Youve most probably heard her music through the radio or iTunes
, seen her dancing around YouTube
with her violin in her unique styled outfits and dance moves. Her music can take you to different places even those beyond our imagination of magic and wonder. She is the one and only: Lindsey Stirling!
Your first breakout hit was Crystallize which featured elements of dubstep. Your general sound is a mixture of classical and electronic. Youve had producers help with your tracks, have you ever tried taking up some of the production duties yourself?
No, but I am always there with the producers writing and helping them create the backtrack because I want the tracks to feel and express specific emotions.
Youve been playing since you were very young, but what inspired you to play the violin?
When I was young my father loved music, especially classical music, and so I grew up to these masterpieces being blasted on our old record player. My sisters and I would run around the couch and dance to Borodins Polovtsian Dances and Rinmsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade - my favorites! - Our family also attended free orchestra concerts at the park. I grew to appreciate orchestra music and noticed early-on that the stringsparticularly the violinswere featured the most. I liked being the center of attention haha, so I was naturally drawn to the violin and at age six started begging my parents for lessons.
You are the first artist who has managed to reach the top in two categories in the US charts at the same time: In the Dance and Classic Charts you are in 1st and 2nd place. Feels like it that? Especially after the harsh criticism of "America's Got Talent"?
I think those moments define who you are. These "now or never" moments, in which you do not know whether you should give up or continue, let you listen very deep into yourself. And then it is a decision from the bottom of your heart, if you decide to do it. That this way has worked now is great and a good confirmation for me. I love that! I have many motivational conversations, mostly with my church group. Sometimes we stop in schools and talk to the children. I think it's great that I'm able to pass this on. You have a video, you see my face and I seem to be sobbing soon. That I can share that and show that hard work pays off and you always have to believe in yourself, is important. My story is not unique. Most people say they never succeed. My story only landed on national television. I hope the story gives people hope.
Your music was also used in video games. How did that happen?
It started with Devin Graham, another LDS YouTuber. He was the one who got me into this whole YouTube world. He had the idea to do a project with "The Legend Of Zelda". I listened to the music and loved it. Immediately I wrote music and made a suitable arrangement for the game. From then on, I had a lot of gamer fans (laughs). It was my first video that came out right big. I looked a bit like "Link" (laughs). From then on, one song followed the next. As a kid, I played video games, but not anymore. I liked those old-school things like Mario and Zelda. Anyway, the fans then demanded exactly such videos from me. So I watched videos of the games to understand the games. It was great fun to dress like the video game heroes. I really enjoyed this video game story.
When creating your own music, what type art inspires you?
I take inspiration from everything: my past, my joys, my fears, the things that Im dealing with on a daily basis, the people I love. Once I start writing, I like to work with a producer on the backtrack first, and then the creative juices start to flow.
Do you have any opinions on the current state of EDM culture?
I wish that there was more performance in electronic music. I feel like a lot of EDM shows are pretty much light shows and I wish there was more live musicality happening.
Do you have any special holiday traditions that are near and dear to your heart?
SO many! My mom went ALL out for Christmas. We have always gone as a family to pick out a real Christmas tree! Each morning in December when we were kids, my sisters and I would race each other to the advent calendar to see what the elf had brought us the night before, usually little toys and candies. Our family always decorated the tree and the house together and we played Christmas music all December-long on our old record player. Starting December 13th, we chose a family and secretly did the 12 Days of Christmas for them (delivered packages and treats every day starting 12 days before Christmas). We always made and decorated sugar cookies.. and
ate all those sugar cookies. Mom always made her world-famous banana bread, at least it was famous to us. Mid-December we still dedicate one evening to watching A Christmas Story (classic) and order Chinese food to go with it. Christmas Eve we always went caroling
for the neighbors. This was followed by a reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2, accompanied by a live family nativity
complete with legit nativity-looking dress-up clothes.
Aside from the usual American cities, youre hitting a lot of South American and European cities on this tour, and even one stop in Turkey. Do you think that those abroad connect with your music in different ways, or is music sort of the great communicator, as RHCP put it?
Since my music is mostly instrumental it is amazing to see it connect with people all over the globe. They dont view it as American music but its music that they can experience without the language barrier.
"People we love may move on, but we dont have to lose them. We
the ones they loved
are a living testament to their lives because we wouldnt be who we are without their influence. Our memories of them keep them alive in us."
The UKs Sophie Sugar
has become one of the worlds hottest female producers in the last few years. She has the right name with Sugar, because not only is she sweet looking, but her music is extremely tasty. She has musical talent as she played piano for eight years and was infected with the vinyl bug at the age of six. As a teen she started visiting clubs and fell in love with trance.
"Being a female DJ is not just about looking pretty but not being able to spin good! You have to keep up with the scene, you have to promote your own self and - again - love what you do!"
How did you get involved with trance music? What experience did you have that started your love for this genre of music?
On my first holiday with friends in Ibiza in 1996 I was already into dance music and clubbing but didnt have a favourite genre as such. While I was there, I heard BBEs Seven Days & One Week for the first time at Es Paradis and was completely blown away by it. I started listening to trance from that moment onwards!
Who were your early musical inspirations?
I have always loved film scores and in particular the composer Thomas Newman who has written incredible scores for films such as Road to Perdition, American Beauty and The Shawshank Redemption. I also love classical music from composers such as Vivaldi. When I first started producing, Armin, Above & Beyond, Paul van Dyk and Agnelli & Nelson were big inspirations amongst many others.
In the matter of Trance. Who's your Trance hero?
Well, I like a lot of Trance DJs, Sasha, Digweed, but my true hero is none other than Armin van Buuren. Not just because he's such a great DJ but also because he's a real nice person. And also because he's done so much for the scene, he's brought DJing to a complete new level and era, and I, as a Trance DJ, am thankful to him for that.
Which DJ's/Producers or Musicians to you look up to most?
There are sooo many! I'm a huge fan of John Williams who composed the music for Star Wars, ET, Superman & more recently the Harry Potter films - i can't quite express in words how his music makes me feel. Also Thomas Newman, Hans Zimmer & many other composers. On the trance scene Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Chicane, Agnelli & Nelson, John O'Callaghan, Guiseppe Ottaviani - and many others.
You're one of a select few top Female DJ's in the world, Do you find that most guys are intimidated by your success as a DJ?
Ha ha - no - most of my male friends are DJs as well so i'm used to being within that kind of circle and they're used to me doing what i do so it doesn't seem like too much of a big deal!
What is the most important thing for you as a DJ?
Enjoying it and making sure that everyone else enjoys it!
Any other news we should know about?
Yes, its shaping up to be a really busy year which is great! I have a couple of new tracks my first vocal project Beside You featuring Rebecca Emely which will be coming out on Armada in the summer and another new track called Together which Ive also recently finished. Im going to be launching a new monthly radio show very soon which Im really looking forward to and continuing with gigs around the world!
An artist who needs little introduction: Sub Focus
has evolved through the Drum and Bass scene from humble beginnings to worldwide acclaim. Standing as a figurehead of British dance music, his material has kept a consistently growing caliber, stemming from the roots of the underground, with his first release on Andy Cs side label 'Frequency', to the highs of stardom with his latest album Torus. Standing as one of the artists who successfully bridges the gap between the Drum and Bass underground and the mainstream, his production quality transcends the niche dancehalls to a wide audience, appreciative of the tuneful flow of his songs, whilst still maintaining his dance floor ethos.
How did you first get into music production? At what point do you feel that you had harnessed your niche?
