A Sit Down With DJ Prophet


DJ The Prophet, also called the 'Godfather of Hardstyle', as he is one of the few acts who has succeeded in maintaining a thriving career from the early days, right up to the modern era. For thirty golden years, DJ The Prophet has achieved personal milestones as he shaped the genre we know today as Hardstyle and cultivated new opportunities for rising artists.

In 1984 DJ The Prophet started with producing Hip Hop, with his first big event named 'Let The Prophet Rise' in 1988 with a crowd of 2000 people. In 1990 he started producing Hardcore as one of the pioneers, being part of the Thunderdome generation and the first DJ team in the world "The Dreamteam". He had great successes with tracks like 'Dominatin" in 1993, 'Big Boys Dont Cry" in 1994, 'Allright Now Here We Go!" in 1994 and 'Killing Scum", also from the year 1994 and many more after.

With a strong antiquity, DJ The Prophet continued his legacy by also shaping Hardstyle's modern era with his diverse releaseses. From the smashing 'Kikkdrum" to 'Timemachine" and of course the floorfiller 'Caramba!", DJ The Prophet is endorsed for capturing all the Hardstyle possibilities.


 "I just want to make cool music, where you can set up your bass-face."


Do you superstar?

I am no superstar. I am a human being like all of us, so let’s start with treating each other equally and then check what will happen in the world. When someone comes to me and treats me like a superstar… I just try to be me. That is what I am and that is who I am – nothing more and nothing less. I mean, back in the days when I started there were no ‘DJs’ like nowadays. The DJ is now a band; a rock-star/pop-star. In my days - you didn’t get paid to play all night in a club! You were happy that the owner let you play on their equipment.

How do you see yourself in your music?

Everyday I feel limited as a DJ/Producer – especially in Holland. People are so narrow-minded here but from now on I will do what I really like. The harder styles of music are in my heart; when I hear a distorted kick, I feel good – that’s how it is and I think how it will always be but, despite that, I think it’s good to look around you. What do you listen to when you want to escape from your daily life? What do you dance to? What do you have sex to? I still look around and I make ‘minimal music’ or ‘house music’ – that doesn’t mean I have to break with anything. The future is mine. Retiring is sitting down and doing something you like without working… But what I do is working and doing what I like. I will be the ?rst DJ who dies on stage!

Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? If not, what’s the last dream you remember having?

Nope, I don’t. My last dream was about sushi—I went to bed a bit hungry.

If you could have one magical/superpower, what would you want, and why?

Guess I would love to fly, like most other people, because it’s something we cannot do now.

How do you create music?

I just like music and because of that I bought some stuff. I guess, from that moment, I suddenly became a ‘producer’ too. Now you just need a computer. You download some Torrents with some programs, then some plug-ins, you create something and you are a producer too!  That is something that has completely changed since back then…We needed very expensive hardware, like synthesisers, expensive computers etc. You really had to be commited to what you wanted or else you would lose a lot of money. My opinion is still that if a DJ is really fully commited to what he or she does and they believe in what they do, and get a little push from the right people, then they will get there.

What’s the last sound you would want to hear before you die?

Whatever comes from a Roland TB-303.

In recent years you have lost your music track...

It's so fast in our scene, I was so busy wondering what the audience would like, that I lost my own direction, my own style was gone, I had to go back to the question: What do I like? 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Did you take it?

Dude, you’re too old, man—you better quit DJing.  And yes.

A Sit Down With DJ Goldfrapp


There is something shocking about Alison Goldfrapp. She's so tiny and nondescript. She wears no makeup, her legs are stick-thin, her face unremarkable but for the oversized mosquito shades. She carries two plastic bags. If you were told she slept in hostels or in the park you wouldn't be surprised.

In July 2015, Alison Goldfrapp announced on Twitter that the group had returned to the studio to work on music for the forthcoming seventh album, but as far as a release date she could only state it would be "sometime in 2017".On 23 December 2016 Goldfrapp posted an image of two topless figures holding each other's heads, with bleached blonde hair covering their faces, and a black substance slicked across their forearms, along with the hashtag #goldfrapp7. The social media upload was initially assumed to be the seventh album's cover art. This turned out not to be the case. The title of the album was confirmed as Silver Eye. The first track to be played from the album, titled "Anymore", was premiered on Lauren Laverne's BBC 6 Music show on 23 January 2017. Silver Eye was eventually released on March 31, 2017.


"If I am honest, I don't really care who is straight or who is gay. I hate to stereotype people. In the end, we're all sexual beings."


You spent most of your childhood growing up in an English market town called Alton. Did you find it a little stifling?

I hated it, absolutely hated it! As soon as I turned sixteen I left school and went to London.

Would you say the industry has become a little bit more cutthroat?

I don’t know that it’s cutthroat, I think it’s just the fact that there is so little protection for the freedom of movement of people’s music. Once it’s out there, it’s on everyone’s phones, it’s getting sent around and, consequently, the whole element of live performance has become hugely more significant in the last 10-15 years because that is where people are able to reap the rewards of their work, because no-one is buying it anymore. I’m as guilty as the next person for listening to music on YouTube, and YouTube pays some tiny amount for music don’t they? So, we’re struggling, but at the same time it’s kind of brilliant because if you want to hear a piece of music from any time in recorded history it’s there under your fingers in seconds.

You are often described as a private person. Is it important to have a separation between your personal life and your creative life?

People often talk about how I’m a private person, but I don’t think I am particularly private. I just think I’m not that interested in fame. I’ve never courted that kind of thing. Somehow not chasing after fame is harder for people to understand than if I were desperately trying to be a celebrity. I’m not really very famous either, so it doesn’t really matter. I just don’t think about it very much. I just live my life. Your personal life always bleeds into your creative life, but it doesn’t have to be in obvious ways.

It’s been nearly four years since the last Goldfrapp record. At this point, how do you decide when it’s time to make something new? And what’s going on with you creatively in the interim?

We had a break after that last one, which was good for us. We were still working though. We went away and did the music for a play at the National Theatre. The piece was Medea, which is a Greek tragedy and very traditional, but was updated for this production. Carrie Cracknell was the director. We spent about a year doing that—working with a chorus of 13 women vocalists—which was great. It was wonderful to be doing something completely different and helps shake up the way you think about things when you go back to doing your own work. Then, we just took our time and we didn’t rush into anything. And when we did get started, it took quite a while to get into the groove with it. We also took a while to think about what kind of sound we wanted to make, and as a result the process became much more electronic. We wanted to do something in a similar vein to Supernature or Black Cherry, but obviously didn’t want to repeat ourselves. It took a while to get there, which is fine. Sometimes it takes a long time to get where you’re going.

Why do you think you’re so drawn to the countryside?

I was brought up to love it. My Dad was very, very keen on that. He really instilled in us that it was bigger than us, and therefore we should look after it and respect it. For me, it’s a bit of a religion. It feeds the soul, and it’s a place to think, and a place to create, and to be in awe of, to find peace in. It’s kind of everything, really. I love being in the city as well, because it’s fun culturally, but it doesn’t give me the same sense of fulfilment.

Have there been times in the past when you haven’t liked an album before it’s come out?

Yes. I’m not going to say which one. You have such a particular relationship with music, and you’ve heard it so many times when you’ve been working on it, living it and breathing it, that sometimes it can feel a little daunting. But I feel good about this and I can’t wait to play it live. That’s the bit I’m really looking forward to. It’ll be fun to get up and play those kind of songs, especially alongside other songs from ‘Supernature’ and ‘Black Cherry’.

When you’re making something, it’s this very weird ground where you don’t want to be overly self-aware, but you are also mindful of this thing you are trying to make, this place you’re trying to get to, this sound you are trying to achieve and you’re always trying to get some balance between the two.

Once you get into the studio, it’s such an absorbing process. For me, no matter how you approach it, you very quickly find yourself living and breathing it. The experience and the process takes over. For this album I didn’t want to do that quite as much because I have certainly done that before, just surrendered my life to it. This time I wanted to live a bit more, which is why I wanted to do it in London. I didn’t want to entirely give up my social life, my personal life. I didn’t want it to become a 24/7 thing for me. I got to go home at night to my own home and maybe go out to drink with a mate or spend time with my dog and my partner. I’ve done that—been a hermit for a year or two years or however long it takes to make an album. I cannot do that again, really.

When you say ‘those kind of songs’, sonically ‘Silver Eye’ fits in alongside ‘Black Cherry’ and ‘Supernature’ but there are definite touches of the heart and warmth of your more folky moments. 

You’re right, it’s a hybrid of a few things which is a nice feeling actually. It’s like: this is what we do. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that before actually, so that’s good.

What’s the significance of a silver eye?

It’s the moon! It’s a metaphor for the moon. What is ‘Silver Eye’? It’s a hybrid of things to do with antropomorphism, mysticism, the elemental – those are the themes of the album. Those are things that have been on ‘Supernature’, and they’ve been there throughout really. I suppose with this album we go further into the idea of the elemental – earth, fire, water – and mysticism, Paganism to a certain degree, and dreaming. They’ve been there on all the albums in varying degrees but it’s much more focused on this album.

You’ve spoken in the past about how you have to go away to write.

Fortunately, or unfortunately—I swing either way—we have a studio out in the countryside, and it’s a really great place to work. I like isolating myself, but it’s also a bit of a struggle sometimes because it’s not brilliant for one’s personal social life.

Speaking of advice, what do you tell aspiring musicians or young bands who are looking for ways to get their music into the world?

No one ever asks me for advice! I don’t know, maybe they think, “Oh my god, don’t ask her, she’s the last person you want advice from.” No one ever asks me. I think I’d be a pretty good person to ask advice of. I’ve fucked up so many times, I think I’m probably quite good to tell people what not to do.

A Sit Down With DJ Valentino Kanzyani


Valentino Kanzyani has been involved in the country's dance scene since the mid 1990s. A celebrated DJ first and foremost , Valentino built a solid reputation for himself whilst he was resident spinner of Ambasada Gavioli - Slovenia's best known electronic music club. His fame grew when he started spinning on three turntables as standard. Joining forces with fellow countryman and techno champion Umek, Valentino saw his first release in 1999 under the moniker Recycled Loops. Due to the success of their joint EPs, Valentino Kanzyani and Umek set up Recycled Loops as a record label, which further helped establish. A number of world tours.

Valentino Kanzyani is a founding father of Slovenian techno and has been involved in the country’s dance scene since the mid 1990s. A celebrated DJ first and foremost, Valentino built a solid reputation for himself whilst he was resident spinner of Ambasada Gavioli, one of Slovenia’s most famous clubs. His fame grew when he started spinning on three turntables as standard.


"The only thing we really have is the present moment; the future and past are non-existent. So getting stuck in the past or hopping into the future is never a good thing to do. Live the present."


Your real name is Tine Kocjanèiè. Why did you take a pseudonym and why an Italian name?

When the Second World War ended, many family names in Slovenia were changed by the Italians. My name was originally written differently, but it sounds the same. My first name is originally Tine. That is an abbreviation of Valentino. Tine is a children's nickname, so I decided to change it to Valentino, as it was originally intended. I often hear from people that they think it's a nice name. A friend of mine is a graphic designer and I think my name is just a brand name! 

How did you first get exposed to dance music and how difficult was it setting up a scene in those early years?

Being born in a decaying communistic regime that was soon leading to a war was definitely not a nice childhood. So it may sound typical, but music really saved my life! If my passion for music hadn't have been there, who knows where I would have ended up, or even if I would be still alive! Things were quite complicated for me and my people especially during and soon after the war.  But as I said love and passion for music gave me a way to follow, some sacred and secret space to hide and be out of the daily shit! I consider my self lucky already because of that, everything else was and is just a side effect or by product of love and dedication I put into my craft. 

You’ve been described as one of the founding fathers of Slovenian techno, what first got you into Techno? Can you pin-point a life-altering moment?

