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Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band EDM Hip Hop




"Joey's Picks: New recordings from Houston bands in 2011"

Smash and Dash, Simple Success (Feb. 10): The young production duo (drummer Kyle Vento and DJ Edgar Miranda) teams up with “various local hip-hop acts and vocalists” on its debut EP, which boasts originals and remixes. - The Houston Chronicle (29-95 weekly section) // press mention of new EP release for 2011 // written

"Interview with Simple Success"

Kyle Vento just wanted someone to jam with. The drummer tried out various DJs but they weren’t committed enough or didn’t get the direction he was was going in. Desperate to get out and play the drums, Vento browsed Craigslist and found a post from Edgar Miranda (DJ Chop E) looking for a band. Vento, 17 at the time, and Miranda, 15, met up and jammed and the duo Simple Success was born.

Two years later, they're now “practically brothers” as Vento says, and they have been playing ever since even garnering some high-profile gigs as local openers for hip-hop heavyweights like Clipse and this Thursday for Wale.

29-95 recently spoke with Simple Success as they gear up for their debut EP of original collaborations and remixes, Smash and Dash , which comes out Feb. 10, and Thursday’s big show.

29-95 : How did you guys get into your respective instruments and music?

VENTO: My grandpa started me off with music literally when I was two. He sat me down at his drum set and would show me basic stuff. Every time I’d go over and visit him I’d play the drums the whole time I was there.

MIRANDA: I started making chopped and screwed tapes in middle school for my friends after learning about DJ Screw and Michael Watts. That got me involved in DJing and turntables.

29-95 : Do you guys consider yourselves a drummer/ DJ combo or something else?

VENTO: We consider ourselves as a remix and production duo. As a production duo, we produce all styles of music - hip hop, pop, electro, rock, indie- literally everything and collaborate with artists (something similar to what the The Neptunes do, except we don’t do any vocal performing.). We compose all of the music and ask artists to come work with us. We produce remixes and perform them all live with the contribution to my drumming. We produce dance remixes, dubstep remixes, rock remixes, mashups and link them all together with catchy dj/drummer interaction and transitions. We also make video edits to our remixes and project the videos live, which are all synched up to the music were playing.

29-95 : And how do you differentiate yourselves from the obvious Travis Barker/ DJ AM comparisons?

VENTO: The thing that sets us apart from the AM/Barker combo is that we actually make our remixes and mashups. What people don’t know about those two is that they did not make those mashups. AM/Barker was dope, but they took a whole lot of credit towards those mashups they did not do.

29-95 : Is opening for Wale Simple Success’s biggest show to date?

VENTO: Oh, hell yeah. We’re stoked and it is going to be a blast. This will be the biggest stage we’ve played thus far, and a lot of people are expected to be there. It will be dope!

Wale with DJ Mr Rodgers, GO MC Kane and Simple Success

Thursday, 8 pm

Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel - The Houston Chronicle (29-95 weekly section) // written by Mike Damante

"Simple Success: Remix Artistes Not So Simple After All"

?Several weeks ago we attended FlyFest, a day-long rap show put together intent on championing the local hip-hop scene. Among the acts that were was a duo called Simple Success. As is our M.O., we took some concert notes in the form of timestamps.

This is what we wrote:

11:21 p.m.: Turns out, a group called Simple Success is supposed to be on. They just got here though. There are two of them. A little prodding turns up that they're a remix and production duo. One is a drummer (Kyle Vento) and the other is a DJ (Edgar Miranda). They have a ton of equipment to set up, the most unexpected of which being a projector and its accompanying screen. This is likely going to be awful.

And then:

11:22: They've started.

And then:

11:23: Hmmmmm...

And then:

11:26: Holy Christ. These guys are great, the drummer especially.
He's crushing it right now. He's all aggro arm-swings and robot efficiency. The way their show works is there is a DJ who has the projector hooked up to his mixes (it's like a rudimentary version of what Mike Relm does), while the drummer beats the life out his drums and symbols.

They manage to roll up rap into a semi-conceptualized experience. They even make Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag" song sound idyllic. It's cool. And totally worth the set up. In our face, we suppose.

And finally:

11:33: CRASH, BOOM, SMASH! CRASH, BOOM, SMASH! CRASH, BOOM, SMASH! CRASH, BOOM, SMASH! CRASH, BOOM, SMASH! CRASH, BOOM, SMASH! Let's go ahead and send the 2010-11 Best Drummer of the Year award off to get Kyle Vento's name engraved on it. Every rapper considering doing a show with a live band needs to call this guy. We can't say enough excellent things about him.

It took them all of 12 minutes for them to transform us from Judging A Book By Its Cover haters to full-fledged groupies. Know this: Since that performance, theirs is one of the first names we search for when perusing the live shows schedule for the coming weeks. And with a show (finally) on the way, we tapped them for an interview.

Simple Success, "Cuz I'm Dope"

Rocks Off: The default Artist of the Week opening question: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Simple Success in exactly six words.

Simple Success: DJ. Drummer. Remix. Produce. Record. Perform.

