As us Americans approach this national holiday of freedom, fireworks and the excuse to get completely sloshed, we must also prepare ourselves for the invasion of some incredible talent this weekend. Among them, one artist in particular stands out for his talent and his dedication to the trade. &ME has been making making waves in the electronic world, from ripples to swells since his beginnings of creating electronic music in Berlin. He has worked with a myriad of other producers, vocalists, and instrumentalists, not to mention released with major labels, while still remaining true to himself and the sound he strives for. We conversed through our magic electronic portals (aka Skype) about his professional relationships and the challenges that come with releasing a track.
You have worked with some incredibly talented DJs, producers and vocalists. How do you build and maintain these working relationships?
What I usually do is find some vocals to add to my track, then contact the vocalist to ask if I can use [the vocals] on my track. I usually don’t like going to the studio with a vocalist to record, it often doesn’t work out. You both end up having something different in mind that makes it hard to finish a track that you're happy with. So what I really like is having finished vocals, then put them on my tracks. In the beginning I would find them on the internet, but now I will send artists messages to use their vocals. We will then work together on it, and one of us might change a few parts. A while ago, maybe three years ago, I did work in the studio with Nomi back when I was making music with Rampa and Nomi. We went to New York City for three of fours weeks and were just in the studio collaborating.
Does your true passion lie in DJing or in producing?
Both. I really like producing to get my ideas out and to the public, but I really enjoy DJing as well, going to the club, getting to feel that energy and being able to play tunes I like. I love it.
Having travelled all over the world and worked with so many labels and artists, what have been some of your biggest challenges?
Biggest challenge is always to finish a track! (laughs) That’s a pretty hard thing to do. It’s easy tocreate the loops, and you think a lot of the track might sound good, but getting from a small loop to a whole arrangement that makes sense and sounds good is always big challenge for me. The rest is ok, DJing and traveling, it feels pretty natural. Producing as well. I don’t produce that much, I don’t have a ton of releases, so I always feel a little pressure to have a good track out.
Do you feel that growing up in Germany, a country steeped in electronic music, made it easier or harder for you to make a name for yourself?
Easier, definitely easier. I moved to Berlin fourteen years ago and before that I didn’t really listen to electronic music, not since it was maybe twelve or fourteen. I listened mostly to hip hop and produced hip hop. So when I came to Berlin I met some DJs working in the studio and they took me to some of the major clubs around the city. That’s when I really fell in love with the music and the parties. Hip hop parties have this aggressive vibe to them, whereas these parties were just full of love. So then I slowly stopped producing hip hop and focused entirely on electronic music.
What emotions and thoughts influence you the most when producing music?
When I first start a track, it needs to have a certain vibe that you can have the loop running for six or seven minutes without getting bored. So I always imagine me playing a party, and imagine how people would react if I played that track so I try to produce a track that people might groove to on the dance floor.
What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not playing or creating music?
I like to relax, but that’s not happening right now (laughs). I am also trying to spend some time with my girl friend.
Any upcoming project or releases you can share?
Yes, I just finished my new track on Keinemusik. That is going to be out end of August, and there will be some specialvocals on it. But I can’t tell you who's they are, I want it to be special!