Happy Wednesday Change It Up Fans! I have a massive show to bring to you today. It is big because it is the first Sherm Mix of the year and because we follow that up with a guest mix from a producer duo who is absolutely blowing up everything. First thing is first, in my Sherm Mix, I’ve got tracks from Nihils, Major Lazer, MNEK, Rudimental, Nina Simone, and I’ve got a saxy version of Zedd’s famous track “Clarity”. These remixes are all very upbeat and you get you pumped for beach season. My Chill Pill of the Week, is a cover of the extremely popular Weeknd song, “In The Night”. The track is produced by Jasper Dietze and the incredible vocals are done by Aaron Richards.
As I said my guests this week, are one of the biggest the show has ever seen. They currently sit on SoundCloud with over 92,000 followers and over 132,000 likes on Facebook. They are Two Friends, and they have absolutely been killing the game of lately and 2016 looks to be an even bigger year for them. Matt Halper and Eli Sones, the young masterminds behind Two Friends, have quickly revamped from high school bedroom producers to one of the most promising dance music duos of 2016. Known for their viral remixes of “Trap Queen”, “I Miss You” and “Cool”, the two have, in unprecedented time, mastered a wide range of genres from deep, melodic house to harder progressive cuts. With their Spotify and SoundCloud views now exceeding 17 million and with eleven #1’s on Hype Machine, the boys are well on their way to becoming the next big dance act to come out of America.
Kicking off their musical journey in senior year of high school, the boys honed their skills through remixing, taking on the likes of The Chainsmokers, Blink 182, Tori Kelly and Alesso to name but a few. Perfecting their distinct “Soul House” style, Two Friends were quick to prove their versatile production techniques, drawing upon a wide variety of live instrumentation to create a truly multi-faceted sound with every release. After receiving the “Award of Independent Excellence” from Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Two Friends swiftly exceeded their influence beyond the online sphere, attracting the spotlight on stage and radio. While Don Diablo was dropping Two Friends remixes on Hexagon Radio, their remix of Lana Del Rey’s hit “Born To Die” scored airplay on Sirius XM, securing the boys a top ten spot in the BPM Hits Chart in 2014. With support now coming from the likes of The Chainsmokers, Krewella and Tritonal, and with a whole host of original releases locked in for 2016, Matt and Eli undoubtedly look set to dominate this year and beyond.
The Two Friends guys also just happened to grace our great city of Philadelphia with their presence this past weekend as they destroyed their set at CODA Night Club. They had the lively crowd at CODA jumping and partying all night. As always on Change It Up, we asked the guys a couple questions to see what things we could find out about the duo and their impending rise to stardom…
Two Friends Q&A Interview:
1. First off, tell us a bit about yourselves. A little about when you guys became friends, your DJ background, when you started producing, what got you into electronic music, etc.
TF: We are Matt & Eli, and we’ve been best friends since we were 12 years old. We actually didn’t team up to form Two Friends until the very end of high school, right before we split up for college. But we had been best friends for the past six years and each had different music backgrounds that sort of complimented each other nicely, so when the idea popped into our heads to start a music duo, it just clicked. For a tiny bit, we thought we wanted to be hip-hop producers and we sent a few beats to rappers haha, but we quickly became too obsessed and passionate about dance music that we knew we needed to give it a shot.
2. You guys like to bounce all over the genres in your production. I think it’s very important to be diverse when creating new tracks. But talk a bit about this “soul house” concept and what it means to you guys?
TF: We love messing around with a many different genres, and not only that, but also intertwining many different genres into the same song. Soul House is what we’ve been calling a lot of the stuff we’ve released within the last year. Lots of live instruments— guitars, sax, drums, and more, as well as lots of fun/emotional piano melodies. Lots more soul house coming, as well as some totally different stuff from us. More than excited to share.
3. The last year and half must have been insane for you guys, 17 million plays and 11 #1’s on Hype Machine is beyond impressive. What was is like having some of your remixes including the “Trap Queen” and “I Miss You” go so well? When you finished it did you guys ever think they would have over millions of plays?
TF: It is truly humbling. When we first started, I don’t think we ever imagined we’d reach that level, but the fun part now is having your goals evolve and knowing that in the grand scheme of what we hope to accomplish now, we really are only getting starting.
4. The Chainsmokers dropped your “I Miss You” remix at Ultra Mainstage. Did you know this was going to happen? And how did you feel knowing that your track was getting played live to thousands of people?