I was always interested in music since an early age. I wanted to be a drummer when I was 8 but also liked dancing and when got a chance to go to a club when I was just 11 it was when I realized that I definitely want to be a DJ, and step by step I became one! Years passed and I started to produce music when I was 19, and got my first release track when I was 21. My first EP came when I was 24, so it took some time to get things moving back then. I was also the first Resident and Artistic Director of Ambasada Gavioli from age 20 to 24, and had the chance to book and play alongside the best DJs of those days including some like Jeff Mills, Laurent Garnier, Richie Hawtin, Demon Wild, Regis & Surgeon, among other important artists. Basically we brought to Slovenia the best Techno artists of that time, also we booked House DJs, offering a lot of inspiration from both sides. That’s why I’ve never stuck to just one sound and have always loved to fuse different styles in my sets, like I did as an Artistic Director back in my twenties… 

Who are your parents?

My father is an old rock star in my country. His band was very big in Slovenia, compared to the Beatles even. Eventually they became so big that the Communist party decided to end the band. They became too important and the Communist party began to wonder what the political idea behind the band was. My father wrote about 200 hits that were played on the radio. Unfortunately, as a father, I did not have that much to him. He left us when I was eight years old. He never had time, always busy rehearsing. My mother was also a singer. But she concentrated more on motherhood. She has sung in one of my father's bands. She is an old hippy and when I'm at a big party she often comes to watch. 

Imagine for a moment that you are preparing for your last ever DJ set before retiring for good, what three tracks would you pick to close your final set, and why would you pick those?

Well it's difficult to say what it will be then as music keeps on striking me! Number one would be Steve Reich's 'Music For 18 Musicians', because this track is like hearing heaven coming down to earth! I'd also play the synth track on Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' to put some age and drama to the situation, and finish up with Ravel's 'Bolero' for a grand finale!

Where are your musical roots?

The first music I listened to was what we had at home, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Michael Jackson. I loved Michael for his dancing. When I was about 15 years old, I participated in Acid dance competitions. I wore T-shirts and belts full of smileys. One day I participated in a dance competition that also an Italian participated. He had moves that seemed impossible to us. Then I decided that it had been enough with dancing. I was already busy at the time, but I loved dancing. The first music that really got me in her grip was the first acid and house that came from America. The brother of my classmate played this music. He was one of the first DJs to play house in Slovenia. I had no idea that running could be a profession let alone at an international level. Turning was something that you did for pleasure. It was more of a hobby like skateboarding. But back to my musical roots, Pink Floyd and Michael Jackson have made a permanent mark on my music. Madonna also, especially her older albums. I thought "Vogue" cool because many people were against house at that time. She had something like "fuck you, I'm gonna make it anyway.

Dancefloor or VIP? 

Dance floor, as I started to love and enjoy music on it, and spent much of my teenage years on dance floors, partying on early acid house and new beat. Dancing is my first love and I dance also when I’m in the VIP area, having conversations with some extremely interesting random people, but if you really want to enjoy music you have to be on the dance floor because only there you can really feel the music.

In all your years touring around the globe, what’s your favorite club or city to play?

I have a lot of appreciation for the Romanian scene but also love Uruguay. I had a very nice gig in July at Phonoteque, Montevideo, the crowd was amazing and all the people from staff to clubbers were just amazingly educated and nice! It’s hard to point just one favorite place as I love also to play in Berlin, especially when I play with my friends at Club Der Visionaere.

How has Slovenian underground house and techno progressed in your career? Who of the new breed have you most excited?

The scene has its ups and downs like everywhere else, but the most fascinating thing for me is the variety of styles we had and still have for such a small country. Also the influence we had on our neighbouring countries all those years back, in the days when Slovenian techno was growing its recognition internationally. From the first small events in bars to the first raves and festivals in the last 23 years I've seen and done a lot. And being part of a movement from day one that had passion for music and joy of living as its first priority made me the person I am now!  It made exceptional other artists like Random LogicUmekTomy DeClerque, Ichi SanIan F and Aneuria all working on different styles but having one thing in common - the love and passion for music. Definitely one of the more extraordinary artist coming from the later generation is Gramatik who's proved again that with a clear vision, passion and hard work the impossible becomes possible! He shows by his example to future generations that, if you want to, you can really make it despite where you come from.

A Sit Down With DJ Sneijder


Sneijder  is an Irish DJ who, since the age of 13, tried to play in his little room, often going to the Netherlands to buy exclusive discs. Over the years, his passion grew to become an obsession, ranging from Dutch Hardcore, to Psy, and finally to the uplifting trance in '99.

To make a scumbag, he started playing for Irish clubs, becoming one of Northern Ireland's finest DJs. After this goal, he decided to learn to produce in 2009 and from then on he changes his story.

With of one of the richest label histories in electronic music – stretching back over an astonishing 600+ single releases and 19 mix-comps, its credo is enshrined in its name. In Trance We Trust’s list of former compilation mixers includes hall-of-famers and revered underground legends alike – Bobina, Johan Gielen, Misja Helsloot, Cor Fijneman and Mark Norman to name but a handful. Its singles discography reads more like an A to Z encyclopaedia of trance music’s producers and remixers.


"I have went through various genres of music to finally settle on my sound and along the way my career and life in general has taken many different paths."


How you first started out as a DJ? What got you interested in it, and where was your first gig?

I started to DJ from when I was just 13 years old. I would walk home from school everyday past a guy’s house, he had his garage open with music pumping out. One day I decided to go over and see what he was doing, he showed me his decks and all his records, I was hooked from that moment. By the time I turned 14 I had my own decks and practised everyday in a shed out the back of my parents house to the point of obsession. My first gig was at a teenage disco in a small town close to where I lived. I was nervous as hell aswell.

What have been some of your favourite dance music albums? 

There has been so many, if we are talking about Artist albums, the stand out ones for me are Prodigy - Experience, Leftfield - Leftism, John O'Callaghan - Never Fade Away, Giuseppe Ottaviani - GO! .. Mix albums I could name 50 easy, I will narrow it down to 3, Nick Warren GU Budapest, Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure, PVD Politics of Dancing Vol 1. 

Who are your biggest influences in the music industry? 

DJ wise…Carl Cox, Sasha & Digweed and Tony de Vit. All amazing DJ’s and their set building was and is second to none in my opinion. As a producer, Ferry Corsten, Aly & Fila, Paul van Dyk and some others have all influenced my sound. Pablo Gargano aswell. David Forbes is one of the most technically gifted producers I know.

When did you get the idea of ??creating your own album?

The album is something I wanted to do for some time since I started doing music. Time had to be fair, however, my production level had to be such that I could make a good versatile album. So I felt that it was the right time for me this year.

What is your take on the Pure Trance movement?

I think its great, I am very fortunate to have been selected by the Pure Trance guys to feature at some of their events this year. The crowds that attend are always very in tune with the music and passionate about it. It’s great to see people researching music and not just accepting whats put in front of them, this is essential for the growth of trance.

What is the development of Trance world in Indonesia according to you?

Trance lovers in Indonesia are amazing, lots of my social media coment asking me to play here. And in Indonesia also has "Indotrance" which is one of the largest trance community in Indonesia.

You’ve had the opportunity to perform all over the globe and at some of the worlds largest trance events like FSOE 300, Luminosity, and ASOT. Do you prefer large festivals or smaller venues and why?

I enjoy both, large arenas are great and have a unique vibe as do the smaller venues. I think it all depends on the crowd, if the crowd are up for it the dj feeds from that and it makes for a great experience all round for everyone.

Can you tell us a little bit about the other vocal and production collaborations you have on Everything Changes?

Both Katty and Karen are another two artist who I love and it was a great honour to work with them both aswell. It can be time consuming trying to get vocal tracks bang on and Im glad they all turned out how I wanted them too. All the vocals have been massive in my sets all year.
If we talk a little about music, what does the music mean by you as a professional DJ?

For me music is part of half my life. Because the music I've listened to from me small until finally I can memproduce a song myself.

If you weren’t a DJ/producer, what would you be doing? Do you work another job?

I worked on a building site since I was 15yrs old, so if I wasn’t a DJ I would still be doing that, I’m sure. I stopped my job last year to focus on my music career, I just had no time left to do both.

Share us your top 3 tracks of the moment?

1. Sneijder – #Acid
2. Factor B – Stratos Galaxia
3. Mark Sherry – The Pillars Of Creation

A Sit Down With DJ Manuel De La Mare


Manuel De La Mare is a DJ, producer and owner of recording imprints 303Lovers and Hotfingers. Manuel formulated his own sound by fusing together elements of varying genres which have long been the aural identity of his native country. This uniqueness and quality led to him having label credits with some of the scenes finest imprints such as Universal, Toolroom, Ministry of Sound, Tiger Records, Spinnin, Definitive and Stealth.

His capacity within the musical arena has brought interest to him, by artists such as Mark Knight, John Acquaviva and Fedde Le Grand, who required his talent in the studio. Thanks to Beatport, he was awarded the "Best Remixer 2011" prize, and was nominated for Best Deep House and Techno Artist in 2010.

Manuel has managed to become a global icon that has allowed him to play throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and North and South America.


"I was always looking for a new sound, I'm very curious, for me everything is a transitional stage."


First you wrote music, and only then became a DJ. Correctly? Do you think this is a necessity - to be both a DJ and a producer? Which is preferable for you? 

I think that these are two absolutely different kinds of art, and I love both.

What were your musical influences?

Many. From Beatles Rock to Panther Metal. From Debussy's piano to Bob Sinclar's house. I have always studied and listened to many genres of music.

What does your studio consist of? What hardware/software do you use most and why? 

It is very simple, I use Logic 9 with some VST, I have some hardware synths like Korg M3, Korg M20, Minimoog, and my monitors are Dynaudio, Alesis and I often use headphones for listening to music.

Describe your style of music?

House and surroundings. 

What was the best and the worst gig you ever played?

I've many many good gigs every year, it is really hard to pick the best gig. I played in the best clubs in the world, Space Ibiza, Amnesia Miami, Womb Tokyo, Ministry Of Sound London, Space Miami, Fabrik Madrid, Ultra festival in Miami, Pacha Buenos Aires and many many more, but I remember also less famous venues like in Costa Rica or Serbia, or a small club in Rosario Argentina.
Worst gig is easy, was a few years ago, I played in Puerto Rico in a small bar, almost all elements was bad, soundsystem, lights, drinks, djbooth, totally useless gig.. on top of that the next day there was not a driver for the airport, plus, there was a flood in the city so I had to walk in deep water for at least 2kms for finding a cab. That was a bad trip.

In the sea of labels that are present on the scene today what are in your opinion the positions of your labels 303Lovers and Hotfingers? How hard it is to run two imprints?

The difficult part was to separate the sound and create two different music lines for both of the labels, so they have their own identity in stead of being twins with different names. I am now focusing only on 303lovers together with Luigi Rocca and Hotfingers is Alex Kenji’s child now.

You are one of the owners of the 303Lovers label. How did the idea of ??the name come? Tell me, how are the affairs of the company going? 

303 - this is the famous synthesizer from Roland. The name of the label is a tribute to the most important electronic instrument. We positioned the label as underground. And today I already have two imprints: 303lovers and Hotfingers (more house-oriented), which we manage with my friends and colleagues Alex Kenji and Marshall. Over time, our releases will get better and better. We have big plans for 2009, we just signed some good musicians, like Richard Dinsdale, Paul Thomas, Kolombo, D-Unity, Ahmet Sendil. Our musical family is becoming more interesting!

Can you tell us something about your project Forza with Alex Kenji and Luigi Rocca?

It's the name of our party, when we play back to back or build extra long sets bringing to the club our diverse sounds.

You travel a lot. What are the essential things you need to have with you at all times and what are the things you miss when you are on tour?

When I'm in tour I miss my family of course, my friends, my home, my cats... Now I'm at Madrid airport, so let's see what i've with me: MacBook Air, Apple headphones (only for playing games!), Ipad, Iphone, Audio8 soundcard, Pioneer headphones hdj2000, toothbrush, deodorant, something for the nails, passport, some sleeping pills for long trips, 2 t-shirts, socks, and a swim costume as i'm going to Ibiza today. I like to travel with just a few things actually, I dont like bringing around heavy stuff.

