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Interviews

Not So Serious w/ Jacopo Latini

By Interviews, News, Not So Series

An artist that sparked our curiosity a while back is on today’s Not So Serious stage. Jacopo Latini, a Bologne-based producer, has steadily risen in popularity over the last few years, with releases on Mood Waves, and his own Taboo Traxx which he co-founded, laying the groundwork for his sound. Positioning himself in the eye of the storm, Jacopo has reached an accomplished state of equilibrium with his most recent Rumore Bianco EP. The EP is absolutely sick, with all of the necessary components to get you dancing and a true fresh approach in its rounded basslines and cosmic melodies. Not to mention that his collaboration with Giammarco Orsini, Data Memory Access, is also soaring to new heights, as the duo debuted their live performance at the Picnic’s 10-year fabric takeover, and it went off without a hitch.

MEOKO catches up with Jacopo Latini to get a Not So Serious insight on what superpower he’d like to have and how he imagines partying in year 3000 would look like…

  •  Three Tunes That Never Leave Your Bag…

– Ricky. R – Underground Morality 

– Look, Love, Listen – Robot Man (Edit) 

– Mad Mike – Hi – Tech Dreams 

 

  •  I know it’s weird, but I really like to…

Enjoy silence! 

  •  What is your favorite 90s jam? 

It’s really difficult to just choose one. Everybody knows it was a crucial period for dance music in all of its forms; a huge legacy of DJs, artists and tracks that gave us a lot of inspiration to embrace the future. If I have to pick one…

 

  •  If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose? 

Can I choose both? haha! 

 

  • What is an album you are into at the moment? 

Bicep – Isles 

  • Assuming that the world is going to end tomorrow, what would you do tomorrow? 

I would like to have a good dinner with the people I love, and then head directly to play at the best party of my life. 

  •  If you could blink your eyes and be in a favorite place right now, where would that place be? 

In a studio, immersed in nature with all the studio gear I have ever dreamed of. 

 

  •  If you could meet anyone, alive or dead? Who would that be? 

Thomas Banghalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo (Daft Punk) 

 

  • Throughout my teenage years, I was listening to…

I would always have different playlists with a variety of genres. I have always loved the hip-hop sound, a lot of Italian stuff, but also Eminem, Dre, Notorious BIG, Tupac. 

At the same time, I started to buy records and CDs, around the age of 14/15 , this was my first interaction with electronic music, listening to Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Prodigy, and of course more club-oriented music, particularly house music. 

Geographically I grew up in a crucial place for the Italian club scene at that time – Bologna, which was supported during the summer by another magical place, Riccione. My first club experience was when I was 16, and I can happily say that nothing can beat that feeling. 

So I started to visit clubs often. Once back home I would search online for recorded DJ sets, upload them to my iPod and listen to them every day. I learned a lot doing that. 

  •  What’s the most crucial track of all-time? 

There is more than one, but if I have to choose: Kraftwerk – The Robots. 

  • Funniest thing I have ever seen…

Hmm…really don’t know. Probably a man (who I guess was a little high) was kissing the door at the entrance of the club as if it was his girlfriend. 

 

  • Producer to watch out for…

Data Memory Access 😉 

  • Describe what you feel like partying in the year 3000 will look like. 

I think history has always taught us that people have had the need to dance, perhaps by changing costumes, shapes, and music but the lowest common denominator remains. Maybe the parties in the future will have new colors, new rhythms, and new locations, but we have been dancing, we are still dancing, and will continue to dance forever.

 

Words by Monika Zander

MORE Jacopo Latini:  Soundcloud / Facebook / Instagram

More MEOKO: Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud

Not So Serious w/ Mateo Dufour & Cosenza

By Interviews, News, Not So Series

Argentina has never been so hot, and with a decent number of quality groovers released over a couple of years, it was just a matter of time for fellow-Buenos Aires long time friends, groove aficionados, and b2b partners in crime Mateo Dufour and Cosenza to make their takeover on the worldwide scene. Their “Space Runner” on the mighty Key Records is just the perfect example. Fusing early ’00 house melodies with more modern stripped-back bumpy minimal rhythms, they exactly represent what South America is all about: driving rhythms, positive vibes, and a looot of energy! Today, we have invited them for our usual not so serious chat, vamos!

