#Synthfam Interview: Casino Kid

Updated on December 5, 2019
KPM2017 profile image

Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!

Casino Kid describes himself as, "a DJ/music producer who loves the '80s, so synthwave music naturally drew me in from the first time I heard it." In an email, I asked him about how he got started making music, the approach he takes to creating new music and where he wants to take his music going forward.

Karl Magi: How did you first become passionate about wanting to create music?

Casino Kid: I started playing music in the 1990s in high school in a garage band. We did mostly metal and grunge covers. I gravitated toward bass guitar. I was never trained ― I learned to play by reading tabs and taking pointers from guitarists.

During college, I discovered Ableton Live, but I didn't start taking it seriously until about 2015. That's when my musical world opened up. I've worked in the program almost daily since then, and every day I feel I tap into more of its magic.

KM: Talk about the elements and ideas that attracted you to making synthwave.

CK: I instantly loved synthwave's aesthetic; the imagery, the sounds, the synths. I loved the idea that producers of today had been given a chance at creating a revisionist history of the 1980s. I have always thought the '80s was a prolific decade in terms of music, movies, art and fashion, I just didn't know that so many producers and electronic music fans felt the same way.

I didn't discover synthwave until 2017. I had been listening to Com Truise and Mitch Murder for years at that point, but it took me a while to connect the dots and realize they were part of a global retrowave scene.

KM: Who are your artistic inspirations?

CK: My artistic inspirations sprawl, so I'll stick to my influences in terms of synthwave. As I mentioned, I was relatively late to the game, first finding out about synthwave in 2017. Some of the first artists I was drawn to include Kavinsky, Lazerhawk, Arcade High and Miami Nights 1984 ― artists who, in my opinion, define much of the signature Outrun style I love.

As I dug deeper, I found out about more artists who have also been of profound importance, including: Zane Alexander, Stilz, Meteor, Morgan Willis, Jordan F, Juno Dreams and AWITW.

I also love darksynth music. I tend to go for more-obscure artists in this genre. I love Emmett Brown, Mr. Creep, KN1GHT, Lazer Lvst and Turbo Knight. I could see my music going toward this heavier style in the future.

KM: Tell me about how you create new music

CK: One hundred percent of my production is done in Ableton Live ― from songwriting to mastering, it's all done in Live. My creative process doesn't necessarily always start out the same. Sometimes I'll begin by writing the drums and bass. Sometimes I'll start by playing a chord progression, which may become the main harmony.

However, I do keep one thing consistent: I try to make production decisions that are true to the song ― I want to let a song evolve and unfold naturally. It can't be forced, because that shows through.

I also try to think about how my individual tracks will work in a DJ mix. For instance, I just put a new mini mix on Soundcloud ("Beyond the Neon Lights") that consists only of tracks I produced in Ableton Live. I used Traktor to mix the tracks live (and I'm not talking about mixing down; I'm talking about DJ mixing). I love mixing, and I'm meticulous about the tracks I select for a set, whether the set consists of my work, others' work or a combo of both.

As far as softsynths, I use a lot of the same standby VSTs as other producers ― specifically Korg Polysix, Xfer Serum and Arturia V Collection.

KM: What are the current projects on which you're working?

CK: Right now I'm solely focusing on my main project as Casino Kid. But I'm very open to collaborating with other synthwave artists.

I'm currently working on a batch of about a dozen tracks, which I plan to release commercially within the next few months ― something I've never done before (all my music is currently free on Soundcloud). As I make this transition from amateur to professional ― from DJ to producer ― you'll see my Bandcamp and Spotify accounts launch. I hope to have my songs on all the main music apps by March.

KM: Where do you want to take your music going forward?

CK: The sky is the limit. I hope to continue to find my creative voice and develop a sound that is uniquely mine. That's not easy to do in the synthwave genre, but that's exactly what all the best artists do.

I hope to play more live DJ sets so I can get my foot in the door with the STL/Midwest synthwave scene. Then I would like to expand my live show by integrating live instrumentation. I recently purchased an analog synthesizer, which is one of the first steps in that direction. Playing synths onstage and incorporating hardware takes the live experience to another level, in my opinion.

KM: Give me your thoughts on the Twitter synthwave community.

The Twitter synthwave community seems pretty cool. I'm not the most active Twitter user you'll find, but I'm getting better. My experiences so far have been positive, and I've made some solid connections in less than a year there.

KM: What do you do to reinvigorate yourself creatively?

CK: Listen to music! Whether it's synthwave or something totally outside the genre.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)