ORLANDO — Producer/Beat Maker Amp Live, of Zion I, has a general rule he lives by when he’s on tour: be well in tune with the audience.
He plans to stick by that philosophy next week, when he’ll be performing with Bassnectar on Oct. 20 at Hard Rock Live-Universal Studios.
He expects his performance to be upbeat, and very hopping.
“I always try to just keep stuff really live in my show,” he said. “I play stuff live, and I play different drums, and I’m also playing my music, and I try to fit the vibe of the audience that’s coming,” he said. “I could go in and play whatever I wanted, and it might be a mellow set, but I might lose a lot of people. So I want to really have people have fun and fit the vibe of why they’re there.”
As an example of that, Amp Live said he might not play songs from his new EP, “You Are Not Human,” which is subtitled “The Love EP” and is based on a love theme.
“When I first went on tour a month ago, I had an opening slot, and I think I had a chance to play a little more of the experimental, down tempo stuff,” he said. “But in the position I’m in now, it’s a little more upbeat that I play. I may have to go with my harder stuff. I’ll be opening for Bassnectar, and I want to give a good show. You’ve got to sort of do a combination of stuff. What you want to do is play your original stuff, but in a format that people are into.”
The California native has developed a reputation as a talented and diverse music producer and recording artist. Known for his soulful beats for the hip hop group Zion I, he’s since produced CDs for major independent artist such as Akon, Flipsyde, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussy Cat Dolls, Tokyo Police Club, MGMT, Linkin Park, Goapele and Mystic.
His work has also been featured in movies and TV shows, including ESPN’s “Playmakers,” “Big Fat Liar,” “America’s Next Top Model,” and “SportsCenter.”
“I’ve been around music all my life,” he said, during an interview with Freeline Media. “My dad played piano, and I played drums in church, and I’ve always been into piano and new music, especially hip hop in the 1980s. I’ve been exposed to all sorts of music.
“When I was in college, I got signed to a major record label, and I was able to get into the studio with a lot of big producers and engineers, and see different techniques and processes, and it really got me into seeing the details of how it’s done,” he added.
He described his music as the “art of fusion” – a mix of glitch, hip hop, quirky electronic, and Jazz. “You Are Not Human” is the first of what he says will be a series of EPs that he plans to release this year into 2012.
“ ‘You Are Not Human’ is the first of a series of EPs I’m doing,” he said. “I have another one coming out in December, and that will be another Jazz EP. I will be doing those for … I don’t know how long. This is my solo stuff. I’m also working on a new Zion I music album. I’m trying to keep busy.”
Amp Live has witnessed a lot of radical changes in the music industry in the past few years – including the fact that music can be easily downloaded today off the Internet, whether it’s through iTunes or YouTube videos. It essentially means anyone can get their music in front of a mass audience, even if they don’t have a record label backing them, he said.
“Big time, it’s opened up the playing field for everybody,” he said. “If you want to put your music out there, you can. With YouTube, people get a chance to listen to music for free.”
The down side for traditional artists, he said, is that the recording industry has no clue what the future of compact discs will be in an era when people can store their entire music collection on a laptop or iPad.
“The bad is that it definitely has dropped the CD sales,” he said. “But it’s also opened the gates for people who couldn’t get signed to a label. And studies have shown that even people who download their music on the Internet still buy CDs.”
Plus, no matter how many songs go streaming live on the Internet, that will never deter an audience’s love for a live performance at a venue like Hard Rock Café, he added.
“You can still make money off doing shows,” Amp Live said, adding that’s why artists like himself really need to be sure they connect with what the audience wants in that club or auditorium.
“People want to get off the grid, and they want to hear more live music,” he said. “There’s so many artists out there, and the economy has a lot to do with it. If I’m broke and I can only afford one show a month, what show do I want to see? Because there’s only a few ways to make money now, bands will be trying to do that.”
Amp Live sees some different trends starting to develop in the music world today.
“I think it’s just all over the place,” he said. “Electronic music is really big. Everything is a circle, and I think you look at the trends. If you were around in the ‘80s, it seems like it’s been the ‘80s again for the past six or seven years. Now it’s becoming a little bit more organic again, and stuff like Jazz and music that’s a little imperfect that people want to hear. Everything has a new twist.”
He expects that’s going to be true on Thursday, Oct. 20, when he comes to Hard Rock Café.
“It sounds like the people are going to want some bass, and luckily I like bass,” he said. “I’ve performed there with the hip hop group I’m in, and the last time I was there was with the reggae group Revolution. We performed at Universal and it went really well.”
What he found from past performances, he said, was that Central Florida audiences love a really good live show.
“It was great, man,” he said. “We’re on totally opposite ends of the country, and it’s fun to see how people react to our show.”
The show starts at 9 p.m., when Amp Live plays with Bassnectar in their continuation of the Divergent Spectrum Tour. For ticket information, log on to http://www.ticketfly.com/event/49345/.
To check out more of Amp Live’s music, log on to http://www.amplivesworld.com,
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Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.