  • The best mix of 2021 was…

MateoIn my opinion the best mix of 2021 was The Ghost at The Mudd Show Hoppetosse, a perfect vinyl set with music that I never heard before. I have really good memories with this one, driving on my last travels. It has a perfect start with deep vibes to get out of the city and take the highway with more groove, always housey & fresh 🙂

CosenzaI’m not that guy who listens to house music when having a free time, but The MUDD Show has really good ones. I like the S. Moreira & Band podcast for example. For me that’s perfect when I want to chill, some Jazzy and instrumental beats. But there are many good ones when it comes to set the night, as the one from Giammarco Orsini or The Ghost. It depends on the mood and the daily momentz!

 

 

  • A night that went out of control?

Mateo: Ush! it’s hard to choose one after the funny weekends that we had with the Key Records fam in Uruguay, but well, If I need to choose one, I would say the night of “SOMOS”, the party where I played with Dyed, Lutz, Ricardo and Franco. What a crazy and long night this was! A lot of friends from Argentina were there and that made it different and special. The music was one of the best nights of my life, all the sets were perfect and hearing Franco closing with Ricardo was epic, national pride! The night went out of control when we left the venue and went to the afterparty at mid-day. We arrived, connected everything in 15 minutes and then we played till 4am on Monday b2b dyed.

Cosenza: All parties have their own things but for me one of my best party was the recently one from Key and Somos with Dyed, Franco Cinelli and Ricardo. Really good vibes with the local people from Uruguay and the music, just perfect! Now it’s a must for me to come back there 🇺🇾♥️

 

  • Craziest thing you have seen in a party?

Mateo: Haha, definitely the craziest thing that I have seen is a naked boy dancing on the dance floor, too crazy, he tried to climb the speakers too. That was at my first electronic festival, Creamfields Buenos Aires 2011

Cosenza: With no doubts the craziest and the funniest thing I’ve ever seen was Ricardo playing a 29 minutes track to not finishing the after party at Somos x Key 😂

  • The next music trend will be…

Mateo: I think that we are coming back to the 90’s, 100%, using the samples and synths from this time, trying to bring the colours that only you can make with analog stuff.

Cosenza: I think it’s gonna be more 90’s vibe, trying to recreate the imperfections of the old times when the music was made just jamming with machines.

 

  • If I just had 24 hours left on this planet, I’d…

Mateo: If I just had 24 hours left on this planet, I’d roll a big joint, call to my family and friends and drink a mate with them, seeing the sun going down <3

Cosenza: Really good question here, I would stay with my friends playing table tennis, and drinking some beers waiting for the end. Hope to have a large stock of beers!

 

  • Tell us a funny story that happened to you while partying or playing music.

Mateo: I remember we went back to a friend’s house after a party, some years ago, maybe 7, and when I was going to the toilet I saw a friend, making pee all over the front door. I went running and when I saw his face, he was smiling with his eyes closed, like in heaven haha. I said “Go to the bathroom bro” and he didn’t understand much, he opened his eyes and continued making pee.

Cosenza: You always hear a lot of crazy stories when the party comes to an end, but I have a good one from a few years ago. My friends from Clap Music here from Argentina were having their 2nd Anniversary party with a lot of friends and proper music. This night was one of the nights you know it’s gonna be long, and I was just playing there when I realized a friend was burying bottles in the ground for the after party, never seen this before! Also this guy dropped his phone in the toilet the same night 😂

  • One record that can be played over and over again to torture someone?

Mateo: Push – Universe Nation , or any hard-trance record haha.

Cosenza: Sarude – Sandstorm. A mustn’t for the bag.

 

  • How do you deal with a hangover?

Mateo: Nothing better than eating good Chinese rice and veggie arumakis with a spicy beer these days!

