MINT Magazine
Stanford Fashion & Culture
  Mint Magazine (MM):  Yes. Thanks again for doing this for MINT. So if you could just like tell me about yourself outside of the music.      Charles Calvet (CC):  Yeah. Outside of the music, I'm French. I went to boarding school in England for five years for high school and then I took a gap here in L.A. which was music related. So that was pretty good. I worked for a music producer and then now I’m a bio major here. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do because I’m a senior. I think that I can either go into biotech or I want to go, if I'm not doing music, I want to do music industry related things so I'm working on like data analytics project right now. I've done a lot of stuff from like working at NASA for a summer but I worked in labs and I worked at Warner Brothers last year. So it's kind of like a wide variety of experience to different fields of work. And I'm trying to figure out.

MINT x Charles Calvet

 

 

  Mint Magazine (MM):  Yes. Thanks again for doing this for MINT. So if you could just like tell me about yourself outside of the music.      Charles Calvet (CC):  Yeah. Outside of the music, I'm French. I went to boarding school in England for five years for high school and then I took a gap here in L.A. which was music related. So that was pretty good. I worked for a music producer and then now I’m a bio major here. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do because I’m a senior. I think that I can either go into biotech or I want to go, if I'm not doing music, I want to do music industry related things so I'm working on like data analytics project right now. I've done a lot of stuff from like working at NASA for a summer but I worked in labs and I worked at Warner Brothers last year. So it's kind of like a wide variety of experience to different fields of work. And I'm trying to figure out.

Mint Magazine (MM): Yes. Thanks again for doing this for MINT. So if you could just like tell me about yourself outside of the music.

 

Charles Calvet (CC): Yeah. Outside of the music, I'm French. I went to boarding school in England for five years for high school and then I took a gap here in L.A. which was music related. So that was pretty good. I worked for a music producer and then now I’m a bio major here. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do because I’m a senior. I think that I can either go into biotech or I want to go, if I'm not doing music, I want to do music industry related things so I'm working on like data analytics project right now. I've done a lot of stuff from like working at NASA for a summer but I worked in labs and I worked at Warner Brothers last year. So it's kind of like a wide variety of experience to different fields of work. And I'm trying to figure out.

  MM: So how did you initially get into music?       CC: I've been playing the piano since I was four. It’s the classic case of my mom making me sit down and making me play the piano, and I hated it. She would lock me into dark rooms if I didn't practice which was terrifying. Still it's terrifying. But, then I picked up the guitar when I was nine and I started playing in bands and stuff in high school like not like actual bands like cover bands and high school bands. I really enjoyed performing. I remember my first rock concert. I was a sophomore and the seniors asked me to perform for them and I was just like the kind of kid that was like a guitar nerd I'll just play all the time in my room. I remember playing my first rock concert and the performance, which made me me want to do it because it was just such a rush. That's my favorite thing is to perform so. That happened and then I realized that it's impossible to write music with a band. We try to write music and when you have five people trying to write music it's impossible. So I was like I want to write music on my own and got into electronic music, which is what I do now. I took a senior gap year and worked for this super famous producer. Not like super famous, but he won a few Grammys. He’s a super talented guy. Very artist type of guy but super talented. I learned a lot like production and songwriting and how to work with other artists, which is a big one. I’ve carried on. I got to play Snowglobe two years ago with Griffin Stollers. That was awesome and I’ve been working on original music now, which is great. I released Paper Planes. It's been over a year since I've been working on the original stuff and albums. I've got like 13 songs more or less ready that I'm going to start releasing. It’s interesting. It’s exciting but it's also scary stuff to put your stuff out there and see if people like it.

MM: So how did you initially get into music?

 

CC: I've been playing the piano since I was four. It’s the classic case of my mom making me sit down and making me play the piano, and I hated it. She would lock me into dark rooms if I didn't practice which was terrifying. Still it's terrifying. But, then I picked up the guitar when I was nine and I started playing in bands and stuff in high school like not like actual bands like cover bands and high school bands. I really enjoyed performing. I remember my first rock concert. I was a sophomore and the seniors asked me to perform for them and I was just like the kind of kid that was like a guitar nerd I'll just play all the time in my room. I remember playing my first rock concert and the performance, which made me me want to do it because it was just such a rush. That's my favorite thing is to perform so. That happened and then I realized that it's impossible to write music with a band. We try to write music and when you have five people trying to write music it's impossible. So I was like I want to write music on my own and got into electronic music, which is what I do now. I took a senior gap year and worked for this super famous producer. Not like super famous, but he won a few Grammys. He’s a super talented guy. Very artist type of guy but super talented. I learned a lot like production and songwriting and how to work with other artists, which is a big one. I’ve carried on. I got to play Snowglobe two years ago with Griffin Stollers. That was awesome and I’ve been working on original music now, which is great. I released Paper Planes. It's been over a year since I've been working on the original stuff and albums. I've got like 13 songs more or less ready that I'm going to start releasing. It’s interesting. It’s exciting but it's also scary stuff to put your stuff out there and see if people like it.

