As promised, I am delivering the second part of this week’s artist feature: Casa St. Hooligans! The other half of Casa St. is none other than Richard Grant, aka Philthy Rich! From the moment I saw this guy live, I knew I was going to be a fan of his music. Similarly to John Smith, I met Rich at a houseboating extravaganza one weekend in May 2011. Aside from the girls, booze, and pirate raft battles; there was some incredible music being dropped.
The first night I heard Rich spin, I literally spent hours up on the boat raging until only a few people remained. After the trip, I knew I wanted to be friends with this guy since we shared the same music interests and he seemed pretty cool. Since then, we’ve become very good friends and he even let me get a preview of his CON10UUM set before he let it loose on the masses. Congratulations to Rich for WINNING the DJ competition by the way! The link to his set is above; check it out!
To understand Rich though, you should know how he got started with dance music, because it wasn’t always what he was interested in. In fact, Rich has gone through quite a transformation in his musical interests, and only recently has reached where his true talents lie; in dubstep and drumstep.
He started out as most San Diego youth that I have met: addicted to surfing, snowboarding, skating, and Metal music. During high school, though, a couple of his friends introduced him to Basshunter (the prodigal ‘founder’ of modern techno music to some), and that began him on his journey. Before long, Rich was attending dance music shows and delving deeper into the realm of EDM.
When Rich came to Cal Poly, he was instantly befriended by John Smith. The two just got along really well; John was a little older, so he showed Rich ‘the ropes’ of SLO, and the two became best of friends. At this point, though, John still hadn’t really discovered dance music (and in fact, still really didn’t like it at all). Rich played a part in John beginning to like dance music, and both of them started to wonder about DJing.
It didn’t take long for Rich to dip his feet into the world of DJing. Since he was such good friends with John, he would always get to go spin with him at the original Casa St house, and that just fed his growing hunger for learning music. Rich’s main music taste had grown to what he and his friends called ‘wobble music,’ which evolved into today’s dubstep; basically consisting of the distorted and ‘wobbly’ synth sounds that dubstep is known for.
Rich’s favorite artists at the time were Deadmau5, Wolfgang Gartner (before anyone really knew he existed), AC Slater, B. Rich and DJ Reza; which all feature fat bass lines and intricate synth leads. Still, though, Rich’s style wasn’t completely developed until he had the opportunity to see Nero live, at which point Rich told me his ‘mind was blown,’ and he was hooked on the heavier side of dance music.
The career path of Rich in music has been similar to that of John’s: he has opened on nearly all the events and sets that John has including: performing at DTB, MoTav, Native Lounge, Library Lounge, and the Graduate; a mini-tour of the west coast with JFK of MSTRKRFT, Neons & Nonsense (1 &2), opening for Passion Pit at Santa Barbara’s 2nd annual Good Vibes, UCSB Floatopia 2010, opening for Cyberpunkers on their stop in SLO for the FU@K The System tour, and opening for the Cataracts and Hyper Crush on their trip to SLO.
A real treat for some events that Casa St performs at is when both DJ’s spin a set together. John brings the original tracks and ability to freestyle to the stage, while Rich brings his ability to bring in scintillating build ups and huge drops to get the crowd going. Without each other, neither John nor Rich would have progressed to the heights they have; they have taught and developed each other into a dynamic duo of bass and beats.
As I mentioned, I hadn’t ever heard of Rich before like I had John, but I quickly learned that he and John comprised Casa St, of which I had heard a lot about, as well as seen them a couple of times before. However, my taste for dubstep (as with many others) was acquired slowly, and part of the reason Rich goes by the title ‘Philthy’ is because the music he lays down is exactly that: filthy. No it’s not about sex or drugs, but the style of dubstep he plays contains extremely deep bass lines, distorted synths that are the trademark of dubstep, and I would say Rich’s trademark: his unbelievably heavy drops.
Rich’s ability to own a crowd is really unlike any artist I’ve ever seen. With any set, Rich’s intention is to get the crowd’s interest piqued by playing remixes of songs that are familiar, but with a new twist. Once he reels them in, though, he goes through twists and turns and thundering bass and high-pitched synths, with massive buildups and then it all comes crashing down like the waves Rich loves to ride with his epic drops. Watching Rich lead a crowd into those drops is absolutely amazing, and watching the aftermath is almost scary. People lose their minds. It’s an awesome sight, and even more fun to be in the thick of it.
Philthy Rich has what it takes to take his love of music to the next level. With the backing of HLGN PRO and other sponsors, as well as a hefty resume to back up his credentials so soon in his career only tells volumes of the talents he possesses. He is studying to get a degree in Agricultural Business at Cal Poly, SLO, but has made it clear to me that he would like for nothing more than to work in music for as long as he can.
Casa St. Hooligans has blended into the production company HLGN PRO, and there is no end in sight for this group of artists trying to make it big. There are a number of major headliners in their future (of which I’m not allowed to discuss yet, so keep an eye out), as well as their monthly events in SLO and underground events from time to time.
Rich’s next event is HLGN PRO Presents: Back to the Beat, which features other members of HLGN PRO Nasty Nate, John Smith, and DevRun! Look out for their exclusive interviews with me coming out soon!
Be sure to check out HLGN PRO’s website!
For music, check out HLGN’s Soundcloud!
I have also attached a video of Rich and John Smith performing at Electro Summer in 2010 in SLO! Enjoy!