Even if you might not know Oliver $ by name, you most likely know the sound of his groovy house hit and collaboration with Jimi Jules entitled "Pushing On." The single by the German producer stood at the top of the Beatport Top 100 for an impressive amount of time, only to continue on to be a definitive track of this summer. But Oliver $ (pronounced "Oliver Dollar"), isn't done there: he's heading on tour through the fall, and is planning for the release of his upcoming artist album. Still riding high off the success of ‘Pushing On’, his last number one Beatport hit with Jimi Jules, German house producer and Panorama Bar resident DJ Oliver $ is heading off on tour across the US in July and September and has revealed the first news of his up coming artist album. To say the least, we know we can expect something out of the box from him, especially after some world travel. We caught up with the producer and DJ ahead of his tour, so check it out below and look out for a performance near you.
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EARMILK: How did you get into music? Did you always know that you wanted to make it your career?
Oliver $: I’ve always been a fan of house and techno and I started DJing because of my cousin Jan Driver. He had been in the scene for a long time and he was my early inspiration as his taught me all the basics and then I just started from there and began to develop my own sound and taste. At first it started as a hobby but then thought why not try to make something more of it and I guess I’ve just been really lucky how everything has turned out.
EM: Who were some of your early musical influences?
O$: Growing up in North Germany then Berlin has meant that I’ve been exposed to a wide range of tastes and genres, which is really cool, and I love living in Berlin. A lot of my music is definitely influenced from where I live and I can’t imagine moving away. I used to work in a record store where I got to listen to a lot of different music and since then vinyl collecting has been a hobby for me. Another way I used to and still do get influence from is just by seeing what other DJs are playing and reposting on sites like Soundcloud, you get to see what’s trending and what’s big.
EM: What was the moment that changed you from being a fan to knowing you could become an artist?
O$: When I first started releasing it was just to get my stuff out there and I wasn’t expecting much as most of what I was making was DJ tools and stuff for me and my friends. Releasing on Made To Play definitely helped me become more recognised as an artist and then I guess the success of Doin Ya Thang back in 2011 really blew everything up.
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EM: Do you feel that the pressure's on after the success of "Pushin On?"
O$: No I don’t feel pressure, it hasn’t been on my mind when I’m working on more projects. It’s great knowing that it did as well as it did and it’s being released again in August but I’m not going to let it affect my future releases, I’m just going to carry on what I’m doing and that’s making music that I like listening to and releasing it, hoping others like it too.
EM: What's your perception on success?
O$: I think you shouldn’t focus on being really successful when releasing music but if it happens then that’s great. I think the main thing is knowing that people are enjoying your music and you get to make what you like listening to. If your main goal was to be successful then you may start to make music that you wouldn’t enjoy listening to and then there’s no point in doing it at all.
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EM: How would you describe your musical technique?
O$: It depends on a lot of things. If I’m working by myself on something I’ve had in my head for a while then I’ll know exactly the order I’d work in so maybe I’d start of with the main structure that I’ve had in my head then build it up from there, when I’m working by myself it’s okay to change as much as I want which is important to getting the right sound. But if working on a collab you have to keep the other person updated on your progress, I’ll normally do this by sending bits over Skype but if we’re in the studio together then we can talk and jam together which can sometimes be really cool and fun.
EM: What other artists are you listening to these days?
O$: I’m always listening to the Made To Play guys. Me and Jesse have been friends for ages and I became his understudy of sorts when I first started out. I always enjoyed his music and so I got in touch with him which then lead onto doing a few small parties together in Berlin and then we started producing together. We’re actually working on a new single together for our new compilation on Play It Down. There are so many cool sounds out at the moment and it’s awesome seeing it all evolve.
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EM: What is your favorite thing about being live behind the decks? What about Ibiza?
O$: When you’ve been in the studio for so long working on tracks it’s really cool being able to showcase them to a crowd. Seeing the crowd go crazy to something you made is sick, when there’s a proper energy in the room you know it’s a good night. Ibiza is one of my favorite places to play in the summer. Everyone from all over the world goes there to have a huge party and so you know they’re expecting something big and that’s how the night normally ends up.
EM: What is on deck for the rest of 2014?
O$: I’m working on a lot of different things at the moment; if I’m not playing at a gig then I’ll be in the studio. I’ve got a remix of Freaks – Wake Up with Jimi Jules on Rebirth this month ,an EP on Nic Fanciulli’s Saved Records and also my album later on with a few other projects set for release.