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Kantor Discusses The Evolution of Dance Music, Mental Health, & Future Plans [Interview]

Kantor, Previously known as 5 & A Dime, has built his brand on a foundation of innovation. Under his previous moniker, he garnered the support of names such as The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Tiesto, and more.

Following a massive branding overhaul, Kantor makes good on the promise of a dark, powerful, and emotionally charged new sound. With a fresh perspective, Kantor aims to continue making waves in 2019.

How would you describe what you built your sound on thus far and what direction do you think it’s going?

“I think about my influences quite often. I’ve built my sound around listening to albums rather than singles and that is my ultimate goal.

To be an “album” artist. I like creating albums. I came from producing hard rock and metal bands and in that scene, you don’t really see artists releasing singles too often. I think it shows a different caliber of artist when they can put out a great album. Most of the singles I’ve released were written with an album in mind and I think about albums like “Outer Edges” by Noisia or Vince Staple’s new album, “FUN!”. Songs that were written and produced based around multiple songs. Creating a listening experience and telling a story that lasts more than 3 minutes. and That’s definitely something I intend on pursuing more in the future. Just way more creativity and pulling influences from very unlikely sources.”

Any soon to be released collaborations you’re excited about?

“I have a couple tracks that I’m particularly excited about that are on their way!

I’ve Been working on a really unique heavy bass track with Acraze.

We’re both really excited to be wrapping it up and getting it out to the public. We’ve both been playing it in our sets for a while now and I think we finally decided it’s time to make a move with it. I’m also particularly excited about this song I’ve been working on with vocals from Bijou Dream. I don’t want to say TOO much about that one right now because we literally just wrapped that one up but we’re really excited to release that one. It just perfectly encapsulates what we’re trying to bring to the table, musically and creatively.”

Would you consider mental health, in at least the Las Vegas dance music scene, to be something that’s under-recognized?

“I don’t even think it’s a part of the conversation in most of dance culture, in general. Taking care of your mental health is so much more important than people think it is. Thinking is just apart of our nature and we’ve all grown to be a really socially dependent people. Which a lot of people would say is extremely wrong but I personally think that good things can happen from a single person but even greater things can happen with a community of people. If we all helped each other and like truly meant it, mental health could have real solutions long-lasting solutions.

I did see Illenium recently do an interview about drug addiction that really made feel good though. We need more reality and authenticity like that.”

Are there any major elements regarding how dance music has evolved from the first part of the decade until now you’ve noticed?

“From my personal experience with dance music, SO MUCH has changed and progressed in regards to the culture. When I was in high school, I was listening to a lot of Industrial and Hardstyle music. I remember listening to artists like Combichrist, Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy from the Industrial side. You wouldn’t really consider them to fall into the “Dance” music culture but if you ever went to one of those shows, it’s literally a rave. Looking back on it, that was probably the catalyst to why I fell in love with dance music later on. I personally think dance music has always been mainstream though. People always argue and say that dance music is so mainstream now but I think what people really mean is that it’s more accessible now. We have so many different platforms that we can listen to music new and underground music, it makes it seem mainstream. I remember hearing DJ Sammy’s “Heaven” on Krater 96 when I was growing up in Hawaii. It was literally just the top 40 greatest hits radio and that was a dance track.”

Anything unique planned for 2019?

“I’m really excited about possibly working with a streetwear brand from NY actually! I enjoy their brand and clothing very much so I’d love to offer my creativity to them. Also, I will be working on a spring tour with College Weekly and some really talented rappers named Javan and Chozus.”

Be on the lookout for more content from Kantor throughout the year!

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