LUZCID Recalls Early Festival Memories in Exclusive iEDM Interview
Neil Berry, better known as LUZCID, knows how to seriously hustle. He just played a sick set at High Caliber, and he doesn't plan on resting anytime soon.
The producer has been hitting the ground hard, getting his name out on the festival scene. LUZCID explains that playing Electric Zoo in September was a "very surreal" experience. Why? E-Zoo was the first festival that the DJ ever went to.
The year was 2008, and it was when LUZCID discovered an amazing, new world. Graduating with a degree in Electrical Engineering from SUNY New Paltz in 2012, it was only natural for the DJ to make Electric Zoo his first festival. He listened to Bassnectar and the rest was history. LUZCID also fell in love with the legendary New York City venue, Webster Hall; where he saw dubstep king, Rusko, absolutely kill it. Those experiences inspired a passion within LUZCID that had to come out.
LUZCID slept on couches and made beats. He needed the creativity in his life. His parents weren't thrilled--but who would be? LUZCID had his vision, and years later, it all worked out. It was a true homecoming for the rising producer last month, and he's ready to come back to the New York area on October 19. It comes full circle as LUZCID makes his triumphant return, as he takes the stage at the Avant Gardner--just in time for Halloween season. Get your costumes and rave gear ready, because this one is guaranteed to be a spooky rager for the books. LUZCID admits that he was never great at costumes, but loved throwing the party. There was a time where the DJ dressed up like Albert Einstein. That's a different story for a different day, though.
iEDM had the opportunity to sit down with LUZCID in an exclusive interview, and got to pick the mind of one of the most genuine artists on the EDM scene.
iEDM: Thanks for taking the time to talk, LUZCID! I know we previously talked about how seeing Bassnectar was life-changing. You said that's what got you into the business. It's funny, because that's how my girlfriend found an appreciation for EDM, as well.
LUZCID: I remember someone climbing the tent pool [at Electric Zoo] during his set. I was thinking, "This. Is. INSANE. What is this?" I was always more introverted. I was never the one to go dance in a crowd. I just remember how freeing it all was.
iEDM: At a festival, especially. People, for the most part, are more accepting. I get being a wallflower. That was me, at one point, as well. I'd imagine a lot of people can say the same. To see the energy that these festivals bring--you don't get that in many places.
LUZCID: That's why I feel we draw so many people to the scene. We keep bringing 'em back.
iEDM: It's that X-factor. Seriously. Years and years later; I talk to kids just getting into the game, and people who have been raving for over 20 years. There's something special about the DJs we see. The crowd returns, time and time again. You mentioned Webster Hall earlier. That was my original stomping ground. New Yorkers are waiting for it to reopen under new management.
LUZCID: It hurt my heart when I heard the news!
LUZCID: That was the spot.
iEDM: I had so many memories there. Some nights, crazier than others. For someone who lived in the area, that would always be a go-to.
LUZCID: That's how a lot of us discovered the EDM scene.
iEDM: As you've expanded on your career, are there other venues that you hold close to your heart?
LUZCID: I feel that, almost more than venues, I've noticed that there are certain areas. For example, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. They have so many awesome venues in that area. They all have that special glow. I feel that it's the people who come out there. That's also where I started first playing out of the state. Those places will always be very special to me. I love playing out in Colorado, too.
iEDM: I hear Colorado is amazing. I have a couple of friends that live out there.
LUZCID: The scene out there is very special. The fans get an amazing experience because of the curators out there. They do such work. But also, people love playing there because the fans are just so great and receptive.
iEDM: Let's discuss the EP, COGNITION, and your process. How did the final package come together?
LUZCID: For COGNITION, it was almost like a quilt. There were some works on there, that were almost 3 years old. Then, there were some that I had written just a couple of weeks prior. What I was trying to do, was display all of the genres that I like to produce. Touch upon every aspect that I see LUZCID being. It's not just heavy music. It's not just melodic. I try doing straight, hip-hop beat, kind of stuff. That's what I wanted to test with COGNITION. The EP was presenting that kind of release to people. It was of a larger bandwidth, in a sense.
iEDM: I totally feel that. A lot of artists that I have spoken to have been touching on experimenting with their sound.
LUZCID: It was definitely more of an experimental EP. We were testing some waters. It was cool because I got some reception that I was not expecting. Some of the more popular tracks are the ones that I considered, in my mind, to be considered backburned. I would think, "Alright. I think a couple of people may like this, but..." And then, all of the sudden, when I talk to them in-person, they go, "Oh. That's my favorite track."
iEDM: Do you think there's a reason why people gravitated twoards the unexpected?
LUZCID: It's tough, because it's so subjective. I feel that everyone just loves to hear something new. Especially when it's coming from an artist when you hear one thing, and it sounds like them. It's almost like you are hearing a new side of them.
iEDM: When I like to get to know people, I always welcome new information, new conversation. You're on to something, my man. Are you ready for fall?
LUZCID: I don't mind the fall weather coming in!
iEDM: You're a fall guy! That's alright in our book. What are a couple of things that fans can keep their eyes on?
LUZCID: Yeah! I'm doing stuff with Liquid Stranger. For Halloween, we are doing a show. That's going to be great. I just love anytime that we get together. It's cool to have a team. It can get kind of lonely, touring; when you don't have people to share that with. When I first started out on the road, some of the shows I was anxious for. When you know you are meeting up with a good friend, you really look forward to it. There's no stress at all. That's how it's become anytime I work with WAKAAN-- playing a show with any of them. It's a completely stress-free situation. I just hang out, with my buds. We are doing that show, and then we are doing another one a day before Thanksgiving in Oklahoma City.
iEDM: Are you going to be home for the holidays?
LUZCID: Yeah! I'll be flying home the next day. I'll probably do a redeye flight. It will probably be a cheap flight though, because who's flying home at 6 AM on Thanksgiving? There might be a silver lining there.
IEDM: You'll have more money in your pocket...that's never a bad thing.
LUZCID is getting ready for Halloween, are you? Make sure you look spooky good with our amazing rave wear. Browse iEDM's Festival Collection HERE.
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The banner photograph seen in this article were graciously provided by Lauren Johnson. You can see more of Lauren's work HERE.