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Inside Access to The Ravers Circle

Inside Access to The Ravers Circle

Patrik Essy

January 18th, 2021

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Wether completing daily activities or relaxing at home its not rare to find one listening to a podcast. There is a podcast for everyone out there, including ravers. Colorado Springs local podcast, The Ravers Circle, has made their mark in 2020. Starting out with locals in the scene they feature artists of all walks of life. Hosts Alan Hyde Jr and Karisma Vacura takeover Level 4 Studio every Thursday night at 7pm MST.

We were lucky enough to have the chance to speak with both hosts of The Ravers Circle recently. With plenty of questions to ask these fresh podcasters this made for a great conversation. This interview is conducted by Patrik Essy. The following is an interview between Patrik, Alan Hyde, and Karisma.

Origins of The Ravers Circle

Patrik: This first question is obvious but it seems like a nice place to start off. I’m curious about how the Ravers Circle was created! Could you tell me a bit about its origins? Ex: How the name for the podcast was chosen, how the hosts were chosen, how guests are chosen, how the location was chosen etc.

Alan: The podcast was created out of an idea. I drew inspiration from some of my favorite podcasts that I enjoy viewing and listening to in my spare time. Since I am a huge fan of the electronic dance music scene, the idea came to fruition to pitch the idea of an EDM podcast. Though there is a few out there, the one that I had in mind would touch on everything EDM and rave culture. I love talking about the music and analyzing the different variances of the genre, so I chose to pitch my idea to a fellow DJ who also runs a studio here in Colorado Springs. I’ve expressed my interest about doing a podcast for the longest time and when he brought up the possibility of providing me an opportunity to do one, I absolutely jumped at wanting to get it launched. One of my very close friends Karisma, who is a seasoned raver also enjoys discussing EDM and is heavily into rave culture. I thought she would be the perfect co-host so it was a no-brainer to have her collaborate with me on this effort. As far as guests, we wanted to shine a light on our local scenes here in Colorado. This is the perfect platform to interview rising artists and our local talent. We felt this was a chance to give some recognition to the Denver aka the Bass Capitol of EDM. Colorado is a melting pot for electronic dance music and what better scene than here to show some of the most talented artists in the world. This was the perfect opportunity to highlight that.

Karisma: The Ravers circle was originally created out of friendship, and the want to share love and information to the community that means the most to us. AJ had made a post asking if he started a podcast about raving culture, who would want to help? I immediately reached out and inserted my interest and from there we met up to go over topics, plans, and goals. The name was agreed upon and I had my cousin design our logo. Guests are all of our friends and connections we have made over the years in the scene. The location was given to us by AJ’s good friend Kevin. Shout out to him for making our dreams a reality!

Visions and Options

Patrik: Have you always had an idea for a podcast or did you see it going in a different direction before starting off? Sometimes people don’t get their first choice right away when attempting to start something new.

Alan: I always had an idea and vision for it. I basically took the format from my favorite podcast (The Joe Budden Podcast) and put a different spin on it, which is for the EDM crowd. I knew there were a lot of popular hip-hop podcasts out there but not really many in EDM, especially for the format in which we do it in. The idea was to discuss this genre on both a local and national scale

Karisma: I personally have always wanted an outlet to share my emotions, thoughts, and beliefs with the world, I just didn’t know how to put that communication into place until The Ravers Circle was born. We both have always wanted this podcast to be a positive outlet and safe place for our viewers, a place to simply have fun spreading love during hard times in the world. That’s why I believe that the podcast has done so well, being our first time doing anything like this.

Questions and Guests

Patrik: As coming up with questions can sometimes be a difficult thing, do you plan all of your topics of discussion? Do you plan on what you are going to talk about? Or is it more of the type of thing where you all sit down and try to have a casual conversation?

Karisma: Honestly AJ Hollywood Hyde is the main person setting up our guests and our topics for each week. We choose together what we want to talk about, then each week we try to touch on different subjects that are important to us and the music industry. We do have a list guide for each episode but we also have a great balance of natural and casual conversation to keep things flowing uniquely.

Alan: It really depends to be honest. More often than not we do have planned topics that we discuss. We’ll discuss what is currently going on in the scene as far as the hottest trends, upcoming music releases, fun topics, etc. Then there are some weeks that we will freestyle topics and just have a casual conversation. The best example of that are our holiday episodes of the podcast. Those have been the most fun episodes to do because we just sit back and naturally discuss whatever comes to mind, even outside of electronic dance music.

Patrik: Being named the Ravers Circle, it obviously has to do with music. Do you all ever plan on introducing guests from all walks of life? Meaning if a comedian or chef was interested in coming on for the Thursday night episode would you give the thumbs up?

