Boasting support from Martin Garrix , Tiesto , Avicii , TheChainsmokers , Showtek , Knife Party , David Guetta , and many more, Ray Decker better known as “Kastra” has made quite a name for himself in a few short years. Born and raised on the Jersey Shore, a community deeply rooted in music history, Kastra is a true product of his environment.
In 2019, Kastra secured his first top 10 Billboard Dance record with his single “U & Me” which was also selected as a BPM Breaker on Sirius XM. He also landed a major collaboration with one of EDM’s hottest artists Timmy Trumpet . Timmy and Kastra released “Wassup“, a disco inspired dance track with house legend Chuck Roberts, which quickly soared to 10 million Spotify streams and hit number 1 on Australia’s Metro Radio.
He released various singles and remixes on some of the dance music industries top labels including Spinnin Records , Armada Music , Musical Freedom, Ultra Records , Enhanced Music , Onelove , and Panda Funk . He has done official remixes for Showtek , 3LAU , Justin Caruso , Madison Mars, Sultan + Shepard , and many more.
Michael Beas, Founder of Raver Magazine had a chance to catch up with Kastra for an exclusive interview to discuss his latest track ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ this is what he shared up with us.
What is it like to grow up in New Jersey and how does the Jersey vibe blend into the Kastra sound that people have grown to love?I have recently moved to Boston MA, but I am still planning to spend Summer months back in New Jersey. The summertime on the shore is a lot of fun. The sound of the clubs there definitely has an influence on the kind of music I make. Whenever I make a song I think about how it might play at those clubs, because if it works there it will work in most places. The NJ club culture definitely has a special place in my heart. I’m grateful to have grown up there.What is the backstory behind your performance name Kastra?The true story is one night I came home stoned and put on the discovery channel. They were airing some special about stars and moons. One of the star systems they were talking about is “Epsilon Capricorni” which has the name “Kastra”. I must have thought it sounded cool because I wrote it down on a piece of paper and when I woke up the next morning and saw it, I thought it just sounded cool.If you could do a B2B set with any producer in the world, who would it be and why?David Guetta. The guy is just an absolute legend and I have always looked up to him as both a producer and DJ.What are some of the challenges that you feel new producers face when it comes to getting their music noticed and in your opinion what can they do to overcome that hurdle?The market is very saturated right now. The technology has broken down the barriers to entry and it’s a lot easier to learn to DJ and produce than it was when I first started. While I love that more people can get involved in this culture, it also means a lot more music is going to be coming out which will naturally make it a lot harder to get noticed.In the end, it always comes down to the music, but branding has become a huge part of the path to success. You have to have the full package if you want to succeed in today’s industry.Every track has a story behind its creation. What is the story behind ‘Don’t Stop The Music’?So last year Rave Radio reached out to me with a rough demo of the song. I really liked the initial idea, but I thought the production needed more development. I asked him to send over the stems to me then took it the rest of the way. The vocal samples are from Yarbrough & Peoples’ song of the same name. Such strong and powerful vocals that I tried to get all the other instruments out of the way to make the vocals shine. Sometimes you have to just give a song what it needs and keep it simple!What is it like to work with Ultra Music and what are some of the key highlights that you enjoy most about working with them?It’s been great so far. I signed with them last November and it’s been so cool to just be a part of their history. I was able to do a remix for their 25th Anniversary this year of Kim Sozzi’s Feel Your Love. Really happy to work with them and I’m excited for the future!What was the ride like to crack the Billboard list?Pretty wild! I’ve done it 3 times, but the highest I ever got was with my song U & Me which hit number 8. It always feels so crazy when you crack a list like Billboard because it comes out of nowhere. All of a sudden the track is charting and you see this boost in momentum. Hopefully I’ll get my first #1 soon!!