  MM: How would you describe your sound since the last time you were doing original music to now?      CC: Yeah I think might. So what I really like in music is being able to push the boundaries of what you like and taste. But I don't like to do it in a way that's alienating. I like to do push myself in different ways but always retain a sense of familiarity. My go-to thing is having a very pop-ish type of vocal right bottom line. I work with singers and stuff like all around the country. In the production will be something that's a little bit more out there. Kind of like with Skrillex and Jack U, which is also Skrillex, and what he did with Justin Bieber’s career. Like Major Lazer. All those kind of people that are taking pop acts and making them seem cool. I’m really inspired by that. I think pop is great because it's really good at taking one idea and just having one really good idea and making a song out of that. I really appreciate that. So I think that it's kind of a sound that bridges everything but if I had to summarize it, it’d be pop-like structure and vocal over a production that is a little bit more electronic and off base.

MM: How would you describe your sound since the last time you were doing original music to now?

 

CC: Yeah I think might. So what I really like in music is being able to push the boundaries of what you like and taste. But I don't like to do it in a way that's alienating. I like to do push myself in different ways but always retain a sense of familiarity. My go-to thing is having a very pop-ish type of vocal right bottom line. I work with singers and stuff like all around the country. In the production will be something that's a little bit more out there. Kind of like with Skrillex and Jack U, which is also Skrillex, and what he did with Justin Bieber’s career. Like Major Lazer. All those kind of people that are taking pop acts and making them seem cool. I’m really inspired by that. I think pop is great because it's really good at taking one idea and just having one really good idea and making a song out of that. I really appreciate that. So I think that it's kind of a sound that bridges everything but if I had to summarize it, it’d be pop-like structure and vocal over a production that is a little bit more electronic and off base.

 MINT x Charles Calvet   MM: How would you describe your sound since the last time you were doing original music to now?      CC: Yeah I think might. So what I really like in music is being able to push the boundaries of what you like and taste. But I don't like to do it in a way that's alienating. I like to do push myself in different ways but always retain a sense of familiarity. My go-to thing is having a very pop-ish type of vocal right bottom line. I work with singers and stuff like all around the country. In the production will be something that's a little bit more out there. Kind of like with Skrillex and Jack U, which is also Skrillex, and what he did with Justin Bieber’s career. Like Major Lazer. All those kind of people that are taking pop acts and making them seem cool. I’m really inspired by that. I think pop is great because it's really good at taking one idea and just having one really good idea and making a song out of that. I really appreciate that. So I think that it's kind of a sound that bridges everything but if I had to summarize it, it’d be pop-like structure and vocal over a production that is a little bit more electronic and off base.      MM: Do you have any sources of inspiration or artists that you look up to?      CC: Yeah sure. I have one artist that I really like named Porter Robinson He’s really great. He is just a guy who just like stays true to his convictions. He’s a guy with integrity. I really like Skrillex because he sets so many trends and he revived Justin Bieber's career. Who would have thought? He doesn't care about what people think. He just believes in what he wants to do and just does it at the highest level and succeeds. t happened with dubstep and everyone was giving him shit, but he won Grammys for that Bangarang album. Then, he produced songs for Justin Bieber’s album and he did “Where Are You Now” obviously. For me, he's just the kind of guy that's seems to be doing it for the right reasons, because he loves it. The fact that he's able to you're able to set trends so many times and you have massive producers who are just trying to imitate your sound constantly and you're always ahead of the curve is just so impressive and to me that's a source of inspiration.

MINT x Charles Calvet

MM: How would you describe your sound since the last time you were doing original music to now?

