There’s a Phoenix Rising – Interview With Up & Comer Tony Chen

*written by Cody Jandrok for Electronica Life

Phoenix Rising brings his own unique sound to the ever-growing dance music scene, and along with a refreshing take on what makes us dance, he also has a refreshing outlook on life as a whole. Hoping to live his dream of playing some of the biggest stages around the world, reaching people in new and exciting ways, changing the foundation of dance music and what PLUR really means, Phoenix Rising is without a doubt on the rise and it won’t be long before he’s soaring above the Electric Sky, dropping massive tunes for the masses to enjoy. In this interview, we’ll be getting an inside look at what makes Phoenix Rising tick and what he has in store for us in the future!
Cody – What was your first introduction into the electronic scene like?

Phoenix Rising – Ever since graduating from highschool in the year of 2008, I moved on to go to school in Las Vegas at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This was the first time in my life in where I got exposed to the electronic music scene. My whole edm experience started like this, I remember unpacking bags inside my dorm room on campus one day and suddenly in the room next door I could hear my suitemates blast music from their rooms. At first I was thinking to myself what kind of music does not have lyrics? I ignored it, but then when I met more and more people during my 2008 year to 2011 I finally got introduced to house music. This was the first time that I had listened to this type of music. I remember that I would go to clubs and they would play house music too. But I didnt think much of it, until the week of EDC 2012 when almost everyone in vegas was talking about it and how they were going. The streets of the Las Vegas strip where even advertising it on their bill boards.

I was getting a little curious and when edc came I missed the first night, but then my friend got in contact with me and said that she would sell me her ticket for saturday and sunday night. I bought the ticket and went on saturday night, but the winds were very strong so they closed down saturday night. I ended up finally getting inside the Las Vegas speedway on sunday and what I saw blew me away me away with excitement. The scenery, the carnival rides, the way people dressed truly introduced me to what a rave was for the first time ever in my life. I saw many well known artists such as Armin Van burren, Kascade, Avicii, and of course Porter Robinson. The experience was both exotic and amazing to me and I loved every single moment of it very much.

Cody – When did you realize that you wanted to start making music?

Phoenix Rising – The time that I realized that I wanted to start making music, was when I saw Porter Robinson for the first time ever at mainstage during EDC 2012. His electro and progressive house set was absolutely amazing and breathtaking at the same time. He really got the crowd moving and dancing during his set. I would also hear some comments like this kid has got some serious talent or he is just simply amazing. I could tell alot of people were really into it and his name would only grow in the coming years. At this same moment a thought struck me in my heart and I realized going through college and getting a degree could only take me so far in my life. I didnt want to live just a ordinary life, but I strongly desire a life where I can put my creative thoughts into action. Music was the one thing that allowed me to implement all my creative ideas and when I do it I feel so in love with it that that I could sit there for hours not knowing what time it was. Nothing in my life could have ever kept me as interested as making dance music could. I just

Cody – Who are some artists that inspire you?

Phoenix Rising – Porter Robinson was the one that really inspired me to make music, but he wasnt the only artist to really spark ideas in me. Artists like Zedd, Tiesto, Hardwell, and Nicky Romero really did it for me as well. When listening to Porters music for the first time I was completely blown away by his art and it puts chills down my spine every time I listen to it.

The energy that all these artists portrayed when showing a stage prescence was amazing because you can really tell that they really love doing what they do and they do it with a purpose to influences others. Another thing that I love is how they interact with the crowd and this is something that I hope to accomplish in my own professional career as a dj/producer. Seeing this made me feel inspired and knowing that I to can do these exact same things as they can. All these artists really made me feel motivated and I know that I can achieve the same greatness by putting forth the time and effort to achieve what I believe in.

Cody – Do you enjoy producing or performing more?

Phoenix Rising – I would have to say that as of right now I have had more experience when it comes producing then djing. From the begining I had the choice to start out as a dj or a producer. I chose to start out and grow as a producer first because Ive learned that when it comes to dance music you just have to start out as a producer in order to achieve a career as a dj/producer. The reason behind this is because If I started out as a dj then it would take more time for me to play catch up to build the skills to the same level as djing. So in this case I chose to spend alot more time on producing rather then djing which I enjoy very much doing.

On the flip side when it comes to djing, I have been adding in time on my controller as well to grasp djing and learning to transition, beatmatch, using cue points, and etc. I have only about 5 months of experience when it comes to djing compared to two years of music production. Professional live performances are something that I am working on achieving in the near future as a touring dj/producer at clubs and festivals around the world. As of right now the only performance experience I have is in front of my friends, family, and gigs that I have been called for when making local connections here in MD. To sum things up I enjoy both producing and performing very much so far from my experiences thus far.

Cody – What is your dream gig?

Phoenix Rising – There are many dream gigs that I wish to play at, but I think my number one gig would have to be headlining mainstage at EDC Vegas. Going to EDC 2012, 2013, and 2014 gave me the opportunity to witness amazing artists such as Hardwell and tiesto perform for the first time. I wish to become as great as them someday and headline every major festival. Aso to play at other festivals as well which includes tomarrowland, Nocturnal wonderland, and etc.

Cody – Your song, “Spirit” was shared on 3 of the biggest EDM sites and is arguably one of your top songs at the moment. How long did you work on that track and did you expect it to take off like it did?

Phoenix Rising – Spirit was a track that took me sometime to think up because I spent a week trying to come up with new ideas and this idea just popped in my head!

It took me about two to four weeks to accomplish because I really had to dig deep and find the right sounds to match the idea that I had in my head.

Mix and matching sounds together to see if they fit well together and then arranging them to form a track really took up most of my time. When I had it done I was really confident that it was going to do well but had no idea that it was going take off like it did.

My friend said dude I can see this being your biggest track yet and I believed him when I saw the results after being out for just a few weeks! I had around about 890 plays and it continued to grow past 1000 plays and skyrocketed to about 3k and it’s still growing today!

Cody – Tell me about what’s in store for your next song. Are you staying within your comfort zone and working to establish your signature sound? Or are you going to try to branch off and create something new and fresh?

Phoenix Rising – After spending two years producing my music and finally coming up with my sound, I can definitely say that I am still in the concentration of maturing my sound to the next level. I really believe that the world needs to see the sound that I have created and once i am touring professionally and put in a good 2 to 3 years in the scene I will probably expand my vision of bringing something new to the table. I really want to establish my signature sound so that people will know me for it.

Cody – What is your goal of bringing music to the masses? For some it’s to inspire and touch the hearts of their listeners, for others it’s about making people dance their ass off and have fun. What kind of effect do you hope to have with the music that you create?

Phoenix Rising – I really believe that making music is a combination of connecting with people emotionally and also delivering a message. My music not only will touch the hearts but present a message that will be legendary to inspire people to persue their dreams. too often I hear people say to me that this or that is impossible to achieve. I believe any dream that people may believe to be insurmountable is actually achievable if a person steps out of his comfort zone and breaks free of the hold that he/she has on themselves. Yes I want to touch the hearts and inspire people!

Cody – What’s something that you’ve never told anyone in an interview before?

Phoenix Rising – I think there is one thing that I have never told anyone in a interview before, and that is, ”Thank you so much for a wonderful and amazing interview experience”. The reason I say this is because there was never anything that really motivated me to live my life to the fullest every single day… but when it comes to music that I can say that I feel complete and motivated for every single day to pass by. At the end I can say that I lived my life to the fullest and feeling proud that I accomplished something that others deemed impossible.

Be sure to also checkout Phoenix Rising’s latest release “Blaze”!!!

Connect with Phoenix Rising:
Facebook | Soundcloud