Big Kenny Alphin Electroshine Press Conference

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“I have listened to so many different types of music my whole life. So, it started to hit me that here at the University of Creativity which is what we call this whole place. We are experimenting with new things, heck that’s what I do. Ever since we came into this town it was Musik Mafia and Musik Mafia is about, you know just takin’ the doors down.That is, to be able to expand what I know of as Country Music and my love of Country Music.” – Big Kenny Aphin

Big Kenny gathered some key media individuals at his home studio in Nashville and laid it on us all at once.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“Music City is a beacon of creativity for the world right now if you all have noticed this. But, there is just so much varied talent that comes in and out of this place. Sometimes, people just show up on my doorstep and then all of a sudden you find out that they’re brilliant at something musically and that, in my world, I’m just kind of “why don’t you go take a room and stay a little while and let’s make some music.”

“This talent just started showing up in my world including two amazing organic players. A group called ChessBoxer, it’s Matt Menefee, who plays banjo in our band right now and Ross Holmes who plays fiddle in Mumford and Sons. We put the two of these guys together for a year. I had them up in the bell tower and they just opened the windows and were just putting in all these riffs at the same time.”

“You have a whole crowd of people in EDM,  Electronic Dance music, that’s  producing music and synthesis right here on a computer on a screen and I thought ; why we could just jam all this acoustic great instrumentation here in Nashville into these kind of beats and I mean as soon as you start doin’ it, it makes you want to dance!”

Big Kenny's API Plus console in Home Studio, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny’s API Plus console in Home Studio, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Anybody who visits Lower Broad any time of the year will notice that bands at Tootsie’s upstairs as well as other venues have already began mixing up modern Country like “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” with a medley of Rock and Roll like AC/DC’s “Back In Black” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” prompting waitresses to jump on the bars and strut their stuff.

“So, this first piece I’m goin’ to show you, actually, it came about as I was working here and then I would have to fly to LA for another event and I ran into some of the most amazing producers out there and one of them being specific is Chebacca. “

“The next week, I flew him to Nashville and we started workin’ and he was upstairs in creative mode and we were goin’ back and forth. We just had to do this music if we had time so we would be on the road and off the road and work everything out. So we decided we would smash it together. We just kind of laid out a vibe and also laid out the feeling. We just put visuals with it to lay out the feeling of what we were feeling when we were doing this, right? To kind of give out a vibe of the kind of people  that ,you know, we also see that love this stuff so it’s fresh, it’s new and this is danceable.” – Big Kenny

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Big Kenny has put together a creative team called Electroshine involving everybody from West Coast EDM Artist Chebacca to members of Mumford and Sons, Dave Stewart and others to work on creating EDM worthy Country mash-ups of not only Big & Rich hit songs, but, original material as well as possible re-mixes of Merle Haggard and other possible classic material and taking the music on the road.

Rolling Stone magazine recently published an article about Swedish DJ-Producer Avicii and his major international hit “Wake Me Up” that mashes EDM and bluegrass featuring vocals from Dan Tyminski best known for the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou  track “I Am a Man Of Constant Sorrow.”

Big Kenny describes life on the road, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny describes life on the road, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“ John and I, we are music lovers and in half or more of the cities we play in America we either end up…there’s nowhere to go and we end up putting big speakers up outside between our busses and just DJ and just jam to this kind of music. Dance music across all of what we love; there’s popular and then we will bust into a little Haggard in there too.”

“That’s kind of how it got started, right? So these people are showin’ up and then that song was actually one of the first things we released. We knew we had to just start putting some music out and so we created Electroshine TV, aYou Tube Channel, aFacebook,Twitter.  We kind of just let it grow organically, build organically like everything we have ever done in our lives.” – Big Kenny

Big Kenny's guitar rack at home studio, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny’s guitar rack at home studio, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

The idea has been on a grassroots level over the last year and couldn’t be timed any better. One of the best examples of this idea was the success of Daft Punk’s hit “Get Lucky” which dropped a couple of months ago and began to be covered by all sorts of DIY artists one of which was East Nashville Banjo man,  Charles Butler who was trending twice as many hits on you tube as the original Daft Punk version. Charles’ version was featured as a hot video on the android app as it continued to outpace and inspire online mashups of the Charles Butler and Daft Punk versions.

