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Markove Interview 2015



Markove Interview 2015

Let’s get to know American Hardstyle producer, Markove a bit better! This creative DJ plays one of those genres that has grown pretty fast in a few years. Check out the interview below.

1 – When did you start producing Hardstyle music?

I started producing hardstyle at a serious level in early 2012.  Personally, I don’t consider the several years prior as “serious” enough.  Everything before then was very simple and lacked solid focus.  2012 was when the switch flipped.  Hardstyle and audio production became an obsession.

2 – What were your main challenges as a DJ and how have they changed over time?

My first challenge as an artist was exposure within the genre.  When you’re a new name in anything, breaking through to someone is so important.  I’m proud to say the promotional channels within hardstyle are very welcoming to newcomers and helped me build a foundation.  Huge props to everyone at The Legendary Uploadzz, EuphoricHardStyleZ, and Hardstyle – for their work!

Over time, exposure has still been a major challenge for me albeit in a different form.  Rather than struggling with exposure in the genre, I’m now facing a challenge with the genre’s popularity in the United States.  In Europe, crowds go to hardstyle shows in massive numbers.  In the States, we’re slowly getting there.  Even shows with the major names from Europe struggle to break even and often lose money.  All of us in the American scene are building a movement rather than jumping into something already alive.  At times it can be a struggle, but we love this music dearly and that keeps us going.

3 – How big is Hardstyle today in America? 

In comparison to genres like trance and house, hardstyle has a very small following in the States.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing though.  The dedication and passion from this following is limitless.  Most of us with the hardstyle obsession in America are part of a Facebook group called QSA.  It’s basically a discussion board for everything hardstyle.  As an artist and a fan, QSA’s become a significant part of my daily browsing.  If you want to stay updated with anything hard dance here or abroad, QSA is the place to go.

Another benefit of a smaller scene is I’ve been able to personally meet and chat with a lot of people on the American side.  I’m proud to call many of my American colleagues friends.  I love being part of such a close-knit community.

4 – What’s your perspective about drugs and music festivals?

Unfortunately, dance music is plagued by the perception that anything involving it will be accompanied by drugs.  I can’t deny there’s some truth to the stereotype.  Most shows will have a random someone trying to sell drugs somewhere.  It could be the obvious sketchy guy in the bathroom asking “wanna buy some stuff” or even a girl in the middle of the dancefloor passing around mystery pills.  You never know.

Personally, I’ve never had an interest and am generally oblivious to it.  If that floats your boat, do you booboo.  Just don’t be that person who ruins the experience for someone else.  There’s always ONE.

5 – What are the best music festivals for Hardstyle fans?

Q-dance’s Defqon.1 will always be considered the prime festival to visit.  Every major act you can think of plays there and then some.  There’s also Intents Festival, Emporium, Decibel, Wish Outdoor, XXlerator… the list goes on.  During the summer, you can pick any weekend and find a nice hardstyle festival in the Netherlands!

For the United States, the best harder styles festival out there is shaping up to Fantasyland.  Fantasyland takes place this August outside of Pittsburgh.  Q-dance usually has a stage at the major events like Mysteryland and Tomorrow World as well.  Hopefully, we’ll have more festivals soon!  The American movement grows stronger each year.

6 – Do you have a dream that you haven`t been able to realize for technical or financial reasons?

I grew up watching aftermovies for the major Dutch hard dance festivals.  Even through YouTube, the awesome atmosphere and energy comes through.  I feel it’s only natural I’ve always dreamed of throwing my own as a result.  Unfortunately, throwing a festival is a rather expensive venture.  Due to the cost, I haven’t been able to organize one on my own yet.  Hopefully one day I’ll be able to throw Markove Outdoor!

7 – Could you describe your creative process on one of your latest track “Our Journey”?

I went through a seven month period of struggling artistically.  A few changes happened in my personal life that took time to sort out.  Nothing seemed to come out right during this timeframe and producing became a huge burden.  Once I sorted out the personal side, everything started clicking again.  As a result, I wanted my return from the short hiatus to be something powerful and full of emotion.