I got into when I was about 13, not being a skilled player at the time I liked the way you could compose whole tracks on a computer without having to play anything. When I left school, it was all I did in my spare time and my friends started to encourage me to try and send demos out and try to actually do it as a job.
So do you prefer you live sets to DJ sets now?
It is hard to say. Sometimes it is nice to play other peoples music in DJ sets, because in my live shows I just play all of my own stuff. Some of the stuff that I can do in the live sets is so much more than what I can do I the DJ set. In the live set I can take songs apart, change the beat or re-sequence a whole new section. The possibilities are quite exciting when I am doing that, but I really enjoy DJing as well and I try to balance the two. Ive particularly been enjoying the shows that I have been doing with my residency at Amnesia in Ibiza.
What's the best festival you have been to?
Glastonbury in 2006 has some of the best memories for me I think. I saw Chemical Brothers play live there for the first time who have been a huge influence on my production and live shows over the years. Since then its been one of my favourite festivals to play. Last year Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis came to watch my set at this crazy afterhours stage at 2.30 in the morning, we gave him a shout out and the crowd all saluted him, was a really cool moment.
Youve played all over the world, are the crowds in America or in other countries different to the UK?
Definitely. Americas really good at the moment; dance musics kind of exploded over there. I did a massive festival over there this summer called EDC in Las Vegas; its one of the big dance music festivals there. And the reaction I got was really cool. Its more like - different crowds react to different things. The type of tracks I might play over there is different to the stuff I might play here. I subtly change my set for wherever I play, depending on the crowd. In England, the deeper, house stuff is popular and I might slip that into a set, some of the more underground drum and bass stuff, I might play over here. Then in America, its more dubstep and things like that. Its nice that Ive got to a time where Im making these different styles, so I can dip into these different genres throughout my set.
How important was and is the combination of DJ, sound system and lights?
The combination is hugely important. I really wanted to start having more control over the overall look of my shows which is why I started doing my live shows. Being strong visually or being in a unique place adds so much more to a show. I love festivals and events where lots of attention is paid to how they look or they are in an amazing outdoor location Secret Garden Party in the Uk for example, Belvoir Amphitheatre in Perth, Red Rocks in Denver.
When youre standing in front of a crowd of thousands of people do you still get nervous?
Not really, after playing out so many times any trace of nerves fade, but I remember my first few shows I played I was really nervous. I remember I had a mare the first time I played (legendary D&B night) Movement at Bar Rhumba when I took the needle off deck that was playing by accident.
In terms of creativity in general for you, what inspires you as a person, what infuses your music?
It's hard to say, I wouldn't say I'm influenced by anyone person or genre, I basically listen to a lot of different stuff. I like to think that sort of trickles down into my music. The groups that I find really inspiring arent necessarily groups you might imagine Id be inspired by. I like Daft Punk and Justice, groups where theres whole world and design to the world surrounding the band. I love it when everything works together to create this world around a band.
If you werent making music what do you think youd be doing?
I did a lot of art and photography when I was younger so probably something in that area. I always get really involved in the design, art and concept side of my releases as well as the music.
"Music as becoming much more eclectic at the moment in terms of peoples tastes, I think there arent so many staunch purists of each genre."
is a hard-dance act run by Bas Oskam. For nearly a decade, Noisecontrollers
has been one of the leading acts in the Hardstyle genre hitting all major stages around the world. From an intense passion for music the producer behind Noisecontrollers
, Bas Oskam, produces new music at convener belt pace. His success is built on his unusual talent for producing music with a creativity and passion that is incomparable to anything else.
How did you first get your start in dance music?
My first passion for electronic music started around age 4 while listening to a synthesizer compilation. My passion for EDM came around 14 when listening to a d-trance compilation with German Hard-trance. I loved the combination of synthesizers and dance music. It was also in that time I started making music on the computer. My biggest passion was born.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is the result of my studio mixing, sound design and of course creative ideas/taste. All three will change and develop but nevertheless there is some kind of basis that is responsible for the Noisecontrollers sound. I cant describe it. You'll have to hear it I guess.
"Producing good music requires a dedication that one can't bring up if he is not behind it."
I know you enjoy a wide range of music away from dance music, who are more of the pop artists you enjoy listening to?
Really so many. In the end good music is good music. No matter what genre. Thats why I listen to all kinds of music from all kinds of artists.
There are more and more Hardstyle artists that experiment with artist of different genres. You probably have a lot of connections, so has this happened yet or will it ever happen?
I have something planned right now with a very big artist, its really one of the biggest! But that all happened very naturally and I cant say anything about it yet. If I have some kind of connection with someone things like this just happen and youll see what comes out of it.
Has your style evolved at all since you started making and playing music? What are some of your musical influences that your fans would be surprised to hear about?
Of course the style has changed, but that also goes for Hardstyle in general. Besides that the whole genre leveled up from a small underground sound to a mature sound. I have also developed as a producer over the years, which causes the music to change. As for the influences, I can be triggered by all kind of things - a good movie, different genres of music or a mood Im in.
Your tracks are well received. How do you distinguish yourself from others? Which releases can we expect in the coming months? Is there still surprising cooperation on the planning?
Last months we worked very hard in the studio. We have completed our new release on which no less than 4 tracks will be shown; "The Yellow Minute", "Sanctus", "Attack again" and "Revolution is here". We have chosen 4 tracks to make this vinyl as diverse as possible. A 4 tracker is quite unique for a Hardstyle release. The reactions are incredibly good. In addition, we did the Anthem for In Qontrol, a remix for Wildstylez and finally we went into the studio with Wildstylez and Headhunterz, which also includes a release in the planning.
What are your ambitions for the next 10 years? Is there something in particular you want to achieve?
To keep doing what we love the most producing music! To be honest, we are living our dream at the moment so if we can continue doing this, well sign up for it. We also have some great things planned in the future. I cant tell you what exactly, but we will very soon so stay tuned.
You are embarking on a US mini tour in February. How do you feel about touring alone?
It will be the first tour Ill do alone, which is a totally different experience. Ill miss Arjans company, but am highly motivated to bring the Noisecontrollers fans new music with the Noisecontrollers sound. Im really looking forward to it!
Canadian Electro-duo, Dzeko & Torres
, have come a long way in the past few years of their career. From the front row of a Tiesto show to landing a spot on the legendary DJ's management roster, Dzeko & Torres' story is full of chasing dreams with strong determination.
Talk to us about your productions what has been your proudest moment in this musical journey?
"You could be the best DJ in the world but if youre not playing your own music, youre just going to be like any other DJ."
The proudest moment has to be when we did a remix for Chuckie, Who Is Ready To Jump?, and we were in Saskatoon when one of our friends texted saying Hardwell opened up with our remix at Sensation. Soon after, Tiesto played it, and then W&W. After that, a lot of people were playing it which gave us good attention. The other cool thing is Chuckie released our remix for free on his Soundcloud. Our name was on his Soundcloud, which was amazing.
Which artists have been your inspirations?
We both grew up listening to electronic music (house, trance, techno, euro dance etc.) and so weve looked up to a variety of artists over the years
anything from Cascada, to Paul Oakenfold, or Carl Cox. The big ones have always been guys like Tiesto, Axwell (and the rest of SHM), Laidback Luke and a few others. Also Afrojack
weve been playing his stuff since we first started DJing and just to watch his growth is super inspirational.
What do you enjoy the most/least about working together?
Oh thats a good question! I dont like deadlines. Julians really on my ass about getting stuff done. At first I hated it, but I guess now it works. As we grew together, we grew as a team and we work really well together now. I hated that he was always on my back, but now I appreciate it.