?RO: We've been to a ton of hip-hop shows; y'all's, hands down, was among the most enjoyable. It's very conceptual and very excellent. Talk a little about what goes into putting that together.
SS: Wow! Thank you! Man, it's a complicated process. It usually begins with us just improving and jamming in the studio. We'll just run through a bunch of songs on the fly and see which ones strike us. We'll start to build a small skeleton set just to work around.
A lot of the time the song selection happens pretty randomly.

Well hear tracks wherever they are being played and be like "Hey, that will fit here" or "We could loop that and bring in this." After we have an idea about the songs we want to play, we'll brainstorm about how we can funk them up.

Being partly a remix group, we'll take the songs we have in mind and start working with the a cappella track and samples from the original tracks and make loops and edits to fit what we're looking for. We'll add some of our own instruments and percussion to add some flavor and add some other little tricks to keep it fresh.

We normally make the remixes that we perform live with minimal or without percussion; Kyle adds this in with the live drums. We'll do this type of remixing and mashing up for the majority of the set and then throw in some classics that everyone loves and just rock with them.

After the songs are selected we start to piece them together according to their BPM. We really pay a lot of attention in the way we format the set by tempo. We plan out our set of songs so that our set climaxes and maintains energy, but at the same time we might completely switch it up on you and bring in a low-BPM thugged-out Swisha House classic. You just don't know what's gonna happen; thats what we're proud of in our live set.

ANNND, as if it couldn't get more complicated, we make edits to the music videos of the tracks we're performing and project them on a screen in between us. They are synched up with the music and mix along with the entire set. The end result is a night club DJ/live band sound.

RO: You guys have a song called "Cuz I'm Dope." Underground favorite B L A C K I E has a similarly titled song. Settle it now: Whose is the dopest?

SS: Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston in an Elmer's glue factory. #kanyeshrug

Simple Success, "I"

RO: You guys should totally have a projector-based-shows battle with the Room 101 guy. That might be mind shattering.


Simple Success, "Move Bitch (SS Remix)"

RO: You recently incorporated a real-life rapper into the fold. Why?

SS: About two years ago we decided to build a studio out of a practice space on the north side of town to have our own getaway to work on music and do all of our recording ourselves. Over the years as things progressed, we noticed an opportunity for ourselves to expand our venture. So last summer we decided to found an indie record label (Bella Musica) and music publishing company (Tombout Publishing). Lux was introduced to us by a friend.

We heard his music and wanted to feature him on one of our tracks ("Cuz I'm Dope"). He came in to record and he blew us homo. The kid is super talented. We really believe in him and wanted to support him in everything he does so we decided to sign him as our first artist under the new label.

Bella Musica is completely documented, official, and a legal recording studio and label. Its one of our biggest accomplishments so far and we're sooo excited for his upcoming projects.

See Simple Success live around 9 p.m. Friday, November 5, at Groundhall for $5. See them online at on Facebook here and on Twitter at @successmzk. - Houston Press: Artist of the Week online feature // written by Shea Serrano, Columnist for Houston P

"Simple Success Making Name for Itself"

Starting a band isn’t easy. You have to buy a bunch of equipment — a guitar or two, a bass, a decent drum setup, amps, an equalizer and more cords than your parents would prefer to clutter their garage. Then, of course, you have to work out schedules for practicing, roles in the band, etc. Besides all that, you have to not suck.

For Kyle Vento and Edgar Miranda, though, much of this wasn’t a problem. Their two-piece ensemble is simply percussion and a DJ. While those unfamiliar with their band, Simple Success, may assume these two Houstonians are missing a lot of people and equipment, they’d be wrong. They make up for it with ambition, talent and a sincere love for all kinds of music.

Vento, an economics senior, and Miranda, a criminal justice sophomore at HCC who plans to transfer to UH next year, are Simple Success. Vento, the group’s percussionist and founder, worked with another DJ before Miranda joined Simple Success, but it never quite took off. He met Miranda, by chance, via the Internet.

“We met through Craigslist, actually,” Vento said with a laugh. “And now we’re like best friends.”

The duo’s setup is primarily a remix and production studio, but they have all the tools for a full studio at their disposal. On top of that, the two recently founded a label, Bella Musica, and already have one artist signed. They hope to use the label to promote more independent artists and propel themselves, as well as artists signed to their label, into the spotlight.

“Since we’re not lyricists or vocalists ourselves, we put together the music and say, ‘Hey, would you like to come join us on this?’” Vento said. “So it’s not only a creative thing; it’s also a unifying type of project as well.”

Simple Success’ style ranges from straight house to dub step, from hip-hop to electronic rock.

“We’re geared more toward electro and hip-hop,” said Vento, “but we’ve also reached out to the likes of the Ton Tons.”

When performing live, Simple Success performs mostly remixes to well-known hip-hop and club music, but occasionally Fat Tony, Lux or another artist they’ve collaborated with will hop onstage to perform a song together. Vento and Miranda were planning on releasing a remix-only album by January, but they hit a snag.

