Another Dutch guy making trance? Don’t be so quick to dismiss MaRLo. Born Marlo Hoogstraten, he moved to Australia and has built his signature sound mixing trance, tech-house, and electro. With a string of massive releases on Armada
(“Visions,” “Haunted,” “Atlantis”) and his epic live DJ sets, MaRLo is a rising talent that is exploding on the international DJ scene.
RS: I saw on your twitter feed that the first thing you took a picture of when you were in Miami was the gym at the W.
MaRLo: Yeah, we had a lot of drama with hotels because there was a fire at first hotel we stayed at. We all got evacuated but they were nice enough to put us up at the W Hotel and the gym was pretty spectacular.
RS: You definitely keep fit, what is your secret for staying so healthy when you travel so much?
MaRLo: I try to; it is really hard to be in a plane as many hours as I am so I try to get the blood circulation going when I am on land.
RS: Those kicks are amazing, are you a big sneaker head?
MaRLo: I scored them in Miami actually, I haven’t seen them anywhere else and yes I do like sneakers.
RS: You are married, how does your wife feel about all the traveling that you do?
MaRLo: I have been with her for nine years so she has seen it grow slowly and organically and she is part of the music industry as well so she gets it. We miss each other but we have FaceTime and Skype so we keep in touch.
RS: I saw where Armin van Buuren said that you are the best guy for leads, how does that make you feel?
MaRLo: That is a great compliment because to me leads are the energy part of the track. Of course you have the percussion and everything that drives it but Armin has been an amazing supporter of my sound for a long time now and I am really thankful for that.
RS: I really love the mix that you did of “Dynamite” with Gareth Emery and Christina Novelli. How did that mix come about?
MaRLo: I have been friends with Gareth for a while now and he thought it would be a good fit for me to do the remix and of course I happily accepted to do it. Christina’s voice is amazing.
RS: Your also did a song with Christina.
MaRLo: Yes that is exactly right; “Hold It Together.” I did a Tech Energy remix of it as well which is more energetic. I have actually been working on that track for almost two years. Before Gareth asked me to do the “Dynamite” remix I had already almost finished the single with Christina.
RS: You did such a great job with Christina Novelli, is there a vocalist that you would like to work with?
MaRLo: I have quite a few vocal tracks coming up this year. I have the one with Christina and I am doing another one with my wife Jano which is a follow up to my track “Haunted.” I would love to do a track with Roxanne Emery, she has been doing some great stuff lately and that is Gareth’s sister. I like to work with people that I get along with and work on things that happen organically, I don’t like to force anything.
RS: Going back to the health thing, at the end of a set which hurts you more- your ears from the loud sound or your eyes from all the camera flashes?
MaRLo: Definitely my ears, club environments are so loud and you have your booth monitors there so it gets pretty loud. My eyes from the camera flashes don’t really bother me because there are so many big bright lights at the club or at the festivals you play at. The one thing that you notice when you play at big festivals is the fire when the flames come up behind you. They are so incredibly hot and when you are standing there you basically burst into a sweat instantly as soon as they go off.
RS: And then there goes the makeup down your face.
MaRLo: Well I don’t wear makeup but it’s really hot!
RS: If you could go back and talk to your 18 year old self and give him advice what would you tell him?
MaRLo: I would tell my 18 year old self not to stress out too much and not to focus too much on the concept of achieving or moving forward. Don’t worry about that stuff just enjoy yourself and be happy and enjoy yourself. If you love what you do success will come anyways. The things that most people consider as success and what I would have considered success when I was 18 are totally different now. What I consider success is loving what you do every day of your life. All the other stuff doesn’t really matter so I would tell myself just relax and enjoy and have a good time with it and don’t beat yourself up. I used to work nonstop and stress about getting a release or a gig so I would just tell myself to enjoy what I do because it will happen anyway if you just love what you do.
RS: That is great advice; enjoy every step as it happens. What would you like to say to all of your fans out there watching this?
MaRLo: I appreciate the support so much, it’s incredible. Because of my fans I get to be in places like this doing what I love to do, it’s a dream come true. Every day of my life I feel like my dream came true and it’s mostly because of my fans supporting me. Without fans you have nothing!
Interview conducted during WMC 2015.