This Halloween weekend, enter “the sinister world of Escape” decked out in costume at Escape: All Hallows’ Eve in San Bernardino, California. Headliners include Afrojack, Tiësto and Dash Berlin, and joining these giants of electronic dance music is one act from USC’s own student body: Louis Vivet.
Nick DiPietrantonio and Aria Soroudi comprise this D.J./producer duo named Louis Vivet. Louis Vivet recently won Insomniac Festivals’ competition, Insomniac Discovery Project, which landed them a spot on the Escape stage this coming Halloween weekend. Soroudi is a USC alumnus currently attending Loyola Law School, and DiPietrantonio is a junior graphic design major at USC.
Winning the competition as full-time students is an impressive feat. “The Insomniac Discovery Project has around 500 entrants, and they pick around just a few candidates. And they judge based on your song and the mix you submit,” Soroudi said.
Louis Vivet’s SoundCloud has one 32-minute-long mix, “Fall 2014 Mix (Discover Set).” Their musical style is not typical of other E.D.M. D.J.s, and with more than 1,600 SoundCloud followers, the response has been positive.
Their song mixes a wide variety of treble melody, instead of an overbearing bass line. The musicality of the song incorporates synths, drums, voice and a variety of interesting instruments in an innovative way that is not common in the rave scene. It’s an inventive mix that that quickly inspires movement, singing and dancing in its listeners.
“When we first started, we were just focusing on making music that would appease the masses — like the whole E.D.M. crowd — and we kind of realized that that is not the sound or the vibe we were going for,” Soroudi said.
The duo defines their style as distinct. “We both have pretty specific taste in music. Once we narrowed down what we liked — as far as production goes and what type of dance music we liked — that helped us to hone in on what we wanted to play and what we wanted to make,” Soroudi said.
The two students met because they were members of the same fraternity at USC. They discovered that they both enjoyed the same music and eventually decided to collaborate to make their own.
“We started about two years ago. Soroudi was just deejaying a bunch, and I was producing,” DiPietrantonio said, “And we found out we liked the same music, and we just started kicking it in the studio and jamming together. And we started making some really cool stuff that no one had really heard before, so why not start a group?”
This pair’s chosen name also speaks to the uniqueness of their collaboration. Louis Vivet comes from a well-documented medical case from the late 19th century.
“Our name comes from the first medically recorded case of dissociative identity disorder, Louis Vivet. The two of us have very different personalities -—– one of us an engineer and a law student, and the other is a visual artist. We wanted to find a name that would play into those differences because we never want to allow just one state of mind to constrain our creativity. His story was the perfect way to tie the two of us together,” Soroudi said.
Soroudi and DiPietrantonio have also found ways to apply their academics to their blossoming music career. DiPietrantonio’s graphic design skills have especially contributed to Louis Vivet’s rise.
“It has helped us to develop an understanding of what we want our group’s digitals to look like. Being familiar to graphic design has really helped us create our brand and what we exactly want it to look like and how we want the visuals to accompany our sound,” DiPietrantonio said.
Louis Vivet has a song debuting two weeks after Escape, with an upcoming EP release afterwards. “Listening to our music is like diving into crystal clear waters at sunset off a really nice yacht, off the island of Capri,” DiPietrantonio said.
Louis Vivet is excited for a big turnout this weekend, especially from USC. “We’re just really excited to be playing at Escape, and we hope that everyone at USC can come out and celebrate with us and enjoy some rocking dance music.”