You have a huge presence in Las Vegas, do you owe a lot of that success to Tiesto?
Of course I have always wanted to DJ in Vegas and after becoming friends with Tiesto, he has helped me build my name there and I am so grateful.
Apart from DJing and music production, what do you Guys love to do?
Eat good food. Good food is amazing! Also floor hockey is fun. Play a game whenever we are back in Toronto. And video games are great to. Can spend hours sitting and playing CoD or Fifa.
You are starting to build a great profile internationally. What kind of work is involved in building an international music career?
The main thing is production at this point. Being just a DJ right now doesnt take you anywhere really. Were going to start touring March to get some good gigs under our belt and then get back into the studio and make more tracks. Right now we have eight tracks, waiting to get out, and thats the biggest thing do the tracks, get them ready and then go tour.
What is the best part of working with each other?
Like in any team or partnership, each of us has our strengths. We both work hard at what we know better. Its also always great to have another person to bounce ideas off of
in production, branding, or even something as simple as Facebook posts.
Lucien Nicolet, aka Luciano
, has been actively involved in the dance music industry since the ripe old age of sixteen when he deserted the constrictive world of punk rock for greener pastures. However, before reaching Nirvana Luciano had to lough through the barren wastelands of anonymity as he struggled to make a name for himself in Chile during the 90's.
"For me the most important thing is for people to come just to listen to music and not just to listen to what they know."
You started DJing at sixteen and producing in 1997. Would you now consider yourself a DJ or producer?
I think I've always been more of a producer. I came into music and DJing because I was a guitar player in a punk band at school. I always liked the producing thing. The reason I suddenly fell into producing electronic music was not only because of DJing but also because I was tired of the band. With the band all my inspiration and all the music I wanted to do was depending on the drummer, or the bass player, or the other guy. If the bass player or the singer wasn't seeing the future of music then it became a problem for me because I couldn't really realize what I wanted to do. So a machine was the perfect solution. There was a band called Berurier Noir, which was a French band. It was a punk rock band that played guitars but they had drum machines. I was playing along with it like an imbecile. Then suddenly all the harder music I was doing became slower.
How do you divide time between tours and records, family and career?
Well it's kind of difficult but I find a way to manage everything. My wife is rather cool about this and she's very supportive so there's no problem with that. And tours and records well that sort of come together depending on how your manager arranges them and I have Mousa here who does good job for me, so... And also, I'm now quite selective with booking dates - I don't just take all the dates they offer. Being selective is finally not that bad because I still do quality gigs in the best clubs in the world and I still have time for other things, family, recordings... And this is the first time ever you set foot in Indonesia? Yes correct, but in Asia though not the first time, I've been to Japan for six times already, then Thailand.
What has it been like playing at the new Hï Ibiza?
Hï Ibiza has been incredible. They are still in the middle of the process of people reminiscing about the old giant that was Space, but when there is a place that has so much history and where so many stories have happened, it takes a while for people to accept that its gone and also to accept that something new is born. A kid needs two or three years to learn how to walk and talk, and thats the same for a new club. Hï Ibiza is very different to what Space was; every detail is taken care of whereas Space was born in chaos and then became super professional at the end. But that transition takes time.
Is there anything you would change if you could go back in time?
No. I'm not the one who should dictate anything to anybody. But what I've seen lately is the community that we used to have is more spread now, and everyone has the intention to be better than the other DJ, this is division. It divides people. What I always loved about Ibiza was this unity thing that we always had. You can still find it at some places on the island. But now, it's almost every day you have a party with underground music, and you don't really know where to go and where you're gonna find your old friends. It's good for the people who come and dance because they have more opportunities to different parties, listen to different DJs who are newer. But I would say that for the inner scene, it divides. The division is hard.
And suddenly, you're at the top of the DJ's, how do you explain it?
It was an ongoing process. At first I did not really think about becoming a DJ. The only thing I wanted was to have fun.
What is next for you ? What are your plans for the future regarding music ?
I have so much unreleased music from myself that I'm busy planning the next EPs, LPs and whatever comes to mind!
Being a resident DJ to one of the biggest clubs in Buenos Aires the legendary Clubland Hernan Cattaneo
made his mark as a warmer DJ for some of the biggest names of the industry. Shortly after, he developed strong friendships with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed and Sasha. His talent has been spotted instantly, which took him on the path to super stardom.
Lets talk about your producing process a bit, what does your studio consist of? What hardware/software do you use most and why?
I'm always touring, so for me, it's my Mac running Logic & Live then the Soundexile guys have proper full studio set ups to complete the work the right way.
Who is your favorite DJ and what about them do you most admire?
Hard question. I like a lot of DJ's but i´d say Danny Howells, great DJ, amazing person and an especially strong musical identity.
You see a change within the electronic music culture. Do you think that there is also a difference from DJing in the past and now?
All changed and nothing changed it really depends on the way you see it. 35 years ago, I found out that DJing is the way to share the music I love with other people and make them having a good time. It is the most important thing and it didnt change at all. Im still doing exactly the same. The only thing that changed is the way DJs do it, from vinyl to computers and everything in between, DJs became entertainers and for many, the only important thing is how much they make people have fun. I still like DJs that play music (whatever way possible) and not DJs that throw cakes to the crowd, jump on DJ tables, or show off in private planes. I really feel uncomfortable with that side of our scene, but try not to pay much attention to them.
How has technology changed your approach to DJing over the years?
A lot and nothing. As a DJ, for me, its always been about making people have a good time while playing the music I like. Since I was a kid I always wanted to share those records that gave me goosebumps with my friends or other people and never enjoyed for one second watching people going mad with music I dont like. So in that respect, nothing changed my approach of DJing.
"Success is like a prize, but its useless if you cant keep delivering the good stuff."
What do you like to do when you relax?
Just chill, watch movies, being with my girlfriend, cooking and just relaxing normally and not really doing anything. DJ life is a really on the move all the time. I fly like 150 flights a year so usually you don't have a week without at least two or three flights. So when you have time off you just do nothing. You just keep quiet, being with your friends, your family, that's the kind of stuff I do.
What was the most pivotal moment in your career? The one where you thought this is going to be something big.
Probably when I started touring with Oakie and when I moved from Buenos Aires to London. I was doing really well as Pachas resident in Argentina, but I was in England for less than six months and I was already part of Cream in Liverpool & Ibiza and playing all over the place. We all know how difficult is to have a chance in the international scene, and that was a huge opportunity for me.
He was born Morgan Wolf Page
in Burlington, Vermont. Morgan got his start early by interning while in grade school at German record label Plastic City. While attending Champlain Valley Union High School Morgan became a DJ on the University of Vermonts college radio station Wruv 90.1FM. Morgan attended Emerson College in Boston, MA.
Versatility remains the key to longevity. Any artist must be able to deliver regardless of the setting, whether its in the studio or on stage. For producer Morgan Page
, it doesnt matter where he is. His number one concern is sharing quality music.
When did you first start DJing?
I first started DJing on college radio at the University of Vermont, while in high school. They didnt require you to be a student, so I started filling in for DJs that werent showing up for their slots.
"I think the hardest part is that I think every song is going to be amazing and be a hit record. Sometimes that is not the case, and other times some songs have done better than I thought it would."
Who or what is the most musically influenced to you? If so, why is that?
My biggest influence is probably a mix of various singer-songwriters, and Daft Punk. I like fusing together two different sounds that can complement each other well.
How did you get into being a DJ, being from an area famous for producing maple syrup and the band Phish?
