case & Point

Interview: EDM Duo Case & Point Applies The Music 'Pressure'

Boston, a historical city centered around our country’s independence, diehard sports fans, and um, beans. We love Boston dearly at VIBE, but dance music is not the first thing that comes to mind when speaking about the New England city. But with groups such as Terravita, Soul Clap, and now, Case & Point coming out of the small city, perhaps the view is changing. Case (Casey Vadum) and Point (TJ Jordan) have been mastering their dynamic electro sound and very well may have discovered not only their own sound, but the solution to today’s monotiny in the electro house charts.

Their newest release, "Pressure," is a prime example of the much needed refreshing take on electro that still has power and emotion to it. At VIBE, we sit down with these EDM powder kegs who are on the cusp of having a seat at the dance music table amongst today’s big names.

VIBE: We’ll start with a very tough question: What are your favorite drinks?
Casey: Well to generalize you could label us as whiskey drinkers
TJ: Macallan 18 year, Laphroaig.
Casey: If those are around we’ll drink them but we also don’t turn down Johnny Walker and Maker’s Mark. We just love whiskey.

What was it like growing up in Boston and being lovers of dance music? Do you feel that your location influenced your music in any way?
TJ: Boston is a really interesting place. It’s a smaller scene where a lot of people are focused on the [dance music] community itself. In a way, Everyone is in a way pulling for each other
Casey: Boston’s proximity to other cities also makes for an interesting dynamic. Being a very condensed area with a lot of cities close together, I was driving to raves all over New England.
TJ: I started working at an all drum and bass record store, with the guys who are now known as Terravita. It just so happened that Casey grew up with these guys so that’s how we met. I guess its hard not to say being in Boston influenced us both!

The track ‘Pressure’ seems to signify the feeling of releasing tension. Do you think that sentiment could have a bigger meaning?
TJ: I think we were both going through a bit of a stressful time when we wrote this track, and the theme and structure of the track seemed to parallel what we were both individually enduring.
Casey: We are really working hard to not make tracks that sound like everything else out there on the Beatport Top 100. There is always a bit of pressure to make something fresh as well, so I guess that also plays into it a bit.

It seems that you two are taking that step towards being regular names you would see on a festival bill. What has this tipping point felt like?
TJ: I hate the long process of getting to that tipping point.
Casey: It’s been a grueling process getting anywhere in this industry, but having fans say how much they love your music and building the whole process is incredibly rewarding. We love the internet!

How does it feel to hear your stuff being played by guys like Porter Robinson, Laidback Luke, and Dyro?
Casey: It’s always an unreal feeling to know that a bigger artist we look up to, is playing our music. I remember being at EDC NY and I heard Porter Robinson play ‘Upgrade’ and it was absolutely amazing to be on the dancefloor side. It was a pretty surreal experience to be with everyone in the crowd losing it to a track we worked super hard on.

You guys have donned the new age idea of giving away your music for free. What is your stance behind that?
TJ: We love giving stuff out for free cause it gets your music out there to as many people as possible. As a newer act this is pretty important to help increase your chances in cutting through the noise.
Casey: Yeah, exactly! We’ve been lucky enough to receive support from popular blogs and it makes a lot more sense for them to give something out to their audience as well. We are definitely continuing to embrace this mentality and we are going a step further and are starting to push out acapellas and instrumentals of our tracks for free for Case & Point fans and other producers that want to give their own take on our tracks.

What is next on the horizon for Case & Point?
Casey: We have a few gigs that we are excited about. We are playing Bella Terra and House of Blues in Boston. We have a pretty aggressive release schedule lined up including a remix of ‘Bulletproof’ by Doctor P, and a few exciting collabs we are in the early stages of, that we can’t yet mention.

In exactly one year from today, where do you expect to be, what will you be doing, what will you have done the night before, and what’s for dinner?
TJ: It’s always hard to predict where you might be in the future, and I feel like it might be bad karma to do so, but we would definitely love to be playing our music out as much as possible, and reaching as many fans as possible.
Casey: Yeah, what TJ said, not really sure, but I do see palm trees and boats.
TJ: And what’s for dinner? I don’t think our diet would have changed much between now and then, so a bottle of whiskey and we’re probably running late for the gig, so we’ll have to skip dinner.

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Last Sunday, Minaj took the stage as a surprise guest for week one of Ariana Grande’s headlining set at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music Festival. It’s unclear if she will hit the stage when Grande returns to perform for week two of Coachella on April 21.

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Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

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The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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