One of the biggest breakthrough producers of 2012
Welcome to DMCWORLD. Your latest track 'All It Takes' featuring Zashanell is immense and has had The DMC Buzz Chart crew hanging off the ceiling. Talk us through this uplifting piece of dance music…
"First of all, thank you so much! It was a huge surprise when I saw it on the chart. I first heard of Zashanell from her collaboration with GTA on their track 'U & I', really loved what she did on it so I reached out to her. We decided to work on a project, which took some time actually, months before she recorded a vocal on an instrumental I had sent her. The vocal came back amazing, and I immediately had some new ideas, within an hour I did a completely new instrumental for it! Which is the version you hear now, the demo version was a completely different track. After we finished we knew it was special, and here we are today."
You quite happily admit that your production career is quite similar to that of Ross in the TV show 'Friends' when he played the keyboard! How did you first start to fall in love with EDM? How old where you and who were the artists and tunes that pulled you in?
"Ha ha yeah…well 5 or 6 years back, producing music on a computer wasn’t the most common hobby. So I was like the weirdo who makes “techno” music, with the weird sounds on a keyboard and laptop lol - I was in college at the time, I “forget” how old I was. One of the very first trance tunes that really got me into EDM was Tiesto’s remix of Delirium’s 'Innocente'."
So I take it the love of becoming a producer came before that of being a DJ?
"100% I was really into production when I first started, creating music from nothing was fascinating. Day in and day out I was always making something, whether it was good or terrible."
Who were the early producers you were looking up to at that time?
"Lots, because at the time it was all very new to me. I followed trance producers at the time, guys like Sander van Doorn for the darker side, Airbase for uplifiting trance and Tiesto for that euphoric sound, just to name a few."
What eventually changed your mind about the whole DJing side of your career? When did you decide to give it a go and why?
"DJing was naturally the next step after music production for me; I felt it was the best way to share both my own work and music that I enjoyed listening to. I also needed that inspiration, it’s hard to make danceable club music if you don’t put yourself in that environment."
Tell us about your childhood - did you come from a musical family, where has this creativity come from?
"I didn’t come from a musical family but I had started piano lessons when I was young…so that must have contributed to some creativity. That’s the technical side of it, the rest comes from experience, if that makes any sense."
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
"In no particular order...
Ken Loi ft. Zashanell – All It Takes
Fun – We Are Young (Alvin Risk Remix)
Congorock – Agarta
Avicii vs Lenny Kravitz – Superlove
Adam F – When The Rain Is Gone (Burns Remix)
Skrillex & The Doors – Breakin A Sweat (Zedd Remix)
Adrian Lux – Angels (Ken Loi Remix)
Mark Knight, Tiesto, Dino – Beautiful World (Laidback Luke Remix)
Michael Brun & Special Features – Synergy
Miike Snow – The Wave (Thomas Gold Remix)
Not many people know this, but Ken Loi is really good at…
"I think I am pretty good at ping pong lol…"
What is the best club you have ever played at?
"I’ve been fortunate to play some amazing clubs but I’d probably have to say Ruby Skye in San Francisco is my favorite, although Voyeur in San Diego comes very close."
You are obsessed with a good bassline. Which tune has the phattest baseline ever?
"I LOVE the bassline in ‘Black Angus’ by Marcel Woods, Tommy Trash’s remix of ‘Antidote’ is super fat, ‘Dr. Gonzo’s Anthem’ by Crookers, anything from Dada…ok there’s a lot, it’s hard to decide on one lol."
We are amazed about how few of the big US DJs and producers have made it to the clubbing capital of the summer world - Ibiza. Are you heading there this year and why is it that so few Americans do not witness this incredible 4 months of pure dancefloor pleasure?
"I don’t have any plans as of now…but I hope to maybe next year? I’m not sure I know the answer exactly why few have made it over there…but I would guess because in America, it’s all work work work, pay bills pay bills pay bills haha! So it’s hard to take vacations, unless you have a lot of money laying around. Even harder for artists, so buy their music and support them!"
What is the greatest record you have ever played to a dancefloor?
"Has to be this bootleg I’ve made of Oasis – Wonderwall with Eric Prydz – 2Night."
What is coming next from the Loi studio?
"Lot of unfinished originals, collaboration ideas with a couple of artists, remixes, a radio show, and tons of bootlegs."
What one vocalist would you love to make some music with and why?
"Calvin Harris, I love his voice and he writes some catchy stuff!"
So we come back to yours after the club. What is the Ken Loi Back To Mine 10 you spin us to continue the party?
Naughty by Nature - Hip Hop Hooray
House of pain - Jump Around
Michael Jackson - Thriller
Queen - Another One Bites The Dust
Sir Mix A lot - Baby Got Back
Prodigy - Smack My B*tch Up
Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence
Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
Oasis - Wonderwall
Who is the coolest person on your mobile phone?
"My girlfriend of course, who is also my biggest supporter from the start. She’d be the coolest, now if you ask me who is a cool person on my phone is, I’d have to say Tiesto."
What has been your biggest regret in life?
Proudest moment of your career so far?
"This track and the signing to Musical Freedom."
What is the best thing your parents taught you?
"Be nice to others."
Weirdest request from a fan whilst DJing?
"Should I feel lucky that I haven’t had a weird request yet?"
It's not great for my image, but I really like…
"If it’s not great for my image, I’d prefer to keep it a secret ha ha!"
What is the one piece of advice you can give to the thousands of aspiring producers and DJs wanting to follow in your footsteps who are reading this?
"Best way to get your music heard – Find the DJ’s promo email, use a file upload service, write a personalized message. Don’t spam their links on twitter, soundcloud, facebook, youtube, and every message board on the web, I guarantee that will not work."