Cosenza: We all know this, to deal with the hangover you have to open up another beer, rest in peace on Monday 😝

  • When you were five years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Mateo: When I was 5 years old I remember that I wanted to be a farmer, in Argentina we say it ‘Gaucho’. I remember that I used farmer clothes on my days and loved to dance folclore. I have really good memories from these times, maybe because they were the best years of my life, living in the countryside with all my family.

Cosenza: To be honest I have no memory of what I wanted to be when I was a kid but let’s say I wanted to be an astronaut. Not this time Elon Musk, you’ll have to wait!!

  • What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Mateo: “If you try everyday, with love and respect, one day it will arrive” I remember this phrase that a friend said in a rehearse with a band, and I never forget … and he added   “its mathematic!” and I can say that is real (:

Cosenza: I always try to take all the advices that everyone gives me so I can do everything better, but I think one of the best advices that someone ever gave me was to enjoy the process and I’m taking it very literally.

 

  • What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Mateo: We had a friend’s birthday party in an unknown place, in the countryside. After 2 hours after the party started, I was playing and the police kicked down the door and entered. They were like 60 policemens really angry and violent, searching for the owners of the party and me and my friend were really scared. After some hours, we found out that the house that we rented had some legal problems and not the best background…

Cosenza: We were coming back from a boat party, when it suddenly lost direction and we hit a sailboat! We had to wait 1 hour for the police to come and rescue us, a very epic ending.

 

  • Can you think of a movie title that best describes your life right now?

Cosenza: Better Call Saul.. cause I’m on the aftercito 🤣

 

  • Favourite track from your recent Space Runner EP?

Mateo: “Data Move” I love all the tracks from the EP, and these things don’t always happen, but this one has the perfect balance between my taste and Cosenza’s. I really enjoyed the process of this ep, we learned a lot together, using the machines and when we were mixing it.

Cosenza: I love all of them but I think the one that came with a fast flow and more dynamic was “Space Runner”. We had so much fun making this one with Mateo, always a pleasure to work with my brother, learning new things together and sharing all the stuff with each other. That’s the best way to grow up!

 

Words by Monika Zander & Francesco Quieti

More Mateo Dufour: Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud

More Cosenza: Facebook/ Instagram / Soundcloud

More MEOKO: Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud

Sentaku: A journey from London to Japan (with Massaï and Simon)

By Chats to MEOKO, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive, News

Sentaku is a family affair” – Massaï says. The London-based label & event series has constantly displayed the ambition to spotlight enthusiastic and developing artists since its founding in 2017 by Massaï and Josh Rawl. Sentaku’s first event of the year is quickly approaching (yes, this Fridaaaay), and we are super excited to explore more about the party’s preparations and the strong Japanese culture behind it. So let’s get down with co-founder Massaï and the label’s booking and event manager Simon.

 

  • Hello guys! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Before we go any further, can you guys introduce yourself and tell us more about what inspired you to found Sentaku? 

MassaïHello Monika, I’m Alex co-founder, Artist Director and Resident of Sentaku and I am with Simon, our Booker and Event Manager at SentakuOur journey at Sentaku started from a friendship with Josh Rawl (co-founder), after we started a few conceptual parties in London we decided to create our own imprint, it has always been inspired from the very beginning by Japanese culture and specifically the Edo period. 

 

  • What was the goal of establishing the label in the first place, and how did you guys meet and collaborate? 

MassaïWe decided to create our label mainly because we had many friends that were struggling to find a platform to release their music. We had the idea of creating something that was our own and most important that was representing our values in this industry: bringing people together and creating a community of like minded people. We are grateful to all our friends and artists that trust in us, releases after releases and helped us in building the Sentaku and Shinuchu record label. This is for me the biggest achievement. Sentaku is a family affair, we all met in London through Uni years, gatherings, friends and parties. Simon has been part of our journey from almost the very beginning. He naturally started to help us during our events using his experience in stage management. Since then he officially joined Sentaku team and we became inseparable. 

  • What has been the most difficult aspect of getting this label off the ground?

