Sometimes it takes one fresh voice to start a movement. With his passion for music, skills with production and ear for taking completely different sounds and making them work, Michael “Panski” Kopanski may very well be that person. Panski has opened up a whole new genre, a hybrid of EDM and country music, and is creating quite a buzz. With his EP, A Road Less Traveled, out on September 15, Panski is an innovative musician you will definitely be hearing a lot of.
Spending the last year populating his Soundcloud page, Panski got an early nod of approval from Kaskade, who tweeted about a remix he did of his song “Ain’t Gotta Lie,” telling Panski he ‘made it his own’ adding the hashtag “#respect.“ Deciding he wanted to branch out into something untapped, Panski reached back to his childhood, where country music was among the music staples he listened to. The multi-instrumentalist wanted to marry two types of music that he loved: “I saw an opportunity as a country music and house fan to make something really interesting and unique.” The advent of “Southern House” opened a whole new world for Panski.
The title of his EP, A Road Less Traveled, taken from the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken,” certainly resonated with Panski. “I chose this title because I’ve been seeing all of my other producer friends chase more popular genres, and rather than make what’s popular, I’m choosing to take a road less traveled.” The EP features four tracks of covers: John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and Pat Green’s “Wave on Wave.” Singer Ellena Soule adds evocative vocals to the tropical house take on “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and an ethereal delicateness to the beach-y vibe of “Soak Up the Sun.” The violin melody used on “On the Road Again” really captures the fusion of house and country, with Panski nailing the atmosphere and veteran singer Rich Andruska, of Clouds and Thorns, delivering on the vocal. Wrapping up the EP is “Wave on Wave,” a personal favorite of Panski’s, featuring vocals by Wylen (aka William Smith) and an unforgettable harmonica break. When premiering the track, Deep Tropical House said in a review of “Wave on Wave,” “Nobody else is creating music like Panski is.”
It is Panski’s goal to “bring the sound of the south to the house” by introducing audiences to a music style that hasn’t been done before. “Both country music and EDM fans are extremely passionate about their music, however you can assume that one fan base is not a fan of the other. There is a stark difference between the tonality, messages and vibes of the genres, but I want to bridge that gap.” After listening to A Road Less Traveled, the blend of sound makes perfect sense; don’t worry music fans, Panski is just getting started: “I think we can go further into the realm of genre crossing, and I plan to go as far as possible.”
Panski is a multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Atlanta, GA. His live shows have graced stages from Miami and Atlanta to Breckenridge, Colorado. He has served as an opening act for Galantis, Duke Dumont, Sam Feldt, and Sean Frank. Panski will be performing at Atlanta’s Whiskey Blue for his record release party on September 15th.