Edison Cole on finding his sound and the state of EDM

DJ Edison Cole
Edison Cole

Edison Cole, formally known as Teknartist, is no stranger to the EDM scene. He had a residency at Lit Ultra Bar in Philadelphia prior to its final show and closing a few years ago. There he played with some of the biggest names in the EDM world including Afrojax, Borgore, Blasterjaxx, Will Sparks, TJR, R3hab among many many others. Cole continues to do shows today and is currently resides in Los Angeles. Cole is working on producing new music and his stage show. Classic Entourage Magazine got the chance to speak with Cole about the future of music, insights to how he got started, and how he thinks social media is making an impact on the world of music.

Classic Entourage: Thank you for sitting down with us. Give me a little information about what help start your musical career. Most people say they were inspired by such and such artist but don’t really go into to detail with what that spark was. What was your spark?

Edison Cole: I would have to say it was where I grew up which was the middle of nowhere Massachusetts. Everyone grew up on Country and Hip-hop around there and that’s all we really knew. My best friend from home showed me Deadmaus and I never heard anything like that before. After that, I was shown Tiesto. This type of music was new to me and I became heavily infatuated. It was trance and house music and it took over my whole 2009. Production for me was slow at first and I didn’t take it seriously. One of my best friends Mike told me to get FL studio because I used before to make hip-hop beats on it and I was pretty good. He pushed me into. So for about a year, I was taking it slow with producing music and then I went through a breakup. It was one of those “high school sweetheart” breakups and that was when I started taking it seriously. I had a lot of time on my hands and I started remixing tracks I liked such as songs from Katy Perry. I was pretty miserable because I always hated school. Nobody really knows what they want to do in high school.

“Nobody really knows what they want to do in high school.”

Edison Cole

So about 2011 I started college in Worcester for Business. While in college I’m on my laptop working on a track not paying attention to the professor and I get an email and it is from Kiss 108 which is a huge radio station in the Greater Boston Area. They were interested in putting my remix of Katy Perry’s ET remix on the radio. Now, My professor knew who I was and we had conversations before where I told him I just really didn’t like school. So the email is open, I read it, I basically freak out and right then I stood up and asked him to go to the bathroom in the middle of class and he said “No.” I then told him I had to make a phone call and he still wouldn’t let me go. He says “If you walk out of this class you might as well not come back.” I looked at my teacher and told him I didn’t belong there and that I was leaving to work on music. I called my mom and told her I dropped out and she flipped out on me and told me to go back but I never did. I was producing less than a year and I was on the radio. I was not destined to work for someone else. I started making a lot of music and chasing my dreams.

Edison Cole Soundcloud

CE Mag: What happened after that?

EC: Well, I got an invite from a DJ who listened to my music on Soundcloud and really liked my stuff. I knew nothing about DJing and I was told to come to AC because there was something called DJ Expo. This DJ put me in a room and all I had to cover was my travel. I met this guy named Andrew from Philadelphia who was creating a group of producers and DJs to take over the Philadelphia scene and this is one of the reasons I left the Boston area and moved down to Philly. While in Philly I met Gerald Thomas who taught me to DJ. Not only was he a DJ but he also was a co-owner of Lit Ultra Bar in Philadelphia. In about 3 years I did about 50 shows with some of the biggest names in the industry and my love for the scene grew from there.

CE: Describe your sound and what type of genres you draw from. Where do you want your sound to go in the future?

EC: I would describe my sound as fun and energetic. Hard, but listenable. I always get this question and I always try to say 3 artist that complete my spectrum and they would be Zomboy, Chainsmokers and, DJ Snake. I love production but I love DJing just as much. I want to get to the point where I am headlining big festivals. I want to take my direction for production to festival type music because that is my end goal. I want people to get music from that is heavy yet is something that can resonate with radio stations also.

CE: What are some of the problems you and other DJ’s are facing in the industry while trying to break out? Has social media and the internet been a help or a hindrance? Do you think there is a slice of the pie for everyone out there or do you think people the market is way too over-saturated?

EC: I think everything is great right now because there are so many platforms for everyone to get heard. Some people say this is oversaturating but I love it because it is easier to stand out from the masses. I think with persistence you can make it. I don’t see it as a hurdle but I see it as a good thing. The problem I see is DJs are not having a theme. You need something that your audience can look up to. My imagery and my music is a theme. There is a theme to it. Artists need themes because just releasing a good song isn’t enough.

Edison Cole

CE: With some many DJ’s coming out what drives you to keep pushing music out?

EC: That is what drives me to keep pushing music. I hear so much music that is dope and that inspires me to keep going. I believe that artist are truly innovating music and is wonderful. I believe it is less inspiring when there are just a few people at the top controlling everything. I believe the new uprising in music helps out a lot.

CE: Where do you think the EDM world is going? They say rock is dead and a lot of people keep talking about the EDM bubble bursting but it seems to keep going strong which has even influenced modern Pop music. What do you think is about to happen?

“As with everything you need to know who you are as a person and have positive thoughts 9/10 times good things will happen.”

Edison Cole

EC: I don’t think the bubble can burst. I think specific genres will start dying out but I believe EDM as a whole can’t be stopped. Dubstep wasn’t as a big for a few years recently and now it has become big again. Artist in the DJ world are selling out venues constantly with prices varied per artist. If anything this makes me want to work harder. As with everything you need to know who you are as a person and have positive thoughts 9/10 times good things will happen. Social media and stuff like that is just awesome and is such a positive thing in my eyes.

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