We got the chance to talk to up and coming Progressive and Big Room House producer, Markus Cole, who recently just dropped his slamming new EP, Running, on Your EDM Records. We learned some of his background, his take on where the EDM scene currently is, and how he wrote tracks like “Running” and “Fringe”.
1) Tell us about your background. How you started in music and what led you to identify with Progressive and Big Room House?
I was born in Toronto, Canada and have lived there my entire life, both my parents are from Guyana which is located in South America. Growing up I would hear a lot of reggae and calypso music. The first time I really got into dance music was when my mom bought the soundtrack to ‘Night of the Roxbury’ as party joke but also serious because that movie had a killer 90s dance soundtrack! I got really into drumming for a few years. However, midway through high school dance music took me over after hearing it one night at an all ages club. I started Deejaying first but quickly started producing. Right now it’s all about finding and cultivating my signature sound as an artist, but most of all to make music that I love.
2) What artists would you most want to collab with if you could?
I would love to collaborate with Lorde on a track. Not breaking news but she is such an incredible talent. Other artists that would be great to work with are Kryder, Marcus Schössow, Audien, and Chocolate Puma.
3) What do you think of the current state of Big Room and where do you see the sound progressing in the future?
As I think most of us can all agree, Big Room is sounding pretty repetitive these days. All the distorted kicks and pitchy synths are getting really old. Thankfully, I feel that the Big Room we have come to know is slowly but surely coming to an end. To me the future of big room will be groovier with a lot more house influences, like it’s going back to its roots. Guys like Marcus Schössow, Kryder and Tom Staar are really developing that Big Room groovy house that I personally love.
4) Any plans for the second half of 2014?
So far for 2014, I plan on making more music and developing my sound. I’m really trying to get some more label releases as well. Right now I am still in school but I graduate in November. Balancing academics and my music career has been one of the hardest things to do but it has taught me a lot on time management and working long hours. I am slowly maturing as a person and as an artist. I definitely feel that this year and next year will be the years in which my career really starts to take off. Can’t wait for what’s to come!
5) Who are some up and coming artists you see making waves in the dance music scene recently?
I am a big fan of Michael Brun, Merk & Kremont, Audien, and Sick Individuals. Each one of those guys are really putting out a lot of unique, musically interesting material. And no surprise but I also have to mention Marcus Schössow, Kryder and Tom Staar because every track those guys put out is pure gold.
6) What did you enjoy most about producing “Running” and “Fringe”? Any difficulties? Anything interesting you learned while producing these tracks?
I really enjoyed the change of style of these tracks especially ‘Fringe.’ I really wanted try something fresh yet still have people going crazy and surprised as they listened to it. ‘Running’ has an interesting story behind it: I first got the chord progressions from Angel De Mota and he reached out to be to do a collaboration on a remix that was suppose to be released on a very big label. Unfortunately the remix couldn’t be released due to timing so instead Angel and I decided to turn a negative into a positive and just create an original out of the remix. We did some changes and decided to get in contact with Matthew Steeper. We both love his voice and knew he would make a killer vocal. Once we got the vocals back from Matthew the rest was history!
7) “Running” features vocal work from Matthew Steeper. What do you enjoy about producing music around a vocal?
I really enjoyed just being creative with the mixing process of the vocal; playing with certain delays, using different types of compressors and EQ’s, etc. It has really made me learn a lot of new things on vocal mixing, I love projects that teach me things and the vocal mixing part of this project taught me a lot.
8) What advice would you give aspiring DJ/Producers who are just now getting into this type of music?
For one, you can watch Youtube tutorials! They help your productions so much and there are a lot of great channels out there to help up-and-comers. Youtube channels such as Pensado’s Place and Future Music Magazine are really helpful to see what the pros are doing and using for their productions. Another tip that really helped me is creating music that you would actually want to play out live. Sometimes producers get lost in what other people want to hear. It’s not always a bad thing but I’ve found that doing this too much makes you lose passion for the project. As soon as you start focusing on stuff you would play out live and want to listen or dance to, the more unique your productions will become.
Grab Markus Cole’s new EP, Running, available now on Beatport and iTunes!