Sam Vogel was in San Francisco when we checked in about his upcoming gig at Life is Beautiful on September 26. It was his birthday week, and he spent it with family. Getting a few days off is a luxury for Vogel since he’s gotten so much recognition recently. To his fans he is known as Jauz, and his breakout hit, “Feel the Volume,” crept its way into main stage sets by huge artists, propelling Vogel onto those very same stages in a matter of months.
What do you think of the Life Is Beautiful lineup?
It’s all over the place—which is so cool. One of my favorite bands is Rebelution, so to be on the same lineup as them is awesome.
Whose performances would you like to see if you get some free time?
Rebelution and Atmosphere. There are so many, especially outside the electronic music side of things. I get to see those acts all the time, but the acts that I don’t get to see are the people I grew up listening to, and a lot of those people are on the Life Is Beautiful lineup.
You’ve been touring a lot lately.
I’ve been working on music for five and a half years now, and this is the first year not only that I’ve done festivals, [but also venue and club] shows. I started this year with Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and I’ve done Hard Summer in L.A. I did some campy stuff, such as Camp Bisco in Pennsylvania and Shambhala in Canada, and a couple of other festivals. I’ve definitely gotten a taste of all the different sides of festival life, as far as electronic music is concerned.
Which festival experience has been most special?
Hard Summer, without a doubt. I’ve lived in L.A. for the last couple of years. Before I was playing shows or anything, I couldn’t afford to go to the festival. My girlfriend had to buy me a ticket to go. Then, this year, I got to play the festival on the main stage for 15,000 people. That was definitely the most sentimental experience for me so far.
What about a smaller venue—any standout parties you’ve played?
One of my favorite shows in the States was in Virginia Beach at this club called Peabody’s. It was maybe a 500-to-600-person room, and I was on a tour with Borgore on a bus going across the country. And I [thought], “All right. We’re in Virginia Beach, no one knows who I am.” But I’ve never seen a crowd go as crazy as them.
So they surprised you because they knew who you were?
Yeah, I had a ton of fans there. I had a group of 50 people, who were like, “We came here just to see you!” A lot of stuff I play is more on the deep-house side of things. I wouldn’t say it’s mellow, but it’s more mellow than dubstep. The entire hour that I was playing, those kids made six or seven mosh pits to deep house, just going bonkers. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life!
What’s a new goal that you’ve set for yourself in your career?
I’ve reached a lot of milestones. For example, making a song with Skrillex is something that I never thought I could possibly achieve in my lifetime, and it’s already been done. I don’t have a set goal of, “This is what I want to accomplish next year.” No matter what I achieve and how good things get, I’m always focused on doing bigger and better things, and making myself better as a musician. And just working as hard as I can to keep things going in the right direction.