co-headlining “The Friend Zone Tour” with Breathe Carolina
wsg. Flinch, Dotcom
Wild Bull, Kalamazoo
Nov. 6, (6 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show), $20 advance
All ages, wildbull.co, fusionshows.com
This fall’s pairing of co-ed DJ duo Candyland and electronic-rock upstarts Breathe Carolina might seem odd at first glance — but like all the best friendships that awkwardness is what will make it awesome.
“I think there will be a different crowd from what I’m used to,” Candyland’s Josie Martin told Recoil about what she expects from “The Friend Zone Tour.” “It’s exciting; I get to experiment and try new things out.”
Since starting in 2011, Candyland has taken the EDM world by storm. They’ve rapidly ascended the international DJ ranks, becoming the first act ever to win back-to-back Beatport remix contests (with their versions of Skrillex’s “Make It Bun Dem” and Bingo Players’ “Rattle”) while landing premier performance slots on tour with the likes of Krewella and Kill Paris.
“Winning those competitions helped us so much,” Martin said about Candyland’s quick start. “Through that, we had the opportunity to work with some great people. It really helped our career take off.”
Martin got into music at a young age herself, playing in a ska band with her future Candyland cohort Ethan Davis, before starting to work behind the decks.
“I grew up in a musical family,” said Martin, who also plays guitar, drums and piano. “All of my cousins played instruments, and growing up, I just wanted to so I could be like them. I fell in love with every instrument I touched. From there, my taste evolved and I found dance music.”
Martin’s first gig came when she was actually asked to DJ Davis’ birthday party in their hometown of Santa Barbara, and on that day, Candyland was born.
Crafting their own mix of house, dubstep and trap, the duo takes influence from heavy-hitters like Skrillex and Knife Party, with Davis working more as producer in the studio (and hype man onstage), while Martin works more as a DJ.
“I think we’re not afraid to try new things, live and with our music,” Martin said about what has set Candyland’s show apart. Her current top five artists are Olivver, Tove Lo, AutoLazer, Meg Mac, and Becky Hill.
“Remixes have been fun,” Martin said. “[They’ve become] something people connect Candyland with. [But] I want to focus on originals more. It’s much more exciting to see people sing to your music and connect to your words rather than someone else’s.”
For the launch of “The Friend Zone Tour,” Candyland released their collaboration with Breathe Carolina appropriately titled “Find Someone.” They’ve also recently started their own label, Sweet Shop Records, which is currently accepting demos from new friends who Martin hopes will become future collaborators.
“I wanted to start my own label because it was a dream of mine since I was a kid,” Martin said. “It felt like something I had to do when I started. I’ve always been proud of the work that comes out through it. I love it more every day.”
Even though the duo shares its name with the children’s board game, Martin said that’s just a random coincidence, and she actually hates playing it. She’d rather people get together and get crazy on the dance floor.
“I think if people come to a Candyland show and they don’t dance with someone in a way that gets them OUT of the friend zone, I’m not doing my job right,” she joked.
Listen to Candyland online now at soundcloud.com/candylanddjs. — Eric Mitts