INTERVIEW: SoundLava Interview With “[email protected]“
[email protected] is different. Always trying to push away from the mainstream scene, into a realm that the radio play and pop tunes cannot be heard. Just playing for the present moment. His music style varies drastically from Deep House to Melodic Techno with a bunch of Groove, House, Soul, and Classics, but Always Deep. So come chill out, sit on the floor, dance across the subway, crank your headphones up, turn the subwoofer on, and have a listen.
Q. What got you into music and made you realize that it was your chosen path?
A. I’ve grown up for years playing and writing music since I’m a kid. My father is a fantastic musician and there was always lots of different music playing in my house regularly, but I really heavily got into Electronic music when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and just fell in love with it. I didn’t really start playing professionally till I was about 20 because I started working for Pacha NYC at the bartender in 2006 or 2007 and that had a massive impact on the music I listen to, as well as what I ended up playing and writing over the next 10 years.
Q. Tell us about your new music (Song/EP/Mixtape/Album)? And what’s the story behind it?
A. I guess the story about it is all about being yourself. I used to spend a lot of time worrying about whether people would be interested in the music I was writing and playing, but as I’ve gotten older, I just started to care less about what people have thought and more about it makes me feel, which has been great. At the end of the day, I definitely want people to love and enjoy it for sure, but on my own terms.
This project is my most recent EP that I am self-releasing and something I’ve wanted to make available to people for years now.
Stream which is an emotive, dark, deep, ethereal record that not only has the ability to shake subwoofers, but also leave you with a solid impact on your senses and make you aware of the moment you’re in… especially when I play it live. You definitely have to make sure you have the right system to listen to it properly, but I remember playing it back at Jenja (Bali, Indonesia) in 2015 at the end of the night and it literally blew people away when they realized how much bottom and power is in that bassline – Thanks Bob Moog.
I also love Last Row. It’s hooky, simple, melodic, and pretty. But decently danceable which I like. Ive gotten some great feedback on it, and people seem to be enjoying and playing it more and more lately. I love that its coupled with Stream on this EP because they’re totally different. It sort of makes me happy to not have two records that sound too similar to each other, because neither do the records I write. Which is a double edged sword for sure, especially in today’s music industry, but I love it. It is what it is.
Q. What makes your music unique? How would you describe it? (genres/sub-genres)
A. The music I write ranges from Downtempo to Deep House to Melodic Techno, but always different than what I usually find in those genres. I guess its hard to describe yourself, but I always try and steer away from who everyone else is playing and sounding like… Not that I don’t love some of those records too, but when it comes down to my musical style, and the records I write, they’re emotive, deep, melodic, and different. I also love so many genres of music that it’s really hard to stick to just one, so I try and keep things moving a lot and not really sticking to one sound, tempo, or overall vibe. I guess you could say I get bored easily. =)
Q. Who are your biggest music influences? And any particular artist/band you would like to collaborate with in the future?
A. I remember the first time I heard Sasha’s Xpander EP and John Digweed’s Heaven Scent that really had a big impact on me. My idols vary musically from James Brown to BT, and all sorts of musical talents between. I have always been a massive fan of deep basslines and funky vocals as well electronic music of all sorts, from Deep House to Melodic Techno, but always with heavy bass and beautiful melodies. I love some of DAVI’s records, I think he’s really had a major impact on the melodic/techno records that I play. I think Saison and PIV (Dutch House Label) are putting out amazing releases, and I love the Anjunadeep records for as long as they’ve been around. They’re a dream label of mine and their releases are probably my favorite kind of records ever.
Q. How long have you been in the music industry?
A. I‘m nightclub DJ born and in New York City for the last 35 years, playing semi-professionally for the last 15 years, spending almost 10 of those years working at Pacha New York City alongside some of the biggest and best names in dance music, which greatly pushed my musical style and playing skills over the years. Since about 2005, I have traveled extensively playing in several different countries, especially enjoying places like Indonesia, Ibiza, Spain, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Amsterdam, and London.
Q. Which is the best moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of? (awards, projects or public performances etc.
A. Being able to play MainStage in some of the biggest and best nightclubs in NYC has been some of the best highlights of my life, Especially Places like Pacha, Webster Hall, Marquee, Jenja (Indonesia), and also smaller more intimate places like Hudson Terrace, Le Souk, Veranda, and others that really allow you to connect with the crowd and see the enjoyment on people faces up close.
Also, Playing King’s Day on the Canals in Amsterdam with my friends and family will always go down as one of my favorite gigs ever. Love you guys <3
Q. How do you balance your music with other obligations – family, friends or work?
A. Honestly, I’ve been finding a great middle ground between family life and playing out. I absolutely love my alone time with my family (they’re my everything) and also booking more gigs in NYC and around the world because playing and traveling are my favorite things in life, other than surfing which I generally get to do a lot when I travel.
But having my brand new 9 month old baby, James, and my awesome 80lb Golden Retriever. Murph, can definitely be demanding, especially trying to keep up with social media and bookings, label outreach and studio time. But my wife Lynn is an amazing human and the most selfless person I’ve ever met. I’d be lost without her.
Q. What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
A. Just never give up. No matter what.
People tend to be really tough on people when they’re first starting out, and it’s kind of bullshit. I love trying to be encouraging to people I meet who tell me they’re interested in playing or writing music or djing. It’s made me so happy over the years, and I think everyone should experience that if they want to.
People have to start out somewhere and you usually aren’t great at it in the beginning no matter what you do, so just focus on having fun and enjoying it.
You’ll get better over time. Once you’ve put 10,000 hours in you won’t worry about your skills anymore, it’ll just be natural.
Q. If you had one message to give to your fans, what would it be?
A. Love everyone, and everything. Live in the moment, get dirty, care less, smile more. Life is short, enjoy it to the fullest…. And listen to good music while you do it. =)
Q. What’s next for you? Any upcoming projects?
A. Yeah, well I just got back from Nosara, Costa Rica from playing a gig at Selina which was an absolute blast.
And I’m pumped about this new EP release because I’ve been holding onto it for some time and feel ready that its time to share it out with the world. I’m excited to see what people think of it, because its got a lot of love in it.
As do all the records I write and play live. I love being a DJ even more than writing my own records a lot of the time because I truly love sharing records with other people and introducing them to songs that they might love but had never known about… plus, making people dance and playing through a great soundsystem is truly a gift. You’ll see it on my face when I’m playing live, it’s definitely my happy place.
I think in 5 years from now I’m going to get out of NYC and spend some more time living with my family in Europe. I’ve been a Special Education Teacher for the last 12 years, and its been fantastic for every minute of it. But it’s time for me to start taking my music career more seriously, because nothing makes me happier. I think I may very well spend some time in Amsterdam with my wife and son and dog, and set up a solid monthly residency somewhere intimate and fun, and spend the in-between time touring through the venues in Europe for a few years. Although I’ll probably travel back to the States often to see friends and family.
Thanks for Tuning In.
Follow “[email protected]” on Instagram, Soundcloud and YouTube.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings