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1/39 — Festival goers.



Weekend Recap: HARD Summer Music Festival

For those of you who decided to come out and be apart of the 100 degree weather at the Fontana Speedway for HARD Summer, I applaud you. That heat was no joke, but, we pulled through and hopefully have some great stories to share. Here are some of mine:

The primarily electronic festival incorporated new elements of hip hop and DJ acts that spanned through multiple musical genres giving the opportunity for a eclectic audience. 

The two-day festival showcased some of the brightest acts in music such as Tokimonsta, Louis the Child and Big Wild. We had a chance to sit down and speak with Big Wild prior to his set. 

Taking into consideration your growth as an artist, looking back what would you say has been some of the biggest roadblocks you faced in the beginning of your career?

First would be getting my music out there and the process of getting it heard. I shouldn’t have spent much time trying to self promote [in the beginning]. It was always my focus to be working on my craft. I always spent time making music but I spent too much time trying to contact blogs and self promote. While that is helpful, I still feel it’s better [for an artist] to just focus on the quality of their music even if it takes longer to noticed.

Where would you say you are in terms of accomplishment?

It stills feels really early on in my career. Especially with what I am working on now music wise. It is a big step in a direction I have always wanted to take in my music. There is a lot more song writing involved. I am singing a lot more on it. It combines my production style with my traditional song writing stuff. I have always tried to push myself and I am excited where I have gotten so far but I personally am excited for this new direction.

Who would you say are some of the biggest contributors to your overall success?

The team around me. Chris (Tour Manager)—he makes sure everything runs smoothly and also runs front of house. Dan—we collaborate and brainstorm on visuals and he is the one that creates it. It is a team effort and these people allow me to focus on what I do best, the music.

Take us through your first music festival? What was your experience?

Electric Zoo in NY—2011. It was “cool.” I was never a huge festival person growing up. I have only been to a few prior to going on these festival runs. It wasn’t really until I became an artist that I was able to understand it better.

The thing that was amazing to see as a spectator was that the majority of the artists have a huge amount of appreciation for the moment. These acts have been apart of the music scene, festival and touring circuits for years, and yet they all continue to show a desire and hunger for more. 

As the sun began to set on the final day of Hard Fest we also had a chance to sit down with Tokimonsta prior to her performance.

Who would you say are some of the biggest contributors to your overall success?

To some degree it is always a team effort depending on the person. The biggest contributor is going to have to be my manager, he is also like my brother. It was really having someone take overcome the more logistical aspects of being an artist that allowed me to focus on me. Also other people in the scene like Flying Lotus or a club like Low End Theory. I can’t attribute specific things to them but all of us wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for the scene we apart of in 2010.

How would you describe the music scene in LA? What direction do you think it will take in the near future?

It is always waves and generations. It is very sad a place like Low End Theory has ended, it is an institution. But for that same reason no one will ever forget it. It will be apart of the fabric of LA music forever. Now it is time for someone else to take it. Maybe it will be in Cleveland, maybe Austin, or the punk scene in New York or Detroit techno or Chicago house. At some point it might move into another city or LA will have another wave and someone else with takeover. I am here for the wave but also a huge fan of consuming music.

With more than 150,000 people combined in attendance in the span of two days, the largest take away from HARD Summer is that regardless of the location, weather conditions, or who is on the bill, music will always take priority.

I had an amazing experience listening to new artists, genres and checking out some of the bold fashion choices made by my fellow festival attendees. The overall experience you have at a festival like this is second to none.

Stay tuned to Milk for more festival recaps.

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