Which City in the world inspires you the most and challenges you to be your best always?

MD – With no doubts that city is Tokyo. People there are extremely elegant, and they reflect this in all aspects of their life, as in the clubs as while they walk in the street. Sometimes I feel I’m the animal, they are the Humans, but I feel also a good contact with them, cause they fully enjoy dance, food and all kinds of art with their own peculiar language.

What was your most life-changing experience that shapes the way you create today?

MD – The only life changing experience I had was when I was twenty and I had some health problems. It made me realize I will do only exclusively what I love, no space for  bad feelings that just make us waste our time.

A Sit Down With DJ Vato Gonzalez


Energetic chant from the original Dirty House DJ Vato Gonzalez. Before Sidney Samson and Alvaro were banging their beats, Vato was the one who rebelled against the standards and mixed bootlegs, Latin flavor, and aggressive sounds for something different.  If you are looking for a sound with fresh “riddim,” Vato is who you should be following on Beatport.  That same kind of exuberant energy is what he brings to his live shows, where you never know what he is going to play next.


 "I love the music just as much as the people in my audience, and if I do not stand, then I was completely free to go front myself."


How you were introduced to music?

The first time I heard the sounds of underground raves from the early ‘90s, I went completely mental and instantly confiscated this mixtape and hurried home to dub it over on tape. This raw and relentless energy, with sounds that were in no way compromised for commercial purposes, has always inspired me to create what I create. Now, roughly 2 decades later, that initial pulse of electronic music has led me to do over 2000 gigs, as well as releases on Dim Mak, Ultra, Mad Decent, Ministry of Sound, Mixmash and my own Dirty House imprint. I just turned 30, finally got my US work visa and after touring Europe relentlessly for half a decade, the journey towards international success is making me feel like a kid in a candy store! So, if you see someone bouncing like a Muppet on steroids behind the decks, with a smile as if he just got into heaven; that’s most likely me.

When you start working on a track, how long does it take you to go from idea to completion?

It is kind of a strange curve, it goes from an idea to something workable that can happen in minutes, and then from a workable and playable version in the club to a final version, and to release that will take weeks. That is because when I produce I enjoy the creative part of it so much more and I am a maniac in the studio, being happy and throwing around basslines like I am the Swedish chef. Then comes the part where it sounds decent enough to play in the club, and then I have to test it and have to do the sound engineering part- like tweaking the kick and the bass and all of the little details that make it sound twice as loud and up to the industry standards. That process takes a long time, because you need to listen to your production and write down everything that’s wrong with it and change it and leave it for a couple of hours or play it at the club and back and forth until you reach that point where Quincy Jones once said “an artist never finishes the project at one point he just abandons it.

Describe to us your sound.

I’ve never been the kind of producer that sticks to one genre. Instead, my productions are based on that ultimate club feeling you’ve got at 2am in a packed club with the vibe right and the sound on full blast. Although my main course is EDM, don’t be surprised to hear moombahton, trap or future house coming from my laboratory as well. Why a chef can create a variety of dishes, but producers are supposed to be sticking to one ‘kitchen’ has never made any sense to me. I love music too much to restrict myself in order to do what is expected. As long as I get that sour lemon face as soon as the drop stresses out the limiters, I’m happy. I love the sound of ridiculous! Sometimes this is relatively clean and with deeper sounds, sometimes it’s more on the rhythmic percussion trip and sometimes just straight forward no nonsense EDM. My socks need to be rocked. On stage, I stick to a similar constitution, using my eyes rather than my ears to analyze the crowd and hit them were it ‘hurts’ within the myriad of styles I produce and like. My following knows that a typical ‘Vato’ set can be basically anything sound wise, but is always all about explosive energy and never short of a little humor in between.

Who or what would you say is your biggest musical influence?

The Prodigy. Never have I seen an act or heard a band that put more energy and aggression into music, disregarding all the rules and just creating what they feel like. Although my sound is completely different, I see music as emotion put into sound. Their philosophy behind the music and the way they translate their passion into something tangible serves still as much as an inspiration as the first day I heard them all those years ago. They are the kind of artists that just keep on going, keep on touring, keep on giving every single bit of energy they possess, until the day they drop dead on stage.

What is it like going from doing illegal mixed tapes to being legal and being signed to labels? How is that changing your DNA?

It is changing my DNA. I was talking to a friend the other day about how I used to do bootlegs of songs and now they just send me the parts. It is wonderful and pretty cool because now I can take this to the next level professionally. I don’t have to keep everything on the down low. On the other hand, it does bring territory restrictions, politics, office laws, etc. There is a whole bunch of politics that no musician should be busy with, we should be busy with making music. It is part of the business though.

What’s your favorite quote or saying, and why?

"Rock hard or die trying". I’ve got a goal in life and am willing to work as hard I as possibly can to reach it.  If that means dropping dead from a heart attack while I’m on stage, you can rest assured I died doing what I love most.

You are one of the people in the dirty house movement correct?

I was actually the one that started the dirty house movement; I founded the Dirty House brand about five years ago. Dirty house music is not to be confused with strictly Dutch house music. Dirty house is more about a statement towards the industry. There was so much good music online and so many good songs that the people really loved. For some reason the industry ignored these kinds of songs because they were too down low or too dirty. That is where the term dirty house comes from. Since there were no publishers, it used to be that we would only get to people through the internet. I guess it worked because five years later there are twenty million YouTube views on the mixed tapes and everything else.

What is the difference between Dirty House and Dirty Dutch?

Dirty Dutch was founded by Chuckie roughly around the time that I started dirty house, and we have no clue how that happened, we were both doing things with the name dirty. There is no beef between Chuckie and I, it is two different concepts. Dirty Dutch always threw big events back in the days and had some compilations, and with dirty house I took the sounds from the streets back to the streets. That is where the dirt part comes in, with the grittiness of the music that comes from all walks of life. I was the first guy with dirty house to really play bootlegs that were deemed not credible and I had music with a whole lot of Latin influences which was at the time was absolutely not done. We were the first with Dirty House to really get into the beep beep sounds that Alvaro and Sidney Sampson really got big with. When we started to do it, people said we couldn’t do it and that it was too dirty so that is where the name dirty house comes from.

How do you keep a balance from your personal life and your professional life?

I found my balance it is just a matter of realizing that Vato Gonzalez does not exist- I exist and I do Vato Gonzalez, it is just a nickname and an alter ego but alter egos don’t exist without the original ego. It is so easy to get lost and it is a good thing that I have friends and a girlfriend that support me. I have the crazy kinds of friends that tell me to shut the fuck up when I start talking about music.

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

In a private jet, flying across the planet, performing on my own Dirty House stages all over the world and helping those who helped me reach their goals in the process. Having a worldwide #1 hit record under my belt that will be described as :The loudest and most insane track to have ever entered the charts". But, that’s just the business side of life; most of all I’d see my self just being happy. Whether that’s with my cat on the couch with Charlize Theron doing the dishes or rampaging TomorrowWorld main stage, happiness isn’t for sale.

A Sit Down With DJ Stephanie


Stefania Alessi aka DJ Stephanie was born in Bassano Del Grappa. Her passion for music started at the time she was a teenager following her father, who used to be a DJ and event manager, this way she learned the art of mixing. She started as a Techno DJ, but later on her passion for the Hardstyle sound grew as she came in contact with it during her work in important Italian clubs as a DJ and vocalist.

In 2006 she started her artistic career as an International DJ and producer working in the studio with DJ Activator and she came along with him to several gigs in Holland, Germany, Spain and Sweden.

This charming lady knows how to mix and entertain; the crowd will love her when she starts spinning the first record.

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"In this futuristic world I imagine a female high-tech DJ, who is wrapped up in exciting high-tech clothing. Mini skirts, high heels..."


Were you always going to be a DJ? Were there any non-musical ambitions in your youth?

I am still doing a lot with fashion as well. It has been an even battle and I hope to make the right combination by wearing nice clothes on stage. I always go shopping for special labels before my performances and fortunately the travelling I do now makes it possible to shop in many different places. Especially airports sometimes have really good shops.

Do you feel as though female DJ’s and producers are discriminated against? 

It’s a continual battle that makes me very angry. It makes me laugh when people say “oh, you’re a woman so it must all be easy!” Oh yeah, right! Mind you, these kinds of statements come from men who don’t even know what a plug-in is and probably don’t even know how to turn on a PC, yet are seen as such ‘heroes’. I am generalising and don’t want to attract any antipathy, but it’s incredible that we’re on the verge of 2017 and there’s still such discrimination against women. There are many women and men who use ghost producers, but let’s make some things clear. Some examples: models, actors, porn stars or girlfriends of famous DJ’s, who before knowing them, didn’t even know how a CD is made. Then, there are those people who are genuinely DJ’s, people who live for and believe in music. Perhaps they aren’t that comfortable sitting behind a PC, but they may also have some great ideas. It takes a real DJ to understand how and whether a track, piece or music or melody works or doesn’t work, seeing as they have to test it out in front of an audience.

You’re one of only a handful of hardstyle DJs operating under your own name instead of a pseudonym? Is there any specific reason you never opted for another DJ name?

Well I really like my name and I think it is a great dj name as well; it is just me! I also hate to be somebody different, so I am glad I can be myself all the time as an artist and my name shows it.

Can you speak a little bit more about the entire process behind creating an album?

Making an album is not easy – it requires an investment of a lot of time and money. I was working on it alone, so I had to organise everything, including track ideas, melodies, lyrics, collaborations, graphics, videos and social networking/marketing. I began planning the album in March and throughout the summer I took lessons in mastering in Logic Pro. I had the opportunity to test the album tracks at festivals around the globe and each Monday I would go to the studio to correct, improve or even reject tracks. Somebody who really supported me and served as a mentor was Activator; I’m a huge fan of his sound, so we collaborated a lot within the album. I also worked with Proto Bytez, because I absolutely love this talented Dutch duo and have been following them since their first release! Finally, I also worked alongside Lady Faith because we are great friends and I think it is important for women to support each other!

What’s album track are you most proud of and why?

The album has ten tracks in total, however I’m especially proud of “DESTINY.” Initially this track was meant to be a single for the summer, but for me it had too much emotional significance to just be a single. The lyrics and vocals (thank you Popr3b3l & Siv Anita) have a deep meaning and the track also represents my first video-clip, which was shot at the beautiful La Morra and in my favourite Italian nightclub Discoteca Shock.

Are you surprised you’ve reached such heights at such an early stage of your career? What ambitions did you have when you initially entered the world of dance music?

Well before that I was already a ?? and that helps a lot now, you need that experience when you are performing on a big stage. But it is still a whirlwind altogether; in the last year alone I played for the same number of people as during my whole career. Of course performing on events like Defqon.1 Festival and Q-BASE helps a lot! When I started I just wanted to do what I like and that is still my aim. I love being on stage and everybody says it shows. You have to do something you really like when you want to do it right.

Tell us  about role in ‘The Third Millennium Society’ and prediction about the future of our planet…

To be honest with you, I’m a little afraid and concerned. There are so many natural disasters the last few years and I hear more and more stories about climate change. That cannot be a coincidence anymore? I think they’re all reactions from ‘Mother Earth’ sending messages to ‘us’ that we are misbehaving and abusing the planet. All these natural disasters are signals we’re heading the wrong way. It’s time to change now before it’s really too late!

Do you think about creating a family?

I really like kids, I’m way too young to become mother. First I want to focus on my DJ career. I enjoy it way too much to tour around with my ‘Pink Hard Stuff’ and to share my sound at different events all over the world. I also get a kick out of flying and staying in different hotels all the time. I could not do that anymore as a mother.

You’re one of the most fashionable ladies in the Hardstyle scene. Tell me, how to you bring your sense of style to the stage?

I’m Italian, straight from the heartland of Italian fashion! I’ve always wanted to bring a touch of fashion to my presence on stage, but without overdoing it because I still want people to appreciate my music first and foremost. I’m not the type to plaster myself with make-up, but I do love finding an outfit that suits me. Typically I like dressing up in black vest-tops, halter-neck tops combined with leggings (I love the Calzedonia brand) or a denim one-piece by G-Star and of course, high heels!