Along came the morning of January 28th, the anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.  Upon realization of the anniversary, my thoughts jumped to the space shuttle disaster I remember as a kid – the Columbia.  I guess you could say the wave of inspiration I needed finally hit me.  The next few hours were spent on the very early stages of “Our Journey”.

8 – How often do you share mixtapes or songs as free downloads?

I make an effort to release a free bootleg remix at least once a year.  Usually, the remix is of an old personal favorite.  In the past I’ve made bootlegs for ATB’s “Ecstasy” and CosmicMan’s “I Love You”.  Recently, two of my biggest tracks – “Reawaken” and “Dreamscape” – were remastered and released for free.  I also have a bi-monthly podcast that will always be available as a free download.  My next episode is this month!

9 – Hardstyle music is very loud…Have you ever heard ringing in your ears after DJing? Do you protect your ears?

I’ve definitely experienced ringing in my ears after events.  As a teenager going to see my favorite bands play, I regrettably never used ear protection.  Thankfully, I learned early on from my colleagues in the industry that ear protection is an absolute must.  Ever since I’ve been involved with hardstyle, I’ve protected my ears.  I always remind myself – you’re only given one set of ears, why destroy them?

10 – How do we keep up-to-date with Markove?

My social media below is the best way to stay informed!  I’m constantly updating Facebook and Soundcloud.

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.


Blind Mutation Discusses Experimental Music Video “Shadows”



Blind Mutation music

If you’re into hypnotizing Ambient Techno tracks, then Blind Mutation should be on your radar. Her latest experimental music video “Shadows” was awarded and this exclusive interview explains it all!

1 — If I’m not mistaken, electronic music is your passion. How does this interest has come about?

I actually think my dad’s taste in music really influenced me a lot. He used to put on a lot of quality electronic music for me when I was a child, from classic Depeche Mode to more underground experimental electronic How to Dress Well. So, my interest in electronic music started growing from a very young age. When I became a teenager, my mental health started to get worse, and I started to relate, and thereafter, listen to darker and gloomier electronic music like dark ambient, triphop, or hard warehouse techno. That’s basically how my music taste was formed, and why I love electronic music.

2 — When exactly did you become Blind Mutation?

In theory, I think I became Blind Mutation pretty much as soon as I started producing and composing music which was 2 years ago. I began writing tracks with an emphasis on cinematic melancholic sounds that translated my deep intense emotions, and I still continue to do it exploring more and more ways to express my feelings through music. But, officially, let’s say, I became Blind Mutation when I released my first DJ Mix called “WAVE/PHONK MIX” on SoundCloud almost a year ago.

3 — Musically speaking, who is your biggest influence or inspiration?

I love to answer that question 🙂 I would say that my influences/inspirations have been changing throughout the years. When I was 14-16 my favorite band was Coldplay. I loved their not-that-well-known tracks which were more on the electronic/ambient side, like my all-time favorite “Midnight”. As for now, I very rarely listen to Coldplay. Now I am more into experimental dark emotional stuff like Techno, Dark Ambient, IDM, and Trip-Hop. Some of my inspirations/influences at the moment are Aphex Twin, Arca, Trentemoller, Clams Casino, Hans Zimmer, I Hate Models, and Crystal Castles.

4 — Congratulations on winning Best Experimental Video at the Indie Online Film Festival. Did you ever expect this result?

I was hoping for it 🙂 But I don’t really like expecting something to happen, especially when it comes to receiving awards. Because if you think you would win the prize, and then you don’t, you would probably get upset. But if you don’t really think about it and just let it happen, you get more excited if you win, and don’t really care if you don’t get an award 🙂

5 — Tell us more about how your collaboration with All Around came about.

We met a little more than 4 years ago in college in LA. He was a directing major, and I was an acting major. We’ve been very good friends since that time, and we’ve done small projects together here and there in college and just for fun. Then, when I switched from acting to music and started releasing my DJ Mixes, he began doing all the visuals for them. So, when I was ready to release my debut track “Shadows”, I knew that All Around would be my director, cinematographer, and editor. We have a similar vision when it comes to art (music/video/films, etc.), and so it’s very comfortable and fun for us to work together.

