As the USA’s dance music scene continues to come of age on a widespread scale and different styles proliferate and evolve, new talents are coming thick and fast. Only a few have the staying power to go the distance, however.
Formerly known as Nick Terranova, U.S talent Starkillers has been cutting a swathe through the bolshier end of the global house music scene with his tough-edged, eclectic sound. Blending big hooks and riffs, soaring vocals, thumping beats and mind-bending effects trickery, his sound is the perfect blend of high-octane, fierce energy and accessible appeal. It’s truly at home amidst the contemporary sound of cutting-edge dance music.
“I’m A.D.D” he explains of the hyperactive nature of his music. “I know people always say that, but I really am. I really try not to sound like anyone else or copy anyone. What’s the point in being in this biz if all you’re gonna do is try and sound like someone else? I do what I think is cool and don’t really care what people think. You’re either a fan or you’re not.”
It’s not about subtlety or tradition; instead it’s a question of pushing technology and sound to their limits, and creating in-your-face tracks with plenty of charisma and attitude. There’s nothing mundane going on here. Pitch bending leads, rugged bass, mind-warping FX, huge builds and drops; everything in a Starkillers track is designed for maximum impact on the dancefloor, and his potent blend of electro house groove and sharp trance-laced breakdowns has seen his records signed to huge labels including Doorn, Ultra and Nervous.
“I really just try to make my sound as crazy as I can without being too far left that people don’t get it” he says. “I try not to pigeonhole myself into one genre so I can change easily and so that it doesn’t come as a shock to my fans when I evolve.” It’s that versatility and open-mindedness that sees him continue to flourish and succeed for years to come, and that will ensure he outlasts less-imaginative peers.
2012 saw his profile rise to giddy new heights, with a new weekly radio show launched featuring guests including Gareth Emery, Morgan Page, Kryder and Stafford Brothers, and a Beatport Electro Chart No. 2 with his DJ Bl3nd collaboration Xception. Touring Brazil, the UK, Australia and Asia and capping it off with a sold-out show at St. Louis’ Europa in the US, his DJing schedule continues to grow in stature alongside his status as a prolific producer.
Teaming up with vocalist Amba Shepherd and fellow producer Dmitry KO, Starkillers’ first official release of 2013, Let The Love, dropped on formidable Dutch imprint Spinnin’ Records. It was premiered by the UK’s BBC Radio 1 and DJ Tiësto, and notched up over 200,000 views within its first week on YouTube, kicking off the year as he plans to continue. His bootleg of Zedd feat. Foxes’ Clarity, posted on his Soundcloud in the first few days of the year, has also found huge success online, receiving a sizable 1200 favouritings on blog aggregator chart The Hype Machine.
The rest of the year looks breathtakingly busy and exciting for Starkillers: remixes of Pitbull and Sandro Silva’s new singles, a party bus tour stopping by at the legendary Miami Winter Music Conference, singles featuring the likes of Hadley and Kai, and more collaborations with Kryder, Angger Dimas and Bl3nd. He’ll be playing to more fans in more countries than ever before, including a major tour of his home turf in the USA.
“2013 is going to be an even bigger year for dance music. I’m so excited about how it’s still taking over the global mainstream. I plan to be a part of that journey this year!”