As he makes powerful waves within the Electronic Dance Music world, the talented Producer and DJ Cody Chase has captivated listeners globally with his energetic persona and electrifying production style. As he continues to be driven by his passion and enthusiasm for his art, Cody Chase is constantly developing his unique signature sound and finding new ways to express his creativity: his impressive productions have earned the Producer support from top DJ Benny Benassi, and now with over 75,000 monthly listeners, Cody Chase hosts his popular weekly radio, ‘The Chase’. Showing no signs of slowing down, Cody Chase continues building a momentum that is sure to see him reach new milestones with every new powerful release.
Now, he is here to talk with us about his journey into music, taking us through how it all started and sharing an insider’s look into his career so far.
Can you tell us about the moment you first fell in love with Electronic music and decided to pursue a career in the industry?
This tale brings me back, way back to the historical era of 2008, during my carefree freshman year at CU Boulder out in the wilds of Colorado. A sophomore compadre of mine had just unlocked the magical Pandora’s box of raving, partying and all the assorted tomfoolery that comes with discovering nightlife in your late teens. Oh, the naivety!
My initiation into this mystical world was a spectacle called Hallo-freaking-ween in 2008. Decked out as a tantalizingly terrifying vampire, I immersed myself in the rave culture and was absolutely smitten. The vibe, the music, the culture, everything – it was like falling in love with a synth track on repeat.
Despite my youthful appearance, I’d been a connoisseur of house music since I was merely a young lad of 13. An oracle, in the form of a Benny Bennasi album, was passed into my hands and I was immediately hooked. House music, I learned, was not just a genre but a thriving live music scene, a revelation that would forever alter the trajectory of my life.
As fate would have it, during my Christmas break that year, a buddy introduced me to the sacred dancefloor of Pasha in New York City. Pasha, in its prime, was an international club brand renowned for its pulsating beats. It was there that I found myself entranced by Mark Knight’s rhythmic sorcery during my first authentic NYC rave. It was a spiritual awakening, and I knew then I had a higher calling – to be a DJ.
A friend, who had a rudimentary understanding of the craft, offered to guide me. And thus, my training commenced on his humble Technic twelves. This electrifying experience led me to the realization that I simply had to master this art. With the benevolent support of my grandparents, I became the proud owner of a pre-loved set of CDJ 900s and a charmingly decrepit Behringer DDM 400. With this vintage setup, my journey to mastering the decks began.
And that, is how I went from a vampire-costume-wearing, rave-loving college freshman to a burgeoning DJ and producer. Life certainly has a strange way of playing its own beat, doesn’t it?
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when you were first starting out as a DJ and producer?
Ah, the life of a DJ and producer, isn’t all peaches and crowd surfers. To be honest, even with a truckload of talent and a top-tier team, the journey is akin to riding a roller coaster that occasionally veers off into a spinning teacup ride.
I’m extremely fortunate to have two devoted co-pilots on this wild ride – my cousin Ben, and his best friend, who also happens to be my best friend, Brian. These chaps have an uncanny ability to radiate positivity, even when I’m feeling as flat as a vinyl record after a particularly rough set. They dust me off, give me a pep talk that would make a sports coach blush, and remind me of my worth – even if my big break hasn’t come knocking yet.
You know, it’s been a 15-year long sonic journey since I first took to the decks at the age of 18. Okay, I might have hit the pause button for a wee bit (the details are fuzzy, thanks to the countless afterparties), but even after all these years, the challenges persist. Landing gigs is a bit like fishing – sometimes you reel in a big one, other times you’re just sitting there, waiting for a nibble.
Recently, my life took a turn for the even more amazing – my wife and I welcomed a tiny human, a new mini-DJ in the making, into our world. With this joyful arrival, we decided to take a brief intermission from the relentless gig chase this summer. I wanted to be there to support my wife and our newborn son, and frankly, baby burps and gurgles are the freshest beats I’ve heard in a while. But fear not, as the end of the month approaches, we’ll be cranking up the volume and hitting the road with renewed vigour. Hold on tight because the DJ comeback tour is about to go full throttle!
Can you talk about some of the early influences that shaped your sound and style as a DJ and producer?
