Exclusive Interview with the Unruly and Admired Netherlands DJ, Dyro- (ThatDrop)

Dyro, Dutch house artist is classified as one of the most talented DJs in the industry. From bedroom DJ to worldwide touring artist, Dyro builds his name reflecting as a successful individual. Since one of his first releases Daftastic on Hardwell‘s Revealed Recordings, his musical journey has been in a steady upward direction.

The busy musician is consistently booked performing at big-name clubs like Space in Ibiza, and also, at music festivals including EDC Las Vegas. With such an admirable success, the artist is ranked as one of the Top DJs on DJ Mag. We were intrigued with Dyros’ accomplishments, and eager to talk to him a little bit more about his musical career.

Check out our exclusive interview with Dyro.

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You were ranked twice back to back as the 27th DJ on DJ Mag Top 100, can you tell us a little bit how that makes you feel?

Landing in the Top 100 DJs poll really changed the whole prospect of my career early-on. At the time, I was the youngest ever, highest new entry and it completely gave me a new level exposure I’d never had before. It obviously felt great and was a big milestone that I appreciated so much, it really shows how behind you the fans are which as a young guy starting out, meant the world to me.

Have you always been interested in making music? What has led you here where you’re standing now?

Yes, I’m a very creative guy. Because I’m Dutch I grew up around all the different styles of big-room and trance that has now developed into the EDM boom – I sort of rode that wave in the beginning of my career. I was just inspired by the sounds I was exposed to. Hard work has for sure led me to where I am right now, I used to practice and practice making beats in my bedroom, spending hours learning techniques – I’m 100% self-taught and in the beginning, I always thought of myself as more of a producer than a DJ, but I think that was a case of getting familiar and comfortable with the next steps and how my career could evolve.

You’re also the owner of WOLV Record Label. What made you decide to create WOLV?

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I wanted to build a crew of like-minded producers to release some of the harder and more unique sounds that were out there. Some guys I’ve met at events like DanceFair in the Netherlands, where unknown guys have just submitted demos to me and I’ve signed them there and then on the spot, other – like Loopers for instance – are buddies of mine that I just think are totally dope and I wanna be working with. There are no rules with WOLV, and that is the exciting thing.

What do you envision for WOLV Record Label and everyone involved in it?

For us to be unruly and step outside the box by doing what we love.

I noticed you have a variety of sounds in your tracks. From electro to bass. When producing, what inspires your choice in the theme of a track you want to develop?

It really depends, sometimes I just want that bass to feel like a punch in the face, other times, I want listeners to ride out the more electro sounds overall. I’ve always followed my gut and the fans have stuck by me in that so I know I have the freedom to not experiment, but listen to my instincts.

What kind of mistakes have you seen DJs make when trying to make it in the industry?

Pandering to other artist, or labels and managers, thoughts and demands. Stay true to yourself, if you’re original and pushing yourself the hardest you can, you can have faith that you’ve taken the steps you need for you, artistically.

What kind of tactics do you use to prepare yourself for a successful show?

I wouldn’t use the word ‘tactics’ but I always make sure I have some hot edits and have an idea of some key tracks I wanna drop – that and just getting pumped, making sure I’m in the right frame of mind to give the audience what they want.

Listen to Dyro’s Daftastic Radio to get feel on how he mixes it up:

What should your fans look forward to this year from you?

New releases! A lot of them – my new collab with GTA and a huge solo one I’ve been sitting on for a while now are both coming very soon.

Any final words for our readers?

See you this weekend and don’t forget to cop ‘Talkin Bout’, my new collab with GTA January 29th!

Dyro without a question is a passionate artist thriving in the industry. Last year reflected a lot of his solid work, and this year will be an even greater uprising. He hasn’t let anyone down with everything he has crafted last year. So as he pointed out, stay tune for new releases, and including the collaboration with GTA coming out soon!

Listen to bonus track Good Feelin by Dyro:

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CRSSD Fest Spring 2018 Leaves Us with a Glow- (ThatDrop)

The semi-yearly CRSSD Fest made its stupendous reappearance in San Diego for its 2018 spring edition. The musical paradise proves once more it’s exclusivity to highlighting the talent that stays hidden within the shadows and bringing forward those who are familiar to our ears. Besides carrying its reputation for the prime location between city hall and San Diego’s ocean waterfront, CRSSD Fest 2018 resulted as a top favored event for house and techno aficionados.

With more than 35 + artists scheduled to perform, we feature some of our favorite moments and performances that occurred throughout the entire weekend.

Photo Credit: Felicia Garcia

Day one kicked off successfully with an army of dancing souls overwhelming the courtyard of San Diego’s waterfront. You could feel everyone’s’ excitement from the start of the festival as for many it was their first time and others it was a local tradition.

The Palms Stage was decorated with natures finest leaves and trees setting a beach vibe atmosphere. Sets like Nora En Pure who welcomed the San Diego’s sunset and Honey Dijon made for a sublime space. Others who packed the Palm Stage include UK DJ Wiess, house producer MK and a closing set of Shiba San.

Listen to Shiba San’s remix of Chris Malinchak ‘So Good To Me’:

The darker underground vibes took over City Steps with techno performances that included Patrice BaumelCharlotte De Witte, and Cirez D (Eric Prydz’s alter-ego). If you wanted something more melodic yet energizing, you could walk on over to the Ocean View Stage.

GryffinLittle Dragon, and guitar smashing Empire Of The Sun, all had live performances with a stupefying production.

Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald
Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald
Photo Credit: Skylar Greene

Day One ended at midnight, yet the party continued into the nightfall. CRSSD hosted official Afterdark parties at numerous of locations like Bang Bang, Music Box, Spin and El Camino nightclubs in San Diego. Acts like Wax Motif, ArdalanTigaMark KnightCirez DCristoph, and Lee Burridge were all apart of the sold-out spectacles.

