Following the release of his stunning track ‘Sense of Wonder’ on Nora En Pure’s Purified Records last year, we have been patiently waiting to hear what is next for Swiss / Belgian producer Paradoks. We got the chance to chat to Kobe from his home in Switzerland, exclusively on Raver Mag.
RM: Hi Paradoks! Welcome to Raver Mag. Are you in Zürich right now?
P: Hey! Thank you. Yes, I’m currently on the outskirts of Zurich, but I don’t know where I’ll be in a few months, I move a lot and it’s a bit unpredictable where I’ll end up!
RM: What do you love about living in Switzerland? Do you find lots of inspiration there for your music?
P: I’ve lived in many places in my life, and for now, Switzerland is one of the places where I could see myself live in the long term. Nature is just everywhere and close by. I have a forest right next to my studio, so I often go to walk and listen to the birds, which gives me a sense of time standing still. I can also go skiing or hiking in the mountains with just a 40-minute drive or go to the lake in 5 minutes. The quality of the air as well as the peaceful environment really gives me time to settle and take better care of my health. I’d say Swiss people are generally very healthy people who do lots of outdoor activities, and I’m clearly an outdoor person too. Where I live, it’s also not as distracting as other big cities, which allows my creativity to bloom, but I love to move and discover new cities, so we never know where I’ll be soon.
RM: We heard that you previously lived in Argentina. What was the music scene like there, and how did it differ to Zurich’s scene?
P: Indeed, I lived in Buenos Aires and I had some of the best moments of my life there. I fell in love with the country and the people, they are so energetic, passionate and funny, and I really feel like myself there. I go back touring there every year, and my Spanish accent is super Argentinean. I think that many artists agree with me when I say that it’s one of the best crowds to play for. They have true passion and respect for music and the artists, and I rarely feel as much energy and hear as much cheering and screaming in other places as I do in Argentina.
The swiss scene is a bit more reserved in comparison, but it’s just a different way to appreciate the music. I have played in amazing parties in Switzerland as well, each scene has its own magic and characteristic.
RM: How did you come to work with Nora En Pure & her label Purified Records?
P: During the pandemic, Nora En Pure played my track ‘Floating’ on numerous occasions, like on Tomorrowland Radio, Purified Radio and other streams. The Purified team therefore reached out to me for a release. A few weeks later I made ‘Flying Particles’ and ‘Wander’, which were perfect for Purified. Since Nora En Pure is also based in Zurich, we were able to meet up for a coffee because we weren’t travelling due to COVID, and that definitely helped strengthen our relationship.
RM: Is there one track that you associate with the beginnings of your career?
When I initially started as Paradoks, I was making darker tech-house. I remember that I heard the song “Meteora” by Moonwalk in 2016 when I was driving the car with a friend in Argentina, and that track gave me such adrenaline and goosebumps. For me, it was the first time I heard a mixture between dark tech-house and melodic techno, and it was the perfect crossover for my sound. Nowadays, my sound has completely changed again when you think of “Floating”, “Sense of Wonder” and “Flourish”: more melodic and not as dark, but “Meteora” has played a huge role in introducing me to dark melodic techno which, a few years later, evolved into my current sound.
RM: Is there a track that never fails to make it into your sets?
P: I like to switch up my sets as much as possible, especially with new music coming out regularly. Sometimes I pick up a track for half a year or more, but generally at one point all tracks of a set are replaced. But as a producer myself, this doesn’t apply to my own tracks, since people come for my music and often expect me to play them. My track “Floating”, for example, despite being 2 years old, is almost always in my sets because it’s one of my favorite tracks and it just always resonates with people on the dancefloor.
RM: How do your sets change depending on the venue you play?
P: My sets depend both on the venue, but also on the set time. In a sunset open-air, I would play more melodic and “feel good” music, though still with groove and high energy. My opening set for Mathame and Denis Horvat in Barcelona is a perfect example of that. When I play at 3AM in a club, I play darker and harder. But nowadays, I really prefer open-airs, as I feel it resonates better with my current music.
RM: Is there a venue you haven’t played at that you have been dreaming of?
P: I would absolutely love to play at Tomorrowland one day.
RM: We have loved your livestream sets. If you could do another one anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
P: Thank you! I’m actually thinking of doing more soon, but at the moment I’m focused on finishing new tracks in the studio. I would love to do a livestream at the Bachalpsee in Switzerland, as it offers an incredibly stunning view of the mountains reflecting in the glacier lake.
RM: If you could give you could give advice to yourself when you just started out in the music industry, what would it be?
P: Be patient, focus on the craft rather than success, and care less what other people think. Music speaks for itself, so stay true to yourself, make the music you love and just focus entirely on improving it day by day, and the rest will follow. Also, never forget to have fun.