Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I am currently living in Berlin and the music scene there is amazing! I think that this has been and still is really important for me and my career. There are so many creative people in Berlin, you can meet new people every day und if you need a guitar or something you can just call someone and be like „Hey, what‘s up, can I borrow your guitar?“.
It’s an amazing city to make music in.
How did you first start playing music?
I began with collecting music, became a DJ soon after and went to become a producer after that. I think it all started with me collecting a lot of music and therefore learning a lot about vinyl and music as a whole. At first I was mostly listening to indie- and rock music but then I discovered a box of old vinlys in the hall of my house back then. The music on those vinyls was predominantly house music, which completly revolutionized my world and let me go: „Wow, what is that? Spinning vinyls is awesome!“ Then I started to make some mixtapes with those vinyls, but that was mostly for me and myself. Later some friends of mine approached me and were like: „Hey, we want those Mixtapes!“. That was essentially the start of my DJ career
What’s been happening recently?
I just released a new album called „Sticker On My Suitcase“ on the 14th of june. But I’m already back in the studio to work on new songs and some remixes. There is a lot more to come!
Your new album ‘Sticker On My Suitcase’ was released via Sony Music/Ultra Records, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this album?
I was definetly heavily influenced by my different feature guests. It’s always nice to go into the studio and make some music with old friends and new friends to be. It’s simply magical! If I had to say who inspired me the most I´d say that it´s always been the musician I was working with at the time of the question.
How did you go about writing the music for Sticker On My Suitcase?
For most of the Songs I simply went into the studio with the musicians I was working with in the songwriting process. A lot of this happened last year in Nashville, which is an amazingly inspiring city. As soon as you land there you see loads of stages in the airport and the city is full of advertising for music instruments. Everywhere you go you just know that people understand music. It was nothing but great to make two of my songs from the new album in Nashville!
But then there are songs that were created in a different way. For Walk Away for example I received a demo from James Blunt with the question if I´d like to make some music with him. After I went „of course I want to“ I sent a demo back and they replied that James liked it and that he wants to make music with me. That was of course amazing but different to the way I usually make music.
Where and when did you record/produce and who did you work with?
Most of the recording for my new album happened in Berlin but a bit in Nashville as well. For Sticker on my Suitcase I worked with a lot of different people. People from Nashville, german artists, friends of mine from berlin, my trumpet player and a lot of new faces. All in all a colourful mash up of people, most of which I met in Berlin.
Please explain how you approached the recording and production of Sticker On My Suitcase?
The Album ist heavily inspired by the experiences I´ve made through travelling around the globe. On the way of thematising travelling as main topic of the album I got inspired by other artists.
The 18 track album features James Blunt, RHODES and Sam Grey, how did you come to work with these amazing artists and what was the experience like?
How I cooperated with James Blunt for Walk Away was a completly new way of communicating for me. They simlpy sent me a song and we got together that way.
With RHODES I had a full song ready to go and was looking for someone´s voice to put on the track. The original vocalist from the demo didn´t want to be on the track, which is why I contacted my label to help me find a new voice for the song. That way we found the wounderful RHODES.
Sam Grey wrote the song together with me and is all in all a really cool guy. I’m especially happy that he lend me his voice. It´s not always feasible but I usually try to work with musicians that have been part of the songwriting process all along anyway. But with RHODES for example it was different.
What programs/instruments did you use to write/record/produce?
I usually use Ableton but that always depends on who I’m working with. From time to time I use the programm of that specific partner but I usually stick with Ableton.
The drums are programmed on a computer but other instruments like piano, bass and guitar are recorded in the studio
What do you have planned for Sticker On My Suitcase?
I’m definetly going on tour with the new album in december, which is really big and special for me. I’m really looking forward to it because I love travelling and being on the road with all of my feature artists. For this tour they are all going to be with me on stage, which normally already is the case, but this time there are going to be really intimite living room concerts in advance to the big show. Every feature artist is going to get 10 – 15 minutes in which they reinterpret our songs.
That means for example that Graham Candy is going to be on tour with me and Kelvin Jones is going to be there. All that simply belongs to the album and is going to be brilliant! I’m looking forward to it!
How will you approach playing these tracks live?
For a lot of the tracks I play live, I play a specific live version. That means that I change it up a bit to make it a bit funkier, maybe a bit faster, or create a completly new reinterpretation of the song in cooperation with the vocalist.
All of this can be seen and heard on my tour in december.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment I really like Billie Eilish – Bad Guy, what a great song.
What do you like to do away from music?
In my freetime I enjoy cooking and listening to music while I´m at it. I also enjoy travelling of course, which is why it is the main topic of the album.
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2019?
Loads and loads of Festivals! I`m also going to travel around the world and will of course be on tour in december.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I love spending time in Thailand and especially on the small island of Ko Pha-ngan. I love the asian cuisine as a whole and in particular the thai kitchen. On my travels through Asia I learned a lot about cooking.
Sramanaro, which is a really special place on the continent and the name of a track on my new album, is one of my favourite spots there so far.
“Sticker On My Suitcase” album ft. James Blunt, RHODES