Electronic music trio Cheat Codes initially refused to succumb to stifling “major label” standards—until renowned industry executive Lyor Cohen vehemently expressed support for their “no creative limitations” mentality.
“We were pretty adamant about staying independent because we really like our freedom and the respectability of it,” explains songwriter Matt Russell. “Business-wise, we want to be able to put out as much material as we can without any real constraints. We have the same mindset as 300 Entertainment, because they work really well with Spotify.”
The group’s 2016 hit single “Sex,” featuring Kriss Kross Amsterdam, has already garnered over 100 million views on the popular streaming website. According to Russell and fellow deejays Trevor Dahl and Kevin Ford, these online platforms are evolutionary and extremely advantageous for aspiring artists willing to put in the effort to fully comprehend the different complexities and motivations involved.
“We were pretty adamant about staying independent.”
So without wasting precious time better spent recording in the studio or revamping live performances, 300 quickly presented a no-nonsense deal that offers the guys a refreshing sense of partnership flexibility and nonstop productivity.
“We’re not naïve—we understand that different factors must go right for a song to really break. We just want to keep the momentum going no matter what,” Russell insists. “We don’t want to be told to wait. It’s all about giving fans content. We’re not overanalyzing anything. We don’t care if it’s going to be a Top 10 radio hit. At the end of the day, we just want to consistently entertain our fans.”
Above all, it’s imperative to believe and trust in your own unique talents:
“Focus on your strengths. It’s easy when starting something new to focus on your weaknesses. We never made a dance track, but we focused on [our vocals] and writing good songs and just built from there,” Russell adds. “Be positive and set goals. Ultimately, create a vision for what you want and slowly but surely it’ll started happening.”
Cheat Codes is currently in Los Angeles, working on a new EP and several big collaborations that fans can expect sometime in 2017.
Photo by Ellie Stills
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