The University of Vermont had a local DJ show, If I hadnt heard that on the radio I wouldnt be playing. We actually have a maple tree and a small ski lodge.
Do you do a lot of producing when youre touring, or do you tend to really work in the studio?
Pretty much I save it for when Im back with big speakers back in the studio. I do get to do some stuff on the road, but more like edits and mash-ups and the radio show.
With over a decade of performances, whats been your favorite or most memorable performance so far?
Playing Coachella was a big highlight also EDC and Burning Man. Ill never forget those shows. I really like festivals that have unique locations and arent just a parking lot outside a stadium.
Tell us about Dont Give Up. What is the message that youre putting across?
A big part of the song is about having the faith to keep pushing in a relationship and overcome those everyday obstacles you encounter. Every good relationship has its share of conflict and resolution.
At the age of eight years old, Arty
's grandmother insisted that he should attend music school,
from which he successfully graduated aged just fourteen.
After that he considered applying for music college, but eventually decided against it, as the chance of becoming a professional pianist was really small and because he no longer enjoyed playing. Instead he learned to use FL Studiosequencer,
and his love of video games and electronics led to his keen interest in production equipment.
When and how did your interest towards music develop?
I always had a great interest in music when growing up. My grandmother put me in front of the piano at a young age and I practiced several hours a day. At the time, I hated it because I rather wanted to play soccer. When I look back on it I realize that this is how I created my ear for the harmonies and melodies that are crucial in my music now. Im still thankful for it!
Which artists inspired and inspire you, even now that you are a successful music producer?
There are so many artists who inspire me like Flume, Years & Years, Skrillex, The Weekend and many more! All their styles completely differ from each other but I like that they are pushing the musical boundaries nowadays.
When I went back home to Russia, I had like 10 ideas in my head, and I didnt know what to do with them. So I would listen to the idea again and again to find the right instrument part for the top line that I had, with the right mood. I was trying to start with the lyrics meaning what kind of mood is that? For me, its the most natural process of making music. Up All Night makes sense because its a pretty angry song. Its about having a tough time with relations, and thats why the main instrumental part is very aggressive. That was pretty much my whole album like 99% of the stuff I have there was made that way.
Why is it that all DJs wear black?
I am not wearing black right now, look at that, I am wearing a white tank top, Im different! My personal opinion about that is that black is a dope color. If you wear white all the time in clubs and festivals you have to clean it every other day! You dont see anything on a black shirt so it stays clean visually for a way longer time. I would say that might be the reason and also if you have weight problems it hides it I guess.
What are your resolutions for 2018?
"I am inspired by life- day to day experiences, a lot of things inspire me, music is the main thing."
Try to not get lost in a all of the music Ive already made and have set to release in 2018! Also, I really want to find a balance between ARTY and ALPHA 9 projects. It was a bit challenging to accomplish last year since I still was seeking the sound I wanna make with ARTY, but so far, this year looks really promising.
DJ, label owner, party maker, producer, but also filmmaker. The curriculum that Solomun
built, now that he has turned 40, is incredibly rich. Resident Advisor, the bible of electronic music, has defined him as one of the most influential people who helped make Electronic music what it is today.
Tell us what brought you to music
Well, I was 10 years old. I was at home and my parents went out visiting some friends and I was a little bit scared; I was alone, it was raining, stormy. And then I heard something tapping on the window. There was a white bird. I opened the window and this white bird started to talk to me...
"I feel thankful and blessed for everywhere my little journey is taking me."
You're now considered as one of the biggest things of the European dance music scene. What was the club scene like in Hamburg when you started to play records? Some time ago I talked with Tensnake, who told me that techno was pretty everywhere.
Thats true, when I started to produce music it was with lots of harmonies and melodies because during that time minimal techno was all over the place. Dont get me wrong: theres nothing bad about minimal techno. But for me it was too much and I had the strong feeling that electronic music could easily have a little bit more emotions. This was also one of the reasons we founded Diynamic to give this sound a platform. In Hamburg there had always been lots of House music, but more this old school vocal- gay-house, and the rest was Techno.
What is your greatest strength as a producer and what is it as a DJ?
This is something others can judge better then I can do. What I can say is that I produce with the heart of a DJ.
How would you describe your sound and how it has evolved since the first records you put out on Diynamic?
Within my sound I do attach big importance on a groovy bass line. For me, this is the base of my work and everything builds up on that.
What is your process like in the studio?
Thats always different. Since I am traveling more or less all the time I am working on ideas with my laptop in the plane or in the Hotel. And for finishing tracks I need a studio set up around me, but this can be everywhere.
Do you have any spare time left? What do you like to do if you have any?
Not much to be honest. When I have some free time I like having dinner with friends and sometimes I enjoy only watching TV-shows on my laptop.
What are your plans and dreams for the future?
To be honest, I dont plan much, it make no sense. That is one of the things that I learned. I try to take everything step by step and go for just a 6-month schedule to finish things regarding the label and some other plans, but no big plans. And where dreams are concerned, I am super happy and hopefully I can continue like this and remain healthy, also for my family and the people around me. Eventually, of course, one day I hope to have a family of my own.
You said that for you music is moments. A lot of people try to keep those moments last forever, like some producers do with techno and its energetic loops. But, is music a frozen moment in loop or an ever evolving tale?
Music is music, its like a rose is a rose. And with music you can do almost anything. You can touch peoples hearts, you can terrify them, because music goes instantly inside people. Music can lead to sweet love and to revolutions at the same time. So to answer your question: music is everything and can be everything: looped to death or a never ending tale.
In a bass music/electro scene that becomes more and more crowded every day, Jack Beats
are doing well to stand out with a sound totally unique to them, instantly accessible and flipping' easy to rave out to. Some kinda twisted hybrid between house, hip hop, Dubstep, Electro and Drum'n'bass, the quality of their output and DJ sets makes even more sense when you look at the duo's pedigree: Niall Dailly is part of Turntablism legends Scratch Perverts, and likewise Ben Giffen was part of hip hop DJ crew The Mixologists.
"One of the best things from dance music is that energy you can get from going with the audience as well. If you get it wrong you get it wrong, but if you get it right then that's kind of what DJing is all about."
You grew up in Scotland. Is it a place that fosters music? What was the scene like while you were growing up there?
I was really lucky actually, when I was really young I was a skater and used to hang out with a friend, who was one of the better skaters, and all his older friends. A lot of those guys were listening to hip hop and I was 13 and didnt know a great deal about it. So these mix tapes began circulating our school and that kind of fostered this whole teenage existence of listening to music that people 10 years older than us were listening to. So it was a great place in that respect. This might sound weird but I dont know if Id be where I was today if I hadnt networked through the Edinburgh club scene and stuff. I dont know if it would be good place for everyone; I think the club scene is quite quiet up there now.
Who are some of the artists, dance music or otherwise, who you guys have been feeling and been inspired by lately?
Man, theres loads. From like people over here, people like Route 94, hes doing some really cool stuff. Hes about to have a really big song out here. I mean, the likes of Dusky and Kidnap Kid .The Catz`n Dogzdudes, really into them. Theres so many cool sounds happening at the moment, really. AC Slaters doing some really cool stuff out in LA with his sort of Night Bass stuff and his new sort of 2014 sound, with Taiki & Nulight and all those guys on his Party Like Us label
Im just trying to think
Man, theres so much all the time. Its still a cool reflection of what were sort of feeling.
You have a history of pulling from diverse sounds such as Bassline, drum & bass, Electro house, and even Dutch house and Baltimore club and beyond. How do you synthesize all those sounds into your work, and what are some of the musical styles that excite you at the moment?
