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Caramel Mafia Interview 2016



Caramel Mafia Interview 2016
Caramel Mafia is a regular resident of Berlin’s biggest Hip Hop and RnB clubs, he plays across Germany and the rest of Europe. This talented DJ who is currently living in the Netherlands shared with us his essence as an artist. Do you want to know more? Then read this exclusive interview below!

1 – How did you come up with your artistic name Caramel Mafia?

I had my first DJ-booking before I had a name and when the promoter asked for my name to put on the flyers I only knew I wanted something personal, that describes me as a person and what I am doing. Actually a friend of mine always called me Caramel. She always gives people those weird names and Caramel was mine.  One night, we were standing in the kitchen at a house party and had one of those “drunken conversations”.  My friend told someone that I was a DJ and this person was like, “You play HipHop?  Let me guess your name is Mafiaboy or something …” One drink later, everyone called me Caramel Mafia (laughs). I liked it because it describes the contrast of the music I’m playing. On one side you have the nice and catchy R&B-tracks you’ve heard on the radio and on the other side I’m playing hard rap songs you would hear in some underground Strip clubs in Atlanta. I think the name also describes some aspects of my personality pretty well.

2 – In which way?

If you would ask my friends how I am as a person, they would probably tell you I’m a very nice guy, who is very patient but if people get me angry and try to test me you don’t want to meet me. (laughs)

3 – What can fans expect to hear when they listen to your mixes?

I would say they get Mixtapes where I was putting a lot of thought and passion.  Most of my tapes are live recordings from a live set I was playing somewhere. Of course, it’s a way to express myself but I think it also shows a little bit of a person who loves to travel and party and who gets his inspiration in this way.  And of course it comes with some Berlin flavor on top.

4 – I know you have been a DJ for more than 7 years. What’s the best DJ anecdote you can share with us?

I don’t really have crazy stories to share. The worst thing that happened to me was that my laptop was shutting down because of an update that automatically got installed. So while I was playing my Laptop was shutting down with the yawning Windows-sound. The funny thing was that people though it was part of my show but it wasn’t. (laughs) But one of my favorite anecdotes is this one: There is this girl who was at my very first show and who always came when I played in Berlin. Over the years, I could see how she met another other girl, how they fell in love, how everything developed between them and finally last year they got married. I was very honored when they asked me to play at their wedding. It kind of felt like we grew up together. From teenagers to real life. From my first time playing at a club to now.

5 – Now that you are doing a lot of promotion of your music, How did you feel after being featured on the Dutch TV show “College 010”?

It was an amazing chance to be featured on the show. I moved to Holland for six months to do an exchange semester for university and in my second week, I was already asked if I wanted to be part of this show. “College 010” opened some doors here for me and some people recognized me in the streets. It was fun doing this but it was also a little bit weird getting filmed all the time especially when you play at the club.  I felt kinda watched all the time. (laughs)

6 – What’s your current marketing strategy as a musician? Do you have a manager?

No, I don’t have a manager or an agency. I haven’t found any yet that would match me.

7 – Who would you love to collaborate with, past or present?

I’m not really producing yet but that is the next thing I’m trying to get in. Since I’m having a very broad music taste, there would be so many different artists I would love to work with. People like Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, The Ting Tings, Cakes Da Killa or Lano McNasty inspire me.

8 – What issues do you think young musicians are faced with today?

From a DJ-Perspective everyone is becoming a DJ nowadays, which is fine because It’s great that people love music and look for a way to express themselves but I can see it’s getting harder and harder for newcomers to get chances to present themselves to an audience. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you go to a club or a festival and you hear bad DJs. Sometimes it really looks like it’s more about who you know and how popular you are than how good you can spin. Some promoters also take advantage of new acts and try to make them play for free all the time. It’s often not about giving newcomer a chance, it’s only about making more money and that’s not cool.

9 – Who do you think has been your biggest musical influence?

Hm, that’s very hard to tell. It’s probably a mixture of different people. But it’s also because people inspire you for some time and then you see others that inspire you even more in this moment and so on. I think this is something very natural and also part of growing as an artist but also as a person. In the beginning it was people like Aaliyah, Missy Elliott and Ja Rule. Later on people like Crime Mob, Rasheeda and Bobby Valentino. Lately, I listen to a lot of music from the UK and Holland and I go to clubs that play electronic music like Berghain or Ministry of Sound and I think all of this is also inspiring me at some point.

10 – What’s your fave thing to do when you’re not working on music?

In my free time I enjoy doing sports, travelling and spending time with my friends. Music is involved in everything I do. When I meet up with friends the first thing we do is check out the new music every one of us found.

Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.


Exclusive Interview: Paul Mayson Delves Into His Debut Album ‘One Life’



One Life Paul Mayson Interview

Paul Mayson‘s first-ever album, ‘One Life,’ is like a special mix of his love for House music, blended with different kinds of sounds and cool collaborations from artists all over the world. You definitely don’t want to miss this interview!

