Artist – Kaeno

by Jul 30, 2020COMMUNITY FEATURED, DJ, INTERVIEWS

What makes a great DJ?  What makes a great ambassador for trance?


The answers will vary depending who you speak with, but for me that answer is simple. For me, a great ambassador is someone who has passion, someone who understands that you don’t have to tear or hold someone down to move forward. As for a great DJ, it is a person who can make you lose all sense of time, and have you yearning for the next track, because they know what you need to hear.

Kaeno is both a great DJ and an ambassador for trance. Having seen him play both live in person and streaming, following his radio show for years, Kaeno continues to blow me away. I always have to ask myself, why he is not received more. Not wanting to face the truth, because as a person of color I know the answer. Kaeno should be one of the most sought after artist in the United States. He could teach Master Classes on the art of DJing and I am positive they would sell out.

If you have been sleeping on him, it is time to wake up and take notice, because you are doing yourself a disservice. I am excited conversations are starting up with hope this will lead to more doors going forward to see Kaeno more in LA and around the world in the future.

How has the Covid-19 and closure of night life personally affected you?  As we start to see some industries reopen, what are your thoughts about clubs and festivals?

Hi and thank you for having me. It’s is truly an honor to be here and being interviewed by you. Covid-19 has truly put a pause on my music career for 2020 as well as my close relationships within the music industry. Much of my life intersects with the industry.

I am the founder and lead designer for Alpha 5 Design Group with specializes in graphic design, web development, video production & marketing for the music industry and a producer and DJ. When I can’t tour or festivals can’t produce shows, everything is affected. It’s been a domino effect which each sector of the industry is slowly feeling. I miss designing and developing heavily for the music industry as it’s the foundation and roots of Alpha 5. I feel blessed that my work includes other industries that have not been significantly impacted in return keeping a steady balance for myself and my team.

At this current state, I am based in Boston and seeing the rest of the country case numbers increase, I don’t foresee any openings of nightclubs in the near future. Venues are going to need to go through an extensive overhaul and evaluation of health and wellness to reopen keeping patrons, staff, and talent safe. I fear the mega-club days are over and we will result in smaller venues as well as outdoor facilities where club-goers will have adequate space to dance and enjoy the music.

I hope and pray this isn’t the case and we can get back to celebrating the music and festivals we have all come to love…Time will tell.

Your weekly show, Vanishing Point is quickly reaching episode 700, do you have anything special planned for this momentous occasion?  Please share your thoughts on having a weekly show, what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing it weekly?

The Vanishing Point 700 was schedule to take place in Argentina this year with Rebels Productions. At this moment in time, I don’t foresee a full-on celebration as we planned on having. I am working with promoters and music crews across the country to host and celebrate the 700 episode. More to come…

Having a weekly radio show, especially now in the state of the pandemic, has allowed me to test new music, discover new artist and labels that go unnoticed. I spend countless hours during the week reviewing promos and listening for that tune has all the right formulas. At the end of the month, I choose the tracks that have really created dynamic feedback and compile and episode featuring my top selection. Those tracks are then locked into my playlist for future live shows and lifetime play.

The music I play within The Vanishing Point are based on level of authenticity of sound, creativeness and overall quality. I’m looking for those tracks, that 10 years from now will still sound fresh and organic…they will stand the test of time…classics!

You also have your Shades of Night show. How does this differentiate from Vanishing Point?  Will you keep this going once “live” shows come back? Why or why not?

Shades of Night is me in the RAW. I grew up listening to house music and techno. My father has a wide collection of vinyl from when he was stationed in Vietnam and brought home records from all over the world. I remember dancing with my mom and sisters on Friday night and the weekends while cleaning the house and she would let me select the music…Dropping the needle on Kenwood turntable and my father freaking out I scratched his record…lol.

Shades of Night are those memories I have growing up, the music would be soulful, moody, sometimes dark and twisted or just pure energy. The foundation of the show is set around all of those feelings, it can [be] deep dark progressive or full on banging dance your ass off techno. It is the music and sounds I always go back to at the end of the day.

The COVID pandemic has highlighted for me that is times of adversity you realize who are the real supporters and who will be there for you at the end of the day and that is my family. The wisest advice that I have received is to stay true to yourself by living and sharing your passion.

You really do help spear head the trance scene in Boston. How is the overall scene in Boston in both trance,progressive as well as all electronic music?

I’m originally from Miami where the industry is cutthroat. It made me who I am today, and I have no regrets starting my career in Miami and working with artists and promoters who had the same drive and passion for the music as I have. I moved to Boston to be closer to my family which I gained another family…Boston TranceFamily. The trance community in Boston welcomed me with open arms and embraced my ideas and supported my efforts from DAY ONE!

The dance music scene in Boston is built on house and techno. Promoters like Manolo, Mike Swells, Ace of 6 One 7, Adam of MassEDMC, Tim Bonito of NV Concepts (entire team), Mike Nachman, and Buddy Costa of BNEG (Big Night Entertainment Group) saw the climate change and welcomed me to be a part of it. Boston is a heavy commuter city fueled by college students from all over the world. With that comes the taste of music and trends which tend to shift just like any other city, but our shift happens every 6 months. A sound or artist that was hot 6 months ago may not be relevant the next time around.

It’s safe to say the foundations of dance music, house, and techno are still the main drivers of the city with trance & EDM events sprinkled throughout.

Recently there has been a lot of discussion with diversity in the scene. What are your thoughts on the subject? What do you think can be changed? And how should we go about to make this change a reality?

Globally white privilege and power are alive and well within the electronic music industry and acknowledgment of this is one of the first steps, doing something about it, is the second. As artists, we need to build together within our community and support each other. The electronic music industry has become ‘big business’ and is lacking a governing body to ensure accountability, ethical treatment, and guiding principles. Everyone plays by their own rules with varying moral compasses, which I have experienced first-hand.

Being a Black artist, promoters have told me “You don’t fit our brand”, “Black DJs should stick to House and Techno”, “There is no room for you on the trance stage”, “You’re not European enough” to Record Labels & Agencies telling you “Why don’t you make Hip Hop, you’ll never make it as a trance artist”.

The industry is full of systemic racism, sexual harassment, cultural bias, and microaggressions. The change needs to start in two places, from the top and from within. Self-reflection and doing the work to understand the implicit bias one brings to the industry must start and continue. We as talent making conscious decisions to partner with artists of color and support each other is essential. This pandemic is truly showing how much the promoters, record labels, venues depend on us (the artists) and the fans that support our music. venues are suffering, supporters are still listening, and artists are still creating from their own homes.

When the collective (artists and supporters) don’t have to navigate the nightclub industry and can still enjoy the art, it all comes crashing down and we have the opportunity to rebuild it the right way and set the infrastructure for the future of electronic music industry.

Since father’s day just passed, how do you navigate all your roles and still have time to be a great father?  For upcoming artists, what are your recommendations for a work-life balance?

Being a parent within the music industry is extremely hard, as I am always on call. I work between 3 time zones and start my days at 4am five days a week. I’ve learned that I can’t solve everyone’s problems. I don’t believe that balance is possible. I strive to integrate all of my roles including being a dad and partner. I have been able to share with my child my love for music and design and we spend time creating music and art together.

The COVID pandemic has highlighted for me that is times of adversity you realize who are the real supporters and who will be there for you at the end of the day and that is my family. The wisest advice that I have received is to stay true to yourself by living and sharing your passion.

Finally, if you could only live by one motto, what would it be?

Treat other people with the concern and kindness you would like them to show toward you.