Recently signed to Parlophone Records, The Magician, aka Stephen Fasano, made his label debut with his new single "When The Night Is Over," released October 14. Since getting his start as one half of the former two-part Aeroplane, the now solo Magician has proven himself alone and alongside Yuksek, as Peter & The Magician. His popular Magic Tapes mixtape series have gained a cult following of disco, pop and house fans making a game out of who can fill in the Soundcloud tracklisting first, the longer it takes the more joy he gets, The Magician admitted to us.
Now preparing to take the stage at HARD Day of the Dead in Los Angeles, Saturday, November 2, The Magician is set with a busy show schedule and debut album ideas fresh in his mind. Taking a moment to chat with EARMILK, the Belgian producer told us about his persona, future plans and his creative process, before unveiling an exclusive EARMILK mix.
The Magician Goes HARD with EARMILK
01. The Magician : Deep Volcano Intro
02. Disciples : Remedy
03. Bodhi : Imperfection
04. Ben Pearce : What I Might Do (Karma Kid remix)
05. Lxury : Jaws
06. Peter & The Magician : On My Brain
07. Anna Lunoe : Breathe (Club Edit)
08. The Magician Feat. Newtimers : When The Night Is Over
EARMILK: So are you still dating Julie, the girl that gave you your infamous moniker, "The Magician"? You seem to really love playing into the persona, have you ever second guessed going with it?
The Magician: Yes, still dating her and it is true that she gave me the infamous moniker. She is still giving a lot to the project. At the beginning, I had some difficulties accepting that moniker. To be called "The Magician" can be a bit pretentious and so it took time to get into it. I've jumped from pilot to magician, maybe one day I'll get a new moniker, who knows… since I was very young, I have always liked to play roles/characters.
EM: Does the persona ever put you in box when it comes to creating music?
TM: I never think of it when I create music. That means you can expect lots of different things coming musically. The music evolves, changes, progresses. I get hyped a lot by music made on the moment, mixed with my influences basically and this is actually myself as a person, not a character.
EM: You have been creating mixtapes for the past few years that go from deep house to disco to big beat and everything in between. The Magician mixtapes have allowed you to showcase all sorts of music you enjoy, now that you are signed to Parlophone do you intend to make more cohesive outputs or continue on the same path you have been?
TM: Being signed to Parlophone will not change that much artistically because I have a license agreement with them. That means I stay artist/producer and so with Julie, we do what we like regarding music, profile, image, artwork, etc. Parlophone helps us to spread the music all around the world. We also have now around 15 people working with us instead of the two of us before! I will ever continue the same path I've been with, of course, with some changes and evolution
EM: I know I enjoy writing about dance music because I love introducing readers to new artists and showing people the boundlessness of dance music. I feel that you are the feel the same way when creating your mixtapes. Tell me the feeling you have when you come across a new artist, producer or track that you have to put in a mix for everyone to hear.
TM: Exactly, that tastemaker role gives me lots of excitement. I like to see people trying to find the tracklist, "what is this tune ? It's awesome !". That reminds me when I was looking for a record heard in a club… Sometimes it took me weeks to find it, and until you get it, you're obsessed with searching. It's the same with everything in general, life is a bit boring without having dreams, wanted objects, etc.
But now there is Shazam, Youtube and Soudcloud and it takes 2-3 days for people to find the tracklist. However, I still do not give the tracklisting to keep playing that Magician role "magicians never reveals their tricks". I'm obviously very happy when an artist featured gets lot of attention!
EM: When you were the second half of Aeroplane, you focused more on the DJing aspects of the duo. When you went solo you continued to DJ, but you also picked up production. What made you want to make the transition and do you feel that you have to be able to both, in order to be successful today?
TM: For sure, I'm a DJ before being a producer or a musician. After the split, I focused on writing music on my own and I realized that I wasn't too bad. I didn't really have the time to do that during the Aeroplane period. Generally, I compose and write my tracks, then I leave them to be mixed by someone else. Firstly, because I don't have the pro technic to do this, but also because it's important to have another regard to your music. For example, Yuksek has mixed most of my tracks and remixes. I also like collaboration writing and producing, that opens your mind to something else.
EM: How does it feel to be part of the Parlophone family, alongside some major players in the music industry? Do you see any collaborations with fellow label mates in your future?
TM: It feels great, they are really good. Of course, I see collaborations with fellow label mates in the future. That would be awesome to be in the studio with Damon Albarn for example. But, at the moment I'll focus on The Magician stuff. I've got a lot of energy and my mind is full of new ideas… So it's time to make an album.
EM: What can you tell us about your forthcoming EP, which will be released via Parlophone?
TM: There is a single called "When The Night Is Over" featuring Newtimers on the vocals with five remixes, Claptone (which is already a hit all around the World), Brodinski, Clancy, Ejeca and Arches. There is also two other instrumental tracks. "Deep Volcano" is a slow melow/cinematic track with a 909 breakbeat that comes at the end. "Enchanted Land" is a dance house track, 90's influenced with an anthemic lead melody that will bring you to an enchanted land.
EM: You are getting ready for a mini US tour starting off in SF alongside Tensnake before heading down to Day of the Dead and then hitting up Chicago with Skream. Who are some of your favorite artists to perform alongside and why?
TM: I'm happy to play alongside them. I've known well Marco Tensnake for years now, we have got a good friendship. Obviously, I know Skream, but we have never met before. I love his new productions and I'm sure we are going to have a great time in Chicago together. I like to take over after a live show, like for example Hot Natured or Disclosure, both are fantastic! As djs, Perseus, Moonboots & Jonas Rathsman are really good and also good friends.
EM: Do you prefer to open for big names like Skream or lesser known artists?
TM: I rarely open for a bigger name in clubs as I headline the night usually. I'm happy to play before/after him. We've got pretty similar sound now as he plays house & disco. The most important is the warm up DJ. The one who plays when people get into the club got the keys to make a great night or not.
EM: You have previously played a HARD event in LA, Haunted Mansion 2011, how are you does it feel to be back?
TM: It feels great to be back, Haunted Mansion 2011 was great. Hope this edition will be a great one too, I have no doubt when I see the amazing line up!
EM: This time around you are playing at one of HARD's festival settings, what do you prefer the intimate club setting or the big stage appeal?
TM: Well, it's a different approach and especially psychologically. In a club you can see people's eyes and feeling more, the atmosphere, and I like that. Big rooms are more impressive. When you get 5000 people singing along to a song of yours, it's magical. It's also easier to throw my magic wand at the end to a huge crowd!
EM: The DoD 2013 bill has a lot more deep house, nu disco and pop-oriented acts, what do you think this says about the transition dance music is making? Do you think this is an indication your genre will be taking over the main stages in the next year?
TM: It's great to see that. It's definitely the transition dance music is making at the moment. After those hard & dark music years, people needed freshness. The leaders in that genre, Daft Punk have changed the mind of many producers after "Get Lucky". If you think a bit, each time they release an album, disco & house is back. See also Nile Rodgers, he is working with the best producers of the moment since then. I hope house & disco will be taking over main stages in the next year because a new generation is coming and obviously something new will be created.
EM: Describe the mix you have you have created for us to hype up DoD in one sentence.
TM: Catchy, house, disco, garage, emotions, energy, bass, sensation.
EM: As performer and a persona, do you enjoy playing on Halloween more than other holidays to see what you fans dress up like? What are some of the best costumes you have seen at your shows?
TM: Not really. To be honest with you, I have a fear of people dressed up for Halloween.