Article | Onlythebeat

DJ Harlo holds it down for EDM in Oregon (Interview)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Casie Millhouse

Jason Harlowe aka DJ HARLO drops his new STEP UP EP on Mixed Heritage Studios/Ferrrara Multimedia. The Trap minded release features STEP UP (title track), Cinemalife and Steve Rock Tribute. Inventive sound design is combined with clever sampling while retaining a peak time party vibe to the overall sound. DJ HARLO is part of the ZONKEDOUT artist collective & family and is currently on tour as a DJ for Jay Tablet as well as Cloaked Characters.

OTB: Looking from the past to where electronic music is now in central Oregon, it's easy to see that you are one of the names that truly stands out. What has been the largest struggle for electronic music exposure up til now?

Thats an amazing question actually, when it comes to central oregon its all about the location. Most people in the US, heck even in the state of oregon don't realize where bend or the central oregon area is. Things won't trend here until 5 - 10 years after other places just cause they don't reach the area. This goes for things leaving here as well. There is far less chances for electronic artists here to gain that "global" exposure. There is still a huge struggle between the ideals that Electronic music is not real and that DJ or live producers are not real musicians cause we don't use "live" band style instruments. guitars, and what not. So the support is a lot harder to obtain and the media outlets here are far less receptive to what we have to offer

OTB: As a father and husband, how the heck do you find time to make music, do promotions and get paid? (what's ur secret?!)

I have an amazing wife who provides so much support, I could not do any of it without her, she suffers from Multiple Sclerosis but does not let that stop her one bit. She is a lover of electronic music and my best critic. That type of inspiration and motivational energy just pushes me to try and succeed even more. its all a balancing act though for sure. she is the calendar keeper. I have had to learn a ton about time management for sure. Having a home studio helps a ton.

OTB: Prior to DJing, what where you into? Does it get plugged into your music?

I was into theater arts & computer information systems. Yes, it fully get plugged in. The technical knowledge and experience helps me to run my own studio and handle all my troubleshooting and technical needs on my own. Also helps with the web development and multimedia needs. The theater arts allows me to fully immerse myself in to my performances, I truly get into character during each show. I love to perform and I am a huge nerd so it all works out well.

OTB: What sparked the fuel to take on DJing in the first place?

The idea of being a vessel to express the creations of others and share them with the world. I wanted to help bring music to people especially those in areas where they may not have the access or abilities to be able to enjoy the amazing entity that is music and beats.

OTB: What do you feel has been a major game changer in your career?

Having the support of Ferrara Multimedia and Hammarica for Management and PR would be one of the biggest things for sure, its equal to attending and graduating from the best recording school in the nation.

OTB: Let's talk about Steven Rock, what's the story behind this track?

Steven was a brother to all and a true inspiration. He was one of those souls who loved all, each for their own uniquenesses. An amazing dance and musician to say the least. But more then that he supported music, those who make it and those who love it. He tried to lift you up when you needed it and help keep you real when you needed it, even if he himself was suffering. He truly taught me that it was ok for me to make music the way I wanted and to express myself the way I wanted and not to let the "trends" and "whats cool" drive who you are. He touched so many and always was the life of any event. My life is forever changed by him. a local Central Oregonian with the spirit of that from another world & dimension where all are accepted and every person can feel safe to "dance their own dance".

OTB: How do you go about making music more engaging & personal?

I try to shed the standard "things have to sound like this" stigma and create what moves me. If I can't bob my head to hit why would anyone else. I like to use fun drums and different layers of bass that others would think is improper or not the way its done, I have had to learn to simplify my productions quite a bit as a lot of time I was over complicating the piece. Music is like cooking, knowing when to stop seasoning is the key to any good dish.

OTB: As you head forward in the music, what kind of aspect would you like to stay true to your music and which parts would you like to explore?

I want to keep the individual and unique elements, not falling into the "run of the mill" sounds and layouts. Fans are always talking about how its all starting to sound the same and its hard to tell one producer from another, I want to stay weird, keep that "dark party" vibe. With that said I would like to explore more of the trance world. I love that style so much and have always wanted to make a truly epic trance choon. Take it back to the days of "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)" & Moonmans "Don't Be Afraid." I am sure that dates me but hey I am old skool and those original tunes is what got us all hyped in the beginning. Sometimes taking back to the days is what propels us to the future.