Karisma: Yes, we are The Ravers Circle, but we do touch on all different aspects of a ravers life. We are always welcoming everyone who may want to be a guest on the show.

Alan: Yes, we actually plan on expanding very soon with our outreach. The beauty about the world Electronic Dance Music, is that we live by PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, & Respect). We are very welcoming and inviting of all types of people. As of recently we thought about inviting guests that are non-ravers or not affiliated with the scene. My thought process is that I enjoy networking and building relationships with anyone and everyone. Plus, this is an opportunity to do cross-brand promotions and really expand our fan base outside of just EDM.

What is Level 4 Studio?

Patrik: Let’s talk about the space where you all are located, because it truly is a beautiful spot in an even more beautiful location! Taking place at Level 4 Studio in Colorado Springs, Colorado this is the spot. Having two full photo studios and a podcast studio makes this the ideal spot for any creator. Having enough room to also host live sets when possible, this spot is what some would call perfect. How did you get in with Level 4 Studio? Where was the podcast going to take place before Level 4 Studio? Do you all have any new ideas that you would like to do with the space or any areas around it? Do you think its location will be beneficial in the future? What big plans do you have in the works or have at least thought of? Where would the podcast be held if not for Level 4 Studio?

Karisma: Thank you! We are absolutely blessed with the space we have. Level 4 Studio truly is the perfect place for our podcast. Kevin, the owner of Level 4 Studio, reached out about using the studio as our own for the passion he saw in AJ, that is how the podcast was born. Having people believe in us and support us in such a way as Kevin is truly astounding to me. We definitely would not be where we are now without him. This location has been extremely beneficial in many ways to both AJ and I and it will continue to be resting grounds for many episodes to come, with many surprises in the future. The only times we will not be at the studio is when we are traveling. In those instances the podcast will be held remotely wherever we are at. Hopefully we will host an episode from the beach this year so stay tuned!

Alan: This opportunity definitely presented itself at the right time. The person that we use the studio from for the podcasts is also a DJ. His name is Kevin Davis and he is a prominent figure in Colorado Springs. We made the connection by DJ’ing together at a nightclub in downtown Colorado Springs named Thirsty Parrot. We were the resident DJ’s there for a long while and had built a good friendship. I mentioned a few times about wanting to start my own podcast and then eventually we had a meeting about starting one. He showed me Level 4 studio and I was amazed with how professional it looked. We sat and he asked what my goals were with what I wanted to do with the podcast. Once I pitched my idea, the rest was history. Luckily, Level 4 Studio is right in downtown Colorado Springs so I couldn’t be more gracious for the location. We get a gorgeous view of downtown and I get to see the beautiful city at night. We do plan on doing more soon for the studio. I plan on doing some livestream specials for myself and all of the local artists in the scene very soon. We also have plans on doing episodes of the podcast at various locations in the future. More will be announced in the upcoming weeks so be on the lookout for that.

First Attempts

Patrik: Let’s dive a little bit deeper here. Was Ravers Circle the first attempt at a podcast or have you tried and failed before? Most major podcast hosts have had multiple failed attempts at a podcast until finally finding what is right for them. Has this ever happened to you? Have you always had the support to begin a podcast? Who pushed you the most to create The Ravers Circle to be how it is today?

Karisma: I have always had family and friends tell me that I should find an outlet to communicate with the world! The Ravers Circle is my first real attempt of doing so. Both AJ and I pushed ourselves week after week to continue growing to be where we are now and for that I am extremely proud of the both of us. We both have amazing support from our loved ones as well. Even through hard times we have used the podcast as a positive outlet where we can let go and vibe like we used to at shows. I feel the quality of the atmosphere of the studio has helped my mental health flourish every time I am hosting an episode, we have had many guests feel the same way. I am forever thankful how amazing we have done straight from the beginning on our very first podcast. We adjust as we go and grow as much as possible and this is part of the cause of our success

Alan: The funny thing about it is that this is our first attempt doing this. I still feel that we have aways to go to get to our goals, but I am proud of the feedback that we have received so far. I think by episode 3, we had already hit over 1,000 views. I was a little in shock because I did not think we would even hit over 100 views, let alone over 1,000. We are still grinding away to grow our audience, I feel we are heading in the right direction. 

Inspirations

Patrik: Who are some of your inspirations in the podcast world? Who do you “look up” to? Who has been a positive influence to you during all of this and even before you started the podcast. Who had support for you when the idea was just beginning? Who didn’t? Don’t say names here hahahah.

