Interview With Markus Schulz!

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Trance heavyweight and unicorn slayer Markus Schulz has been a renowned figure in the dance music space with his surreal productions and equally magical live performances! In anticipation of his massive performance at the debut edition of Budweiser presents EDC India, we caught up with the legendary figure himself to talk about his love for India, his take on the current dance music scene and much more!

Read on.

 

Q.1 Hi Markus, thanks for taking out the time to speak with us. How are things?

Hey guys, thanks for getting in touch again. I’m doing really good. Speaking to you from back home in Miami after almost two months on the road, and still on a high after last weekend’s Transmission in Prague.

 

Q.2 This is the fourth time you’re playing in India in 4 years. What is it about the country that keeps bringing you back?

I think it’s because of how welcoming and embracing the fans in the country are towards me. I feel that when I am walking the streets in the country that I had been here for a very long time, so there is a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Last year was the first opportunity I had to really explore India, outside of the usual routine of airport to hotel to gig and back, and it was something I greatly valued – particularly the chance to visit the Taj Mahal. It was even more beautiful in reality than what you see in photographs.

I feel that India is one of those countries where in the long run, it’s somewhere where I can lay down solid foundations towards leaving a legacy; where when I am done the Indian fans will feel that I make an important contribution towards the scene there.

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Q.3 EDC India marks the debut of the international dance music giant in the country. You’ve seen the dance music culture in India grow from its nascent stages. What’s your take on international dance music entities finally making their way to India, and what it could for the scene here in the future?

It’s a massive positive for India to have high-profile festival brands such as EDC coming to the country, because with the spectacle and the calibre of names appearing at the event, it casts a wider net for more people to fall in love with the electronic genre.

 

Many who initially get into the scene do so through the attraction of going with friends to the big festival shows, and if they get hooked on the music, then they have the desire to explore more and more music online, and consequently the appetite for more regular, perhaps weekly club events will become larger.

 

To me, that’s the most important aspect of all of the festivals in India – whether it’s EDC, EVC or Sunburn. If all of these events become major points in the calendar for fans, it helps supplement the foundations – the clubs, in attracting talent all-year round, and therefore maintains a healthy scene overall.

 

Q.4 You have been extremely vocal about your involvement within the song writing aspect of your tracks in the recent past. And we witnessed that on your ‘Watch The World’ LP. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

When the time came to work on what would become Watch the World, I had completed five artist albums already. So I was at the point where I wanted to do something different with this one.

Ever since I was young I used to do a lot of creative writing, But having figured out from an early age that I wanted to become a DJ, and the doors opened to allow me to chase that dream, the dedication to creative writing began to shift towards that, and when starting out in production, there was more of an interest in twisting the knobs and playing with synthesizers.

When I started to work on Watch the World, I wanted to connect with some talented artists and songwriters; and not just write the melodies and drops, but actually start with the stories for all the songs in the album.

I think the biggest challenge and the most rewarding thing from the album process was working with all these people on the songs and coming out with some interesting stories that connected me with the community, the trance community.

 

 

Q.5 Coldharbour Recordings recently saw its 250th release with your track ‘Sestertius’. How does it feel to achieve such a special milestone? What’s next for the record label?

It’s hugely proud, because Coldharbour is one of my babies. The ethos now remains the same as the outset of the label – to provide a platform for unknown names to showcase their talents and help their growth, and it will remain the same going forward.

 

With the label now expanding into club nights, we are continuing towards something that not only is appreciated by the fans, but on a personal level, is very gratifying in helping the stars of the current and next generation to achieve their dreams. Much of the credit towards the nights must go towards the guys in the office, because what started out as a simple thinking out loud idea has now become an important part of our portfolio. A few weeks ago we ran Coldharbour Nights simultaneously in Los Angeles and Dallas, which for me is incredible.

 

Almost immediately after concluding the Watch the World album, my thoughts turned towards creating what would be Sestertius. Knowing that one of the label milestones was coming up, and traditionally every 25th release from the beginning has been either a Markus Schulz track or Dakota track, I wanted to create something special and memorable for the trancefamily out there, especially with 250 being one of the most significant landmarks. Thankfully it has been very well received by everyone, through both Global DJ Broadcast and the live gigs.

 

Q.6 A number of artists make your DJ playlists and radio show tracklists. Who are your three favourite producers at the moment and why?

Difficult to narrow down to just three, but to mention a few:

Eric Prydz has had another phenomenal year, highlighted with the release of his Opus album. He’s almost an ever present on Global DJ Broadcast and my liveset playlists; not just under his own name, but his excellent Cirez D work also. He’s always one step ahead of the game when it comes to his productions and his live show presentation.

On the progressive side, Jerome Isma-Ae has been on fire again; whether through his originals, collaborations like Reflection and Smoke & Mirrors, or remixes like his amazing work on Solid Stone & Jennifer Rene’s Heart Call for us on Coldharbour. When it comes to planning the warmup / progressive portion of my livesets, he’s one of the key names.

And I must mention Giuseppe Ottaviani also, who has just released his latest album Alma on Black Hole. I’ve always been a big fan of his work, but this year one could argue that it’s his best to date. I was hammering his track Musica and remix of Sean Tyas – Reach Out in the early part of the year, and now with Alma out, there’s a plethora of material from him that will be featured in my sets over the coming months, with Aurora currently being my favorite.

  

Q.7 What can we expect from Markus Schulz in the near future? Any new productions that you’re working on?

Last weekend at Transmission, I let the cat out of the bag that there is a brand new Dakota album coming in 2017.

It’s funny because when one project ends, you just go right back into the studio and start something else. And that’s exactly what happened after completing Watch the World.

I just feel inspired right now. Music has changed again and everything is just so artistic. Musically, it’s an amazing time for more artistic sounds and I just feel really inspired to get back into the studio. I think that the Dakota project is perfect for that, because it has always been deeper and darker.

Dakota will be the biggest focus for me in 2017. It’s a very spiritual concept that I am doing so that’s taking a lot of my time at the moment, a lot of my brain power.

 

Q.8 How have you kept your music #AlwaysBrewing?

I find that the biggest inspiration for all of my music is being on stage DJing, and seeing the reactions of the fans in the live setting.

It helps me harness that passion to put my soul into all of the studio work. One feeds the other – the fans inspire me to get into the studio, and when I am in the studio, I’m inspired by the thought of playing a new track out for the fans.

You see some of those incredible photos of the big shows – Transmission in Prague with all the lasers, the spectacle of Tomorrowland and EDC, or the intimacy of Ministry of Sound or Space, and they are rich sources of inspiration. I’ll regularly change my screen saver to a photo of a previous visit to a certain club or event, and my brain becomes very active when focusing on the picture on a daily basis.

I think there’s something absolutely magical how a melody can connect so many people around the world and unite, so when you get it right, the occasional struggles to get to the destination are completely worth it.

 

Q.9 Anything special your fans can look forward to at EDC India?

I’m hugely excited to be part of such a historic event for the scene in India. Up until Transmission last weekend, I had been stockpiling a lot of fresh material for Coldharbour and waiting to debut it across both there and this EDC event, so there will be plenty of new goodies for the fans to hear. I will have to dust off Bombay from last year’s City Series Collection to play too. My hope is that we have such a brilliant time together that it helps spur the growth of the scene in India even further.

 

Q.10 What are your Top 3 #Bangin tracks at the moment?

In no particular order:

– Markus Schulz – The Lost Oracle (Transmission 2016 Theme)

– Ferry Corsten & Cosmic Gate – Event Horizon

– Giuseppe Ottaviani – Aurora


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