DJ Spotlight: Zion I’s Amp Live Talks Solo Album


Amp Live is not exactly a stranger to the EDM world. He’s been in and around the scene; for NYE performing alongside bud Bassnectar whom he collaborated with for “Ugly”, and his most recent original, “Brass Knuckles,” a joint-effort with Dom (of Big Gigantic). Ah, yes, lightbulbs.

As one half of Zion I, Amp Live has been the musical foundation for a multitude of studio albums and world tours. Bridging the worlds of EDM and hip-hop in his solo endeavors with technical and classical sensibility, Amp Live’s forthcoming full-length album, Headphone Concerto, promises innovation and experimentation.

VIBE: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Amp Live and how did you fall into music?
Amp Live: I am definitely the ultimate music enthusiast. I see a meaning and purpose for all types of genres and sounds. Really grew up in a wide range of environments. My father played jazz piano and organ in the church, so I grew up with strong, gospel, jazz, and soul roots. On the other end, all my friends at my schools listen to techno and skate punk (dead kennedys era). Also I was born and raised in Texas, so I was always around country music no matter what.

Favorite rapper?
Man, that changes every year. Would have to say presently Childish Gambino..he is like a bunch of MC’s I respect in one.

You have original productions featured in video games and tv shows; you’ve really accomplished a great deal within the scene. How do you stay motivated and where do you go from here?
My mind is always thinking of melodies and beats, so I am constantly thinking of new stuff. Also I stay motivated because I make my living off of what I do, so to keep eating, I got to keep making heat and music that interest people. From here I want to continue to grow, eventually want to score film and create new instruments.

You recently teamed up with Dom of Big Gigantic for “Brass Knuckles”. How did you guys work on that?
I met Dom and Jeremy on the road. We were both supporting acts for Bassnectar, so we were around each other a lot. The vibe just popped off, so after the tour kept in contact and finally had the right song for Dom to get on.

Speaking of collaborations, we noticed that you recently reunited with Bassnectar on NYE. Is there another massive smash like “Ugly” in the works?
Oh yes…In all kinds of ways!

Which direction do you see dance music moving in 2014?
I see EDM and music in general continue to keep evolving and changing form. As much as I love dance music, I am not really a “dance producer”, so when I do it, it always has a different twist/sound to it. I am sure there there are many more producers out there that are the same, so hopefully people will continue to be open to new sounds.

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