THIS PAST WINTER BREAK, Stanford sophomores, Griffin Stoller and Charles Calvet performed at SnowGlobe, a music festival annually hosted in Tahoe. This year’s headliners included Disclosure, Flume, Porter Robinson, Skrillex and Zedd. It’s safe to say their debut was a smashing success.
Stoller, studying Music, Science and Technology, has curated an incredible repertoire of mixes and musical creations, many of which he has been working on since he was twelve. Calvet, studying biomedical engineering, has fostered a love for musicality from a young age. The two were excited to share a little bit about their sound, and their experience at SnowGlobe.
GS: “I started playing violin when I was very young, about three, and for a while I was an acoustic string musician. When I was ten or twelve, I started playing guitar. The last couple of years, I got into ukulele and audio production.”
CC: “I started playing the piano when I was four—classically trained. Then I started playing the guitar when I was nine. The day that I realized that I really liked music when I was a sophomore, and the seniors asked me to play some music that they couldn’t. Eventually, I just did my own thing and started to DJ.”
Both Stoller and Calvet saw quite a bit of success, in their own respects, prior to meeting one another. Stoller a violin prodigy, having mastered several instruments, including the ukulele and acoustic guitar, now produces electronic music, garnering reviews from Hypem and aggregating a respectable following on SoundCloud.
Calvet, equally as musically inclined, has been DJ-ing since high school, and is no rookie to the turntables. He took a gap year before coming to Stanford and worked with Dan Wilson, who co-wrote Someone Like You with Adele, the wildly talented, six-time Grammy Award winner. Lily Allen, Alex Clare and Birdy have all collaborated with him.
Based on their respective experiences and relationships with music, Stoller and Calvet are able offer something unique when it comes to making music.
GS: "When I get an idea or am on a roll, I don’t stop. That is the only way to make progress.”
Stoller and Calvet both agree that the only way to go about making music is to “get into the zone”, and work until the piece is finished. There’s a lot of trial and error, building off of experiences, and experimenting. This obviously takes time, but their worlds come to a halt, as they become immersed in their music.
Stoller typically works on sections of a song, perfecting each part. However, lately, he’s been mixing it up, ultimately doing whatever fits the track. Calvet, on the other hand, lays down the whole song, and prefers to go back and adjust certain parts. Both are quick to note that there’s no right or wrong way to approach creation.
These two have a lot of respect for one another. What Stoller lacks in performance, Calvet makes up for in ample experience, and what Calvet lacks in individual track production, Stoller definitely makes up for when they’re making music and performing together.
GS: “We wanted to have the best set we could. We wanted to rely on what Charles had to offer… but I was able to put in a bunch of my new songs.”
The two were beyond excited to be playing at SnowGlobe. They worked together for a couple of weeks and created a sound that felt right, focusing on the musicality of their set and straying away from classic, festival big room music. Calvet and Stoller first, pulled together a large group of appropriate songs, and then began distilling the collection down- ordering, re-ordering, and making the necessary adjustments to fit their 45-minute set. Ultimately, they were looking to push their boundaries and create a moment that meant something to them, so much so that they were editing their set up until the day of.
GS: “It was nice to know that we did a good job, people enjoyed it, and it made us feel like we were meant to be playing in this festival.”
CC: “We make our music for us. It’s stuff that we like, and we love it when other people like it. But its not like we are trying to impress other DJs with a sick drop.”
The two agree on one thing—they are keen on making music that means something to them. They aren’t interested in reproducing music that already exists. Given their background and intense relationship with music, they both have the technical skills to produce art. Now that they have learned from one another, and borrowed from each other’s skill sets to become whole performers, they are looking to continue along their individual paths. They are going to be collaborating in the future, but are currently looking to work on their independent projects. Griffin just released a remixed version of This Could Be Love (Borgeous & Shaun Frank), for a remix contest, and Charles, a remix of Waves.
CC: “I definitely like my share of filthy music.”
Check out some of their favorite music below:
Ragga Bomb, a Skrillex and Zomboy Remix
Fellow Feeling, Porter Robinson
Five Hours (Don't Hold Me Back), Deorro ft. DyCy
HAVE A LISTEN TO THEIR SOUNDCLOUDS AND...
...THEIR PERFORMANCE AT SNOWGLOBE
Special thanks to: Ben Suliteanu for the recap video