Up and coming producer Seven Lions has been making waves with his unique style blending trance and dubstep. After breaking through by winning a Beatport remix contest, Seven Lions is ready to take his career to the next level with an alliance with Skrillex’s OSWLA label. We got a chance to sit down and chat with Seven Lions at Ultra Music Festival where he talked to us about his quick rise to the top and his future plans.

On the blend of trance and dubstep:
“With the trance side of thing, I really like obviously the melodies and the emotional impact that trance has – it’s like, gorgeous some of the times. With dubstep, I’m really into the drums and like, the heavier side of the bass. It definitely brings in more of my metal musical background, so, that’s kind of where the blending comes from.”

On his heavy metal background:
“I’m not sure if dubstep would be the new heavy metal, because I feel like metal is so deep in so many ways, and dubtep is still in it’s infancy, but, yeah – my metal influence definitely takes a big role in my song writing. It could be the headbanging – I think it’s just the heaviness and the fact that it’s somewhat still an underdog. I mean, it did still kind of have it’s big breakthrough. But you come to a festival like this, and dubstep is more on the heavier side of things. It’s not as commercial in a way – like you don’t see dubstep DJs renting out cars and pasting their faces on them. It’s definitely got the more underground vibe which is how I think it relates.”

On the underground/mainstream connection:
“I definitely feel like music is music. There’s good music in all types of places. It just so happens that a lot of commercial music is garbage because it’s made for a certain purpose, and when you make music for a very specific purpose, which commercial music obviously is, then you don’t end up with a great result. So, underground music is more interesting because they’re not making music for a specific purpose, so you get something more natural; it’s easier to relate to.”

On other producers blending trance and dubstep:
“I like Xilent – he incorporates a lot of melody into his music – a big inspiration for me. There’s a whole slew of people coming up who are kind of doing that, a lot of it doesn’t really carry the melody into the drops I’ve noticed. There’s a lot of these great, really lush melodic breakdowns, but as soon as the bass comes it becomes this sort of atonal, really heavy thing. And that’s not really my cup of tea, but it’s nice to even see the melodies coming through in the breakdowns, and that people are going for more of a songwriting aspect. I really like that.”

On his tour with Porter Robinson:
“It was sick. It was great touring with Porter, he’s a really cool dude. He plays some great music – he likes old school trance too, and it’s great to meet other people who like the same sort of songs. He’s got his own take on it, he leans towards the heavier electro style with the old school trance. It’s a great style.”

On how he got turned onto the trance scene:
“The biggest songs for me that got me into trance were ‘Can’t Sleep’ by Above and Beyond and the Gabriel and Dresden remix of ‘No One On Earth’. And there’s some other good songs, like the Tiesto remix of the Delerium song ‘Innocente’, and like, just the old school melodic, but melancholic, really beautiful stuff that really got my listening to it more and not just thinking ‘oh, it’s electronic music, this is a joke’. Those are the songs that really opened my eyes to that.”

“At the time, I was super goth, going to goth clubs, listening to industrial, going to metal shows. But, those songs that I just mentioned, have that melancholic hint…not even a hint, it has a deep sorrow. And I definitely related with that at the time. For me, the transition is clear – if you like deep heavy music that has this emotional connection, trance like that is obviously, I mean, you’re gonna like it.”

On the styles of his latest EP:
“I like to do a little bit of everything. I like so many styles of music that I’m never gonna do one thing. With this EP, I felt like I definitely wanted to make the statement that you’re not going to be able to place me in one genre. And I feel like a lot of artists do have that problem – where they make only one thing for so long and then they want to try something new, which is great, but their fanbase reacts in such a horrible way. I feel like early on, it’s important to establish this idea that I’m gonna play whatever I want, and I’m gonna make whatever I want, and you don’t have to like it, but, just musically, that’s what I want to do.”

On the Above and Beyond remix:
“That was actually a really funny thing because I was actually just on Beatport one day, and saw an Above and Beyond remix competition – and I saw the vocal stems, and yeah, I had no intentions of actually trying to finish it before and submitting it. Because, at the time, this was 2011, and things like trance and dubstep where just not connecting, not by any means. So, I just wanted the vocals. I wanted to download and look at the stems. And maybe a week into it, I only had like, two weeks for it, but I was like ‘whoa, I should finish it. I’m really proud of this so far, maybe I should try and finish it and submit it.’ So I did, just hoping for the best, hoping for some sort of honorable mention, but never expecting to win. And, that was just a whole crazy experience, so see them reach out the hand to a different genre than they’re normally doing, which is trance obviously.”

On the next big thing in EDM:
“I don’t listen to a whole lot of EDM so it’s hard for me to say, but I know that right now what’s getting big is the whole big room style, like what W&W is doing, you know those tracks just kill it live. You put on one of those songs and people just, you know, it blows their mind and it’s awesome. I like that stuff. So, I’d say in that kind of direction – the simple drop, that doesn’t have a lot of elements and can be limited to as hard as you can, and make it maximum loud. That seems where the trend is going.”

On hooking up with OSWLA:
“Not only does Sonny have a huge fan base in the US and OSWLA has a great name as a record label, but as an artist for me, to know that I’m working with a record label that’s open to experimentation and are not restrictive musically by any means, it’s refreshing. It gets my mind working in a way where, it’s like, ok, I want to go in this direction, and I don’t have to worry about the label being like ‘this is to weird for us.’ They’ve never once told me to make my sound a little heavier. They’re not trying to push anybody in any direction.”

On future plans:
“I would love to do a full length – like a cohesive piece of music with like twelve tracks. But it’s so unrealistic for me right now, because it takes me like a month to really work on a song and finish it until I’m really happy about it. So to think about it that way, I’d really be off the map for like a year, which is not really in the cards right now. I’m just doing one track at a time, finishing an EP, trying to group them together in a way that makes sense.”

“I just finishing a collab with Myon and Shane 54 that we just finished really recently. That’ll probably be the next thing that’ll be released from me.”