Interview: Detlef

Always gracing the decks of dance music’s best locations, Detlef is an all around star (rapidly) rising throughout the world.

Since beginning his career in Greece back in 2010, Detlef’s music has found itself on the likes of Hot Creations, Moon Harbour, Viva Music, Defected, FFRR, Repopulate Mars and Relief, while his DJ sets have been heard everywehere from Space Ibiza to Elrow, DC-10, The BPM Festival, Eastern Electrics, and more. Boasting support from industry heavies like Marco Carola, Steve Lawler, Lee Foss, Mathias Tanzmann and Jamie Jones (who dubbed him a Paradise resident), its no wonder Detlef most recent release (alongside Green Velvet) ‘Swag On’ was a Beatport chart topper.

With such a resume, we caught up with Detlef on location in California as he debuted at the beloved Desert Hearts Festival earlier this month. Here, he talks about the experience working with Green Velvet, his impressions of the Desert Hearts event, and much more…

“I felt like I was in a different era or in a Mad Max movie…”

Alex, it was so fantastic seeing you at Desert Hearts and the energy was so infectious as things really began to go off after sundown Friday night. How was the environment of that festival for you as a DJ? How did the intimacy and having fans right up onstage with you inspire and impact the way you approached your set?
Thank you so much. It was such a pleasure to play in a festival like this and I could say the experience was unique. I felt like I was in a different era or in a Mad Max movie where everyone is dressed so crazy. I really loved the fact that the people there are so friendly and being able to have some of them on stage partying with me — they really enjoyed what I played.

Was this your first time at Desert Hearts?
Yes this was my first time and even if I heard about how good and unique that party is, still the experience was one of a kind and I could say was the highlight of the year for me so far.

How does it feel to have become a member of this community? What did discover through Desert Hearts you hope to bring as you play more festivals and clubs over the coming summer?
It feels great because I saw how people are on this festival. Everyone is relaxed, happy, super friendly and loves music. Playing there made me realize that I can be more flexible with my sounds and transitions, I am definitely trying this in my future gigs.

Your new EP “Swagon” has been a great success — how long were you working on this EP? Was it something that came together quickly or took a while to find fully?
I feel blessed with all the success that “Swago”n has. I am so happy for that because the EP came out really naturally. I didn’t force anything and never tried to make a hit or a big song. I just made a groove and tried one a cappella on top and “Swagon” was born. Then Ossey James re-sung the vocals and the track sounded amazing, this isn’t something that you can plan.

The EP is has a very specific bounce and swish to it, did that come from anything in particular? What other musicians are you most influenced by when creating your own?
I am always trying different stuff when I make music and this EP is consisted of 3 tracks that are quite different from each other but because it’s from the same producer, all have some similarities on their grooves and arrangements. There are many amazing producers that I am influenced by such as Jamie Jones, Green Velvet, Waff, Patrick Topping, Eats Everything, Riva Starr, Andrea Oliva to name a few. But you can also get influenced by a track that’s been made by someone that you never heard before so for me influence comes from different genres and producers.

You’ve travelled quite a lot in the past few years as your career has really started to take off, other than Desert Hearts, where are some of your other favorite places around the world to play? What makes playing there so special?
I really love playing at the Portal in Birmingham and the reason is that the parties there are always amazing and there is a continuous development. I have so many friends there, it always feels like home.

Also DC10 in Ibiza, Elrow in Barcelona, Spybar in Chicago, Lost Beach in Montanita, Pawn & Co in Melbourne and these are just a few but I have had amazing moments at these places and always feel excited when playing there.

You recently did a series of collaborations with iconic producer Green Velvet. He has a certain bounce and rhythm recognizable in a lot of his music. What was it like collaborating with him? What do you feel you took away from the experience which will help you continue to expand as you create your own soundscape?
Working with Green Velvet has been one of the most important things in my career. He is a legendary house producer with amazing production skills and ideas but he is also an amazing character with a great soul. Working with other people doesn’t only help you expand your soundscape but also helps you to become a better person and that was definitely the case working with Green Velvet. By the way are about to release our second EP coming out April the 21st.

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