Welcome to an exclusive conversation with Astara, a skillful DJ/Producer who is ready to make waves in the Electronic music scene. As we step into the new year, Astara opens up about his most ambitious career goals and aspirations, shedding a light into the exciting journey he’s embarked on. With a strong foundation built on his love for Electronic Dance music, Astara shares his plans for releasing a series of eagerly awaited singles in 2024, each showcasing his evolving sound and creative vision. Without further ado, join us for an inspiring conversation with Astara as he shares his journey, aspirations, and plans for the future of his musical journey.
What are your most ambitious career goals or aspirations for the upcoming year as a DJ/Producer, and how do you plan to pursue them?
Great to be here with you today!
I think everything in this line of work starts with the music. I spent the tail end of this year creating a new crop of songs that I am extremely excited to share in 2024. I’ll release these songs in the singles format across several labels, based on where each song is best suited sonically. I am still refining several of them, but undoubtedly, each song will be a big part of my plans for the new year.
Everything then builds out from the music. As I sign these songs with labels that support my creative vision, I will also build out the scaffolding for live sets that will showcase my new work. In its most ambitious form, I would like to bring my brand of Melodic Techno and Deep House to new venues across the United States. When I was growing up, I felt that House music and Techno were relegated mainly to the major cities of New York, LA, and Chicago, but now there is a scene in almost every major metropolitan area. I personally look forward to the opportunity to play venues in cities with Dance music scenes I’ve never explored, such as Denver, Phoenix, and Seattle. And on a more personal note, I have established some rapport with musicians and fellow artists, particularly through social media channels, and I would love to deepen these relationships in the new year. I will continue to share my insights about songwriting and the industry on my socials, and hopefully connect with more creatives and artists in 2024!
If you could achieve one dream or milestone in your music career next year, what would it be, and what steps are you taking to make it a reality?
This is easy for me to answer since I have thought about it a lot! I would love to release a song that enjoys broad support from DJs and listeners on streaming services and beyond. Anyone can make a Dance cover of a famous song and rack up the plays on Spotify—it’s a different thing entirely to write something original and see it connect with an audience—that’s the Holy Grail of achievements for musicians. Think of records like Chicane’s “Saltwater,” Three Drives’ “Greece 2000,” and Guy Gerber’s “After Love.” These songs have become anthems for the White Isle and you’ll still hear them in rotation at the Balearic day clubs to this day.
In 2024, I would love to see one of my currently unreleased originals truly strike a chord with listeners. The steps I am taking are simple: I am refining the songs I have written and shaping them into their most compelling form, and I am planning the release strategies, so that I can connect with a broad audience. There’s a lot more that goes into building a successful release campaign, but those are the principal parts I am focused on.
Every artist has a vision, can you describe the grandest, most audacious dream you have for your music career, and what makes it so exhilarating?
Speaking long-term, I would like to expand my project to enter the landscape of film and theatre. When I studied radio, television and film at Northwestern, I spent a lot of time behind the camera and in the mixing studio working on audio pre- and post-production. In this time, I often reflected on the notion that cinema is one of the most complete forms of art. It combines visual, auditory, and emotional elements to create a powerfully immersive experience for the viewer. I think everyone has had the experience of leaving a theatre and feeling completely blown away—needing time to digest what they just saw. Expanding my work to include scoring and creative consulting for films would be an incredible thing. That way, I can present art in mediums beyond music and help to share stories I find beautiful and compelling. What makes this exhilarating is twofold: the novelty of the opportunity, and the challenge it presents. In the entertainment space, I have always maintained a core focus on music: expanding my project to consider cinematic approaches and working in new mediums alongside talented producers, directors, and actors would be extremely exciting!
What kind of impact do you hope to have on the Electronic music scene in the new year, and how do you plan to influence or shape it with your music and presence?
House music is having a moment, and I think that there is a tremendous opportunity to show new fans of the genre that this didn’t just come together in the past five years—everything we modern producers make can be credited to the originators of this culture. This rich history dates back to the Warehouse in Chicago, Paradise Garage in NYC, The Music Institute in Detroit, and so forth. I have always felt it is important to make these associations between past and present for audiences. In this new year, I hope to bring my live mixes to more cities and play a lot of my originals alongside classic tracks that have made House music and Techno what it is today! Being able to connect with audiences across the country and connect the dots between modern House music and its original innovators would be a tremendous way to impact the scene in 2024.
