Avalon’s worldwide touring schedule reads like a who’s who of the most iconic festivals and events in the electronic music sphere. From the land of Ozora and the pulsating energy of Boom to the neon-lit extravaganzas of EDC Las Vegas and Orlando, Avalon’s sonic odyssey knows no bounds. He has woven his musical magic at Glastonbury, Tomorrowland, and Burning Man, captivating audiences with his immersive performances.
In November 2023, Avalon, joined by the legendary Tristan Cooke, unleashed their third album, Beautiful Chaos, under the Killerwatts alias, a masterpiece showcasing the duos ability to craft immersive psychedelic soundscapes.
Furthermore, Avalon has also released as Future Frequency, collaborating with none other than Sonic Species. This duality in his musical persona adds a kaleidoscopic richness to Avalon’s already multifaceted presence in the psytrance cosmos.
Today, we embark on a journey into the mind of Avalon, unraveling the secrets of his creative process, the influences that shape his artistry, and the global resonance of his music within the trance community.
Hey Leon. I believe you were initially a promoter before a DJ? Is this true?
Hello! Yes that’s right, I was a promoter at first, putting on underground warehouse and outdoor parties in the United Kingdom. It was hard to find good DJs to book so I became one.
I made some tracks just for fun, which became my first big hits. Regan and Tristan heard me play, and then signed me the next day. That’s when my life changed!
What do you like about South Africa?
It really is one of my favourite party places on the planet. Cape Town party locations are among some of the most beautiful I have played at. However, what it really is that keeps bringing me back is the people. I have made some great friends over the last few years. One of the nicest trance scenes in the world in many ways!
Tell me about your relationship with Nano Records?
Nano Records right now is one of the most respected, active labels in the scene. Since I got signed in 2010 it really changed my life. What was a hobby became a full time career. All three of my projects are on this label and most of my favourite acts.
When I joined Nano Records, not only did it get my music out there to the world but I met lifelong best friends. It’s like an extended family, brothers from another mothers kind a thing! Love that crazy gang!
You have also released on the likes of Spinnin’ Records, Iboga, & IONO to name a few. In your opinion, what makes a good label; one you are comfortable releasing your music on?
A good label is important to get the support you need as an artist. It really helps navigate all the chaos out there as the label is on the case everyday with all parts of the scene and has a wealth of knowledge that can really help you focus on what you as an artist should be doing.
If you have the right team supporting you it can really help lift you to the places you want to get to. I think it’s important for new artists to release on big labels if they can, to get their music heard as widely as possible. The channels labels have in place can really help with that exposure to new audiences.
Spinnin Records was a landmark release, it was the first psy trance track to be released on the biggest dance music label in the world, so it was great to be part of that.
Has it been a struggle making sure all your projects stay active?
It’s not easy sometimes among heavy touring, over 30 countries last year, and having 3 live projects on the go! Because of this, we make most our music on the road whilst touring, in hotels, airplanes and other artists studio’s. We have changed the studio setup, so we are mobile now. Everything is portable.
Is your studio setup perfected yet?
Yeah, I finally built my dream studio. I got my dream ATC 45 speakers and c6 sub. The room is massive and professionally built and treated. No excuses now [laugh]
You spend a lot of time on the dance floor at festivals you play. Is it important to see things from the crowd’s perspective?
Sure it is, but to be honest I just love to party, feel the vibe with the people and just kick up that dust. The okes be jollin!
We’ve also seen psytrance feature more prominently at multi-genre electronic dance events. Do you think it will continue to receive mainstream attention?
I’m playing some of these events and I feel it’s hitting a peak. It will probably last a few years longer. Let’s see!
What is the UK scene like right now? Is it growing?
The UK scene is at a all time low sadly. There are a couple of good festivals left just about surviving. Underground scene in my opinion is nothing compared to how amazing it once was. It was where I began!
Do you have any personal rituals that keep you level headed in an otherwise chaotic industry?
I try to keep fit and healthy, it’s really important to have this balance. It just makes all the travelling, late nights and other demands of the job so much easier and manageable.
Have you achieved all your goals?
To be honest, I have. I’ve played the peak slots at pretty much all the major festival I ever dreamed of. I have also collaborated with all the people that inspired me in the first place. I guess the next thing is to take the Avalon sound to the next level.
Thanks for the interview. Any last words?
Big love to the party people of Cape Town, you are the reason I come back every year. You all rock! Keep in touch.