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Groove Cruise Was Everything I Could Ask For, And More

As a world built for both relaxation and excitement, The Groove Cruise is the epitome of R&R for an EDM fan. When faced with the cool breeze of the ocean coupled with the soothing sounds of techno, minimal, and house; life truly has a way of standing still, reaching the peak of tranquility and musical enlightenment. Amidst the amicable lineup of events and incredible diversity of the boat's attendants, I experienced one of the most beautifully enchanting experiences in my music career.

As the sun was rising and glistening over an endless ocean, the sounds of melodic house music brought tears of joy to my face, which was a feeling which I had yet to experience at an EDM event. Moving past the glory of this monumental first night, I had the utmost pleasure of speaking with some of the best talent on the ship: Sex PantherCharity Strike, and Sick Individuals.

Sleep deprivation is the standard for events like these, as the idea of FOMO is too strong to get more then a few hours of sleep to start the next round of parties. Days blend together and the idea of time is lost to those who have schedules. Despite this lapse in the time/space continuum, I was still able to connect with Charity Strike for a few words as the day kicked into high gear.

What was so inticing about meeting Mike & Phillip of Charity Strike was their energy. It was amazing to talk to two producers who were clearly on the path to bigger things but still were just getting the gears turning. Seeing the potential and listening to them talk with such passion was a true treat for me. Hailing from California, these guys balance the mic and the mixing to control the floor and create an experience that fans won‘t forget.

I left that interview with a feeling of excitement for what lies ahead for CS; I really believe they have some big potenital ahead. Running around the ship and exploring the different secrets the ship has to offer, I found the place I hold dearest to my heart: the gym. Deciding to get a quick workout in, I ran back to my cabin to change (which really was a workout enough) and arrived back in the fitness room. While there I ran into Jim from Sick Individuals, and started chatting about our interview to come in the next days, getting some of the logistics in order, and chatting about the plans. I started to realize that the similarities in personality between us lead to the potenital of a fun afternoon with him and Ray.

As Friday morning eventually arrived, and it was time to grab some breakfast. With another day ahead, I thought I'd start on the right foot, with the only people whose music worked 60% of the time, everytime: Sex Panther. Ryan and Aaron of Sex Panther were out-of-control awesome and had the demeanor of two men who conserved all there energy for their fans. Keeping a mellow attitude throughout the whole interview, it was clear that their energy was used in one place and one place only, the DJ Booth. While ordering an omlette, we dove into the history of the group. With Ryan and Aaron meeting about 3 years ago, the group is fairly young, but with about 7 tracks released and close to a dozen unrelased, these guys had one goal in mind when they started, “all we can do is make music.“ That’s what they do, they make some great music and perform about 70 shows a year (although only one of them is on a boat). These guys can put on a show, and are some of the nicest guys in the industry. After seeing their set, all I can tell you is that their energy is incredible.

Friday at 5pm, I knew exactly what I needed to do - get a little sick with some individuals. Grabbing Naad (my partner in crime on the GC), we went to the grand piano to meet up with Jim and Ray of Sick individuals. We jumped off the ship at Catalina, (Yes, it’s the f*cking Catalina Wine Mixer) and started to explore the island. The first and foremost thing about Jim and Ray is that they are some of the most genuine music enthusiasts in the industry. "We make music that we think is great," was the over-all sentiment and lets be honest, it shows quite well in their deliverly. The music is nothing short of flawless. Walking around Catalina, there seemed to really only be one thing we could do- find a cigar shop and watch the sun set over the ocean.

The amazing thing about this journey was that within minutes it felt like Jim and Ray were old friends from high school. Our personalities were eerily similar, and both parties recognized it so we took full advantage of the situation. Grabbing the cigars, Naad, Ray and myself found a bench overlooking the ocean and proceeded to chat for hours on the state of music, their music, and their thoughts on where EDM was going. It was one of the most powerful and enjoyable conversations I have had in music to date.

That night, Jim and Ray stole the show, taking the crowd on a musical journey that they were not expecting. The crowd was at the control of the Sick Indivudials and they were capitalizing on the magic of the moment. The Groove Cruise is like nothing else. Having the artists, fans, and media all congregating in one area is a sight to behold. The mixing and mashing together created an atmosphere of unity where the music was only topped by the passion for “togetherness" bringing new friendships, relationships and memories to all that it serves.

For the next Groove Cruise, check out Miami coming in Jan 2015!

Written by Matthew Medney

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