The ClubPlanet Interview:  Deniz Koyu

The ClubPlanet Interview: Deniz Koyu

by DJ Ron Slomowicz
09.16.2015

With so many hundreds of tracks released each week, very few stand the test of time. Released back in 2011, “Tung” is a modern classic. Capturing the vibe of an epic festival, the trumped-fueled track always amps the energy and is a go to track for any dj. As a trained piano player, Deniz Koyu is unlike most other DJs/producers. His remixes and productions are as musically flawless as they are memorable.

RS: You are having a crazy week; you are playing like 35 gigs or something right?
Deniz Koyu: Not 35 but a lot! I played at E11EVEN last night and Friday I am playing at The Surfcomber with Axtone. I did a set with Thomas Gold and on Saturday I am playing at Mansion with Protocol-Nicky Romero and Sunday at Nikki Beach-Generation Wild.

RS: How has the Generation Wild Tour been?
Deniz Koyu: Great, we haven’t done too many shows with Generation Wild lately just because Danny and I have really busy schedules with our solo stuff but now that we are in Miami we had to do it again. We have opportunities in the year to play at festivals like Creamfields and once or twice a year we do a couple of shows in the States.

RS: Are there any collaborations that have come out of Generation Wild?
Deniz Koyu: I have been in the studio with Danny a couple of times. We have a couple of ideas and started a track but we haven’t been able to finish it. We are working on it but we are touring a lot and have a lot of productions going on but at some point we will finish the track.

RS: One of the things that I really respect about you is how you are a trained piano player. How has your musical background affected all the great tracks that you have made?
Deniz Koyu: I started playing the piano when I was five years old and at that age my parents kind of forced me to do it, I didn’t really want to. I stopped when I was 10 years old and then I didn’t play for six years and I forgot most of it but once I started with the music production stuff it all came back again. I am not really able to play complex classical songs but I have a feeling in my fingers and I have a better understanding of music theory, it’s in your blood when you start from an early age. Honestly it’s not necessary though, I know a lot of guys that are the best producers and they aren’t able to play an instrument. They just use a mouse and draw the notes on the computer and they are great at it and they make the best melodies.

RS: “Tung” is one of the best songs ever, what inspired you to make such a brilliant track?
Deniz Koyu: Honestly at that time I wasn’t DJing much, I was just starting out. I had my own idea of what a festival was like because I had never been to a festival as a DJ or as a guest. I tried to picture what it would be like to be at a big festival and I came up with the idea. On the track there is a crowd sample in the background and that is how I got to the idea. I picked a big stage like Tomorrowland or Ultra and just imagined what it would be like to be there.

RS: Will there ever be a vocal version of it?
Deniz Koyu: We were working on a couple of vocal versions with a couple of rap guys but there wasn’t anything that I really liked. I think that it is a great classic instrumental track and if you want to do a vocal version you really have to nail it and it really has to be good or else just leave it as an instrumental. You don’t want to ruin it with a semi good vocal so I just kept it instrumental.

RS: Your new track “Sonic” has kind of a different feel to it like more of a classic rock guitar sound, what inspired that?
Deniz Koyu: A little bit of Daft Punk for sure and I got this new synth in my studio, it is a new Moog synth. The Moog is actually a classic synth from the ‘60s and they made a new version of it. You can make these really cool guitar’ish sounds with it. I like to play around with an instrument and I usually find a sound by accident. Once I have a sound I just start playing around with it and I feel something and start to build on top of it.

RS: What is coming next from you after “Sonic”?
Deniz Koyu: A couple of weeks before “Sonic” I actually released “Lift” on Protocol Recordings. It is instrumental right now but we are working on a vocal version of it. We are about to finish it pretty soon so it should be out before the summer. I finished a track with Amba Shepherd the Australian singer, I love her voice. She is amazing and I have been looking forward to working with her for a long time I just had to find the right track for it. I am very happy with it and I am playing it here in Miami so you might hear it at my show.

RS: Definitely. As a DJ and a producer you travel so much, there was recently a bad plane crash in Germany and I am wondering how that affected you
Deniz Koyu: The plane was going from Barcelona to Dusseldorf and Dusseldorf is my home town and where I always fly to. I usually take Lufthansa but sometimes I fly on Germanwings flights and that is the route that I take, I could have been on that flight. It’s so horrible, everybody died and I try to picture what it would be like for that to happen on a flight and it really just shocked me.

RS: With traveling so much how do you keep your health and your life together?
Deniz Koyu: I try and eat healthy, no fast food and try to keep the drinks reasonable. This week is a bit different though, we are partying hard but generally I try not to drink at every show and try not to stay too long at the parties and to eat healthy.

RS: Talking about eating healthy, as a trained sushi chef who has the best sushi in the world?
Deniz Koyu: I am not a trained sushi chef really; I had a private course from a chef who showed me how to do some stuff with a friend of mine. I was able to do a Maki roll and a bit of sashimi but it is really difficult to get all of the right ingredients and you need a really sharp knife and all of the right tools. I don’t think that I would be able to do it again by myself but it was really fun. Here in Miami there are some really great sushi places, I like Doraku and Moshi Moshi which is a cool one. That is actually where most of us DJs go because it is open until 5:30 am so it is the best place for after parties.

RS: That is good to know. At the end of a gig which hurts more- your ears from the sound or your eyes from all of the camera flashes?
Deniz Koyu: For me it is definitely my ears from the sound because I don’t like to wear the filters. When I do I don’t feel the music and it filters too much for me. It feels like I am in a living room so I don’t like it and that is why my ears are always ringing after a show.

RS: Looking back at all of your tracks what has been the favorite mashup that you have heard with one of your tracks in it?
Deniz Koyu: I think it would be the one that Avicci made with Bong- “Fade Into Darkness” two years ago. It fit so well and everybody played it, I was happy that he made a mashup with my tracks.

RS: If you could talk to yourself at age 18 what advice would you give yourself?
Deniz Koyu: The number one advice that I would give to myself is to be careful with what kind of contracts you sign. When I was 18 years old I signed a couple of really shitty contracts just because I didn’t know what I was doing and there was some bad stuff in there. I had to get out which was a bit tricky but in the end I figured out that it would be smart to read all of it and maybe change the contract a little bit.

RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Deniz Koyu: Thank you for the support over all these years and I hope that I see you soon at some of the shows.


Interview conducted during WMC 2015.

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