Category Archives: MUSIC

THE NINE SKIES, A DEEP CHAT WITH MARKUS SCHULZ

“It’s just over a year since I put out ‘Watch The World’. To many – myself included, 12 months on our planet feels like a very different place. Real world events have always had an impact on Dakota’s mind and reflectively guided its production hand. Never to this level or degree though. The ‘Skies’ in the title are my interpretation of the steps to enlightenment. The Nine Skies objective is, in someway or other, to make a difference. What I want to illustrate through the show, its music and its message is that while times may feel dark, we are anything but lost. There’s always a path to light.” 
 With these deep words in mind, we are really thrilled to ask Markus more about The Nine Skies creative process and what he has in store for us now!
TBA: Would you tell us who is Markus and who is Dakota? And what are you trying to communicate your audience under these names ?

MS: I guess the best way to define each is to think of Markus Schulz as the extrovert and Dakota as the introvert.

I like to imagine the Markus Schulz productions as being about and for the fans. It is based on my interaction with them and what I see.

Through the Markus Schulz productions, I can express myself through an array of options – through inspiring melodies, written words into song and collaborating with others, and learning from them.

With Dakota however, it is something much deeper within my conscience, and requires the right setting and circumstances in order to be creatively resonating.

TBA: Your new project The Nine Skies was kinda big deal for us as fans, what did it mean to you personally and how did you come up with the idea?

MS: It was the most soul churning project I have ever undertaken in my career.

The Nine Skies was a year in the making. When I started touring the Watch the World album, there was a lot of tragedy in the world, and everyone felt a sense of unknown and fear due to everything that was happening, politically or otherwise.

When the mass shooting happened at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, it absolutely shook me to my core, that something so
terrible could happen in an environment that I could well have been in myself; and in a city very close to home in Miami.

At that point, I pretty much went dark on a personal level on social media, and left my team to get the word out about upcoming gigs and releases – because to me, I couldn’t feel comfortable with embracing this party and good vibes atmosphere when the world around us was suffering
every day.

I did a lot of reading and studying in my downtime, taking on board a lot of Reiki influences. The story of a person finding themselves as a lost soul, but find the right pieces to set themselves on the journey towards enlightenment is something that essentially applies to my own life, and something I hope that can inspire others as well.

 

TBA:  Which one of these Nine Steps to enlightenment was the one who really forced you to look inside yourself?

MS:  I don’t know if it was one particular step, but it was more a case of figuring out how to represent this path towards enlightenment as a complete story.

Originally, when I thought about the concept of a full
Dakota show, it was going to be all out techno – imagine 90 minutes of music with the core sounding like Mota-Mota for instance.

But when examining each step, I knew that this wouldn’t be the correct approach.

So in the beginning, we are lost souls, and in many cases, we feel sadness and anger. And in order to proceed the journey from this phase, we need help and guidance. Therefore the beginning of the show is very techno driven with militant style percussion. But as we transition into the later skies, the melodies and tones begin to brighten, towards the culmination in the final sky – the nirvana.

TBA:  Did this project change you somehow?

MS: If anything, it made me a lot more emotional. I cannot tell you the number of nights I wound up in tears as a result of working on this entire process.

The Nine Skies makes me think about my overall legacy more. And my hope is that people can look at this album and treat it almost as if it’s a self-help book of guidance, whether it’s this year, next year, or 50 years down the line.

TBA:  Can you also tell me something about your Watch the World album’s creative process?

MS: Working on Watch the World as a project was an enormous challenge for me because of stepping very much out of my comfort zone, and delving deeply into the world of songwriting for the first time.

It was actually a revisit to days of my youth in school, where I excelled at creative writing, and the teachers would encourage me to try it as often as possible. But in those teenage days, my heart had been set on chasing the dream of becoming a DJ. It meant that I slowly drifted away from the writing aspect, and along with DJing, finding gratification in playing with synthesisers and turning knobs.

But with the sixth album on the horizon at that point in time, I needed something beyond the music, and it was writing words based on what I felt on the inside. I felt it was risky at first, but thanks to the overwhelming response towards Destiny, based on a story about my personal circumstances and relationship, it gave me confidence to explore this songwriting path further.

