If his name doesn’t say enough, his music certainly will. Dylan Ragland, better known as Party Favor, is a Los Angeles-based DJ and producer who’s been busy creating his own hits and remixing others from top DJs like Diplo, Dillon Francis and more. Laced with hyper beats and energetic sounds, Party Favor’s music has practically no down time, and serves as the perfect accessory to any party. We had the chance to catch up with him in between the recent release of his high-energy album, Party and Destroy, and a multitude of upcoming singles and remixes.
AFM: How did you get your start in music?
PF: I got into music when I was very young and I’ve been in music my whole life—in all different genres. In terms of dance music, I started to get into it late in high school and early college when it was not a very big thing yet, especially here in the United States. I was going to school for film editing and film production and my original goal was I wanted to start learning how to make cool sounds and basic music so I could score some of my own stuff. At the same time, I was finding out about dance music and it kind of was this weird hybrid of “okay I like the energy.” At the same time, I started DJ’ing with a buddy of mine in college and it kind of snowballed and here we are; eight years later and this is what I’m doing.
AFM: The name Party Favor fits your music perfectly. Is there any special story behind how you came up with that name?
PF: I’ve been trying to make up a really cool story for so long and I always forget because I get asked that question a lot. I used to be a duo and we broke up and when we did, I needed a new name. We had made a song called “Party Favor” and one day I was listening to my iTunes on shuffle and that song came on and I went to go change it and I remember reading the name and thinking “oh Party Favor, that’s kind of cool. Maybe that could work.” I ended up kind of going with it thinking I would eventually change it again and it just kind of stuck and obviously here I am now.
AFM: What’s been the craziest moment of your career so far?
PF: There’s been a lot. I think in terms of shows I would say playing outside of the country all across the world, whether that’s Australia or Asia and seeing people get down to your music and go crazy, whether it’s a bigger crowd or not. With the age of the internet, it’s a lot easier for people to find different artists now so it’s just so cool to think I’ve got fans all around the world that like my music. In terms of sheer wow-ness, I’ve had my music in a lot of commercials and movies so coming from someone whose goal growing up was wanting to make movies and commercials, to have my music in all those things, the irony is crazy, it’s just cool.
AFM: Is there anything specific that you look for when deciding to remix another artist’s music?
PF: Not always. Sometimes people reach out and I’m interested and I’d love to and then sometimes it doesn’t work out and I can’t find the right vibe and I don’t know where I want to go with it. I just did a remix for Bro Safari and it’s kind of like a redo of the initial song that he wanted me to remake like three years ago and I had it in my computer and I happened to stumble upon it a couple of months ago when I was cleaning out some stuff and I went back in it and kind of had this light bulb moment and it worked. So there’s never like an exact reason. But I have a remix coming out for G.G.A. that was one that I had heard and was immediately like I want to remix this. So for me it’s a lot of working with artists that inspire me. A lot of times it’s kind of by chance.
AFM: You’ve worked with big names like Diplo and Dillon Francis and big brands like T-Mobile, Mountain Dew and the NBA. What is that like?
PF: It’s crazy. I’m a big fan of collaborations because when you’re working with other people you can bring out the best in both people. I obviously didn’t work directly with Mountain Dew on that commercial but it was an ad agency that reached out to me that thought I was the best fit. Mountain Dew had wanted something a specific way and I thought I knew what they wanted and it happened to be a right fit. In terms of working with Dillon Francis, I’ve looked up to Dillon for a long time and thought he was a great producer and great personality and I got the chance to get to know him and be friends with him and it happened super organically. At first it was supposed to be this joke song and then we thought it ended up sounding really cool, so once again there’s never one specific thing. For me, it’s all about finding the people and the vibe that I work with. It’s not always going to be the right fit for everything.
AFM: What’s one thing you hope your fans know about you?
PF: That I love them. If they don’t know, then they should know that I’m very appreciative of them and obviously I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without them.
AFM: What can fans expect from you next in the near future?
PF: Quite a few remixes and my next couple singles that we’re working on right now. In 2017 there’s going to be quite a few singles coming out that I’m going to try and push myself more and do stuff that I haven’t done before.