The 23-year-old producer, Craz, formerly known as Heffay, has been creating some noise within the music scene recently. From producing a loaded track with Bassnectar, to performing on the same stages as Liquid Stranger, ill.Gates, and more, Craz has developed his own unique sound and continues to surprise listeners with his dynamic tunes.
The Long Island native grew up with an innate dexterity for music, and from a young age was greatly influenced by the sounds of the Beastie Boys, Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton. After coming across bass music and artists such as Bassnectar, and Skrillex, Craz experienced a newfound appreciation for electronic music and the atmosphere and community of which it inspires. During his early high school years, Craz began to take up the art of DJing where he incorporated his early musical influences into his individual productions, which has created the potent tunes of which we identify as Craz and Heffay music.
Despite the fact that Craz is still up and coming within the music scene, he has proved his musical talents to large crowds and gained a loyal fan following throughout his journey thus far. Although the producer has been creating music for as long as he can remember, he has only been DJing live for the past year. From performing at Webster Hall’s famous BASSment Saturday’s, to Brooklyn’s Output, and more, Craz has continued to wow his audiences, but still admits that it takes a lot of courage to get on stage and perform live. Yet clearly, nothing is impossible.
After releasing “Multicolored Diamonds,” and receiving the same incredible feedback as his track “Thursty” with Bassnectar, Craz got a powerful dose of encouragement and realized that making music is what he is truly meant to do. The young producer continues to persist through writer’s blocks, or what he calls, “creative paralysis,” and overcome all obstacles that a musician faces on a daily basis to compose some of the most intrinsic and hypnotic sounds in the music scene today.
SG: Can you tell us a bit about how you created or formed your own sound?
Craz: Since I have so many years of music experience under my belt, I think the best music that I’ve made is when I try not to be influenced by anything. I create it from my heart. I’ve really been enjoying the music that I have been making recently. I don’t have a plan of what I want to make, I just live and breathe the music that I put out, and I think that’s why it may sound unique. I’m just myself. I’m not trying to be someone else.
SG: For Study Group’s aspiring artists, what is something important you want to tell them?
Craz: This isn’t exactly original coming from me, but it’s important. Try to have fun with what you’re doing. Otherwise it turns into this process where you’re not having fun, and you’re not going to make anything good. Have fun and your music will come across. Unless you just really don’t like having fun, in that case – try not to have fun! But, I don’t think that would be very fun.
SG: In terms of facing obstacles, what do you think is the best approach for aspiring artists when trying to overcome something?
Craz: Try to find a trusted source of mentorship. Ask them for their advice, and decide if that advice is valuable enough to act on. It all comes down to your gut, but it really helps to hear it from someone who has been there. I’m always available for people to ask anything. I answer people every time they reach out to me. I like to help out.
SG: So you mentioned that from 12pm on every day is studio-time, how long does that usually last for you?
Craz: From about 12-8pm is studio time. I really want to do something big and hopefully something works out. But it’s a lot of work.
SG: Would you recommend it to aspiring DJ’s to commit all of that time to the studio?
Craz: Yes, definitely. If you really want to do it seriously, it has to be a 24-hour commitment. If you decide you want to be a musician, you have to be a musician. It’s not like a day job where you go from 9-5. It has to be everything that evolves around your musical career.
SG: Do you think it’s important to maintain the same sound as an artist, or to experiment?
Craz: There’s an Albert Einstein quote, that if you do the same thing every single day, that’s what is considered insane. It’s definitely good to let your music reflect who you are. If you don’t change, then you don’t change. It’s better to change for yourself, rather than to the trends of the world. Always keep that in mind.
SG: As an artist, do you have a mission?
Craz: I should be more definitive about my mission, but it really is to bring people together to connect them. I think its common amongst musicians, especially to do it for the drugs, alcohol, girls and money. I don’t partake in any of that. When I first started I did it because I knew a lot of kids who weren’t doing what they wanted to do. I figured if I did what I really wanted to, then I could influence people to do the same, rather than them listening to what society expects of them. I just want to be a positive role model, and also be able to put on a great live show.
SG: If you could tell your fans one thing, what would it be?
Craz: Since everyone’s so different, the best thing I can say is make something that you really, really like, rather than what you think other people like. It turns out that we’re all humans and everyone reacts to things similarly, if you make something you really love, other people will love it too. That’s the Hammurabi’s code of Craz music.
Check out Craz’s Study Group release and other tunes below:
By Julia Baronti