Despite his success, this sort of introspection continues for Smith, who has grown to be an influential force in the global dance community, one who has sold out nearly all of his shows in the past three years and has been tapped for choice headlining spots at many of the country's biggest music festivals. But the self-scrutiny seems to be precisely what continues to drive him. "When I can wrap my head around the fact that this isn't the make-or-break album for me in my life or for my touring career — when I really wrapped my head around that, I became 200 percent confident about my style and the nature of this album," he concludes.

Ah, yes, the nature of this album. That prompts an obvious question, considering how the music-making process has progressed: Will the Pretty Lights live show follow suit? Might Smith bring musicians into the equation at some point? "It's always been part of my vision," he maintains, "that all of these songs are songs I can perform with a band."

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