Justa Faze

DMCWORLD checks in with the Las Vegas producer on everyone’s lips right now as he releases his debut EP ‘Arcade Games’…

What aspects of your Las Vegas upbringing and surroundings do you find creatively inspire you?

So, I actually grew up in Vegas until I was 12, and then moved to LA. I only recently moved back to Vegas about a year ago to go to school for music engineering. LA had a huge inspiration on my creativity, but moving back to Vegas has had a huge impact as well. I have met two hip-hop and producer artists that I work with a lot now. They have influenced and changed my music in so many great ways. I also love the Arts District in downtown. All of my artist photos were taken down there, and it just has this crazy cool vibe. So many modern art murals and just a vibe that reminds me of LA.

What sparked your initial interest in wanting to produce dance music?

Coachella 2013. That was my introduction to live electronic music, and I never turned back from there. I was stunned by the whole experience and all 15 year old me could think about was being up there on stage myself. I got home after that weekend and within a week had Ableton downloaded on my computer.

What particular genre of dance music do you enjoy listening to the most?

I really love most electronic music genres, so I’ll give you my top 3. As a future bass artist, I think it would be weird if future bass was not one of my favorites, but I am very particular about what I listen to in that genre. It has to be very different and unique. Dubstep/riddim/drum and bass/bass are probably my favorite genres to see live because I can just go wild and lose myself in the moment. And for my third, I have to go with deep house, but a more Tourist-y type of deep house that has interesting chord lines and beautiful synths. 

Your ‘Arcade Games’ EP sonically and tonally harkens back to retro 8-bit video games — what was the impetus behind this theming?

Simply put, my love for video games. I can enjoy any video game, whether it is a deeply-forged RPG with intense graphics or a simple browser tower defense game. I love ‘em all and all genres. Video games now are so real, and they all have real soundtracks. In the ‘80s, arcade games could only use basic sine wave sounds for the effects and the music because of memory constraints of the operating systems. There was no other way to add sound without sacrificing other parts of the game. This is what created a type of sound that is synonymous with ‘80s video games and with the video game community itself. So, I felt it was best to incorporate this sound into my EP in order to best convey the video game vibe and my love for video games as a whole. 

If there’s any DJ/producer in the world you’d wish to do a B2B set with, who would it be and why?

Good question. Flume. He is the most creative electronic producer I have ever listened to and he is not afraid to do weird stuff that turns out to be freaking awesome in the end. I respect this experimentalism so much and it is a big part of the way I approach music myself. It’s all about pushing boundaries and having fun.

If you could perform at any venue, festival, or event in the future post-lockdown, where would that be?

Lightning in a Bottle and Burning Man. They just have the most beautiful vibes in my opinion. Performing out in the middle of nowhere, with the atmosphere of positivity and community. Sign me up. I have not had the chance to attend Burning Man yet but I have been to Lightning In a Bottle, and it just was the best festival I have been to thus far.

What does your creative process look like when crafting new tunes?

Most of the time it starts with me messing with chord progressions on a simple piano sound until I find a progression I am feeling. Then I tend to craft a sound with that progression into something unique. After that, I build the song around that. Sometimes amazing things come out of it. Most of the time I hate it. Trial and error is a big part of my process, especially since I like to be experimental with my music.

What was the best part about making ‘Arcade Games’?

It was the first time I actually conceptualized a full project. Rather than just kind of play around until I find something cool, I had to build around a specific vibe. It was fun creating a full project that I could somewhat tell a story with.

Musically, where do you see your unique signature sound taking you in the next 5 years?

Hopefully performing it live and bringing joy to a lot of people. I would also love to work with other artists and collab with other artforms. I just want to be as creative as possible and continue to expand my artform by exposing myself to a lot of influences. I also don’t always want to stay the same. My name is a representation of that. Justa Faze as in just a phase. I want to continue to grow and for my music to continue to grow with me.

Are there any upcoming projects currently in the works worth mentioning?

Yes. I produced and engineered, and am in the process of mixing and mastering a hip-hop EP for my very good friend and fellow artist, SauceWav. That will be coming out before the year ends and it is really great. He is a very talented lyricist and everyone should know about him. I also have other lyricists that I plan on producing for as well. I also have started working on a full-length album that I want to release next year!

Justa Faze – ‘Arcade Games’ is out now…