Cole Plante exudes the stage presence of an artist who's mastered his craft. He's good on the mic, knows how to pump up the crowd, is passionate about the music and has some pretty fly dance moves for someone who isn't even legally allowed to enter a club. Though the 17-year-old half Vietnamese DJ and producer has played gigs since the beginnings of EDM in Vegas at Rain Nightclub, to Hollywood's Avalon, the late Voyeur in San Diego and clubs in Miami, he says some of his favorite shows have been at "Disneyland's Grad Nite" where he gets to play to an audience he can relate to. We got to chat with the LA native born Matthew Cole Plante at the Happiest Place on Earth before he plays his final show tonight to find out why he's the future of electronic music.
To the ecstatic graduates at "Disneyland Grad Nite," Cole is the soundtrack to their last hoorah. His carefully crafted blend of bangers by TJR, Diplo and GTA spliced with his own more melodic originals are just as unpredictable as life can be. He throws in everything from Metallica to trap as the pulsating lights of the Mad T Party give some of these high school grads their first dose of an EDM event. As they form dance circles and crowd surf (which he has to graciously ask them to stop), you can see his passion for music and performing on his focused demeanor. It's like a mini rave for these kids as they celebrate an end of an era and Cole would easily be celebrating himself if he weren't getting paid to be behind the decks.
He's the fresh face of Hollywood Records straight off the Demi Lavato "Neon Lights Tour" and may have even inspired her reddish pink locks and side shave. To the more versed EDM fan, he's known for his chart topping hits "Lie To Me" and "If I Fall" with Myon and Shane 54. "I got in contact with them after remixing their song 'Lights' featuring Aruna," Plante says. "They bring a level of experience that opened many doors for me." But most don't know that just like the high school graduates attending one of his 11 Grad Nite shows, he has also been working hard the past four years to get where he is. "You have to work hard to create a long term career," he says.
His success didn't come overnight like some of his young DJ peers. After his parents home was foreclosed in 2008, Cole's family spent two years roaming hotels in LA, Compton, Inglewood and more while attending his Beverly Hills High School. As a musician who plays the piano and trombone, picking up his dad's old DJ equipment was second nature. Cole asked his dad to teach him to DJ in hopes to get good enough to play friends bar mitzvah's and help pay for nicer hotels. At 13 years-old, he had no idea he could make a career out of it, let alone help support his family one day.
From his first official Beatport releases "Bring Back the Boom" and "Forever" with Matt Dzyacky, Cole has polished his sound and style which is influenced by his favorite bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Depeche Mode and The Prodigy. After playing Identity Festival at 15 and looking up to Porter Robinson and Madeon whom he shared the stage with, he made his Lollapalooza debut last summer as the youngest DJ to ever play the fest. "Being on tour with guys like Eric Prydz, Paul Van Dyk and even working with artist like Paul Oakenfold in the beginning showed me an incredible work ethic," Plante says. "They are exactly where I hope to be one day."
This idea isn't too far fetched. He's already worked with famous composer Joseph Trapanese on the TRON soundtrack and remixed a Cinderella song for the Disney DCONSTRUCTED album alongside Armin van Buuren and Kaskade. With an additional love for gaming he's had various projects with EA Games and Video Games Live. "It's a blessing because I've gotten to work in a lot of different industries I love," Plante says. Maybe once he's older and a bit taller he can pull off starring in his own manga (Japanese comics) about life as a DJ. That's something we'd like to read!
Cole Plante plays at Disneyland's Grad Nite tonight June 19th, 2014. 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802. Tickets are through school purchase only. For more tour dates follow him on twitter at @ColePlante and like him on Facebook.