Not a lot of DJs grow up dreaming to become a DJ. Usually, there’s some sort of catalyst that propels them into the scene. Hayden Capuozzo, aka Kayzo, tells me that defining moment that got him to decide to produce was seeing Rusko perform live (he actually shares that reason with Flux Pavilion). Not many hockey players from Houston, Texas end up living in Los Angeles producing music full-time, but many mentors and friends, including MAKJ and Icon Collective, helped make the transition a little easier.
Kayzo broke through to the masses in 2012 when he won Insomniac’s Discovery project for Escape From Wonderland, the Halloween fest now called All Hallow’s Eve. He played alongside headliners ranging from Calvin Harris and Infected Mushroom to heavyweight bass artists like Noisia and Liquid Stranger. No doubt this first foray into the festival circuit gave Hayden a serious itch to get back out there. Though, Kayzo’s style is bass-centric, the desire to explore other genres remains strong. Earlier this year, Kayzo was seen performing with hardstyle experts Headhunterz & Wildstylez, along with a couple others and he brought the house down.
Late last month, he brought a huge DnB rendition of Alesso’s “Heroes” and nailed it.
For this next release called Fired Up, Kayzo chose to go a little heavier with two original tracks, featuring dubstep and “hard moombah”-esque tracks, along with two remixes from Synchronice and Fawks. Let’s start with the originals, yeah? “Fired Up” is a huge dubstep tune with vocals from Nina Sung. The first thing to catch your attention will probably be the chopped vocals followed by Nina’s powerful voice. The track builds and sways along with the melody, and if you know Kayzo, then at this point you’re pretty much ready to be blown out of your seat. The drop hits you in the face like a pressure cannon, and perhaps it’s the surgery I just had to clear out my sinuses, but the bass reverberates quite pleasantly throughout your head. With a track like this, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a collab with TrollPhace, Twine or Truth in the future. “Visions” on the other hand is a bouncy, sort of moombah track replete with lazer patches and booming kicks.
The two remixes, both of “Fired Up,” come to us from Synchronice and Fawks. Synchronice is known well enough to pique some interest, and the remix itself will let you know that any interest was well placed. The heavy bass tones are replaced with a more future, melodic vibe that kind of drifts from beat to beat, with soaring synths and blissful chimes. In an exceptional rework, “Fired Up” feels more like “Mellowed Out.” For the second remix, Kayzo chose Fawks personally, as a fellow graduate from Icon Collective. This one really shines in the EP for me – partly because DnB is my one true love, and partly because the sound is just there. DnB has a long history of benefiting from wonderful female vocals, and you get that in the first section after the drop, but then Fawks comes in with the re-appropriated harsh synths from the original in the second section and switches it up. What was once a melodic, liquid-esque track becomes a heavier dancefloor banger, and back again.
The Fired Up EP, Kayzo’s first on Firepower Records, should mark a significant stepping stone in his career as an artist. It’s out officially tomorrow, but you can pre-order the whole release HERE to make the waiting a little easier.