Listen to bonus track Feel by Cristoph:

Day two of CRSSD Fest approached quickly and with colder winds. Despite the fact that the sun never made its appearance and many had to layer up, the Sunday lineup assisted in cranking the heat.

The Ocean View stage had a variety of performances that kept the crowd coming. From the tropical house beats of SNBRNto instrumental heavenly melodies of Bonobo to transferring you into a dreamy state with Jai Wolf, Ocean View Stage delivered.

Listen to bonus track No Reason by Bonobo:

The techno underground vibes carried on at City Steps with Alan FitzpatrickAnnaNicole Maoudaber and an extended two-hour closing set of Sasha. Lastly, the Palm Stage was super fun in light of the DJs who influenced it. From Trippy Turtledressing in onesie outfits to the energetic set by This Ain’t Bristol founder, Billy Kenny and Dirtybird duo Walker & Royce. There wasn’t a moment in time at the Palm Stage that anyone stood still.

Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald
Photo Credit: Felicia Garcia
Photo Credit: Skyler Greene

Let’s not leave out all the music enthusiasts who pretty much made CRSSD Fest for what it is. This year seemed to really bring out many peoples’ inner child by dressing up in costumes or wearing their favorite label clothing to representing the ‘House & Techno’ family jackets. Even though it stayed overcast on both days, it seemed to remain bright and cheerful with everyone’s’ vibrant energy. From splashing their feet in the water fountain to sharing laughs and hugs, there was never a dull moment.

Once again, CRSSD Fest proved the best kind of family is the one and only House and Techno clan.

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Step Into Lane 8’s Deep House Storytelling Album, Little by Little- (ThatDrop)

In the recent years, Anjunadeep artist Lane 8 has been thriving on a successful and notable musical journey. The deep house artist takes steps in releasing pleasant singles like FingerprintMidnight, a remix of Innerbloom by Rufus Du Sol and albums, including Rise, and now his storytelling album, Little By Little.  

Little By Little characterizes a visionary story, track by track reflecting thorough craftsmanship and patience.

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Little By Little Album Cover by Lane 8

The 10-track collection infuses Lane 8’s particular elegant production that are both mystical and sophisticated intertwining instrumental club elements, pop-infused patterns, and meditative electronic. Mastering the storytelling album, Little By Little results the familiar artistry of Lane 8 that keeps fans coming back.

He exhibits variety featuring vocals by J.F JulyFractures, and Polica’s Channy Leaneagh in the midst of upholding his sound we all dearly love.

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Photo Credit via Lane 8

I think that writing and releasing my first album, Rise, so early in the Lane 8 project was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But at the time, it felt like albums were really on the out. A lot of people within the dance music industry said albums were a waste of time and effort – nobody listened to them anymore. Especially not from relatively new, low profile artists! Most artists within dance music were releasing single after single every few months – and having a lot of success with that formula.

Maybe it’s because I grew up on albums, but I’ve always felt that a good album tells a story and creates an experience that is impossible to replicate with a run of single tracks alone – no matter how good they are. When I listened to my favorite albums as a kid, one of the things I loved the most was entering the artist’s world – even if just for an hour, it felt like I was being taken on a unique journey that could really be savored, a journey only that artist could take me on…” -Lane 8

On top of the perception he conveys, Lane 8 also has a reputation for holding close to him the no-phones and no-filming event concept: This Never Happened. Delivering that approach, he has now embarked an extensive global tour taking in North America, Europe, and Australia.

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Photo Credit Via Facebook 

Words by Lane 8 on This Never Happened Concept:

Somewhere along the way, we as a society have lost the ability to experience those special moments. On the rare occasion that they do happen, we scramble to grab our phones in the time to capture them- but those moments cannot be truly captured-and they don’t need to be broadcasted or recorded. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is fully appreciate what is happening in that room, at that moment, with those people around us…

Listen to Lane 8’s album Little by Little below:

Tour Dates Below & Ticket Link Here:

  • January 25th – Ironwood Hall, Austin, TX
  • January 26th – Stereo Live Houston, Houston, TX
  • January 27th – Stereo Live Dallas, Dallas, TX
  • February 1st – Concord Music Hall, Chicago, IL
  • February 2nd – Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI
  • February 3rd – El Club, Detroit, MI
  • February 8th – The Loft at Skyway Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
  • February 9th – Space, Miami, FL
  • February 10th – Gilt, Orlando, FL
  • February 16th – Republic New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
  • February 17th – The Ritz Ybor, Tampa, FL
  • February 22nd – 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
  • February 23rd – Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
  • February 24th – Brooklyn Steel, Brooklyn, NY
  • February 25th – The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
  • March 2nd – Corona Theatre, Montreal, QC
  • March 3rd – Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON
  • March 8th – Terminal West, Atlanta, GA
  • March 9th – The Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ
  • March 10th – The Novo, Los Angeles, CA
  • March 14th – WOW Hall, Eugene, OR
  • March 15th – VENUE, Vancouver, BC
  • March 16th – Holocene, Portland, OR
  • March 17th – The Showbox, Seattle, WA
  • March 23rd – Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO
  • March 24th – Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA
  • March 25th – Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA
  • April 20th – Sugar, Adelaide, AUS
  • April 21st – Max Watts, Sydney, AUS
  • April 24th – Prince Bandroom, Melbourne, AUS
  • April 25th – Capulet, Brisbane, AUS
  • May 3rd – Phonox, London, UK
  • May 4th – Versions, Manchester, UK
  • May 5th – Concorde 2, Brighton, UK
  • May 6th – Voodoo, Belfast, UK

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Embrace the Sunshine State of Mind at CRSSD Fest [Playlist]- (ThatDrop)

With less than two weeks away, the semi-annual safe haven CRSSD Fest is almost here. The 7th edition returns to the impeccable location between city hall and San Diego’s ocean shore. Since CRSSD Fest never neglects to convey a divine experience, fans were already purchasing tickets and planning the weekend getaway before the music lineup was even announced. However, once it was released consisting established and emerging acts in the dance community, sure enough, it didn’t disappoint.