I would say the parts of tunes that are synthesized or not often varies, but generally speaking, Basslines/leads/pads, etc. are always designed on synths. Drums these days are a mix of sampled and designed drums. Specific samples are sometimes redone/replayed on synths, but usually we use and process the sample itself for its unique sound.
Is there like any specific end-game to what youre doing in the studio? Are you guys trying to do an EP or LP, or are you just getting in there and exploring your sound again?
I think we just got excited about really writing some good music again. Not that we werent writing good music.
Youre doing a US tour in support of Vibrate. What do you have planned for the fans?
Upcoming tour is gonna be sick cause first, we will have brand-new visuals for it. Also, am bringing Mika, whos not only an amazing DJ but a really good friend, too, so you know the shows are definitely gonna be special. Expect dark, bass-heavy underground club music.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals or superstitions?
Good pre show dinner - bad gig & visa versa. Never works out that way tho.
What's your lamest claim to fame besides DJing?
One of us is an alpine plant expert.
In the world of electronic dance music, Grammy
awards and DJs are not usually synonymous with one another. Everything changed when DJ and producer, Cedric Gervais,
was awarded for his remix of Lana Del Rey
s," Summertime Sadness". Since then, Cedric
has been dedicated to making music for his fans. Hes been touring all over the world with upcoming shows in Jakarta, Tokyo, Osaka,
and isnt planning on stopping anytime soon.
How and when did you first begin exploring dance music?
My father owned a club in the south of France. I would always bug him to let me play when I was a teenager but he would always tell me that I wasnt good enough. Eventually he gave me a shot and I fell in love with it.
What do you think distinguishes you from all of the other artists in the industry?
I think its my hair!
Do you prefer creating your own original tracks over remixing?
I like both. For now though Im sticking with my own music. I dont think Ill be remixing anything more unless its something that Im really excited about.
Do you feel there is a difference between the European crowd and the American crowd when you go on stage to play?
Yes, there is definitely a difference between the two. For example, the European crowd its more House music vs. the American crowd, which is more Trap and Electronic. In Europe, there is really not that big rave type thing its more House and Techno. So when I am on tour in Europe, I play completely different than the way that I play here in the States.
Few DJs can count themselves among the curated list of Grammy winners. How has winning one affected your life, personally and professionally?
It affected me in many ways. I mean, when you win a Grammy you have a lot of people that want to work with you. People that normally would never have spoken to you or even thought about working with you. Yeah, its winning a Grammy, but its also making a song like Summertime Sadness that sold 8 million singles worldwide. When you do something like that, lots of people suddenly want to work with you. Winning a Grammy is like winning an Oscar for an actor. For the rest of your life, theyre gonna call you a Grammy-winner. So, yeah, its pretty cool. Im still the same guy, thoughI dont give a shit.
How did you felt when you won the Grammy for "Summertime Sadness" Remix? Was it some of your goals?
It was not one of my goals, it was an incredible achievement, I didn't expect that, like I said when I did the record I didn't expect all that, I didn't expect to be the biggest radio record and selling
and every the DJ playing it. Like I said I was happy with my friend playing it. And When I won the Grammy it was the biggest thing.
You have been experiencing and touring various events around world. How did you enjoy the journey and which one gives you the most impressive moment in your life so far?
I love the journey and traveling the world, Im very fortunate to do what I do and be able to travel so much and meet so many great people. My most amazing experience was my last tour in Asia, especially when I got to stay in Tokyo, it's such an amazing city and I cant wait to come back.
Do you have any advice for new producers who are just now trying to break into the scene?
You got to make music. If you want to be a DJ, you have to learn where the DJ comes from, the history, the different genres. You have to know how to play in clubs, how to play in festivals, how to tell a story, and how to make people dance. I from a background as a resident DJ, and I think knowing how to make people dance is very important. Producing is very important, and if you share it on Soundcloud, people will find it and play it. A lot of artists were discovered by guys like Tiesto, when they were simply passing him their tracks.
"I never make music expecting it to become a hit on the radio, or win any awards or anything like that, I make the music I love and that I want to play in my sets."
At just 21 years old, Australian producer Will Sparks
has experienced the kind of success many musicians hope to achieve over the course of a lifetime. Already recognized as the king of Melbourne bounce, Sparks reigns supreme not only in Australia, but globally as well, having performed at some of the worlds largest festivals alongside the industrys most important names.
"Keep your head on your shoulders, remember who you are."
What was your musical upbringing?
I grew up listening to acts like The Bee Gees, John Farnham, and Rod Stewart. From 12 to 17 I was into a lot of old school rock and metal. I would write my music with guitar. Then I encountered dance music and Melbourne bounce and I started putting my guitar riffs on the computer, and it eventually developed into what Im making now.
How did you become an international DJ supremo so quickly?
I think every person who is successful got to where they are from extreme hard work, passion, dealing with the lows and picking them self back up. A big one would have be being kind to everyone no matter what, networking, making friends and having time for the people that support you etc. The social network is your key to success these days, music wise. If you make music that a large majority of people enjoy then it will create hype and probably end up hitting millions of new feeds.. Basically if you say you cant do it, then youre right.
What live music performances have impacted you, or helped shape your career?
I saw Deadmau5 live in 2010 which changed my life. Also in recent years again, KSHMR does something no one does; its a new level that only he is on.
How is the dance music scene evolving?
Its always changing. Radio wont play anything but slow vocal bendy tribal music. Crowds will only go hard if you go hard. So music is getting quicker, more full on Love how the Psy trance style is becoming well known. Always been my favorite. Brazilian bass is gonna turn even cooler too.
Which artist would you most love to collaborate with and why?
Showtek, their sounds are so unique and theyre just all round legends at what they do.
What do you think is important in a live performance?
You have to be energetic and have a personality. They want to like you as a person, not only your music. You do have to play good music I guess well, that depends on who you are. You have to do a mixture of songs that people know and your new stuff. I could do a whole set of stuff that people dont know but I dont do that, because you have to keep them alive somehow.
Whats been the highlight of your career so far?
Its all just a ball rolling amazing things are happening so frequently, I get told Im playing at the best club in the world or at EDC and then Ultra want me then I sign to Ultra and I get all these deals happening. A big highlight would have been when I came second in Australian Top DJs behind the Stafford Brothers. That was really cool, because it was my first ever charting in the Australian Top DJs so I came second then I got the Breaking Best New Artist award. It all happened in a year, I made some songs which all charted on Beatport then I came second so it was all pretty exciting!
Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
So far, Best Food & Wine, Palermo Italy & Lyon France. Holiday wise probably have to be Airlie Beach/Hamilton Island. Clubbing Vegas or Melbourne at its early stages of the genre.
Few know him from the very beginning... from the nights built by moving our bodies to the drum in dark, underground venues to Protect the Innocent
and The Name of My DJ
. Some of us recognize him by singles such as Xpress Yourself
and Free Again
How did you become a DJ?
My older brother was a DJ, so I learned being a DJ because of my brother, you know, he played records in his bedroom, and then he started playing national radio stations, thats how I rolled into it, you know.
Where do you draw your inspiration from. How does it all start when you jump into the studio to make a fresh new track?
My inspiration comes from many places. I like to listen to a wide variety of different music and I tend to pick things up from the feeling and emotion in other songs, or just things that I go through in my life.
The collaboration with Wildstylez & Cimo Frankel has been getting a lot of attention, currently at #3 on the Beatport Hard Dance charts. What is this tracks meaning to you, personally? Take us behind the scenes with it if you can.