Massaï: Well I think the most difficult part was the fact that we literally had zero experience in this nor money on our savings ahah. It was not easy to build the label from scratch but being surrounded by creative people was very helpful. I was at University at the time studying Management of the Arts so this was also helpful to build our legal structure and going through the first steps of organising a record label. Josh was studying Business management which was a plus in building our business plan for the record label. We both did a lot of research on the legal side as well as a curation of labels. We are both huge fans of the Hip Hop culture, being an underground culture before being more popular and accepted as part of the general culture. It was very interesting and inspiring to watch documentaries on how these small labels became big and worldwide companies using music as their medium of communication to the world with strong messages and images. I think that our community want to give a message of unity, peace and acceptance and music is for us the best medium to do so. 

 

  • Your first event for 2022 is just around the corner alongside Desyn, Man/Ipulate and Pablo. What are your expectations for the event and actually, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit more about the philosophy behind each Sentaku event in terms of location and artist selection, as well as elaborate on what you think are the game’s most important components for throwing an event in London?

SimonYes we are so excited about our comeback 🙂 To be honest after a long break due to COVID, the most difficult part as promoters was to not be allowed to organise events. So I’d say I’m so looking forward to welcoming people and seeing people’s faces reacting to the music. This event is a challenge in some ways as we come back with new ambitions mainly to develop our event side. This year we will focus on 3 different events implementing the Sentaku vibe in every aspect so I am super excited to present what we have been working on.

MassaïLondon is an amazing city and has a very strong electronic music community, we have always been looking for an intimate spot and this is the leitmotif from the beginning. In terms of artist selection we have always done the music we love and as you can see we have a wide range of musical tastes that progressed throughout the years. Our formula is simple: intimate spot, good soundsystem, a mix of resident and friends and last but not least an artist that is an inspiration and a true representative of the scene. It is very important to us to put the light on the up and coming scene, I believe this melting pot is the essence of SentakuWe are super excited for our first event of the year with Desyn in line, Man/ipulate and Pablo perfect recipe and we cannot wait to announce our other projects coming up this year – that said we are hoping to see all of our community as we are preparing something special including more stage design and projections. We want everyone to feel the Sentaku vibe all night long. 

  • All of Sentaku’s releases have Japanese titles (some of the tracks too). Could you please elaborate on that and how you came up with it? 

MassaïThe process behind it took us a whole year to elaborate, we wanted to do something that has a mystical aspect as well as linked to Japan’s history. I have always been fascinated about Japan since my early age and Josh is the same. It was kind of an evidence to dive into the Edo period (circa 1600); creating releases around famous characters of Japanese history as well as mystical beliefs like mythology. 

 

  • What inspired these titles and releases, and where did the names come from?

MassaïAll titles are inspired by existing figures from the Japan history, the names are not only characters but most of them are people who existed and marked Japan history as an exemple, Hattori Hanzo was a famous ninja from the Tokugawa clan and is known from being one of the most faithful servant of Tokugawa Ieyasu, he was a major figure in helping Ieyasu to become the ruler of united Japan. He is also known for being a very accurate sword master and tactical engineer.

 

  • Since its inception in 2017, the label has hosted 25 parties and released six vinyl records. If you could travel back in time and experience any moment with Sentaku over the previous five years, which one would you choose and why?

Simon:I have so much to be honest… in the London scene we have collaborated with so many friends for parties that each of them is special, such as the ones with our dearest 110 boysBut for the crazy and magic moments, I would say one of our biggest co-host party in Paris at Wanderlust with our dear friends from Lourios Bookings in May 2019. We lined up artists such as Praslea, Charonne, 100hz, Muten, and many more in 2 stages and welcomed more than 1000 people. This weekend was even more magical as the night before we were co-hosting a party with Opia and MOB in London. So as Lady Gaga said, this weekend was: club, train no sleep, another club.

Massaï: It is hard to bring one specific memory, we had the chance to experience many different cities and countries, meeting super interesting and inspirational people. The Mobtakopia (MOB, Opia, Sentaku) was one for the books where all conditions were met from an amazing venue to a memorable set (Michelle played 3hours in live), the VJing and stage design was also amazing, it was a very special and unique vibe on this day.

