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A Sit Down With DJ Party Favor

16:30 Dec/13/2017

Dylan Ragland, known by most as Party Favor, has cultivated an edgy, exhilarating and thrilling style that has helped pioneer the festival trap genre. With anthems such as “Bap U,” “Booty Loose,” and his latest release, “Caskets,” the young artist has garnered support for his signature trap style that infuses different musical elements in each release, creating a diverse lineup of tracks in his arsenal of original music. The Mad Decent regular delivers an energetic, innately danceable sound, and his high-energy live performances, are exhilarating and unforgettable.


"I don't have any set goals because so far I've broken all my goals. So I just want to keep going."


Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and what kind of music you listened to growing up?

I was born in Manhattan so I was a city-boy but I grew up in Park city; it was a great snow town and I loved it. Then I came out here to Chapman in Orange County for film school and then through some connections I made there I met Alex… we started this project as a duo and it kind of evolved into me. Music: I consider myself a connoisseur of a lot of genres, when I was younger I used to listen to a ton of metal… when I’m not listing to house music I listen to a lot of reggae, that type of stuff.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?

Hectic, in a good way. I like to say that just because I love stuff that has a lot of energy, I love dance music because it makes me feel a certain way and it makes me feel happy and energized, you don’t even need coffee or a Redbull when you have those heavy beats. I think for me I like when people can come and they can get a little bit of twerk, get some trap vibes, some house, some poppier throwback elements all in one, and for me I try to mash everything up together.

You’ve gone from playing opening slots at tiny Hollywood nightclubs and Chapman FIJI parties to playing the biggest festivals in the world. How has that journey influenced your production style?

It’s definitely still surreal to be on those super big stages. I was working towards this for so many countless years that it’s always a pinch me moment when Im on stage. But I think because I started from playing to literally five people and then onto more intimate clubs I have always had a special place for the club vibe. I feel like my roots have always stuck with me. I have always used sampling pretty heavily in my tracks. Taking weird animal sounds or my voice or whatever and turning it into my sounds. But I like to think i’m adapting to the changing musical climate while still being true to myself. In my EP I think you will see that variety a little more.

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing with your life?

Probably be still in the film industry editing reality tv shows and blurring out boobs.

You don’t set out to create a particular genre of music when you get in the studio?

I mean, I don’t think so. I think as I’m getting bigger, I’m still trying to find my sound and where I fit… I do a little bit of house, I do a little bit of big room trap, I do some of the twerk stuff… in this day and age there’s just so much stuff that bridges genres… there are no real genres anymore, you know? I mean, you can listen to trap and say how its part hip hop but it’s like, so EDM now and its got these dubstep elements and synths… its really just a melting pot, which I think is the best part about it. But I think that calling it trap is kind of funny because trap is not anywhere near what [artists] are representing… EDM trap is the white term for it…. Trap music originated in the dirty south, you know? People sharing their actual struggles in the Trap. Now trap is more of a blanket term… it’s been taken over by white kids.

You starred in the HARD Summer Music Festival trailer which was the center of some controversy. It is true, that 97% of producers in DJ Mag’s top 100 are men. How do you think we can achieve equal representation of men and women at big festivals?

I think creating a place where women feel more comfortable, where women can get out there and make their voices heard in terms of what their making music wise. There’s a lot of talented female producers out there, but a lot of times they aren’t heard or get chosen over by a man. A lot of times women get discouraged because if you look out it’s kind of man’s game, in a lot of music genres as well, its not just a problem in Electronic music, I think creating a dialogue and creating more opportunities for women to be able to showcase their skill, because obviously they have just as much talent as men do, I think the trailer is what they were trying to push, and it pushed some buttons but that’s what the directed (who was a female)’s goal was to get the conversation started. And Its never going to be an easy cakewalk.

Who or what inspired you to become a DJ?

The music itself did. I fell in love with electronic music first, and it was the first time a genre of music really made me want to make it. Then I wanted to try to find a way to make my mark on it.

If you could choose one rapper to collaborate with, who would it be?

I absolutely love Chance The Rapper, Future & Anderson Paak right now so I would love to work with them at some point!

What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in the last year and why?

I would say the festival I just played in Myanmar which is a country that just opened their borders 5 or 6 years ago and they have such a love of music and it as one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen, they weee going crazy non stop and knew all the lyrics to my songs.

When traveling around the world, you’re being exposed to a plethora of cultures and people. Do you take these changes and experiences into account when playing out a set?

I’m always winging my sets so that allows me to adapt to wherever I am, whether that’s a song that’s specific to that area or a certain genre like hyphy music in the Bay Area. I want people to see that I respect where they are from! I also take elements from these genres and places and incorporate them into my music.

When did music become more than a hobby for you?

Probably the first time I played here… maybe a year ago? I opened so I was early on in the night but I remember thinking “this is THE venue in LA” whether you’re opening or not, you’re playing crowd that knows and lives and eats and breathes this music so you can’t **** up. So I think for me, when I played a couple of my tracks and people were responding, I knew I was doing something right. And then hearing my one remix I did a long time ago — over a year ago– my Swedish House remix— I heard that on the radio for the first time and it still gets played on KISS FM (one of the biggest radio stations in LA)… that was huge. People say you can sell out and what not but I think for any artist to hear their music on their music on the radio be it remixed or whatever… there’s nothing better than that.


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