A Sit Down With DJ Futuristic Polar Bears


It’s fair to say that the Futuristic Polar Bears have had a phenomenal few years. Through their own relentless hard work and outstanding capabilities both in the production studio and behind the decks, the trio have been on an incredible ride and achieved the seemingly unachievable. With a combined skill set of accomplished DJs, producers and musicians, Luke, Rhys and Fran have become global favourites, having destroyed dancefloors in far flung destinations such as North America, India, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, China, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Holland, Italy, Kazakhstan and Ibiza with their indisputable energy and dynamic DJ sets.


"We’ve all evolved together over the past few years in so many different ways and it’s like I’m now working with not just my best mates but my family – it’s great to know we’re all in it 100% together."


How would you describe your own music in a few words?

"Mainroom thump with a bouncy groove" is how we’d describe our sound when we play. We love playing for 2 hours because it gives us the chance to play everything from tough progressive house right through to some bouncy tech house. We usually start groovier and work the crowd up into a frenzy.

Every DJ has their own podcast now – tell me a little bit more about yours, why should people listen to it?

Our podcast doesn’t stick to one style of house music and we try to make the show as informal as possible. We try to have a laugh when making it, try and incorporate new music and really push new sounds. Our guest mixes are hand-picked and we really try to offer something different on a weekly basis; the guests range from a special anniversary mix from Kissy Sell Out, right through to a deep and groovy mix from Toolroom Records’ label manager Pete Griffiths – there’s always something for everyone!

What inspired you to chase a career within the music industry? Also, when did you first realise that you wanted to take-up music on a full-time basis?

Fran: I have always loved music then I went to my first rave in 1991 and the atmosphere was incredible, everyone was so friendly and I just felt like I belonged. That was it, from that moment on I was hooked I bought my first set of 1210s and started buying records every week.

Rhys: My Dad helped me to learn how to play the piano when I was still just a kid, once i could see how people were happy when I played a song I was hooked, still to this very day seeing thousands of people going crazy to our records ? there?s no other feeling quite like it.

Some producers and DJs say their sound changes with the seasons. Is this true of you guys?

Our sound is always evolving, we’re very fortunate to be surrounded by many influences and different sounds working in the music industry and playing around the world. It’s great experimenting with new sounds and ideas.

Do you guys have any dream collaborators? Who would you collaborate with if you could collaborate with anybody right now, today?

Well, we do have some really exciting stuff coming up, but dream collaborations, I mean we’d obviously love to do something with Hardwell, obviously he’s our label boss and that’d be just really, really cool. Also, we’d like to possibly doing something with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, we’ve been speaking to them recently and they’ve been giving us a lot of advice, so you know, they’ve been really cool and we’d love to something with them in the future as well. I mean what they’ve done in the last four years is just incredible how big they’ve become. I mean, they’re almost rock stars now! I mean, like a dream, dream collab, Rhys and I would love to do something with Steve Angello, he was really an early influence for both of us for writing, but around that kind of thing.

Do you prefer playing festivals, or the smaller club gigs?

Both have their great qualities. Festivals are great fun because there is nothing better than playing in front of thousands of people on a big system! Small clubs are also brilliant because they’re more intimate and you can really gauge the crowd’s reaction.

Traveling around the world is a daunting task for many artists, do you ever get homesick while on the road?

Luke: I love being on the road, we get to visit so many cool countries and experience so many things you wouldn’t get to do as a tourist. If our management turned round and said “you’re going to be on the road for the next 365 days with no rest,” I’d say “bring it on!”

You’ve been championed by some of the world’s best DJ’s such as Tiesto, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, R3hab and Sick Individuals. How does it feel to be so highly recognised?

It’s an amazing feeling being supported by some of the biggest names in the industry, getting feedback from them really helps us push forward with new music and making sure we never let our standards slip.

You guys have worked with a lot of big labels, like John Dahlbäck’s Mutants. A lot of artists do that. What value do you see in working with different labels?

It’s great to work with different labels, especially labels that well known and respected DJ/producers own and run. It’s always great to bounce ideas off them and gauge their thoughts in the industry and the sounds they like.

Have you got any advice that you could give an aspiring DJ in our current time? 

Just to work hard and believe in your dreams. This industry has plenty of ups and downs and you just have to stick to what you believe and stay passionate to the music you are making.

A Sit Down With DJ Stafford Brothers


Stafford Brothers are the hottest Australian DJ and production team to hit the US electronic party scene in recent years. Since relocating to Los Angeles from the land down under, brothers Matt and Chris Stafford have collaborated with titans of industry,sold millions of records, and now host headline club nights in the party capitals of the world. In their home country, they were voted the number one DJ’s  three times in consecutive succession, and in the same year ranked in the DJ Mag Top 100.

The brothers tapped into a whole new audience with two seasons of The Stafford Brothers on Fox8 – and, Chris says freely, their involvement was always more about strategy than any lofty ambition of educating the masses about DJ culture.

"We can be DJs and travel and be so energetic because we are quite fit…and a bit mental."

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Did you always want to be DJs?

Matt: Not always, I wanted to play rugby at a top level and also wanted to be a guitarist in a rock band. DJing wasn't the biggest thing when we grew up.

Chris: I wanted to play rugby when I was younger, a cartoonist at one stage and a magician. I definitely didn't want to do something normal.

You’re one of few acts that have a brand that includes much more than just DJ/Producing. How do you split the workload?

Chris: we have separate roles which is good. Matt is definitely the businessman and he’s making the deals and organizing that side of our life.

How do you manage to fit dating into your schedule?

Chris: Our schedule is crazy so that is the problem. We are constantly travelling and are never in one place for long. There would have to be a lot of planning ahead.

You’re touring constantly- what keeps you guys motivated to keep going?

We just love doing it. Yes, hung over flights aren’t fun, but we really do love being on the road. What motivates us is that we want to get to the top and you can’t do that without the hard work!

You’ve done a lot of amazing things in your career; what’s currently at the top of your bucket list?

Matt: I mean I’d love a #1 single in America. That’s the top goal right now, definitely.

Chris: We’ve had a lot of success in our home country but now it’s time to do it here.

What`s the most romantic place you`ve ever been to?

Matt: I'm not exactly the most romantic person, but Ibiza is known as a crazy place, but it's also very beautiful. There are amazing beaches, great restaurants. I love everything about it and so does Brooke, so when we are there together it's great.

Chris: I've been to Paris. That was with my brother though. But I think it is a beautiful city and could be very romantic.

When do you find time to workout between touring and music and all your other projects?

Matt: We just woke up morning and hit the gym. It’s best to get it out of the way first thing before shit gets in the way.

Chris: One hour a day, that’s all we need. Some days you can’t and that’s okay but if you have the time just go and workout.

You`ve achieved worldwide success -  where`s the best place you`ve played?

Matt: There are just too many places to list. Gigs in Ibiza and Mykonos stand out for Europe, and Miami in the USA has always been great.

What was the hardest part about transitioning between Australia and the US?

Chris: Nothing really. We moved in and it was great. To be honest, I think one of the problems was that we moved to a house in LA and then we moved away and went to Newport and then back to Australia for a bit. It was disjointed for a while there, but now we’ve got a house in LA, and we finally have a home.

Matt: And literally the past month was the first time we had a home base in 8 months or something.

A Sit Down With DJ Henry Saiz


Henry Saiz is the creator of a style that is a combination of his love for all things electronic with a deep passion for art. His music, as well as his work as a sound designer for film and TV has always been marked as forward thinking in approach and groundbreaking upon delivery.

Henry's influences range from those genres through the full range of electronic music and even to metal, indeed he used to play in a black metal band. He has curated and currently plays in a live band nowadays that is much better suited to disco dancing and tours with them when not recording or DJing.

Henry’s constant growth across the globe has enabled him to spread his music to new audiences and is without a shadow of a doubt one of the brightest prospects the underground realm has to offer today.


"The only way to keep true to my own style is continually changing it, evolving."


Could you tell us how it all started for you? How did you realize that that’s what you wanted to do professionally?

Since I was a child I’ve always had a special relationship with music. Luckily, my parents have good taste in music so I discovered artist such Vangelis and Mike Oldfield when I was very young. My older brother has also always been passionate about music and he even worked several years as a DJ . When I was a teenager I started playing bass and I had several bands of different genres, but my most important project was black metal oriented. Later I began to study sound engineering and I became interested in the unlimited possibilities of technology. Something I loved about producing electronic music was the creative control that it allowed me. I’ve always knew that my ideal profession should be related to music and after many years of hard work my effort began to be recognized.

What sort of projects did you work on?

I did three cartoon series for Disney and Nickelodeon. I did a lot of commercials and a lot of things for advertising and some documentaries and some design for TV shows. It's really, really fun to work on that. But, at the end of the day, you are not doing art, you're doing the things they're asking for. Of course you put your creativity into it, but the final word is from a guy in a suit in Los Angeles who may say "this sound is not good for business." It's well-paid and it's a great job, but I felt like I really needed to focus on my own music, so I stopped working for them. Now I've started doing some ghostwriting for some pop and R&B artists in the UK, which I love. [It's] really mainstream commercial music like Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue—I love them. I'm also doing some selected films and TV series. 

You’ve managed to incorporate vocals into a lot of your work. How important do you think vocals are to a track?

Yeah I’m playing with vocals a lot lately. Vocals are such a great way to put something unique and special on a track, and it’s also a strong form of communication because obviously the message reaches the listener faster and more straight than an abstract sound. 

You have the experience of performing in various different places. Would you say you prefer playing in clubs and warehouses or at the festivals and open air parties?

It’s very difficult to choose between the two options. Each one has unique things that I love. When you play in a club there’s a very intimate and special atmosphere and usually the public who go to clubs is people who follow your work. Festivals are also an incredible experience; during the festival days you feel part of a tightly knit community and it’s like you’re transported to a new planet. A few days ago I played with my band at Glastonbury and I can say that the experience is unlike anything else I’ve done before. In addition, festivals are also a very good opportunity for showing your work to a new audience.

When did you start tinkering with production and making your first tracks?

I was listening to lots of Warp Records at the time I was in a black metal band. If you like metal and you like this energy, you can feel almost the same with extreme electronic music and experimental music. So I started to try and figure out how these guys did all this fucking crazy music and all this complexity and technical epicness.  The first electronic music album I did by myself was probably '96 or '97 I think. It's funny because it sounds like it could be a new record on Warp or something like that. It's proper experimental electronic music. I think I have good technical skills now because I started with something really complex in the beginning. I'm going more minimalistic and slow. Sometimes I think I should release these early albums on my label for fun. Maybe I'll do it someday. 

When did you start to play as a Live Performance? Do you prefer to play this way instead of a DJ set

I used to play live before DJing, but I decided to play only live with my band, my music is too complex for only one person on stage, and also I love the band feeling. I love both experiences, can’t decide. 

What are your thoughts on the electronic music scene today?

The EDM hype is definitely going down and evolving to something better I think, nobody can predict where all this is going but the fact is lots of people are starting to listening to electronic music because of the hype and then they are moving to let’s say more authentic styles within dance music and discovering artists like me, so that’s good. I don’t really follow any trend and I always do what comes from my heart and feels honest so I actually enjoy what I do instead of focusing on being "cool" and "trendy".

Your musical language is one that is pretty difficult to describe, yet one that is very simple to enjoy. What do you love the most about your musical style and why? What artists have helped define your current sound?

The thing I’m proud the most about my music is I believe I’ve created my own style and people who know my music can easily recognise me. I think nowadays, it’s important to have your own voice and personality and make honest quality music. Regarding my influences, I have a huge range of musical sources of inspiration. I’m extremely open minded when it comes to music, and I naturally mix all those influences in my music. If I have to mention a few, I’d say all kind of electronic music genres dance related or not, Scandinavian Pop, synth pioneers, Progressive Rock, metal, Classical music, RnB.

Talk to us a bit about your label Natura Soris, what’s the concept?

