Dylan Ragland, more commonly known as Party Favor, has been one of the fastest growing names in the EDM scene over the last few years. Known for singles such as Bap U, he has been influencing the Electronic world through his solo work, as well as his collaborations with other artists. A graduate of Chapman University, he has spent much of his life in California, and has grown to call it home. We were able to sit down with Party Favor in Mountain View after his set at this year’s ID10T Festival to talk about some of the choices that have shaped him, as well as how he feels about playing this festival in it’s inaugural year.
While so many of your peers say that the best decision of their careers was to drop out of school and focus on music, you went the opposite way and got a degree from a prestigious university. How do you feel college helped your development?
For me, doing film for a lot of my life (and getting a film degree), especially focusing more on the editing side of film, I was able to take a lot of those skills that I learned in terms of being able to chop things up to see a bigger picture. When I started making music, I took a more “sampling” approach to it by chopping (music) up similar to as I would film or a commercial. Ironically, I don’t think I would have gotten to where I am now if I had just jumped right into it. Everything happened for a reason, I wish it had happened sooner, but hey, I’m here now.
Playing a festival in its inaugural year is always interesting because in so many ways, you help set the tone for every year that follows it. How do you see the identity of ID10T Fest now, and how do you think you have left your mark on it?
Well, I hope I left my mark on ID10T, because I’m definitely an idiot… I’m full of jokes, I’m so funny…
It was really cool. The Bay Area, for me, is my favorite place to play, and I’m not just saying that because I’m up here, it’s because the crowd always comes out and turns up for me, they show so much love, I can tell that when I come out, and I have so much love for the bay area, and so every time I come up here, it doesn’t matter if it’s a club, a venue, a big festival, whatever. I’m so ready because they’re going to go crazy, they’re going to make me work.
Some people have been pronouncing it “Idiot” and some have been pronouncing it “I-D-10-T” how do you think its pronounced?
I think it’s just “Idiot”. I wish they didn’t spell it without the “I” as the “1”.
How did you come up with the name “Party Favor”?
I keep trying to think of a really cool story for it, but basically, I kind of created, and always thought I would get another name. I thought “I’ll build it up a little bit, I’ll think of a cooler name, and I won’t be (Party Favor) anymore. Then I started to get too big, and I couldn’t think of another name, so here we are now. I hate my name, but hey, shout out to anybody who likes it.
How do you want to influence the music industry, and who do you draw inspiration from?
I think I want to leave my mark, hopefully, over time as people look back and think I left them with a good time. I don’t come from any sort of musical background, so I’m sort of learning this as I go. I’m not some musical savant like Skrillix or Hans Zimmer, but I always try and make music that just makes people feel good. I’ve had people come up to me and say that I’ve changed their lives through music, or helped them get through a bad time, and that to me is everything.
With sampling being such a big part of modern electronic music, where do you see the line between creating new music and plagiarism?
It’s hard. You can argue that a remix is plagiarism in a way, but many times a remix is taking something and turning it completely on its head. I think electronic music came so much from sampling, and it’s turned into such a blend of everything. (We’re) blurring the lines between plagiarism and sampling, and whatever else because you can have (many) elements come into one song. You could have a remix get reedited, and then you could have a remix of a remix of a remix. I’ve made those before, so I don’t really know if there is anything you can do about it, I just think it’s the nature of the music nowadays. Everybody has access to everything, so it’s just a big ball pit of music, if that makes sense.
What inspired you to want to get into this genre?
I don’t know if it was one specific artist, MSTRKRFT was pretty close, (but) I don’t know if it was one specific artist. I was really into the heavy electro when I was in late High School and starting college.
What’s next for Party Favor?
A lot of songs. I’m doing a lot of work for a lot of other musicians, pop stars, things like that, and then some originals, remixes, things like that. Just be on the lookout, more new music coming.
What advice would you give those who want to follow you?
Be humble, work hard, and worry about the music first and DJ’ing later.
What is one question or topic you are never asked about that you have always wanted to be asked about more?
I don’t know. I don’t think so. I’ve been asked some crazy questions. People have asked me what my favorite sex position is, people have asked me more personal questions like that, but I’m not sure if there is one thing I want people to really ask me, I have to keep some parts of my personal life secret.
Check out Party Favor by clicking on the links below: