Releasing one fire track after the other, Paige stopped by to talk about his life, musical journey and future plans.
There is a saying “Everything has to evolve or else it perishes”. For Paige, artistic development has culminated in a strong understanding of electronic music, which is characterized by stirring voices, captivating synths, rolling melodies, and flowing deep bass lines. With releases and remixes on some of the world’s most influential dance labels, he continues to surprise his fans by delivering timeless and astonishing tunes. The American progressive house luminary released fourteen superb singles including one EP within this year. His releases were supported by the most respected DJs: David Guetta, Gorgon City, Mark Knight, Nora En Pure, Vintage Culture to name a few.
Paige cemented his reputation as one of the scene’s most diverse performers in 2020. His ongoing collaborations with techno titan Nihil Young have shown an intriguingly uncanny force to be reckoned with, bound by ultra-creative sound design and charged-up, emotive melodies that are impossible to predict.
Hello John! It’s great to have you here today with us. How are you doing? What’s your current mood?
Yo guys! So pumped to be here, thanks for having me. I’m doing amazing, current mood is grateful & excited. I shifted my days earlier this week to start catching the sunrise at 7 AM, and it’s giving me such a beautiful boost for the day ahead. With any career in life, I think it’s important to switch up the daily routines, incorporate powerful rituals, and learn to tweak the day accordingly to be as optimal as possible. It’s a gift to even be alive.
Congrats on your new release ‘Hey Now’! It is extraordinary compared to your previous tunes. How did you come up with this release?
Thank you! Hey Now, and every release following it, is extraordinary because of the teamwork involved. The next year of releases has so many individual hearts poured into the projects, and it’s clear as day in the final product. Hey Now has been such a powerful collaboration of minds between myself, Nihil Young, Innarius, and Courtney Drummey. I discovered Innarius from his first release “Illusions.” I like to dig deep in Beatport and find tunes I love, not just what’s hot or on big labels. After supporting the record (and also thinking he was a vocalist, lol) I reached out to collaborate. We sent a few ideas back and forth until something fit. In one project he sent me, he added London Grammar’s original vocal for temporary inspiration, to convey the desired mood of the track. When my team heard this, a lightbulb went off. At that moment, we knew it was something so special. Courtney Drummey, an incredible vocalist who I’ve worked with before, came on board to re-sing this challenging vocal and absolutely smashed it. Nihil Young and I then added our usual vibe, and the four of us landed what you hear now. It was a pretty flawless team effort. I think we individually only touched the project once, let our ideas mesh together, and just trusted the process. I hope we make 10 more of these because it was so incredible to work together and make magic like that.
What was your first approach to electronic dance music?
DJing was first for me. I started mixing in my dad’s garage on his Technique 1200s (yes, my dad is a DJ), followed by school parties and teen clubs, then local gigs in the NYC house music scene. Early on, I *thought* I had a club residency every Saturday night… until one night the promoter told me – “Next week we’re bringing in someone else, he produces music too, you should make music or you’ll be limited to your gigs.” Fast-forward 6 days into community college, and I dropped out to instead enroll at SAE (School of Audio Engineering) in NYC. From then on, I’ve been producing, learning, and evolving in dance music.
How do you know when a track is ready?
Great question! For myself and I’m sure for many producers, it’s a long learning process. From the first track I ever made (and never released it) until now, you always feel it can be better. And the more you listen, the more tired you get, the less inspired you become, and the more you try to make it better. For me, I’m always working on many tracks. I think I have about 20-30 open projects right now. Work on it a little, move on to another, take a break, come back with fresh ears and mind. When I feel the track sounds amazing, I’ll then listen everywhere. DJ headphones, AirPods, laptop, speakers, mini portable speaker, iPhone, etc. Once I feel it sounds good on all of those, I send it off to mastering, zip the project, put it on the hard drive, and keep it moving. Music is art. It’s never perfect, it’s ever-evolving, and it’s an expression of you in that very moment and that moment will never be the same.
What’s the best moment you’ve had on a dance floor?
Wow, to pick one? My favorite location is the dance floor, fuck the VIP. I have so many amazing memories dancing, finding my love for DJing, letting loose with friends, discovering incredible DJs. Recently at Stereo Live in Houston, TX, I shared a moment with my fiancé, cousin Alex, and his partner Melleny. I finished the set with Hey Now, left the DJ booth for the dance floor, and just took it all in. It was my first time playing it live and was in the perfect intimate setting. Hearing it pump through the speakers while dancing with loved ones, and closing out an amazing night is something I’ll carry with me forever.
What is the hardest part of producing and how do you work around it?
There are two that come to mind. 1 – not over-producing. This has taken me 10+ years to understand, and I feel that I’m still learning “less is more”. So I try to not obsess, know when to walk away, then listen to my favorite artists, and also listen to my demos on shitty equipment – because if it’s too crowded, you’ll definitely hear it there. Those are key things for me, otherwise, I’ll over-produce a song – 100% guarantee hahahaha. 2 – staying inspired. Don’t just make music because you feel you have to, or because you’re following a trend. We’ve all done it, but when you can step away from that, and approach music from the heart and for the love of it, the result will be 100% better.
What are your go-to effects at the moment?
Every track has reverb, delay, compression, sidechain, and filters. I used to be a plugin hoarder, but after seeing a few close friends waste hours and hours finding the perfect reverb plugin setting like: back pew of an old Italian church… I’d said fuck it, I’m using less and figuring out how to work them properly. Just like a really nice car, unless you understand and can drive it properly, you’ll never get the true benefits of the engine and more.
We know that you have a healthy lifestyle. Does it give any benefits as an artist?
I believe every person on Earth is an artist. No matter what your path is, the goal is to provide something as best as you can to the world, to make it a better and more loving place. Since the pandemic, I really made this a priority. I’ve been vegan for 6 years, no alcohol for almost 5, but there’s so much more to health and wellness than that. Getting good sleep, morning sunlight, no phone for the 1st hour or 2 of being awake, drinking lots of fresh water and plain black coffee, meditation, breath-work, exercise, learning new information, giving back, exploring your purpose, pursuing your passion, and so much more. These are so important for functioning at an optimal level and living a truly free life. Remove the toxic shit, and incorporate the good-good.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your life?
Love. I spent so many years going through the motions, handling life as best as possible, trying to stay ahead in the endless hamster wheel. I had pain inside, unresolved traumas, as we all do. Taking time to prioritize my healing, and commit to becoming the best version of myself, made me truly understand the word: Love. Love thyself, love your partner, love your life, love your career, love your hobbies, love your friends, love everything. And the moment something feels out of alignment, identify it, learn, and fix it. We have one life on earth, and I hope everyone has the best ride possible. But the rollercoaster won’t be a joyride unless you do the work.
Finally, what to expect in 2022?
2022 letsssssss gooooooo babyyyyyyy!!!! We’ve worked so hard behind the scenes to say this: a release is scheduled every 4 weeks for nearly the entire year, on some of my dream labels like Purified, Realm, Odd One Out, and more. Many gigs lined up, which I haven’t even announced yet (shh) – starting off on New Year’s Eve with Nora En Pure and Elderbrook at Terminal 5, NYC. Then I’m headlining Discopussy, Las Vegas on New Year’s Day. Later in January, I’m playing the Purified show in Chicago with Nora En Pure, Cassian, and Eli & Fur. Many collaborations with my brother Nihil Young, followed by a BIG announcement from us that we can’t wait to share. And, some remixes are currently in the making, that I still can’t believe are real. 2022 – coming in hotttttttt!!!!!!!
Stream Paige, Nihil Young, Innarius – Hey Now on Spotify: