When you look up groups who fuse genres, Flosstradamus has to be among the first listed.
The Chicago-based duo are known for blending their favorite elements of rap into the best parts of electronic music, and it's been working out for them so far. Next up, J2K (real name, Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci, unfortunately not Optimus Prime) will be taking their signature combination to the Observatory in Santa Ana for both nights this weekend.
"We're really about bridging the gap between electronic music and rap music, both sonically and in our performances," Young says. "We're going to bring it with as much energy as possible. It's definitely not just going to be two dudes standing up there. We feed off the crowd's energy, and at an intimate venue like the Observatory, it's going to be rowdy in there. It's a lot of cardio for us, and it's just high-energy, good vibes, and a good place to turn up."
And with their latest release, last year's HDYNATION RADIO EP, Flosstradamus is clearly as energetic as ever and ready to run, bounce, and dance around the Santa Ana venue with their fans. Their EPs with artists like DJ Sliink (2013's Nomads) and Travis Porter (2014's Wake & Bake) show just how diverse Young and Cameruci can be with their music, and their 13 EPs in the last five years seem to prove they don't plan on going away anytime soon.
"We've always combined (rap and electronic music) as DJs in our sets, because we like both," Cameruci says. "We would mix a house song into southern trap music, and it just felt right to us. We grew up in Chicago where house music and hip hop were both on the radio at the same time, so it didn't really feel different to us. We just took it to the studio and ended up making our sound out of it."
Flosstradamus' sound is definitely working out for them so far, as electronic artists like Diplo (both with and without Major Lazer) and A-Trak have collaborated with the pair. At the same time, remixes of top hits like Rihanna's "Bitch Better Have My Money" and Fetty Wap's "My Way" bring them even more attention from folks who might've never picked up a Flosstradamus EP before.
"With people like Major Lazer and A-Trak, those are our family," Young says. "Flosstradamus has been around for 10 years now, and we've known those guys since before their celebrity status. It's kind of like working with the homies. Even though they have this massive status, those guys are still down to earth and they're still all about the music, which is always good."
Young points to working with Diplo on a track a few years ago as a turning point for Flosstradamus. Collaborations and moments like that are the ones that have brought the duo from being a couple of underground Chicago DJs to hosting their own festival for the second year in a row, aptly titled HDYFEST, in Colorado next month.
"Every year on 4/20, we're going to do a big festival," Young says. "This year, we're bringing out Valentino Khan, Snails, and Chill Harris and just going to take over Red Rocks for the day and smoke it out. It's going to be a dope event for all of HDYNATION and all affiliated artists. It's going to be tight."
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But that's not to say Young and Cameruci are overlooking this weekend's shows at all. They're extra stoked to play the Observatory for a couple of reasons.
"We haven't been to Southern California for a while, so it'll be great to get back there," Cameruci says. "We have a lot of fans out there, so we're looking forward to seeing that part of our family again."
"Yeah, and Curt and I have been freezing our asses off on the East Coast and Midwest, respectively," Young adds. "We're happy to get to SoCal for a little bit and thaw out."
Tickets for Flosstradamus' shows at the Observatory cost $55 are available on the venue's website.