Dancing Astronaut Interviews: Deniz Koyu
A rising star in the world of EDM, both Deniz Koyu’s original productions and remixes have caught the eye of many. His recent remix of Flo Rida’s “Who Dat Girl” strings together soaring harmonies with catchy rap vocals. We took some time to talk with Deniz about his history, studio approaches, and top tracks.
Flo Rida – Who Dat Girl (Deniz Koyu Remix)
“I think right now is the most exciting time I will ever have in my career as a producer.” – Deniz Koyu
Dancing Astronaut: Many of your tracks (I’m thinking about “Lose Control” especially) are very melodic. What instruments did you play when you were younger (or still play), if you did play any?
Deniz Koyu: I learned the piano when I was five and took lessons until I became a teenager. Today I’m still practicing it sometimes to refresh it. So yeah, I guess that helps me out when composing melodies and stuff.
DA: Who were your big DJ influences?
DK: To be honest, I never had a personal superhero DJ who I wanted to be like. I always listened to many artists from different genres including indie/electro pop, house, rock, some trance, and a lot of techno, so I somehow got inspired by the sum of these. In terms of DJ live performance it would be guys like Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Erick Morillo or Erol Alkan.
DA: Tell us more about the very beginnings of your DJ career.
DK: It started all when I was pretty young […] at school. I had some friends who were trying to get into DJing so we just bought some basic equipment and lots of vinyl records. We practiced a lot in a cellar room at my parents’ house and finally got a chance to play at some small local parties in our city. My next step was to get more into producing, and from there on it all progressed.
DA: How does it feel now as you gain more fame as a producer and DJ, and start to transition more into the mainstream EDM scene?
DK: It’s really amazing! I think right now is the most exciting time I will ever have in my career as a producer. It’s great to get so much positive feedback from DJs and listeners and see how my name starts to grow within the scene. As regards my style I don’t really care if a track is more mainstream or more underground, I like to do both and anything in between, as long as it’s good.
DA: Do you find it more fun to make a track or to mix a live set? Why?
DK: That moment when I think I found a great idea for a new track and I begin to build it up is probably what I find even more exciting than mixing a live set. However, the combination of both is where the real fun starts! When I finished a new track in the studio, it’s the biggest fun to play it out to a crowd, see their reaction and watch them dance to it! It’s like a reward for all the hard work before.
DA: When making a track, do you find yourself starting with the percussion, bass, or melody?
DK: That depends on what type of track I plan to do. When it’s a vocal track I usually start to think of some melodies first, so I know what the idea of the track is going to be. For an instrumental club track the starting point can be anything: some cool beats, an interesting bassline or a nice melody for a break part, anything that comes to mind.
DA: If you could collaborate with any other producer, who would it be?
DK: That’s a tough question because there are so many amazing producers out there, but if I could pick anyone, it would probably be Eric Prydz.
DA: Who do you think was the biggest breakout artist in 2010 (who will you be watching in 2011)?
DK: In 2010 it was Thomas Gold for me, while this year I’ll be watching several guys like Hard Rock Sofa or Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano.
DA: What are your favorite tracks at the moment to listen to personally? What would be your favorite tracks at the moment to drop in a set?
DK: Some of my favorite tracks at the moment are Avicii’s “Swede Dreams”, “Airsteala” by Jeremy Olander and “Markuzza” by Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano. And my favorite upcoming track to drop in a set? That’s actually my own one, a new single I did together with my highly talented Swedish mate Johan Wedel and which we are about to finish very soon. Can’t wait to test the final version of it!
DA: Do you have preferred software to use when producing?
DK: For synths I often pick plugins from Native Instruments (Massive, FM8, Absynth or Reaktor), Arturia or Korg. When it comes to effect processing, I really like the stuff from UAD. They are very powerful tools to get a great sounding mix with software only.
Thanks to Deniz and Sebastian for making the interview happen. Stay tuned for more from Deniz in the near future.