Ask me a few years ago if I knew what EDM meant and I’d probably think it was another wack acronym created by preteens on MSN. Fast forward a few years and EDM, or electronic dance music, is a household term and everyone I know is talking about things with crazy names like Skrillex and Veld. It’s safe to say that EDM has made its way into the mainstream—not quite the same way pop music has (yet), but EDM has definitely made a name for itself in the world of music and music production.
Like any other genre, making a name for yourself in the EDM world must be difficult, but Kevin Truong is doing it right. Growing up in Guelph, Truong moved to Toronto not only to study both Marketing Management and Finance at Ryerson University, but also to make his dream come true. Truong might be a student by day, but when those textbooks are closed and exams are completed, Truong is KTRON, an electronic music producer and DJ.
As you might imagine, KTRON is one busy man. So busy that not only were we introduced online, but we’ve never actually interacted in real life. While this might sound shocking, I really think that KTRON is doing it right. These days, your online identity pretty much drives your success and KTRON has that under his belt. Inviting fans into his daily life by staying updated and active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, KTRON is making music not only about the sound, but also about the person behind it.
Eve: Why did you move to Toronto instead of staying in Guelph?
KTRON: I truly believe Toronto is the cold Miami. There are shows every week at multiple venues and they are packed with people ready to rage. I believe Toronto is the place to be for music.
How do you manage both your student life and your music career?
It’s actually kind of tough. Marketing comes pretty easy because I enjoy using everything I learn and implementing it into my music life but finance is something I actually have to sit down and focus. I generally do what every other student does, dink off until exam time and cram. Seems to be working!
Who is your biggest musical influence?
There are several artist that have influenced me. The more well known artists such as Tiesto, Alesso, and Calvin Harris really inspire me to make big, melodic tunes but some more less known artists that have really influenced my sound is Cash Cash, Dzeko and Torres, and Lush and Simon. The Dj however that got me into mash ups was #3Lau.
How is what you’re doing any different from let’s say – Girl Talk? How do you manage to have originality when specializing in mashups and digital sampling?
Well I make mashups for my live sets, usually mashing up something melodic with something heavy, and I release them as free downloads just for people to have. I’ve taken a step away from mashups however and have spent many, many hours in the studio working on orignals that I make from scratch.
Daft Punk won album of the year at the Grammy’s, for Random Access Memories – how do you think this will impact the world’s opinion on EDM in 2014?
2013 was the year EDM really made a mainstream impact. Every big name DJ that came to town, EVERYONE had tickets too. I feel 2014 will be another great year for the growth of EDM music and I’m lucky enough to be riding the wave.
Do you think Daft Punk’s image has changed since collaborating with Pharrell Williams?
The image has gone more mainstream which isn’t a bad thing. You see people razzing David Guetta for making Electronic Pop music but honestly, music is subjective and if you don’t like something, don’t listen to it. What Daft Punk did revived their name and made a lasting impression in the music industry.
Would you ever rock Daft Punk’s Helmets? What about Skrillex’s haircut?
Haha, probably not. First off, I sweat during live shows enough as it is. Second, peacocking is a good technique to leave a last impression, I’m not about to have a haircut like Skrillex to do so, but I do like dressing in a way people will notice me.
How important is image in the EDM world?
Image is huge. Ktron is not only a character I built, it’s a brand. Treat is as a product, brand image is everything and if you have good music to back it up, you’ll have a recipe for success.
Why is KTRON on social media?
Social media is important in many business industries nowadays but especially for the music industry. It’s the easiest way for aspiring musicians like myself to get music out to the masses. With a good strategy, social media can really bring the wanted spotlight on yourself.
Is it true what people say, that being an artist makes the girls crazy? How do you balance interacting with die-hard fans, while also being in a committed relationship?
Haha, being an artist definitely changes the way people act around you and really puts your relationship to the test but honestly, in the end, when you both know you’re right for each other and trust one another, it’s not tough to balance.
Is constantly being plugged in difficult? How do you decide what to share/not share with fans?
Now this is the one that’s tough on the relationship aha. I need to be plugged in a lot to be able to keep up with all platforms of social media but honestly, even though I have this “Ktron” character, I post generally stuff that interest me. People want to be able to relate, so I give them that person.
Will you be attending any music festivals this season?
I generally attend most of them because not only do I love playing for a crowd, I love being in it. It’s inspiring to see artists that you strive to be like someday.
What’s coming for your music in 2014?
I’m really excited for this year because although I released my last original “Falling Away feat. Izzy Parell” a few months ago, I have numerous projects I’ve been working on and can’t wait to release. Izzy was noticed on my track by a bigger artist, Ken Loi, who recently collabed with Tiesto, and I just helped her record her vocals for his new track. I’m not rushing anything, I’m making sure I’m completely satisfied before I release anymore music but you can expect a remix of Ken Loi’s new track with Izzy coming out right after he releases it and also 2 originals I’ve been working on this passed year.
Like what you hear? Looking for something to do for St.Patty’s? Check KTRON out at I’m Shmacked Canada // St. Patrick’s Day @ The Guvernment
Follow Eve on Twitter @evesharabi