I got the opportunity to catch up with Kap Slap Thursday before his show at The Mid in Chicago. He is currently on the “Breakout Tour” with Gazzo and was headed to LA after this show. He recently has released his first single “Let it All Out.”
So let’s start with the obvious question, where does the name Kap Slap come from?
So I attended Leigh University, a business major, and was in a fraternity there. Our “big brother” shot in the fraternity was a tequila shot and one day we said “well that’s kind of stupid let’s do something else.” He was really good at funneling, so we took beer bongs and poured in a shot of 151 rum with it, which was a metaphorical slap in the face. We started calling it a Kap Slap because my fraternity had “Kappa” in its name, and when I was thinking of becoming a DJ I googled “Kap Slap” and nothing came up.
So “Let it all out” your first single just release, a very awesome “happy beat” progressive house track. How long have you been working on that and are you happy with all the success it has achieved so quickly?
I’ve been working on it for a year and a half. It started as a remix for a contest and I was making the remix trying to get into the contest in under a month, the structure of it was there, the melody and the hook, I knew it was catchy as fuck but my production wasn’t there. So I pulled out of the competition because it wasn’t up to my standards, so I pulled the vocal out of the remix that I had made and basically repackaged it all into a new track. I’m a perfectionist, I don’t put out things that I don’t feel comfortable with or that aren’t good enough, because then people will be saying, “Oh Kap Slap can’t produce.” I don’t want to take shortcuts, I don’t want to pay people to make my songs, I wanted my first song to be something I was really proud of. I was really proud of the song I made; it debuted at number 17 on iTunes dance charts. My expectations weren’t very high coming into it because this track came out of nowhere, because I haven’t made a big remix or track yet so I wanted to make something for my fans that have been there. From this point now it’s kind of an open book, I can really do whatever I want from this point on. I wanna work on more pop EDM kind of stuff now like Cash-Cash and Chainsmokers vibe. I have a deal with a Ultra now to make a few songs with them and they have been sending me some fire top lines that can be smash hits, so I’m working on those right now, to make sure those are perfect but we have 5-6 songs lined up at this point.
*He introduces me to Gazzo, who is touring with him.
So breakout tour, we are in Chicago tonight, LA on Saturday. What stops are we most excited about and where are you pumped to play?
Well I’m very nervous about LA, I mean I’m excited but nervous too. We have a lot of friends and industry contacts out there; I just want to be a banger on Saturday. I’m also excited to get out of this weather, its freezing cold here.
So what do you like about Chicago?
The hotdogs. By far it is my favorite hot dog in the entire world. The classic Chicago style hot dog with everything on it. Every time I’m in an airport in Chicago and have a layover, I find the top hot dog place in the airport and go there and get myself a proper hot dog.
Favorite non-EDM genre?
Progressive Rock or Jazz. I love everything that’s not mainstream basically, which is funny because I’m the most mainstream person you will ever see.
You always wonder if EDM artists know they are mainstream?
Oh no they all know, trust me, they know. It’s all about finding what my fans wanna hear, and what I wanna hear, and a lot of times those don’t line up, but you wanna get to the point where you can line that up. Like for example my first track is a very progressive house track, and that’s what I fell in love with when I started listening to EDM. Now I wanna start experimenting with other stuff that’s out there like pop-kinda stuff. I have been experimenting with a lot of crazy shit that’s out there right now, for example I want to make an alias and you might see a crazy new alias that puts out crazy stuff and then you will know that’s me. I was thinking about using hand signals for my alias, something like “OH WOAW,” but you can’t really pronounce that though.
Maybe something like Laidback Luke does?
Yeah I would love to do that because my name is Jared Lucas, so I could easily do that like “JL” but at this point it would be basically stealing.
Who would be your dream collab?
Mozart probably. I want him to write me a fucking Sonata and I’ll produce the shit out of that. Alive I would say Dillion Francis, because I respect the shit out of him. He’s the most versatile producer I’ve ever seen, he has some ridiculous tricks on Abelton, and all of his shit is so clean. Either that or Zedd, I have a huge Zedd boner. Actually if I could take three qualities from producers, it would be the versatility and creativity of Dillion Francis, the musicality and perseverance of Zedd, and the sound design of Knife Party. I would love to pick Rob Swire’s brain for an hour. He’s very straight up, no bull shit, he’s never going to have a ghost producer. I respect the shit out of him.
What can we expect in 2015?
So last week I was on tour Thursday through Sunday, flew back on Monday, woke up on Monday started working on some tracks. Monday Tuesday Wednesday are the only days I have to work on stuff. Wednesday I try and update my DJ playlist and get tracks ready for my spring break playlist.
So are we saying 75 percent working on touring and 25 percent working on new tracks?
During the tour, I’m always kind of having ideas and thinking about new stuff. I would say 80 percent focusing on the future, and 20 percent worrying about what’s here and now. So that’s why I have a good team behind me they worry about a lot of the details and logistics of the tour.
Do you have time to be a 24 year old?
I mean I’m doing that right now, partying with random strangers “HEY OH.” This is the time to be a 24 year old, hanging out drinking beers with my friends, its always good.
So does that all make it worth it?
Of course, it’s a hustle. It’s one of those things where you are working for yourself, every ounce of effort you put in is directly translates to your future success. Its not like you’re working for some boss and you do a bunch of work and nothing kinda happens. Theoretically you’re going to get out as much as you put in. Regardless there is no one to blame except for yourself. You gotta just work your ass off and crush it every night.