  • Could you walk me through a typical, day-to-day week at the label? Do you have typical, run-of-the-mill weeks, or are they always a little different?

MassaïWell first you have to know that dealing with the label is not our main job, I am a booker for Pieces where I manage 9 artists and Simon is a Cyber Security Consultant. However we always find time during the day/evening to exchange on label activities. Simon works mainly on the event/booking aspects: dealing with the venues for our upcoming events but also with promoters for the bookings of our 6 artists (Lamalice, Man/ipulate, Massaï, Josh Rawl, DandelooI am the artistic director of the label so I work mainly on finding new artists for the label as well as establishing the line up and contacting the bookers. I also work closely with Jane, our graphic designer, to share ideas on the artworks. It requires time and organisation but so far so good! Also during the pandemic we had the time to completely restructure the label and event side, assigning a role to every member of the crew, we are also doing meetings every week to share ideas and put them into reality. 

 

  • Sentaku releases, in my opinion, have strong electro elements, which I absolutely love. However, I am curious how you would describe the Sentaku’s sound in your own words?

MassaïI believe Sentaku has a wide range of colour pallet throughout the years, our tastes in music has gone from minimal to house with some bits of trancy/techno/ electro touches, we want to represent what we like without any limit so the sound we stick to is the sound we love in every aspects. 

 

  • What factors do you consider when selecting artists for your releases?

Massaï: As previously mentioned, it is very important for us to work within our community. Sentaku is a family affair so we mainly work with friends we know and artists we believe in. This forthcoming year we want to focus on our residents who are producing amazing tracks, last EP was a combination of tracks from Lamalice and Dandeloo and the next one will be from Man/ipulate. We also plan on an album from Lamalice and two EPs from Dandeloo and Pablo. That said, our digital releases main focus is friends and family so it will focus on up and coming producers that are within our community.

  • Sentaku is well-known in London’s underground scene; what distinguishes partying in London from other European cities, in your opinion?

Simon: Oh that’s a very good question actually. I would say London is unique. Alex lives in Paris so he can certainly confirm what I’m saying. London is unique because of the vibe, the open-mindset of our crowd. As you understood from us, friendship is key for us and in London most of the crews know each other. We go to everyone’s party and there is no beef. I am not saying it’s a candy world far from it but coming from Paris where ego and vibe can be different. Underground means something here.

Massaï: Indeed London is a very interesting melting pot, there are loads of people coming from abroad so it definitely makes it unique, we are lucky to have such a curious crowd in London. In Lion and Lamb which has been the home of our events for the past years, allowed us to bring artists from small to bigger profiles and people would come down because they are curious in listening to new artists. There is also the fact that politics are more open to our industry in the UK in general. This allow us to look for new and intimate spots where in Paris it is a lot more difficult. However with the city (Paris) extending thanks to the enlargement of the metro, I am sure it will bring many more interestings places in the future. 

  • You’ve been in the electronic music industry for a while now, and you’ve probably seen some crazy things at parties. Are there any that spring to mind in particular?

Simon: You know what we say right? What’s happening in the party, stays in the party 🙂

Massaï: Well usually we have the same formula for doing events in London, we usually do Lion and Lamb and then an afterparty in different intimate locations (boats, warehouses, lofts…). Unfortunately in the middle of the Lion and Lamb one, the after party spot dropped out last minute but London is magical and full of opportunities. That night we had a friend who sorted out a boat and it ended up being a super cool after party we had Josh Rawl and Lamalice playing an extended back to back as well as Manipulate and myself for another 5 hours, the fact that is happened like this was definitely something and you could feel it on the boat. 

  • What does the future hold in store for you guys and Sentaku?