Alan: This might sound cliche, the entire electronic dance music scene. Literally of the major scenes across the world. I draw inspiration from places like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Denver, Chicago, and all over. Every scene is unique and different in its own way. It’s like your favorite restaurant, you have all of your favorite meals to choose from on one menu. That’s how I feel with EDM and this amazing world that I have became a part of. I can go to a show in Denver and it’s bass music galore. I can travel to Chicago and I am treated to some amazing house music. I can go to Detroit for Movement Festival and I will see the very best techno artists in the world. I draw inspiration from all of these different scenes and it’s a beautiful thing to experience.

Karisma: I honestly was not super into podcasts before our own but my main inspiration has come from the world of electronic dance music. I have always looked up to anyone who is spreading knowledge and love with the intent of growth. I have always had so much support from everyone in my life, and thankfully not too much hate.

Patrik: If you weren’t doing the podcast what would you be doing? 

Alan: I have no idea, probably just music production honestly. Some may not know, but I’m an artist as well. I’ve been a DJ in this scene for 7 years and just started producing about three years ago. So outside of the podcast, I’m working on music and releasing two EP’s by spring and/or summer of this year.

Karisma: I would still be doing everything I do now if I wasn’t hosting the podcast (work, mixing, traveling, etc.) The podcast itself is an extra bonus to my life that helps the way I perceive the world and how I mold myself as a person.

The “Real World”

Patrik: What do you do for your “real world” job? Do you ever see the podcast and your real world intervene in negative ways? Do you ever feel that you don’t have time for the podcast? Have you ever doubted yourself and your abilities when it comes to hosting a podcast?

Alan: I do have a real world job in human resources. Thankfully it’s not as stressful as previous jobs. I do suffer from several mental illnesses unfortunately, so I tend to enjoy jobs that are lower in stress. A fun fact about me is that I am a military veteran. I served 6 years active duty in the US Army and it’s definitely the most stressful job in the world being a US soldier. I promised myself that when I left the military, I would enjoy my life and focus more on the world of electronic dance music. Traveling to shows, working on music, DJ’ing, and just being a raver. I’ve been a fan of EDM since high school and it has been a passion to be apart of this amazing world. I don’t feel that the podcast and the real world will intervene in a negative way. I do my absolute best to keep it PLUR at all times. As far as time goes, I just make time as needed. I am always busy between podcasting, being an artist, having a full-time job, and making sure I have time for hobbies.

Karisma: I have had so many jobs in life from medical billing, to stocks, and everything in between. I currently work at AT&T and I have open and clear communication about the podcast being a main responsibility in my life. Thankfully, my everyday life has only been enhanced by hosting the show. The only times I have missed the show was when I was playing a show or on my anniversary vacation, I do not plan to miss the show otherwise. Thankfully we host the show on a weekday that way when shows start coming back more we will both still be available. At first I was nervous about my abilities as a host, but now I look forward to every Thursday because of how much fun every episode is.

Plans for 2021

Patrik: What big things are planned for 2021? How do you plan to take over the podcast game? How do you plan to overcome Covid in 2021?

Karisma: We are expecting this year to be huge for The Ravers Circle. We have already had some decently big names in the scene and we look forward to keep growing and getting bigger and better names than before. We will take over the podcast game with honesty, love, and a little bit of spice that keep our listeners engaged and coming back for more. Our connection to the scene and our support has already taken us so far that we plan to keep going from here. We have been a light to the community with shows being gone and help during the hard times of Covid and we will remain safe, sanitized, and helpful in 2021.

Alan: We have a lot of announcements coming very soon that I’m excited for. We plan on bringing bigger artists, managers, venue owners, etc. I feel that the only way we will take over the podcast game, is with our audience. The rave community is what drives this machine. This platform will let the voices of every raver across the world to be seen and heard. Our takeover starts with our engagement. The bigger our fan base grows, the chances of us being a top-tier podcast will become a reality. As far as COVID-19, we plan on doing any and all necessary steps on our end so that we can get back to some type of normalcy. Social media has been used to our advantage during this pandemic thankfully. Our plan is to keep engaging with our audience during these troubling times and keep spirits lifted for all our fellow ravers across the world.

Conclusion

Are you looking for your chance to sit down with the Ravers Circle? They are actually still booking guests for 2021! For more information head to any of their socials below. With each episode being about an hour in length or longer it is sure to keep you entertained. Everyone has the ability to listen so why not check them out? They might just be your next favorite podcast! Stay tuned for all of the great things they will be doing in 2021.

Photos By Patrik Essy

Find Ravers Circle:

FACEBOOK

SOUNDCLOUD

APPLE PODCAST

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