With a remarkable catalogue of chart-topping records clocked on some of the biggest labels in the business, platinum-selling Swiss artist Mike Candys has become something of a force to be reckoned with over the course of his illustrious decade-long career. Now, and with two huge singles under his belt already this year in the form of "Darkness" and "Wellerman", the über-talented masked producer continues his impressive run of 2021 form with the announcement of his next huge single "All My Friends".
Out now via esteemed Swiss imprint and Sirup Music subsidiary S2 Records, "All My Friends" sees Candys pull out all the stops once again, for what is arguably one of the biggest records of his career to date. A melodic high-octane future rave anthem brimming with syncopated big-room synths, deep basslines and frenetic percussion across its duration, this is Mike Candys at his very best. We sat down with him to find out more...
Hi, Mike! Really great to catch up with you. First things first, how are you? How have the first months of 2021 been for you?
I was very excited that 2 of my releases from December 2020 totally exploded in January on Spotify. That gave me a lot of motivation to work even harder in the studio.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look good for the shows this year. I got some requests for festivals in summer, but nobody knows if they will happen.
What have you been up during lockdown? How has the pandemic impacted your creativity when it comes to producing new music? Are there any new habits or hobbies you’ve gotten into because of quarantine that you’d like to continue doing?
I've been sitting in my studio pretty much every day since one year. It was a pretty frustrating time, I missed the tour life and shows very badly. In the beginning I had a hard time finding creativity for my productions. In the meantime I somehow got used to my full time job as a producer and I try to focus also on music to listen to at home or in the car than pure club or festival tracks.
I finally went back to painting pictures. I used to paint like 20 years ago, never did it since. But now I tried it again and it fills me up with lots of joy and inner peace. Nothing like a crazy party night, but still some good vibes.
You became famous in the international dance music scene in 2009 with your remix of “Insomnia” (Faithless) and your tracks “One Night In Ibiza” and "Together Again". How would you describe your own music in just few words and what other productions would you recommend as an introduction for someone that is not yet familiar with your sound?
My music has always been a mix of electro house and commercial dance. Sometimes a little bit more clubby, then again some proper pop-tunes. To get a good impression about my recent work I suggest listening to 'Push It' and 'My Way'.
The main reason we are having this talk is to discuss about your new single - "All My Friends". What drew you to work on this track with the well-known catchy vocal riff “all my friends still listen to techno” and what is the message you want to spread with the newest track?
I actually got the track already pretty much done when I was checking for a cool and funny vocal shout. I found this 'Techno'-one and put it in the track... and it worked nicely for me. I think it's a bit ironic, cause my track definitely is not techno. The only message I wanna spread is: I hope myself and other DJs will soon be able to play music like this in clubs and festivals again.
Why did you choose future rave for this release? Is this something you want to produce more in the future?
Since few months I've been working on several future rave tracks but then I wanted to combine this ravy synth line with my recent electro/basshouse style. That's how the track got created. I'm probably gonna release more future rave tracks this year.
Are there any type of problems that you often encounter in the process of creating a track, and what do you usually do to deal with them?
Sometimes I try to put vocals in a mix properly for days and days but it always sounds strange. Sometimes this is because of a bad arrangement, but most of the time I realize later, that the vocal simply doesn't work for my style of production. The only thing I can do then is to find a new singer or completely rearrange the track.
I know you grew up listening to Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. Can you please tell us 3 classical musical compositions you love the most? What other styles of music influenced your sound?
W.A. Mozart – Piano Concerto No 23 (my all time favourite piece of music)
Edvard Grieg – Solveig's Song
Arvo Pärt – Fratres
For my dance productions the main influence is 80s Italo Disco and early Acid House.
Can you recall two events you’ve played that really stand out? What was special about them to you?
It's hard to choose, I played more than 1000 shows all over the world. One of my most loved places is “Papaya” in Croatia. Played many shows there and they always were outstanding for me. The setup of the open air club on the beach with the big stage ist just perfect for a DJ. And the crowd there is always on fire.
Another place that was always a total blast is Energy 2000 in Poland. My Polish fans are simply the best fans one can have and the club is amazing. Had really awesome nights there.
What’s your DAW of choice?
What’s your most treasured tool in the studio and what’s so good about it?
As a plugin probably 'Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain'. This thing does magic. Sometimes. Sometimes it ruins everything. But it DOES something and that's fun.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would be top of your wish list?
Hard to say cause I hardly find time to follow a lot of other producers stuff.
From a production point of view I would probably love to work with Curbi, cause I think he has a very specific and signature sound to his productions (and I would be interested how he achieves that). :)
What would you say are some of the key things to sustaining a career as an electronic music artist?
Keep on working on and improving your music and on your live performance, every day!
Stay true to what you are and what your fans love about you. Stick to your roots but be open minded to new trends and styles!
If you had to come up with a slogan to sell a Mike Candys set what would it be?
I'm very bad at selling myself. That's the job of my managers. I would probably say something like 'You're gonna party to a lot of your most loved tracks in a mix that you've never heard before.' Which is a very poor slogan, I realise. :)
Wearing a smiley mask during your sets makes me ask you what is your definition of happiness.
Happiness for me isn't a general state of being but something that just occurs for few minutes from time to time. It's the moments when literally nothing else matters than the place, situation and time I'm in right then. Short: When it's just right here, right now and I don't care about the before and after but just feel good.
What do you do to relax when you aren't making music/DJing?
During the lockdowns I started to work out and focus on my body and health. This helped me a lot to maintain some balance.
The thing that relaxes me the most ist watching movies at the cinema.
What is the first thing that you would do if the news announced: “It’s official, the pandemic is over”?
I would call my manager and ask 'When is the next show gonna happen?' And then I would book nice beach holidays for me and my family immediately.
Thank you for your time, Mike! What’s on your agenda for 2021 and what are you currently working and focusing on?
You're welcome. As long as we have all the restricions for travelling and events, I'm pretty much in my studio working on new music every day. But in my mind I'm also preparing myself for the first gig when everything is gonna be back to normal.
Connect with Mike Candys
Interview made by Adriana-Laura L., DJ's Arena, 2021