Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Party Favor backstage at this year’s HARD Summer. If you weren’t there you may have missed out on Party Favor’s epic live performance with surprise guest Lil Jon. You heard right, Lil Jon — the staple of the millennial-era middle school function. The HARD performance was a teaser to their upcoming collaboration set to drop soon. Party Favor is embarking on his Tuned Out Tour next month, and EDMTunes had the chance to catch up with him to discuss his vision of the tour, a new follow-up EP, and a glimpse at Dylan Ragland, the man behind Party Favor. Read the full interview below!
Congratulations on your HARD performance, you killed it. Lil Jon? Wow. You teased on Twitter about a surprise guest, but we did not expect that.
Yes! I was able to keep it a secret! For me, it was awesome bringing out Lil Jon it made my middle school self like freak the fuck out.
I think it tapped into all our middle school spirits.
Like literally, I’m pretty sure I did my first freak dance in 6th grade to “Get Low” by Lil Jon.
Speaking of HARD, I’m sure you’re aware of Gary’s departure from HARD. If this was your last ever HARD Summer set, would you have been satisfied with the performance you just gave?
I think so, I definitely think that I put a lot out there. I’m always someone who’s very hard on myself. So I’m never fully happy with anything that I do — it’s just my curse. But I had a great time out there and the energies insane. Especially when a lot of those kids were in the heat for so long — it was so hot out there I can only imagine — and I really appreciate fans coming out. Especially with their own made flags and their own merch, I saw so much crazy stuff.
What aspect of dance music really pushed you to go beyond being just a fan instead into producing your own music?
I think it’s the energy that’s really hard to emulate. You can listen to metal, you can listen to hip-hop, it’ll all have it’s own energy hype-wise. But in terms of sheer — what you can do with synthesizers you can’t really do with a bunch of instruments. I love all types of music, but as soon as I heard the aggressive side of electronic music when I just starting to get into it, I was hooked. And it kind stuck ever since.
Did you ever face discouragement from people when you were first paving your way into the industry?
Yes, Yes, Yes. I have faced that. I think everyone has that has gotten to some sort of level of fame. Can I say fame? I don’t know whatever it is I have. But a lot of people are like ‘you know it’s a phase and it won’t work out for you,’ it’s definitely fun to think what they’re thinking now. For me, I use it as motivation to prove them wrong.
Your album Party & Destroy is literally an anthem to do just that. What goes on in your head when you’re creating those chaotic energy-fueled beats?
I always kind of make whatever pops into my head and apparently people like it. I think that EP was a big transition for me because it was like a new side of me. It was something you’ve never heard before in terms of “Give it to Me Twice” and “In My Head.” Then the heavier stuff you’ve heard like the stuff with Dillon Francis. For me I want to be as well-rounded as possible. So that EP was the statement piece for that. I’m working on the follow-up EP for that as well.
Party Favor is regarded as a trap and twerk sensation. But your new song “Caskets” embodies a different emotion. Do you see yourself leaning towards that stylistic direction?
For me, I never want to be confined to one exact thing and what’s cool about music nowadays is that it’s a melting pot of everything. I try to make what I feel like I want to do at the time and also make a wide range of stuff that people maybe don’t necessarily know me for, a radio poppier side. Then there’s my normal songs like “WAWA” that my fans like. I try to be the most well-rounded as possible.
Your music has been in numerous commercials and you’ve played sets all over the world; but when do you think you will consider yourself to have achieved success?
I was thinking about this the other day. I try to wake up everyday and be grateful for what I have and what I have achieved. Because a lot of the time when you’re in the moment, you reach one milestone you think you’d never get to, then immediately you think “what’s next what’s next.” It’s really amazing to think when we started this it was a time when literally no one cared at all and it’s been crazy to grow it all up.
Is there any artist that you’ve been wanting to but haven’t gotten the chance to work with?
I would love to work with Timbaland, I don’t really know if he’s still doing stuff though. He’s one of my all-time favorite producers. Skrillex, and I really really wish Freddie Mercury was still alive ’cause he’s my hero. I can’t pick just one I’m sorry.
A lot of DJ’s have refined their own distinct style and persona. What is the Party Favor brand?
Hectic. Hectic in a good way. I hope when people listen to my music that they have fun and enjoy themselves. For me music has always made me feel good, in a positive way whenever I’m down. Music has had such a huge impact on my life that — even though I don’t consider myself to be a classical composer or musically trained — I hope it can make people happy.
Give us an idea as to who the real Dylan Ragland is.
The real Dylan is a fun-loving guy. For Party Favor I have to put on a crazier show, but as a person I’m much more laid back. I’m much more reserved; I don’t have my own social media accounts for myself. I don’t like to be in that public spotlight as much. It’s different because you definitely put on a bigger show as an artist; but I swear I’m not boring.
Me and the rest of the Party Favor fans are eager to know, what can we expect of your upcoming Tuned Out Tour?
New production, a new stage in some cities, lot’s of fun with your friends — probably making bad decisions too. Wild music and hopefully memories that will last a lifetime.
Party Favor kicks off his nationwide Tuned Out Tour next month. Check out his tour dates below. Don’t sleep on it, pre-sale starts Aug 8th at 10am PST. Visit here for full details and stay tuned for updates regarding that Party Favor x Lil Jon collab..
Stay tuned for updates regarding that hype Party Favor x Lil Jon collab.