Sonic Agenda Exclusive Interview: MOTi
MOTi is making a name for himself in the EDM world with hits like “Heat It Up,” “This Is Dirty,” and “Zeus.” Once labeled the “not so new kid” on the block, he has been taken under the wing of mega DJ Tiesto and is ready to take the EDM world by storm. Sonic Agenda spoke with MOTi in advance of his Boston stop at GEM on Wednesday November 19 about his Lion Tour, his Beatport hit “Virus,” the DJ Mag Top 100, and much more.
You’re currently on the Lion Tour, which is your 1st headlining tour. What can the fans expect? Also, tell me about the new track which comes out today.
It is yes. The fans can expect a lot of new tracks mixed with my favorite releases of the last years. I’ve worked really hard in the studio the last few months so I have a lot of new tracks to play and test. “Lion” is a track where I try to make something different than I did before. I produced it before “Virus” but it took a lot of tweaking throughout the year and finding a good songwriter took some time as well. I’m very happy with the end result.
What inspired you to take the path of becoming a DJ/producer? Was music something that you always loved?
I definitely always loved music. I went to a lot of parties when I was younger. I went to my first dance music party when I was about 16. When I was 14 I listened to hip-hop, from hip-hop to UK garage and from UK garage to house. It started off as a fan and after a short time I started buying vinyl and bought turntables. Then I started editing tracks on the computer and let the guys at record store hear it. Back then they told me it was disrespectful to the artists. That’s the reason why I started producing my own tracks. I signed my first record and record deal under a different alias when I was 18 (9 years ago).
Tiesto has been a great supporter of your music and has called you “the next big thing.” What is your relationship with Tiesto like?
It’s fun. We laugh a lot, joke around, and keep in touch through Whatsapp or Skype. We discuss all of my records and what career steps to make. When I’m in NY or Las Vegas or he is in the Netherlands we party and we do studio time!
Recently you surprised everyone at Webster Hall in NYC by bringing out Tiesto for a special set. How was that night?
I loved it. I had friends with me and it was my first headline show of the tour. The crowd was awesome and I got to test all my new tracks, mashups, and remixes. When I pulled Tiesto on stage and we did a 30 min b2b set during my show people went nuts. It was an amazing night!
You have collaborated with many artists already…..Yellow Claw, DVBBS, Alvaro, and Quintino to name a few. What is it like working with so many different talented artists? What collaboration was your favorite? Why?
It was amazing to work with all these great artist. Thing is I’ve known most of them for some time, so it’s just super fun to hang out in the studio and make music. Working with Yellow Claw was interesting and fun because it was something totally different than what I normally produce. Not sure which one is my favorite; the cool thing about all these collaborations is that every track felt like a milestone in my career and in increasing my production skills. After every collaboration so many good things happened, so I’ve great memories with every collaboration.
Your track “Virus” with Martin Garrix was a Beatport #1 track, received huge support from fellow DJs, and was a staple in club sets this year. How did this track come about? What was it like working with Garrix?
I’ve known Martin Garrix for almost 3 years now. First time I met him I was working in the studio together with a good friend of mine Kenneth G. Martin walked in and started telling me how to make the breakdown better. Now we’re still good friends. I think we were on Skype and I was working on “Virus.” Martin really liked the first idea I made and the melody of the drop. He added his sick breakdown to it and we finished the track together.
What is your take on the all the hype around the DJ Mag 100 rankings and awards shows like NRJ that crown Paris Hilton as “Female DJ Of The Year”?
The DJ MAG top 100 is the most important fan voted DJ ranking of the world. For me it’s a ranking for the most popular DJs, not the best DJs. In my opinion there are a lot of amazing DJs on the list but there are also a lot of amazing DJs who are not on the list. The big discussion about the list is how legit the voting is. Some DJs who deserve a spot on the list are not on there and amazing DJs who are n there lose credit because people think they’ve paid for their ranking. If whatever list out there wants to stop this discussion, they should let different parties who are not involved with them give insights into the voting. I personally think it’s great there is a list that gets this much attention! The more fans dance music gains the better!
You’re from Netherlands, which we know as the home to many EDM DJs and producers. What are some differences in the music scenes here in the US and at home in the Netherlands?
I think the biggest difference was that we have been doing this for some time. I mean we have had a really active clubbing scene for years… maybe decades. In the US it is still newer for the bigger crowds. Now that it’s been around in the US for some time you can see people get more picky with what sub genre in dance music they like, so the changes between the Netherlands and the US are getting smaller. Another big difference is that the Netherlands is small and there are a lot of parties in the Netherlands. Because its so small most dutch DJs know each other. It’s a very loving scene. In my opinion there’s no such thing as competition only colleagues.
What’s on the agenda for 2015? What are you currently working and focusing on?
Releases releases releases. I’ve got releases scheduled up till April – a lot of big room EDM stuff but also some new interesting projects where I try new things. With the new projects I try to show my musical skills and use different production techniques than I’ve used before. Next to releases, a lot of touring![soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/users/1915196″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]
You can catch MOTi at Gem tomorrow night, 11/19/14. Tickets still available.