Coming Full Circle – Exclusive Interview with Markus Schulz

By Kristine Kennedy and Michael Beas

German-American DJ Markus Schulz is no stranger to the electronic music industry and certainly no stranger to performing and producing musical works of art. Dubbed as “the unicorn slayer”, we have gotten to know Markus a bit over the years and one quality that sticks out is just how meticulous he is with his projects. Whether it’s a new track, a podcast episode, a set at Tomorrowland or one of his famous open-to-close sets, he oversees every aspect of the production. That hard work truly pays off and comes across in his music, giving it that extra layer of artistry.

We recently got a chance to catch up with Markus and hope you enjoy the following interview.

Raver Magazine: Miami Music Week must be a nice treat for you since you call Miami home. How was it this year?

Markus Schulz: I love welcoming people to my home! So we did a party on Tuesday night, which was the opening night for Miami Music Week. We did the label party that evening. I didn’t actually play but it was my label and our artists were playing. We had a great event that night. Friday and Saturday I actually had off, which is very rare for me. I had two shows on Sunday though, and did Ultra Music Festival as well as my open-to-close set in Wynwood.

Raver Magazine: Talk to us about some of the artists on your label [Coldharbour Recordings].

Markus Schulz: I look for people who I think are good artists to collaborate with. I look for people who think the same way that I do musically and try to help them along with their careers. I have had a lot of people advise me and help me along my path, and I enjoy finding young talented people so I can return the favor and help them along their path as well. It’s what my label and management company is all about and we have some really nice artists who are very talented and just trying to find their place in the music industry.

Raver Magazine: We know you’re a big fan of doing open-to-close sets. We’ve been to a few of yours and they’re fantastic! Can you talk to us a little about what foes into them from a production standpoint and for your own mental preparation?

Markus Schulz: Well it’s funny because I started off as a resident DJ playing every Friday and Saturday nights. I would come in and I would play from the time the doors would open until the last person left. That’s how I started my career and the more famous I got the shorter my sets got, you know? At some select festivals I can do a 90 minute set but most just give one hour. So for me my open-to-close sets are kind of a throwback to how it all started for me.

I like to program them as if I’m playing as three separate DJ’s but all as myself. I play the opening DJ and then my main set and then the after party closing set. To be honest with you, I love the after hours set of those nights. That is when all the craziness really happens. These sets have also been a little tricky though, because it has to be in the right city and the right venue. You can’t do an open to close night from 10pm until 2am.

Raver Magazine: We know from experience four hours isn’t long enough for a Markus Schulz story to be told!

Markus Schulz: No it is not. The naughtiness hasn’t even started four hours into those nights!

Raver Magazine: So what do you have coming up soon for your fans to look forward to?

Markus Schulz: Every spring I do an all vocal trance edition of my radio show called In Bloom. Last year we did a compilation EP based on the tracks that I did for the radio show, so we have decided to do that again this year. I just released “The Dreamers” with Smiley that we also did a beautiful trance version that I absolutely love for the EP.

Raver Magazine: Well to close, we know you’ve got a wedding coming up [with Adina Butar]. Do you have your look for the wedding?

Markus Schulz: June 1st – tick tick it’s coming fast! It has a little bit of rock and roll vibe. John Varvatos is what I’m going with!