1 — With the release of your debut album ‘One Life,’ what are your expectations for how listeners will connect with the music?

My goal was to showcase my story and my sound. And for it to be an uplifting, positive, and summery album. Hopefully, it feels like that! It’s a collection of songs made at the moment, to make you feel happy and free. It’s about embracing life, the good things and the bad. And about doing what makes you happy.

2 — You’ve teamed up with a diverse range of international artists on this material. Please let us know how these collaborations came to be.

It was really exciting taking elements from different genres, working with a group of great artists who come from very different backgrounds, and bringing all of these sounds and flavors together on one project. A lot of artists I meet myself, reach out to the people I’m interested in. I often travel abroad to work on music together and do sessions in London or LA. Sometimes collabs can also happen through the label or the publisher, but ultimately it’s great to have an artist-to-artist relationship.

3 – What compelled you to emphasize the themes of life, freedom, and diversity in this album?

I’m very passionate about House music culture and the way it started. Which was all about positivity and celebrating life together. I love that message and think the soulful, feel-good element of House music is what always really attracted me to the genre. And to music in general, including other genres like Soul and RnB.

4 – Can you share more details about the process of integrating experimental elements into the music production of your album?

A few of the songs (like “Tell Me How” and “I Want You”) were basically made during one big jam session. It’s me just trying out completely different sounds, textures, and rhythms and experimenting with live drums, guitars, and whatever I feel like. Letting go of any rules connected to dance music allows for a really fresh approach to the album songs.

6 – How does the artwork complement the album’s concept?

It emphasizes the feel-good element and the overall message of the album. Life is in front of you, it’s there for the taking. You’re in the hallway, step into the light and embrace life.

Paul Mayson One Life
7 – Will there be another amazing music video like “Have It All,” dropping in the near future?

We released a really cool art piece and visualizer for the album which I’m very excited about!

8 – Given your ambition to push boundaries within the Dance genre, do you think the bunch of producers already out there could make it tough for you to really stand out?

I think individuality is key. Doing something you’re passionate about. Telling your own story. If you go into that process, the outcome will be unique. Not following trends and doing my own thing is what helps me stand out and allows me to be ahead and I try to keep pushing myself.

9 – Among your studio essentials, what’s the item that you consider the cornerstone of your setup?

Quite a lot of my work is digital. I carry my laptop around and can produce and write anywhere with it, whether it’s my home studio, the studio in Amsterdam, a hotel, or even an airport. That’s what makes it flexible and international! Just being able to work anywhere and get the creative process going. At home I also love my Adam A77x monitors and I also use a Prophet synth.



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Exploring “My Friends”: Tobtok Talks Creative Process And More!




In this exclusive interview, Swedish producer Tobtok discusses all the details about his latest single as part of the ongoing countdown to the upcoming ‘My Friends’ EP. This is a collaborative effort with farfetch’d that you definitely shouldn’t overlook.

1 — Congratulations on the release of “My Friends.” Please tell us more about the influences and musical style that shaped this cool track.

Thanks! This tune has taken inspiration from bits and pieces of tracks I’ve been into over the last 10 years, everything from Daft Punk to Fred Again. It contains a lot of micro samples and vocal lines that are in a similar vein as old French House records, but we also wanted to experiment with the current UK rave sound, which we think ended up in a pretty unique and interesting way.

2 — How did you and farfetch’d navigate the creative process together, especially when faced with differing ideas or disagreements?

We were kind of on the same page with most things to be fair. Jerry from farfetch’d is a very creative guy and he loves to bash out new ideas, which worked well for me to develop into full songs. We worked on every track together in my studio and finished them off together. Of course, we had some different ideas about certain things but since none of us had a big ego, we just compromised. I think when you like the same kind of music, you usually think quite alike.

3 — What sets this collaboration apart from your previous singles?

I think this is possibly the strongest single from the EP. It feels catchy and is super simple yet not too boring. It also has Jerry’s voice in it which is unique to any other of our tracks.

4 — Can you share any funny anecdotes about specific moments while crafting “My Friends”?

We have hidden a few wacky voice notes in it as a sort of ambiance. It can be heard in the second verse or whatever you wanna call it. You clearly hear Jerry laughing about something, but I can’t remember what it was.

5 — Is this tune part of an upcoming album or EP?

It’s track no.3 from our ‘My Friends’ EP which has a total of 6 tracks. It was released via Perfect Havoc on 29th September.

6 — What are your emotions when your music receives recognition and praise from other producers in the industry?

It’s always so much fun to get praise from your peers and colleagues. These people live and breathe music and probably hear way more stuff than the average listener, so I guess they tend to be less impressed by music.

7 — Has your signature sound as Tobtok undergone changes over the years?

Haha most definitely. I started out with French House which evolved into Nu-Disco. I later jumped on the Tropical House train (quite early on in my defense). Left that and tried something cooler with my track “ABER,” and from there, it’s been more of a mix between UK and Deep House.

