In a candid conversation with YourEDM, Tim Clark, the rising star of the electronic music scene, shares his exhilarating journey from being a fan in the audience to sharing the stage with trance and progressive legend, Markus Schulz. Fresh off the first leg of ‘The Rabbit Hole Circus’ tour with Schulz, Clark delves into his experiences, the highs and lows of his career, and the passion that drives him.
From his debut at iconic venues like E11EVEN Miami, Musica New York, and Avalon Hollywood to the story behind his hit single “Oasis” on Coldharbour Recordings, Clark offers a glimpse into his world. He speaks about the challenges of winning over a new audience, the importance of reading the crowd, and the mentors and moments that have shaped his journey.
YourEDM: Congratulations on completing the first leg as the tour DJ on Markus Schulz’s ‘The Rabbit Hole Circus’ tour! How was it?
Tim Clark: Amazing experience! I appreciate that I was even there. I couldn’t have picked a better mentor than Markus Schulz; he’s absolutely
YourEDM: Was this your first time playing at these venues: E11EVEN Miami, Musica New York and Avalon Hollywood? What was that like? Were you nervous? How did you feel before going onstage?
Tim Clark: Yes, every venue I’m playing now is a new experience for me. Every time I go up [onstage] is a first time for me. I would say I was
nervous prior, but the second I press the “play” button, all the nerves went away.
YourEDM: Markus Schulz is a trance and progressive legend of global acclaim with some of the most die-hard fans we’ve ever met. How did you
two connect? What’s the background to your relationship? What have you learned from him and/or from each other?
Tim Clark: [Last] New Year’s Eve, he played one of my tracks and he asked his [PR] manager, Emily Tan, “Who’s the producer?” She found-out it was
me and she and I connected and had me send an hour demo to Markus. He ended-up liking it and it took-off from there! I went to [Miami Music Week]
Ultra Music Festival-week this past March and met-up with Markus Schulz again there, and we hit it off and then he asked me to do the Rabbit Hole
Circus tour with him. He’s patient and took his time and helped me develop my craft. As far as his legend goes and the huge fanbase that he has, no one is more of a die-hard fan than I am! So, it’s very surreal for me to be sharing the stage with him, especially after having been on the other side out in the audience.
YourEDM: You’ve got a hot new single on Coldharbour Recordings, “Oasis.” That track’s a banger when we’ve heard it played out! What went into the
making of that production?
Tim Clark: Well, I’m from Las Vegas and I just envisioned a person going over a hill in the desert and seeing this oasis. It’s actually about my home in Vegas and that’s what inspired me. The truth of the matter is, it came out more ‘trance’ than I expected because I was pursuing a progressive-house
type track at the time. But, the finished product turned-out as a trance track instead.
YourEDM: What are your next Coldharbour releases? What can you tell us about them?
Tim Clark: I have three releases on Coldharbour, presently. The first one was “Oasis,” which is out now. The next one will be “Gateway,” for which we just got done shooting a music video in Hollywood (after Markus Schulz’s sold-out Rabbit Hole Circus show at Avalon, at which I played). After that will be “Descent,” as in “going down” the rabbit hole. There are more trance than tech-house, which is why Coldharbour was interested. My catalog of originals spans from house to trance, and Coldharbour has been interested most in my trance productions. I have other originals that are being released
through my Tradebloc Music imprint which is distributed globally by Warner Music.
YourEDM: You also have releases on other labels including your own, like “Wake Up” featuring Jessica ZenZen. We love that song! Please tell us about
your other releases on your own label. Which ones are your favorites? Which ones get the best crowd reactions when you drop them out live?
Tim Clark: I have other releases, but I’ve come to be associated with Markus Schulz and Coldharbour Recordings, most recently. “Wake Up” is one of my originals and that song gets a huge crowd reaction when I play it out live! I have a lot of terrific additional songs, like “Lost In The Moment,” “Ameritum” and about 30 others. One of my favorites is called “Forgiving Hearts,” which is a love letter to my wife. I don’t think when people first started noticing me that I’d have had so many originals recorded. I can’t wait to release them all.
YourEDM: As a producer when you’re in the studio, what’s your creative process like?
Tim Clark: I come-up with the name, first, then I plan the idea of the song. I take the track as far as I can possibly go, in terms of production, and then
I hand it off to my team who help me produce and master each track. I have the final say over each work, but the producing is a collaborative effort. I’m
a DJ/mixer first and a producer second. I’m not one of those producers first who learned how to DJ later. I’m a DJ who learned production
YourEDM: 8) You clearly enjoy yourself when you’re DJing in front of a live audience. What goes into your preparation for a live DJ set? What’s your mindset when you’re stepping onstage?
Tim Clark: I probably practice [DJing] more than anybody on the planet! Because I’m so prepared, I’m very comfortable when I walk on that stage.
The truth of the matter is, I’m more comfortable playing in front of 5,000 people than talking to five people in a room. I’m most at home behind-the- decks and a huge calm overtakes me once I get onstage.
YourEDM: Being a relatively new DJ to the scene, what are some techniques you use to win-over a crowd that may not be familiar with your releases or your style? Do you have DJ-heroes you think of as role models?
Tim Clark: I’m a natural empath and have the ability to read what the crowd wants. I would play country music if I thought the crowd wanted it! I
come to the stage with an idea of what I want to play, but then it can change immediately, depending on the crowd. I don’t hold myself to a set
script. I take the audience on a journey and I like to think of myself as a musical therapist. I know some top DJs that play scripted, whether the audience likes it or not. I’m not like that. I like to read my audience and play what they want to hear.
YourEDM: 10) You have a lot of shows coming-up! What are you — or your manager — looking for when considering new bookings?
Tim Clark: I won’t do anything that doesn’t move my career forward. I have a lot of shows coming-up, but I also have been turning down shows. If an
event isn’t something that’s progressing my career forward, then it’s not a right fit for me. For example, I’m playing the Groove Cruise Miami this year;
I’m playing the cruise itself as well as the preparty, both of which will be sold-out or are already sold-out. What I’m not going to play is some pool
party in Dallas as a one-off just for the hell of it.
YourEDM: Nearly every performing artist has war stories to tell. What are some of yours?
Tim Clark: I have a lot of stories, both as a fan and as a performer. Here’s one: I remember, in 2008, my friends and I drove from Vegas to L.A. to see my favorite DJ, Markus Schulz, play at Avalon Hollywood. It was a pretty surreal moment when, this August, I got onstage to play with him, considering I had a poster of that guy on my wall! In New York, I walked out and I had five guys in the corner chanting, “You suck, you suck!” I eventually wont them over by the fourth track. After my set, I went to the bathroom and saw one of those guys and asked him what he thought of my set, and he said, “You were a trainwreck in the beginning but then you brought it home.” Then he shows me pictures of him DJing. DJ critics, you
YourEDM: Was there a spectacularly bad show/event/night you experienced, that almost made you want to quit DJing? What did you learn from that experience to tell yourself you shouldn’t quit? What motivates you?
Tim Clark: Many times I’ve been at the top of my game, but playing in New York, I didn’t think I gave my best performance. Afterwards, I had many
moments thinking that this wasn’t for me, but my wife and daughters told me to stick with it, and now I don’t have those feelings anymore. Now, I’m all in! Everybody thinks they can sing because they do so in the shower. I’ve had moments of doubt and thinking I was being delusional, like, can I really do this? But now, after all I’ve been through, I don’t have those doubts anymore.
Photo Credit: Zhamir Pascual