TBA:  How do you deal with your success? And what is your relationship with social media ?

MS: It’s fine. At the end of the day I’m just a normal person like everybody else. I never got into this business for the fame of it or winning awards.
People who come to the shows will know how much I value the support, and make every effort possible to spend time afterwards with them and give my thanks for coming out.

Social media has huge positives for DJs, along with every other public figure, because it gives you a window to show that you acknowledge and care about the support of your fans. And I think most fans nowadays are smart enough to figure out whether there is a genuine warmth and care about this connection. My golden rule in life is that no matter what
happens or what privileged position you end up in, always and forever remain humble. And that was reinforced further when reflecting and contemplating towards what The Nine Skies would become.

I remember a few years ago when my brother was in a really bad car accident in Germany, and ended up in a coma for 10 days. At the time it happened, I was in South Korea, and was about to tour India for a week.
And honestly, I felt so incredibly alone and afraid. However, when I wrote on social media about what had occurred, having the sympathy and appreciation of the fans genuinely helped me get through it.

TBA: What is inspiring you most of late?

MS: I say this often but it’s the next wave of producers taking Coldharbour by storm that are my biggest inspiration. We have such a healthy and broad-ranging roster right now.

You have Nifra who is the flagbearer for females in trance; Arkham Knights are tearing things up with this tech-trance fusion they have going, Solid Stone is one of the biggest contributors to the progressive scene right now, and you have guys like Anske who are slowly carving out a sound in
their own right.

Helping this talents grow and achieve their own dreams is one of the biggest achievements I can speak of.

TBA:  Any new projects in store for us anytime soon?

MS: My priority right now is finalising The Nine Skies album as Dakota, which I am hoping to be able to put out around shortly before this year’s ADE.
But if you have been following my travels closely, you will have guessed that I am already planning my output for next year, and you will have seen the photos of me working in the studio with the likes of Nadia Ali.

I can’t say too much for now, so let’s keep the focus almost entirely on The Nine Skies album, but know that there is something new on the horizon to come afterwards.

TBA: Your music is always evolving but also true to itself. What is your secret?

MS: Ultimately, you have to put your heart into absolutely everything you do – whether it’s the productions, the DJ sets, Global DJ Broadcast or anything
else. If you are making or indeed playing music that you don’t enjoy, you will burn out very quickly in this scene.

There are so many talented people in this industry who don’t make it or catch that essential break, meaning that they have to give up their dream and secure a different job to support themselves and their family.

So I take absolutely none of this for granted. Of course there are many sacrifices in your life you have to make along the way, but I count my blessings every day in the knowledge that I am one of the very few lucky ones who gets to do what they love for a living.

What’s interesting is that because of the big EDM explosion in this decade, there has been a huge influx of new talent thrust into the rigours of touring.  And many of them say to me “this is too tough, I’ll do this for a few years, make my money and get out”, but for me I want to keep going as long as my health allows.

TBA: The first thing you think when you go on stage?

MS: Strive to perform at your absolute best and embrace all of the fans who have worked all week and paid their money towards something they have looked forward to.

TBA:  And the first thing you think when you leave the stage?

MS:  It depends. One of the best sources in finding inspiration towards creating new melodies is while I am on stage performing, because of the passion and emotion you are feeding off the audience.

On a lot of occasions, the goal once I finish a set and say my goodbyes at the club is to get back to the hotel, open the laptop and map out a rough sketch of what is in my head, before forgetting about it.

Other occasions can be different. I am guilty of overanalysing my performance sometimes, so I can mentally beat myself up if the flow or journey of a set wasn’t what I was hoping for.

After the first performance of The Nine Skies at Dreamstate in San Francisco, I sat backstage for a long time in silence not speaking to anyone, because of the heaviness involved in the project coming to life.

TBA:  One of my favorite albums of all times is Do You Dream… I remember that summer I was in Ibiza and came to your show at Amnesia and you blew my mind. After that I went straight to buy your album… you got my soul from that moment, I would love to know what inspired you.

