Rising stars Trevor Dahl, Kevin Ford, and Matthew Russell aka Cheat Codes have a had a busy summer. Producing hits amidst a busy tour schedule isn't easy and the guys are putting in the work to make many things happen including signing recent tracks to Spinnin' and Thrive Records. Ahead of their appearance at Thrival Innovation and Music Festival in September, Cheat Codes took some time to tell us about what their working on, what 'innovation' means to them and more. Get tickets for Thrival to see them live in September
Thrival Innovation + Music Festival is all about connecting people with music, technology, new ideas, and shared experiences. What does ‘innovation’ mean to you?
Cheat Codes: Innovation for us starts with not caring what anyone else thinks and doing what feels right. When we first started this project we weren't all that familiar with the dance music scene but we knew we just wanted to make great music, and I think that almost ignorant approach to it made our music stand out.
How do you make time to “be creative” and write music on the road amidst a busy summer tour schedule? Is there a method to the madness?
Cheat Codes: Honestly we just have a crazy work ethic and a really great team that helps us handle it all, we can't sit still for too long, so when our management gives us a near impossible to do list, we always smile and say bring it on. Our motto is make everything fun, and when that becomes your companies mission statement you're in a constant state of creativity.
What new projects are you working on? Planning on debuting anything new at Thrival Innovation + Music Festival this year or during your summer schedule?
Cheat Codes:We have a long list of songs that are always ready to go at any given moment, the question for us and our team is always, is this our best foot forward. When that answer is yes, than we do it. As far as premiering new stuff at Thrival, we didn't really think about that, but now that we have that idea, that could be really fun for the fans! We have 2 new music video's coming out this month so stay ready for those!!
Tell us about your new project with Dante Klein. How did that come about?
Cheat Codes: Well we had just finished 'SEX' and Dante Klein had a similar idea with 'Turn Me On' and he sent us the track and asked if we would try out some vocals. When we heard the production idea; it sounded like the perfect follow-up so we went with it, it all happened really fast!
Many, many musicians are entrepreneurs who experience the ups and downs of starting something new. Looking back, what was it like first starting out, and what advice would you give to aspiring startups, musicians, or entrepreneurs looking to go out on their own?
Cheat Codes: Starting out was really fun, just as fun as it is now. In the beginning we locked ourselves in our bedroom studio and made about 20 songs. It was a fun journey discovering our sound and where we wanted to take the vision. Our advice would be to keep moving forward, have as much fun as possible, don't overthink it. People attach to songs that are genuine in some form, I think if its flowing and its fun follow that experience and share it to as many people as possible.
As far as business goes, slowly add people to your team that you know are you gonna work as hard for your project as you will. That could mean that you're doing everything by yourself at first but eventually if you do that others will see the vision and you'll have your own little business family. We started doing everything ourselves, the songwriting, the singing, the production, the videos, the designs, the photos, literally everything. To operate on a high level thought you have to be able to delegate.