A Sit Down With DJ Neelix
Hamburg based artist Henrik Twardzik, better known as Neelix started to produce music in the early 1998. After DJing for some years he finally decided to create his own sound. Untill now Henrik has released 3 albums and many singles. The third album Same thing but different is already released on Millennium Records. Besides Henrik also belongs to the founders of the hamburg based label Glamour Studios.
"Only listen to the people who are like you want to be. Not to those who are like you do not want to be. And do not be afraid to write to someone you want to know about."
What do you think it is about the music you play that resonates with people on such an emotional level?
Its emotion. I really put a lot of emotions in the music. People can relate to this. I am slightly sad inside and in my music as well. It is not on purpose. It is just happening. When I was a kid, I hated my glasses and destroyed them all the time. I had a sticker on one glass and was always the weirdo with these glasses on. So I didnt like them. Now I made my glasses my brand. Its my way of making my peace with it. I also put my beliefs in my music like saving the planet, stop eating meat, even the voice of my brother who died when I was 20 years old is in a lot of my tracks. It is my way working with these topics. Art as a way of therapy. I think this is just authentic and real. And real is awesome, and fake is weird.
Have you ever thought about experimenting with genres other than Progressive Trance or Psytrance under a different alias or even just with your current productions?
I did already but no one knows. I make music for myself. My scene is underground and the thing with underground and hippies are that they are the most conservative people in the world. They are not free and relaxed. They may say no to pain killers because theyre bad for your body but then they ask for LSD?! They always try to teach you how to live but you cant tell them what to do.
How would you describe this feeling on stage when you play in front of thousands of people?
It is a feeling that differs constantly. Sometimes I feel so good and sometimes I'm really nervous. Most of the time fortunately, it's a very good feeling! If people are having fun and smiling, then me too. But it works the same way in the other direction.
Electronic music is becoming more and more mainstream every year, do you ever think its going to get to the stage where every show on normal national around the World has at least two straight up electronica tracks in every hour?
I think not. What we listen to and what I do is still underground music. I had once a track called voices which was really successful, they played this song on the German radio and on the television in some daily soaps but only because this track was in a famous german movie and the soundtrack of this movie includes this track. I would love to hear some progressive trance tracks on radio but in the near future but it will not happen.
Apart from the Trance, what other genres do you usually listen to on a daily basis? Jazz for example?
Yes! Something like that, Stevie Wonder . Or even Hip Hop. But I do not really listen to electronic music in general. I do not have a favorite track. To be honest, I do not really like House. I do not know why but .. I think it's these vocals, I do not understand this "Oooh Yeah, come on .." What is it? Twenty years that lasts!
Do you still enjoy being involved in the electronic music scene? Having said that you dont really enjoy the genre do you still take pleasure in live performances?
Yes I do. I dont know how to explain it, in every artist there is a point where you are not sure if youre doing it right or playing what people expect. This pressure and fear is always there and is part of the flow of creativity. Imagine a picture in black and white and I show you the picture. I ask you Is the upper 50% or lower 50% more white? You wouldnt need a second to tell me because itd be obvious. If you ask 100 or 1000 people, they would all get it right. But if you repeat the experiment with another group of people and tell them that they would get $1000 if they got it right, a lot of people would get it wrong and it would take 3 minutes for them to decide. Its the fear that you can lose something, which can take the fun out of it. When I play now its good because before I had a moment where I thought I needed to do something different. So you just need to have no fear.
How long have you been an unbelievably awesome and totally gifted dj for?
I started DJing in 1996 but honestly only for two gigs then I decided already to produce my own music. I started seriously to produce music in 2001, I bought my own computer and my first keyboard. Since then I try to produce every day. Its a kind of a drug for me. I really can relax best when I produce music.
What artists and what music inspires you?
I am inspired by artists such as Daft Punk and Michael Jackson, Simon & Garfunkel. I dont like to get my inspiration only in the gerne I produce for. Turning your head and brain off is very important. So you make sure that you not only copy things from other artists of your genre or scene. I love to get inspired by movies or commercials, too. By moods. And when you found inspiration you could not stop producing. I even cant sleep and have to finish tracks in the middle of the night when inspiration hits me. Great feeling. Always.
What advice would you give to those who would like to work in the world of music?
You need to be authentic. You know the songs I've done that have been most successful, there's my brother in .. And he died 15 years ago. So you can hear "It's my life there" there are my friends in there, quantum physics, all my life is in it. And for example at the moment I found very good vocals: a guy who sings and I put the song on my song and it sounds really good. Then I discovered it was Charles Manson. I can not use it, it does not!
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