MS: That’s very kind of you to say. Well, throughout my childhood, I found life very difficult and uncertain.

What was my purpose in this world?

The simple truth is, discovering and falling in love with music saved me. I cannot speak highly enough about how beautiful a medium radio is, because it’s always there for you no matter what time of day or not, and you don’t even have to say hello or goodbye.

When I found myself immersed in the breakdancing scene, and arranging parties among friends, the one epiphany moment was the night we hired a venue in a hotel, and I wound up DJing the entire evening. I knew then definitively that this was what I was put on this earth to do, and I would endure every struggle just to achieve this dream.

When Do You Dream came around, if my career had ended before then I would have been happy.

So my mantra at that point became, if you have fulfilled the ultimate dream you had, do you still dream?

The fact I am still going and doing my absolute best towards establishing a legacy will tell you the answer.

 

TBA:  The funniest episode that happened to you on tour?

MS: That would be the time I ended up in jail at an airport.

As many of you will understand, the most demanding tour schedule for DJs always occurs during the summer months.

I think this took place in 2010. I had one of those crazy 24 hour stretches where I played three gigs in three different countries.

I started playing the closing set at a gig in Barcelona; then it was straight to the airport for the Netherlands, where
I played late afternoon at Dance Valley.

The final gig was in Glasgow, but there was a problem with my immigration papers when landing. So I ended up being detained at the airport – put handcuffs on and everything. Eventually the problem was resolved, but the delay meant I had to go straight to the club and perform. I was so deliriously tired by the end of it, but I look back and think how funny the whole experience was.  Sadly they didn’t let me keep the handcuffs.

TBA:  Tell me a secret about yourself 🙂

MS: I have a fear of heights! Which I know sounds absolutely crazy when you consider how my hours of my life I spend on planes. But it has been something I have lived with all my life. There was a gig in Poland many years ago where I came to the venue, and the stage was so high that I couldn’t climb the ladder and play my set. So from that point onwards I
have to ensure that for any gig I am booked for, I have to know the height of the stage beforehand so I can determine whether or not I’ll be able to do it.

 

TBA: Thanks a lot Markus for taking the time to chat with us and hope to see you soon!!

Let’s grab Running Up That Hill and  Mota-Mota !!

 

 

More info about Markus Schulz:

http://www.markusschulz.com/

https://www.facebook.com/markusschulz

https://twitter.com/markusschulz

https://www.instagram.com/markusschulz/

 

DAVID GRAVELL is back @ The Gallery September 8th

David Gravell is about to join forces with Vini Vici for their debut at the world famous club The Gallery in London next Friday 8th September!

Oh yes, a massive fix of trance is awaiting for you, so if you are in town I am pretty sure hitting the club is a no brainer.

Despite Gravell’s insane schedule around the globe which makes it hard for us to keep track of all his gigs,( he is just coming back from China) he’s very excited to come back taking over the decks at The Gallery!! The guy is on fire, unstoppable, and keeps showing us an enthralling energy and love for what he does best: rocking the crowds with his powerful beats!

And besides treating his fans with some of his famous earworms… he is introducing a few new productions soon to be released… so pay attention and let us know if you can spot some 🙂 but shhhh don’t tell him we spilled the beans!

 

 

LET’S MEET JOCHEN MILLER: CRAZY SCHEDULE, STAY CONNECTED PODCAST, TOUR LIFE AND MUCH MORE

We really could not miss Jochen Miller at one of the most awaited festival of the season in his country, and we were absolutely psyched to meet him backstage for a chat about his new releases, projects, podcast and more…here’s what he told us:

TBA: Hi Jochen, how you doing?

JM: i’m great thanks, very happy with my set here at Electronic Family, actually it’s just 15 minutes distance to my place, it’s great not having to fly for 10 hours with all the delays and stuff for once, also the crowd was amazing, I love playing for the duchies and I also seen a lot of people from other countries, it’s really nice.

TBA: How is it going with your Stay Connected podcast?