The concept is short and simple: you, and most importantly, your music have to be unique and honest. This was an approach I started this label with and that’s the approach this label follows until now. It´s important for us to treat our artists not as ´music delivering employees´, but as friends, who share the same passion and similar interests, who have something to say through their music, who constantly evolve and do not limit their creativity, and who aim to make this world a better place through their art. Things were a little slow with the label this year will all the album madness, but next year it turns 10, so we´re preparing all sorts of special things to celebrate. 

How do you go about creating a sound that has that evocative power to bring you back to a place in time?

That’s an extremely complicated question. For me, it’s still something magical, sometimes that just happens for some reason that’s beyond us. When a song takes someone to a particular time or place within their memory, it’s a co-creation between them and the song. This is not something I necessarily create when I’m writing the song, it's a product of my creation, and each listener will have his or her own co-creation.

Where do you find your inspiration and all the enthusiasm?

I know all that is too much to handle and sometimes is really hard. But I couldn’t keep that pace if I wasn’t passionate about my job. The satisfaction I feel when I compose a new track or those moments when I’m enjoying music with my audience always remember me that it worth all the effort.


A Sit Down With DJ Christopher Lawrence


Christopher Lawrence. It may not have the same ring to it like Tiësto or Daft Punk but it does carry the same weight. Many would argue that it carries more. The California producer and DJ has been a mainstay in Trance music for over 20 years and won Best American DJ at the IDMA's at WMC in 2005 as well as being voted as America's Best DJ in 2008 by DJ Times. Aside from his list of awards, he's also been described with possibly every positive adjective in the English language by music journalists for his balance of progressive sounds and the original spirit of Trance. Two of his albums have charted on Billboard's Top 10 lists and he continues that level of quality with his two labels, Pharmacy and Pharmacy Plus. The dedication to his art is apparent as he told us his views on the power of music and shared his story of falling in love with Trance.


"The fact that I can still be inspired by the music is exciting and it's a testimony to the type of music that it's always evolving."


How and when were you introduced to electronic music?

I had been clubbing since I was sixteen in the underground San Francisco scene. I went to my first acid house and techno party in 1990 and never turned back. I had never experienced music that spoke directly to my soul before. I knew immediately this is where I belong.

What events that you played at just put you over the top?

There have been a lot of fantastic events lately, especially the Organic Music Festival here in Los Angeles, Mandarine Park in Buenos Aires, Luminosity festival in The Netherlands, Digital Dreams in Toronto, and of course Burning Man which was incredible as always.

When did you decided to start DJing and how did you go about it?

I had always collected records. Shortly after I started going to the underground rave parties in San Francisco, I began buying all the acid and techno records I could. The other DJs at the time weren`t playing the music that I liked the best so I taught myself to DJ so I could play house parties for my friends. My popularity grew and soon I was doing beach parties and warehouse break in parties. As my following grew so did the paid gigs. It was really all by accident.

What are your thoughts about genre psytrance, becoming more known and emulated in the mainstream dance world?

I think it is great that psytrance is getting the recognition it deserves. I have been playing psy in my sets for twenty years and it is still some of the most well-produced music being made. Traditional trance had become stale and needed an injection of new sounds. I just hope that psy doesn’t get stripped of its integrity and left used and abused in commercial dance music’s trail of destruction. It happened to trance fifteen years ago, then progressive house and dubstep.

What's your favorite record of all time?

That’s an interesting question because it changes all the time. My current favorite record of all time is "Passion" by Gat Decor.

Tell us a little bit about your label: Pharmacy Music. What made you want to start your own label? How did you come up with the name?

I started Pharmacy as an outlet for not just my own tracks but as a way to release tracks by other artists that were producing the sound that I played. I knew that there was a lot of great music being produced, especially by new artists, that other labels were not releasing. I would go to events and people would hand me CDs with amazing tracks on them that they had made. I knew the only way these tracks would get released is if I did it. Pharmacy was really a way for me to get the sound that I liked pushed out to the rest of the world.

People nowadays claim to be trance artists, but stop the vibe and set, and do not incorporate that fluidity and flow of music.What do you think?

I agree. A lot of what is being called trance is not trance. There is two types of trance right now which are absolutely gross: 1. There is the full on commercial vocal trance; what is this... it is full on pop music that you call trance. 2. Then there is that big room EDM stuff that has some trance elements, some electric elements, and other elements, but you just can't call that trance. So what is really sad is when someone like me comes along, and I say I play trance, people automatically think I play one of those two.

What do you look for in artists that you sign to your label, and how involved are you with helping new artists grow?

The number one criteria for signing a track is “Would I play it?” It’s as simple as that. If I wouldn’t play it I am not going to put it out. I have received a lot of amazingly well-produced tracks that I knew could be big but I passed on them because if they were not something I could see myself playing, they were not the Pharmacy sound. I am quite proud of the artists on the labels and the music they produce. Now that the Pharmacy nights are taking off it is fantastic opportunity to showcase the artists.

What kind of path has it been for your journey in the music world?

To be honest I came up as a DJ at the perfect time. In the early 90s there were not that many of us that played techno and acid house as it was called. As the scene grew, I grew with it. I think it would be much harder to break thru as a new DJ today than it was back then. One of the major differences as well is that DJs were DJs and producers were producers. Now you have to be both.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your career?

The hardest thing was becoming a producer. When I began DJing in the early nineties, DJs played parties, producers made music and the two rarely overlapped. Over time that changed and DJs began producing, and producers began DJing. After being a DJ for many years it was really hard to make music. When I started making music I would compare my production to the tracks I was playing out and it always came up short. I was very insecure about my music. To this day I still find it hard to complete anything by myself. I have tracks that I have spent months working on and never released them. That is why I like collaborating with other artists. With two people you have to make decisions quicker and move on. It’s also just a lot more fun to make music with a friend. Given the choice of sitting in a room by myself or having a laugh with a friend, I’ll take the latter every time.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years in terms of your music and label?

I expect to see Pharmacy Music continue to grow as the artists on the label grow. I am so proud of the label and the incredible talent of the producers in the Pharmacy family. I hope that I continue to grow as an artist and DJ as well. Music is my passion.

A Sit Down With DJ Promise Land


Promise Land is a collaboration between two DJs as well as producers and powerful remixers , Fabio Ranucci and Nazario Pelusi. Both men are pursuing their careers as Disk Jockey since 10 years ago in their hometown of Anzio, Italy. Their long hard work is fruitful, with the presence of collaborations with DJ Provenzano, Chuckie, Amanda Wilson, Georgi Kay, and others. Not only that, a powerful group duo with the trance genre has spawned a lot of rebranded trackslike What does not kill you (Kelly Clarkson), What a feeling (Agaudino ft Kelly Rowland), If it was not for love(Deborah Cox), and much more.

Since entering the dance music scene, Promise Land have successfully established themselves as two of the most prolific and talented producers in this industry. Hailing from Rome, Italy, this duo has excelled in honing their craft and delivering brilliant and high-quality music productions.

Their talent is based on a sound of sexy-house mixed with groove progressive, that reached the attention of names like Tiesto, Angello, Axwell and Morillo, just to name the first. Publications on Subliminal Records, Spinnin Records, Flamingo, Size are granted a rating of the highest level in the world's ranking. One of their biggest success is the remix for the Swedish House Mafia "Do not you worry child," by their fans all over the world.

"We were looking for something new, something that would inspire us a new idea and we were hit by the lead tech that we used in the track, then we worked on the groove and finally on the break."

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When did you first meet and collaborate?

About 10 years ago we decided to join and work together.

What is your music genre and why do you choose that? Then how is the development of EDM in your country?

We think our music is closer to Progressive House. Yes, we love Melody and Progressive House groove. In Italy has not had a music culture big enough compared to other countries. Everything is affected from the outside.

Who DJ do you like the game during the stage?

We both love Hardwell and also Avicii. They have a name that is already known to many people around the world with their outstanding work.

What makes you want to be a DJ?

The passion for music and our love that we always have for DJ equipment consoles since we were teenagers.

What do you think is the difference between clubbers in Asia and in Europe?

We feel there is not much difference. Many clubs that we go to have a sound system that is complete and quality. Similarly, the crowd is present. Many young people came with great passionate to enjoy our music.

Who have been some of your influences throughout the years, both inside and outside of the dance music scene?

We are great fans of Swedish House Mafia, everything they did impressed us, there was always something interesting about their music, never predictable, and we saw them as three great friends who joined their ideas to create something incredible.
What is the happiest moment you ever felt?

See how people have fun and follow you during the set.

Your track "X-Press" was one of, if not the biggest Doorn Records’ release. What was the idea and process behind the track? Did you expect it to become such a major festival hit?

At the beginning, we had the groove as an idea; we really liked how it sounded so kept it and decided to create something that would make everything more interesting. Looking in various libraries, we got hit by a particular loop which match perfectly with our idea, so we brought it on Logic and we started editing this sound that ended up being the winning part of “X-Press”.  We weren’t expecting such huge support for “X-Press”, bringing together so many DJs in this musical moment is very hard, so we’re happy we could do that.

If you are not a DJ, what are you choosing?
Maybe be a basketball player. That's pretty easy as it seems.

What are some of your favorite highlights of 2016?

One of the best moment of 2016 are our fans which sent us video of them dancing to X-Press played in the biggest festivals of the world, from Miami to Ibiza.

A Sit Down With DJ Super Flu


Felix Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz are real musicians, using both machines and instruments to produce their songs and having even realized the performance to perform with an entire orchestra.

Super Flu stand alone with their own unique style of music. Super Flu (Mathias Schwarz and Felix Thielemannare) are based in Halle/Germany. Their music combines a very artistic and experimental side that always brings high energy that has the dancefloor moving. Their label Monaberry is one of the most popular labels in the world and has introduced major talents to electronic music like ANDHIMMONKEY SAFARI, and CASCANDY.


"You can get lost in the tiny details and build another modulation here or add an element somewhere which is heard just once in the whole track, but at some point it is also a matter of time".


How you started making music? What is your background as musicians and producers?

We met in our home town Halle. Mathias was already DJing a bit in the region whilst Feliks was a dedicated choirboy. From the moment we met we decided to put all our knowledge, all our Sven Väth tapes, all our Reason loops and our contacts together and start Super Flu.

Who came up with the name Super Flu? Do any of you actually get sick?

Nope, because Flu just means :Foreskin Leather Uniform".

Do you prefer studio production or live performance, or both equally?

Usually we only play DJ sets combined with some live guitar effects. This is the most fun for us. Of course we have also built a live set-up to play a few gigs with, but it doesn’t really satisfy our conception about what a “live performance” should be. For this we would have to hire a five-person band to play with.

When do you start a new song, what’s the very first thing you do?

Trying to find an idea which is good enough to fill up a whole track. The idea can come from a sound, a melody, a drum loop or from one of our numerous live sessions.

What is your studio set up? 

We have a lot of hardware like synthesizers and drum machines, but also a big piano and some little toys. In our recording sessions, we use them to get ideas, and then we gather them together to compose in a digital audio studio.

What’s the hardest thing about making music, what do you struggle with the most?

Finding a good idea. Once you have it nailed, it is just a matter of powering through. The track composes itself somehow. The cool thing is that there is no recipe for a hit, everybody needs to come up with his own strategy.

Do you have musical role models?

The word role model always implies a kind of imitation. Of course we do not do that. But we do not want to deny that there are a lot of artists - not just musical ones - who influence us consciously and unconsciously. For example, the New Kids on the Block, CocoRosie, Grandpa Herbert and Jenna Haze, just to name a few.

How do you feel about hardware synths – do you use them, and if so which are your preferred models?

We use a lot of hardware, not only classic synths, drum machines or effects, but rather also old tape recorders, children’s toy keyboards and our piano which has its place in the middle of our studio. At the moment we are completely in love with an old modified Omnichord and a Yamaha VSS-30.

Super house or deep house / techno style or freestyle?

We have everything with us as we work solely based on the BoB-principle, Best of the Best. Usually we focus on the best sounds of the world that everyone else is using as well, they have already complained.

