Michael Hartle seems to already have enough on his plate as a 2nd year student at Georgia Tech majoring in Computer Science, but he is also taking over the Atlanta DJ scene one show at a time! Keep reading to find out how he got started, his musical influences and what his plans are for the future before he opens for Hoodie Allen this Thursday at Georgia Tech’s Homecoming Concert!
AMG: How did you get interested in the music scene?
I’ve been doing something involving music pretty much my whole life. When I was in elementary school I took piano lessons. Then, starting in the 4th grade, I started playing saxophone, which I continued to play all the way through high school – it was something I did pretty seriously for a while. I took private jazz lessons, played in various district and state honor bands as well as the marching band at my school. Also, in middle school, I started picking up guitar and drums on my own and then played in a few bands and in the drumline throughout high school. I really only started getting into electronic music and DJing within the past year and a half.
AMG: What made you want to pursue DJing?
I had heard some dubstep songs towards the beginning of high school that I thought were pretty cool, but I wasn’t really listening to electronic music at the time. Then, during my senior year, one of my close friends started showing me more and more electronic music – particularly music from an independent record label called Monstercat. I found myself listening to EDM more and more and started going to shows on a regular basis. I think the first time I really heard trap music though was when Paper Diamond was opening for Excision and I became instantly hooked. I naturally wanted to learn how this type of music was created and performed, so I downloaded a free version of some DJ software and started messing around. I eventually got a cheap numark controller that was good enough to learn the basics and it all just picked up from there as I actually started to save up money to upgrade to equipment that I could teach myself more with.
AMG: Who are some of your musical influences?
I would say I definitely have a lot of influence coming from the hardcore metal scene since that was the kind of music I primarily listened to throughout high school. Bands like Chelsea Grin, Attack Attack, Of Mice & Men and I See Stars were some of my favorites. I think its the fact that EDM and metal are both typically high in energy, but also express a lot of emotion is what draws me to them. Hip-hop and rap artists are also a major influence due to the fact that I’m from Atlanta. Some of my favorites include Wiz Khalifa, Waka Flocka, T.I. and Kendrick Lamar, but honestly the list could go on forever. As far as producers and DJs go, I would have to say Louis Futon, Baauer and RL Grime are definitely three of my favorite. Those guys rule.
AMG: What are some of the shows you have played?
Most of the shows I have played have been fraternity parties at either Georgia Tech or Oglethorpe University. However, I also got the chance to play at a show called Kingdom Rave over this past summer, which was really cool because I was playing alongside international touring artists that I look up to such as Loudpvck and Downlink. It was crazy to see my name on the same poster as those guys. I’ve played at a club close to Georgia Tech called Quad as well.
AMG: Which show has been your favorite and why?
I think it would have to be a fraternity party I played last year called Shipwreck. It was two days long and I got to play with one of my good friends, Thuc Van, one of the nights, which was really cool. We had nothing planned in advance and ended up just mixing back to back, which was a great experience and turned out really well. Overall though, the crowd was really energetic though, which I think was what made it one of the more fun shows I’ve played.
AMG: What are your music plans for the future?
I’m really excited to be opening for Hoodie Allen this upcoming Thursday. I also want to take the time to work on producing some of my own music as I’m hoping to release an EP within the next year or so. Other than that, I just want to play as many shows as I can.
AMG: Do you have any advice for other people interested in becoming DJs?
I would say to start off with any kind of DJ software you can get your hands on. I think that’s the most affordable way to learn all of the basics of mixing and you can create some pretty good mixes using just your keyboard and mouse. After that you can start moving up by getting a controller or mixing externally. As far as learning goes though, I recommend watching YouTube videos, reading articles online and, lastly, just doing what sounds good to you.