This weekend over 100,000 neon-clad ravettes and tank-top-rocking bros will descend upon downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park for Ultra Music Festival, the grand finale of the Winter Music Conference. Big-name DJs like Tiësto, Avicii and David Guetta are slated to headline, with popular electro-pop acts like Miike Snow, M83 and SBTRKT making up part of a large supporting roster. In a gracious act of democracy, the people behind Ultra held a DJ mix competition this year, the grand prize being a coveted hour-long slot at the festival. After wading through hundreds of submissions, Ultra selected Pittsburgh DJ N3ako’s mix as the best in field.
Spinning a flurry of popular electro-house tracks, N3ako kept his mix unique by using a series of bootlegs. “Bootlegs use two or three songs that are mixed together to make one complete track” he explains to Hive. “I prefer using bootlegs because they allow me to fit more material in my set and they’re great for adding your own personality into the piece.” One of N3ako’s favorite bootlegs is the intro, “Raise Your Epic,” a combination of Alesso’s “Raise Your Head” and Dada Life’s “Kick Out the Epic Motherf**ker,” the chainsaw-like drop typifying the standard electro-house gnarl found on the rest of the mix. Other gems include the screeching electro-step of Knife Party’s “Internet Friends,” the simple-yet-catchy melody on Sandro Silva’s big-room techno song “Epic,” and a bob and weave rhythm of Dada Life’s “Who Is Ready To Jump.” “I’m still in shock that I won. It’s been one of my biggest dreams to play at Ultra and I’m hoping this will bring a lot of opportunities into my life.” Best of luck!