The Danish boy wonder turns it up with his debut album ‘A Little Louder’
Hi dude, welcome to the DMC World.Your first love was hip-hop and then jungle where the name DJ Massive was created. What were your big tunes from those genres and who were the jungle DJs that you were giving props to back then?
“I was big into the early jump up stuff from the likes of Potential Badboy, Zinc and DJ Hype, then I moved on to the early heavy tech step tunes from labels like Virus and Ram. These guys really brought a whole new sound and feeling to the game. I still love D&B and the new school of producers like Camo & Crooked, DJ Fresh and Sigma are making some of the most sonically amazing tracks.”
As a kid into his hip hop, did the world of DMC Turntablism ever tempt you to enter the World Championships?
“Not really as I was more in to the tight rhymes and lyrical content, rather than crazy turntablism. I knew the Danish former world champ DJ Noize and some of the old school DJs Static, Typhoon etc – watching them do cut backs, crab scratching and so on, I knew it wasn’t my forte so I stuck to what I knew and liked best, and let the pros get on with it.”
Can you remember your first ever paid gig, where and when and how much you got paid?
“I do actually, it was the Cornflake Club in Odense, Denmark back in 1991-92. I was booked to play a house set for an hour and I remember buying vinyl during a trip to Geneva and borrowing some decks from a friend to practice. The night actually went ok, I got rebooked and got paid the equivalent of a whopping £50!”
What do your parents think of your career in music?
“They’re really supportive. Well my mum is, my dad loves Country & Western. I gave her a few CDs for Christmas a few years ago, one of them being a Loco Dice mix set which she played in her car for 6 months straight before moving on to Crookers, ha ha. She loves deep bass and has actually been to a few of my gigs. She’s usually the first person on and last off the dancefloor!”
Following the release of your first album ‘This Is Beyond Criticism’ as part of Geeza in the 1990s, you took quite a diverse change in direction musically and brought us the long player ‘Suite Dreams’ as Malou hitting the downbeat jazz market. What triggered that swerve?
“Geeza was very much me venting my issues with living in a small city like Copenhagen. Trying to make myself heard as an artist was really hard and the Geeza project was a great outlet for all my frustrations. After touring for almost 2 years I had enough of that sound and felt I had said what I wanted to say. By that time the lounge / deep house scene was huge and I was DJing at a famous Restaurant in Copenhagen playing lots of bossa, broken beat and nu jazz, so I thought lets try and make an album. I teamed up with my very good friend Andreas Jornvil and we formed Malou, signed to a major and released ‘Suite Dreams’ in Scandinavia. While all of this was going on I was still very much involved in house music and playing out under the name DJ Massive. I signed my first release ‘Alright’ to Slip & Slide and haven’t looked back since.”
So your new album ‘A Little Louder’ out on March 5th, talk us through this excellent 12 tracker, what are the highlights…
“I’m extremely proud of this album which has been a long time in the making. I wanted to really challenge myself and came up with a selection of 12 songs that could be appreciated by any type of listener, including EDM fans and seasoned clubbers. It’s an exciting and fun collection of vocal collaborations which can be appreciated anywhere – on your iPod, home system or in the club. The album opens with ‘Don’t Cry’ featuring Irish, Billboard chart-topping vocalist Mark Le Sal, followed by the urban tinged ‘Get Wild’ with Ragga MC Face J. It then journeys in to the euphoric and lifting sounds of ‘Need To Know’ with Mark Le Sal back on vocals, before landing at the highly infectious ‘Yawn’ – a joining of forces between pop songstress Sam Obernik and Dutch MC Jay Colin. Other highlights include album title track ‘A Little Louder’ with Peyton – a record that stayed in the Beatport Charts for a whopping five months and hit number 5 in the UK Club Chart; ‘Hey You’, featuring the talented Australian ARIA Chart topping Mr Wilson; and ‘The Way Down’ and ‘Heaven’, both featuring the soulful sounds of Sophia J.”
During an incredible few years, you have ventured to such far-flung countries you had not encountered before, such as Columbia, Ecuador and Sri Lanka – what did you take away from those experiences?
“I really enjoy travelling the world and experiencing different places and cultures. Each country has a unique feeling and vibe, which makes playing in them quite special. Best of all, you get to connect with fans around the world and share the love of house music. I’m also a massive sneaker head and get really excited about shopping for dead stock or limited edition kicks.”
You have over 50 singles and 100 remixes tucked under your belt, which though is your favorite from each category?
“My favorite release so far would have to be ‘A Little Louder’ with Peyton. I personally picked all the remixes and I’m really happy with how the package turned out. Each mix can be played at a different time during a set and every time the main vocal hook drops, the crowds always go off with their hands in the air! Such a great feeling. One of my favorite remixes was for Rosie Gaines ‘Closer Than Close’ which came out on Susu Records a few years ago during my soulful, funky house days. I was working with a good friend Richard Gow from the Rhythm Slaves and we did a lot of soulful releases and remixes together. I was actually one of the last acts (under the name Autosoul) to sign and release on the now defunct “Westend Records” which was owned by the legendary Blaze.”
