Techno strikes chord in Park City High School graduate
Dylan Ragland, who graduated Park City High School in 2007, left for Orange County, Calif., to attend film school at Chapman University, but was sidetracked by music when he met up with classmate Alex Mulé.
The two became DJs and began spinning their turntables at various on- and off-campus parties.
In fact, the two enjoyed those gigs so much, they decided to have a go at it professionally as the duo Party Favor.
"I’ve always had a passion for music, but I never really went after it by any means, when I was younger," Ragland told The Park Record. "Through some jobs I got through my film studies, the musician in me emerged and things sort of fell into place."
After teaming with Mulé, Ragland began working on original music.
"We wanted to become respected as artists," he said. "We acquired a manager and started climbing the ladder in the DJ industry."
The two then set their sights on a bigger goal electronic music.
"There is a growing EDM (Electronic Dance Movement) scene, and if you listen to the radio, a lot of the pop music is leaning towards that style," Ragland said. "Some people call it house music and others call it techno."
Party Favor’s goal is to become a recognized force in the EDM world.
"We’re hopeful to get some success in that area by not just playing other people’s music or just turning nobs," Ragland said. "We want people come to see us for our own music, our own creations and shows."
Attaining that goal can be tricky.
"With anything in any business it’s about who you know and the connections you make," said Ragland, who is the son of Park City-based visual artist Greg Ragland. "The entertainment and music industry is no different, and any connection you make is usually a one-time thing. If you blow that opportunity and mess up, you’re not going to be asked back again.
"It’s about building a reputation and understanding how the (night)club format works," he said. "Beyond that, it’s about finding your own name and about how many people are following you on Facebook or how many Twitter followers you have."
One criterion is the popularity of the music.
"Is the music you’re making heard by anyone, or are other DJs playing it?" Ragland said. "Also, promoters need to know how many people are we going to be bring to a club."
To make the duo more appealing, Ragland and Mulé have ditched their cumbersome vinyl-disc turntables for a sleeker, digital format that allows them to access their music library while interacting with the crowd.
"We broke down the walls so it’s just us and the audience," Ragland said.
Last spring, Party Favor caught the attention of Level Entertainment and was asked to headline the Static Dream Tour.
"They liked us so much they asked us to join the tour again," Ragland said.
This time around, the tour, which will stop at Salt Lake’s Infinity Event Center on June 22, will feature Party Favor and headliner Dillon Francis.
"It means a lot to us when people notice what we do and ask up back to do a tour, it means we’re doing something right and we’re gaining a following," Ragland said. "The event is for ages 18 and older and there will be an area with a full bar for people older than 21."
The past few years have been a roller-coaster ride for Party Favor and Ragland said he is glad he and Mulé aren’t in it for the money.
"The biggest reward is we truly enjoy what we’re doing," he said. "I think every time we play a bigger venue and headline and play with artists we respect vindicates ourselves as well."
Party Favor will perform as part of the Static Dream Tour that features techno artist Dillon Francis at the Infinity Event Center, 26 E. 600 South, in Salt Lake City, on Friday, June 22, at 9 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting http://www.staticdreamtour.com/Static-Dream-Featuring-Dillon-Francis–Party-Favor-Level-Ent-Group . For more information about Party Favor, visit http://www.facebook.com/partyfavordjs.
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