Corey Von Waters Talks New Record Label, Career Progress and More [Interview]
Corey Von Waters is a staple in the Atlanta house music scene and this year has seen some major growth in his role as a DJ. In addition to the launch of his record label family, Southern Exposure Music, Corey has readied the premiere of his single, “Tomorrow Never Comes.” The single will be Corey’s first release as a producer. We chatted with him about his forthcoming projects and gained some insight on his open and honest sense of humor. Read the interview below:
How long has Southern Exposure Music been around? What genres do you cover?
The label was launched in May of this year. We cover techno, house, progressive and soon a little bit of the darker side of trance.
How many artists have you featured on the label? What has been the most popular artist on the label to date?
There are six core artists that make up the label family, including Raskal, Bri, Reiche, Ralph & Louie and myself. We have signed a couple other artists recently, including our homegirl from Brazil, Thayanna Valle and also our good friends Patrick Morgan and Tonal Grooves, who are local Atlanta artists. Thayanna’s remix of DJ Bri’s “I Can’t Think” is our top tune right now. Thayanne is a pretty big artist and she just completed a tour of South Africa recently, which is somewhere I’m very interested in playing eventually. I want to do one of my great white shark dives there.
What events does Southern Exposure Music have coming up?
We have releases scheduled out through the first couple months of next year, we are adding new artists to our roster and also part of the Southern Exposure team has formed a new multi media company called Subtle Events, which will begin bringing in international headliners to Atlanta starting in March of 2018. We have lots of surprises in store for next year!
We are based out of Florida. Do you have any events coming up down here in the near future? Or how about any of your label’s artists?
A couple of us may be down in Miami for WMC next year but we are so busy working on the label and our events up here that it’s hard to get away right now. Building two startups at the same time takes a lot of work. Our entire team will be at the Dirtybird Campout for a little R&R though. Cannot wait for that next year.
I know you have some new music coming out soon – I assume it’s on Southern Exposure Music. What should we expect as far as the genre and sound?
This will actually be my first single coming out on our label at the end of December. I’m excited and nervous as becoming a producer after being a professional DJ for 17 years is like starting all over again. It’s very exciting and it’s been a humbling experience. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long so now that it’s on my doorstep. I honestly don’t know exactly how to react. It’s kind of surreal. It will be a single, with a vocal version, and one remix. The single is called “Tomorrow Never Comes.” It is a reference to my issues with procrastination over the years. I wrote the lyrics and tracked my own vocals as I’ve been singing my entire life. As I type this, I can’t believe it’s coming out in a month and I can’t believe I sang on my first release ever. It’s a deep house track with a nice techy, progressive edge to it.
In the past few years vinyl has been making a big comeback. As a DJ, do you think you could ever go back to playing all vinyl? Has your label ever released any tracks on vinyl?
I learned on vinyl and it will always be my first love. I definitely plan on doing some vinyl only sets next year. Playing with Where?house camp, part of my burner family, has re-invigorated my passion for vinyl. I really miss playing it but I sure as hell don’t miss lugging 80 lbs of records around everywhere I go like I used to!
It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you can’t stay humble and network your face off then you’re not going to make it these days.
With today’s technology it has become fairly easy for any regular person to become a DJ. In your opinion, makes separates an average DJ from an exceptionally talented one?
That is a very subjective topic. Red alert for the ever-constant battle of CDJ vs. controller vs. vinyl! I think no matter how flooded the market is with DJs the cream tends to rise to the top. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you can’t stay humble and network your face off then you’re not going to make it these days. Back in the day you really had to have a major passion for this stuff as buying the music itself was so expensive. Often times we would be paying up to 13 dollars for 2 or 3 tunes and now you can buy tracks for around a buck fifty or download them from wherever you want for free. I still purchase most of my music, the rest is given to me by industry friends, producers and record pools and labels.
What is the most important goal for a DJ to accomplish when he’s behind the decks?
The most important goal for me personally is to lose my ego and help the crowd collectivaly lose theirs in the process. At that point is where all of us in the room can be whatever we want to be in that moment. Hopefully after the show is over and every goes back to defaultland, we can carry that positive energy over into the people we intereact with on a daily basis outside the scene. It’s all about the crowd for me. I’m here for them. They have taken some time and money out of their daily life to share this moment with me and I don’t take them for granted ever.
Changing the topic away from music, Louis CK has been in the news lately and I know you made several social media posts about the situation and the fact that you kind of look alike. What is your opinion on the whole scandal?
Oh boy! This has been a thing for a long time with me, as he and I look like we could be brothers. We share a similar vulgar and blunt sense of humor. What he did was fucked up, plain and simple. I think he gave a genuine apology and he didn’t assault or rape anyone so it’s a little easier for me to forgive him. As far as some of the other scandals that have happened recently, all I can say is respect other human beings. It is never ok to touch, grab or make any kind of move on anyone without consent. Using a position of power as leverage over another person’s body and mind is completely fucked.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention or promote before we wrap up the interview?
Just pay attention to our label as we are unveiling a few new artists next year and pay close attention to the announcements coming with Subtle Events. A lot of amazing artists in the techno and house realm, that are huge overseas and in a few other markets in the USA, are finally about to be stopping through here next year and beyond. Many goodies are on the way but that’s all I can say for now.
Photos from Merge ATL Hosted by Southern Exposure:
Shots by Carl
Interview by Charlie Hustle
Forward by Jen McKinnon