Interview: Emanuel Satie
Berlin based techno producer Emanuel Satie is rapidly going from strength to strength.
Last year he received the ‘Best Producer’ award at the DJ Awards ceremony in Ibiza and his live act is being increasingly well received. Previous outlets include Get Physical and Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep in Sound which has seen him gain vigorous support from the likes of Laurent Garnier, DJ T, Ida Engberg and more. With a forthcoming 3 track EP on Matthias Tanzmann’s imprint, Moon Harbour – we caught up with the animated DJ to find out his intentions for the next release and his what he has in store for 2017.
“The music inspired me. I was just drawn into it, I couldn’t help myself.”
Hi Emanuel, how are you?
I’m pretty good thanks. Just coming back from a fun weekend in Warsaw and Belgium with two great gigs. Now I’m at the studio working on new music. Couldn’t be much better right now. :)
You were just at the BPM festival in Mexico playing for parties such as Better Lost than Stupid. How was it?
It was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a meeting point of friends from all over the world, in the sun, at the beach, partying together and just sharing good vibes. Everyone I spoke to felt the same, therefore it was especially tragic that it had to end as it did.
What inspired you to be a DJ and producer? Were you musical growing up?
The music inspired me. I was just drawn into it, I couldn’t help myself. I was so passionate about it, when I discovered DJing and producing, that I immediately knew that this is what I want to do with my life. Spreading good vibes and happiness through music. I wasn’t very musical when I was young, but I tried. I played the cello, piano and bass guitar as a kid, not very good though. It was only when I discovered Hip Hop as a teenager that I became really passionate and ambitious about it. I was writing rhymes all day and had my first gig with 13. I hung up my gloves on the hiatus of my rap career shortly after though and it was only when I was allowed in clubs that I picked up music again and fell in love with house and techno.
Who would you say your main influences are on your sound?
It’s hard to say, my favorite producers are people like Kink, Josh Wink, DJ Koze. Timeless music that builds on big themes. Labels like Moon Harbour, Desolat and people like Sante and Matthias Tanzmann influenced my aesthetic, arrangements and grooves. It’s a combination between all of that and more that leads to my style I would say.
You have a signature groove to your productions. What is your preferred studio set up?
My studio set up is very basic. When I started making music I never had money to buy any equipment, so I just worked with an old laptop that became so hot every 20 mins that I had to restart, plus a pair of headphones. Now I have a nice studio here in Berlin, but to be honest, the stuff I use is still super basic. I believe in simplicity and feel that the constant need to hunt equipment is a distraction a lot of times. The most important thing is to make music and find ways to push your creativity.
You were voted best producer at the DJ Awards in Ibiza in October. How does that it feel to receive that kind of acclaim for your work in the studio?
It was almost a surreal experience, a true Oscar moment. Standing infront of many of the industry leaders, kissing 2 models, receiving a massive bottle of champagne and the award and then giving a little thank you speech. We partied hard that night. It’s obviously a great honour for me, following winners like Solomun, Maceo Plex, MK and Claptone means that the jury really believes in me and my music. I’m keeping my cool though and will just continue to do my thing and make music that sounds dope to me.
Tell us about your new EP for Moon Harbour – where and when was it written? What was the aim with it?
I wrote all 3 tracks in summer 2016. It was a very effortless summer production thing. It’s warm outside, everything’s a bit slower, eating ice cream at the studio making tunes that you wanna play on your next open air party. That was the vibe really. One of the tracks „All The Time“ I did with my buddy Segio Diaz aka Sergy on the vocals. I really like the tune because it has a techno aesthetic, but the sexyness and groove of house music. It was important to me after all the stomping bangers in 2016, to show a different side of me again. More sex, but still something to move the crowd obviously.
Do you write with labels in mind, or just write music and decide where it is going later?
It never worked when I was writing with a label in mind. I just try to make music that I would play in my sets. First I’m trying to convince me, not an A&R. After the idea is formed it’s time to think about labels and then sometimes this influences my arrangements or mixdowns. First and foremost it’s about doing what I like though.
What have you learnt in your career since you first broke through – what lessons have been important?
So many. On a personal level it made me discover myself more, what do I really want, where do I want to go, how do I react to stress and extreme situations and it also made me stronger and more confident. The biggest lesson I learnt is how important it is to work with other people. This is crucial. I feel like my project Emanuel Satie is a true team effort, it’s not just me. I often times catch myself saying „we“ in interviews, it might sound strange to the outside world, but I’m working so closely with my management and agents that it honestly feels like Emanuel Satie is a team.
What else are you working on, what have you got coming up?
My EP on Matthias Tanzmann’s label Moon Harbour has just been released. I’ve got more coming up on Saved and Eats Everything’s Edible. I also just finished remixes for Matthias Tanzmann and Claptone and I’m working on another one for Black Coffee. So much more in the making, but I’ll tell you about that when it’s time.
You recently played Watergate and said it was “so good” on Facebook. What makes it special? is it your favourite club? Why?
Watergate is my favorite club in Berlin, yes. You can find me here often times. I like their booking policy, it’s exactly my cup of tea most of the time and I really like that it is „Berlin” but “not Berlin”. It stays open for a long time and you have epic morning moments on the waterfloor downstairs, also there are no rules, you can just let yourself go, this is very Berlin, but on the other hand the design of the club is proper stylish and clean and you have an unpretentious, mixed and international crowd. The combination gets me.
Emanuel’s ‘All The Time’ is out now on Moon Harbour. BUY