Absolutely! Allow me to navigate you through the colorful soundscape that has influenced my DJ style. Sitting atop this musical Mt. Olympus, uncontested, is the legendary Carl Cox. If I had the chance to warm up the decks for him, I’d consider my DJ bucket list complete. I had the good fortune to witness his prowess at my first Ultra back in 2014, where he reigned supreme as the grandmaster of Techno. To put it mildly, his set was a euphoric revelation.
Now, Cox is renowned for being a DJ maestro who deftly handles four decks in a mix, an art form that, sadly, is fading faster than a track on vinyl. It brings a virtual tear to my eye when I see DJs today flaunting their four decks, yet only one fader is up. They’re off dancing, interacting with the crowd, but they’ve left the mix – their audience – all alone. It might make for a good Instagram post, but that’s performance, not DJing. Mixing, my friends, is an entirely different beast.
Speaking of beasts, there’s a DJ rising in the ranks who has captured my attention – James Hype. This guy’s ability to mix is so stellar, it’s practically celestial. Like Hype, when I hit the decks, I’m not content with merely playing one track at a time. In fact, if a gig informs me that I’ll have only two decks and a mixer at my disposal, I politely decline. I simply can’t bring my unique soundscape to life with such a limited setup.
For instance, in my humble home rig, you’ll find the likes of a Pioneer DJM-V10, 4x CDJ3Ks, a Roland TB-3, and a DJ S-1000. You see, when I perform, I use tracks as ingredients, spicing up my set to create my signature sonic stew. While an average DJ might go through 15 or 16 tracks in an hour, my sets typically whirl through a dizzying 25 to 30 tracks. And that, dear friend, is a snapshot into the melodic tapestry that has shaped my style as a DJ. Buckle up, because it’s quite the rollercoaster of sound!
How has your style and sound evolved since you first started making music, and what inspired those changes?
Back in the rip-roaring year of 2008, when I was just an 18-year-old disco enthusiast, dance floors pulsated to the beats of Progressive House and Electro House. Ah, those were the days! I was right there in the mix, dropping beats at iconic spots like Pasha New York City and Webster Hall. Picture a fresh-faced me, struggling to juggle just two decks like a novice circus clown with slippery shoes.
But, as they say, practice makes perfect, and after dedicating my 10,000 hours (and probably a few too many cups of coffee), I transformed from that clumsy newbie to a bona fide deck master. Fast forward to today, and my sound’s had a bit of a glow-up. Gone are the days of exclusively two-deck dabbles. Now, I’m all about the pulsating rhythms of Tech House and Techno, orchestrating harmonies across not two, but four decks!
Imagine this: pulling elements from various tracks, I whip up a scrumptious audio stew that serves up a one-of-a-kind auditory experience in an hour or two (or three) long mix. If you’re looking for an analogy, think of it as playing Tetris on level 10, but instead of blocks dropping, it’s beats, and instead of 5 minutes, it’s 3 hours! Quite the musical marathon, but hey, who’s counting?
You’ve mentioned that you started out playing at parties for friends and family – can you tell us about the moment you first realized you had the potential to make it as a professional DJ?
My first gig? My best friend’s sister’s sweet 16. Picture this: a rave DJ—me, bursting with enthusiasm, ready to drop beats that would set the underground on fire—playing for a swarm of 16-year-olds with a penchant for top 40 hits. As you can imagine, things didn’t go as planned. The kids looked at me like I was playing tracks from another galaxy! Note to all budding DJs out there: 16-year-olds are not your rave crowd. When they began firing off song requests, I felt like a chef at a five-star restaurant being asked to cook a PB&J sandwich. I didn’t have their songs and boy, were they quick to let me know! The cherry on top? Destroying my friend’s parents’ brand-new speakers, purchased just 2 months prior. The only thing that matched the decibel of my bass drop was the sound of my heart dropping when those speakers blew. A pro-tip for future me: always check equipment compatibility.
But, as they say, after the storm comes the rainbow. A few turbulent months later, I found myself in the basement of Pacha NYC. It was electric. I got the crowd so hyped that we had a full-blown dance circle right in the centre. Then, in a twist straight out of a sitcom, one guy got so carried away, he threw out a hip or a knee—I never really got the details. As the paramedics carted him away, I realized two things: One, I definitely had the chops to turn a party up to 11, and two, always have a first aid kit on hand. It was the moment I realized that behind the decks, I could make any party not just work, but absolutely explode (hopefully, just metaphorically next time).
