Still riding the high from his newest single Bad Acid, the emerging house DJ and producer KEETZ is no stranger to the hustle of the EDM scene. Having released multiple projects through the legendary Mau5trap label, KEETZ has earned himself a roster spot among some of the greats. Producing a diverse collection of tracks, his style continues to be a breath of fresh air to his listeners, incorporating a wide range of electro house beats that consistently surprise his audience, leaving them craving more from the artist.
With 2022 coming to an end, KEETZ has spent the year immersing himself in his work. Having released his second EP Terminal in late spring, the project is comprised of two tracks, “Royal” and “Terminal”, both of which shed light on KEETZ‘s unique ability to combine genres into a mind-bending blend of electro, tech, and techno. As the year continued, KEETZ graced his fans with his single “Blight”, a track that encompasses ominous build-ups followed by dramatic drops. Showcasing his talent through his latest single “Bad Acid”, KEETZ takes listeners on an electronic journey riddled with up-tempo beats and suspenseful rhythms, captivating his audience from beginning to end. From the studio to the stage, KEETZ made his presence known to the Midwest by securing his first festival slot at this years’ North Coast Music Festival. Designing an electrifying setlist, he gave a commanding performance brimming with energy throughout, solidifying himself as a force to be reckoned with.
We at Stage Hoppers had the opportunity to sit down with KEETZ earlier this week, diving into his passions and what he considers to be the driving force behind his music. Here is what he had to say:
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Definitely Deadmau5, Feed Me, and Porter Robinson. Also, Skrillex, especially when Skrillex was making more electro, I absolutely loved that stuff. Back in the day, all of those artists were making house and dubstep and I thought that was really cool. In my opinion, it was a testament to them as a producer that they could mix both genres without losing their individuality.
There are plenty of EDM genres out there. What genre do you create and what influenced you to choose this specific style?
So I would describe my style as a blend of house and techno. It’s more “in your face” than a lot of other house. I try to focus on having a memorable melody and breakdown versus the copy pasta style I hear in a lot of similar genres today. I’ve always gravitated towards house because I think its more focused on melody, the 128 beats per minute almost feels like it allows for more melodic expression.
When writing music, where do you find your inspiration?
Honestly, I think back to when I first went to Electric Forest in 2011. That was my first festival, I still have the wristband [Laughs]. I was really interested in making electronic music back then but didn’t know much about it, but after seeing Skrillex and Feed Me, it truly kickstarted my motivation. When making my music, I try to picture myself in a live setting listening to what I’m producing, because I want to produce something that resembles that feeling I had when I first experienced it, I want people to get goosebumps when they hear my music.
How has your style changed over time?
It has definitely simplified. I’ve gotten a lot faster at writing music. Previously, it could take me half a year to write something. The song Espresso that was on my debut Mau5trap EP, that song I remember I wrote the first minute and a half in one night, was really stoked on it, then had no idea where to take it. It just sat on the shelf for months [laughs]. Now, my workflow has improved a lot, I’ve made my style a lot more digestible by keeping the complex stuff easier to follow.
Having remixed multiple tracks, what was your favorite remix and why?
Doing the Disconnect Remix for KLOUD was really cool and special. His manager just reached out to me because he heard my EP on Mau5trap and asked me to do it, and after listening to the original track, those vocals reminded me of older Knife Party electro house remixes, which was also a huge influence on me back in the day.
Tell me about your newest single Bad Acid, what makes this track unique?
The thing that makes the song unique is the way it progresses. When I wrote the song, I wanted to incorporate an acid house synthesizer. For Bad Acid, I had specific ideas for how I wanted the track structured and how I wanted it to progress. The break in the middle, I’m really proud of because I incorporated more of a break beat, and it’s a great combination my style and newer sounds.
Checkout KEETZ‘s official Bad Acid visualizer below:
What was your most memorable performance to date?
Definitely North Coast. I spent a lot of time preparing for that set making setlists and mashups, finding cool transitions to play. I definitely felt ready to play it, but the day of I was having out of body anxiety [laughs], even two Coronas later wasn’t helping at all [laughs]. When I finally got the chance to go up on stage, I was able to convert that anxiety into really high focused energy. I was really able to enjoy every moment on stage, everyone that was there was really vibing to the music.
Any closing thoughts?
I am really thankful for everyone whose stuck around since I started releasing music back in 2017, I’ve been doing it for a while and I’m really grateful for the fans who have hung around for the entire journey. I’m also really thankful for all the new fans who have come across my stuff, it’s the random messages you get praising you for your work that really hits home. All producers should appreciate that kind of thing, those reaffirming moments. The music I’m creating is constantly getting better, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with the world.
Check out KEETZ‘s official visualizer for Blight below: