Exclusive Interview with Adam Sky
Insanity Nightclub, on Sukhumvit Soi 12, brings DJ Adam Sky (previously known as Modium) to Bangkok. The Melbourne-born, Singapore-based DJ, producer, and remixer is one of the few Asia-based artists to be signed to the renowned Ultra Music record label, and he has had a total of 6 tracks in Beatport's Top 100 chart already. Expect a night of Progressive, Tech and House.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Adam Sky, shortly before his performance at Insanity Nightclub on 30th July.
Where are you answering these questions?
Right now, Jakarta!
You are Melbourne-born, Singapore-based DJ, producer, and remixer, and one of the few Asia-based artists to be signed to the renowned Ultra Music record label. How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing and music production?
I actually first heard house (real house!) many years ago during my school days where some friends and I snuck out one night (after a masterful plan of all supposedly staying at each other's houses!) and visited one of Melbourne's renowned underground raves.
From then, I was hooked.
Truth be told, while it was House that got me initially, it was Trance that I really took a liking to. Since then, I’ve been horned to have shared the stage and played alongside legends of the scene such as Seb Fontaine, Fat Boy Slim, Paul Oakenfold, Nick Warren and so on.
How I got into DJ’ing and Production is a seriously long story, but suffice to say, along with the music itself, I’ve always had a thing for standing behind a DJ booth and watching the guest DJ’s do their thing and watching. I did music production in high school and got the bug since. I’m a bit of a technology geek, so I enjoy that side of music also. DJ’ing came first though, and then a few years ago I took making edits of my tracks to new game and starting remixing and producing
You play and produce Electro House & Progressive House. How would you describe your own music, what is distinct about it?
There’s a million dollar question… I’d really love to produce vocal trance… I love ethereal and airy vocals and melodic midlines. I don’t particular like some of the car-alarm that’s out there in the commercial prog world at the moment, so I stick away from that. But where I am right now is a crossroad that’s a blend between progressive and tech house, with vocals. I love the driving, crunchy basslines of tech house, but I like the melodic aspects of progressive. But that said, I do actually produce two clear discreet sounds, even though I’m working on ideas to combine them both.
But in terms of the distinctness – I think the best way to describe it is that I spend a lot of time in the bassline and get that right. I get bored with the old house sound you hear from time to time, so I like to have my basslines quite driving, without being monotonous. I keep harmonies interesting, and melodies well layered. Lots of depth, and lots of things going on, without it being too noisy and confusing.
You have had a total of 6 tracks in Beatport's Top 100 chart already. What tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
I think my Guestlist Radio show is quite a good view. It's more progressive and commercial and has guests on it such as Afrojack, Blasterjaxx, Laidback Luke and so on, but it’s a good start. It’s recorded monthly and syndicated around the world on radio, but the recording is available in a podcast at smarturl.it/GuestlistRadio
In saying that, I dislike mixtapes, for the sake of it being a mixtape! Unless they are live recordings, you never get the true sense of a live performance or a DJ by a mixtape that’s recorded in studio without the energy and euphoria of a main room club or festival crowd in front of you. My radio show really is just a sample of the type of tracks I like at that moment, but even then playing them live is often done differently.
I used to have a lot more remixes and mixtapes online but with Soundcloud becoming more and more strict nowadays, my accounts kept being shut down and I’d lose the older tracks. But if you look around on Soundcloud still as we as Beatport, Traxsource, iTunes, and so on, you will also see a lot of my older stuff under my previous stage name, MODIUM.
What is on your agenda for the near future and what are you currently working and focusing on?
I was just signed to another big label last week, Armada. They’ve taken on two tracks initially and then contracted for some more. So that was exciting as ‘Armada is Armada’ and some of the legends and biggest names in the industry are also signed that label.
I’m currently in discussions with a few DJ Mag Top 100 artists (and some just outside the Top 100) for collabs, and then some big vocalists also. I expect to wrap up a few things by years end, and that should be big, so I’m looking forward to being able to announce those.
What were the best and the worst gigs you ever played and what were the funniest things that occurred during any of your performances?
Worst gigs are when the DJ booth fails you … there just sometimes are times when the decks don’t work properly, cables are frayed, mixer is older than the moon and or something else is broken. I’m often told I’m a ‘technical’ DJ so I tend to focus a lot on the mixing and layering, and so when things don’t work properly or not setup as outlined in my rider, I loose my mojo and it's always hard to get into the right mood at that point. In terms of best gigs – there have been a lot of great ones over the years, in all sorts of locations.
I think that’s probably it … the best gigs are the ones where you’re playing in a unique location and not necessarily a club. I once played a prog house and almost trancey-style set on a cliff top in Bali a few years back and was playing for a private event with quite a large crowd of old school house and trace types, so playing these anthems which are full of drive and emotion, on a cliff top as the sun rose in the morning was quite epic.
You have performed in Thailand two times already; in Bangkok and Koh Samui. Did you keep your performances – and Thailand in general - in good memory? What can people expect from your upcoming performance at Insanity Nightclub?
I’ve actually played Thailand quite a few times now. It’s actually one of my favorite places in the world. Actually got married in Thailand not that long ago. As for the performances – yes, always loved them. Great energy and a good vibe. As for the set in Insanity Nightclub, I think you’ll hear a lot of what I’m well known for around Asia in my main room style sets. Lots of my own remixes, and layered with old and new tracks. Looking forward to it!