You’ve played some pretty big venues over the years – can you tell us about the first time you played a really large show, and how that experience affected you?
Oh, the legendary Ultra party. You know, some DJs get months, even years to prepare for such a show. Me? I had a matter of hours, thanks to being a last-minute fill-in. But hey, who cares about the invite as long as you get to shake a leg, right?
30 minutes before the spotlight was on me, the jitters kicked in, and not in the groovy, bass-thumping way. I had such stage fright that my breakfast decided to make an unexpected reappearance—twice! My agent, always the observant one, saw me turning a shade greener than a vinyl disc. “What do you need?” he asked, probably expecting me to ask for water or a pep talk. Instead, I had an odd request, inspired by some chatter in DJ circles: “Any chance we can find some whacky tobacco?” I’d heard whispers of its magical power against nausea and anxiety. And would you believe it? In record time (pun intended), he sourced some. Let’s just say I took my “T, H, and C vitamins”, and suddenly the world seemed a lot more… “rhythmic”.
Now, I’d love to tell you I instantly became a DJ prodigy when I stepped up, but I hilariously botched the first mix from the previous DJ. But after that initial hiccup, something clicked. I was in the zone, riding the wave, and each track flowed seamlessly into the next. The crowd’s energy, the pulsating beats, everything was just… electric. It’s one thing to spin tracks in a bedroom studio, but feeling the vibes of thousands? It’s indescribable. As they say, the show must go on—and boy, did it ever!
You’ve had some pretty high-profile supporters over the years, lately including Benny Benassi – what does it feel like to have such respected names in the industry endorsing your music?
Having Benny Benassi—yes, THE Benny Benassi—support my music is akin to Luke Skywalker getting a nod of approval from Yoda himself. Benny is more than just a mentor from a distance; he’s the maestro who unwittingly threw me into the cosmic dance universe. Picture a young, impressionable me at 13, encountering the mesmerizing world of ‘Hypnotica’. Those sizzling synths and beefy bass lines weren’t just beats to me; they were the very foundation of my musical DNA.
Fast forward 20 years: one would think I’d be accustomed to the thrills of the music industry, but seeing a legend pick up my records was like watching my childhood superhero wear a T-shirt with my face on it! It’s both surreal and serendipitous. My team and I, after pinching ourselves multiple times, took it as a cosmic wink. A celestial “You’re on the right track, Cody Chase.”
So, in the grand symphony of life, having industry titans like Benny endorse my music? It’s a crescendo I didn’t know I was building towards, but boy, am I dancing to its beat now!
How do you balance your creative process with the business side of the music industry, and what have you learned in the process?
Ah, the age-old conundrum: being an artist versus wearing the snazzy hat of a businessman. Think of it like being both Batman and Bruce Wayne, where instead of fighting crime, I’m dropping beats and signing contracts!
On one hand, you have the creative process, where I get to dive deep into my musical alcove, letting my synapses dance to the rhythm of imagination. It’s a realm of unbridled passion, ethereal dreams, and the occasional diva moment where I refuse to work with any instrument not tuned to my specific mood of the day.
Then, there’s the business side—a stark contrast. Here, I’m crunching numbers, understanding algorithms (without falling asleep, mind you), and negotiating deals that would make Wall Street brokers give me a respectful nod. It’s a world of espresso shots, sharp suits, and mastering the art of the firm yet not-too-firm handshake.
Now, how do I balance the two? With grace, a dash of insanity, and a well-maintained calendar. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that one side fuels the other. The business makes my art possible, while my art gives the business its heart. And at the end of the day, both sides need one crucial ingredient: authenticity. Whether I’m crafting a melody or a business strategy, staying true to who I am has been my compass.
So, in the grand cacophony of the music industry, I’ve discovered my own harmony by embracing both the maestro and the mogul within. And trust me, that’s a duet worth listening to!
What advice would you give to aspiring DJs and producers who are just starting out in the industry?
In my opinion, there are 3 main pillars to follow and success will come.
