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A Sit Down With DJ Marlo

15:26 Apr/10/2018

The Dutch born, Australian resident has become a powerful force in the dance music scene by showcasing his “MaRLo Sound” that has set him apart from other artists in the industry. In the last few years, MaRLo has taken the stage at some of the biggest festivals in the world, garnering him fans from all over who have taken to his different approach to trance music.

I think it’s important to set goals that are just outside of your reach.


Do you remember the first dance record you have ever bought?

It would probably be something from Aphex Twin or The Prodigy. For electronic music, those two really inspired me. “Come to Daddy” and “Window Licker” and those sort of tracks were amazing. And when I first heard “Voodoo People” by The Prodigy, I was in love with electronic music. I think I am trying to bring those sort of darker elements into my tracks.

What are your top three festival essentials?

Well in Australia, you should probably bring some sunscreen. The sun gets really hot and I got really sun burnt one year. And some sunglasses I suppose. And keep hydrated with some water and be responsible.
Have you seen the Trance scene grow in Australia?

Australia has always had a big trance fanbase. Armin has always been a big name there, and when Tiesto was doing trance he was a big name there, too. Right now a lot more people are getting excited about it though, because a lot more clubs and festivals are catering to it. At festivals in the past there would be one trance act, whereas now we get a whole stage with 10-15 trance acts.

So, you listen to The Prodigy and Aphex Twin, but you ended up being a trance DJ. So what drew you to trance?

So I was listening to those sort of tracks but I was going out on the weekends, a lot of trance top parties. So, as far as trance goes – the sound that really got me into it were the pioneers such as Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten at the start for the uplifting trance sound. And later on, I got into the harder stuff as well such as Scot Project, and then the tech-y sound such as Sander Van Doorn. My range of music has formed the type of music I’m into today and it has changed a lot over the years.

What about your best festival experience?

Stereosonic, Tomorrowland and a State of Trance.

Any artists that are giving you that same influence or a kick out of your creativity?

Not really, but that comes across weird so I want to explain that. When I first started making music there were a lot of people that did influence me and opened my eyes to many new things. My initial influences were acts like Aphex Twin, Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers and then I was getting more into hard trance, which was at the time a German sound like Scot Project and guys like that. Then I felt a real deep connection with the more melodic trance sound with Ferry Corsten, Tiesto and Armin van Buurenand then I got inspired by the new tech sound. So I wrapped all of those experiences from my past that I was really into when I was growing up, bundled it all together, mixed it all up, and made my own music—the MaRLo sound, or if I'm playing a little bit harder it's called Tech Energy. Right now I've let go of trying to follow anyone else; I'm making music that I like to make based on all of my past experiences. It's not like I'm listening to music and saying, “Oh, I want to make music like this.” I've let go of all of that and just create music that I really enjoy to make and hope that people like it.

I saw where Armin van Buuren said that you are the best guy for leads, how does that make you feel?

That is a great compliment because to me leads are the energy part of the track. Of course you have the percussion and everything that drives it but Armin has been an amazing supporter of my sound for a long time now and I am really thankful for that.

I heard you're launching your own label?

Yes. It's taken a bit longer to launch, but its called Reaching Altitude. I've got so many talented artists already and I've got a lot of new music myself, which I've been holding back until the label launches. I had a really hard time breaking through and I feel very privileged and honored to be in a position where I play to big audiences—I like to help new talent by showcasing their music on a bigger stage. I hope that my label can be sort of a vehicle for nurturing talent and people can send me demos and if it suits the label, I'll support it.

What are some of your goals for the upcoming year and how do you plan on raising the bar for yourself?

My main focus for next year career-wise is to bring the Altitude shows around the world! And also continue to produce and release music. On a personal level, I’m just super-excited to meet my first-born son. I’m proud of him and I haven’t even met him yet.

If you could go back and talk to your 18 year old self and give him advice what would you tell him?

I would tell my 18 year old self not to stress out too much and not to focus too much on the concept of achieving or moving forward. Don’t worry about that stuff just enjoy yourself and be happy and enjoy yourself. If you love what you do success will come anyways. The things that most people consider as success and what I would have considered success when I was 18 are totally different now. What I consider success is loving what you do every day of your life. All the other stuff doesn’t really matter so I would tell myself just relax and enjoy and have a good time with it and don’t beat yourself up. I used to work nonstop and stress about getting a release or a gig so I would just tell myself to enjoy what I do because it will happen anyway if you just love what you do.


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