Feast your eyes on this Spring’s CRSSD Festival lineup.

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CRSSD Fest Spring ’18 Lineup

Being one of the most exciting times for techno and house enthusiasts, we created a playlist while you prepare for the weekend escape.

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The Next Chapter is Finally Here with Enter The Maze by Downlowd-(ThatDrop)

The computer head producer Downlowd is still on his trek dropping tracks that are pleasant to the ears. After featuring his first chapter debut Well Connected, Downlowd started the domino effect of delivering more storytelling music. Picking up where he left off, Unplugged was released soon before remixing a bonus track XL by Fly By Midnight.

Without a break in his developing career, Downlowd premieres a creative electro- bass house single, Enter The Maze.

Photo Credit: Downlowd

He implements a singular sound like no other introducing an animated and computerized world acknowledging his broad talent. The dramatic basslines actualize darker house tones in the deliverance of a suspenseful journey.

Enter The Maze is the third single as the next chapter coinciding his characters’ story in the Downlowd project.

Downlowd’s story behind Enter The Maze:

‘Enter the Maze’ continues our protagonist’s story directly after the events of ‘Unplugged’- with the help of what seems to be a new ally. Downlowd must now come to terms with his new reality as a computerhead and escape the treacherously vast Genesis facility. Unfortunately, the only way out is through the tech labyrinth… A cybernetic jungle, riddled with genetically modified guards, robots, and hologhosts. To escape and find his way home, Downlowd must ‘ENTER THE MAZE’.

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Photo Credit: Downlowd via Facebook

As part of the climactic story, Enter The Maze is the official third single embodying Downlowds’ new EP Origin set to be released late March. As the domino effect continues with back to back releases, he will be opening up for Feed Me aExchange LA in California on February 23rd.

Listen and download for free Enter The Maze by Downlowd: 

Listen to bonus track Unplugged by Downlowd:

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Lucidity 2018: Rising Dawn, Awaken the New Story-(thatDROP)

“Imagine immersing yourself in a community that assists in transforming individual’s lives by experience. For the past six years, the transformational music festival Lucidity has done exactly that for our society. Lucidity 2018: Rising Dawn returns to Live Oak Campground in Santa Barbara, CA on April 6th-8th.

Lucidity continues to create a collective and personal story for global transformation.

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A Sneak Peek into Lightning In A Bottle 2018: A Limitless Experience- (ThatDrop)

This past Memorial Day Weekend, Bradley, California was the temporary home to thousands of people attending Lightning in a Bottle 2018. Being my second year attending, LIB is officially one of my annual staple events to attend like many others since it proved to be a revolutionary one. The Do Lab team once again brought forward everything we love about the festival, but also introduced new elements exceeding our expectations. It’s easy to say that the music is what makes a festival outstanding, but in reality, LIB goes beyond and provides more than just gems to the ears. This year LIB offered activities and classes around Learning & Culture, Interactivity, Art, Yoga & Movement, Community Crafted Goods & Conscious Cuisines, Families at LIB, The Great Outdoors, and of course, music.

LIB 2018 is a conscious community that proves and thrives to make a better tomorrow for our future generations.

Photo by Aaron Glassman

Connections and ideas that bloom within these grounds has endless potential… After personally experiencing the four-day weekender, I believe everything it conveyed was only to improve ourselves and those around us. LIB had loads of classes and workshops led by teachers and speakers guiding us for a better self. The Learning & Culture element involved talks about plant medicine, relationship advice, the learning kitchen to feed the soul, water & fire prayers, and including crystal activation classes.

Mario Covic Photography

The Interactivity pillar was a definition of an adult playground. Throughout the entire weekend, there were immersive games and activities to partake in. These include the Must-Dash 5k Run, 3rd Annual Invitational Soap Box Derby, Pots & Pans Parade, Do-Over! Beauty Salon & Barber Shop, Fire Flow Zone, The Hideout, and Rink-A-Dink Rink. There was also Interactivity options available all day and night for anyone like the White Library, The Zoa, Boogaloo City and much more.

A limitless experience.

Photo by Janet Jaimes
Photo by Janet Jaimes
Photo by Jessica Bernstein

The musical element of LIB stood out the most out of all the particles of the festival.

photo credit Watchara Phomicinda

It welcomed once again the Lightning, Woggie, Thunder, Grand Artique, Pagoda and Favela Stage. The Lightning stage invited live performances of various genres like ZhuMonolinkAnderson .Paak & The Free NationalsSofi Tukker, and The Glitch Mob. The Woggie stage included acts from house to techno like Will ClarkePurple Disco MachineYottoNicole MoudaberRampa, and Patricio.

The Grand Artique had live instrumental performances and acts like The Herbert Bail OrchestraDragonflySurThe Dragon LightsCon Brio, and The Talent Show. The Pagoda Bar invited acts like KraddyVoloMansionEthan GlassPigeon HoleThe Librarian, and Gladkill. Lastly, The Favela Bar included artist like Patrik ZhackArmen MiranEnzo MuroLovecraft, and two surprise guests of Zhu and Sacha Robotti.

Sacha Robotti – ‘Melato Nina’:

 

Photo by Jessica Bernstein
Photo by Jessica Bernstein
Photo by Jessica Bernstein

Art is undeniably Lightning in a Bottle’s backbone since it existed at every corner of the festival.

