Another superstar DJ/producer from Breda... there must be something in the water. Celebrating ten years in the DJ world, Mark Sixma shines as one of the leading talents on the trance scene. With massive tracks under his own name (Visionary, Requiem, The Saga) and under the pseudonym M6 (The Flow, Connected, The Rising), Mark stays solidly booked touring around the world. Recent reworks of “Cupid’s Casualty” and “Requiem” are tastes of his upcoming remix compilation ‘Elements” that will showcase many of his classic reworked by a bevy of uplifting producers.
RS: How are you doing today?
Mark Sixma: Pretty good, how about yourself?
RS: Nice to hear, so it’s sixma, not sevenma or eightma?
Mark Sixma: No, it’s six in the mix.
RS: I have always loved “Cupid’s Casualty.” What inspired the reboot?
Mark Sixma: I had this track with Amba and released it a few years ago but we didn’t get that much support at the time, it was something different back then. We decided it was time to do a new version of it and Futuristic Polar Bears came with a really cool idea. I loved it and then we just went for it with that.
RS: So, did you go in to the studio with the FPB guys?
Mark Sixma: No, it was all over the internet. These days it’s all about the internet.
RS: You have also redone “Requiem,” what was the inspiration behind that?
Mark Sixma: I am bringing back my M6 alias which is a former alias that I used to produce under. I did a big show at Dreamstate in Australia and I wanted to play “Requiem” but I couldn’t play the original version because I needed a higher BPM. For M6 it’s 136-138 BPM so I had to make a new version out of it. I played it and it went crazy so I think I struck the right note with that one.
RS: You’re with Armin’s label and a State of Trance is really big. Since you’re M6 and of course there is M8 as mate and M7 was a big perfume, I am wondering what would be the scent of trance?
Mark Sixma: It would be something that is a bit trippy when you smell it, a little sweet and a little sour combination, bittersweet.
RS: Are you reworking any of your other classics under the M6 name?
Mark Sixma: I have some tracks that I have reworked myself but I also have some for my compilation that is coming out soon on Armada, it’s called Elements. I also asked a bunch of guys that I respect to remix some of my tracks as well, so we have quite a few of those coming along. I am working on redoing some old tracks of mine, I also did one of my favorite tracks by Vincent de Moor “Fly Away,” which is one of the best trance tracks ever. I made a new version of that for my compilation and then I have a new track coming up with Standerwick as well.
RS: Can I make a request?
Mark Sixma: Sure.
RS: Can we get a new version of “Deep Inside”?
Mark Sixma: Wow, you remember that track? I already made two mixes of that one, let me think about that, that’s a cool idea.
RS: I can see it with the whole retro, techno thing coming back with the glitchy noises in that track, I can see it working.
Mark Sixma: I think that’s a pretty cool idea, I’ll think about it and see if I have the original files still.
RS: You seem to alternate between big, energetic trancers and your epic vocals, how do you decide which tracks get toplines and which tracks don’t?
Mark Sixma: The structure of a vocal tack and an instrumental track is totally different. I think if you do a vocal track the song should be the main part that you fit in and you should make the track around that, that is how I prefer to work. When I did “Restless Hearts” with Emma Hewitt I asked her if she had any ideas lying around and she played me something and I was in love with it right away. We worked together on how to structure the track and she sent me some vocals and some chords on the guitar and then I made the track around that, so that is how I prefer to work.
RS: What was it like touring with her?
Mark Sixma: Amazing, she is such a sweet person and so talented and so fun to be around. We had a lot of fun.
RS: I loved “Chased,” the song that you did with Andrew Rayel, what was it like working with him?
Mark Sixma: Andrew is a big buddy of mine; the idea of us doing a track together started at ADE two years ago. We never found the time to work together but we finally did make it to the studio in Holland. He was here for a few days and that was when we started working on ideas, we had IDs for two tracks and neither of them were finished. Suddenly he sent something over the internet and asked me if I could do something with it. I was like “wow this is it” and a week later it was done!
RS: Is there any chance of an Orjan Nilsen collab?
Mark Sixma: I think he is around here somewhere, let’s ask him later. But yeah, we have been talking about it, to me Orjan is one of the most creative people in the industry. I have always loved his work so I would love to do a collab with him.
RS: I was confused by a picture I saw of you and I would like you to explain what was going on with that picture of you with the axes?
Mark Sixma: Every year my friends and I have one day called Day of Man where we hang out together and do guy stuff. We have gone car driving, off road driving, and that kind of stuff. This year we had a survival theme in the forest and we had to throw axes, so that is where the axes came from.
RS: If you could bring any DJ on this day of being a man who would you want to bring with you?
Mark Sixma: Orjan would be a lot of fun for sure, he would blend in right away. That would definitely be a lot of fun.
RS: Speaking of being out in the wild with all the axes, if you were a furry, which animal would you be?
Mark Sixma: I love dolphins but they aren’t really furry so I would have to say a fox.
RS: Why is it that all DJs wear black?
Mark Sixma: I think it’s easy, if you buy all black clothes then you can wear the same shirt two days in a row and no one finds out because they are all black anyway. I think also with the touring you are traveling so much and maybe your clothes get dirty if you are on a long tour, black is easy. I love to wear black whether I am a DJ or not, it’s my color.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there listening?
Mark Sixma: Thank you guys so much for supporting me over the years. Without you guys I wouldn’t be able to live my dreams, so thank you guys so much. I hope to see you somewhere out in the world.
Interview conducted October 2016.