I fell in love with EDM over the past few years (thanks to my first Insomniac experience), and with that new romance, a whole world opened opened up to me, one filled with slicky produced, dance-inducing beats from a multitude of talented DJs. BETABLOCK3R’s earworm “In My Head,” however, immediately stood out from the crowd.

The dreamy opening synths that built into a funkified chorus of dancing falsetto was addictive, and the production was equal to that of some of today’s biggest electronic acts, such as Chromeo and ODESZA. However, compared to those artists, BETALOCK3R has a relatively small online presence, a conscious decision by DJs Chris Boulos and Ryan George. I recently had a chance to chat with the duo about their commitment to sharing their experience in its purest form and what fans can expect from BETALOCK3R this year.

Speaking from their respective studios where they record, produce, and mix impressive indie-dance perfection, the men explained what led them to first start collaborating. “I became obsessed with music after high school, “Boulos recalled. “When we started out, we messed around with loops and made bad hip-hop beats and joke songs.”

“Even then, I spent way more time doing that than I should have,” he continued. “I was obsessed with making songs. It wasn’t the smartest move for me because I was going to school for other things, but I couldn’t stop.” He began a career as a visual artist, which led to work as an art director for several companies.

George was also on a different path, far from the creative arts. “I had studied evolutionary psychology and was applying for grad schools, hoping to become a psychotherapist,” he explained. Music was a large part of his life, though; he had been playing guitar since he was eleven and was heavily involved in the Orange County metal scene. “I wanted to get into different types of music,” said George. “Then I met Chris, who was more into electronic production and audio engineering.”

The duo clicked instantly over their dedication to writing. “We starting working nonstop, constantly writing songs,” Boulos said. “He was the only person I ever met who spent as much time as I did writing and working on music.” While the two wrote original songs, it was their remixes that grabbed the Internet’s attention, particularly their remix of Sir Sly’s “Gold”, which received almost half a million plays on SoundCloud.

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The pair had such dedication to crafting music that remixes became their focus, demanding their full attention and sidetracking originals. “We had to put the brakes on [remix offers] because people were hitting us up to do them all the time,” George said.

BETALOCK3R shifted back to writing originals, citing influences across the music spectrum, from legends like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Queen to genres like jazz, progressive heavy metal, and old-school hip hop.

But even as their original songs landed them on Spotify’s “New Music Friday” and generated one of the platform’s “most viral” weekly tracks, BETABLOCK3R remained relatively quiet online to ensure fans would experience their meticulously planned music in its purest form. “We want to control the experience people have,” George explained. “We love connecting with our fans. We just want to keep it about the music and make sure people can enjoy themselves.”

“Music is a type of storytelling, and the overabundance of information with people’s personal lives breaks the fourth wall and takes away from the magic of music,” Boulos lamented. “When you know what your favorite artist had for lunch, where is the magic in that?”

Boulos never wants to feel like BETALOCK3R is pushing a product or vying for Hollywood celebrity: “People want to be famous at the cost of what they are creating, and it doesn’t matter what they create. We want it to be about the music, not about our identity. That way, we have no excuse — if the music isn’t good, no one will listen to us.”

Take a listen to BETALOCK3R’s most recent single, “What You Wanted,” a up-tempo track about the dangerously seductive side of Hollywood celebrity:

The DJs are carefully producing their forthcoming live shows as well, aiming to take fans out of their reality and immerse them in BETABLOCK3R’s “universe of sounds and visuals,” according to George. “I bet we’ll do secret shows. We’ll definitely have shows with live bands where we’ll play instruments, but we can also do DJ sets. It all depends on the venue.”

Visual storytelling will play a large part in the live shows, so don’t expect these artists to cut corners to hasten their first Los Angeles performance. “We want [our live shows] to be memorable, which is why we’re spending more time setting that up,” Boulos explained. The band’s first shows will certainly be underground, the perfect scenario for experimentation and a throwback to older electronic shows.

BETABLOCK3R’s high standards for their live shows and music make self-imposed deadlines tricky. “It’s weird for us because we’re independent so we aren’t forced to follow any strict schedule,” George said. “We are writing the best songs we can, and sometimes we take longer than maybe we should, but it’s because we are doing our best.”

While not having a set timeline may frustrate fans, BETABLOCK3R’s unparalleled commitment to their music has yielded excellent, dance floor-ready tracks, and they are determined to continue raising the bar. “We feel like we are getting better every day,” Boulos said. “We’re pushing ourselves and not settling…our minds have to be blown to want to lay a track down.”

“I am so thankful…that we have an audience that appreciates what we are doing. I know that’s very rare,” said George. “I trip out on that every day.”

For more information on BETABLOCK3R:

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