It was a track for my recent album Global Dedication. Our intention was to make it the summer anthem of the album. That's also the reason why I have not played this track throughout the year already... Because it's a track that breathes summer. If you listen to the lyrics, you will hear that it's about walking into a festival venue and getting overwhelmed by positive vibes, being untied as one, and that wherever you are in the world, it feels like home.
Do you notice the fact that Hardstyle is still growing?
Hardstyle has always been an interesting musical genre. The audience is and has always been very dedicated. But thats also the reason why it gets a lot of criticism
And were now at a point where the style is splitting up. Some guys take the highly commercial way, while others go harder and harder every time. Which isnt bad for the people who like it, but I rather see everything as a whole. Hardstyle gains new fans every day. I notice that, because I get to perform everywhere in the world now. There are new faces everywhere, just as people telling me that theyve recently found a new style of music that really fits them. And that its more than just fun music to listen to. Its a culture
How do you like having your own label ( Dirty Workz )? How much freedom do you actually have to do and leave what you want with this label?
I have a lot of freedom! If I do not like something, it just does not matter. Quality is important, not only the release but also the design of the cover, for example. The label has its own sound, so you do not hear ten jump / textile per month. I myself have been very satisfied with the sale of all releases and there are still a lot of fat tracks waiting.
How would you best describe your style?
My style is who I am. Its euphoric, it has some emotion thrown in, and its basically just how I feel. Some people say that all Hardstyle sounds the same, but I have to disagree. Every artist has a distinct sound. The main construction of a track is basically the same due to some of the rules for Dance music, but the overall feeling in my tracks just reflects myself, what I feel and who I am.
Who were your influences growing up outside of EDM?
Im a huge hip-hop fan, so I grew up with this really weird combo of hip-hop and hardcore like really fast, heavy music with pounding beats. So when you listen to my music now, you can feel that energy and that weird blend of hip-hop influences with Hardstyle. Im a huge fan of Eminem, in my opinion hes the greatest rapper alive at the moment. Im not a big fan of anyone in particular except for him. Hes like, the main dude, hes on a whole different level than the rest and thats what I want to be like, hes my ultimate goal to work with. Besides Eminem, I grew up to Dr. Dre and all that West Coast shit.
Where would you like to perform once?
Everywhere the party is! Yes, the real big parties like Reverze, Bassleader, Qlimax and Sensation Black are for me the hardest kick. But I hope that the scene will continue to expand internationally so that I can discover the rest of the world as well.
"I am convinced that in the end you can run everywhere if the quality of your music is good."
There are not many DJs who can look back on such a long and successful career as the 54 year old New Yorker Danny Tenaglia
. His enduring popularity can certainly be attributed to his often several hours long sets which still are packed with the most relevant new records of the current day. After all these years, Tenaglia still has his eyes on the future instead of the past.
What are your views on the scene in America?
Im so grateful that I was able to experience all that I have from the seventies up until now. Ive now traveled around the world, to thirty-nine countries, and I dont see how it could ever go back to being that way on a large scale, because of the cost a club owner wanting to create an environment like the seventies would have to not worry about the cost, think like a DJ; its got to be because you love music that much and really want to watch people have a great time and listen to great music. Now that all the festivals have started, now that clubs have gotten smaller, everything became more intimate and everything became so much more costly to rent a nightclub that would hold two or three thousand people? Those days are gone to try and accomplish that again, in Manhattan, would be unrealistic. To find club owners willing to, in effect, piss their money away to recreate the atmosphere of the Garage would be impossible.
When you were still a kid, you got to know the prolific DJ Paul Casella, who played a part in turning you onto the profession. Can you tell how that shaped your decision to pursue a career in DJing?
Well, this is where I had then realized instantly at the mere age of twelve years old upon hearing an eight-track tape mixed continuously by Paul that I was somewhat mesmerized by because when I expected a song would end, then another would blend in. Sometimes harmonically on key and sometimes so perfectly that I kept asking my cousin who made this tape and how did he do this and how did he do that? Long story short, I called the telephone number on the 8-Track tape and Paul Casella happened to be nearby and came to our families grocery store and he brought us more 8-Track tapes. He wanted to meet me as he was amazed some little little kid was so impressed with him and the art of DJing. I guess it was right around then in 1973 that I never showed much interest in anything else, including sports. I was not interested in any subjects in school, I was only interested in music, becoming a DJ, getting professional DJ equipment and getting gigs in big nightclubs and eventually this obviously led to my second career by nature which was producing music of my own, collecting synths, drum machines and various studio gear.
You mentioned playing in warehouse spaces with rented systems, how does that compare to your resident DJ days?
Residencies were great you know the club like you know your bedroom. When it's your first time playing somewhere, you have to adjust to everything: the environment, the sound, the monitors, the height of the console, where the light person is. At least you don't have to worry about where you're going to put your records anymore. But it's adapting to everything. And if you're not the DJ starting the night, you can imagine going in while the other guy's on before you, and maybe he's got friends in the booth, and you've got to set up around them, people staring and watching it's not always comfortable. But you get used to it. I can't say I love it like I used to love the clubs and the consistency. Warehouses and festivals will also never compare to those four stacks in a room where you feel that thunder. A lot of places you play, warehouse or festival, when you're on the stage, they usually have speakers only facing out these days.
One of your most famous pieces of work was your second Global Underground compilation, which you chose to base on your experiences of playing in London. Why did you choose London as your inspiration, and what was it about playing in London that you wanted to express in your mix?
It wasnt totally my idea, and I really cant say exactly at what point that compilation, became about London, but it was at the right time and the right place. All the compilations that I make are a reflection of how I feel in the moment and also trying to give a reflection of my heart and soul. You also always want to take into consideration artists that you think could use the hype, and who have inspired you. Its so hard to make compilations picking out all the songs, finding out which ones can be approved, being disappointed about which ones cant. I have really strong memories about playing with Carl Cox in London and sweat dripping from the walls its all about moments, not about the money or anything else, and to me its like Im in the same frame of mind as everyone on the dance floor even now Im 55 years old!
As you were already determined to be a DJ yourself, what tricks of the trade did you learn at that time and maybe still use?
Well, its definitely a whole new ball game since way back in the early days I was playing and learning on turntables that werent even Technics. Playing with 45s and LP cuts that were mainly all live bands with extremely short intros and sloppy drummers. This in itself trained my ear to pay close attention to the beats and where to catch them in order to not train wreck. Precision, like professional dancing was key and the most important thing to focus on as people will notice when youre out of sync.
"The DJs are not just DJs anymore; we're artists, we replaced the live acts, we're in spotlights as producers."
If youve ever wondered what goes on in the mind of Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar,
then today is your lucky day. The electronic music producer has recently opened up in an interview with Westword, where he revealed a less-than-thrilled hot take on the dynamics of the current EDM scene, weighed in on his cult-like following, and more.
How did you start?
The terrain was so different when I was starting. The definition of a DJ was changing. I was in college training to be a guidance counselor or possible high school teacher and I began throwing free raves out in the woods and in warehouses.
How often do you fail in what you're doing?
Let's see. I don't feel a sense of failure very often. I don't actually think of it. Maybe I do and I don't notice. I don't know. I wouldn't want to say I never fail, but I never feel like I'm wallowing in failure. I think creativity is not really about winning or failing. I don't feel like I won, and I don't feel like I failed. I feel like I was creative.
Who is a DJ you admire?
Si Begg. I begged him for YEARS to come out to SF, and when he finally did he made my JAW DROP.