There was live painting & art-walk, creative workshops & classes, art installations, structures & stages, and performance art. This year there was the Artclave that was designed to wake the inner artist of each one of us by taking lessons that were offered at different skill levels. The stages either music or interactive ones were carefully designed and curated perfectly becoming orgiastic to our eyes.

The Yoga & Movement classes were offered in three tiers including yoga practices, meditation, and dance &  movement. Every day at almost every hour there was a class held providing you an option to unwind in various ways. Classes involved included acro-yoga, ecstatic dancing, astro-flow, earthing, and so much more! The meditation point was located on the outside rim of the festival providing quiet and peacefulness atmospheres for your own meditation sessions.

photo credit Get Tiny Photography
Hailley Howard Photography

The Community Crafted Goods & Conscious Cuisines included the marketplace, eats & drinks including beer, cocktails, and wine. There were options available for the health heads and those who wished to get wild with some sweets. This was considered as conscious eating and assisted on fueling our souls. Besides the food vendors, LIB provided three sit-down restaurants for either a date night or brunch with friends. Great place for a first date.

LIB welcomed all ages to the festival and for this, families at LIB was crucially important.

There was a set time and list of activities for the youth. These include games, exercise & play, freestyle flows, sound bath meditation, story time, face painting, and more. The parents had an option to sit in also on talks led by knowledgeable teachers in the Parent Portal in the Kids Village. Even us adults could sit in to really feel like a kid again.

The location of LIB is truly one of the favorites. Having the option to camp by the lakeside made it a peaceful and pleasurable environment. Everyone brought their A-game by converting the campgrounds to their temporary homes. From decorating their tents and hosting parties to having cook-outs with new neighbors.

Phones & Tops off fun!

Enjoy the Lightning in the Bottle 2018 announcement video, while waiting on the official recap.

With all the components involved above, it’s obvious that Lightning in a Bottle stands out so different from other festivals. Everything that it conveys proves it wants to make history by being a conscious community making an impact for the generations of tomorrow.

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Silk City Releases “Only Can Get Better”! Collaborative Effort Between Longtime Friends, Diplo and Mark Ronson!

Diplo and Mark Ronson debut “Only Can Get Better” (ft. Daniel Merriweather) under their new collaborative project Silk City. Mad Decent co-founder and dancehall master, Diplo is on a roll with new collaborative efforts, branching him into an assortment of music genres. Between his latest track “LSD” with Sia and Labrinth to his April release with hip-hop’s new addition Lil Xan, “Color Blind.”

Diplo’s latest venture is with Grammy-winning and UK Producer, Mark Ronson with the release of “Only Can Get Better”.

If you’re not familiar with Ronson you probably know him from his hit single “Uptown Funk” with Bruno Mars. Ronson is known for his eclectic genre productions from electronic, funk, pop to hip-hop. The producer duo recreates an old school house vibe in their newest single.

Released under Columbia Records, the track is lightly laced with trancy synths and a funky rhythm that impels a constant groove.

Silk City made two surprise appearances this past month in Los Angeles and at EDCLV’s Wide Awake Car. Their next stop is New York to make their official festival debut on Saturday, June 2nd at Governors Ball Music Festival. Following that, the duo will headline U.K.’s Bestival in August. Longtime friends, Diplo (Wesley Pentz) and Mark Ronson coined the name of their project Silk City, after the Philadelphia venue where they first performed together, in the early 2000s.

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4 Elements that Make Lightning in a Bottle an Innovative Immersive Experience-(ThatDrop)

Lightning in a Bottle is different from other electronic music festivals by offering the most innovative immersive mind and wellness activities. The boutique festival has released it’s entire Yoga and Movement lineup highlighting classes for all ages and ways to find your center. On top of offering a stellar musical lineup, these immersive activities are one of the main reasons why countless fans continue to return each year.

The Yoga & Movement activities is a chance to invite Lightning in a Bottle attendees to awaken their body and mind.

Yoga & Movement Lineup via Facebook

The classes are offered from sunrise to sunset under beautiful structures called Luna Yoga and Yoga Sol. Taught by talented and disciplined teachers, the variety of classes offered include Sound Healing, Kids Yoga, Ecstatic dance, Kundalini, Acro and much more. You can be assured these classes will help you reconnect with yourself, restore your tiresome bodies from dancing and realign your chakras.

Movement Class via Facebook

Official Mind & Body Wellness Video at LIB Here!

Lightning in a Bottle 2018 lineup: 

These performances will be held on innovative stages like the Thunder Stage, Woogie Stage, Grand Antique, Lightning Stage and other favorites. The festival will be providing the same level of musical experience this year continuing on exceeding expectations from fans.

Lightning in a Bottle 2017 recap video: 

A progressive music lineup on top of wellness workshops, Yoga and Movement sessions and bizarre and hilarious games, are the 4 elements that make Lightning in a Bottle stand out as one of the most transformational and immersive experiences. Listen to our Phase 1 and Phase 2 playlists in preparation for this year’s festivities. The festival is a camping outdoor experience with different tiers of camping options.

Get more details and grab your passes here!

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These Are The Reasons Why You Should Travel Alone

You dream about laying out in Cancun on the Gulf of Mexico. You can taste the dryness or sweetness of your wine in Italy. You get chills thinking about the cold wind touching your face when hiking through the Himalayas. You can picture the best Instagram photo with the white houses in Cycladic Islands in Greece. These are only a few of the dreamy thoughts you have when it comes to traveling outside the country. Yet, it’s also very common to be scared of doing it. It could simply be not knowing the language, being surrounded by unfamiliar people or the culture shock.

It’s okay to feel this way. Particularly when you are used to understanding and doing things easily in your country. Having to put any kind of effort doing something new can be scary especially when you might run the risk of doing it wrong. But doing it wrong and making mistakes gives you the opportunity to learn how to do it right. Without having that option, how would we ever evolve as humans? I’ve been in your shoes and tested the challenges.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why you should travel alone at least once in your life.

