The incredible talents of Showtek and MOTi combined just a few weeks ago for new single ‘Down Easy,’ a Caribbean-inspired tune that also features Wyclef Jean and Starley. We were able to speak to both the duo and solo artist about the making of the track and more.
Hey guys, good to chat! Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves as artists… how would you sum up each other’s musical style?
Showtek: We are Showtek, a Dutch production and DJ duo composed of Wouter and Sjoerd Janssen. For everybody who doesn’t know yet, we happen to be brothers as well. We are known for our beat-heavy, memorable anthem songs and high energy performances. We were born in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, but moved to United States recently.
MOTi: Hi! I am Timo Romme, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I’ve been producing and DJing for 12 years now under several aliases, most recently MOTi. You possibly know me from my collaborations with Martin Garrix, Major Lazer, Tiesto or several other artists. My signature sound is big room progressive with an edge but people who know my music know I love to experiment with all kind of genres – and you never really know what to expect with each release.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve both learned since you started making music? What have been some of the challenges so far?
Showtek: That you can learn a lot from other people, and that it’s important to something be open-minded to be able to allow yourself to grow and not to be stuck to your own workflow or thoughts.
The biggest challenge for us was our transition from hardstyle to house music. We launched our career in electronic music as Hardstyle DJ/producers, but in 2012 we decided to take a step into another direction. We wanted to grow as producers, try something else and reinvent our selves. Our next challenge is to show our fans that we are also able to produce crossover music, that we can mix our sound within another genre, this is something that we aim for as producers, to have that artistic freedom and to constantly grow. For us that’s the only way to keep this career fun and to make it last. Music is the beating heart of our brand, so that’s key in our career.
MOTi: As well as learning from collaborations with other artists I learned the a lot from experimenting in the studio and not sticking to rules or to what people expect of you. Because producing whatever I want to make makes me happy. The reason why I choose for a career in music is because it didn’t feel like working and it makes me happy. It’s key to be happy with what you’re doing, because if you love what you’re doing you will probably put a lot more time in developing yourself. Like with any other profession you have to put in the hours to become a professional – same goes for music production.
Highlights of the summer so far?
Showtek: We both got engaged in the summer, so that’s a personal highlight! And it doesn’t matter where we go in the world, summers in Europe are the best. We love food, so spending time in Italy and Spain is something we love to do. We have few festivals lined up, like DanceVAlley, Lollapalozaa and WKND festival etc and that’s something that we look forward to as well.
MOTi: Last year I became a father so Number 1 is definitely my daughter’s first steps. And of course a collaboration with Showtek, my childhood hero Wyclef Jean and Starley is a huge highlight for me.
What are you most excited about for the rest of 2018?
Showtek: Christmas with the family.
MOTi: I’m going to work from Bali for 5 weeks in early September. I’m renting a studio over there and I can do Asia shows during the weekends. We’re bringing our brothers and sisters and their spouses with us so in total there’s 10 of us. We have a lot of friends in Indonesia and we go there at least once a year so I’m really looking forward to it.
Do you remember what first got you into wanting to create music? What do you listen to when you’re not making it?
Showtek: We used to go to festivals and clubs ourselves, so we know how it feels when you hear a song for the first time and it really gets you! That’s something we aim for as Showtek; to have that key ingredient in a song that sticks in your head, that make you want to hear it again. We were very influenced by dance music that was already big in the 90’s in the Netherlands, acts like Faithless or Crystal Waters.
When we don’t work we are either or in the car or in the gym and then we mostly listen to hip-hop, pop and chill out music. Depends in what mood we are in. Artists such as Drake, Kanye, Jay-Z are all in our Spotify playlists, haha.
MOTi: The first time I wanted to create music myself was after going to a Derrick May show in Rotterdam. I never was a technical producer; I just bought Logic 5 back then on windows and started to just experiment. There weren’t any tutorials back then and I still had a dial-in connection at home, I guess. So it was basically just experimenting and putting in the hours. After some time I started officially releasing and remixing on Strictly Rhythm, Defected, Stealth, CR2 and I was signed to Sneakerz and 1management – the home of Fedde Le Grand, Funkerman, Sidney Samson and Gregor Salto back then as well.
In my time-off I listen to house music. Not the house they call house right now but more the house the techno DJs play these days.
Your new track ‘Down Easy’ is making waves right now. How long did it take you to put together? What was the idea behind the tune?
Showtek: Yes, we worked on it for a long time and we are super excited about this song. As kids we were huge fans of The Fugees, so working with Wyclef Jean was a cool experience. The song has a very Caribbean summer vibe and we love show our fans that we are capable of producing more than just EDM. This song is a good example of how multiple styles of music can be brought together. It’s our first real crossover production released on our name and we are very happy with the result.
Did you enjoy working with Starley and Wyclef Jean? What do they bring to the track?
Showtek: The reason why the track is so unique if because of the fact that there are 4 completely different artists involved. Wyclef and Starley bring an urban and Caribbean vibe to the song and the beats and melodies came from Showtek & MOTi, something that people know us for. We are very happy with the result and we are looking forward to what’s coming next.
Lastly, what have you both got coming up next?
Showtek: We are trying to release a few more singles in the next couple of months. We have a few really cool festival bangers which will make our EDM fans very happy, but we are also working on a lot of crossover productions which we love to do too. Production-wise we have 8 songs lined up ready to go! At the moment we are touring in Europe, since this is the place to be during the summer. Not only for festivals, but we love Europe for its culture, food, authenticity and get aways. We mostly spend our time here from May to August, so we are going to enjoy the summer for a bit.
MOTi: I’m releasing a lot this year. I’ve got 3 more cross-over collaborations coming up with Icona Pop, Galantis and R3HAB. And this year I will launch my record label to support new talent and to steadily release signature MOTi tracks on.