 

CC: Yeah I think might. So what I really like in music is being able to push the boundaries of what you like and taste. But I don't like to do it in a way that's alienating. I like to do push myself in different ways but always retain a sense of familiarity. My go-to thing is having a very pop-ish type of vocal right bottom line. I work with singers and stuff like all around the country. In the production will be something that's a little bit more out there. Kind of like with Skrillex and Jack U, which is also Skrillex, and what he did with Justin Bieber’s career. Like Major Lazer. All those kind of people that are taking pop acts and making them seem cool. I’m really inspired by that. I think pop is great because it's really good at taking one idea and just having one really good idea and making a song out of that. I really appreciate that. So I think that it's kind of a sound that bridges everything but if I had to summarize it, it’d be pop-like structure and vocal over a production that is a little bit more electronic and off base.

 

MM: Do you have any sources of inspiration or artists that you look up to?

 

CC: Yeah sure. I have one artist that I really like named Porter Robinson He’s really great. He is just a guy who just like stays true to his convictions. He’s a guy with integrity. I really like Skrillex because he sets so many trends and he revived Justin Bieber's career. Who would have thought? He doesn't care about what people think. He just believes in what he wants to do and just does it at the highest level and succeeds. t happened with dubstep and everyone was giving him shit, but he won Grammys for that Bangarang album. Then, he produced songs for Justin Bieber’s album and he did “Where Are You Now” obviously. For me, he's just the kind of guy that's seems to be doing it for the right reasons, because he loves it. The fact that he's able to you're able to set trends so many times and you have massive producers who are just trying to imitate your sound constantly and you're always ahead of the curve is just so impressive and to me that's a source of inspiration.

  MM: Now, going back to Stanford, why did you decide to audition for Frost?      CC: So, I've kind of played everything at Stanford from frat parties to charity events to Maus to Party on the Edge. I've done a lot of things and I think that, specifically this year, because I have original material which I didn't have last year I felt like I wanted to start to promote that, as well as having the final experience. Also, I knew for Frost that they didn't just want a DJ and that’s what I usually do. But for this, I wanted to do it live set. So, I have a guitar now. I have an amp. I have keyboards. I have pads that trigger or that does samples. I have another guitarist with me who is supplementing the music. I have singers come on. That to me is a challenge you know to go beyond and to bring back all of the musicality that I’ve learned since I was four for the instruments and the skills that I felt were getting unused. It was nice to audition for that and then them telling me you got the gig after showing them the music and everything. Then, for me to be like, OK I have to put this together now because I know it's coming. I was getting set a little bit more ready earlier today and jamming out to my music and seeing a show come together. So yeah it's great to have that really high stakes opportunity and try and go beyond my comfort zone. Hopefully, it works.

MM: Now, going back to Stanford, why did you decide to audition for Frost?

 

CC: So, I've kind of played everything at Stanford from frat parties to charity events to Maus to Party on the Edge. I've done a lot of things and I think that, specifically this year, because I have original material which I didn't have last year I felt like I wanted to start to promote that, as well as having the final experience. Also, I knew for Frost that they didn't just want a DJ and that’s what I usually do. But for this, I wanted to do it live set. So, I have a guitar now. I have an amp. I have keyboards. I have pads that trigger or that does samples. I have another guitarist with me who is supplementing the music. I have singers come on. That to me is a challenge you know to go beyond and to bring back all of the musicality that I’ve learned since I was four for the instruments and the skills that I felt were getting unused. It was nice to audition for that and then them telling me you got the gig after showing them the music and everything. Then, for me to be like, OK I have to put this together now because I know it's coming. I was getting set a little bit more ready earlier today and jamming out to my music and seeing a show come together. So yeah it's great to have that really high stakes opportunity and try and go beyond my comfort zone. Hopefully, it works.

  MM: So do you feel any pressure because this is your last set at Stanford?      CC: If I was just deejaying, it would be no problem. I’m fine just deejaying. I don't feel pressure in the sense that I will have more gigs in the future. This is, for me, the beginning if I choose to pursue this. I see it as a really good start. I will feel pressure if the set is not ready when the day comes but that's not the case. I mean I just love performing so much. If everybody's on top of that stuff and like all the artists that I'm working with are crazy artists. We got two Stanford students and we're flying in someone from New York who is singing one of the songs. It feels very pro. The other guitarist playing with me is awesome. I have a business manager and she's great. Since day one, she’s like I believe in your stuff and I'm like OK. But it's great to have that support. I feel like I don't have an enormous pressure because I have a team of people with me that are really great and that I know I can rely on. I’m just really excited.