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You Go At Own Your Pace

Traveling with people could be super fun and more secured. However, it could also be a big pain in the ass. Having to negotiate with your friends where to go, at what time, or what’s next could be dreadful. Traveling alone makes you the pilot of your journey. You have the opportunity to change your plans in any way without the approval of anyone. Believe me, you will most likely have multiple tweaks in your itinerary. It never goes the way it’s supposed to. Not due to a negative reason but because maybe there is something better. You can do all the research and learn everything there is to do at your destination but you won’t know for sure until you’re actually present.

Traveling alone will give you the freedom to make these kinds of changes. The most common feedback I get from people who fear of traveling is being alone the entire time. Note, you might not actually be by yourself for the entirety of your trip. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and travelers. There are many cases when solo travelers meet at a hostel and venture off together to their adventures. Whatever way it results in, I promise that doing everything you want and on your own time will give you a better traveling experience.

You Overcome Fear

Fear towards anything is created based on what you know or experience. How do you initially know anything about everything? It’s either what you are taught, watching the news, word of mouth or simply reading anything informational. Media and society are good at molding your mind to think a certain away about places and travel. But there is a large percentage in the globe of many people who despite what they hear, see or read still go into that exploring path. You are not alone. Don’t feel that you might be doing something so wild like swimming with the sharks in the ocean. In this age, we have the tools to make it accessible and easy to make any trip pleasurable or better than we can imagine.

It starts with you having to find the willpower in believing everything will go right.pexels-photo-307008.jpeg

Even while on your trip, if any case something goes wrong, you won’t simply just shrug your shoulders and say “Oh well, the trip is over,” and go home. You will find a way to fix it. You’ve made it this far, you won’t allow yourself to give in that easily. Yet, don’t throw those kinds of thoughts in your head already. I’m telling you first hand, the feeling you experience when you sit down in the airport right before you depart to a new place is ridiculously inexpressible. Once the plane starts lifting off, there’s no turning back. You’ll feel shaky and antsy but that’s you battling your fear within. You’ve officially have overcome that challenge.

You Become More Confident

I’m going to tell you right now, if you are traveling alone, do not in any way act like you’re a foreigner that doesn’t know the ropes once you arrive. Yeah, yeah, you are brand new but don’t make it obvious. You will be an immediate target from tour guides, cab drivers or even locals possibly taking advantage of you. This is where researching and talking to people who have been come into play.

Before I went to India, I spoke to a lot of people and read many articles about traveling into the country. I got some of the best advice that once I arrived, my confidence level was grand and I was able to manage situations well. These include saving a lot of money by negotiating prices with offers, learned the basic lingo to communicate with locals, avoiding scams and much more. I’m not saying I had it all together but it did make my decisions on doing certain things while traveling easier. I felt confident and people who came my way trying to offer me either higher priced items or simply even wanted to carry my luggage at the airport for money, back off. All because I knew how to handle that situation and I didn’t make myself look like a newbie.

You will learn when and who to trust and open up about being brand new. You have to start before you begin your trip. Once you get to your destination, you’ll feel better when you experience or see things less unfamiliar because you already know how to handle it.

You Learn How To Mold Into A New Culture

As I mentioned before, living in your culture is simply easy since it’s your lifestyle. You don’t need help from locals or have to keep questioning what you are doing. Thus, when traveling alone into a new place, you become a little more dependent on the locals in order to survive. This gives you an opportunity to learn their lifestyle. Remember you ARE a foreigner visiting their country. You don’t want to do anything that might seem disrespectful or inconsiderate. So learn some of the basic practices.

Two customs I had to get used to while in India was making sure not to display too much skin and common household maids. 

The ladies of India are very modest. The weather was hot and humid but they still wore pants and sometimes long sleeve shirts. You would immediately catch the attention of others if you wore shorts or a dress above the knees in the daytime. There isn’t anything wrong with it, however, it’s not common to doing so. 90% of the time, I wouldn’t see ladies wearing Americanized clothing. This urged me to dress alike and I loved every moment of it.  Another custom I had to get used to was the maids within the household. These live-in maids do everything for you from cooking food to making your bed. I was really surprised initially the first time I saw a little boy offering to take my luggage. I said no ‘thank you’ but then I realized it was his job. Don’t judge their practices. There are many things your home country probably does that would be weird to other tourists. As long as you keep an open mind, you will eventually learn slowly their cultural ways and will adapt to it.

You Unleash A Brand New You

Taking everything mentioned above and putting it together will reveal a brand new you! Once you start getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things, you will see a different version of yourself. You’ll know the taste of different foods, learn maybe a new language, new practices and a new outlook on life. You won’t have to think twice about something because you’ll know what it feels like to discover something brand new. In fact, you’ll start hunting for new things to try and explore.

Unleashing this brand new you is going to be a huge eye-opener. I encourage you and anyone to travel at least once in their life alone outside the country. You will have a better understanding of what else exists beyond your home. You will mature more and again, view things completely differently. I always say that traveling is the best teacher in life.

Traveling alone will be the self-empowerment you need to concur anything else that life throws at you.

Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival Proved It’s A Staple Annual Event

The third annual Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival (OMF) was an invigorating success! OMF attracted attendees from across the country offering bountiful options of musical artists, entertainment, and activities for all different types of festival goers to explore. Located in Okeechobee, Florida, the four-day event offered music, art, camping, yoga, food, wellness, and workshops. 

Featuring various genres like electronic, soul and pop, OMF proved it’s here to stay as an annual event.

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Photo by Eric Allen via Facebook

The 2018 edition included three main stages: Be, Here, and Now which held performances by Travis Scott, Halsey, Arcade Fire, Khalid, STS9, two sets by Bassnectar, and plenty more. The bass god Bassnectar kicked off festivities Thursday night with an intimate moonlight set without a stage, lights or video allowed. He resumed on Friday playing on the Be stage opening up with a heavy and bass-filled set. It consisted of a mashup of Basshead and My Name Is by Eminem.

