You were already a DJ in your youth. When was the turning point for you to make music professionally?
I would say that in the last two or three years I have lived only from and for music. Before that, I was an educator, and I've actually always had two jobs. I always liked being an educator at heart, but as soon as duty was over, I got in the car and went to the studio. Then on the weekends I was also on the road, and that's what my life looked like until a few years ago. At some point I came to a crossroad and I could either move up in the educational field or devote myself to music full-time. And I chose the second. It had always been a big thorn for me to play music in the evening when I was already completely exhausted. My social life suffered completely and I couldn't self-fulfill the way I would’ve liked. Now I'm very grateful that I can make my music and pursue my passions at the same time.
You founded the labels Sueslide, AIKUNA and CRYPT. How did it all come together and what was the idea behind it?
I hated sending out demos. I really hated it because I didn't know how it would be received by the labels. The policy is pretty strict and a lot of things get lost throughout the way. And if a demo ends up being heard, the release date is usually set for six months or a year later because everything is so far planned ahead. That was the moment when I knew: I don't want this - I'm starting my own label. I just want to release my music when it's ready. It should reflect my current style and not be put out half a year later.
And with you guys I have a great partner. From the beginning everyone from the team was nice and fully supported me! So it's also fun when I know that I'm in good hands with you guys. I get featured on your playlist or you support me with a social media post. That's all great.
That's great to hear. How did you first get in touch with dig dis!?
A good friend of mine from Berlin is working with you and I found it very fascinating how he built up his label with you. I was a bit hesitant at the beginning, but I don't regret the decision at all. For me, it's also the little things that are very important. I always got quick answers from you and could call you at any time. When streaming services became more and more important, I always got good advice from you. I also like the fact that you pay a lot of attention to the quality of the releases and don't let any mistakes slip through. For me, sometimes I finish the music and then just want to release it. You give me tips on how to get the best out of it.
How do you divide your work as a label manager and artist? Is there a task that takes up a particularly large amount of time?
That's actually a good question. I certainly am a workaholic and have a very clear focus on the music. But I don't really have a routine where I get up early in the morning and do yoga or something. I just do whatever I have to do. Since it's really important to me to move forward with my music and build up my labels, I work on it almost every day.
I'm also pretty happy with your tool, because when it comes to creating a release, it gives me a good structure when to insert what and not to forget anything important, like artwork, press text and so on.
You produce music for yourself as well as remixes for other artists. What can't be missing from your creative process?
Coffee and cigarettes. *laughs* I have two fixed studio dates a week, which is very important to me. When I produce I need silence and can’t have people around me. There is no internet in the studio and I have my phone on airplane mode. I follow the impulses and try to let everything arise naturally.
Of course, there are evenings when I collaborate with other artists, but somehow those aren't the most productive sessions for me. Unfortunately, I can get distracted or thrown off my game pretty quickly.
You've had many gigs in different clubs like Odonien, Tresor or Ritter Butzke. Was there a show that particularly stuck in your memory?
Of course, every event is always nice in its own way, but I can still remember my first gig very clearly. It was like a knighthood for me back then. I opened the Psytrance stage at Fusion with my friend Ronnie. Standing on stage at the age of 17 with people standing all the way to the horizon was really magical. I was also very impressed and touched by the fact that we were given this chance as "kiddies". I am quite grateful for this experience.
What are your musical goals for the future?
I would like to become better. So this might sound a bit blunt, but I'd like to grow a bit as a producer and maybe understand other genres better technically. I just want to get better in general. I don't necessarily want to have X number of listeners on Spotify or frantically set any wide goals, but just grow myself and continue to pursue my passion.
Thank you Stephan for the nice interview and for your compliments to us. We are glad that we could help you grow with your labels.
If you are also interested in sharing your story about yourself and your daily music business life with us, then feel free to contact us anytime.