During his recent appeareance playing at the Sensation Whtie event in Prague, Markus met up with Polish website FTB.pl writer and contributor, friend and long time fan Monika Kalisiak. Recently Markus sat down with Monika to conduct an interview for the website, as a preview to his two appearances in Poland this summer, at the Sunrise Festival and Creamfields in July and August respectively.
What followed was an incredibly candid interview, where Markus spoke about his past, present and future, giving an insight into the man behind the DJ. Special thanks to Monika for permission to republish the interview exclusively for this newsletter. This really is fantastic reading.
You can view the original source (in Polish) by Clicking Here
However, for the benefit for our international readers, here is the full interview in English below:
Hi Markus. We met in Prague on Sensation. I was watching you on the stage and I’ve noticed again your unique interaction with the crowd. I also spoke with some of your Polish fans after your set and everyone was amazed of the style you play. You have so much energy and you are always in a great mood when you play. How do you do that Markus?
I love what I do and the music I play. When you combine that with enthusiastic fans it is not hard to have such a great time. I hope that people see the passion I have for the music and the scene at every event I play.
It’s summer time, and you moved to your house in Berlin, because you will play 12 Tuesdays at Amnesia in Ibiza and you are starting your European tour. Are you excited? What makes the White Island special for you?
Yes, I am very excited. Ibiza is a special place for me because all the friends I meet during the year from all over the world come to Ibiza and celebrate. It is always great fun to not only play for these people but also hang out with a lot of friends on the beaches, at Cafe Del Mar or out at a nice dinner.
Armada asked you to compose one of the Armada at Ibiza compilation CDs, set for release in July. I saw the tracklist, it’s just amazing. Tell us something about this compilation, please.
I have been compiling tunes to play in the Ibiza season since the last season ended. There are always those special Ibiza tunes. This year I put a lot of the tunes I will be playing all summer on CD so that people can take the Ibiza vibe with them even after they leave the island.
Your second artist album ”Progression” is a big success, we can buy it in Poland. Some of the tracks are still the dancefloor killers, such as Cause You Know, Perfect and Daydream. Many remixes have been made so far. I have heard on some interviews about your plans to release a special remix CD, called Progression Progressed. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes. We will be releasing the CD when I am 100% happy with the package. There are some extra remixes that are still being sorted out, plus a new track of mine that was not on the original Progression album. The project in general has been very rewarding and I am really excited to close the Progression chapter with the remix album later this summer.
Now some questions regarding your past. Is that true that you made a remix for Backstreet Boys? What was that song?
I actually did 3 songs for the Backstreet Boys. That was actually a dark time for me so I don’s speak too much about it. I was caught in this circle of doing remixes for major labels and artists. They were paying very nice money, but the process of working on such material burnt me out. I almost quit making music because I was so unhappy. I then moved to London and lived in my studio on Coldharbour Lane for 2 years trying to find who I was as an artist and re-invented myself. That is why Coldharbour is such a special name for me. That is where I was born again as an artist.
I’ve also heard that you used to be a breakdancer when you were younger. And your favorite music was drum & bass. You have said many times that your favorite guest mix you ever aired in the history of Global DJ Broadcast was by Aphrodite. Do you know that he will perform at Creamfields in Poland, and you will play there too?
Yes, I am a very big Aphrodite fan. A lot of the Coldharbour style basslines come from his influence. I am sure that you will see me backstage when Aphrodite is spinning. Dancing and enjoying the big basslines like the rest of the audience.
Creamfields takes place in Wroclaw in August, but first your fans will have the opportunity to see you at the Sunrise Festival in July, held in Kolobrzeg. Have you ever seen the Polish Baltic Sea?
I have never seen the Polish Baltic and I am very excited. I think the one thing I am so grateful for in my DJ career is all of the amazing places I get to see in this world. So many special sights and people. I can’t wait to see what hidden beauties the Polish Baltic Sea has as well.
Can I ask you some questions about your son Alexander? I know he’s a talented young man, he helps you sometimes in making the tracks, right? There is a Coldharbour Cubs baseball team. Could you tell us more about that Markus?
Yes, I have a son and he is very talented. He has been playing piano for 2 years now and started playing guitar 1 year ago. He had his first recital in front of an audience in May. My flight was delayed and I was so dissapointed to that I was not able to make it in time to see him. I arrived to the hall just after he finished. But when I asked him if he was nervous in front of all the people he laughed and said no.
