Q&A: Luminox

How must it feel to become an overnight star? To go from the bedroom to the big stage? From SoundCloud to the sets of major DJ’s like A-Trak, Dillon Francis, Diplo and, yes, Skrillex in a matter of months? Weeks even? After this summer, Luminox is one of very few producers qualified to answer those questions. A producer since 2005, Luminox, formerly known as Damage, really found his niche as he transitioned his style from hip-hop to ‘trapstyle’ this summer, emerging from the change into what he dubs an ‘EDM riot starter’. And that’s hardly far from the truth, as I’ve single-handedly watch quote-unquote riots ensue when trap inevitably made its way into many, many sets this summer. It was undeniably the sound of this past summer and continues to dominate the dance music market. The characteristic 808 snares hammering away over hip-hop kick beats feel absolutely infectious when played out on the dance floor, making enthusiastic fans of the sound bounce around in ways previously unseen.

There’s a couple songs that one could point to that mark the beginning of this sound becoming so popular and one of those would undeniably have to be Luminox’s remix of the Bingo Players’ song “Rattle”. Taking a song which made such waves in the summer of 2011 and tweaking it just right, Luminox simultaneously reinvented the song for 2012 and inspired a new genre to flourish. While Luminox may not be a household name yet, his productions should certainly sound familiar to anyone who saw a decent amount of live electronic music this past summer. We were extremely excited to have the opportunity to ask the producer, who’s become increasingly busy with churning out new productions and touring the country, a few questions about what his rise to fame has felt like, some influences on his sound and what we can expect to hear from him in the coming months.

MMIBTY: When “trap” first became a thing, what prompted you to quickly change your name from Damage to Luminox? Where did the inspiration for the name Luminox come from?

Luminox: I didn’t change the name because of “trap” [becoming popular]. I changed it because my music was getting mixed up with other artists on beatport and itunes.  Prior to my name change, I was producing a lot of Dubstep. The word “Luminox” was a word I used in 9th grade because I was a graffiti artist and that is what I tagged my pieces as: “Luminox”.

MMIBTY: What is the most “star-struck” you’ve been since you came onto the EDM scene? In other words, who have you spoken to, received praise from, or otherwise encountered that ended up being something of a dream come true? Did any good stories come out of any of these encounters?

Luminox: When people who are already popular like Flosstradamus, Dillion Francis and Paper Diamond, DJ Craze, are supporting tracks that I’ve produced, it’s exposing people to my music and getting people used to my unique sound.

MMIBTY: Trap music, in the EDM sense, is still very new and very invigorating as a genre. What do you see the future of trap music holding and how do you plan to stay relevant?

Luminox: Being that it is a young genre, there hasn’t been too many different renditions of it, and once people get used to the sound, producers are going to start thinking out of the box and become more creative, making it exciting. I think my unique sound and I am always trying to push the boundaries and I even capitalize on other peoples new ideas.

MMIBTY: “Rattle” was undeniably your breakout remix. Tell me what led to you choosing that song to remix and choosing to make it a trapstyle production? How long did it take you to produce?

Luminox: I chose “Rattle” because the original is awesome, and I knew since it was extremely popular that the remix would bring more hype to the crowd then another house track. It took me 9 and half hours to produce.

MMIBTY: Did the Chicago music scene provide any influence in you finding your current style?

Luminox: Yes, I grew up with Chicago’s house music. I got into the hard-house scene as well, so being that those were the first genres of EDM that  I was really exposed to, they definitely have influenced my current sound.

MMIBTY: It seems that, unlike many other younger producers, you have had no problem playing the roles of both a remixer and a fantastic original work producer. What’s the major difference you notice between producing remixes and originals?

Luminox: Remixes are easier because they allow you to skip some of the work hours you would put into creating melodies, and the key of songs.

MMIBTY: This next one is a question I’ve asked every DJ I’ve interviewed. What do you listen to when you’re not listening to trapstyle or EDM for that matter? And/or what do you have going in your car right now?

Luminox: I listen to a lot of reggae.  I have people like Big Sean, Wiz, Rick Ross, and Collie Buddz in the ride right now.

MMIBTY: What have you got in the works in terms of upcoming releases? Any EP’s or collaborations for us to look forward to?

Luminox: I have a mixtape dropping with Trap-A-Holics coming from LiveMixtapes.com and also I have an EP releasing on KatHaus records.  I also have some more bootlegs and remixes coming soon!

Luminox announced yesterday through his Facebook page that he’s going to start dropping some previews of tracks off his upcoming EP starting today, so be sure to follow him there (and on Twitter!) to hear them right when they drop. Also, if you have no idea who this guy is, do yourself a favor and listen to two of his smashes from this summer below (and pick them up for free download here). Also, if you’re out in LA, be sure to catch Luminox at the Dim Mak Studios with DJ Slink, Brillz, Maskurade and more next Friday, October 5 (details here)!