6 — Would you interpret this clip as a short horror film or is it something else?

Shortly, I would say, yes, it could be interpreted as a short psychological horror film. To elaborate: it’s interesting that when we showed the music video to our close surroundings, a good amount of people said that “Shadows” looked more like a short horror film rather than a music video. “Shadows” indeed has a much slower pace than a usual music video. In terms of cinematography, it’s also shot more like a film rather than a music video. But I think I would still call “Shadows” an experimental music video rather than a short horror film, because, in my opinion, it still has a dynamic of a music video, and our initial idea was to create a music video not a short horror film.

experimental music video
7 — What tools, instruments, or software were part of the production process of “Shadows”?

Well, the track itself was produced, mixed and mastered in Ableton. As for “Shadows” music video production, My friend All Around who I collaborated with, has an amazing RED Komodo camera, the music video was shot on it. Also, my face, chest, neck and my arms had to be bandaged in the shot all the time. We needed special bandages, the ones that stick to the skin and to each other. We had 3-4 shooting days, and not all of the bandages could be reused. So, I had to buy lots of them. Was driving from one CVS to another buying the entire available supply of those specific bandages 🙂

We also had a chance to work with an amazing super professional makeup artist, Darya Kholodnykh, who did the make-up for the “demon’s” hand that appears in the music video. She managed to find a creative way to make the hand look realistic and creepy although we had a very small budget.

8 — What can we expect from Blind Mutation next? Are you keen on exploring science fiction themes?

I love science fiction, and I would like to explore themes connected to it in the future. But as for now, I think I’m more focused on expressing my inner feelings and emotions through my music, and treating producing/composing/creating DJ mixes more as a therapy for myself. I’d love to dive deeper into the psychological aspects of our lives and have an influence on people’s emotions and their unconscious through my music. That’s what my next release will hopefully do! It’s a dark ambient track called “I come with the rain”, and it’s coming out in the beginning of January! I’m also working on a new dark warehouse techno DJ mix which will also come out around the same time.

9 — What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an artist?

I’ve always loved to think about this. I am very interested in psychology, so I would definitely study it in college, and then probably become a psychotherapist (do not mistake with psychologist or psychiatrist), I would do scientific research and come up with new more effective therapies.

I would also love to direct and shoot (be DOP and operate camera) my own film(s) in the future! It’s a big dream! Plus I got my first degree from a film college, so I am familiar with that stuff. By the way, I’m also super interested in graphic and game design! Would love to try doing that in the future too!

And just to top off the list with more geek stuff: if I had another life, I would become an astrophysicist to study and explore space.

10 — Lastly, do you have any specific goals for 2023?

The most important and clear goal is to get the artist visa in order to be able to stay and work in the U.S. Speaking of my artist goals, I would love to get my first DJ gig in 2023! I would also love to explore new music genres in my productions (like trip-hop or hard dark techno)! Finally, I have so many things I still have to explore and discover in terms of production, mixing sound design, etc. So, another very important goal is to just continue learning!



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Bubba Brothers Talk Last Summer And Tribal House EP ‘Basstribe’



Bubba Brothers
Bubba Brothers
continue to take the Electronic Dance music world by storm. Their latest release, ‘Basstribe’ was well received by listeners all over the world, marking a new milestone for the duo. Alongside impressive releases and powerful live shows, the duo recently celebrated their anniversary by playing at important venues all over the summer.

We found time to talk with them about their summer season, what they were up to and what was coming for them.

1 — Hello Bubba Brothers, how are you?

All good thanks. 😊

2 — Summer is now over, what have you been up to this past season?

This was a fantastic summer… we had great moments. A big thank you to all our fans all over the world.

3 — You released your EP ‘Basstribe’ around summertime, can you tell us more about what it was like working on this production?

It was really exciting; the timing was perfect and it was great to see and hear DJs playing the tracks live around the planet, so yes… ‘Basstribe’ was really fun. 😊

4 — Have you got any summer highlights?