JM: Oh it’s going very well, reaching loads of new followers every months, you know the idea is of course to promote new artists, but also to promote myself, my socials, tell people where I am playing, what I am doing, I love to stay in touch with my fans and with Stay Connected I can show also a different side of myself, not only the energetic side, but also sharing my deepest stuff. I am doing it now for almost 6 years in a row and number 80 is coming up in about 3 weeks so I am pretty excited for this special number.

TBA: Any new stuff in store for us?

JM: A lot of things are coming up, actually, I did a track with a singer from Rosmalen (Electronic Family new location) she’s 16 years old and did an amazing work with the vocals that will be released I think at the end of September, I did a rmx for Enhanced, new track and loads of singles are coming up soon.

TBA: What have you been doing lately?

JM: well I had a kind of really heavy schedule right before of my holiday, I think I have 7 gigs in 7 days, it was really crazy, no sleep, a lot of traveling but I managed to make a track for the opening ceremony for women soccer team and they became champion right now which is amazing, and  it was great to make the tune for the UEFA but also really hectic to combine it with my summer schedule, and I also played two gigs while on holiday, but I still managed to spend some very good quality time with my family

TBA: Do you prefer doing or producing?

JM: Well, I am 100% a dj, I was born as a dj in 1998 at my parents club, afterwards I started producing by myself, and also with Benno, and a lot of other people but, first of all I’d say I am dj.

TBA: Any funny thing happened to you lately while touring?

JM: Well touring….I missed my flight! That was really really bad. A couple of weeks ago I had a gig on Tuesday in Hong Kong, with the whole tour, so I was supposed to play on Friday in another location there but when I missed my flight, luckily we scheduled it again for the week after but I felt sooo  bad, I hate to disappoint fans, and had to explain the organizers, in the middle of the night, with FaceTime what was going on, it’s not just about missing a flight let’s imagine the amount of work for everyone, you have to reschedule the gig, do again the fliers and all…it all went fine in the end but it’s not gonna happen again. I will schedule it all more in advance next time.

TBA: Anything you would say to our readers?

JM: Thank you guys for the interview, hope to see you soon and thank you so much for the support.

 

TENISHIA – ALBA

Pounding through your sound system with maximum intensity, ‘Alba’ marks Tenishia’s long-awaited return to Armind. Laced with thumping kick drums and supreme melodies, this exclusive feature on Armin van Buuren’s ‘A State Of Trance, Ibiza 2017’ mix album is the icing on the cake that is a great year for Trance music the world over.

 

Listen to Alba

 

RODG – MIAMI

What’s better than Friday and new Statement! ‘s music??

Rodg did it again,  straight from Hi Ibiza, our Dutch super talent is going to hit us with ‘Miami’ a stunning tune perfect to celebrate this summer!

 

From its beguiling soundscape to its driving bassline and voluminous synths, Rodg’s latest release on Statement! soundtracks the life of any dance music enthusiast. Highly-addictive and an unmistakable fan favorite on Armin van Buuren’s ‘A State Of Trance, Ibiza 2017’ mix album, ‘Miami’ is as memorable as the vibes of the city it shares its name with.

 

Listen to Miami

So, are your flip flops ready to hit the pool today? And don’t forget a fresh drink while you enjoy this charming track!

 

 

EXCLUSIVE: ØRJAN NILSEN TALKS ABOUT FUTURE PLANS, NEW ALBUM,INSPIRATION AND MORE

What if I tell you that a warm summer Sunday has been hit by a tornado during the Electronic Family festival in Den Bosch?

Oh yes, a tornado named Ørjan Nilsen!!

Our beloved trance master mind struck the stage with his usual big smile and tons of bangers, pampering his crowd as always.
His powerful and euphoric signature sound made us jump for the whole gig, and when he dropped some dancefloor destroyers like ‘Iconic’( celebrating its first anniversary with a bang indeed) and ‘Drowning’ our day has been made!!

When he left the stage leaving us begging for more we had to go back to reality knowing that all good things must come to an end.

