Exclusive interview with rising star producer and DJ VAANCE

By Alex Brown - 25.9.18

Cincinnati-native Eli Catania produces bass heavy, pop-enthused sounds under the moniker VAANCE and has been going from strength to strength since his musical career began in 2013.

Although VAANCE has always had a passion for music, it was five years ago when he really put his energy into growing himself as a professional musician and has since performed at festivals including Ohio's famed, #FEST and Breakaway Music Festival, bringing something unique to the stage and honing his craft.


Listen to VAANCE’s killer track ‘Lights’, below.

We caught up with VAANCE and chatted about midi keyboards, nu-disco and his latest single.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Although my genre depends on my current mood, it's a blend of sound design inspired by some of the biggest names in bass music with theory drawn from the most melodic.

How did it all start for you?
Day 1. I was born into music and raised into it by my two brothers and my parents. During college I got my first taste of what could be at my first show, Breakaway Music Festival. That provided me with a feeling I don't think most people are lucky enough to experience. That feeling was passion. Since then I have dedicated every day to making a career out of this.

What three albums would you say influenced your sound the most?
Chameleon - Grey
Awake - Illenium
Still Kids - Virtual Riot

Are there any key pieces of equipment that VAANCE can't live without?
My midi keyboards (especially the Roli), Acoustic guitar, my Yamaha Hs7s and Serum.

What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.
Really anybody or anything that bends/breaks "the rules." I'm always looking for new ways to test the limits of sound design in serum or other plugins while keeping the mix clean as a newborn babies behind. I try to associate my sound with cold colors and abstract imagery to relax the mind but let it wander freely.

What is one sub-genre you think doesn't get the attention it deserves? Why do you think it should get more?
Nu Disco. The complex theory and funky sound design is such an underappreciated fusion of my musical roots (stevie wonder, the commdores, etc.) and new age sound design in my opinion.

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?
Dreweybear, Suave, and OTR. These three guys went/go to the same university as I did (University of Cincinnati) and each have developed such a cool, unique sound for themselves and are making huge waves in the industry right now. So excited to see where they go next.

If you could collaborate with any artist, living or not, who would it be, and why?
Illenium. He's made my favorite style of production mainstream and mastered it imo, so I really owe a lot of my streams to him.

What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a performer? As an attendee?
Playing at my first major show at Breakaway Music Festival in 2017. Attending Spring Awakening Music Festival in 2016 as my first Festival ever. These together gave me the final taste I needed to pursue this dream.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you can tell us about?
I recently dropped a new track with Lush Records! The song is "You've Changed (ft. Angeline)." Other than that I have and endless stream of music ready to show you all ;)

Famous last words?
Nothing is impossible unless you believe it to be.

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