Simon: Oh man, I hope first  the future will be brighter for Ukraine as it is really hard to keep having fun and planning events knowing the situation over there… But for Sentaku as I said we are developing our events with our next one celebrating our anniversary 🙂 can’t disclose too much of it for now

MassaïThe main focus will be to develop our brand, we have been lucky to travel the word in the past few years. With Manipulate and Lamalice joining the team as well as Dandeloo, Pablo and myself developing our productions skill we would like to be able to present our project, family, vibe and be more established in the scene through a series of curated events and releases. I am also dreaming of a building festival where we could focus on our generation of artists maybe doing with other collectives and getting involved as much creatives as possible, make it something unique.

Words by Monika Zander

Tickets for Sentaku presents: The Underworld w/ Desyn here

More Sentaku: Facebook / Instagram /  Soundcloud

More MEOKO: Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud

Oshana: This album has been a goal of mine for years – I was always waiting for the right moment to write it

By Chats to MEOKO, Interviews, News

With various outstanding releases on labels such as Partisan, Brouqade, and BodyParts, among others, Berlin-based Oshana has crafted out a distinct niche for herself in recent years and in 2020 she embraced her dedication to music by launching her own label, Psionic, releasing music consistently top-of-the-line. As an artist who was born in the United States and who also developed and polished her skills in Berlin, her music has a truly worldwide resonance. Her eclectic musical background fuels her verve for electronic experimentation in her music yet her productions and DJ sets incorporate the futuristic and warm melodic synth sounds she loves, while preserving the booming groove of her musical heritage. Having that in mind, she recently released her first full-length album, ‘Disciples of Dystopia,’ on her label, which gives a distinct perspective on the italo disco and hip-hop influences that shaped her artistic journey.

We are delighted to welcome Oshana just as her US tour is about to begin.

Hello, Oshana. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. We spent the afternoon listening to your freshly released debut full album, ‘Disciples of Dystopia’, and it is absolutely amazing! This LP actually welcomes a wide range of inspirations and doesn’t shy away from mixing up tempos in each of the tracks it contains. Can you tell us more about it, and how long did it take you to complete it?

Hi! It’s my pleasure and thank you! I’m very happy you like it! This album has been a goal of mine for years – I was always waiting for the right moment where I felt compelled to write it and, for me, the time came during the first lockdown. I experienced so many emotions and finally had the time and headspace to create a body of work that was fully representative of me and all the influences that I’ve had over the years. A couple of tracks were finished 1-3 years prior, but most of the album was written over 6-12 months. I also took breaks in between, which is one of the reasons why you hear a range of tempos and moods throughout the album.

What gear would you say was the most important part of the process of creating the “Disciples of Dystopia” LP?

While I used a range of gear, the two pieces that were most crucial were the Roland MC-505 and Yamaha RM1x. I used both machines to kickstart ideas and draw inspiration from.

Your own record label, Psionic, was launched last year, marking a new milestone for you. What prompted you to start the label in the first place, and what is the core idea? Do you have a favorite release or one that holds special meaning for you?

The main reason I started the label was to have a platform of my own where I could have complete artistic control as well as priority in terms of how and when my music was released. The idea was to present timeless, powerful, and cerebral music, irrespective of trends, from artists with a unique and identifiable sound. I love all the releases so far, but my favorite would be the first release as Astral Travel. It was the first official collaboration between Anthea and I, and it was particularly special because of the effect she’s had on me and my career. Her never-ending faith and encouragement have been a constant source of inspiration for me to continue pushing forward.

 

You are affiliated with the Paris-based record label and agency Yoyaku. What role has the label played in the development of your music and how has the association impacted you as an artist?

My relationship to Yoyaku was an important building block in elevating my profile when I decided to go pro. I learned a lot about myself and my fundamental beliefs as an artist through that connection. At the time, it opened many doors for both of us. However, the period post – Yoyaku was most instrumental in developing my music. Going solo meant that I could explore parts of myself that I had forgotten, and it allowed me to have the space and freedom to be my own artist without feeling pressured to conform to someone else’s brand image.

 

In a time when electronic music was booming in the 1990s and ’00s, growing up in the States certainly gives you a significant edge. How would you compare and contrast the current perspectives on electronic music and rave culture in the United States and Europe?

