May 05, 2016
Michael Calfan's Exclusive Mix
Michael Calfan discusses his most recent track 'Brothers', his Exclusive Mix, and why he struggles with the idea of making mixtapes.
What was the inspiration for Brothers?
Honestly, I made this song two or three years ago under another name, and it was a down-tempo version. I was a bit bored by music at this time and I wanted to try something different. My team sent it to different blogs and at that time it worked well, so it was pretty cool, but I didn't feel it and didn't do anything with it. Then I tried to remix it in my own way, I made maybe three new versions, and decided to go with this one. In the end I took three years to make this song, haha!
Does the title Brothers have any particular significance?
In the record, the voice is saying “Brothers Before,” so I chose Brothers as the title. No big significance :)
This track is a bit deeper and darker than some of your more recent productions. Can you talk about that?
I think for a producer, you don’t have to be locked into one kind of music. I know that everyone is waiting for my piano haha, but I always want to try new things. By trying new ideas like this I can improve my production techniques.
In addition to the stuff people know me for, I am always making hip hop or techno beats. Of course with the Michael Calfan project I have to follow a certain sound, but I’ll never do the same thing over and over again. For me it’s boring to use the exact same recipe. I’m not doing music for the fame or for the business, but rather because I love it and I will always do what I love.
How have you been using Brothers in your sets? What’s the reaction been like?
The reactions are amazing! The best reaction was at Ultra Music Festival, the build ups with the violin were so emotional on stage, so cool!
You’re an artist whose tracks get major support from fellow DJs from all genres and the early response to this track is no different. What does that mean to you?
It’s always a good sign to have support from everyone in the scene. I’m really happy about that, and I hope it will stay like this.
How would you preface this mix for someone who isn’t familiar with your music?
I just mixed music I love at the moment. It’s 100% house and you can listen to it when you are waking up, going to school, running, before a party or in your car! ;)
How do you create a vibe with this mix without a dancefloor in front of you? Are you looking to tell a story or create a particular flow?
If you want some honesty, I HATE doing mixtapes because I’m stuck in front of my computer for few hours picking the right songs. Then when I’m listening to it, I’m thinking, “I need to change this one or that one,” so it’s more of a stress than a pleasure. As you said, you have nobody in front of you when you are doing this and some people don’t know my music or my mixtape, so I need to bring the best every time. But something important is that I’ll never do a mixtape like a club set.
How do some of the songs in the mix represent your musical influences?
I’m in kind of a ‘love’ mood at the moment, so I like vocals and sexy/romantic beats. Everything I’m producing at the moment is love songs, haha.
Are there any particular songs or artists in the mix you would like to highlight? If so, why?
JackLNDN and Fabich - these guys just made a collab and I love it! Jack made a remix of Nobody Does It Better which is just sick! And I met Fabich in London in studio and trust me, he is one of the most talented producers at the moment.
Are any of these tracks big hits in your live sets? If you chose to go more for a different type of mix than what you'd play in a live set, can you comment on that?
The funniest thing is that my remix of Duke Dumont - Ocean Drive is doing so well in clubs and festivals. For me, it’s a bit chill, but people are loving it. And as I said, I never do a mixtape like a club set. For me, it’s two different things. When you are looking for a tape, you are going to work on something, or chilling with your friends and not looking for club sounds (I’m maybe talking about myself haha) and you go to club to listen to club music - that’s why clubs are on Earth :)
How would you describe your sound? How would you describe your style when DJing?
My sound is sometimes melancholic, sometimes happy, but we can say that it’s house. People are calling my sound soul house because of these feelings in it, like melancholia, happiness, hope, etc. When I’m DJing, it’s really house, but now house has a lot of sub-genres, so I can play some future house, some deep house, some tech house, etc.
Is there a show that you once attended as a fan, where afterwards, you knew you wanted to be a producer/DJ?
I started music when I was 15, so I didn’t know of any festivals at that time, I just wanted to make music. Then after few months, the only way for me to show my music to people was being a DJ.
What does the rest of 2016 look like for you? Any more new music we should be on the lookout for?
I have a LOT of music in the pipeline, but now it’s not in my hands anymore. Everything is ready to go, and now my team needs to schedule everything. Anyways, 2016 is going to be better than 2015, and 2017 better than 2016 :)
Thanks for having me!
short link 1001.tl/n9jlhl