Mayhem Talks About Why He Loves Atlanta In iEDM Exclusive Interview
Mayhem brought the madness to Shaky Beats Music Festival 2017 in his hometown, Atlanta, GA after an international tour.
We've heard many different EDM genres from him including trap, drum and bass, and dubstep. He has put in years of hard work to get to where he is today. After getting down for his set at ATL's Centennial Park, he sat down with iEDM to chat about it all.
iEDM: How does it feel to be back home playing in Atlanta?
Mayhem: It's great! It's been a while since the New Year's show with Carnage and Datsik, and MJQ for Sloppy Seconds. It's my favorite place to play, because the kids know rap songs that I play more here than in some other places. Here in Atlanta everyone is a part of both cultures. It's like bringing rap and EDM together.
iEDM: What are some highlights about the Australian and New Zealand tour that you just wrapped up?
Mayhem: Oh, man. Definitely the Australian food. They may not be known for it internationally, but they have smashing food.
iEDM: How many international tours have you been on?
Mayhem: A lot. It's been 17 years of touring at this point. My very first show in Atlanta was actually for Iris, when it was at the Church down on Ralph David Abernathy. It's the Museum Bar now. It was right after New Year's in the year 2000. I played down in the basement, playing drum and bass. That was my very first gig ever.
iEDM: What is your favorite part about the scene here in Atlanta?
Mayhem: Atlanta has such an energy to it and such a rich culture that's attached to it in so many different ways. For the past couple years, one of my biggest focuses has been to combine the rap world with the EDM world that I grew up in. It's fun, new, and a representative of where I come from. They get it, I don’t have to sell them.
Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage
iEDM: What has been your most surreal moment so far?
Mayhem: Recently, the first thing that pops into my head, is about six weeks ago, I played in Tacoma, Washington. It was massive, nine thousand kids, a whole fucking scene of people. One of the biggest crowds I've ever played for. I went back to back with LAXX and before that we toured the huge arena before any attendees arrived. Then we went to the green room, come back out on stage, and it's completely packed. Nine thousand. The energy was insane. When a thousand people have their phones in the air at once with the lights on... It's nuts.
iEDM: What labels are you associated with?
Mayhem: I've put out stuff with a ton of labels. Lately I'm just focusing on my own, which is called SKRONG. Now we're even signing artists. I don't push it super heavy, but it's a vessel for me to release music and push out other artists that I'm feeling, or rappers that I'm working with. There are a lot of opportunities when you have your own label to push things in a different direction. It's your own vision of it instead of working with another label where they have their set artwork, their designer who designs things a very specific way. It's dope, and I've worked with a ton of them, like Mad Decent, Firepower, and SMOG, but it's really fun to be able to curate the whole process and how it rolls out.
iEDM: You produce trap, drum and bass, and beats for rappers, but what would you say that you focus on the most?
Mayhem: Whatever I'm feeling, really. If it's just making rap beats, I might do that for six weeks and write a bunch of rap stuff, or work with one artist in specific. I like doing projects with people and seeing where we can go with it. From making more laid-back kind of stuff to more aggressive, like street records, or making bass music, dubstep, trap, drum and bass. I've done electro. Really, I've done it all. If I hear something that's really dope, and new, and excites some kind of creativity, then I'll follow that.
Mayhem: On my album 2083, I put a lot of eighties vibes on it. Lots of super-synthey eighties stuff that I grew up listening to. I used that as a point of reference. I used the drum and bass that I worked on as one. I used the rap, being from Atlanta and the whole trap sound. The electro too, even bits of that all kind of intertwined to define me. It's just a list of my inspirations.
iEDM: Do you have any new tour, album, or collaboration announcement?
Mayhem: The latest collab was with Flosstradamus and Waka Flocka, that just came out. Other than that, I have a remix for GRiZ that's coming. Then I've got another remix coming out for Myro and Bar 9 on Disciple records. So I've got a lot of remixes coming up after the album.
But really I've just been traveling so much that I’ve barely touched a studio, and the past two months or so the only thing I've really touched has been this EP that I'm doing with Armanni Reign, who's also living here in Atlanta. He's really dope and even MCs for Bro Safari. He'll be with Andy C or LTJ Bukem on the drum and bass side, but he's a really talented rapper and we have a six-track EP that we just put the final touches on literally in the past week or so. That'll be coming out soon.
I just have a ton of hybrid records that are halfway EDM, halfway trap, halfway RnB, different kinda shades of rap music mixed with my sound.
Other than that I'm going to take some time off, and get my head together. Definitely going on vacation. Then figure out what I want to do next and how I want to do it, plan it out, and then start executing it.
iEDM: Will you be doing any shows during this time?
Mayhem: A couple of things around the States. Just here and there. Something in Philly, Jacksonville, a couple of markets that I didn't hit on my 2083 Tour. But for now, it's literally just write music, finish the projects, and then tour it. I've been grinding for the past three or four years straight. Constant ... next single to the next single, EP to the next EP. Now I just did the first album, and I've got album fever. I want to continue to do those because I can do anything on an album and it doesn't need to be a dance floor banger. It's okay if it's super soft or something that's maybe even completely foreign.
iEDM: Are you going be playing any shows here at home?
Mayhem: Hopefully in the Fall we'll do a big hometown show, but maybe not until the Winter if things permit. I'd like to brand it around whatever my next project is, and be able to launch from that, because Atlanta is home, and home's where the heart is man.
We will be on the look out this fall! In the meantime, we have plenty of new music to look forward to. Thank you so much, Mayhem. His style is so diverse and appeals to so many here in Atlanta and around the world!
For more Mayhem Music, visit his SoundCloud HERE.