MM: So do you feel any pressure because this is your last set at Stanford?

 

CC: If I was just deejaying, it would be no problem. I’m fine just deejaying. I don't feel pressure in the sense that I will have more gigs in the future. This is, for me, the beginning if I choose to pursue this. I see it as a really good start. I will feel pressure if the set is not ready when the day comes but that's not the case. I mean I just love performing so much. If everybody's on top of that stuff and like all the artists that I'm working with are crazy artists. We got two Stanford students and we're flying in someone from New York who is singing one of the songs. It feels very pro. The other guitarist playing with me is awesome. I have a business manager and she's great. Since day one, she’s like I believe in your stuff and I'm like OK. But it's great to have that support. I feel like I don't have an enormous pressure because I have a team of people with me that are really great and that I know I can rely on. I’m just really excited.

  MM: What do you think is a challenging aspect of being a DJ at Stanford that most students wouldn’t know?      CC: I think it's several things. The biggest thing is the thing that you might expect which is the time commitment. Not just being a DJ but trying to be an artist, you have to like spend 100 percent of your time doing that if you want to really make some progress. I have classes, I'm a staff member in Grove, and I’m in Phi Psi so I have commitments to that. Then, I had a capstone project that I was working on. So all those things build up and it's hard to find balance between all the small things. The thing that you wouldn’t expect being a DJ is the variety of music taste on campus means that you have to be really good at reading a crowd and just to be ready to adapt. You have to be willing to watch. I've learned a lot especially before coming to Stanford. After playing gigs and gigs of just empty rooms, understanding that you're not deejaying for yourself. You’re deejaying to provide some kind of an experience that obviously you like but also that other people like. Having that compromise actually challenges you to get more creative with the songs you play and the way you mash up things. In the end, that challenge makes you better as a DJ because the biggest skill I think is to be able to just have good music, read the crowd, and be able to adapt to understand that maybe it's not working very well and to try something else until you find that sweet spot. One thing that I found to be really useful is to not always play songs that people know. I am a firm believer that that gets boring. As a bio major, which is pretty cool, you get more satisfaction if you get a reward for fifty percent of the time it's expected. So that's kind of like my pseudo way of justifying. But, I think that people want to be challenge but not alienated. Providing that experience, I believe from my experience, makes people have a better time. I'm not bragging but I’ve had people come up and be like that was really great, super fun. That’s why I do this. But I'm sure if I just played like top 40 people will be like ehh. That little challenge and they're still like into some songs they know with some new stuff; people are curious. I think people would like to learn new stuff. You just don't want to be the guy was just playing something so off base that it's just like completely lost.  

MM: What do you think is a challenging aspect of being a DJ at Stanford that most students wouldn’t know?

 

CC: I think it's several things. The biggest thing is the thing that you might expect which is the time commitment. Not just being a DJ but trying to be an artist, you have to like spend 100 percent of your time doing that if you want to really make some progress. I have classes, I'm a staff member in Grove, and I’m in Phi Psi so I have commitments to that. Then, I had a capstone project that I was working on. So all those things build up and it's hard to find balance between all the small things. The thing that you wouldn’t expect being a DJ is the variety of music taste on campus means that you have to be really good at reading a crowd and just to be ready to adapt. You have to be willing to watch. I've learned a lot especially before coming to Stanford. After playing gigs and gigs of just empty rooms, understanding that you're not deejaying for yourself. You’re deejaying to provide some kind of an experience that obviously you like but also that other people like. Having that compromise actually challenges you to get more creative with the songs you play and the way you mash up things. In the end, that challenge makes you better as a DJ because the biggest skill I think is to be able to just have good music, read the crowd, and be able to adapt to understand that maybe it's not working very well and to try something else until you find that sweet spot. One thing that I found to be really useful is to not always play songs that people know. I am a firm believer that that gets boring. As a bio major, which is pretty cool, you get more satisfaction if you get a reward for fifty percent of the time it's expected. So that's kind of like my pseudo way of justifying. But, I think that people want to be challenge but not alienated. Providing that experience, I believe from my experience, makes people have a better time. I'm not bragging but I’ve had people come up and be like that was really great, super fun. That’s why I do this. But I'm sure if I just played like top 40 people will be like ehh. That little challenge and they're still like into some songs they know with some new stuff; people are curious. I think people would like to learn new stuff. You just don't want to be the guy was just playing something so off base that it's just like completely lost.