I agree. Growing up in the states during that time is something I’m especially grateful for. In America, it’s the limitations that gave me a particular edge, whereas, in Europe, it seems to be the opportunities.  For one, in the US, you can’t even enter a club until you’re 18 years old, 21 in most cases. In Ohio, where I’m from, bars and clubs close around 2am, which means that most of the action is happening at afterparties or illegal raves (that was especially true in the late 90’s-early 00’s). The scene was also much smaller in Ohio, which meant that promoters and DJ’s across genres of electronic music worked together to support one another. However, the other side of it, was that it was incredibly difficult to build a successful club night, which is why so much support was needed. Losing money was the norm, so it was a passion project for most people in the scene. Being restricted meant that you had to be more imaginative and creative about the parties you threw and even the music you selected. On the other hand, in Europe, it seems to be the opposite. Without age restrictions, you can start raving at a much younger age.  The industry seems bigger and, as a result, you can earn a living from touring. The other side of it is that people are spoiled for choice, here. In that way, it’s very segmented. But, in the wake of recent events, one thing they both have in common is their fragility. People from both sides of the pond are moving back towards that sense of community, like the one I experienced in Ohio, to protect the scene and everything it stands for.

 

I have observed that the Internet has had a significant impact on music over the past few years, with YouTube, Shazam, and Boiler Room all enabling greater access to music and Facebook and Instagram making artists’ work available to a wider audience. What are your thoughts on the Internet and social media in general as help or hinder to artists?

I’m not big on social media, to be honest. The idea of documenting my private life and having to scramble around for content seems tedious and contrary to the way I like to live my life. I also question why it should play any role in how successful an artist is. But, I do see its value helping to engage with, identify, and grow my audience. I’m also particularly grateful for the way the internet has helped us to connect with each other. When I started my career, the idea of touring in Europe and connecting with my favorite artists seemed totally out of reach-a pipe dream. I couldn’t even imagine the life I’m living now, and I will never forget that feeling. It’s humbling to think about how far we’ve progressed and how important the internet has been in accelerating people’s careers, especially mine. It wasn’t that long ago that people had to rely solely on word of mouth or writing their phone number/email address on a record just to put themselves out there.

Do you start creating music with a specific concept in mind, or do you improvise until something sticks?

In most cases, I would say the latter. But, this album was totally different. I did something I’ve never done before – I came into the studio with a theme in my head, Dystopian. The sound design, mood, and approach were heavily influenced by it. I purposely wanted to create something raw, imperfect, and full of emotion. Setting an intention before I entered the studio was an entirely new experience for me, and my ideas flowed together much faster and cohesively.

 

I know you had a daytime job in finance in New York before relocating to Berlin. Did you always know that music is what you wanted to do with your life, or did you have another plan? When and what was the game – changer for you that made you realize you could DJ for a living?

I’ve always known. Even when I tried to convince myself otherwise, something always pulled me back. There was never a doubt in my mind, even back in New York, that I was meant to be pursuing music. It just wasn’t as feasible because the cost of living was so high in New York. The ultimate game-changer, though, was when I started to tour more frequently. At a certain point, I was experiencing these highs being on tour, connecting with people on the other side of the world, and pursuing my real passion in life. Having to be in the office, early on a Monday morning, became more and more daunting for me. There was a huge disconnect, as I felt that I wasn’t living the life I was intended to live. So, after a string of successful releases and building up a decent amount of savings, I decided to make the move. I haven’t looked back since.

 

Is there a spot in Berlin that you particularly enjoy visiting?  A secret hideaway or a place where you can recharge your batteries?

That’s a tough one. I normally leave Berlin to relax, but if I can think of anywhere-probably just outside of Funkhaus. I have a studio, there, where I like to relax and sit by the water in between or before studio sessions to clear my head and focus on nature. It’s beautiful there!

 

What else inspires you besides music these days?

Film and art. Over the last few years, I’ve become a huge movie buff-I bought a wide-screen projector and have an even wider pool of movies to choose from, now that I’ve started working for Warner Bros. It’s a gift and a curse.

 

Words by Monika Zander

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