TF: We knew they had been playing that remix a bunch in their sets this year, but we had no idea they were gonna whip it out at Ultra haha. That was so rewarding and fun seeing all those people sing and dance along to it. And now that just makes us want to work even harder so that one day we can be playing an original song on the main-stage and have the same amount of people sing along.
5. You guys have been making your way around the country playing shows. Do you have a city with any great stories attached to it or great memories from any one in particular? You’ve also played shows internationally in Denmark, Mexico and Canada. Any special memories from those countries? And are there any countries you guys are keen to play in?
TF: Every new city we get to play for is always so fun. It sometimes feels like it can’t be real that we get to travel to awesome destinations and meet awesome people and have awesome nights with them all as part of a ‘business trip.’ We definitely do not take that for granted that we can be in that position. In terms of a specific recent place, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico will always have a special place in our hearts haha. And looking ahead, it would be awesome to set up some dates in Europe or Asia.
6. Who are you guys listening to right now? EDM and Non-EDM artists? Any favorite tracks you guys like to play out that aren’t yours. If you could go back in time who is one artist you guys would have liked to see play live?
TF: One artist who I would’ve liked to see play live would be Freddie Mercury. I’ve seen videos of Queen playing in stadiums, and that dude was able to create such a massive energy that resonated throughout the entire stadium and beyond. Pretty damn inspiring, and such a one-of-a-kind talent. Some recent favorite acts in the EDM world are guys like Michael Calfan, Shaun Frank, Lucas & Steve, and then also so many young up-and-comers that have insane talent. Non-EDM, been pretty obsessed with Twenty One Pilots lately. Oh, and that song “Ophelia” by The Lumineers.
7. Can you talk a little bit about what you guys have planned for the upcoming year? Releases, shows, collabs, whatever you’re allowed to give away…
TF: So much more coming and we really cannot wait. More remixes— including ones for Audien and Vicetone in the coming weeks— and plenty more originals that span a fun spectrum of different vibes and styles. Some collaborations, a lot more touring, and we’re just gonna continue to grind every day to keep improving and growing.
8. We are helping promote your show in Philly on April 22nd. Is this your first time in Philly? If so do you know about our famous Philly Cheesesteaks??
TF: We’ve both been to Philly once before while looking at colleges, but this is our first time performing here and we are beyond excited. Gonna be an awesome night. And haha we’ve obviously heard about the legendary cheesesteaks, but we need someone to show us the light.
9. Lastly, any advice for aspiring DJs/Producers?
TF: We actually coincidentally just did a big Facebook post giving our best tips, and here were some of the highlights of that… Try to mostly have fun while producing. If you don’t grow the joy, you won’t be able to rack the hours necessary. Little victories are everything. Don’t compare yourself to your favorite top producer if you’re just starting. They went through the same thing and it sounded awful in the beginning.
We hope the guys enjoyed their short time in Philly and hope they come back soon! They did just get announced at Beachglow Music Festival in Wildwood, NJ so look for updates on that. Thanks again to Two Friends for doing the guest mix and answering the questions, Good Luck this year guys!
1. Not a Man of Violence (PALASTIC Remix) – Nihils
2. Blind – Feder ft. Emmi
3. Never Forget About You (Alex Schulz Remix) – Zara Larsson & MNEK
4. Be Together (DFLV Remix) – Major Lazer
5. Lay It All On Me (VIP Remix) – Rudimental ft. Big Sean, Vic Mensa, Ed Sheeran
6. Feeling Good (Solidisco Remix) – Nina Simone
7. Heartbeat (Justin Faust Remix) – Childish Gambino
8. Clarity (ADRIKLE Remix) – Zedd & Foxes
9. In The Night (The Weeknd Cover) – Jaspar Dietze ft. Aaron Richards **CPW**
Two Friends Guest Mix
1. Forever (Original Mix) – Two Friends ft. ktpearl
2. Expensive (Two Friends Remix) – Tori Kelly
3. Slowly (Two Friends Remix) – Dropout
4. Flashed Junk Mind (Two Friends Remix) – Milky Chance
5. I Miss You (Two Friends Remix) – Blink-182
6. Together (Lucas & Steve Remix) – The Magician
7. Trap King (Fetty Wap Cover) – Two Friends & INSTRUM ft. Adriana Gomez
8. Heaven (Two Friends Remix) – Shaun Frank & KSHMR
9. Keeping Your Head Up (Don Diablo Remix) – Birdy
10. Cool (Two Friends Remix) – Alesso