A Sit Down With DJ Michel Woods
From an early age, Woods has prided himself on standing apart from the crowd. He is the son of a music teacher, the U.K.-born Woods was classically trained in a variety of instruments ranging from piano to percussion, and as a youth he even performed briefly with the London Symphony Orchestra. The experience this musicality has brought now sets his productions apart and gives him an edge on contemporaries.
Michael Woods has sailed the seas of Dance music for many years, working ceaselessly to the top of the pile, where he unquestionably deserves his seat. His reputation as an essential booking for huge scale music gatherings across the planet is obvious to see by his continuous schedule of international bookings. Its been twelve years since Michaels legendary remix of Café Del Mar exploded onto the world stage and unlike many trailblazers of years gone by, Michaels ability to evolve his productions and DJ sets alike have ensured that he remains a figurehead in the international House music league.
''The one thing I strive to do more than anything else when working on music is try to make a good club record''.
How did you first make the transition into the trance world? Why was that the style of music that ended up taking over you life?
Trance was the first style of music I produced, but my style has changed a lot since the days of 'Warrior' and 'Into the Dawn' and carries a much more progressive/techno feel to it now. I'd say there are still elements of my sound from back then in the music I create now, but times change and with it my style changed; music progresses and artists have to progress with it. Trance will always be a big part of my life and has helped to shape me into the artist I am today. I wouldn't consider myself a trance artist now.
What first got you into producing electronic music?
It kind of happened by accident, it wasnt something I was actively looking to get in to, but around 16 years ago my sister, Marcella Woods, who is a vocalist in her own right, was dating a DJ/Producer by the name of Matt Darey. He took it upon himself to show me around his studio, and one day, while he was out of the studio I decided to mess around with some melodies and chords using his equipment little did I know Matt had overheard what I was making and ran in to the studio asking me to play it again. We ended up making a record out of this music, signing it to Inferno Music and it went top 40 in the UK national charts and Ive been doing it ever since.
There has been always an antagonism between French and English, throughout the history. Could you please tell us what is your vision about the French electronic music scene?
Its hard for me to answer this question as to this day I have never been to a nightclub in France. Although France has spawned some amazing producers, for examples Justice.
What inspired you to make such an awesome song like Platinum Chains?
Michael Woods, laughs; and says I remember writing it on the plane actually, I write a lot stuff when Im on the plane I just came up with that cord thing that da-da-dee-da and I tried on the piano and it sounded completely different and just took it into the studio and it just worked and I released it to Calvin Harris and he loved it too and it was on his label Fly High and he was playing it at every single set and it blew up in that way too."
How do you deal with traveling the world, producing music and also being the founder of Diffused? What is your balance like on a day to day?
Drinking a lot of Patron! [Laughs]. You know, that is probably the most difficult thing to do, is trying to balance everything. There are only 24 hours a day, and so much you can do. Lucky, I have got a really cool management company like Three Six Zero who looks after Deadmau5, Calvin Harris etc. Within that company they look after my label. I have a management team that looks after the label and works with me so I do have got a good team around me that helps me out. Basically, all I have to do is make sure I am producing good records but outside of that I have people that help me out.
What technological change would fundamentally change the concept of DJ and/or clubbing?
I think that technology has completely changed the way clubs and clubbers have evolved since the explosion of acid house. Before, it was only records, then CDs and computers, now DJs are playing from their Ipads. Track titles are going straight onto twitter as they get played and sets are being streamed across the globe. Every year something new comes around that will have an impact on the clubbing scene, even mobiles have helped with clubbers asking DJs to play records, so who knows what's around the corner next.
Where is your number one holiday destination?
If its a total holiday with nothing but chilling out Id have to go back to the Maldives.
Do you have a favorite venue youve played?
Its really hard to answer this question as Ive played at so many amazing venues all around the world, but I always love playing at Amnesia in Ibiza, Ministry of Sound in London and Cream in Liverpool, UK.
What advice could you give to aspiring musicians who want to contribute to the EDM scene?
My best advice for up and coming producers/DJs is to be really passionate about what you do, put in the time and never give up. I remember when I first started to make music professionally, sometimes I would spend up to 48+ hours at a time in that studio/garage, sometimes just listening to the same 4 bars over and over, trying to perfect it and get it just right. It was a lot of hard work and I made a lot of sacrifices but Im reaping the rewards now, and I believe any aspiring producer/DJ can do the same if he/she puts in the hard work.
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