- All for One, and Beats for All: Remember, this isn’t a solo piano recital; it’s more like an orchestra where everyone plays the kazoo. Relationships are the backbone of this industry. You might have the skills of Mozart and the swagger of Beyoncé, but without a rock-solid team, you’re just another fish singing in the sea. My team has been instrumental (pun fully intended) in my journey. Sure, self-belief can make you tap your feet, but when others believe in you, the world dances to your tune. Strive for that sweet spot where your unique sound grooves seamlessly with the industry’s heartbeat.
- Master the Decks, Not Just the Tech: Want to be the complete package? Don’t just produce—DJ like you were born with headphones on! There’s a galaxy of producers out there who, despite their studio wizardry, can’t stir a crowd if their lives depended on it. Producers sculpt their brand, their aura. DJs, on the other hand, must be the life of the party, conjuring energy out of thin air. Remember, those crowds didn’t come for background music at a tea party. They want a spectacle. Aim to not just impress, but to leave them awestruck, starry-eyed, and desperately waiting for an encore.
- The Yin and Yang of Ego: The DJ world demands a fascinating duality. You need the confidence of a lion and the grace of a gazelle. Roar with conviction when you must, but never forget to bow in gratitude. The industry is a complex tapestry of mentors, peers, and fans. To each, owe a piece of your success. Remember, in the game of music, sometimes you’re the lead guitarist, and sometimes you’re the guy making sure the guitar doesn’t feedback. Value both roles.
So, aspiring groove masters, chart your course, trust your compass, and may your beats always find their rhythm. Onwards and upwards! 🎧🚀
Looking back on your career so far, what are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned, and what do you see as your biggest accomplishments and challenges going forward?
Let’s journey through the crescendos and diminuendos, shall we?
First, Lessons Learned:
Reflecting on my audacious endeavours, I’ve gleaned a couple of quintessential insights. Numero Uno – flying solo might work for Superman, but in the DJ world, a league of extraordinary teammates beats the cape off any solo act. Secondly, contracts are to a DJ what sheet music is to an orchestra. Misplace a note (or fail to dot an ‘i’) and suddenly, Beethoven’s Symphony sounds more like a cat yowling on a fence at midnight. If it ain’t in black and white, it might just lead to fifty shades of regret.
Triumphs & Tunes of 2023:
With a whopping ~100,000 plays across streaming giants, I’m thrilled that ears far and wide have been blessed (or cursed, based on personal taste) with the beats I’ve been dropping.
My radio show, “The Chase,” has unfurled its musical banner across 22 stations in about 15 countries. And let’s not forget that sensational guest appearance by KSHMR on episode 25! Now, I mix very heavily in these sets and average about 25 tracks per hour. Now in my 27th episode, I have yet to repeat a song that isn’t mine. I pride myself on being the Indiana Jones of the digital music realm—no stone (or track) left unturned! Getting verified on 1001tracklists has given me the opportunity to highlight so many new up-and-comers and give them their first spin. And getting a nod from luminaries like Benny Benassi who gave my track a spin for his Insomniac 30th anniversary mix, was like the dance music gods were whispered sweet nothings in my ear.
Our label, Chasin Records, which started as a dream sketched on a napkin. Now, it’s sculpting the future of dance music, ready to dazzle with releases from fresh and new artists.
Now, gigs. Oh, the gigs! Opening for one of my favorite producers, Eli Brown was a dream. On Sept 29th, in Brooklyn at Superior Ingredients, I have the pleasure of spinning with Danny Avila as the cherry atop my sonic sundae. You know, it’s got that “local boy makes it big” vibe. New York, I’m back baby, and I’ve brought the beats!
Every maestro needs a roadmap. For me and my team, it’s about inking a deal with a stellar talent agency. With the world’s dance floors waiting, my crew and I are set to burn rubber (or in this case, vinyl?). A pit stop at ADE in Amsterdam is up next, and trust me, it’s going to be more electrifying than Adam Bayer at 4am at Hï[biza] this summer.
So world, a heads up – Cody Chase is in the mix, and I’m tuning up to give you a musical experience you won’t forget. Keep Chasin! 🎵🌍🎧
In this interview, Cody Chase showcased an undeniable passion and love for his art and the genre; there is no doubt that the talented Producer and DJ will continue making a name for himself within the Electronic Music realm, dropping striking productions and captivating audiences with his electrifyingly energetic live performances. We thank Cody Chase for taking the time to talk with us and eagerly await to hear what the next chapter has in store for this skilled Producer and DJ.
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