You perform mostly in DJ set. Is it your choice or that of those who book you? 

We play exclusively in DJ set guitar combination to make live effects, it's the most fun for us. Of course, we also tried a live setup for some performances, but it is not really satisfactory for us and for our vision of a real live. For this, we would need to join several, a group of 5 people.

What made you want to start your own label in Monaberry? What's the funniest way someone has got you to sign their music to your label?

We just wanted to be independent and not have to adjust ourselves according to someone’s A&R. Originally it was just meant for our music, but now somehow, we are also A&Rs. An artist once built a replica of our hometown Halle  with Lego and sent it to us together with his USB. That was quite interesting.


A sit Down With DJ Fergie


Fergie DJ has had many sounds, identities and even a brief name change over the course of a career that began over twenty years ago back home in Northern Ireland but has undoubtedly remained one of dance-music’s most controversial, most successful and most loved characters.

For all lovers of dance music who live outside the U.S., the name Fergie can mean only one thing and it has nothing to do with the Black Eyed Peas. As a key figure in the European electronic dance music circuit for over 20 years, Fergie has done more in his career that most active DJs on today’s scene.

He played over 180 shows last year across the world, making him one of the world’s busiest DJs. He played his first set at 14 years old and had to stand on a milk crate to reach the decks. He has had over 38 tracks released, 27 remixes, seven DJ mix albums, four magazine cover CDs, and one artist album, which won the IDMA Best Album 2011.

 "I think its good to have a sound but to also be flexible, people want to hear different things now so its good to keep moving about with styles but still try and have your own."

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Do people still make a big issue of the Fergie name thing? I read that when you first came out here, people were being a little abusive because they thought you “stole it” from her?

Well, first of all, I never picked the name Fergie, I actually had an even more stupid name! When I started DJing all those years ago, I wanted to be called DJ Destruction! Back then in the very early 90s DJs made up more interesting names, but people refused to use it and "Wee Fergie" just stuck–Wee because I have an older brother with the same name—and I’m now very glad I took their advice.

You've had so many experiences as a DJ over the past 20 years, what is the biggest lesson you've learnt along the way? 

I think it would have to be to remember that people are coming out on a weekend to party and have a good time, it's important to bring new music to the party but you have to give people what they want. I suppose I lost that a few times over my career. To get the right mix is very important, for me Tony always had the right mix and also Carl Cox.

How different is the scene in the U.S. now compared to when you first came here all those years ago?

It’s such a contrast now from 1998 when I first started playing in America. I was just 18 and it was a very different scene as the clubs never played dance music like they did in Europe. That made it difficult for DJs like me to play the kind of music we were known for. Back then I would have been playing here in the U.S. every few months but there was no real sign of the dance scene kicking off. What a difference a decade makes, the U.S. is now the biggest market in the world for it.

What do you think of the "EDM" sound that’s taken over the country?

I love it because it’s so similar to the hard house sound I played when I was starting out which is great from me. Granted it’s slower, but it’s also similar in the ways that it’s reaching out to a larger demographic of people who would never usually listen to dance music and that’s only a good thing. The best thing about this “EDM” sound, if you want to call it that, is that it’s open to change. There’s so much you can do with it which stops people getting bored with it.

Are you excited to be back spinning the vinyl? When was the last time you played an all vinyl set? 

Yes this is something I'm excited about for sure, I'm a bit apprehensive but looking forward to getting right at it. I remember how I felt when I mixed my first 2 vinyls together, I had managed to beat-match for the first time then I remember I couldn't get it right for ages, I think possibly weeks, it was very frustrating. I remember telling everyone about it, my only saving grace was my brother was with me so he was my proof. It sounds a bit silly now but it was a big thing to beat-match nearly 20 years ago. I remember when I came over to Tonys he used to get me to do a mix for the car journey to all the gigs on each weekend, if he ever heard me touching the actual vinyl to keep the beats in time he would open the window and chuck the CD out. It took me a while but I got used to only using the pitch. This was a very Trade way and the only way I ever seen all the Trade DJs control the decks.

You’ve changed your styles throughout your career. Do you enjoy experimenting with your sound?

As a DJ you should try your hand at many different styles. Don’t get me wrong, there are many successful artists out there, some of whom I’m very good friends with, who stick to what they’ve been playing for their whole careers. That’s fine and good on them, but for me, I’ve always wanted to try different things. That’s what I’ve gone through what feels like three different careers in my time as a DJ.

Is it true you played your first gig standing on a milk crate aged 14?

Yes I was only 14 when I did my first gig. At that age, I didn’t really know what was happening, I was just out there having the time of my life. I used to work in the club collecting glasses… at 14 would you believe it! I’ve still got caution letters from the police from when I’d been thrown out or tried to make myself a fake date of birth and my mum had to come and pick me up. 

Do you prefer to be behind the decks or in the studio?

Just now I’m really enjoying DJing. For years I was spending all my time in the studio and making my own techno tracks so I could play them out. The reason for that is because a lot of the techno around was too serious for me.  The music that I made under my Excentric label had my own input like euphoric touches and a little bit more upbeat, something people associated with me as a person and artist.

Have you ever done anything like the Voyage before?

I haven’t. I’ve done boat trips up and down the Thames but I’ve never done anything like this. I just hope I make it back.

Where would we find you when you're not DJing or Producing?

I love just chilling out with friends…talking about life’s experiences and just messing about playing old records from way back then.

A Sit Down With DJ Kavinsky


Kavinsky is a stylishly haggard-looking Frenchman who makes electronic music that sounds ages, even eons, old. Or maybe just decades — three to be precise, with a booming, melancholy style that glows with the neon tint of the half-remembered 1980s, an era recalled for its gauche delusions of glamour and its emerging relationships with technology. Sipping on a noontime beer at New York’s Soho Grand, his logo-soaked denim vest boasts logos from The Goonies and Metallica. He also likes Ferraris and searing guitar solos of a kind that only made sense back then. If they ever did at all.

His rise was aided more recently by his inclusion in the soundtrack to the 2011 movie Drive, the drum-tight minimalist masterpiece that stars Ryan Gosling as a stoic moral stickler who digs quiet communion with cars and finds himself embroiled in some complicated situations.

"Making music from nothing -just music – is not my style."

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"Kavinsky" is a character with a backstory involving zombiehood and cars, among other things. What gave you the idea? 

My idea was to create an excuse for a story to make music for. I can’t imagine creating music for nothing, just like that. I can’t play piano or read music, but I used to love soundtracks to movies, so I decided to create a guy in a car who is dead, so he can die again, and then just have him drive around. It was very helpful for me to create music with something to start with, a story. Without it, I can’t.

How did you shape this particular style?

Honestly, it's pretty simple music to do. It's almost "  By the light of the moon"in a little darker. The thing that changed compared to my first productions, is that the pace was, this time, faster. Goblin arpejo and everything, it was causing me to death, it was a rhythm that fascinated me. And at the same time, I also impregnated a lot of fast rap instruments. In the end, I chiseled a rather particular style, rather surprising. Maybe unconsciously, I built that in opposition to all those idiots who sold their sound in magazines of the time. I ended up laying a first project, Testarossa. On the Tellier clip I mentioned earlier, I had met Marc Tessier Ducros, the boss of Record Makers. I made him listen to Testarossa and he agreed to release it in EP.

What is your favorite soundtrack music? 

The Terminator theme — it’s very simple but does a lot to you. All the music for John Carpenter and Dario Argento. A lot of Italian movies and American movies, not so much French movies.

How do you like being a comic character?

It’s always a cool trip to do. I can do everything I want because this guy is dead, you can’t die twice. Starting from here, you can do what you want, compared to what you do in your real life.

You have hallucinated even to the point of wanting to make your own sounds so. Did you have the basics to manage the production or not? How did you do it concretely?

My first time in music was when I was a kid. My mother had enrolled me in the neighborhood MJC's piano lessons so I could stop watching the X-Or cartoon . It was so perverse that my classes started just a little bit after the start of the program so I could only watch a few crumbs before staying on my hunger. And then, as for the piano, let's say that I did not really learn to play on a real instrument. At the MJC, we used a kind of pipe in which we had to blow while strumming on a keyboard that was connected! It was a lollipop, it was a shitty piano. And me, I thought only one thing: watch the end of X-Or . Anyway, it's an anecdote illustrating my first musical experience.

What’s your favourite video game?

Top 20, but not one. OutRun, for sure, I named my album because of it. I used to love a game called Shenmue. It’s from the same guy who did OutRun. It was a story inside a story, it’s a game you can’t even follow the adventure you can do. Gangsters in the streets. I lost a lot of hours and days maybe years playing that game.

How suddenly after ManPower, after the graffiti, the foosball and the cinema, you started playing electronic music. Where is that from ?

One of the first times I had an electronic record, it was the army. Yes, I did my service ... It's a biscuit that I'll leave you there! This is where I was shown for the first time a Daft record. I saw marked "punk" on the cover, I immediately sent it to walk. The crado side, a little Warriors, the logo of the Daft, it did not plug at all. I did not catch the delirium at all.

What do you think of the big rise of "EDM" in America? 

We are lucky because there is a lot of good music in France, and big stuff in Europe in general. All of my friends, almost, are French. Maybe Skrillex is the only guy I know who isn’t French and is making electronic music. He’s an amazing guy. Really hated by some people, which I can’t understand, because the human, the guy, is incredible. His soul is very nice. It’s a big quality for him.

When did you stop giving a fuck about what other people think?

When it’s not people I don’t know, it doesn’t work with me. I’m 37 so I know myself a little bit. Merde. Je par de… I was being myself, I didn’t change for anything or something else. I’m me.

What did you do before you started making music? 

Shitty work. Breaking walls, painting,  “not like this, but like this,” preparing orders for Amazon, that kind of shit.

A Sit Down With DJ D-Wayne


D-Wayne Born with a very strong feeling for rhythm and able to detect nuances in music that others do not hear.
Gifted with an exceptional sense and awareness of music. Develops with everything a DJ/producer nowadays needs to be successful.

Dwayne's career has taken off at lightning speed and there's no stopping him. He remixes Tiësto, Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez. He is a star at festivals and in clubs. His records are released on Nervous, the oldest house label in the world, and on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak, Spinnin' Records and currently on Wall Recordings, Afrojack's record label.

He made a lot of own productions, remixes of his musical heroes and up and coming stars, projects with various artists, and a slew of gigs at festivals and clubs both at home and abroad. And, of course, a world tour with Afrojack.


 "I thought, would not it be better to create a dance floor euphoria by playing my own stuff?"


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into music?

I got into music production about 4 years ago. I started DJing and thought it was the best feeling in the world to play your own tracks in front of the crowd and see them go wild. I got into producing and after a year I started some tracks on Afrojack's label WALL then to Steve Aoki's label Dim Mak as well as Spinnin' Records and Armada Music. About a year ago I signed to Afrojack's label. I've been working with him and working with his album in Los Angeles. That's where it's at right now, I'm releasing quite a few tracks, playing gigs, hanging out in Miami and of course doing interviews.

You are a DJ & Producer from the Netherlands, signed to Afrojack’s Wall Recordings. How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing?

I got in touch with dance music through a CD from Tiesto - my parents used to listen to that stuff all the time! And then after I actually bumped into a DJ by accident since I threw a party for my classmates, started joining him on little shows and then started playing myself more often. After a while I thought it'd be great to play my own tracks while performing, so I started practicing on producing music and here we are today.

In your opinion, how do you differ from other DJs?

At age I already had a mature sound, which I always want to put a refreshing thing in. I would like to surprise the audience with albums they usually do not know and give a commercial twist by getting an acapella. I always produce a lot of energy and a message to the public, I want to go out as people and when they go home, they say that number was really the highlight of the evening, so because you have your own sound, you can distinguish yourself. 

What was the best and the worst gig you ever played, and what was the funniest thing ever occurred during any of your performances?

