Exclusive Interview with Gareth Emery
The track 'Muzikizum' of X-Press 2 made him want to become a DJ. Now 32 years old, he has already collaborated with some of the world's leading DJs - including Paul van Dyk, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten - and is ranked #14 in DJ Mag's DJ TOP 100 poll. It's the 4th year in a row he is in the Top 100 now. His music is a potent blend of trance, house, electro and techno.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Gareth Emery, shortly before his performance at Levels on Wednesday 31st October.
What adjectives would you use to describe your sound the best?
Just quality dance music. I don’t get too hung-up on genres. Although I am traditionally from the world of trance, I play everything – as long as it’s good. House, electro, trance, techno, whatever. It’s got to be melodic, interesting, and basically party music.
In 2010, you released your debut artist album ‘Northern Lights’ on your own label Garuda, hitting #1 on the US iTunes dance chart within hours. How did you feel about this great success of your first album?
The success of the album blew me away… although it’s meant that writing a follow-up has been difficult. I didn’t expect it to do anything near that well, so I’ve been very conscious that my new artist album, which I plan to release in 2013, needs to be pretty special.
Your tune “Concrete Angel” – 9 million views within 9 months. How does that feel? Are you surprised about the huge popularity of specifically this tune?
A little, although I always felt the track was pretty special when I was working on it. But I never expected it to become such an anthem. It’s an amazing feeling when you can play in 50 different countries around the world and the crowd are singing the track back to you in every one. You really know you’ve touched a lot of people.
Out of all tracks you have made, which 3 tunes would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
‘Concrete Angel’, ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Exposure’. Three different sides of my sound.
Listen to Gareth Emery - Concrete Angel on YouTube:
Listen to Gareth Emery - Tokyo on YouTube:
Listen to Gareth Emery - Exposure on YouTube:
Do you have favorite tune at the moment? What’s your tune of 2012?
My tune of ’12 has been changing on a weekly basis… there’s just been so much good stuff out there. Current favourite would be Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash- Reload, or Lange – We Are Lucky People. Two very contrasting tracks!
You taught yourself to play the piano from the age of 4, began playing guitar in an indie band at 15, cracked the DJMag Top 100 before the age of 30. What’s next on the list?
I just want to keep on doing what I’m doing. Career-wise I’ve already played all the clubs and festivals I wanted to… so really my future aims is making better music, and taking it to as wide an audience as possible.
In DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ poll you were voted #34 in 2006, #31 in in 2007, #23 in 2008, #9 in 2009, #7 in 2010 and #13 in 2011. The Top 100 without you became unimaginable. What does the poll mean to you?
I don’t really think it’s relevant. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be high in it, and I’ve been the highest British DJ every year since 2009. But I look at this year’s list and it looks like a bit of a joke. From top to bottom it’s full of inaccuracies. Sasha not even in the top 100 yet the list is full of people I’ve never heard of. It isn’t really an accurate gauge of who’s popular or who is selling the most tickets, as there are people outside the list who sell more tickets than people in the top 20. How do you explain that? I have nothing against lists like this but we can’t take them too seriously.
Gareth Emery’s 2012, what were your highlights so far?
So many… Ultra Music Festival in Miami, selling outWhat adjectives would you use to describe your sound the best? Governors Island in New York this summer for my own show, playing in torrential conditions at Creamfields UK… plus sitting on planes writing a lot of music. It’s been a good year.
Before your performance at Levels in Bangkok on 31st October, you will be playing in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Spain, China, Hong Kong. After Thailand you will head to Australia. What countries are you looking forward to the most?
The US is always great – the crowds are amazing and I’m there so much it feels like home. But I’m also very keen to get back to Asia as I don’t play there too often, yet I love the culture, the food, and the whole vibe of the place. One thing that makes me sad these days is how little I’m in Asia, whereas a few years ago I was there a lot more. So I plan on making the most of it!
What is your favorite club in Asia?
Zouk in Singapore, it’s the one I’ve played at the most and it is consistently outstanding.
Obviously you travel a lot. If you had to name the essential things you need to have with you at all times, what would it be?
Passport, credit cards, phone, hand sanitizer, in-ear headphones. I could lose everything else and just travel the world with these five things if I had to.
What things do you miss when you are on tour?
My girlfriend. Not much else. I like being on tour, it’s a great life.
Are you adventurous if it comes to food? Do you try the local dishes of the countries you travel to, or do you usually eat what you know from home? Will you give spicy Thai food a chance?
I always try local food and have eaten just about everything, from street food in China to potato dishes in Moldova. I love Thai food and put Sriracha sauce on everything (literally everything) so I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck into the real thing. The spicier the better!
You do a highly popular Podcast and just recently reached the 200th episode. Where can people listen to it and what can they expect to hear?
They can download it weekly from www.garethemery.com and it’s basically an hour of my favourite music that week. It’s a good listen and gives an indication of the sort of music I’m supporting at my shows, if you aren’t able to come and see me live.
Why should Bangkok’s EDM fans not miss your performance?
Because it’s going to be epic! I’ve never played in Bangkok before so I’m gonna make it a debut to remember.