Last year I was working in the studio and Alex did not want to go to bed so I told him if he wanted to stay up then he would have to do some work. I show him the chord structure of the intro I was working on and told him to just play along and improvise and I recorded him and wound up using his parts in the final version. It was really cool for both of us. But right now I am just letting him have fun and be a kid. He plays baseball and really loves that.
We sponsored his baseball team this year. And yes, they were called the Coldharbour Cubs. We had a lot of fun watching the kids play and seeing how proud they were to have the Coldharbour name on their uniforms.
YSpeaking about sports… I know you are a big fan of basketball. What’s your favorite team? Do you have time to go out with friends and watch the games? What else do you like to do except making music and DJing?
I love watching basketball. That is what I do when I want to get away from music for a bit. I just sit on the couch and watch. My favorite team is the Phoenix Suns. I used to live in Phoenix so I have been a big fan for a very long time.
I am sure that your fans often wonder what living in Miami is like. Could you describe a normal day living there, without having to constantly prepare for your gigs overseas? Do you have any pets at home?
I live outside of the crazyness of South Beach. It is a very normal neighborhood, but we built a nice relaxing area in the back. A nice garden with a swimming pool and an outdoor bed like you see at Nikki Beach Club. I usually spend most of my time working in the office or the studio and take breaks in the garden. We live 5 miles from the ocean, so when we go to the beach, we know there are some nice areas without a lot of people. We usually go to Hollywood beach. It is the perfect way to just relax. Whenever we have guests that come to Miami to work in the studio, we always make it a point to spend 1 day at the beach. I have a dog named Star who is very funny and protective and a cat named Kittie. Alex has 2 guinea pigs. It is really difficult though to have pets because when you are away so often, I hear stories about how depressed Star gets when I am on the road for a long time. I will not be back in Miami until after the summer and I know she is not happy.
OK, we are going back to questions about your music life. This year is very important in your career. You are heading for the top10 in the annual DJ Mag poll. I can tell you that you are on 8th place in our Polish ranking on ftb.pl. You regularly have gigs all over the world, sometimes four times in a week, and meaning you have to change continents twice in a week. How can you handle the exhausting travels and the jet lags? I am really impressed…
I try to rest as often as I can and eat very healthy and I try to excercise everyday. I can tell you that I have had health problems because of all the travel. But really what can you do other than try to take care of yourself. This is why I really spend alot of time in the garden in Miami. It is because you really have to settle your body down after such crazy schedules. The hardest part I think is the airlines and airports. Delayed flights, crowded planes, sick people caughing and sneezing on you. I am a very tolerant person, but I find the only way to really endure this stress is to shut your brain off and just go through it without any thoughts. Otherwise you could go crazy.
Markus, on your last visit to Dublin, Ireland, you said in the interview that you are planning some solo gigs. Could you please tell us something more about your new projects?
Well, that has always been the goal. We are still a long way away from doing a big concert type event, but right now I really want to focus on longer and solo club sets to go along with the festivals I play.
You have some favorite young producers. You promote them on your Global DJ Broadcast radio show and release their tracks on your Coldharbour Recordings label. I think it’s great that you help them. Who can be a big star in the EDM scene in your opinion? It would be great to see you with these guys together on the stage one day, it’s just my humble opinion.
Yes, I really admire a lot of the new prodcucers out there. Guys like Mat Zo, Anguilla Project, tyDi, Elevation and Sonic Division are just a few that I think have great potential. I think that these young guys really need to continue learning and growing in the studio. It is very exciting times for them right now I am sure, but I always tell all my guys to be patient and just get better every day and great things will happen.
What would you like to do in your future, when you will not tour and play anymore. Do you have any dreams?
Maybe one day I would like to run an FM radio station. I have always enjoyed radio but I feel that most radio stations today have just become background and not really entertaining. All the great personalities now just want to be on TV. I really think that having some of these great personalities on the radio would make for a dynamic radio station.
Last question. Based on the success of your Global DJ Broadcast World Tour, will you make one of your future Polish events a world tour recording? Your Polish fans would make themselves heard for sure.
Definitely. Poland is one of the places I dream of making a World Tour show from.
Markus, I want to thank you for this great interview. We all are looking forward to your visits in Poland. You have many real fans in our country. Poland loves you!
Thank you very much and I look forward to coming to Poland this summer and celebrating!