So many… playing in Ibiza, having Oxia at our anniversary party, and sharing the decks… many good moments. And as said, we are very grateful for that.

5 — Which artists were on repeat for you during this summer?

Hahaha… great question! Tube and Berger, Dennis Ferrer, Kolsch, Themba, and many others. 😊

6 — Did you develop new projects or ideas during this season?

Yeah… just came back from Iceland, and a new track is already in the horizon. So, stay tuned! and also 2 finished tracks will be launched in a few weeks.

7 — What’s the last thing you learned over the summer?

To stay focused and humble. Keep your feet on the ground.

8 — Aside from performing, what other activities did you enjoy doing during the summer season?

Like any Portuguese, the beach and anything that involves the sea is our thing 😊 Missing summer already.

9 — What are you looking forward to doing next summer?

Playing in Europe as much as people book us and I hope they will do, a lot!



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Country-Pop Singer Taylor Sanders On New Song “Firecracker”



Taylor Sanders

Taylor Sanders gained great popularity for her stunning renditions of hits by artists like Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline. Last month, she released her Country-Pop single “Firecracker, whose lyrics put female empowerment at the forefront. Learn more about this song in our latest interview.

1 — First of all, what makes you smile, and what scares you the most when creating new music?

It makes me smile when I create a clever line or the lyrics just feel exactly right, then you know you’ve got something that really vibes.

At the same time, writing can also be scary from the uncertainty of effectively relaying my message where the listeners can understand. That’s why I love co-writing because I get to bounce ideas off others first.

2 — What are your goals in the music industry?

I want to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, go on a world tour, sell out the Madison Square Garden, write and record a theme song for a Marvel or Disney movie, have a number-one single, and win a Grammy!

3 — What do you enjoy the most about writing lyrics?

My thoughts can roam free.

Taylor Sanders
4 — How long have you been working as a singer?

Almost my whole life! I started singing when I was 5. At the time, I sang the national anthem at my kindergarten graduation because my teacher noticed I was singing it in class, and she went to my mom to ask her if I would sing for our graduation and my mom didn’t even know I knew the song or could even sing. After that, my mom put me in vocal lessons when I was 8.

5 — What’s the inspiration behind your latest single “Firecracker”?

A.) I wanted to write a song about me and my personality to introduce myself to the music world and talk about self-confidence and letting your light shine.

B.) I wanted to tell a story of how my husband and I really met. We met at a pool party while in school and I realized he matched that ambitious energy I carry.

6 — What came first the vocals or melody?

“Firecracker” as a title was pretty much determined from the get-go. When I was introduced to the co-writers, they were like, “Wow, she’s a firecracker!” and I guess that felt good and stuck. It was kind of perfect. The lyrics and melody came together all at once. The producers and lyric writers were all in 1 room and we all fed off each other to push the song concomitantly.

7 – Tell us more about the top-notch team that was involved in the production of this single.

My cowriters and producers have written songs for Jennifer Lopez (“Waiting for Tonight”) and Celine Dion and Carrie Underwood. These are icons I looked up to and I couldn’t have asked for a better collaboration.

8 — If you could choose a location to perform your new track “Firecracker,” where would it be?

The Grand Ole Opry, of course. But then also I see it being performed at a big rockin’ New Year’s Eve party right before the ball drops at midnight. I can see it so vividly, all the lights and fireworks going on with the song as I sing “Light it up, light it up!” That would be epic!

9 — Who would you dedicate this song to?

I dedicate it to my husband, not only for inspiration but also because he is such a big supporter of my dreams and really wants me to succeed. He’s a northern boy and so when we first met, I told him I was moving to Nashville after school and if he wanted to be with me, he’d have to come along. So, he’s here riding this crazy roller coaster with me.

10 — Where do you see Taylor Sanders in the next 5 years?

I hope I’ve built up a community of people who can appreciate the art I’m putting out there and that it can help brighten and change lives. I want to be valuable to people and bring enjoyment into their lives during hard times. I also hope to get into acting as well, and for my personal life, I see myself starting a family.



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