Yeah, I just re-launched my Fanfare radioshow and I’m super excited to have it back on! I am currently working on the weekly concept and I will be aired in the US by DASH Radio from next week on (more to come). But this is just the start of a bunch of things I’m going to do with the FANFARE brand – next is the launch of my own FANFARE record label (finally!) end of summer and at a later stage, we will add a FANFARE tour and event section to it as well. So FANFARE is growing!
You are one of the globally accomplished progressive-house DJs who is still able to move very easily in-and-out of the pop/commercial sound while still maintaining your original personality. Is there an element — musically or production-wise — that you try to always maintain when moving between the EDM/dance and pop/commercial worlds?
I would not say that there is a certain element – as every track or production follows it’s own ‘law’; this is even the case within a genre. For me it’s rather how I approach a production. I try to find my own vibe with it and then I try to create something around that vibe. Very often I find myself using the same chord progressions for melodic pieces, but then I adjust those to fit the actual song. Just an example, I also have my personal ‘habits’ to create sounds and put them together. Apart from this, I always try NOT to re-create stuff I’ve done before but rather bring in new and fresh elements. Maybe it’s the mix
of both these things which makes my sound…
We’re really diggin’ your remix of Alice Chater’s song, “Thief,” out on Universal Music. The music video for this song is insane! Were you influenced by the video when you did the remix? How did you go about approaching this remix? What is your general method of approaching all remixes?
Thank you, glad you like it! honestly, I did not know abiou tthe video when I started working on the remix! I just went with the flow of the original vocal and mix and tried to build my own ‘vision’ of the song 🙂
We love your original productions, too, most recently your incredible song, “Seventeen” with Bright Sparks on Universal Music, which we heard a sneak-preview of! This is such a summertime song and we love it! What’s the story behind this song? How did you and Bright Sparks get together? Is the “pop/commercial” direction you were intentionally aiming to hit with this release? Do you think there’s something about summertime that perhaps draws dance music producers away from the darker, more underground (read,without vocals) tracks and towards more pop/commercial releases with proper song construction?
I received the demo of this song a few months ago and I had the same feeling as you – this HAS to be a summer song with an easy vibe. I learned that the song was written at a writing camp here in Berlin and I was even there, just at another day than Bright Sparks was 🙂 So I never met him personally but he and his team loved the production I did. And production wise – yes, I wanted it to sound 100% as it is right now. The vocal just has to have a summerish backing track like this. But of course, we are working on club mixes already – even with vocals haha!
How do you approach proper song construction?
I always start with a basic and simple idea – this can be a bassline, a drum/percussion groove, a synth phrase or a vocal. Then I try to find elements which could fit and which get the production
into the right direction and vibe. Once I found a few things, I begin to arrange those elements to get a basic idea of the structure of the track. AT this I can also see already, how certain things work when
it comes to the flow of energy throughout the track 8which is verys important to me). After doing the basic layout, I go back and forth between further sound design, details in mixing and arranging – this
just depends on the song/track and can take a day, or a week…
What do you say to fans who complain that you’re “leaving” them every time you release a pop/commercial song? We’re not implying your fans complain, but this happens to many EDM producers the moment they try to step-away from the nightclub.
I’m lucky that I never had any fans complain about ‘leaving’ them! Sometimes I get comments and requests to ‘go back’ to some of my older stuff. I think this is pretty normal – as a producer, I want to evolve myself and move forward, but fans sometimes want more of a certain sound I did in the past. In some of my production though, I do go ‘back in time’ a bit (as in ’Take It Back), so there is always hope (laughs)
You’ve also got releases on respected indie labels, most recently Protocol (Nicky Romero’s label) with “Wildest Dream” with Kosling featuring Matthew Steeper, and Revealed (Hardwell’s label) with “HI LO” with Angger Dimas. Do you find that working with large indie labels is very different from working with major labels? If so, how?
As I just started working with a major label (Universal Music), i don’t have too much experience in that yet. But so far, I learned that with a major label, there are way more people involved in the process
of creating and makreting a production. I am happy though that I have a very cool bunch of very nice people at UNiversal, so it’s fun to see all those people work hard on the release! What I like with the Indie’s is that there alwys is a small group of really dedicated music lovers who run the label; you can feel that they are really into ’their’ own brand (label) and this always fun too. Can’t complain at all.
Any final words for our readers?