Exclusive Interview with Markus Schulz
Over the last 10 years Markus Schulz has crafted the individual musical identities of progressive, trance & house into his own unique hybrid sound. The combined influence of his headlining DJ sets; Armada and Coldharbour label releases and highly prominent Global DJ Broadcast radio show have seen him at the forefront of the US EDM revolution. Following several highly ranked positions, in 2008 Schulz broke into the # 10 of DJ Mag’s Top 100 chart.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Markus Schulz, shortly before his performance at Levels on Sunday 9th December.
You were born in Germany, but moved to the US at the age of 13 and lived there ever since. How much German is left in you?
Plenty! The country you are born in never really leaves you. I have a flat in Berlin and with all the touring I’m back there quite a bit. So a reminder of my roots is never far away!
What made you start DJing?
Way back in the day we decided to throw a big event. I used to watch some of the other kids in my crew scratching and mixing, but when it came time for the party they vanished. So I decided that I would DJ the party myself. That was the very first time I ever played before a crowd and I knew at that very moment that is what I wanted to do with my life.
How would you describe your music in 3 words?
Crazy, Sexy, Cool!? Just kidding ;) In 3 words, it’s tough as I do one distinct type or music under my own name and another under my Dakota moniker. It’s complex so I think it’d be a 30-word minimum for that answer!
Out of all tracks you have made, which 3 tunes would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
‘The New World’ I think would be an important one. It was certainly one of the biggest. Under the Dakota name, ‘Sleepwalkers’ - that really kick started a new sound, which has become pretty predominant over the last 18 months. I think also ‘Caught’ would be a good one to have in there. It has this Romanian singer Adina Butar on it and is a very good example of where I am with vocal productions at the moment.
You are currently on a worldwide tour to promote your latest album “Scream”. What can you tell us about the album?
Well I think it sits side by side with ‘Do You Dream?’ (my last one) quite comfortably. There’s no huge stylistic leap between the two. You’re not going to be met with a sudden wall of dubstep, disco, leftfield or breakbeat when you listen to it or anything. It’s a composite of vocals and instrumentals, set against progressive, trance, house, electro and beatless backdrops. You’ve got everything from big lifty tracks like ‘Caught’, moodier ones like ‘Carry On’ with Jaren and ‘I Like It’ with Khaz and some proper deep stuff too. The instrumentals are, to the greater degree, big room club thumpers like ‘GO!’ and ‘Triotonic’.
Since 2002 you do a weekly radio show called “Global DJ Broadcast”. What can you tell us about its concept and where can people listen to it?
Well I feel its important that GDJB reflects what I’m experiencing in the clubs as well as what I see happening on the trance and progressive music scene. So there’s a pretty broad spread of music on the show. On the first week of every month we do the GDJB World Tour, where we take a 2 hour live set recording from a city played in the previous month and give it a playback. This allows people who maybe haven’t been to say, Toronto to get an idea of the experience of clubbing in a country like Canada. All those additional sounds (the crowd noise especially) that the microphones pick up really add something unique. You can listen to it through DI.fm and Sirius XM Radio and about 50 other stations worldwide.
Since 2004 you are signed to the David Lewis Productions agency – the same labels as Armin van Buuren. Do you run into each other from time to time?
Yep, Armin and I run into each other a fair bit. I saw him at the Top 100 DJs party in October. Oh yeah, and in Vegas in June - that was a crazy one! I was playing EDC and on the Saturday night this huge storm blew up during my set. Halfway though the party’s promoters decided they had to shut down the stage. I moved into the A State of Trance radio trailer and we continued the party broadcasting from there, with Armin and I spinning back to back. The party somehow had to go on; there was 90,000 people there to be entertained!
You have been ranked #13 in the DJ Mag Top 100 and you have been voted to America’s Best DJ for 2012. It has been an excellent year for you. What were your highlights?
Those were great moments, sure. I’d have to say the release of ‘Scream’, my ‘Los Angeles 2012’ compilation in February, the music that sprung up from them and the tour dates I subsequently played were the biggest highs.
Somebody once said Trance is dead… ;) Any thoughts on that?
I think around the world there are many millions of people out there that’d hold a different point of view about that. I see quite a few of them every weekend!
You had your Bangkok debut in 2009 at EditionBangkok festival. Did you keep it in good memory?
Ah yeah, that was a wild one! You guys reaaaaally know how to party over there!
This year you return to Bangkok on 9th December to perform at Levels. What can Bangkok expect of your performance?
A lot of energy and a lot of music from my new artist album ‘Scream’. A few new exclusive forthcoming tracks and remixes too no doubt!