Since the success of his debut album, LATE NITE VIP, Keo Nozari has become one of NYC’s most celebrated pop/dance DJs, and with the release of his new EP: Acceptable 2 U The Remixes (Part 1) it’s safe to say that trend won’t be changing anytime soon. Sure, he’s had his share of controversy, but Keo takes it all in stride, and most importantly, in perspective.
It should be noted that in addition to being a successful Top 20 Billboard charting singer/songwriter, producer and DJ, Keo is refreshingly enthusiastic and passionate in both life and music. And it shows.
I recently had the chance to chat with Keo about his music and what we can expect from his upcoming album, LOVE BOUTIQUE. Read what he had to say about it all, including his thoughts on comparisons to George Michael, after the jump!
Stella: Tell us a little bit about your new album, Love Boutique…
Keo: I love listening to albums where all the songs have unique personality. So I think of the LOVE BOUTIQUE as the most amazing ‘store’ where you can try on different styles depending on your mood and always come out with a perfect fit. Pop is the thru-line of the album but there’s lots of influences from modern electro and urban to 70s Burt Bacharach to 80s nu wave. It also ranges from very personal and deep to very fun and playful-something like classy business attire by day to dirty casual wear by night! haha
Stella: What would you say separates it from what you’ve done before?
Keo: Definitely working nonstop as a DJ changed the dynamic from the last album. You get a real sense for the dancefloor, more sophisticated production and it’s inevitable that it gets infused in the work!
Stella: You’ve been compared to music icons like George Michael, how do you respond when that happens?
Keo: It’s always flattering to be compared to a music icon! It sure beats getting compared to vocal prowess of William Hung, Scooby Doo or that new Kim Kardashian song… (laughs)
Stella: Ha! Is there anyone you haven’t collaborated with that you would like to?
Keo: There are two new artists I’m loving right now: Florrie and Kay. I would love to collaborate with them!
Stella: Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you’d like to do?
Keo: Musically, I would like to record with a full orchestra, play the Coachella Festival, and produce/songwrite with Dr. Luke, Greg Kurstin and Linda Perry. Non-musically, one of my hobbies is cooking. So, I would like to cook with Giada De Laurentiis! I actually dream about this at night…
Stella: What inspires you to make music? What was the inspiration behind Love Boutique?
Keo: As cheesy as it sounds, I just have a deep desire and passion to make music. Even if no one is listening, it’s something I do for myself because it’s deeply fulfilling. And the ability to express myself in this way is truly satisfying. Even if it occasionally gets me in trouble! (laughs)
For LOVE BOUTIQUE the inspiration was definitely a desire to express where I’m at from my wild, DJ partier side to my defiant, political side, to my playful, humorous side to my more intimate, loving and experienced side.
Stella: You’ve been the subject of some controversy in the past, what’s that like?
Keo: Some artists are controversial for the sake of controversy. But sometimes controversy is about standing up for yourself and creating a new way of looking at the world. It can be an artist’s job at times to push people into uncomfortable real life places to help them examine what they really believe. I mean, Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” caused an uproar when it showed in New York in 1913 — and now we look at it a go “what is remotely controversial about this?” But it ultimately caused people to view art and life in a whole new way.
Stella: What’s next? Anything you want to tell fans?
Keo: My new “Acceptable 2 U – The Remixes (Part 1)” just came out on iTunes this week (June 21st) with remixes by Grammy-nominated Mike Rizzo Funk Generation and the DJ/opening act on Katy Perry’s current tour DJ Skeet Skeet! And on July 12th “Part 2″ comes out with mixes by me and a UK newcomer Liam Keegan. And please follow me at Facebook.com/KeoNozariMusic and Twitter.com/KeoNozari for updates!
Verdict: Much, much love and respect for Keo. A talented singer/songwriter and DJ that fights the good fight. What more could you ask for? LOVE.
Remember, fans in NYC can catch Keo spinning at some of the hottest NYC Pride events this weekend, including Club 57 at Pop Lounge on Saturday, and Cabanas at Maritime Hotel on Sunday (7pm-12am). Keo can also be heard on Jon Ali’s Dance Summer Playlist being broadcast this Saturday on Cherrytree Radio airing at 3pm EST.