But i admire him even more as a producer. I am pretty bored with DJs, i must say. Also i admire FreQ Nasty, not only for being an ambassador of style, but for staying committed to using music as a magnification glass for social change. Z Trip is the shit too! (and dear good god some of these dub step producers are SO rocking me
Reso, Rusko, UGNH!!!) I would like to see Mr Oizo or Mr Scruff. Coldcut is a genius operation. Come to think of it, there are probably zillions of pure genius acts slaying it right now, but i am on tour full time so i dont really see shows. So i dont know what I`m even talking about!
Do you feel like EDM has a political role at all?
Well, to be clear, I 100 percent don't feel like I'm any part of EDM any more than I'm part of hip-hop or rock and roll. And I don't mean that coyly, like I'm dancing around the reality. I really, truly have never felt like I was a part of that. Even in 2012, when I was doing interviews and a whole interview was about EDM and Skrillex and deadmau5, of course I would respond to them, but that doesn't mean that I had any business weighing in. Like if you asked me, "Do you think hip-hop should do da, da, da? Should Kendrick Lamar do blah, blah, blah? What do you think about Drake's new blah, blah, blah?" it would be kind of silly for me to respond. Or if you said, "What do you think about talk shows today? How is Stephen Colbert doing versus Johnny Carson or blah, blah, blah?" I don't know. I watch them, but I don't have anything to say. I don't speak on behalf of comedians or rock stars or EDM stars or anything. I feel EXTREMELY and you can put that in all caps disinterested in EDM. There are very few EDM artists who I like musically. There are very few EDM artists who I'm impressed [with] or intrigued by their personality or what they're projecting. But there are some artists who are making electronic music who are absolutely fantastic. And there's more and more underground artists who God knows what the fuck to call them are just very talented.
What do you think of digital dj technology?
It`s awesome. In some senses, it changes the sport
whereas one of the GOALS used to be beat matching, that is now pretty irrelevant. And its sad, if your sport was showing off how wonderfully you can beat match, because that has really become obsolete. Although i can beat match as instantaneously as the next DJ, i dont give an ats rasss about doing it and making people watch me do it. Im rather much more interested in creating and collecting awesome sounds, and layering, combining and broadcasting them as a means to conjure up an energetically cathartic experience for other humans.
Are there any really exciting new ideas emerging in underground dance music today?
I am really excited about combinations of existing forms of sound. The more fearlessly we explore these combinations, the more wild and imaginary our results. Strict rules bother me and bore me. Although i tend to refer to Bassnectar as omnitempo maximalism which means any or all speeds, time signatures, and rhythms, and every sound source possible, i seem to gravitate towards really heavy tempos, lots of play with double time and half time, and using electronic methods to embellish and reinforce other styles of music.
"Im pretty inspired, actually borderline obsessive when it comes to creating. I think about music all the time. I dream about it, so its never been like what I can be inspired by; its more like massive to do lists."
of the Netherlands, known by the stage name Brennan Heart
, started his career as a duo with DJ Thera in 2002 then called Brennan & Heart. He began his early years experimenting in Techno, Hard trance, and Tech trance before focusing all his efforts on creating his Hard style sound. After parting ways in 2005 with DJ Thera, Bohn went on to satisfy Hardstylers with over 100 releases, 2 albums and numerous Festival Anthems.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to you at a music festival?
I once played at a festival in Belgium and a photographer was making photos and suddenly I felt something ticking against my leg. But I thought she wanted to take a photo of me or something, nothing special. When I looked down I saw she was having an epileptic seizure on the floor inside the DJ booth. Luckily quickly people came to help and she was okay afterwards. But I remember that the audience on the other side had no idea of what was going on.
Who were your musical influences growing up outside of EDM?
ABBA. To be honest, when it comes to composing music, their really simple songs are the ones that stand out. And they're simple in a good way. Theres no need to over complicate music. People might think Im joking when I say ABBA but it was this kind of 80s/90s music that really influenced todays electronic music. Disco and old pop are basically the foundation of dance music."
Whats the feeling you have when you play something out for the very first time?
Yeah, its a little bit shaky because they dont know how to respond. Its the first time they hear it too so sometimes you never know how it works when that first beat drops, its a surprise. Sometimes people go crazy and other times they need to hear it four or five times first, but yeah Im excited tonight.
You collaborate a lot with Atmozfears. Where does this connection come from and how do you complete each other in the studio?
Tim has the same feeling for hard style as I do, we connect with the same taste for euphoric hard style. Collaborating with Tim was done in separate studios for the most part & both of us played different roles in both of the tracks we did. For one of the tracks i did the lead melody and the chords and for the other track Tim did the lead melody and the chords. Naturally as we both really dig each others music and we connect musically, we both really liked what each other had done and the collabs just worked out really good.
What do you like best about DJing?
For me Im also a producer, what I like is creating tunes in the studio and actually playing the tunes out for the crowd then seeing how tunes can grow. After a while a tune gets its own story its own thing, thats what I like about being a DJ and being a producer. For me thats the ultimate thing.
What is a moment youve experienced that best represents the I AM HARDSTYLE movement, where its more than just the music, but also the community behind it?
Last year when we did the first edition of I AM HARDSTYLE in Germany. It was really amazing to see the community come together for this, not just from Germany but also other countries. It just seems to be growing so much over the last year, people really identify with I AM HARDSTYLE. I think its great that my team and I have created something that brings so many people together.
Where do you get your inspiration for your tracks?
Inspiration is a magical and intangible phenomenon. Sometimes you have loads of ideas, that its hard to capture them all
other days, youre only staring at your screen in the studio. I often go out for a walk along the canal, which enables me to get peace of mind. In general, music from other artists and genres really generate new ideas for my own tracks.
"I think its important to have a home-base or a home platform for your own sound or your own thing. The label is a great way to say to the whole world exactly what youre doing ."
One can confidently say that DJ duo Tenishia
hold the record when it comes to the most gigs performed abroad by a local act. With over than 155,000 fans on their official Facebook page that adds an average of another 3,000 fans per week, Tenishia
who will be celebrating their 10th year anniversary this year, have risen fast and steady from their studio in Marsascala to become a worldwide recognized DJ act.
What does Tenishia mean?
It doesnt have any meaning, it is just a catchy name that we chose for our project.
"We hate pigeonholing trance music and just attach it to the old uplifting style which has long been over produced. Music has no boundaries and combining the right elements together might open new horizons for the genre."
How long have you been working together?
About 8 or 9 years, from 2004 to the present. Yes, we work together long enough.
I know both of you are very open with your ideas, your music productions and your DJ sets. But what will you describe as the Tenishia sound or the Tenishia experience that fans can identify with?
Even though Tenishia was officially formed 8 years ago, our experience into music goes a much longer way then that. Both of us were working on different projects before Tenishia was created. We have built up ourselves in a very particular, small and difficult scene of Malta, which requires a lot of learning lessons. We not only have experience in DJing in clubs, but also in radios, following and playing in rock bands and other music experiments. Our main thing is Trance music of course, but we think we have a very particular way of blending other things into it, which are taking us a step forward. We can easily adapt to a very particular crowd and very open-minded to new things.
Of course you guys play all over the globe. What is so special about the Maltese crowd? Any differences with the other country's?
Malta is like our headquarters, our fans there want to share us to the world because we're one of the very few names from our tiny island to get international recognition. It is like the Maltese followers are part of this story as much as we are so they come to the events we play not only to have a good time but purposely to support us and be part of our story!
What is it like living the life of a World Top DJ? What is the truth behind it all?
