
TheMixster.com: So you’re going to push them both equally?
TheMixster.com Well that’s really exciting and we are so happy to have you here at RADIUS with us so thank you for being here!
TOTH: No thank you! I’m excited, so ecstatic!