What is your Guilty Pleasure song?
“Cascada ‘Evacuate The Dancefloor’. It’s a pop music masterpiece with great energy, production and really catchy vocals.”
What is your current top 10 you are smashing?
01 Kid Massive, Sam Obernik & Jay Colin – Yawn – David Tort Mix – Transmission Recordings
02 Jared Dietch & Rico Caruso – You Are – Camel Rider Music
05 David Puentez ft Max C – Things We Do 4 Love – Original Mix – Get Down Recordings
06 The Whip – Secret Weapon – Alex Metric Mix – Southern Fried
07 Dirty South, Thomas Gold Ft Kate Elsworth – Alive – Nick Waters & David Hooperman Mix – CDR
08 Meital De Razon – You, you – Alex Sayz Mix – Top DJ Records
09 Kaskade – Turn It Down – Castle Vania Mix – Ultra
10 Helena Atherton – Girl From Outta Space – Original Mix – One Love Recordings
What do you think sets you apart from other producers?
“I like and am able to produce a wide range of music, which is evident from my musical history. Working with different genres helps you to think outside the box and apply a different perspective. I find it useful when I’m stuck on a track and need a different way of tackling a problem. And I think my love of vocals helps to make my productions stand out by adding something unique – it’s actually quite a difficult component to get right.”
So Mr Workaholic, tell us about your studio set up?
“I have quite a simple and straightforward set up with some of the best quality equipment. I invested in solid equipment when I got my first royalty check and it’s lasted me till now. I have 2 sets of speakers Genelec and Dynaudio which I switch between when mixing and mastering. Soundcard wise I’ve used the RME 800 for a long time as I love the quality of sound it produces. Plus, I’ve got external hardware including a Tubetech stereo compressor and summing device. The day I get a bigger place, I’ll get a bigger studio!”
You have been in the studio a lot with two DMC favorites, Paul Harris and Michael Gray – what’s it like being holed up with those two? Two very different young men!
“They’re both fantastic producers and genuinely nice, easy going guys. Our track ‘Home’ came about when Michael Gray and I hooked up in the studio to do a collaboration and decided we needed an extra pair of ears. So we brought in Paul and he in turn brought in Sam Obernik to do the vocals. The track came out just the way we wanted, which is pretty good considering the amounts of chefs in the kitchen.”
What is the finest record you have ever played to a dance floor?
“The one that always makes the hairs on my arms stand up is ‘Alright’ by Red Carpet. If there was ever a track I wish I had produced, it’s that one.”
Best ever DJing experience?
“I’ve had some great ones especially over the past 12 months. One of the highlights would have to be playing in Singapore for F1 grand prix. The club was on the top floor of a massive sky rise with a view of the city and the official F1 course spread out in front of the DJ booth, it was an insane view and party! And the main room at Ministry Of Sound London never fails to disappoint.”
What is the best DJ set you have ever witnessed?
“When I go out I prefer to listen to other styles of music. I saw Andy C play a mind-blowing D&B set with vinyl. He blew me away, the dub plate action going on was something else and I lost count of the amount of rewinds! Fantastic night, I can’t wait to go back and get hyped!”
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
“Listen to your own instincts as they’re always right. If it feels right then it is right, regardless of how things might turn out in the end.”
We head back to your pad after the club, what are the Kid Massive Back To Mine Top 10 you chill us to?
In no particular order…
Drake – Karaoke
David Gray – Kathleen
Lou Rhodes & The Cinematic Orchestra – One Good Thing
The Weeknd – The Zone
Yann Tiersen – Comptine D’une Autre Ete
Rosie Thomas – I Run
Kashmir – Still Boy
Tori Amos – Horses
Imogen Heap – Kidding (Live)
MC Solaar – Caroline
Not many people know this but Kid Massive is really good at…
“Cutting hair! I was a professional hairdresser for over 10 years prior to becoming a DJ/Producer. Women like that I appreciate their hair, ha ha.”
What has 2012 in store for us all production wise?
“I’ve got several exciting tracks in the pipeline. I can’t reveal too much just yet but at least one of those will be released on my own imprint Get Down Recordings. Expect something tougher, more driving and even bigger than what you’ve heard in the past! I recently hit the studio with Roger Sanchez and we’ve come up with a cool idea which Sam Obernik is currently writing vocals for. We’re hoping to finish it off the next time he’s back in the UK – he’s a very hands on producer and likes to get everyone’s creative input happening in the same room. Remix wise I’ve got a big one coming up! It’s my first for 2012 and is for Sanchez & Sidney Samson ‘Flashing Lights’, due for release in February on Stealth / Ultra. It destroys the dancefloor every time I play it and gives you a good idea of where my sound is going. 2012 is all about making it MASSIVE!”