Like every job, being a Top DJ comes with its ups and downs. Obviously no one wants to hear the negative stuff so one would just promote the positive as it will make you more sellable. But the truth behind the job goes beyond that. People will just see you on stage, having fun or at least pretending youre having fun, depending where youre performing, but behind those few hours there is a whole lot of things that stage people need to face.
How do you consider TEMPO concert being added to official Valletta 2018 opening celebration? What does it mean to you and could mean to trance?
As for trance, there is no need to say it was the most welcome section of the performance, all my fans were there waiting for it and it is surely not something you see every day that one would hear such music being played so loud in front of the presidents palace!
How do you find a solution between your musical differences? Often argue?
We do argue actually when we create music! Usually we will choose the best if there are differences and options. The argument is common, but we go through it to achieve the best final result .
How would you define the style of the music that you produce?
We definitely like to produce emotional music, with emotional melodies. We definitely prefer eyes closing rather than hands in the air. Obviously, trance is one of our favorite genres but it has changed so much now, and it has become so vast that it goes from one extreme to the other and we have to admit that we do not like some of it. Progressive was always our favorite though. Dark, emotional and aggressive would be our main ingredients.
After a string of consistent releases, huge world tours and the support of one of the biggest DJs in the world, Kill The Buzzs
dedication to his DJ-ing and production is evident. His unique style and characteristic sound has seen an ever-growing faithful fan base, and has gained both the attention and respect from the music industry titans. This young star is on a rapid ascension to great heights in the highly competitive dance music industry and we cant wait to see whats in store in his future.
"I like to think that my music should also be heard by the female audience when they're driving around town or just hanging out."
You are an up-and-coming Dutch DJ & Producer, signed to Hardwells Revealed Recordings record label. How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing and music production?
Well my first touch with electronic dance music was back in 2000 / 2001 when I heard One More Time by Daft Punk. Before that I used to listen to all kinds of music on compilation CDs but back then I wasnt really into Electronic music. After hearing Daft Punks music I started to get more familiar with more genres and became fond of Trance. Tiesto in Concert was the first live performance DVD that I got for my birthday and also a couple of Trance Energy compilations which I still have somewhere in a box. Those Trance guys were a true inspiration for me to get me into wanting to become part of the music industry in general.
Can you talk us through your production process?
My productions process is all about starting with the basics. I am a piano player, so I always start off just jamming behind the Piano. Even if its a remix. I just put on the vocal in loop and start playing chords and melodies until I get the right feeling for the track. If the feeling is the way I want it I start off with adding claps, snaps, hi hats or any other drum loop to get a feeling of the groove and momentum. After that the track will always feel a bit empty so I start layering sounds until I get it the way I want it to sound like. Getting the sound right is important for me so that when I have it on loop I can sit back and start bringing up ideas I want to add or even delete from the project.
As youre constantly flying around the world for shows, how do you keep yourself up-to-date with the latest releases from all your fellow DJs?
Lucky enough there are a lot of promo pools where I am listed in, so Ill receive enough new music before they get released. Also Im very close to the DJs that I know, so when theres a new track coming out theyll mail me about it or send the link in a group chat.
You are best known for your tracks Party Hard, Life Is Calling (with JoeySuki) and Rise Up (with Mark Sixma). What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
"Dont Give Up" with David Spekter, and My Remix of "Jason Derulo - Want to Want me" and "Mason - Exceeder"
What was the best music festival you played this past summer?
The best festival that Ive played this year has to be the I Am Hardwell show in Taipei. It was my first time coming out to Taipei but the energy and the exposure was crazy!
Any possible collaboration with the boys in the future?
In the future, are you going to focus more on your vocals, rather than the DJ/Producing side of your music?
Definitely. I am a musician by heart and vocals are a great way to tell and share a story through music. I will always be focusing on making dance music and also the Big Room sound. But I also want to expand my musical journey and hopefully make my way to an even bigger audience by sharing the music & stories that I wanna share.
Goldfish & Blink are great and we have been working on a collaboration.
one of the few DJ's who is really pushing himself in the live arena, James's live spectacle utilities a pair of trusty 1210's, a couple of CD J's, a DJ M600 mixer and an effects unit create layers of sound that are captivating audiences world over. Sampling, looping, twisting, his technical mastery belies someone his age, his unique talent being jumped upon by electronic giants Pioneer who called on James for development advice for their next generation of DJ hardware.
"I think everyones got a secret desire to share their favorite music with as many people as possible. I mean the most integral part of DJing is sharing music with other people but also putting my own spin on it, so I guess I have the best job in the world really."
Can you describe your DJ style?
When I started DJing I was into so many DJs. The music I started playing when I started DJing myself, was kind of a mixture of all those DJs. The elements of Sasha, elements of Rennie Pilgrim, elements of techno DJs- Luke Slater and people like that. So I guess I just kind of confused as to my music style. I play what I like. Kind of everything. Acid House, break-beat, tech-house, a bit of progressive, melody, all sorts.
Did you have any songs that you wanted, but you couldnt license?
There were a few, but it is always with these vinyl only tracks. They are the tough ones because the labels just want their releases out strictly on vinyl, which I can appreciate. There were a couple I wanted to license, but couldnt because of that reason. They dont want their tracks on Spotify. It is quite nice because now I have those tracks to use in another way such as a radio mix or something like that. Also as time goes by, with those vinyl only tracks, once they are out of press, the labels are more relaxed and you can license it for something else.
You're known for your technical ability behind the decks and on the fly style of DJing, whom were you inspired by as a DJ to do the type of sets you do?
The weird thing is I don't actually know, not for those particular attributes you mentioned at least. I was always fascinated by scratch DJs and computer games as a kid, so some of that is definitely to blame. When I was growing up I mostly just wanted to emulate my hero Sasha who was the king of the long seamless blend and was technical in an entirely different sense. So I guess all the tech stuff just kind of happened through my personality.
Your routines are amazing. How long do you spend practicing for a routine?
Thank you for saying so. Not as much as I should do these days but the good thing about a long run of gigs such as the above is that Im really practicing live. When you do something really cool you can try and repeat it the following night if you can remember how you did it. When there are a lot of gigs in a row you kind of get in the zone.
This year, you'll be at many of major festivals in Europe like Global Gathering. Which one are you most looking forward to?
That one actually. Have you seen the line-up? I almost had to cancel because I'm going to be in America on Fri. night - in Chicago. I have to leave the club and get straight on a plane, just go straight there to get there on time. So there was just no way I was going to miss it. And I just did Homelands and that was really good. It was really nice to see because the scene in the UK has kind of been up and down. And last year Homelands was good but the numbers weren't as good as they have been, but this year was the busiest it's been in three years. And it was really refreshing. And also Homelands is in Winchester which is very close to where I live, in South Hampton, so it was special.
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?
This is easy and if one of the below items are missing I get very upset and will find a replacement at all costs before beginning my journey. Noise cancelling headphones, an Ipod with storm sim app, a comfy hood and an eye mask. With those things I transform myself into a walking, sitting, laying human-hibernation travel cocoon.
Any advice to new DJs?
Ive been helping my girlfriend practice mixing and beat-matching, and she had a gig recently and the DJ after her showed up with a Native Instruments S2 synced to Traktor, but he didnt know how to beat match, so he turned to her to ask if she could bring his first track in, which is madness! I couldnt even imagine it! Its crazy to think that there are DJs out there that dont even have that skill of beat-matching, which in its basic sense isnt even hard. I know there are different levels of beat-matching, like if you look at what Sasha was doing with wonky acetates 10 years ago, that was something beyond basic beat-matching; 3 minute mixes of things that arent supposed to go together.