As you set your sights on the future, what legacy or mark do you aspire to leave on the world of DJing and producing?
I don’t worry too much about legacy because I am chiefly concerned with growing my project at this point, but I think the only aspect of legacy I consider is my approach to my work. I’d like to look back and feel that I executed on a high level and maintained focus on creating excellent songs and beautiful moments for those who attend my shows. I think that’s all you can ask for. I am very thankful for the opportunity to share my music with the world, and for the support and love that I receive from my listeners and peers!
Do you have any specific plans for pushing creative boundaries or experimenting with your sound in ways you haven’t before in the coming year?
The classic way to push your boundaries is to invite someone else into your process and let them work their magic. What that would look like for me is collaborating with new topliners and vocalists in the studio. When I write a song, such as my song “DSCO Girl,” I usually have a very specific vision in mind, and while I am flexible, I tend to follow a unique set of parameters that can be defined as my personal approach. For “DSCO Girl,” I knew from the get-go on that song that I was going for a Chicago-style feel with the instrumental and the vocal would be a bit soulful and funky. In the future I want to let go of the reins, so to speak, and allow a talented vocalist to take over. Sometimes taking the backseat can be a secret weapon! In 2024, there will be some interesting collaborations coming; that, you can count on!
Are there any dream collaborations with other artists or musicians that you hope to manifest in the new year?
When I started in music, I wasn’t inspired or motivated by a perception of the “lifestyle” of the touring musician—the partying, bottle service, etc. This remains true today. I was inspired by the way my favorite artists connected with their audience. For that reason, I would love to work with Don Diablo one day. I think his impact on modern Dance music has been tremendous: his work goes beyond the scope of music and incorporates fashion, technology, and cinema, to name a few. Look at his collaboration with Star Wars and the unique batch of Hexagon merch he released with them. Additionally, every show I’ve seen him put on has an incredible energy to it: he draws the listener in on a level that transcends the music. Whether I am graced with the opportunity in 2024 or some point far in the future, it would be a pleasure to work with him!
Beyond music production and DJing, are there any ventures or projects outside of your comfort zone that you’d like to explore in 2024?
I touched on this a bit previously, but I am very interested in exploring how my work in music can work symbiotically with other forms of art such as film and live entertainment. I remember seeing Louis the Child had created the theme song, “Big Time” for the X Games in 2019. I think that idea is awesome—you make a song and that serves as the anthem for a moment or an experience. I would love to do something of that nature for film or sports in the future!
How do you plan to inspire and connect with your fan base on a deeper level in the new year, and what message do you want to convey through your music and presence?
I think that it’s vital for us to remember that there should be no barrier between artists and our audience. I’ve always felt as a musician, I should be thanking my listeners, not the other way around! In this spirit, in 2024, I am going to continue to share my thoughts and offer insights into my production process for my fellow musicians and artists. In this day-and-age, that means I will be making a lot of videos that invite viewers into my world, and I will share them on my YouTube channel, as well as, my socials so people can connect from around the globe. The message I want to convey is, that there is a human being behind the music! I believe this is a message I have always conveyed through my work and presence on socials, but I will continue to reinforce it as best as I can. Additionally, in this new year, I want to continue to engage with my listeners and friends on a personal level at my live events and shows. So, a combination of presence online and in-person is on the docket for the new year!
If you could offer a piece of advice to emerging DJ/Producers who look up to you and share your dreams, what would it be based on your own journey and aspirations for the new year?
If you’re making music and pursuing a career behind the decks, you’ve chosen an unorthodox and challenging career path. Knowing that, you owe it to yourself to chase your highest potential. In this line of work, you will experience a lot of doubt from external places; people will tell you to quit and “be realistic.” Don’t let yourself become one of those doubtful voices, too. Seek out the people around you that encourage you—there are many voices like this. And be that encouragement for your friends. Lastly, give yourself credit for having the courage to build a career for yourself in a challenging environment, and get after it!
We thank Astara for joining us in this interview, where he shared his insights into his goals and aspirations for the upcoming year, as well as, showed his passion for connecting with the Electronic music community. Stay tuned for more exciting developments from Astara, as he promises new music on the way, follow him through his social media channels, and learn more about his upcoming releases and news.