8 — Is there any specific music genre you’re eager to explore?

Old School Disco and Soul. I’m a big fan of the 70s as a whole, that’s why I’ve bought a few vintage Roland pieces in my studio and a Rhodes Piano.

9 — Considering the global nature of music today, are there any international artists you’d love to collaborate with?

I love Jungle right now, for reasons made quite obvious in the previous question. They’ve mastered this cool retro 70’s/Motown sound and yet managed to make it sound fresh somehow. I’d love to just hang out in the studio with them and see what they do.

10 — As we conclude, do you feel that there’s a certain formula that artists can follow to produce chart-topping hits?

Nowadays, it’s all about doing something that stands out from what everyone else is doing and probably also adding a sprinkle of nostalgia and familiarity into something. A good example is the new Peggy Gou record which is a massive hit that takes inspiration from ATB but puts it in a new and interesting context. It doesn’t hurt to have a massive TikTok following either lol.



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From Drummer To EDM Producer: Kouss Opens Up About “Can’t Go Back”




You must read this interview with Kouss! He used to rock it as a badass drummer in the Stellar Revival band, but now he’s spilling the beans about how he switched things up and got into making electronic dance music (EDM). The spotlight is now on his latest track, “Can’t Go Back.” Learn more here.

1 — Putting your sound into words, how would you convey the mood and sensations that your music evokes to someone unfamiliar with it?

My music aims to be an uplifting and thoughtful blend of Progressive House and Dance-Pop. Even though the music is very dancefloor-friendly, the songwriting is very Pop-forward. I also love mixing live instrumentation with electronic production to create layered recordings. As a drummer, having live elements mesh with the electronic really brings out a unique texture.

2 — Your transition from Rock music with Stellar Revival to EDM is quite remarkable. Can you tell us more about it?

The transition from Rock to EDM is an exciting and natural creative evolution. I’ve always been passionate about electronic music, so finally being able to fully immerse myself in the genre as a producer and songwriter has been fulfilling. My background as a touring Rock drummer also gives me a unique musical sensibility that I try to incorporate into Kouss Records.

3 — As a drummer, you had to adapt to a different genre. How did you translate your rhythmic background into this new realm?

When approaching any genre, especially Dance music, I’m utilizing my background in percussion to create grooves and drum patterns. The drum parts still come from the same creative place whether I’m sitting behind a drum set or drawing with a MIDI controller. I will say that with EDM I find myself focused more on groove and restraint.

4 — In what ways have Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta played a role in shaping the sound of your new single “Can’t Go Back”?

Illenium, Zedd, and David Guetta definitely influenced the melodic and atmospheric vibes in “Can’t Go Back.” Their music motivates and challenges me to produce massive soundscapes on the highest level. They’re all melodic magicians, and I continue to be inspired by their work. I also feel like I put my own spin on “Can’t Go Back.” It’s almost like the line between EDM and Pop became blurrier on this track.

5 — What’s the story behind the song title?

“Can’t Go Back” is generally about moving forward and not dwelling on the past. For me personally, it’s about evolving as an artist and person.

6 — Anna Kline’s presence on “Can’t Go Back” adds a unique dynamic. How did this collaboration come about?

I was introduced to Anna soon after starting the Kouss project by “Can’t Go Back” co-producer and dear friend Phil Barnes. The second I heard Anna sing I knew I wanted to work with her. She’s an incredible songwriter and an awesome human. It was an organic collaboration that we’re both stoked about. Definitely be on the lookout for more collaborations with Anna in the future!

7 — How do you aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through this single?

I aim to connect with listeners on an emotional level through the authenticity and musicality of “Can’t Go Back.” It’s about delivering that special feeling to the listener. We crafted this recording from a place of passion as artists. The lyrics are relatable and cathartic, and Anna’s vocals draw you into this sonic world we created. We also tap into some nostalgia with the Big Room House vibe. But overall the goal was to give listeners an authentic musical experience that resonates with them, regardless of what genre they usually listen to.

8 — For “Can’t Go Back,” did you experiment with a combination of electronic elements and live instruments?

Yes, “Can’t Go Back” mixes electronic production with live drumming and live guitars. The live instruments give the song a dynamic texture and human feel. Not every Kouss song will have live instruments, but it’s definitely a major part of the debut EP coming in 2024.

9 — Looking ahead, how do you envision your music style evolving?

I want to continue bridging the gap between organic and electronic. Creatively, I think there’s a lot of meat on that bone. I also don’t want to limit myself to a single genre or style. I love all types of music and ultimately hope to develop a sound that draws from those diverse influences and experiences.

10 — Lastly, reflecting on your journey so far, what’s been the most memorable or rewarding moment of your music career?

Working with talented musicians and creators who are excited about my music has been humbling and inspiring. I didn’t expect it, but the reaction to “Can’t Go Back” has been both unexpected and validating. It’s so cool to see the song played in clubs, gyms, and cars. I’m truly fortunate to share my passion for music and connect with listeners who share the same passion.



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