The Be stage held OMF’s annual special PoWoW! which is a collaboration bringing together renowned artists for an ultimate live jam session.  Leading it this year included performances by The Roots and Snoop Dogg. Chaka Khan brightened the stage with her funktastic performance afterward. The session also featured Big Gigantic’s saxophonist Dominic Lalli, New Orleans multi-instrumentalist Trombone Shorty and jazz artist Cory Henry

Watch The PoWow! Set Below:

The Now stage included energetic sets by favored acts like Gramtik, Zed’s Dead, and Tipper.

Surrounding the main stages included additional platforms like The Aquachobee Beach and Incendia featuring varied electronic music for underground fans. Liquid Stranger closed out on the Aquachobee Beach with a drippy and hypnotizing set.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival had its own ChobeeWobee Village offering an enlightening neighborhood filled with inspiring workshops, homemade goods & crafts, and a psychedelic tea forest. Beginning at each day at after dawn, OMF’s Yogachobee hosted four movement classes. It included all levels of yoga practices and dance improv allowing attendees to stretch out their tiresome bodies from dancing all night long. 

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Okeechobee Music Festival via Facebook

Mind-blowing art installations encircled the 600-acre land to create an enchanting landscape.

Installation artist Shrine returned to this year’s Okeechobee with the Flying Mountain shacks curated by a recycled garbage temple and musical venue hosting dance gatherings throughout each day. 

Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock was an interactive flame throwing art piece created by Charlie Blackcat Smith. Artists from the non-profit Saftey Harbor Art and Music Center brought their LED wired Love Sculpture lighting up an affectionate energy to the area.

 

Attracting over 40,000 attendees, Okeechobee is the largest growing independent festival in the Southeast. From the inspiring & creative culture to the positive energy throughout the crowd and to the unforgettable & stacked line-up; Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival made an impactful impression. There’s no question that the festival will be back for its fourth edition next year!

Author by contributing writer Francesca Spinosi

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What Makes India Different Than Other Countries

The beautiful country of India is without a doubt a completely different place than any other country in the world. I have seen and experience more than my entire life in only 2 and half weeks. It was a complete culture shock and sometimes emotional but I don’t regret it one bit. From the people, food, lifestyle to religion, India stands out as if it’s its own world.

Here are five reasons why India is a unique country. 

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Indian Local

Chaotic Traffic

I will never once again complain about the traffic in Los Angeles. From mopeds to cabs and even animals cruising through the streets, there is no slowing down. Either get out of the way or be run over. The only thing taking anyone to their destination is the aggressiveness and their car horns. There might be stoplights and crosswalks, but no one follows it. People casually walk across the roads when there is a full force of traffic coming their way. Most of the time every vehicle on the road is zigzagging its way through traffic. It took me two days to get used to the extravaganza. The cab drivers found it funny the times I would flinch thinking we were about to wreck. There were moments when vehicles would pull up next to my cab so close that I could simply knock on their window without a struggle.

What’s ironic is that no matter how crazy the traffic was, I never did see a car wreck.

Animals Are Respected

Cows. Camels. Elephants. Dogs. Monkeys. You name it. One piece of the Indian culture is the respect they have towards animals. There are countless of times where you would see some animal blocking traffic on the road but no one reacts negatively because of it. Most of the residents of India are vegetarians which coincide with seeing animals as one. Constantly, I would spot someone patting a cow, riding an elephant on the street, or feeding a sheep. No matter what, I never did see any harm done towards them. There are even temples that worship the precious creatures. Some of these include The Monkey Temple, The Rat Temple, and The Snake Temple.

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The Monkey Temple

I had the pleasure to attend The Monkey Temple. It’s a peaceful place located outside the city of Jaipur. The monkeys’ would roam around so freely without worry of someone trying to harm them. They were so friendly you could even feed them and they would jump on your shoulders. Within the temple was sectioned off buildings where you could enter, pray and meditate. Don’t be surprised if a monkey comes in and joins you while doing so.

Hospitality is a lifestyle

Every single host I had made sure I didn’t lift a finger to do anything. From cooking my foods to carrying my things, I felt more pampered than ever. For every guest any Indian family takes in, they make sure that they’re treated well and feel at home. I always felt comfortable in any situation or setting I was in. I was never asked for something in return even though many times I offered to help. But it’s in their nature to treat you so well. It’s the best kind of hospitality anyone could ever provide. Part of their culture is to offer you anything they have to assure you feel right at home. It’s sometimes rude to say no and they might get offended if you do so. Even when you are so full from food, the mother or wife of the household will come back around and serve you more without asking. It was everywhere that I would receive this kind of treatment besides within a household. From restaurants and on the streets, something about being a foreigner urges them wanting to provide you the best kind of experience in their country.

Poverty is real

I cannot stress enough of how much poverty I witnessed between cities and villages. My first real experience seeing some of it was when I visited the slums. It’s known to be an overcrowded territory for the very poor. The slums we visited was located outside of the city of Rohtak between abandoned buildings. Once we entered the neighborhood I immediately noticed the smell from the piles of trash that accumulated over the years. Animals like pigs and dogs roamed around the littered areas looking for something to eat.  We parked the car waiting for a volunteer who was going to assist us passing out food kits for the children. Meanwhile, I also noticed the residents’ homes were built with raggedy blankets and used clothes. The beds were made up of either straws or just blankets overlaid on the rough dirt ground. Once the children were gathered up and brought to us, their appearances were quite different.