The best gig was probably playing the Great Wall of China festival in Beijing last year, such an unique and crazy experience. The worst gig.. obviously I've had more quiet shows in the past but they've all been great! And the funniest thing - I once bumped into a girl on stage, naked, covered in D-Wayne stickers.. No clue how she managed to get them, and didn't really know how to react.

Where do you think the blowing of EDM is now?

I think right now EDM is still blowing up in America and it’s so funny to see,” D-Wayne responded. Afrojack will play in the Netherlands or wherever, and people are just staring at the DJ, looking at him, dancing from time to time. It doesn’t matter who is playing here in America but wherever they play, people are just fist bumping and going crazy. They are so enthusiastic about the music and that’s what I really like about America right now. EDM is becoming more and more popular – even mainstream – but in the end it’s all about the music.

What can you say about the current situation in Africa?

There’s a lot of stuff going on in Africa right now, either political or just trouble. What I like about music is music is emotional and you can inspire people. What I see in documentaries about Africa is that whenever [they] are suffering…and have music, they just get happy and dance around and that’s what I wanted to express in that track as well. Whatever happens to you in life, you know, bad things can happen. Music connects people and brings people together and you just enjoy the moment at that time. So that’s what I liked and what I wanted to express in Africa.

Who or what would you say is your biggest musical inspiration?

I think it's kind of different. For like house music I really like MARK KNIGHTFUNKAGENDA - the track "The Man With The Red Face" was a big influence. Also, TIESTO for example. I also got into music through my parents because they were always playing music on Sunday mornings like classical rock or stuff like that.

Can you share a bit with us about your art?

What I think is important is since music is emotion, so what I want to try to do with my music is tell a story. When people play a track they get a certain feeling or emotion. I really find that important. I also just don't want to make music that anyone else just makes. I want to distinguish myself from others. For me it's all about having fun, having a good time and at the end just have people go out and remember my tracks at the clubs.

A Sit Down With DJ Kerri Chandler


Not many deep-house producers have a sound as distinct as New Jersey’s Kerri Chandler; his muscular basslines, dopamine-activating chord progressions and, most of all, badass kick drums stand out in a genre that can sometimes seem a bit monotone. He’s been working his unique style since the late ’80s, but Chandler’s star is as bright as ever, as evidenced by his constant gigging in Europe’s clubs and festivals, including a residency at Ibiza’s famed Circoloco party.

Speaking to his penchant for producing something ex nihilo, Chandler is an innovator in every sense of the word. He was doing live streams long before Boiler Room broke onto the scene, and he incorporated holograms in clubs years ahead of Coachella’s light-reflected resurrection of Tupac. In fact, he possesses such inventive instincts that he is sent prototypes from the likes of Native Instruments and Pioneer in order to offer his expertise in the development of their products.


"I`ve gone to places and there are people that come up to me and they cry. There are tears in their eyes either from release or joy or something, and I love it."


 How did you get into house music?

I was interning in studios from when I was 14 years old. People would come in off the street to rent studio time, but it was just the average Joe who thinks he can make a record and has no idea of the process. A lot of rappers and a lot of R&B singers. We didn’t have too many musicians coming in. They didn’t have a producer, didn’t have a track… Being a kid, I was like, ‘OK, I’ll make you something.’ After a while I found myself producing for people. They’d bring in a record that they wanted to sound like and I knew the sound so well because I’d actually watched people like Kool & The Gang in the studio and I knew exactly what they used. I was only supposed to be an engineer but I found myself being more of a producer. Eventually I thought, OK, if I’m doing all this I might as well make a few things for myself. I had another job on the weekend DJing at Club America, so I’d make edits and records to play there.

You started releasing music not long after that time, in 1989—and even on your debut release, the Super Lover EP, the Kerri Chandler sound was pretty distinct. How did you develop that sound?

I’ve always liked basslines, and I’ve always liked heavy rhythms. And I really loved breakdowns, too. There weren’t that many records that had all that at the time, so I would make edits of things that I could play in my club that would have those things. 

What was the breakthrough for you in terms of getting serious with house music?

Around ’88 I made an edit and one of the singers gave a copy of it to Tony Humphries. I didn’t know Tony well but he started playing things I’d done on the radio. I realised there was a buzz around it and everything started to fall into place. I met Merlin Bobb who I was a long-time fan of for doing stuff on BLS along with Naeem Johnson. I didn’t realise that he was the head of A&R for Atlantic. When I went to Merlin’s office I met another person who’d go on to become a long-time friend, Jerome Sydenham. Jerome was Merlin’s assistant at the time and we instantly hit it off like brothers. The first time I went there me and Jerome were wearing the same exact clothes – same colours, same shoes. Someone said, ‘Is this your cousin?’ I just laughed and said, ‘Yeah.’ Ever since then we’ve been inseparable. It’s just been an ongoing ride since then, and that’s where the whole Jersey thing comes in.

So were you DJing from an early age?

Yeah, thirteen or fourteen playing at parties. I’m thirty three now. He came in one day and caught me mixing on his set-up at home. He told me I’m either going to be mixing or he was going to crucify me if I don’t know what I’m doing up there. I started playing and he was standing there going "Oh wow you can actually mix!"

You’ve seen lots of trends come and go, but it must be heartening for you to see how people—technoheads, dubsteppers and others—have come back to deep house over the past half decade or so.

Absolutely. But it’s always in cycles. People get a bit older after a while, and they begin to want to hear melodies and songs, not just some electronic noise. And a lot of producers who started making tracks a few years ago are maturing as well, and they’re starting to learn how to make tracks properly. They’re figuring out what the machines do, how the software works and why things sound a certain way. They’re even figuring out how to record vocals.

A lot of people venerate, and even try to re-create, the club scene in the New York area during the late 80s and early 90s. What do you think is so timeless about the music produced then?

I suppose that if you weren’t there, hearing the stories about the Loft, Paradise Garage, Warehouse, etc its all very nostalgic. We had a great time then but I love everything that is going on now as far as a revival- its great. But it’s missing the vocals. There should be more vocal tracks, more singers and more live performances in my opinion. I really love that people are being creative and using so many different avenues to create but I feel that a lot of newcomers are missing out on an opportunity to really take it to the next level by learning how work with singers and work with vocals.

What’s been the most satisfying record you’ve done so far? 

Honestly I think….I have a lot of favourites but the most recent one was the one I did for my daughter Kerri. It’s called ‘My Daughter Kerri’ !! HA! So far its one of my favourites…. its just so heartfelt. 

Are there any things haven’t changed since you began DJing and Producing? Are there constants?

Obviously we’re enjoying more options as DJ’s in the booth – the technology has become more portable and more powerful. I work very closely with Native Instruments and recently released a production pack for their iMaschine App. Its something I was using a lot in airport lounges, planes, trains and…automobiles. I can then transfer it over to my computer once I get back to the studio. In terms of musical style, I simply play the way I always have – I play what I feel, whatever my mood dictates at the time and hope that the crowd enjoys what I do.

What is your advice on the topic of “longevity”?

Love what you do, be true to yourself and what works for you, play what feels good.

A Sit Down With DJ Mark Farina


Mark Farina is one of the most talented and tenured DJs active today. With a career spanning three decades, the Chicago-born/San Francisco-based musician has been a leading advocate for Chicago house and the underground scene while acting as a “genre-prenuer” for his signature Mushroom Jazz series, playfully blending elements of jazz, soul, hip hop, and house in a pleasant amalgam of grooving, laid-back vibes.

Known for his Chicago house, acid jazz, and downtempo works he is embraced by fans from all over the world. His House sets have been described as the jazzy side of Chicago House mixed San Francisco style. Farina has continued a tradition of releasing a series of CDs under the name Mushroom Jazz for many years and has been performing hundreds of shows worldwide each year.

How did you become a DJ?

I’ve been going to clubs since the age of 16.  In the mid-80’s all DJs had vinyl, which I collected too.  When I saw a DJ beat matching around ’85 in Chicago, I was hooked!  My friend and I hijacked his dad’s Radio Shack mixer, I brought my pitchless, direct drive turntable over and BAM!  We had a DJ set up and began practicing using our finger to slow or speed up the records.

What’s your usual process like for finding the artists and music for these compilations?

For each of the volumes I hit up a lot of people I know that make the sound I’m looking for and see what new goodies they have. One slight difference is that for the earlier volumes I would be searching record stores for tracks, whereas now it’s definitely more digital. Back then I also didn’t personally know all of these artists like I do now – now I can just hit them up for new stuff whereas in the early 90s I was buying these records myself. It’s definitely a mix between asking people for their new stuff and searching digital streaming services for the sound I need.

Do you prefer playing festivals or at clubs?

I like both, they’re both very different. I like being face to face with the audience in club set-ups. It’s fun when you’re at the same level with your crowd and there’s no kind of gap between you and the people. It’s just your DJ set-up and right behind is the dance floor, directly attached to the booth. And then at festivals you can get bigger sound systems, which has its benefits. And also at a festival you can get to play with a bigger line-up, like kind of old rave days when you got to play with five or six other people. That is fun as well and I kind of miss that from the rave days: being on a big bill with a bunch of friends. So there’s advantages to both. At festivals, too, there’s more of a chance to get new listeners involved. At clubs it tends to be more people in the know, who know what’s going on, than people who are coming out for the first time. But at a festival you get some that are coming for other shows, who might not have heard of you, but then end up at your set and maybe become a new fan. So festivals are good for reaching a new audience base.

Could you name a few of your influences?

My biggest influences are downtempo and early '90s New York hip-hop, anything from De La Soul to A Tribe Called Quest. In terms of hip-hoppy stuff, that was my biggest influence for downtempo; but then at the same time, there was a lot of UK acid jazzy stuff coming out, labels like Talking Loud, a lot of the English trip-hoppy stuff.

How has your style and sound evolved over the decades?

My principles have stayed the same: nice beats, sweet melodies and interesting samples.  With almost 30 years of House Music to tap into, there’s a lot of vintage options to sort through.  Now with CDJ-200’s, there is more room for creativity in the mix than just being able to play what is pressed on vinyl.


"House music has always been such a vast term, so I tend not to overcategorize genres. I just like certain tempos."


How do you feel about the evolution of DJ culture?

Of course from starting in the late 80’s and early 90’s there was only one way you could play and it was vinyl. And now things have become sort of blurred of what a DJ is actually doing, in terms of what software they’re using and what they’re mixing with. There are so many different types of hardware a DJ can use now. When I think about a club atmosphere, it’s kind of helpful because you can actually see what the DJ is doing. Sometimes at festivals, when someone’s off in the distance, it might be hard to decipher exactly what’s going on. I mean I think all the real mixer DJs, all the true mixers, it is still about selection. You can’t take bad songs and mix them together well and make them sound good. So if someone can at least select good songs… I think people are becoming more aware of those things as time goes by, that there are those technology tricks, so to speak. So obviously it comes down to selecting good songs, you know. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much you’re mixing them. You could have all the great records, but you also had to mix them well.

Who are some contemporary hip hop artists that work well in your music/sets?

I still find all my still favorite influences and I tend to go back and find stuff that I didn’t discover so much at the time. I mean I get asked that question a lot, what kind of hip hop are you into? And I feel bad; just tend not to like a lot of newer stuff. I mean like the older guys when they do some new stuff and I mean the newer generation that is almost kind of getting old now like people under the stairs and Jurassic 5 and a couple groups that came later on passed that sort of early 90s hip hop boom. But when I’m searching for hip hop samples to add to stuff I still go back to like Erik B and Rakim and that era I find more of what I like than the new hip hop really. I was working at a record store back in that period, I still like the sampled based hip-hop style. I used to buy more records than I needed luckily, I was selling mix tapes and I had a credit at the record store. I was playing way back when I was DJing like 2 full nights a week, like downtempo, where I would play from like 9 pm to 4 am, so I used to go and buy stuff just for one instrumental and now I’ll go back and discover the vocal a lot of time. I used to buy a record just for one instrumental that we really liked like a 3-minute instrumental that maybe I wouldn’t listen to the vocal. I just bought a lot of stuff back then like there’s old stuff to rediscover that I never quite had the time to fully get into. There used be so many obscure hip hop 12”s and that seems, at least in my circles, never got super popular —sort of went off the radar.

