Interview with Darude
After having several guest mixes for the weekly show, TranceSound Session it's about time, me and Ville Virtanen aka Darude having an exclusive interview in relation to his latest stuff, promotions and most important his new label EnMass Music along partner-in-crime Randy Boyer, a new record company made late 2010, from DJs to DJs and music-makers to the listeners and club-goers.
"With this new venture we want to challenge ourselves and introduce new music of ours and by artists we've found and became excited about along the way. While we have our own styles and specific likes, the core of the common EnMass Music lies in the shared vision and goal of the same grass-roots approach to connecting with people through music. It all starts there, through this connection."
This is something that should stay there, the attitude, the message, the motif and not only, the innovation at the base of this foundation for years to come!
Reading the interview, you will be seeing Ville aka Darude adding further details on this matter, so start reading and prepare yourself for something big, an interview with Mr Sandstorm himself!
1. Let's just jump right into this brand new record company - EnMass Music - along your partner-in-crime, Randy Boyer. What does the title represent both to and for you ?
Darude: I'm really happy with the name, and*this name was a natural continuation for Randy's career, as it*comes from Randy Boyer's and late Eric Tadla's project name 'EnMass'. We decided to honour their work together, and of course above all Eric with keeping the name up, and hopefully building it to something even bigger. I unfortunately never got to meet him, but Randy has told me about him and their working together, and I'm proud to carry the name forward, and I hope Eric knows that he's remembered and loved!
2. So, the title more or less serves as a tribute to EnMass' Eric Tadla aka DJ Sonar's death, right ?
3. What are some of your favourite things about EnMass ?
Darude: Starting a label of my own has long been in the back of my head, and now that it's up and running, it feels good to be in charge of something like this. The amount of non-musical work that goes into it is pretty huge, and to tell you the truth, we're still in the very beginning of our venture, and we're learning some stuff by doing and that makes it both pretty darn hard, but also fun and rewarding. Coming together with Randy with this has been awesome, as he's such an energetic guy, he has a lot of ideas, and he's ready to get to it head first and without any kind of hesitation, which is so refreshing and pushes me, too, which is much needed sometimes!
4. Any tracks from you and Randy ? There have been talks of your new collaboration for quite some time now. What has actually been holding up the process ? Is it just not ready to come out yet ?
Darude: Me & Boyer collaborations are definitely in the pipeline, but can't tell you when anything will be ready and released. We've both had our own things going on, and I still have commitments to other record labels, which I'll of course fulfil before I'll be able to release anything on EnMass Music.
5. I do know that you musical perspective is so different between you two, but when you are in the studio with someone such as an Randy, do you usually work together with him on the track or do you just kind of let him do his own thing first ?
Darude: The cool thing is that yes, we have quite different angles on some things, but at the same time we do share a lot of similar thoughts and tastes, too, so I don't see huge arguments or anything like that coming up with the label or in the studio together. I also think that is one of our strengths, I think that way we can cover quite a wide range of styles and audiences, but still having common ground in the middle.
Personally I would love to work more with other people in the studio and get stuff done or started that way, and I do that from time to time, but I am more comfortable first working on something on my own for a while, to get some basic ideas, sounds or beats done, and then present them to the collaborator(s), so that I don't have to squeeze out anything under pressure. So far Randy and I have been in different cities in our own studios and worked on stuff over email and Skype and that works pretty well for us. Having similar computer and software setups helps, swapping project files is easy and the other one can take it from where the other one left it.
6. Aside from, of course, Eric's absence, how do you feel that the label measures up to what you had already been doing as one half of of EnMass Music ?
Darude: I take it that this is a question for Randy, but I'll give my two cents: As EnMass the guys made numerous great tracks, several of which were signed by the leading EDM labels and spun by the biggest names, so we do have our work cut out for us... But that's not a bad thing, we need the challenge to be on top of our game.
7. The very first label's single, "Fragile," made by Randy Boyer featuring Cari Golden, is a very important record indeed, a magnitude for your premier offering I may say. How was it in terms of feedback/support ?
Darude: Starting from Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, Judge Jules etc etc we've gotten confirmed airplays and support nods from dozens of the biggest trance and progressive DJs. Randy's original mix has been much loved, both Cerf & Mitiska remix and Jonas Hornblad remix has been raved about and the Boyan & Boyer one has been a huge favourite of the electro and prog house circles, so we couldn't be happier with the feedback and support we've gotten for "Fragile".
8. In terms of forthcoming releases, what's next from EnMass Music ?
Darude: We had another release already, "Midnight Train" by Paul Corson and we've gotten similar amount of feedback, if not more. This one is a little lighter than "Fragile" so the main vocal mixes have gotten really nice support from more commercial DJs, but the more progressive mixes, especially the Boyan & Boyer one has been a favourite of the more clubby DJs. The next one, EMM003 will be coming out in April.
9. How would you describe or define the label's style of music ?
Darude: It's always somewhat difficult, but I would say that we're making and releasing dancefloor-aimed music, and with remix packages the bpms vary from 128-138 bpm and styles from house/progressive to trance/uplifting and everything in between. I think our main criteria for signing and releasing a track is that we want to play it in our DJ sets as that will give us direct feedback and direct satisfaction. I mean, you know immediately if something works or not, when you play it to an audience hearing it the first time.
10. Any plans yet for you to take the EnMass Music's artists out on the road any time soon ?
Darude: We plan to do an EnMass Music tour on the second half of this year, Randy and I, and possibly taking other artists on the road then, or most definitely some time later with one of us.
11. You have obviously been bitten by the PR and A&R's bug as of late. Will you continue in your pursuit in relation to your own music ?
Darude: I should have a release or two coming out this year, so I'll definitely will be pushing those when the time comes. Like I said earlier, being in charge of your own label gives a whole new meaning and whole new angle to all of this, so it's been fun, it's been tough, and it's been very educating, and I feel that I've just touched the surface. I think there are million and one ways to make this successful and to survive in the world of gazillion record labels, we'll just have to keep turning every stone and find them!
12. Speaking about it. Projecting, what does the future hold for Darude ?
Darude: Darude the DJ has been pretty active the last few year, though I took some time off for family reasons last year. Darude the producer has been planning and scheming next moves and next Darude tracks, but also remixing some, and producing future EnMass Music releases. There'll be several Darude remixes coming out in the near future, and all going well a new Darude release as well.
13. Do you have any message for your fans at TranceSound.net ?
Darude: This is an old and much used one, but still applies: You don't have to buy my music in the dark, come see me live first, then make up your mind! And don't forget to come say hi and shake my hand and introduce yourself! *Another huge thing I always want to tell people is that they need to let their local club owners and promoters know who they want to see and hear play. It's that simple... If you want Darude in your fave club, ask them to bring me, and tell your friends to do the same! If you love electronic dance music, tell them so, ask for your favourite DJs, because as funny as it might sound, but they just might not know otherwise!
Interview made by Cosmin Lukacs (TranceSound.net admin/founder)