After receiving festival love with trap songs "Surface" and "Break Them" DJ/producer Aero Chord went from living in his native Greece to an international tour, which eventually led his relocation to Los Angeles. However his big break didn't come without its troubles.
"I realized my life was going in the wrong direction in every aspect, so I had to find a way to do a 180," he exclusively tells Billboard Dance. "My self-confidence was low, and my decision to lose weight was the first major change because I was very unhappy with the way I looked and felt."
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To help find clarity, Aero Chord, born Alex Vlastaras, moved to Vancouver Canada where his label Monstercat is based and within three months he shed 50 pounds. "It was a lifestyle change, not just working out; my new mindset changed my life for the better," the 24-year-old said. "It was very hard, and while I don't feel like I've done a full 180, I am making progress, which has helped me," he added.
Today (Sept. 16), Aero Chord is back in LA and releasing the first single off his new EP Love & Hate (premieres Oct. 4) exclusively on Billboard Dance. He discusses how his lifestyle change is impacting his production, along with the "melodic future trap, with trance elements" vibe of his new music.
Do you approach producing differently after a dramatic weight loss?
Oh my God. My life turned upside down. The biggest thing is that everything now feels easier. I feel more confident with myself and feel way more at ease, which transfers into production a lot more than I thought it would. At first, I would doubt my production ability and thought my work was just boring and bland, even if I did something really good because of how I felt about myself. There was no way I could win in that situation. Now, when I sit down and write something down, I feel so confident in my skill, melodies, vocals, and everything so I don't second-guess my stuff, and that's how you get the most experimental and radical music. Sometimes I wonder if I make good music now or if I made good music back then and that I finally love it.
What inspired your new song 'The 90s'?
It's a switch up from my super hard, aggressive stuff in the sense that I just want to show a different side and the different strokes of my artistic character. I don't think I should be confined into anything because I like playing around with a lot of genres and keeping my options open to do anything. The 90s is obviously very inspired by my childhood, which is 90s cartoons, video games and movies like Dexter, Johnny Bravo, and The Terminator.
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Tell me about the Love & Hate's overall vibe.
I experienced moments I didn't even think could happen to me, but they helped me understand who I am as a person. For me, there's this love and hate relationship with everything and I think is inside of all of us. I wanted to tackle the duality of everything - things can be good or bad and its the same thing, it doesn't change, it's just the way you perceive it.
How do you want your listeners to feel when they listen to your new EP?
I hope when you listen to the EP; you go through a crazy roller coaster of random emotions. I want them to be impressed and realize that I don't just make drops with vocal build-ups. This EP has been in the works for about eight months, and I sang the main vocal line for The 90's along with the follow-up single. That started off as an experiment, but I think it worked out well, and I love it.
How is this EP different from the previous work you've already released?
I feel way more confident about releasing this EP and feel like this is something coming deeper inside than before. I wouldn't say my music before is superficial, but this is something that really expresses who I am what I am feeling.