When Alex Botwin dropped out of college to concentrate on making music, his parents quickly informed him, "You're not getting any money from us, ever."
"So I was like, 'OK, that's the deal,' and I've made it work ever since."
Botwin, as Alex B since the mid 90s and Paper Diamond since 2011, is now a fixture on the EDM scene. He's played most of the major festivals and released a series of albums, EPs and mixtapes -- most recently 2014's "Rain Drops" EP from which his current tour -- and biggest to date -- takes its name.
"It's the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people," says the 30-year-old Coloradan, who played bass in the Pnuma Trio before starting his DJ/producer career and performs Friday, Feb. 20, at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac. "It's just working on new music all the time and working on artwork and video content and clothing and having a crazy stage production and sound system.
"We really pulled out all the stops to make it very experiential for people who come, and we work on it every day on tour to keep it changing and growing."
Constant change is, in fact, something of a motto for Botwin, who says "85 percent of my focus has been on the writing process" recently. That's yielding plenty of new material, and Botwin says that he's looking forward to expanding the definition of his music even further in the near future.
"My stuff doesn't even just fall into EDM," he maintains. "I play all kinds of music. I have songs that just came out yesterday that are so far from EDM type of music. They're just good songs. I never think about it as EDM or whatever; I just write music.
"I'm inspired by so many people who I've grown up seeing make music. I just try to incorporate that into my vision of what the songs are going to be and push things whichever way I think they should go -- and hopefully that'll take me all over the place in the future."
Paper Diamond, Gladiator, Buku and Cameron Oakley
Friday, Feb. 20. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.
Tickets are $18 in advance, $25 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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