At the end of the month, the TranceFamily will rally as we approach the second iteration of Dreamstate SoCal. It’s going to be a big one, with the festival extending its experience to four stages—one of which will welcome Australian artist MaRLo.
With his latest release doing the rounds on Armind Recordings, it has us that much more excited to see what he has lined up for the trance-giving festivities. It doesn’t get much richer than the robust body of work in his discog, as well as the plethora of personal/professional quirks we see on his social media, and that’s what drove us to pick his brain about the deeper inspirations that got him where he is today.
Read on to peel back the layers from the man behind one of the scene’s most celebrated names, and make sure to be there when he works one over on team Dreamstate.
Tell us about your latest single.
My latest single is “Leave My Hand,” featuring Emma Chatt. It’s an emotional, heart-wrenching song about loving unconditionally.
How did the first iteration of your Altitudes concert series play out? What do you have planned for the concept moving forward?
It was absolutely amazing to be able to do my own concert-style shows in big, 6,000-person capacity venues like Hordern Pavilion in Sydney and Festival Hall in Melbourne. I played a four-hour set, including a special “tech energy” segment with four amazing live vocalists: Emma Hewitt, Christina Novelli, Chloe and Emma Chatt, with Ruben De Ronde doing the warmup set. The plan is to bring this Altitude live concert concept worldwide.
Will the Altitudes concept play a role in your Dreamstate performance?
I won’t be bringing live vocalists or playing an extended set. I’m really excited to play Dreamstate, though! I’ll be making a lot of new edits and tracks, especially for this event.
Any plans to bring your Altitude tour to the US in 2017?
I would love to bring it to the USA in 2017!
You’ve said before that you worked at a mobile phone store before you became a touring DJ. What advice would you give those who are trying to transition out of their day job into an artist’s lifestyle?
Don’t give up your day job too early. Being broke and living off two-minute noodles kinda sucks. When the time is right to do music full-time, you’ll know.
What factors helped you build such good relationships with your fellow trance artists over the years?
I think a trap many new DJs fall into is to constantly ask for help or advice. This can be a drainer. Just find common ground, and talk to people like you would talk to your friends. I’ve never looked at other artists in a way of, “What can they do for me?” Instead, I’ve just had a good time and hung out with people in my scene.
You have such huge physical energy when you’re onstage! Your fans seem to really respond to your energy. What motivates you?
The energy and dynamic that music can create is very powerful, and it brings people from all walks of life together. I feel that primal energy, and I thrive off of it when I’m onstage. I feel like, in that moment, you have a deep connection with every single person in that room, as you are sharing a moment, sharing a feeling. There’s an unspoken understanding and communication that you have for that short time while you’re onstage.
What is a big factor that makes you go back into an unfinished track and make a new version?
Inspiration—a new take on an old idea.
What are some bucket-list items you have for your life outside of dance music? Any travel destinations? Celebrities or public figures you’d love to have coffee with?
I’d love to go shark-cage diving. I’d love to go on a surfboat tour around Indonesia or the Maldives. A public figure I’d like to have coffee with (while camping in a remote place) would be [English broadcaster Sir] David Attenborough. I’d also ask him to tell me a bedtime story; his voice is so calming and wise.
You and your wife are expecting a little one next year. Congrats! What has the planning phase been like so far, and how do you anticipate having a child will affect your respective music careers?
Thanks! We’re super excited! We have moved to a new house to be closer to family, so we can have that support system once the little boy arrives. I’m not sure how it will affect our careers or lives in general. We’re just going to kind of take it as it comes and go with the flow.