If you are familiar with The Backstage Access, you know already how much we love this artist, both for his music and for his great charming personality, so we really could not miss the chance to have a little talk with him.

We must thank Ørjan and his entourage (really amazing people) for meeting and greeting us backstage for a quick friendly chat.

 

 

 

TBA: Hey Ørjan, nice to meet you again and thank you so much for supporting us!

 

ØN: Well…Thank you, for supporting me!

TBA: How are you doing lately?

ØN: I’m doing great …It’s so busy, and so fun, even if I am getting a bit older, I still feel like a kid!

TBA: Well, you are a kid!! Your set is always so energetic and powerful!

ØN: I think I have disorder…I cannot stand still when I play music…but it’s a good disorder to have I think!

TBA: Absolutely, we love to see you jump with a big smile on your face and giving it all!

ØN: Thank you, and come on, how could you not love this?? (pointing  towards himself 🙂 TBA note )

TBA: True!! Any insight you can spill about your new album?

ØN: Well my album is basically almost done, all the tracks are done, just the last touches are left, I do think it’s gonna be a winter release for this year, so that’s good. So that’s also why so many of my singles are coming out now, cause I have so many tracks finished.

TBA: Cool, so we will (almost) patiently wait for it. So, you are kind of a geek in the studio, any new tools you are using lately?

ØN: I Just bought a new sound chord from Universal Audio which is amazing and has so many fantastic plugins and it makes my tracks sound a lot more fat and analog

TBA: What about your schedule these days?

ØN: Well I have at least another month of touring and then I hope to get 10 days off to stay with my daughter, daddy is gone all summer so of course she is getting angry, after that I am gonna have other gigs and then again 10 days off…So not really an holiday, but when fall comes I can relax a bit.

TBA: What is inspiring you the most lately?

ØN: I think what inspires me the most are the festivals, like listening to different kind of music on different kind of stages of different kind of djs, this is actually fantastic because I am always looking for that new sound, that one thing that tickle my fancy and I think I found it this year, actually at Tomorrowland…

TBA: And how was playing at Tomorrowland?

ØN: Well even if you are kinda  seasoned dj like me, it’s so big so massive, the audience is so overwhelming, I think for me it’s the best place in the world to play, there are so many good festivals out there but for me, it has a special place in my heart.

TBA: Thank you for the chat, and please keep us up to date  on all your new releases!!

ØN: Ok sure, there are going to be a lot of them!!

 

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH DAVID GRAVELL

Ever wondered how does it feel to be David Gravell?

Well, despite the overly busy schedule he has, he managed to find a moment with us to let you discover something about himself….

TBA: Thank you for supporting TBA once again, what’s new since the last time we met?

DG: Well, as an artist I did at lot of things, I released my compilation ‘Discover’, and it was kind of a big deal for me, as it’s like a concept album, I wanted to create a story, bringing some of the old stuff I made and blend it together with my new sound plus some stuff of other artists. It kinda represents what I wanna achieve after so many years of working in the music business.
Also, new tunes are scheduled for the next months.
Furthermore I am doing a lot of gigs around the world. I’ve just been back from Georgia, spent something like 30 minutes at home and here I am at Electronic Family.

TBA: Even people that are not strictly into trance seems to be big fans of your sound, what’s your secret?

DG: Well, I’ve always been an underground music lover and so I’m trying to combine some techno elements with trance and adding melodies; I am glad to hear that people who love other musical genres are appreciating my sound.

TBA: Your popularity is really rising so fast, how do you handle all the pressure?

DG: I was never aware of getting bigger in the scene, I am always the same person, I make music from the heart, I try to live with it and to treasure every moment on stage everywhere I go like a special moment and I have respect for everyone that come to my shows, I try to always find the time to take picture with everyone, to give my fans something back.

TBA: Yes, this is something very special and nice of you, not every artist acts like that

DG: Well of course when you get bigger it’s not always easy to do it but, I hope I can manage to still do it for a while, I want to be there for people that come to see me.

TBA: We really like your vlog. It’s so good to discover (…yes I said Discover 🙂  ) something more about you.

