Feb 07, 2018
1 On 1 With The Magician
A few weeks ago we caught up with The Magician in Washington, DC as he was wrapping up his North American tour and we got a really exciting look into his year. Our discussion highlighted his live sets, recent hit single “Las Vegas,” plans for Potion Records, his music direction in 2018, and of course, his legendary The Magic Tapes. Enjoy the just released Magic Tape 77 as you get an insider look into the world of The Magician.
We’re here at the end of your first run of North American Winter tour dates, so what have the shows been like so far?
The tour has been great! The first show was in San Francisco and was sold out – really great. Then we did Phoenix, which was a bit fancy, but a really good vibe. Then we did Academy which is the new Create club in LA. They’ve improved the lights and sound system – to me, it’s the best venue in LA right now. I really, really enjoyed it. Great for my sound. I had a few days off in LA, then we did Bang Bang in San Diego, last night in Mexico City and tonight we’re here in DC.
Looking into your sets from this current tour, what have been a few must play tracks?
I’m starting with The Aston Shuffle track “Alpha Love,” which is on my label Potion. The response has been amazing. The new Cassian – “Know U Well” is really good too. Also, the new Franky Rizardo - “Call Upon Me.” Obviously Fisher – “Stop It.” It’s huge in America! I don’t know how he made the bass, but respect.
You recently dropped your new track “Las Vegas,” which represented a bit of change in styles from your previous releases. What was the inspiration there?
Before The Magician, I was in Aeroplane, and if you listen to that music it’s more downtempo. So that’s always been a part of my influences – funk, disco, Balearic. It’s always in my heart. The past two years I’ve been listening to a lot more urban music, urban pop really. The Weeknd, Drake, Passionfruit, I love that. It’s just the music I really love at the moment.
How’d you get Ebeneezer involved with his vocal?
Ebeneezer has the same management as me so that’s how we first got connected. He’s great! Amazing to work with and so quick to write. We did the track together in the studio and it’s funny actually because he was supposed to sing on a different track, an instrumental I had made, but he wasn’t really inspired. So I said, “Okay forget about it,” and went to the keyboard and did some chords and he got an idea. He went into the booth to sing and we recorded and “Las Vegas” was born!
Since it’s a bit of a different tempo, how have you been using that track in your sets?
Usually I play it last. People know me for house music mostly, especially in America, so if I played it as my first track it might be a bit weird. That said, my upcoming releases are kind of the same genre and tempo.
So what can you tell us about that new music?
The next release is going to be another urban-leaning track – a collaboration with a Belgian artist. And then I’ve got another track in the pipeline with two guys from Chicago, which is kind of a mix of “Tied Up” and “Las Vegas.”
And with Potion, what’s in store in 2018?
For Potion, there are not so many releases coming out. I’ve put it a little bit on the side at the moment as I needed to focus on my own music and I don’t want to have 10 set releases a year or anything like that. It’s just a platform so that when I love a track, I can release it.
The Magic Tapes are legendary on 1001, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss those. Can you tell us a little more about your drive to release a mixtape series with purely new music and no tracklist?
The Magic Tapes are based on unreleased tracks. I’ve always been very focused on that, even from a young age, and going all the way back to vinyl. Having something to play first, and something that is truly exclusive is very important to me. Sometimes when you play a track first people may not get a record because they don’t know it, but I don’t care, I just want to play it first.
For The Magic Tapes, I always try to get premieres. It’s becoming more and more difficult to get a true premiere, but I’ll keep working at it. I’m speaking directly to artists, management, or Your Army for instance, to make sure I get exclusive tracks. I also listen to a lot of music each month and I always create a new folder on my computer with my favorites. Then I try to make a mix of all the new tracks which is really difficult because it’s all new music, not like a timeless mix. It’s always rewarding though because each mix is really fresh.
With regards to the tracklists, as I don’t give the tracklists, it makes it all the more special. Plus I’ll let you guys keep doing your thing ;)
Any other big plans for 2018?
I’ll be in Miami during MMW doing Magic Tape live! I again have a residency at Output in New York, this year with four Friday shows. I’m very happy with that, I really love Output.
And then music wise, aside from what we talked about before, I’ve got a big new collaboration upcoming this year, and I’m excited to explore with my productions. With my days off in LA last week I made a lot of urban music, not even house music. It’s like a new challenge and I’m not saying that I’m not going to do house music anymore, but at the moment I’m feeling a lot of inspiration otherwise. I want to keep things more organic – urban, disco, funk, we’ll see!
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