North Texas Daily

Senior soars in electronic dance music scene

Senior soars in electronic dance music scene

Senior soars in electronic dance music scene
November 14
15:17 2013

John Jacob Hough / Contributing Writer

Like many Denton residents and UNT students, journalism public relations senior Aaron Wayne Leming likes to make music in his spare time.

However, not all of those musicians are up-and-coming electronic dance music artists who are approaching 5,000 likes on Facebook and whose songs have been streamed tens of thousands of times on Soundcloud, like Leming.

“I owe the Internet everything that I’ve succeeded in,” Leming said. “It’s such a great medium to show off anything you’ve created.”

Within the past year, Leming, who goes by Aaron Wayne, has been playing larger shows than he ever has before. He even got a chance to play as an opening act for Kill the Noise and Mat Zo at the Life in Color festival in Dallas in September.

In October, Wayne played his first out-of-state shows in Tulsa, Okla. and Phoenix and with DJ Bl3nd.

He has also played several venues throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area including Lizard Lounge and Insomnia, but he said that he prefers to limit the number of local shows that he plays.

“If you’re just playing a lot around Dallas you’re more popular for the social aspect and because you’re a decent DJ,” said Gilbert Najera, a Dallas-based DJ known as DJ Titan. “This guy here is a music maker though. If he played like that it would probably bring him down and give him less time to master his craft.”

Wayne first began making music as a freshman at Southlake Carroll High School when he played saxophone for a ska band called Blue Face.

While playing with the band outside of school, Wayne got his first taste of making music on a computer.

“I realized I enjoyed composing and writing my own music versus playing music someone gives me,” Wayne said. “I listen to music all the time but making music is just soothing for me.”

At first he was writing music primarily for the ska band. However, even before the band split after high school, Wayne was making his first efforts at producing electronic dance music.

“It was just all over the place because I had never really listened to electronic music up until that point,” Wayne said. “I was just messing with sounds on my computer.”

Near the end of 2010, when artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5 were bringing EDM to the mainstream, Wayne began to focus his music toward the electro-house sound he has today.

After a few years of toying with his sound, Wayne began to spread some of his music online. The oldest songs on his Soundcloud date back to 2011 and several of his songs have been played more than 25,000 times.

“His fans are just global,” Najera said. “I know for a fact that there are DJs outside of Dallas who play his tracks. I don’t think he’ll blow up in Dallas – I think he’ll blow up outside of DFW first.”

Wayne’s abilities with computers and the Internet have been a major advantage for the musician. In a form of music where an instrument is rarely played, computer skills are crucial for success, he said.

“I really just kind of tweak the computer and trick it into doing something nice that sounds good,” Wayne said. “I’m just technically savvy in an artistic way.”

While they acknowledge his skills with technology, his friends believe that there is also a human aspect to Wayne’s success.

“He’s very energetic when he’s on stage, and he really looks like he’s having a good time,” said James Mendez, journalism public relations senior and friend of Wayne. “When you see a DJ having a great time, it engages you. You’re much more prone to jump around and have a good time.”

However, Wayne isn’t currently planning on turning music into a career. Once he earns his degree in public relations he wants to move to Los Angeles to establish a career in artist management.

“What I really want to do right now is make a lot of connections,” Wayne said. “I want to get tapped in to the scene in L.A. before I move out there.”

Although, if he keeps the pace that he’s at now, stopping might be harder than he thinks.

Just recently his music made its first television appearance during a party scene in “Clara’s Dirty Secret,” a movie on the Lifetime channel. While he admits the Lifetime movie may not have been his first choice for a publication spot, he still said that he was proud of the recognition.

Wayne had his first real taste of fame when a fan came up after his show in Phoenix and told him she was a fan of his music even before he played there.

“It was really rewarding knowing that someone elsewhere knew who I was and came to see me in person,” Wayne said. “It’s like the smallest morsel of fame, but I got to experience it.”

While he appreciates the attention, Wayne is trying to not let it get to his head. The people who know him best, such as his roommate Phillip Jones, an anthropology junior, said that the attention hasn’t changed Wayne.

“The only thing that has changed is that people are contacting him now and asking to do stuff with him, but he loves that,” Jones said.  “His level of fame has not changed his personality at all. He’s still extremely humble, almost to a fault, really.”

Feature photo:

Journalism junior Aaron Leming sits in his home studio. Leming produces most of his original music at home where he uploads it to his Soundcloud under the name “Aaron Wayne”. Photo by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer 

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