DG: It’s very nice to hear. For me it’s all about communication, I like to let people know what I am doing. I’ve just started with the vlog, and you know, everywhere I go… I vlog, but as I am editing everything on my own, it takes time to post the videos and all, I did also a very special one at Tomorrowland.

TBA: One of the episode we really love is the one with you in the studio explaining the making of ‘Young Love’

DG: Oh yeah, many people are telling me that, it’s a little insight of my work. Loads of producers as well wanna know how I create the sound etc.
And people can always send me stuff, I am very open minded to give them feedback. When I started I had no people around me to give me feedback, I learnt everything from nothing into something like where I am now, it took me so many years to explore and discover ( yes, his turn now to say it – TBA note-) everything, so yes, sometimes it’s nice to help all the new kids that try to make music because I know it’s hard.

TBA: Any new tools in your studio lately?

DG : Well since i bought my first analogue synthesizer, Virus, every track that i made, all the sound i am creating is 90% analogue, it’s like the real thing, it sounds so much better, i can advise everyone to use it.

TBA: Any good horror movie lately?

DG: Well, one that really blew my mind is called As Above So Below, the script is so cool and I would like to get a chance to visit the place

TBA: it’ s in my wishlist as well.
( we’re talking about  Paris catacombs)

 

 

GOLDFISH BUILD TOWARD RELEASE OF NEW ALBUM WITH SECOND SINGLE, ‘IF I COULD FIND’

Widely considered to be among the most forward-thinking electronic acts on the planet, GoldFish have spruced up the scene with another spark of brilliance. Today, the South African duo has given rise to ‘If I Could Find’, an amaranthine offering that follows on their previous release, ‘Deep Of The Night’, and marks the second single of their forthcoming album: ‘Late Night People’.

Listen to GoldFish ‘If I Could Find’

Laced with sexy jazz chords both summery and upbeat, ‘If I Could Find’ has all the hallmarks of a timeless radio hit. Its saxophone melodies swirl around the well-crafted beats like the world’s best dancers in a three-way tango and the rising vocals add extra flavor to the already savory arrangement, making sure the record is as catchy as it is versatile.

 

GoldFish:“This song was born on the road, while driving up the winding mountain passes in Colorado for a show at the legendary Belly Up in Aspen. We had the track session plugged into the aux input of our car and we were working on it while our tour manager drove.  It was such inspiring scenery going by as Dave came up with the opening line ‘If I could find a new state of mind…’ and from there, we pretty much had most of the song done by the time we arrived in Aspen. The lyrics allude to a place that we are always chasing – escaping the myriad distractions of this world that are constantly pulling us away from living our best selves.”

 

Since locking themselves in their bedroom studio and emerging with debut album ‘Caught In The Loop’ in 2006, GoldFish have gone from one of dance music’s best-kept secrets to luminaries both as producers and on the live front. Their can-do attitude and unique musical vision led them to countless sold-out performances and festival appearances, a top 10 in the iTunes Dance chart in the US, an MTV Africa award, a four-year residency at Pacha Ibiza and a list of support that runs from Robin Schulz and Klingande to Thomas Jack and Sam Feldt. They’re ever eager to innovate and ‘If I Could Find’ shows how well that has turned out.

Listen to the track on Soundcloud: http://bit.ly/2wbbQPe

 

ESTIVA – OXY / DOORLOPEN

Wow Estiva is on fire!!

While he is rocking one hell of a summer season with an insane schedule worldwide, from Las Vegas to Ibiza,  he also finds the time to produce some delightful tunes like these!!

And a little bird told me he’s giving the final touches to  his debut album as well…so…chances are he will reveal us something about it asap…

But for now, he’s focused on making the hearts of Statement! fans grow fonder making  his return to the label with another hyper-delicious Progressive Trance two-pack.

Turning heads with their steady-paced build-ups, airy synths and drop-dead gorgeous melodies, ‘Oxy’ and ‘Doorlopen’ are two extremely fine examples of the Dutchman’s production prowess.

Grab it here    

So what do you think? Which is your favorite tune? We think we will keep these gems on repeat for a while….