Miami Music Week 2017 started off with a bang, as usual, and it looks as if things are only beginning to heat up. With numerous parties in the books already, some taking place as early as Tuesday, Miami as a whole was hitting Ultra weekend in stride as the week-long celebration neared the midway point. Thursday afternoon saw Sirius XM take over the backside of the One Hotel on Collins Ave, where special guests Above & Beyond, Deorro, Steve Aoki, and Armin van Buuren, among a strong supporting cast, curated beats all afternoon long. There, we caught up with Markus Schulz for a couple of minutes to discuss Miami Music Week, Coldharbour Nights, and the Nine Skies project coming from Dakota.
We are here at the Sirius XM Lounge on South Beach in Miami with Markus Schulz, tell us about the show last night.
Yeah, it’s always great to do a label party. And, you know Space is a legendary venue, that’s where I started my career, really, was at Space, so it’s always nice when we can do a label party there. The idea for the whole Coldharbour Night is to showcase the talent that I have on my label and we have some amazing talent Nifra, obviously, everyone knows about Nifra, she’s blowing up. Dave Neven is really catching fire right now. Fisherman & Hawkins are still hot. We signed some new guys. Arkham Knights, we were trying to bring them out but they couldn’t make it, but Arkham Knights is on fire right now. The label is really well represented and last night was just a showcase of what the label is all about.
You guys obviously just hit 250 releases and now Nifra’s next track comes out on Monday.
Yeah, so we’re always look to you know kind of push the boundaries, find new talent. And then when you see new talent really blossom. That’s what we were talking about last night when Nifra was playing, was how far she’d really come in the last three years and it just makes you feel proud because as a label, a lot of artists are not loyal these days. They will release a track on this label and that label, but when you have a stable of artists, you can really kind of build something together and it’s really rewarding.
And so you’ve got two more shows here right?
So we still have the Coldharbour Night at The Clevelander on Saturday night. I’ve got to jump out of town and head to LA to do Beyond Wonderland in LA and then on Sunday I fly back and have an Open-to-Close set on Sunday to close out the festivities at Heart Nightclub, which is actually the new hot-spot and it’s right next door to Space.
And that’s nothing new for you, nothing you’re not used to.
No, you know, that’s just a typical weekend for me *laughs*
So your most recent release, the track is titled ‘Mota Mota’, is what I believe to be your most Techno-influenced release to date.
Oh yeah, for sure, for sure. I mean, I’m starting a new project called The Nine Skies with Dakota. And it’s actually, almost like a musical. I went in to it with the idea that I wanted to do a show that was enlightening and it’s about the nine steps to enlightenment and one of the first steps is to learn to be a good follower and so I wanted to use an analogy. So I used the military, solider, as an analogy, and so the visuals for that first chapter are all going to be military stuff. But ‘Mota Mota’ is actually in the first 10 minutes and it comes from the soldier’s calling out cadences, one of which being ‘mota, mota, motivation’ and so I took the ‘Mota Mota’ from that and it all ties in to that and the nine steps to enlightenment and I’m very proud of it.
You know, people ask me, ‘What’s the difference between Markus Schulz and Dakota?’ And I always say that Markus Schulz is like a reflection. I write about the fans, you, and what I see. And Dakota is more introverted, it’s more what I’m feeling, when I’m working on music. With all the stuff going on in the world right now, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. So The Nine Skies is a piece of my soul, how I feel, and like I said, it’s very special to me.
And You debut The Nine Skies project in San Francisco, correct?
Yeah, May 27th at Dreamstate San Francisco. It’s nervous, because like I said it’s like a musical. Like a video/audio art show and so to do it in front of an audience like that is, wow.
So yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve seen this much from the Dakota side. The last few years seemed more Markus Schulz oriented.
Yeah of course, and last time was a Dakota album. But this was totally different. This time, I worked on a Dakota live show, and then will be turning that in to an album.
‘Mota Mota’ was a collaboration with Koen Groenveld. What was it like working with him?
I’ve actually been a follower of his for a long time, he’s an amazing programmer. He makes some of the most genius Techno stuff, and obviously he;s been around forever, and so I’ve known him for, man, forever, so I had the melody, and riff, and everything for this, and I was like I’d love to collaborate with somebody who’s tracks I play when I’m in the rabbit hole, when I’m playing after hours sets.’So I saw Koen as a go to guy and I was like ‘Hey man, I’ve got this idea’ and he loved it and put his touch on it and it was perfect.
Are there going to be any other releases leading up to the debut?
I don’t know about official releases. Like I said, there’s 18 tracks in the show, so there will be a whole album, and maybe we’ll sprinkle a few releases here and there. But we haven’t figured out the marketing for releasing the songs, so I think after the first show I’ll have a better idea of what’s going to get released and what’s going to wait for the album.
I think that’s about it on our end, we appreciate the time, and enjoy the rest of your week!
Cool, thank you very much, guys! Stay out of the sun!