Los Angeles native producer and DJ, DEORRO, is a talent is hits close to home with huge success. He began his discography which included remixes with Diplo, Steve Aoki and Axwell. Deorro is as talented on the decks as he is in the studio. Eventually, his tasteful musical catalog attracted the attention of top talent like Skrillex and Steve Angello where he showcased his preference of fusing Dutch house, moombathon, progressive and bass elements. Today, his "PandaFam" fan base is continuously growing hit after hit from "Five Hours" to "Bailar". We got a chance to meet him before his performance at The Warfield in San Francisco.
What got you into music?
You know what that's something I cannot even remember. My first memory back were my parents sending me to choir at church. So when they would rehearse I would be in the music room at a young age. I just grew into music.
Who or what inspired you?
For me I got lucky that my music became a profession. That was something that was not a goal, to be recognized or a superstar DJ. My goal was to always be able to make music. So whenever I was making music, I was already achieving my goal. Because it was something I loved, I just kept doing it over and over again. Over time the skill became more understandable for me and become more flexible with what I can do. Steve Jobs once said, "If you want to be great at what you do, make sure you love it."
What’s the story behind your name?
I actually went by the name Tonic because I saw the word in my favorite movie 'The Iron Giant'. But then there was a band called Tonic and they contacted me about it. My last name is Orrosquieta. So Deorro was close to that. So I googled it and it didn't exist so I was like perfect!
Describe to us your sound.
I feel like my most popular songs were "Five Hours". People would pin point that as my sound. Then you have "Flashlight" or even "Yee", but then if you really pay attention to all of my releases, I try to remain diverse. That actually bit me in the ass because people were like we want something like that now and we want something like this now. That's the beauty of it and one of the hardest things to come up with and you're up and coming. My thing is, it's not really about finding your own sound. You can make that an every day challenge. By doing that you can just start attacking the sound instead of the complete song. Every day I go into the studio and say I want to come up with a new sound today. I don't care about finish the music. If the sound was good enough it would turn into a song. That was my practice. That's why I can just go into a studio now and come up with a brand new sound. Like something I wasn't even expecting or listening to in my head. Just something that came about messing around and doing all the things I love doing. For example, doing the opposite of what other people are doing.
Talk to us about your recent remix of CAZZETTE’s “Run For Cover”. Where did the idea come from?
That was actually supposed to be a remix. There were three songs. I had that one, "Lights & Thunder" remix and my remix of "I Am". Those three songs were the songs that I experimented with trying to release my experimental tracks. Where like a simple song like "Yee" had one sound, one break, one drop, etc. "Run For Cover" is all over the place. I'm on bounce, a little bit of dubstep. That's how I work. I'll go into the studio and create freestyle sessions. It would be 40 minutes long. Sometimes it would turn into reggae. I just do that because it is exercising my creativity. With one freestyle mix, I can come up with like six songs. "Run For Cover" is an example of something I would get out of making music but put it out as a remix.
What made you produce “Andele” and “Burn Out”?
"Burn Out" was remembering bounce music. I felt like it needed to be re-amped. People were saying it was dying out. I would play it at shows and people would be still going crazy. I understand it needed something new and I came across some more old school, hardstyle songs. I thought 140 or 150 bpm would be good and I'm sure I wasn't the first. So I started having fun with that and "Burn Out" was from going to Spencer's. I saw a mullet thing with a headband and I told my tour manager you need to wear that from now on at every show. Then he started doing dance moves and I was like you know what that's so good I'm going to make a song and video. That's how it came about. "Andele" is in Spanish and if I had one word to describe the song it would be karma. That's what "Andele" means...que bueno. It's my same style with more upbeat tempos. It has some older sounds and trying different ones over time because I have a huge library of stuff. I can come up with my own things within my own things.
You’ve been on a huge tour. Talk to us about “The Existence” trip so far.
It's going crazy. I actually incorporated a lot of my own ideas for the stage. Recording the lights, intros, outros, etc. A lot of the visuals were handpicked by me. It's more like a Southwest tour. We're in talks for an East Coast for next year. I might do one bus tour in between that so we will see. The production team has been doing really well. I'm only like 50% of the show. The rest is the visuals and the light guys that make me look cool up there.
Do you have any upcoming records you can share with us about?
Yes I do! I have one called "Offspring". I made it for my son. I have another one but there's no name for it yet. It's an original with DIRTY AUDIO. I believe that's coming out on Dim Mak. I have the actual track "The Existence" that was supposed to come out for the tour but Ultra Music is having it released after the tour. I have another one that I am going to try out tonight. I don't know what it's called yet but it's a collaboration with me and SCNDL.
Talk to us a bit about PandaFunk.
PandaFunk has always been a great of mine since the beginning of time. The movie "Pay It Forward" inspired me. I believe I make a big change in the world. Not in today's world but tomorrow's world. Your actions can make all the difference for your kids, your kids' kids, etc. It's for helping other people and even with something so simple and as small as an opportunity, to run with that do something incredible. What would make me die happy is to not inspire millions of kids but at least one. One that would do the same as I did. I'm just one person and I've done so much for so many people. I've helped my family out. That whole dream, the movement...PandaFunk is that hope.
With your music, your label and in general electronic music — where do you see this going in the future?
For me, I try to make sure that it makes sense to plan. To go in a specific direction where you can put on paper. At the same time, I like to walk blindly. That's how you walk into places you normally do walk into. You just come up with it by trying something completely new. When you just do something that suddenly opens doors for all kinds of things. Maybe the first one won't be that great but it can develop into something that makes more sense. The first one you can learn so much from. Obviously, we'll keep continuing doing tours and putting new music out but do aim to get more involved.