Photograph courtesy of Herb Gonzalez
Daniel Asadi believes in the power of music to transport listeners to faraway places, and he wants to take you along for the ride. The Recording Arts grad has been building a name for himself in the EDM world performing a new genre of electronic music — something he calls Persian Trap Music, or PTM.
Incorporating samples from his parents’ extensive collection of Persian pop and classical tapes with contemporary beats and a healthy dose of 808 sub bass, Daniel’s work splits the difference between the streetwise trap performed by Southern hip-hop artists and the more danceable, day-glo version preferred by EDM acts. The result is something the likes of which you’ve never heard before.
“Throne” by ASADI
Born to Iranian parents, Daniel was raised in Columbus, Ohio. He started playing piano when he was five, and soon moved on to guitar. He describes his early musical influences as typically American: pop, rock, hip-hop. When he was 14, his family took a trip to Iran, where he was exposed to traditional Persian instruments like tar and sitar. It was music he was culturally familiar with, but as a first generation American, he’d always associated with his parents’ generation. Seeing it in performed in person, though, changed everything. He came home with a sitar and a vision for an entirely new electronic genre.
“Going to Iran opened up my whole world,” he says. “You have this traditional music dating back thousands of years, and it brings people together. When you look at something like the trap scene, it’s no different. People come together over it. I started thinking about ways I could fuse the two together.”
Daniel sees this fusion as a natural evolution. He remembers the feeling of excitement he had in Iran, how it energized and inspired him. He wants to bring that same level of inspiration to his fans, though, like him, they may not consciously seek it out.
“The internet makes it easy to find things that are relevant to you, but you’re less likely to see trending artists in Japan, for instance, if that’s not something you’re looking for. I want to unite people and generations. By taking traditional Persian music and fusing that with electronic music that’s rooted in American culture, I am making it relevant to you. And hopefully, I’m taking you somewhere new.”
At just twenty, Daniel has already experienced a ton of success in the industry, partially due to his popular YouTube remixes of cartoon themes like SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats.
Those early videos went viral, which provided a signal boost for his original compositions. He currently boasts a Facebook following in the hundreds of thousands, and he recently signed with a booking agency. He’ll spend 2017 performing at EDM festivals all over the country, including Electric Forest, Euphoria Festival, and Elements Fest. Daniel says he hopes to connect with other artists in an effort to further PTM’s foothold in the music scene.
“I’ve always known PTM was going to work as a genre, and part of me knows there are going to be other kids out there doing what I’m doing,” he says. “At some point, their work is going to diverge from mine, and they’ll develop their own brand of PTM. That’s how genres are born. I can’t wait.”