10 Questions with ... The Magician
October 28, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1) Where does the name The Magician come from?
It's actually an idea from my girlfriend. She thought I was a magician already before making music, so she gets the credit. It took me a certain amount of time to get it, but in the end I really like it -- especially with the costumes, magic wand, magic tapes and everything I do around it, it makes sense.
2) You do a series of sessions called Magic Tapes on Soundcloud, how often do you put out a new one?
Magic tapes are my mix tapes and I do a new one every month, I pick the best track I like the most and want to promote and think can be a hit and feature it. I also receive tons of promos from labels and artists and I take the 10 to 12 best each month and I drop them live on Soundcloud.
3) You were originally in a duo called Aeroplane and now you are doing it solo, do you find big differences between being part of a duo and being solo?
I was with Vito de Luca in Aeroplane until 2010. There are some big differences in being solo. Performing and making music, it's a little bit different to be out on my own.
4) How did you first get into producing, remixing and DJing?
I actually started as a DJ in 1988 or 1989; my uncle was a DJ and gave me his record collection as well as two turntables and a mixer. I learned it on my own in my bedroom and from time to time, I met some people who gave me a chance. First in a bar, than a club than a bigger club and even bigger clubs and then I met Vito and we created Aeroplane in 2007. In 2010 we split up and I created The Magician.
5) As The Magician, you've recently done a number of great mixes including Clean Bandit "Rather Be" and ZHU "Faded." How do you approach a song when doing a remix? Any new remixes coming?
I receive a ton of requests to do remixes. The first thing is about timing and if I like the original and can find something cool to do with it. For both Clean Bandit and ZHU, I was a really big fan of the originals and I thought it would be really cool to represent what I do. Recently I did a remix for a band from the U.K. called Moses that will be coming out.
6) Your new single is "Sunlight" featuring Years And Years, what can you tell us about this song?
It's a track we wrote in London. It's inspired by a lot of progressive rock songs from the late '60s and early '70s. From that period of time, one of the most widely used instruments was the mellotron, and by chance we had a mellotron in the studio, so I played and recorded different chords -- and from that synthesizer we sampled all the parts of it to replay on an MPC, which is a sampler, to get that vibe. Then my manager, who is the same manager as Olly Alexander from Years And Years, said we should do something together. So we made some different melodies and things on the track and Olly came back two weeks after that and "Sunlight" was made.
7) There is a very interesting video for "Sunlight" can you tell us something about the concept of the video and who came up with idea?
The director is Jordan Baht; he lives in L.A. and came up with the concept and we loved it -- me, the label, we all loved it, and we said let's do it. It's something people don't expect when they listen to the single, but to me it's great that we have something completely different than you would expect. I love it and the director did a great job!
8) You mentioned when you were working on the single that you took rock sounds from the '60s and '70s and music from the '90s, any early influences?
Yes, a lot of influences. I never sample old songs, but I get my ideas from there. Probably my biggest inspiration is Supertramp ... also Michael Jackson, which is more '70s and '80s. I like music such as Abba from Sweden and the old disco from the late '70s and early '80s -- 6he dark side of disco, not the main disco. Those are more of my main inspirations.
9) You are currently out touring all over the world -- Spain, Germany, Amsterdam, France, the U.S. and then Switzerland. Is there a city, country, or place you like to DJ?
I try something cool in each city, but I really like L.A., N.Y., Tokyo and Sydney; the crowds are really good in those cities.
10) Do you find big differences in the style of music or the sets you do based on the city or country you are in?
It's pretty much the same. I really like to play one or two tracks that people don't know, but more or less it's about my remixes and tracks and what I do on the magic tapes.
Is there someone that you would love to work with that you have not?
I really love Oliver Heldens sound. I really like Duke Dumont and Disclosure, SecondCity, Gorgon City, I really like what they do and I'm a big fan of Diplo and his sound his music. I'd love to be in the studio with one of those guys.
If you did not have to work tonight and could see one DJ spin, who would it be?
That's a good question, I'd love to see Larry Levan but he's no longer with us. So maybe Harvey, but for a private party.