By day, Ethan Swindull walks around campus as just another Aggie rushing to class. By night, he is a DJ who is making a splash in the electronic dance music scene.
From Oct. 26 to 27, the annual Freaky Deaky EDM music festival was hosted at the Houston Raceway in Baytown. Big names including Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki and Armin Van Buuren performed sets that weekend, and A&M's own “Altruist” was also in the mix, ready to make his name known among today's biggest stars.
“It was arguably the best weekend of my life,” the telecommunications and media studies junior said. “I ended up playing at the same time as another big artist, but I still had a pretty big crowd there.I played one of my best sets ever, premiered some new music, and met some amazing other artists that were playing, and I got to meet Armin Van Buuren briefly.”
In all of his years of performing, Swindull said he had never experienced a feeling like when he looked down on the crowd in the midst of performing his set, and witnessed the euphoria build among his fans.
“It is the best feeling ever,” Swindull said. “Like I had not experienced anything better than that. It’s flattering when people come out to see you as an artist.The fact that they’re dancing, smiling and having a good time connecting with each other through music that I’ve made is mind blowing to me.”
With support from his fans and the people closest to him, Swindull said he has made it farther than he could have imagined. His mother, Roberta Swindull, sits in at all of his performances, cheering him on and claiming the title of Altruist’s number one fan.
“[I was] very excited to be there and see him perform, and excited to see a big goal of his achieved,” Swindull said. “He puts a lot of passion in his music and it was beautiful to see the crowd react, respond and dance to the music he loves.”
Having connections in the EDM world can be very beneficial to upcoming artists, Swindull said. Cameron Giddings has been a close friend and mentor to Swindull on the road to becoming an EDM DJ.
“Helping him penetrate that inner circle of people who have already succeeded and get him involved up to that next level,” Giddings said. “I’ve gotten to watch a lot of these guys come and go and there are very few who really got that factor and this kid is literally like a machine.”
Swindull said performing at the Freaky Deaky Music festival has been one of his biggest accomplishments as an upcoming DJ. However, his ambition doesn’t end there, as Swindull said he wants to expand and make “Altruist” a household name.
“I just want to have more people show up, so I can have more people smiling and dancing to the music I made,” Swindull said. “I want to grow as an artist and touch as many people with my music as possible.”