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EDM to pulse onto Columbus stage

Paper Diamond, Branchez and LOUDPVCK are slated to perform at the Newport Feb. 19 with doors set to open at 8 p.m.  Credit: Courtesy of Michelle D’Amaro

Alexander Botwin, also known as Paper Diamond, is set to perform with Branchez and LOUDPVCK at the Newport Feb. 19 with doors set to open at 8 p.m.
Credit: Courtesy of Michelle D’Amaro

Electronic dance music producers are set to bring spacey synthesizers, R&B melodies and throbbing beats into Columbus.

Branchez, known formally as Samuel Kopelman, LOUDPVCK, a duo comprised of Kenny Beats and Ryan Marks and Paper Diamond, the project of Alexander Botwin, are slated to come to the Newport Musical Hall Wednesday as part of their Cold Crush Tour, with doors set to open at 8 p.m.

Botwin said he plans to turn up the heat, challenge the musical status quo and thaw snowed-in audiences across the states.

The Colorado-based electronic music producer has been playing music since he was young. He attended Middle Tennessee State University for music production until he dropped out in 2006 to pursue a career in performing and recording. With just one year left before getting his degree, Botwin said he believed he already had all the tools he needed to create innovative new music.

“I started playing the violin when I was 4 and started to record my own music when I was 12,” Botwin said. “I’ve pretty much worked on my own projects. When I was in school, I would read whole books at once and didn’t wait for the teacher to assign reading.”

Botwin said he plans to continue creating music, but doesn’t want to get tied down to one genre. He said he wants to create music that people need to hear, not what they want to hear.

“I’m going in so many different directions right now, working with different singers, rappers, beat stuff, electronic stuff, I don’t want to put any limitations on what I might make within a genre,” Botwin said. “I’m going to continue to grow and change as a musician and release what I think people need to hear and be exposed to. I want to be a force of change, telling people what’s dope. They may not know that it’s dope yet, but it will be.”

Kopelman grew up with music as well.

“It’s always what I’ve wanted to do, I haven’t wanted anything else since I was 13 years old,” Kopelman said. “I came from a musical family. I grew up around music and started making beats on the program GarageBand in school, then in Ableton and Logic (Pro).”

Although he is known for his contributions to trap music, a subgenre of EDM, Kopelman said he doesn’t like to stick to any particular sound.

“I always start with house and disco, I’m a lover of all dance music,” Kopelman said. “I don’t really sit at home listening to trap music.”

Kopelman, who said he is a fan of his tourmates’ music, related how strange it is to be working alongside the musicians who inspired him in the first place.

“It’s a trip to hang out with your idols,” Kopelman said. “Just to be making a living off of this, just to be moving out because of money from music is fantastic. The mutual respect is very welcoming, and I feel like I’m a part of a very small community. I feel like everyone is competitive, but they’re also trying to help each other out. It’s been a beautiful year, a year of constant wows. Even playing on stage for a large crowd is still kinda freaky, and I hope that never goes away.”

Phill Price, a second-year in political science, said he’s looking forward to seeing Paper Diamond for the second time.

“I saw him play a set with only his iPad, he’s one of the only people I know of that do that,” Price said. “I heard about him earlier this summer. He gets down with trap, but then he also plays electro funk, similar to (EDM musician) Pretty Lights sometimes. He’s really diverse, which is more than you can say for most. Most producers stick to a genre and play what people want to hear. He doesn’t do that, he plays his own ideas. He keeps it real.”

Newport Music Hall is located at 1722 N. High St. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.

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