Kap Slap

It wasn’t long ago that Jared Lucas (aka Kap Slap), was DJing parties at his former college in Lehigh.  Paying homage to his fraternity, he carried the name Kap Slap with him as he graduated from what sounds like an insanely difficult 5 year dual-degree in Integrated Business and Engineering.  Work hard, play hard, seems an appropriate way to classify Jared, as he found his way into electronic music just three years ago amidst that degree program, and is already begun the climb from the dorm room to the fraternity party, and now an even bigger stage at Snowglobe.

These days, many DJs think the pathway to fame an fortune comes through remixes, bootlegs, and mashups, which has certainly given the accompaniment to electronic music a “second class stature,” making the it harder and harder to get yourself noticed.  Amidst the deluge of mashups and remixes out there, Kap Slap finds himself at the top of the game, as he has carved out his niche bringing electronic music and Top 40 together in a way that is so flawless, some of the songs you’d think were original productions.

Although his mashups are what got him on the radar – he is in the process of producing his first set of originals, and seems poised to catapult into the limelight, and is now focusing full time on producing and touring.  Drawing comparisons to former collaborator, remixer, and now originals producer, Justin Blau (3LAU), if you haven’t heard of Kap Slap yet, consider yourself properly informed.

A personal pick on my own short list of “artists to watch,” I had the opportunity to talk to him in the days leading up to Snowglobe:

Snowglobe will be your biggest venue yet, and your first festival, what’s going through your head right now?

“I never really was into the big rave festival scene before it started taking off.  I have a good idea on what people play, I’d like to play stuff that isn’t too “played out” but at the same time, things that can get the crowd going.  I’ve got a pretty unique mixture of “bangers” and singalong elements so I’m pretty pumped about that.  The cold is also a factor – and it’s going to be like, what, 19 degrees?  Hands freezing wasn’t something I ever thought would be a concern (laughs).  It’s nerve racking, but I’m beyond excited.”

Many artists recall a moment when they had to decide if they were going to pursue their passion, or follow the “more traditional route.”  What was that experience like for you?

“Oh man that was tough.  That was around junior year, spring of 2011, and that was when I considered ‘I have one more year left, and a lot of credits left, I want my degree.  Can I keep this up, and the music?’  I really need to put my heart 100% into what I’m doing.  It was scary.  Its still scary.  You still get questions every now and again: What happens if this fails, or if this really is just a fad?  Do I want to be a 40 year old DJ out there?  It’s always really scary, but I dove in, and its been extremely rewarding and given some phenomenal life experiences so far.  You look at your idols out there, and see them doing amazing things, and it makes you think you’ve made the right choice.”

Speaking of your idols – who is your biggest?

“Zedd is by far the biggest.  To me, he’s a Mozart when it comes to electronic music.  The way he was able to bring the heavy complextro elements he was known for into mainstream radio is astonishing for me.  You also have Knife Party – how every single song they can put out is so crisp and clear, and still so in your face.  It’s amazing.”

Do you believe the greater EDM community views remixes, mashups, and original productions equally?  Do you feel like you have to produce one vs. the other in order to keep your career moving in the direction you want?

“I 100% would say they’re definitely viewed differently.  The amount of time it takes to make a mashup is significantly less than a remix, which is significantly less than originals.  I started with the mashups because I had the creative urge, and that was the best way to start without much background.  Now that I’ve graduated I’ve had more time to research so I can finally see out the vision of my music.  It’s challenging, and takes a different set of skills to do a mashup, looking at what’s culturally relevant, what elements play well together, what vocal elements work, and how to combine them in certain ways.  The time it takes to learn a full original is a different beast.  Without a doubt I need to establish myself as an original producer in order to take that next step, and I’m certainly looking forward to it.”

You’re on the verge of releasing your first original production.  Anything you can tell us about that?

“Funny you should ask, you’re going to hear a sample at Snowglobe (laughs).”

What would be your ultimate measure of success as an artist?

“For me, personally, the ultimate measure of success is getting the respect of your peers.  It could be as simple as getting as much money as you want, but I personally won’t be happy until other people in the industry respect my work so much that they’d be willing to use my music in their sets.  That is a huge measure of success for me.  That and putting out songs, something you’re proud of, something permanent.  It’s probably not a typical measure of success, but it’s exactly what I’m hoping for.”

Check out Kap Slap’s most recent hour mix, Slapcast 4.  Those of you attending, dress warm for his set, but not too warm.  If this mix is anything like what we should expect, he’s going to have the crowd going wild.