The Magician is a name that dance fans around the world are familiar with. The Belgium based producer and DJ has been one step in front of the dance trends and has acted as a tastemaker for several years now. His monthly mixtapes provide listeners with the newest and hottest dance music from an array of genres. His extensive international touring has given him access to the dance scene across the globe, and it is safe to say that he has his finger planted firmly on the pulse of dance music.
More recently, The Magician has been turning heads with his remix of Zhu's "Faded" and his smash summer hit "Sunlight", which is currently at the number three slot in the UK dance charts. Since the release of "Sunlight", there have been a handful of great remixes released, and today we've got your first listen to the newest remix of the track from Tobtok.
We were lucky enough to snag an interview with The Magician where we got to hear what the future holds for the DJ, what's in his playlist right now, and what he would do differently if he could start his music career all over again. Have a listen to the brand new remix and check out what The Magician had to say in our interview with him below.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/170850616" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EARMILK: Your mixtapes are 'magical'. You've sort of stayed one step ahead of the game by including new "undiscovered" songs/artists and songs that are on their way to the dance floors everywhere. What can you comment on how dance music has evolved this year? And how have your own productions evolved?
The Magician: Well, 90’s House music revival is now in the main charts almost everywhere; Duke Dumont, Kiesza, Zhu, Second City, Route 94, and MK, which is fantastic! Then sometimes you can find unique tracks like "Bullit" by Watermat in the charts as well. What is interesting are those producers like Oliver Heldens or Tchami find a good balance between the big EDM sound and the warm house or disco sound.
Finally, there is still that deep house with an acoustic instrument sound like guitar or sax with a vocal that fits well but will be probably be gone in 2015 because it sounds dated already as I’m writing these lines.
As I’m a tastemaker and DJ, my own productions evolve with what I hear. However, I keep my main influences which are House, Disco and Pop and then I inject my own magic potion.
EM: Where do you see dance music going?
TM: Electronic dance music is going to be all over the world due to big productions like Tomorrowland or Ultra. Some countries where it is not very developed yet are going to follow the masses in the next couple of years.
In terms of music itself, for sure young producers are going to find new methods of production, but I think the madness of experimentation of future producers will come from the live shows.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/129476855" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EM: I loved the video for "Sunlight". It was so simple, funny, and well done. Please tell me you were creatively behind the concept.
TM: Well, I had my own idea for it but as I’m not a director myself, it’s impossible... and then not easy to operate your idea to a director. But also here, the time was counted and we couldn’t do it.
So, my label asked many different directors to make video treatments and we chose Jordan Bahat's idea. We picked the main character to be the beach don.
When I saw the video finished for the first time I was a bit shocked ! Me and my girlfriend, who is taking care of The Magician image and art, are perfectionists and there were details that didn't work for us. But after seeing it 10 times I started to like it, to like each character more and more, and to finally love it. Jordan did a great job.
EM: "Sunlight" has been so well received, including its handful of remixes. Do you feel the pressure to drop another massive hit to follow that track?
TM: Yes, big pressure as well as being different, it needs to be at least as good as "Sunlight". I’m on it.
EM: Outside of shows, what do you have lined up for us for the rest of the year?
TM: I’ve got a visual show from now on. It has been created by Baptiste Alchourroun and Julie Lievens who are my artistic team. But yeah, that’s part of shows. Apart from that, I plan to work on my album.
EM: If you could go back in time and talk to a younger version of yourself, what piece of advice would you give to yourself when you were just getting into the music game?
TM: When I was younger I was very shy and I had refused great opportunities because of that.
Also, I regret to not have learned piano. It’s not too late but the difference is that when you're younger you have more time to learn.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155803761" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EM: On a similar note, what is something that you can't believe you used to do when you started out DJing?
TM: I can’t believe I brought my own turntables, amplifier, big speakers, boxes of records in my car every Saturday for 2 years in a small bar to play in front of 50 people from 9pm to 6am for 50 dollars per night.
EM: In four adjectives, describe your sound.
TM: Catchy, Seductive, Fresh, Uncomplicated.
EM: What or who is currently in your personal playlist?
TM: SBTRKT, Dornik, Darius, Aphex Twin, Kindness, David Bowie, Gold Panda, Years & Years, The Beach Boys, Leonard Cohen, Yes, and Genesis...
EM: You've performed internationally, where have you been best received? And who has the best dance music scene in your opinion?
TM: I’m well received almost everywhere. I feel people are more excited the further you come from and especially in countries where the dance music scene isn’t developed well like Indonesia. Now there are exceptions, in London or Paris I’m always super well received whereas those cities are over busy in terms of parties and concerts. I love to come to the US, it’s a mix of both sensations, I feel people are more and more open minded.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/156569783" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
EM: Do you still get nervous before playing a show? Or what was the last show that gave you the jitters?
TM: When all the parameters are good, I feel good ! And nervousness then becomes an excitement. When I say parameters, I mean perfect sound, correct set up, good line-up, lights, busy dance floor. I’m nervous when the party is a bit messy or the dj before is playing one of my songs or remixes or even sometimes the sound in the dj booth is very bad and so I know that I won’t be able to give the perfect show. Last month in Mexico city, all parameters were great except that my sound in the dj booth was quite bad so it was hard to mix well. I wasn’t happy with my performance but the party was amazing anyway!
EM: Where do you see yourself in five years? You've obviously got your finger on the pulse of dance music. Do you plan on continuing on your current path, or do you have some musical goal or dream you'd like to reach?
TM: I would like to release my own album which will be dance music. Then I hope to set up a live show. All that needs to happen within 3 years
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/8948492" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
Make sure to have a listen to Tobtok's remix of "Sunlight" featuring Years & Years. And if you get the chance, you should definitely head to one of The Magician's shows, because this guy is leading the dance music movement.