Exclusive Interview With Marlon Hoffstadt
“If I would tell my grandmother that I’m a DJ & Producer for House / Techno music she will probably tell me that I should look out for a serious job.”
Berlin’s twenty-year-old Marlon Hoffstadt has had a crazy 2013. After releases on Evamore Music, Keno Records and WellDone! Music, he scored a mega hit with ‘Shake That’ on Jesse Rose’s Play It Down Imprint. At the time of this writing Hoffstadt is about to release his first LP with HRRSN with a new alias: Tender Games and the consequently self-titled Tender Games record. We had a short chat with Marlon on his upcoming projects, vision on music and what stardom means for a young Berliner.
Hi Marlon, thank you for taking the time to have a chat with us. You’ve made quite the noticeable career speed-up last year, congratulations with that. How have things changed for you since Jesse and Pete started pushing your music?
Hey, thanks for having me :)
Yeah, it was a really crazy year for me. I now have my very own Studio at the SUOL Studios and since “Shake That” was such a success I worked with many really talented musicians and did a lot amazing collaborations and remixes for fantastic labels. It was a huge honor that Pete Tong made me one of his “Future Stars” and that I received support from Annie Mac.
Have you always wanted to be a DJ? If not, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ah that’s difficult, I think it just happened… I produced my first record while I was studying for my a-levels and from then on I always received very good feedback. So I just decided to keep on making music and to increase my producing, mixing and DJ skills to a point where I can do that in profession.
How would you describe what you do to someone like your grandmother?
Puhhh, I probably wouldn’t ;-)
If I would tell my grandmother that I’m a DJ & Producer for House / Techno music she will probably tell me that I should look out for a serious job.
How was your hometown Berlin an influence for your taste in music?
Without Berlin and the incredible party scene I wouldn’t have started with DJ’ing. I started partying with the age of 15, and since then I always wanted to DJ myself.
What typifies good music for you?
I think there is no specific attitude good music has!
Good music just makes me wanna dance, sing, or cry, or all together! :)
From what we heard from artists who often make the bridge between Amsterdam and Berlin is that the competitiveness between DJs/producers is much higher in Berlin than in Amsterdam. How or what have you experienced in this light?
The Berlin house scene is huuuuuuge. So many DJ’s are living in Berlin and everyone is trying to become big. So of course there its a big competition around here. But you also meet fantastic musicians and I made so many friends through DJ’ing that I would say that this competitiveness is no bad thing.
We’re interested in your debut EP “You And A Lovestoned Ghost”. What is the story behind the title?
The whole EP features “Amy Lyon” a female singer from Glasgow. I listened to two of her tracks and asked her to do a remix of them. After I finished these we decided to producer two tracks together and in the end we released this EP with two Originals and two Remixes. You And A Lovestoned Ghost, are picked out of the lyrics of each of the tracks.
How did this record come about?
As I said before: I produced this record while I was studying for my a-levels and after releasing it, I received such a good feedback that I decided to just continue making music.
‘Shake That’ is somewhat different and less melodic in sound than the rest of your discography. Was this a deliberate choice?
Nah, it just happened. I don’t know why. Sometimes ill produce some deeper tunes and sometimes a little bit harder stuff. It just depends on my mood :)
What is your way of working in the studio? Do you go behind your synths fully knowing which direction you’re going or do you flip new sounds and samples around until you find the right vibe and create a track around that on the spot?
Second. I never know what I will produce until I find the right sound, vocal or beat and I then try to create something around that… Most of the time its just a vocal sample or something like that…
We are closely following the progress with your new project Tender Games. What is the approach and philosophy of this project?
Tender Games is collaboration with my buddy HRRSN. He is a very talented Producer, DJ & Singer. He plays the guitar and piano fluently and it is huge fun to work with him! We met 2 years ago and produced music since then. One year ago we decided to release our album under a new alias on SUOL Music. And with the new project we just produce what ever we wanna produce. It doesn’t matter if it’s house, soul, RnB, folk, UK garage or maybe hip hop :)
Will this be a replacement for your Marlon Hoffstadt act in the future?
Nah, we are still working on our solo career. We have a very talented and professional team around us (Publishing, Booking & Labelwork) so we have enough time to focus on the music for both projects.
Can you give us a head start of your upcoming (and running) projects that we can expect from you the coming year?
There are many remixes coming up in this year. I will release a Remix for Moon Boots next week! I also did one for Sam Smith, HRRSN, KRONO, Greco Roman and Defected Records. I’m also working on a new EP for Strictly Rhythm… So ya stay tuned :)
As every major artist these days, you receive loads of promos. How do you manage to find the right ones for your performances?
Honestly I haven’t listened to promos for about 4 month :)
I follow all the acts I like on Soundcloud and If they release a new track ill just buy it at Beatport. I also try to Shazam all the cool tunes I hear these days in the Berlin clubs when I go out…
Which was the last (new artist) demo that stuck out for you?
Few Nolder – IF. It’s an upcoming track by two guys from Hamburg. It will be a huuuuuuge hit!
We look forward to see you in Hilversum at Dromenland Festival in August and in Amsterdam during ADE!