After a relatively quiet 2020, LA-based DJ and hardstyle producer Softest Hard is back on tour.
She is no stranger to playing at international festivals. She toured across Asia and opened for Skrillex back in 2019. Her first festival appearance in Canada, however, was the return of Vancouver's popular two-day music festival FVDED In The Park and worldmusic.blog caught up with her after a palpitation.
worldmusic.blog: I didn't realize you had played Vancouver before. How is your mood in Vancouver?
softest hard: I fucking love it here. I love Vancouver, everyone shows so much love, everyone is so nice. I congratulate everyone at Fortune Sound for bringing me here first, but it was such an experience playing at a festival, not a club, you know. I fucking love it here.
worldmusic.blog: The audience really loved you and your style is completely independent which I want to address. For people who don't know what "Softest Hardstyle" is, how would you describe it in as few words as possible?
softest hard: Basically, the Softest Hard style is a take on the classic hard style that I called my own and made "Softest Hardstyle". The softest part is like the more melodic and prettier one and is paired with the classic hardstyle drums so I try to incorporate that into all of my music – something that is pretty light and airy with a hard kick. That is "Softest Hardstyle".
worldmusic.blog: I also saw that you started doing hip-hop outside the EDM room and got more into that scene. If you could work with a rapper and a producer, who would it be?
softest hard: Probably Lil Wayne because that's my idol. I look up to him – he's my favorite rapper – and then probably to DJ Snake. Do something euphoric with some rap shit, the nostalgic energy that comes from Snake, and then the classic rap shit from Wayne.
worldmusic.blog: What I read about you in a really inspiring way was that you just went off to L.A. when you were 17, which is pretty much every teenager's dream. What advice do you have for someone looking to chase their dreams in L.A.
softest hard: Just get started, don't be afraid. Being scared is holding people back, and all you have to do is be confident and very determined to get where you want to be. You can't just come to L.A. and say, "Oh, actually, I'm lazy." No, you have to grind or you go home.
Just do it. Be determined and passionate. It's also about knowing the right people to go far and having the right attitude. I feel like these are all really good components to have as an artist trying to get out of the mud. So just do it, do it. Do not be afraid and venture out into the world.
Softest Hard at FVDED In The Park 2021
worldmusic.blog: What would be one thing that would surprise people about your driver?
softest hard: Uh, Twinkies (laughs). I don't know, my manager put them there, so I kept eating them and said, "Damn it, love me some damn twinkies."
But yes, they are on my rider, they are funny. Everyone laughs, that's why I brought it up. Because every time someone comes into my room they say, "Why do you have twinkies, that's a weird thing", but I love twinkies. I love sweet things.
worldmusic.blog: I have to love twinkies. But what about real food? What are your favorites
softest hard: Oh my god i love everything It really is such a difficult question. I love pasta, i love sushi, i love thai food. I'm not a picky eater – I love everything except weird guts and chicken feet and stuff.
worldmusic.blog: So what are Softest Hard's top three late night delivery spots in L.A.?
softest hard: I usually eat at this Italian restaurant called UOVO, I'm a big ravioli girl (laughs). Love me some ravioli, i'm going to screw up some ravioli late at night.
worldmusic.blog: Let's talk about music for a moment. What are you working on? What's next?
softest hard: Actually, I'll be working on my first album next month, we're going to Amsterdam for a week and a half to work on it. Insomniac will release it and the first single will be released earlier this year.
I have a lot of cool features on it and I'm really looking forward to this album. It's my baby and it just gets so big. All the people I have are my close friends who are so talented too and it's going to be very special.
worldmusic.blog: Can you tell us what the sound will be like or someone else about it?
softest hard: So maybe I want to do three or four songs that are hardstyle, big room banger, and then three or four on the softer side that can be played on the radio. You can play the hard stuff on the radio, but you know how shit goes. So it will be soft and hard – you will get both.
worldmusic.blog: What are you listening to? What is your inspiration right now?
softest hard: I've heard a lot from Don Toliver. I love his voice. I really love Kali Uchis too, she is a really good friend of mine. I love that they are together and drop a song.
I was really a fan of DJ Snake too, all of his new music is coming out. "You Are My High" like this song is a blast, I love that nostalgic feeling, anything that makes you feel good, that I'm a big fan of.
worldmusic.blog: The other thing I read was that you met Skrillex and Diplo?
softest hard: Yes, when I met Skrillex I was working in a restaurant, but music was still my passion. He found me on SoundCloud and said, "Bro, that shit is cool, come on, connect with me" and I said, "This is not real, this is a fake."
So I went to the studio, met Skrillex, met Vic Mensa, it was cool to be in the studio with them. After that, we just got closer, that was back around 2016 or so. And then Skrillex really attracted me by getting me involved in all of the OWSLA parties and taking me on an Asia tour where I could open up to him – and that was huge for me. He's still someone who is very important, I really want him to be on my album.
And I met Diplo because I did a "Diplo & Friends" thing. They really shagged me and gave me a spot on Diplo's Revolution every month and that really got me going too because it's like, "Damn, I'm on the radio every month so of course I will Get traction. " It's cool that they believed in me and still look after me. Every time I have new music I send them both and they help me with a lot of things. So greet her, love her.
worldmusic.blog So what can we look forward to from you by the end of the year and 2022, any shows that you are going to play that people should be buying tickets for?
softest hard: I have a couple of shows this year where I play Audiotistic in the Bay Area, play Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge, play EDC Orlando, and EDC Mexico City. Probably a few missing, but this year it's kind of scattered. I think after my album is out we will tour it and Insomniac will put me on all the festivals they have so it goes next year.
worldmusic.blog See you in Vancouver again?
softest hard: Without doubt!
Check out Softest Hard's latest release, "Power" with SAYMYNAME below.
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