“The original idea was to have the remixes and the originals all on one CD, and we were trying to figure out the legal way to go around that, without having to do the whole sample-clearances thing, because we can’t afford it,” Vento said. “It costs thousands per sample, so what we plan on doing now…is a digital release of the remix album.”

They hope to have their album released digitally by January.

So far, Simple Success has worked with the likes of Fat Tony, Hollywood FLOSS, Lux, Shiner Ray, Mike Skills and are in the process of working with the Ton Tons, Bianca and B L A C K I E, whom they already have a few tracks recorded for.

“We’re music producers,” Vento said. “We’re not claiming ourselves to a specific genre.”

Some of the tracks they’ve worked on sound like backing-tracks to the likes of Nine Inch Nails. Others sound like something MGMT, Passion Pit or even Kid Cudi would lay vocals to. The creative process for these two musicians is always well thought out, but occasionally the final product is stumbled upon by accident.

“Sometimes, you already have a track laid out, and you just go with it,” Miranda said. Vento, who also plays guitar for a few of the group’s tracks, will record drums with every intention of doing a hip-hop sound, but once Miranda does his part and the two begin to produce something, the final product may have more of a grunge or rock sound.

“We just do what we want, really,” Miranda said. The group has even recorded a jazz track with Vento’s old jazz instructor. “On the album, we want to give everyone a little taste of everything. Usually when you buy an album, it’s all rock or it’s all hip-hop, and we just want to spread the word that there’s more music out there and open their minds.”

From hip-hop to dance to ’80s-era music, if you can put your preferred genre aside and simply enjoy music for the sake of enjoying music, Simple Success is simply one of the best acts in Houston you can listen to.

Simple Success plays at 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Walter’s on Washington. Log on to to hear two tracks by Simple Success. - The Daily Cougar (University of Houston - Main Campus newspaper) written by Matthew Keever - Editor


"Smash and Dash" LP - Includes 10 tracks of original production from Simple Success featuring various rappers/vocalists. Also includes 2 Simple Success remixes.



Formed in May 2008, SIMPLE SUCCESS is a remix and production duo consisting of members Kyle Vento (drummer, guitarist, producer) and Edgar Miranda “Dj Chop E”(DJ, producer), As a Dj and drummer collaboration the two are known for their extremely creative and catchy live performances and their uniqueness in the studio as producers. SIMPLE SUCCESS is currently unsigned to a record label and works independently writing, producing, and recording their own music.

A SIMPLE SUCCESS performance is a 40-45 minute set of continuous music including all of their remixes and mashups that are all linked together with catchy transitions. With live drums in the mix, they incorporate a lot of rhythmic interaction between the Dj and drummer. All the while, the music they are performing is synchronized with the music videos of the songs and seamlessly mix with one another to the music. The ending result is a very entertaining performance mashing together a night club remix Dj with a live drummer and visual effects from projected music videos.

Kyle began playing music at a very early age. Inspired by his grandfather who introduced him to the drums and the guitar, he has been playing both instruments for over 10 years each. Kyle has performed with various punk/rock/alternative bands including Underground and Finally This. He is also an experienced jazz player where he played drums in his high school jazz band and studied jazz drumming with percussionist Louis Alfaro. As hip-hop was always a first interest for him, (Lil Troy’s Sittin’ Fat Down South – Kyle’s first CD) he became growingly interested in producing hip hop instrumentals. Kyle now is an active music producer (not only hip-hop) as well as a drummer and guitarist.

Edgar, “Dj Chop E” began Dj’ing as an early teenager. After seeing video clips of his greatest inspirations Dj Jazzy Jeff, Dj Q-bert, and Dj AM, Edgar decided to pick up some turntables. In his early career as a Dj, Edgar would make Houston style “chopped and screwed” versions of popular hip-hop songs for his friends; thus his inspiration for his Dj name “Chop E.” The “E” simply represents E for Edgar. Edgar began Dj’ing around town for friends and local parties. He currently is the weekend resident Dj for Lucky Strike Lanes 1201 San Jacinto in downtown Houston. Inspired from his idols, Edgar is known for his keen ear for creating interesting mash ups and his solid mix between multiple music genres in his set. Being a Dj and feeling so passionately about music, Edgar grew interested in the production side of music. He now is an active music producer as well as a Dj.

After meeting one another through Houston Craiglist posts, the chemistry between the two was unmatched. Now, as best friends, they have performed as SIMPLE SUCCESS for over a year and a half, introducing to Houston something the city has never seen before; a night club Dj/live band feeling. They have performed in many local venues and places around town including: Fitzgeralds, Java Jazz, Gary’s Spot, the University of Houston - Main Campus, the M.O Campbell Center, Club Glo, the Contemporary Arts Museum and Numbers.

Their debut 12 track EP "Smash and Dash" release February 10, 2011. The CD boasts original production with vocalist/rapper features and also two their remixes.

Keep up with the guys on here as well as Twitter, YouTube, and Myspace for all the latest SIMPLE SUCCESS news and updates.