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Child Who Lives In The Slums

You could clearly see poor hygiene and dirt on their faces. Their clothes appeared to be torn or overly used. But their smiles and honest small eyes said nothing more but love. It was an emotional experience while handing out food to the little ones but it felt amazing within to make them smile. Outside of that one hour on that day, there were multiple times I saw poverty whilst cruising through the streets walking or on the train. I saw how little many people had yet how much gratitude and pure happiness they conveyed.

Poverty does exist but to their eyes, their own existence is merely enough.

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Children Of The Slums

India Is Not A Dangerous Place

I received more negative feedback venturing to India alone as a solo traveler than positive. I completely understand it was mostly because of safety concerns. However, not once did I find myself in a situation that I felt endangered or concerned about my safety. Instead, because I was a solo woman traveler I received sometimes special treatment. Various of situations when I was commuting by train or bus, I would simply ask specifically a couple for assistance to confirm I was at the right place. Every time anyone assisted, they would not only just answer my question but also would come back and let me know when it was time to depart. There were moments when tuk-tuk drivers (mini taxis) would overwhelm me by asking if I needed a ride and try to offer an outrageous fare. (Get used to that if you visit the country. An article about transportation will soon be published giving you more information about this.) Simply knowing a couple of words like ‘No, brother’ would help me a long way to get them to stop offering. Now don’t be surprised if you don’t say anything and they start to follow until you respond. However, it’s not to the point where it’s unsafe for you.

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Tuk-Tuk Cab

One instance, an Indian woman noticed I was trying to get a cab through my phone, but I wasn’t getting service. She also saw one of the tuk-tuk drivers literally standing right next to me because he was convinced I was going to hire him. At this point of my trip, I was already getting use use to the drivers lurking when I didn’t answer them. She approached me kindly and asked where I was going. From there she took me to a government booth that was meant to order cabs and I got one half the price compared to what the other driver was trying to charge.

My point here is no matter how much the media tries to trash the country by saying it’s dangerous to visit, its wrong. Every place you go to will have a bad area you shouldn’t be in. It’s using your common sense and avoid areas you shouldn’t be in just like any other place in the world. Learn some of the locals’ language, be confident when venturing out and don’t look like a lost puppy. You are not alone when it comes to traveling to places like India. I came across many other foreigners when visiting touristy areas. It gave me a wave of relaxation and calmness seeing others exploring the beautiful country.

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Visiting Art Galleries Alone In A Local City

India is a major culture shock. It could be overwhelming to see and experience all that you will. But the aftermath of it is a transformational reality. You learn their practices when it comes to spirituality. You open a new door of skills when learning how to use a cup with a bucket versus a showerhead. People help each other out like holding each other’s luggage when it seems heavy to someone or allowing another person to borrow your charger for their telephone. Their kindness is the type of lifestyle the world needs to follow today.

Travel To These 8 Places For Less Than $50 A Day

Since I embarked on a new journey with traveling, I discovered many countries in the world that are incredibly affordable to travel to for very cheap. I am talking about less than $50 USD a day for a daily budget. Society throws out the idea that traveling is super expensive. Hmm..not so true. Don’t allow this mentality to be the reason why you don’t go and discover more about our beautiful planet earth.

For this reason, I curated a list of top 8 places that REALLY are affordable with a daily budget of $50 or less.

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Listen to this chill mix by Alex Cruz to set you in the traveling mood while reading:

Costa Rica

This beautiful place has two ravishing coastlines that are beyond worth exploring. Their hikes are usually free and the waterfall visits cost you less than $10 dollars. If you are looking for affordable accommodation, the best recommendation I always give is Couchsurfing or hostels that start at only $10 per night while some hotel rooms start at $30 dollars. However, it’s really up to you on how extravagant you want your trip to be. Typical daily budget in Costa Rica varies from $30-$50 each day.

Mexico

My heritage’s homeland is known for mindblowing tropical jungles, waterfalls, canyons, and historic 2,500-year-old ruins. You are able to find most of these in the South of Mexico in Oaxaca and Chiapas. There are traveler friendly locations like Palenque and San Cristobal where you can find single rooms at a hostel starting at $12 a night. When it’s this cheap, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to check out Airbnb for even more affordable rooms to rent. Serve yourself some of the most authentic Mexican foods like tacos or tostadas that start around $1 each. Daily budget in Mexico when avoiding the most tourist stops like Cancun, begin at $30.

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Dominican Republic

Forget about the luxurious resorts. Head on over to a hostel like Macao Beach Hostel that offers accommodation starting at only $10 a night. This hostel is centrally located only minutes away from Macao Beach and next to a small town for all your essentials. There are savory street foods that will fulfill all your taste buds and also get a hint of the cultural food style. Daily budget is up to $50 dollars per day.

Thailand

I will be visiting Thailand soon so I would be able to provide first-hand experience soon. However, for this article, I had to do some research on the island. There isn’t a question if this place is cheap or not. A full meal itself will cost you less than $3. Hotels and hostels start as little as $5 each night. There are breathtaking beaches completely for free that will be perfect to watch the colorful sunsets. Don’t forget about outdoor experiences like hikes with stunning views of the country. All of this leads to a daily budget of $25 per day.

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India

I have already written an article that talks about the budget for India. You can read more about it here along with tips to make your travel planning smooth. Thus, India is known for the beautiful spiritual temples in cities and villages, natures finest with wildlife in the Himalayas, and the stunning beaches of Goa. Mostly all the temples are able to visit for free including embarking on some hikes in Kasol without a charge. Transportation and accommodation begin at $10 dollars and up. Daily budget for trips to India is as low as $15 dollars per day.

Belize

Belize is a divine location to go to for a romantic getaway. There are various of four-star hotels and hostels that include extras like rentals on bikes and tours of the beautiful city. Hostels begin at $20 each night and a high-end restaurant for two can total up to $30 dollars. Belize is the home to some jungles where you could also visit if you want to spend a little more. This place can be expensive if you make it be. However, you are definitely able to visit Belize with a daily budget of $50 dollars.

