5 Minutes with Paul Van Dyk

German Grammy Award-winning producer Paul van Dyk has a lot on his plate – he’s been churning out captivating music since the time most of us were in our diapers, he tours the world almost non-stop for years on end, and he runs a prolific label with some of the electronic world’s most prominent talents under his tutelage. We managed to catch him for a few minutes before his stunning set at the Colosseum Club Jakarta last month to talk about cheesy EDM bullsh*t, how he still finds time to make music, and hiring managers…

You’ve conquered almost all the bases as a DJ, and a producer. What’s next for you?
Well, there’s always sort of a personal perspective on things, you know? And to me there are still too many things I want to do in life. And as for my passion of making and playing music, the next challenge is always the next show, so the next thing I want to conquer is that crowd.

After being in the scene for so long, what still excites you most about doing this?
Well, it’s the music. When I started, the DJ was always in the corner somewhere. We had no stages, no fame, no money whatsoever – it was really purely about the music, and that still drives me forward.

Since you’ve started, the internet has become the main battleground for budding producers, and world famous DJs alike to showcase their music to people globally. What would you say has changed most for DJs like yourself who have seen the scene change in this way?
Well, you know, it is much easier for up and coming talents to bring their music across. At the same time, let’s say like fifteen years ago, I was listening to a hundred records a week, and maybe two or three were really good. And now I’m listening to probably – not me, luckily I’ve got a filtering system now. It’s probably something around five to six thousand songs a month, and it’s still only two or three songs which are really any good. That basically shows you that the quantity went up but the quality didn’t necessarily go up that much. So, that’s obviously something that has changed. It’s so much easier, and to some extent, maybe having an A&R manager, someone who guides you, isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. The other things, and this is what I really enjoy, is to be able to communicate with the people that enjoy my music, and that’s something that’s really cool.

Speaking of budding talents, is there anyone whom you’re particularly psyched about?
There is so much good music. We’ve just released a great song by Paul Thomas, Alex Morph is working on a great album. So there’s so many great things going on all the time. I’m missing out on so many right now. The best part is, even though there’s all this cheesy EDM bullsh*t going on, there’s still a really core base of electronic music coming out and that’s great.

In that case then, what would you tell someone who’s interested in making good music of their own?
Well, concentrate on the music. It’s not about throwing cake or things at people – that won’t last long. If you want to make an artistic career, to make it last long, then you need to leave a mark somehow. You need to make something that attracts people to what you do.

Well, at the stage that you’re at – touring the globe multiple times a year, how do you still find the time to make music?
Well, the great thing is that my setup has keyboards and laptops on stage – it’s basically like a studio. So when it’s not on stage, it’s in my hotel room so I can always make music. It’s like I live in two different places also, so I have two studios there too. I use Ableton mainly – it’s not easier, it’s easy if you want to make it easy. The thing is, I use it as a performing tool, not just a playback, so that’s a very intense concentrating job. So if I mess up, there’s suddenly no drums, no bassline, or no strings, or maybe nothing at all. And so it’s that kind of stuff that allows me to be really creative on stage, and allows me to combine being a musician and a producer, as much as being a DJ altogether and making the whole thing more intense.

Text by Isaac Miranda (Juice KL)
Picture by Dekra


04/12/14, 05:23 by Gober , Viewed 706 times.


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