By Melissa Kil
Innovative DJ and producer, Seven Lions is embarking on The Journey, his first headlining tour in North America, with more than 40 dates beginning October 6th in Vancouver. The Journey is about the millions of young people who create their own adventures and break boundaries for themselves. The tour is a celebration of the beauty in all of our unique paths in life. In addition, the tour will contribute directly to a charitable cause important to Seven Lions and his entire team. On this tour Seven Lions is teaming up with FCancer, a nonprofit dedicated to cancer prevention and early detection. One dollar from every ticket sale will go directly to FCancer.
EDMLA’s Melissa Kil had the privilege of speaking with Jeff Montalvo, aka Seven Lions, to gain insight into the mind of a truly talented producer and genuinely awesome human being.
EDMLA: What was the moment when you decided to commit to making a career out of music?
Seven Lions: I don’t actually think I ever made a full decision, it kinda happened over a year period. I never even quit my old job since I didn’t know how long the music would go on. I told my boss, I don’t want to quit but I’m gonna go do this for a little while. I’m sure they fired me now because I never went back. I never had that moment where I was like, I’m gonna do this. I’ve always just been a hobbyist so I never really thought it could go this far.
EDMLA: What advice can you give to aspiring producers who also want to make a career out of music?
Seven Lions: My advice would be just do it because you love it and get really good. Don’t worry about making a career out of it quite yet… or actually don’t even worry about making a career out of it at all. The people who think they are going to get rich making music are the people who usually tend to promote their stuff way too early, and it doesn’t go very well and they get burned out, and they stop, and they give up as opposed to the people who just really, really like making music and do it no matter what. Those are the people who end up getting really good at what they do and having success.
EDMLA: What were some of the best moments so far on The Journey tour?
Seven Lions: The Seattle show was amazing because we just moved up there and there were about 5,500 people. It was definitely the biggest show so far and that was just a really epic moment. We moved up here for the weather and the rain and trees. I’ve lived in California for a long time and the drought was kinda getting to me and we wanted to buy a house and put roots down, so we figured Seattle would be a good place. We’re actually in Woodinville which is about 25 min northeast. I love it.
EDMLA: How has your music evolved over time?
Seven Lions: I guess I’m always just kind of experimenting with different things -but I always just do go back too. It has not evolved in a linear way at all, I just like experimenting with different things.
EDMLA: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Seven Lions: I would love to work with Above & Beyond, Zoe Johnston, Imogen Heap, Sigur Ros, Ellie Goulding again would be dope… basically, people who have really unique voices are the people who I like to work with.
EDMLA: I’m a really big fan of your music and I saw your show last year in San Francisco with Above & Beyond and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to in my whole life. I was sitting in a wheelchair and people lifted me up! It is a moment I will always remember. What were some of the best parts of touring with Above & Beyond?
Seven Lions: The crowds are really amazing. They are all there for a really good time. It brings a different crowd than a normal EDM show — they are well educated in electronic music and are die hard fans. It makes for a really, really great show and the vibes are just insane. Not a lot of shows are like that. It’s pretty crazy. The thing they do is just unlike anybody else.
EDMLA: My last question is, did Above & Beyond impart any wisdom on you?
Seven Lions: They didn’t really give me any advice but the biggest thing I took away was I saw the way they make all their shows really special. It inspired me to make all of my shows feel really special too. I’ve just learned so much and been really inspired by watching them and touring with them.
Tickets on sale now at www.sevenlions.com/