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Vietnam

Besides the friendliest people you would encounter with, Vietnam is known to be one of the most stand-out locations for budget-friendly destinations. You will be able to land accommodations low as $9 dollars per night. Some of these are ocean front views or centrally located in the cities. There are plenty of tour guides that will guide you into the markets and stores with scooters or footpaths. Vietnam also offers exquisite landscapes where you could embark on hikes. Daily budget rounds up to $20 each day.

Indonesia

Indonesia has a bundle of limitless places to explore. From temples to landscapes and beaches like Bali, the affordability makes it so much harder not to do it all. Hostels start as low as $10 a night and street food in pennies. Indonesia has so much to offer to make your trip pleasant and at affordable rates. You can lay out on the beaches or get in touch with your spiritual side visiting historic temples all completely free. Daily budget is $35 per day.

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All of these places listed are posted with the idea that you as a traveler will be reasonable and avoid extravagant resorts. There are many that have this mentality that you must have superior service or resorts to really get a good experience. That’s not so true. One tip I provide when researching these places is really looking into hostels and Couchsurfing. Always read the reviews of these locations or people to avoid a bad experience. Be patient with your research. I guarantee that once you find how cheap a lot of things are while traveling, you will enjoy it more than you could ever imagine. Happy traveling!

Swedish DJ Avicii Is Remembered By Many In The EDM World- (ThatDrop)

It’s been a sad weekend since Swedish DJ Tim Bergling mostly known as Avicii was announced dead on Friday, April 20th at only 28 years old. The Iconic artist was without a doubt someone who helped introduce the electronic music to many fans. Throughout the entire weekend, social media was filled with many sorrows and condolences from many including DJs and celebrities. We have created a playlist of his music to soak up his vibes to commemorate his wonderful life.

Avicii is a legend that will be forever remembered in music’s history.

Avicii via Facebook

Many tributes for him were delivered after the news went public. One was Kygo who closed his Coachella set on Friday night with the track “Without You“, by his dear AviciiKygo confirmed that he was his “biggest musical inspiration” and “the reason why I started making music.” Tiesto, Steve AokiOdeszaDeadmau5Laidback LukeDJ Snake, and Skrillex were only a few of thousands of tweets that were posted online sharing thoughts of the young artist. Even after his passing, his personal social media followers increased extensively.

Avicii’s career started when he posted music on Laidback Luke’s Forum in the late 2000’s. This was a platform which feedback is shared between DJs and producers from music that is posted. His track “Levels” broke out in 2011 and became the #1 hit in his home country Sweden and on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. Avicii earned his first Grammy nomination on releasing such masterpiece.

This Grammy nomination was only the first of many which were a reflection of how talented the producer was.

Avicii via Facebook

He earned himself another one once he did a collaboration with David Guetta, Sunshine and became the first electronic artist to headline New York City’s storied Radio City Music Hall in the same year. His first studio album, True is what escalated his musical career. The album included his international hit “Wake Me Up” featuring vocals by Aloe Black which was #1 hit in numerous of countries and became the #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Two years later he released his second album Stories and featured collaborations with Gavin DeGrawChris MartinRobbie WilliamsWyclef Jean and many more. 2016 was the year Avicii decided to retire with a sentimental letter to his fans. He made it clear to the media that it wasn’t the music or shows but everything else that came along with this career. He was not like many others who enjoy the spotlight. Avicii confirmed he was an introvert and didn’t care about the fame.

Avicci had been suffering from health problems before he retired. He had suffered from acute pancreatitis in 2014 and had his appendix and gallbladder removed. Facing major health problems, he still left a reputable imprint in the music world. With awards from MTV, Billboard, and the Grammies, Avicii was referred to being one of the most successful and popular EDM DJs of all time

 Watch one of Avicii’s last live sets at Ultra Music Festival in 2016:

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Tune Into The Emotional Mix #50 With A Free Download

Are you looking for a track or mix to set the mood right where you’re all up in your feels? Let us introduce you to EMOTIONAL. This popular Soundcloud page has a variety of mixes that will make you feel all kinds of emotions.

EMOTIONAL has been up for four years with 50 episodes and over 15 million plays around the globe.

The mixes usually combine deep and minimal house music. Favored artists like Enzo Elia, Kolsch, Sabb and many more have been brought into the mix. Every song selection has a way of making you close your eyes while you sit back and tune in.

Listen to EMOTIONAL #50 below and download for free:
“In these years I received a lot of messages from you showing a touching love for this series, soldiers telling me that EMOTIONAL helped them to keep the mental sanity after going back from the war, people with anxiety or depression that feel better only listening to their favourite episode, or simply people with precious memories related to them.I don’t want to take the merits, this is the power of music and I’m only a humble servant of it, but I’m moved by all these messages and my heart is full of joy reading them because this is the only reason why I started to do the EMOTIONAL, love.” – EMOTIONAL

TRACKLIST:

1) The Blaze – Heaven 
2) Anii – Cyganka (Original Mix)
3) Kolsch – Left Eye Left (Original Mix)
4) Andhim, Hogni – Miles To Go (Original Mix)
5) Hyenah – You Made Me Who I Am (Original Mix)
6) Enzo Elia, Musumeci – Gothic Safari (Original Mix)
7) Andhim, Hogni – Stay Close To Me (Original Mix)
8) Stereocalypse – Blue Dome Escargot (Original Mix)
9) Javier Logares, Kaarel – La Cuarta Galaxia (Tiefschwarz Remix)
10) Kintar, Santiago Garcia – El Camino (Original Mix)
11) Armonica – Ngeke (andhim remix)
12) Sabb – Jeopardized (Original Mix)