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Not Another DJ: Two Friends - LA Weekly

When a pair of the best buds to ever go to middle school together started slacking off in their final semester of High School, becoming music producers seemed like a hobby getting out of hand. For L.A.-based Matt Halper and Eli Sones, what seemed at first like the end of an era became the birth of something entirely fresh to the booty clappin’ dance mashup scene.

Matt got accepted to Stanford, while Eli was headed to Vanderbilt on the other side of the country. The two finished college but through it all they kept sharing music and meeting up to make tunes each Summer in the makeshift studio-basement they created at Matt’s parents house. Nine years later, Two Friends has amassed over 150,000 followers while appearing prominently on the lineups for breakout and iconic music festivals like Electric Forest, Firefly, Spring Awakening, Global Dance, Hangout Fest, Veld Fest, Paradiso, and the Billboard Hot 100 Festival. 

“Coachella was a big thing for highschoolers in L.A.,” Halper says. “It’s pretty funny actually. So many people would skip school on the Friday of Coachella the school just decided to cancel the day and add another day at the end of the semester. That was our first introduction to electronic music and seeing DJs, and just being blown away. It was such a new phenomenon to us. House music has its origins from decades ago but this was our first time in the lights and the stage and the theatrics of it all were just so exciting at the time.”  

“That’s really all it took too.” Sones nodded. “Matt and I had been friends since middle school and high school. It was like, ‘you like music? I like music!’ And we literally went on google and typed in “what program should we download to become music producers”. Both laughed. “We downloaded ProTools and dove in. It’s cool to look back and see the progress, but it definitely feels like it didn’t happen overnight. We’re still in the same basement studio. We renovated it, but it’s the same spot. On a day-to-day basis we’re still basically doing the same thing.” 

They say that with repetition comes mastery of a craft, and with dance floor bangers like ‘Out of Love’ (featuring Cosmos & Creature), ‘Emily’, and ‘Take it Off’ clocking in more than thirty million plays on Spotify their pace is on fast-track to infamy. Now midway through their Camp Super Dope tour with Tom Matoma, they’re selling out nearly all their shows while managing to stay grounded along the way. The tour will bring their kaleidoscopic funk dance party home to the Shrine Expo Hall today. “Working everyday with your best friend is definitely a privilege that we don’t take for granted. Even 9 years later it still feels like we’re just hangin’ out.” Sones reminisced. 

“Make sure it’s fun and then put in the hours.” Halper says. “That’s the magic formula that keeps us going.”