Do you feel that the fusing of genres is imperative to musical evolution?

The fusing of genres is always a good thing — I’ve always gone by “Do what you want to do and if it happens to lump different genres together so be it.” When I started, Chicago house was just Chicago house. Now there’s a whole bunch of different sub-genres that stemmed from it. I don’t think it matters what sub-genre you subcribe to, just enjoy the music you’re playing.

In your travels have you ever experienced part of the world that influenced your music more than others?

I think that every place I have been to influences me. I feel lucky that I get to go around and to see these microcosms of people's existence. We go to places and we usually know a couple people there, so we aren't like tourists, there's just somebody even if it's somebody we have met for the first time. Like a DJ will bring us to a restaurant or to get coffee. So it's kinda cool, you get to know people and not just show up at an airport with your tourist book and your app, like, 'Where do I go?' I like to record shop in every place that I go. You always find something somewhere else, or you get to hear an opening DJ. They will always be playing something different. That's just music where you get cultural influences too.

How do you keep your music fresh and current while maintaining that unique jazz element?

It's a routine of just finding new music that's got on since day one of the vinyl days. Like looking for new stuff, in this day and age there is just such a faster pace of the music and it comes and goes. A song will be around all week and then two weeks later you have moved on to something else. So, I am always looking for new stuff, you are always kinda keeping up with your buddies and friends that you have known for 20 years that have done music. Then you also have to keep your eye out for the new kid on the block so to speak. So it could be some 'joe shmoe' from the countryside of Macedonia or it could be some kid from suburban Philadelphia, you just never know where a good new track is so you gotta switch it up. There is just a lot more stuff to look through than you know. When you used to work at a record store you would get a box in of this many releases and maybe three or five copies of each... that was it for a week. And now you can just sit there for hours and click through like promos that you know a lot of which to say the ones to keep on the smaller side of everything. Sometimes you are just as glad to not like something because then you don't waste your time downloading it.

A Sit Down With DJ Savoy


For those of you that don’t know, SAVOY is pretty awesome. But don’t just take my word for it. Here, let me explain — SAVOY is a trio of musicians comprised of Gray SmithBen Eberdt, and Mike Kelly. The three met when they were in college at CU Boulder. "We met in the dorms, Mike lived a door or two down from me," said Ben. "When Gray and I met, Gray was cruising around with a guitar and I called him over and we started jamming right then and there. We’ve played music together ever since."

In fact, their biggest inspiration in production is their own live show. They perform all of their shows live, with drums, guitar and synths being played out in real time, along with their laser operator, who controls the lights via MIDI controller.

???????? ?? ??????? dj savoy photo

Where did the three of you meet?

We met at the University of Colorado. We were in the dorms together, and we actually started like sort of a rock band. As time went on, we started listening to other music, and we saw Daft Punk live at Red Rocks. From there, we knew we really wanted to make people dance and thought this would be the way to do it. So we kept the live drums, and we started introducing computers and producing our own sound, and it was a bit of a slow process. But we all sort of have a musician-like background, so in a way, we were able to pull it off.  

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?

Electronic Rock Music. We bring the energy, dance party, and live production of a DJ set at a massive festival, yet with performance, instrumentation, and guts of a real rock n roll show. Our goal as always been Led Zeppelin meets Daft Punk meets Rage Against the Machine.

Was it challenging going from a live band to DJing live?

They’re both fun in their own right. When we’re playing live we get to play all of our own music it’s very rewarding. We also get to play our own instruments and that’s super fun. But DJing is fun too because we get to play all the other music that we love. Putting together a DJ set is an art form in its own right as well.


"We pretty much said to ourselves that we weren’t going to give a fuck about any genres or any things that we need to be tied to".


Do you have any thoughts, as a group that likes to bring new elements to the show, about this controversy about “button pushing” and whether DJ’ing is an art?

Some people want to DJ on CDJ’s, some want to get more technical, and I don’t know how much — Your equipment doesn’t limit you. Just because you’re using CDJs or spinning records or using Ableton, there are always different levels. I just think that different people have different strengths, some people are just absolute geniuses in the studio, and they spend all this time on their productions and planning. We’re making this song in the studio right now for the sole reason of translating that to the main arena. And we know if we do it like this, it’s going to go off. A lot of people put so much effort and hours into the studio just so they can present it in a live context. We love to spend time in the studio and plan our sets in a way that we know we can control the energy a certain way. Sometimes if you go a bit too far with improvisation you can do something that is not as great as if you had spent some time planning. At the same time, you want to give a new experience every night for your fans, and we also like to keep ourselves entertained, so it’s great to be able to change things. And it’s great to have the live drummer and singers because the human element is great.

Do you feel that Dubstep and Electro lend themselves to incorporating live instruments better than other EDM genres?
Well, genres like trance are older genres that are usually more strictly electronic. People are taking new routes, and some of the newer electro house and dubstep sounds have people getting more creative and incorporating more elements into it. We’re seeing people do things like that more and more. That’s something we’re really excited about too. We listen to the radio, and 80-90% of pop music being played right now is almost completely electronically based. It provides a lot of opportunities for producers like us to collaborate with vocalists and make stuff that can reach a lot of people.

What was the inspiration for your single, "Love Is Killing Me"?

Inspiration comes from so many different angles. We had the idea based on an old soul sample and then wanted to take it to a new direction. The song is really mellow in a lot of ways, yet it also packs a ton of energy. The drums and the choir sound we have really drive the song, and the Chali 2na comes in and really vibes it out. We are so happy with how it turned out – it works just as well on a monday morning when you’re chilling as it does on a Friday night when we’re raging a show.

Your live shows are kind of epic and you tour all the time. What’s your favorite part about being on the road and your least favorite thing about being on the road?

I guess my favorite thing about being on the road is just being with all of our homies, it’s kind of like being at camp something, you’re just kicking it with all your boys the whole time and just chilling during the whole day, my least favorite thing is probably sound check because it always takes forever and something always goes wrong, but you’ve got to get it right for the show, so that’s probably my least favorite part.

How do you think your band`s sound has changed since you put out "Self Predator"?

"Self Predator" drew from a lot of rock n roll structures but at the end of the day was a dark techno album engineered for the club.  “1000 Years” is still based around the core foundations of dance but is built from the ground up with guitars, vocals, and live drums.  That raw, band element makes it much more musical than our past works. You can listen to it while cooking dinner but you can also mosh to it at rock club.  Its the perfect blend of retro meets future. “1000 Years” is the result of playing with the science of live and produced music and extracting the best of both to create an exponentially different experience.

Do you have any big inspirations in the way you produce music? Did you try to feed off of anyone in particular for the album?

I think our biggest inspiration is our live show, honestly. We don’t really draw on too many current electronic artists to try and emulate or anything like that. Of course, we worship the classics, like Daft Punk, you know, the guys who got us into it. But for us, it’s about our experiences on the road and what we think is cool and works. We want to make a show that’s got all the heavy bass and massive energy moments of an electronic show, but the feel and the look and the grime of a real rock ‘n’ roll show.


A Sit Down With DJ Krewella


Krewella is one of the biggest buzzing EDM acts of 2012.  Formed in 2007 with two sisters (Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf) and producer Rain Man, their track “Killin It” became a meme of its own, gaining major attention from DJs and music lovers all around the world.

In 2017, Krewella partnered with dance-fitness program Zumba. They made a song called "I Got This" for their new STRONG program, which entails of workouts to high energy music. This has yet to be released, but it was teased on the STRONG Instagram page. On May 17, they played at a Zumba 'fitness concert' where they played a set while instructors and attendees performed a dance workout. Here, they teased a song called "Thrilla", which was also made for Zumba. Following the release of another single on May 31, 2017, a song called "Love Outta Me", they released the first part of their two part EP New World on June 8, 2017. They later announced their New World Tour with a video from Aladdin with Yasmine's face over Jasmine and Jahan's face appearing on random characters throughout.

???????? ?? ??????? photo dj krewella

How did the 3 of you meet up?

Yasmine and I are sisters and Kris and I met in high school when I was about 16 years old. Kris and I were in the metal scene and we would go to metal shows with our friends all the time, I met him at shows and through partying. Making music was very casual for us and we didn’t really think about a career at the time, when you are that age you are very carefree and it was more of a hobby. Kris would throw a party at his apartment and he would pull me aside and show me the beats he was working on in his room. I was really inspired by it, it was a dream come true to actually know someone back 6 years ago that could make music that you could write to, everything back then felt like industry beats that you would write to.  From there on we tried out a couple girls but none of them seemed like the right fit, and at the time Yasmine was in an indie band making completely different music. Maybe it’s a sister thing, but our writing styles really meshed together well and our voices complement each other, we have different styles but at the same time we balance each other out as far as our writing goes, so it really felt like a natural fit.


"When we started, people weren't ready for live vocals at raves, clubs".


Was one of you more into music growing up or were you both equally taken by it?

Well, our family was constantly listening to music. It was always playing in the house. We had this karaoke machine that we would play on; that was pretty fun. We got a guitar and a beginner’s drum set at very early ages, so we were always making music together. It was kind of a family thing, no one was “the shining star,” per se. We all just loved it so much.

Speaking of names, where did the name Krewella come from?

It was actually before Yasmine was even in the group and while we were trying out other girls. I thought of it when we were writing down lyrics, we were thinking of darker, evil, sexy, feminine lyrics and the name popped in my head and I didn’t even question it. I thought it was the perfect name for a group that would have heavy masculine beats and feminine vocals.

Do you think you're part of the "post-EDM" movement?

I love everything that Molly writes, and I think that her insight on the scene is so incredible because she’s been a part of it for so long and she has this insane perspective. So I do agree with what she was saying in it. I love the idea of the scene that was so incredibly hot three years ago. I mean, it’s still really, really hot, but it’s not the new shit anymore. I love the idea that it can keep evolving into a new beast every year and never ever come to a place where it feels stale. I like knowing that we can be a part of that—partly with our live show, partly with the musical elements that we’re bringing into our new songs, which is the ethnic elements and more live elements. I think I personally love that perspective, knowing there’s no end to what’s going on right now. It’s just a continual process.

How do you feel about the feminist movement of late?

It all boils down to equality. You could tear it apart as much as you like, but in the end it just comes down to male fear of females taking something away from them. Everybody deserves the same chance at everything, and once that becomes the norm, we’re going to start seeing people easily accept women in power, across the board. I think it’s definitely coming.

In the past year, you've been touring with a live band. What goes into getting together a guitarist and drummer for your shows?

First thing we had to do was audition a bunch of players. So we probably went through 15 drummers before we found our main drummer, Frank Zummo, who also drums for Sum 41. Once we assembled our team, our guitarist, our drummer, Yasmine and I, we basically play the role of musical director, so we’ll put together the set. We’ll arrange that, have them practice it, then we’ll have a rehearsal date where we’ll all run through and iron out any rocky transitions, mix up the set a little. And we’ll probably have like three rehearsal days before we go out on tour.

Do you feel like our generation is kind of spearheading the change in attitude?

Yeah, I think even just witnessing how much has changed in my lifetime — like I told you, back when I was 10, which is only 10 years ago, the attitudes toward working women were so different. The execution of beauty was so different — famous women were tiny, tanned, blonde, and hot. Like Barbie dolls. And now we’re seeing such a shift in favor of women who don’t fit that convention. So I can’t even imagine what else is coming in the next few decades because social media is growing exponentially with that message and its outreach is changing so much each year.

When you are on stage, what exactly are you all doing?

We DJ together, and when we do a live show Yasmine and I have a back-to-back thing going on where we switch off DJing and Kris does the special effects. With the live show it was cool, because you aren’t confined in the booth so you can finally come out and interact with the crowd. We are really looking forward to do doing that in the future.

If you had to give one piece of advice to upcoming female artists, what would that be?

Progress as if you do not have any hindrances because of your gender but always understand the power in every obstacle you approach because of your femininity. Always respect yourself and the people around you because it is up to strong women to change the way the world sees and treats our gender.

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