“I wanted to kind of give you a briefing of what all this Electroshine project is. You know, it is truly just the continuation of what the Musik Mafia has always stood for which is to expand the boundaries of music without prejudice. We don’t want other artists who come into this town that are friends of ours to think that we are anything other than the most open minded musicians in the world, but “damn those boys can play banjo, fiddles and guitars and aren’t they great singers and melody makers.” So the thing we realize is missing in Nashville is EDM which is, hopefully, everybody knows this by now, it is the most exploding genre of music that we have on this planet. “- Big Kenny

While Electronica introduced R. L. Burnside’s Hill Country Blues to the rest of the world more than a decade ago this is a brand new thing for country music and could help to expose Country Artists all over the world in a new way as well as carrying on the original country melodies through time with maybe a simple Carter Family inspired bluegrass part in an EDM dance re-mix.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“It’s kind of hard to just take a sweaty race horse who has just finished a show or a couple of them and you have to walk ‘em and cool ‘em down, right? So, we found the best way was dancing.  We hit these clubs and we see what people are doing and what people are dancing too.   So, we kind of know where this thing is. We thought this could really happen so then we decided to remix two songs on the last Big & Rich Record, “Party Like Cowboyz” and “Born Again that will drop on September 3rd”

“Our radio partners out there thought “Party Like Cowboyz” was a little heavy for them to play because the songs rocked pretty hard, kind of AC/DC rock on the album.  It was the same thing with “Born Again” which we wrote and it featured, on the remix, Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.” – Big Kenny

While there may have been a lot of resistance in the Country Music culture ten years ago, now would be the time for success since Country Music has had an influx of Hip Hop flavored tracks, AC/DC inspired guitar riffs as well as the straight up pop crossover of Taylor Swift.

Big Kenny, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“We crashed a Belmont party one night with that song and uh, Belmont, I mean they were doing a charity event in a big room and everybody was in there just glowing and any way. We put that on there and played it and everybody just started coming up and “It’ so cool. You guys keep doin’ that stuff man that’s awesome.” – Big Kenny

The most important thing is that Country Music has a devoted fan base who continues to buy product that has proven out in actual Billboard chart positions as Country Artists begin to dominate release by release in actual album sales.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“John and I were playing up  just above Twin Lakes, Wisconsin so Troy, this is where my partner Troy  Volhoffer comes in. We just bought a circus tent.  We just bought a circus tent ( Troy Volhoffer, owner of Premiere Global Productions), yeah! At the Twin Lakes Festival this year we went bustin’ in there with the circus tent and we put up visuals and I DJ’d until so many people were packed on the stage that it became unsafe. Someone was going to fall off the edge and so we just sang a song and said goodbye.” – Big Kenny

Country has seen artists from other genres cut Country albums to see if they could make the crossover and sell actual product as seen by the Bon Jovi country project as well as Darius Rucker’s current success so why can’t Country Artists go out and see if they can make inroads into dance clubs?

“With Electroshine, we are paying attention to the BPM’s, everything you know and how that makes you move. Yeah and also, just the technology we put into just the way it makes you feel. Like if you were deaf and you sat in here you would…you will feel this music. Especially, when we put it out of 6000 amps in that circus tent in full surround sound.  The kaboom, kaboom of just putting up a circus tent that is over a half an acre. People want to party. So we are here to throw the parties and get everyone dancing.” – Big Kenny

Big Kenny Alphin and his Electroshine project may actually open the roads to what may eventually be County mash-ups not only in his travelling big circus tent show , but maybe eventually as part of Country Music radio programming as well as awards during the CMA’s for best Country EDM tracks.  

“I guess I can tell you what our next steps are and what we plan on doing with this. Again, we’ve been inspired to bring in other artists, as you just mentioned there and I think we can make a lot of cool mash ups like Grammy kind of mashups, right?”

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“I know you all know that I have a couple of other careers too. One of them being pretty large and that’s Big & Rich. So, what we have come up with is this kind of stuff.  John and I are still kind of into the mentoring thing.   It just kind of happens. There are nine interns running around here at any given time amongst all my staff. They are just a bunch of brilliant open-minded creative people.  But, to be able to take this to the next step we will go and do a Big & Rich show and then we do Electroshine after-parties.”

If you visit Nashville during CMA week, the DJ’s are already mixing up Modern Country and Classic Rock with EDM beat tracks and vinyl matching up pitch and BPM’s and making their own remixes on the fly already at dance party venues that run concurrently with all the concerts all over town. Country Music fans love it and it has been going on for the last several years.  They like to get out and party and dance just like it was L.A., Miami and New York, in fact a lot of fans travel from there as well as from all over the world where EDM is already the major player.

Big kenny, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big kenny, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“We can take this circus tent anywhere. Now these places, like my fifth grade teacher who had been helping feed 400 kids that were homeless, she has wanted to do a festival, you know and she needs to do something with bigger awareness and she doesn’t know how to do that and now we have put together all the partners to know how to do that and in a tent we can just go, “Where is the parking lot? Get us a parking lot and Swummff!  Right? “

” I can finally go play a show in my hometown of Culpeper, Virginia so our plan is to tour this kind of music in a circus tent. Right now we have drawings of inside and outside the tent. The insanity of what will be inside this tent. It will have the extremities “Extreme- a- tees” of any international big city, big time club that you would go into. Like The Marquee in Vegas or Tao in New York.  Well guess what? We take that out to our people. They love that stuff, right? We are going to put little flying angels over their heads. We will put stages on all four sides of the tent. The design of this thing is intense. I mean it is super intense. People will be going into a multi-sensory environment. I mean dudes like me ought to be able to crowd surf too.”  – Big Kenny

screenshot, photo - Brad Hardisty

screenshot, photo – Brad Hardisty

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN