Just this past summer, Yotto’s latest Anjunadeep production “The Owls” became his fourth essential new tune, while also selected as Annie Mac’s “Hottest Record in the World”.
These accolades are just the latest in a seemingly meteroic rise up the ladder of melodic dance music for the Helsinki, Finland native. A child of a former rock musician, Yotto’s musical interests started at just 12 years old with just a piano and an old synzesthiser. Flash forward some decade later and Yotto is now a bonafide member of the Anjunadeep family. It all started with the tracks ‘Azzurro’ and ‘Memento’, which gained support from a range of stars. Since, he has continued to release on Anjunadeep with the likes of his new single ‘Fire Walk’, seeing support from Sasha, Jamie Jones and Kölsch.
Yotto’s ability to cross genres and labels is what sets him apart, his diversity and refusal to be defined is what makes him one of the most appealing new artists in dance music. Now, hear this for yourself as Yotto delivers the 244th edition of our mix series. Also, see what he’s got to say about Amsterdam, where he was part of a massive Anjundeep Ziggo Dome showcase, the sounds of melodic house, and more, with an exclusive interview.
“…the thing I like about Amsterdam is the coexistence of the underground and the wildly popular mainstream, the Dutch are insanely prolific on both sides of the coin. “
Recently you had a huge performance in Amsterdam for ABGT 200 at the Ziggo Dome. Can you tell us a little about that experience? Seemed to be quite the epic production…
Performing at the Ziggo Dome was an incredible experience – it was streamed live & made widely available on youtube as a full set so there was obviously some external pressure from that side too. It all went really well and I could not be happier about the feedback. The production was incredible, the venue is purpose-built for music so I’m sure everyone had a really good time.
Speaking of Amsterdam, when did you first visit the city? Was this as a professional or as a tourist? What are your impressions of the city as a city?
I love Amsterdam, it has such a carefree vibe. I first came down to ADE some years ago. Was lucky to have a couple easy days last couple of times I’ve been there so I ‘ve spent some time just biking around and enjoying.
How do you view Amsterdam as a “center” for dance music comparable to the likes of London or Berlin?
The way I see it Amsterdam is in it’s own a very central hub for dance music. It has a bit of everything. London has that strongly rooted, old culture for dance music, Berlin is Berlin but the thing I like about Amsterdam is the coexistence of the underground and the wildly popular mainstream, the dutch are insanely prolific on both sides of the coin.
What about Anjunadeep. How did you get involved with the label?
I made a remix for them almost two years ago and for that they asked me to do a mixtape. I filled it with some of my own music that nobody had heard before and instead of putting the mix out they wanted to sign the music from it. It worked out really well.
How do you feel Anjunadeep and Yotto compliment each other?
I think we make a great team – they provide me with perfect advice and an amazing platform to reach people with, I do my best to come up with music they like and want to support.
Perhaps providing a bit of a background to our readers, how were you first introduced to electronic music in Finland? Who were some of your early “idols” that made you want to be a DJ?
I did not necessarily want to be a DJ in the beginning. I always went to the library and picked up cool looking records, luckily they ended up being Orbital, The Chemical Brothers and Aphex Twin. Did in the process grab some horrible christian rock and death metal but those didn’t really do it for me. For some reason I wanted to try and make that type of music so I ended up playing with some really bad
cheesy software in the beginning and just built from there. DJing came a bit later, more as a way to perform my own music.
Can you describe a little about the Finnish scene now? DJs to watch? Places to go? Etc.
Club-wise you should definitely go to Kaiku. Some nice upcoming guys there like Tontario and Mirage Man. The scene is very healthy, the EDM-bubble did burst a bit but it’s a good combination of all kinds of events right now. I rarely play there though – should do more.
Your sound is described as melodic house, yet does contain some deeper, darker undertones to it, seemingly working quite well for the large room. I’m wondering, how do you define melodic house and how does that differ from the bigger room Trance-y sounds?
I mostly make music that I just want to hear myself and that I imagine would work well on a dancefloor.
Some of my music is definitely influenced by early 2000’s progressive house which I kinda grew up with.
A lot of stuff these days reminds me of that. I’m a big fan of catchy hooks and great compositions so it’s all a bit of a stylistic mess – the contrast of tougher, sounds and more designed delicate elements is what I enjoy the most.
Can you tell us a personal highlight from 2016? What sort of goals do you have in place for 2017?
2016 has been the first proper year of touring, so in general the growth as an artist and a DJ is a common highlight. Electric Forest was a great experience as was ABGT 200, it’s hard to pick just one.
A lot of touring and a lot of new music coming next year, I’m really excited to try and take a few weeks off to write a lot of new material so I’m really excited about that.
What are your plans for the New Years Eve? Playing somewhere or just chilling out?
Chilling out! I’ll be finishing this year’s touring in India at Sunburn and will be coming back home just in time for NYE, so that’s going to feel really good.
Finally, can you tell us a little about the mix you have put together for us?
I’m in Los Angeles right now so the mix starts off very easy and breezy, definitely in a California state of mind. The mix then turns around a bit and finishes off with some of the biggest records in my sets right now. Hope you like it!
1 Nondescript – There Were Better Days
2 Youandewan – Our Odyssey
3 B.Traits – Still Point
4 Rufus – Innerbloom (Andhim Remix)
5 Affkt – Dreamback (Habischmann Remix)
6 Rafael Cerato – Orizon
7 Yotto – Untitled
8 Traumer – Sofa / Yotto Cut
9 Vince Watson – Speaker Freaker
10 Reboot – Just Hang On (Kölsch Dub)
11 Cubicolor – Dead End Thrills (Patrice Bäumel Remix)
12 Yotto – Fire Walk