Dreamers entered the amazing world of Dreamstate, this Trancegiving weekend at the NOS Event center in San Bernardino, California. Dreamstate is the ultimate trance destination. Trance music is unlike any other genre, it connects people on a deep emotional level.

Electric Vibes was lucky enough to speak to trance legend, MaRLo. MaRLo has a unique sound that can enthrall any music lover. He has an effortless way of transitioning from the most uplifting sounds to energetic hard beats.

For over a decade he has won the hearts of many internationally with his MaRLo sound, and this is just the beginning. With his new record label, Reaching Altitude, there is no stopping him.

Karen:

Thank you for having us today, I really appreciate it. Congratulations on your new baby. Your family is really beautiful. Has tour life changed since you've had your son?

MaRLo:

Yes. There was a period where I did the EDC Vegas tour, and I toured for like, five weeks around there and it was pretty, pretty tough being that long away from my family, so I took some time off in October to spend more time at home. In January, I am taking it easy as well, but for the rest, it's full on again back in the tour life.

Karen:

Congratulations on closing Dreamstate tonight. Is it different from other festivals you've played?

MaRLo:

It is, because I think the Dreamstate attracts a really passionate crowd that is into the music, really know the music, really love the music, which creates a really special atmosphere in the crowd and last year I played was also insane. It was awesome.

Karen:

What inspired you to make your own record label, Reaching Altitude? What does Reaching Altitude mean to you?

MaRLo:

My own concert events are called Altitude, where I play four hours by myself. All those events have sold out so they've done really well. But what that has meant is that a lot of people send me demos to play during my concert shows and they're talent that are unreleased and that I really believe in, that I think are awesome and they're not getting signed so I started my own label to help them out more than anything.

Karen:

What sub-genre of trance do you gravitate more to? Psy-trance, dark, uplifting, big-room?

MaRLo:

My thing has always been to do a lot of different stuff, to be quite eclectic. You'll notice in my set tonight, I'll throw all sorts of stuff in there. When I first started going out, I was into hard trance so that's my background, like the German hard trance sound. And then when I was a resident DJ at a local club, I played an after-party so I had to play really tough, like 145 to 150bpm every morning just to keep them awake sort of thing. So that's my background. So, I've always liked the harder sounds anyway. But then I also really like songwriting so I'm really interested in nice vocal tracks and beautiful melodies and interesting chords. So, in my sets, I try to show all sides of me, not just one specific sound, so it's a bit of everything, a bit of psy, a bit of tech, it's bit of vocal, everything. I'm telling my story of my musical past. When I was first going out, it's very different to what's happening now so I try to use those influences as well.

Karen:

Your wife influences you too, correct?

MaRLo:

My wife, Janette, has been amazing. Like, I wouldn't have been able to get where I am without her. We've been together 12 years so she's watched it grow from when I was just playing small local clubs to the point where now I can headline my own stadium events. We sold 15,000 tickets in Australia per show on the Altitude tour.

MaRLo:

To reach that point in having someone that's been there from the start is really grounding and it keeps you humble but it also makes you appreciate what you've, sort of, earned, what you've worked your ass off for because you realize there's a person there who’s been there before all that.

Karen:

What does your creative process look like?

MaRLo:

It's very playful. I'll sit in the studio and I don't think at all about what I'm going to make. I don't think, like, I'm going to make a trance anthem, or I'm going to make something really pretty or I'm going to make something really hard. I just play around, like literally, like a child. Hitting the keyboard, playing new instruments and experiment. Listen to really different sounds and different musical influences. My whole thing is I try to do something that when you hear it, you can tell it's me. I don't want to sound like someone else, I want to sound like me.

Karen:

You’re closing tonight with what you’ve coined a tech-energy set. What makes tech-energy so different than other sets you play?

MaRLo:

Tech energy is really as hard as I go. It's as open-minded and eclectic as I go. When I play a normal festival set or a normal set, I'll play a balance of music that I think the crowd will enjoy in that moment and that fits with the set time. A tech energy set lets go of all the rules.

Karen:

Oh wow.

MaRLo:

It's just whatever I feel like. All the voices that you hear from what people might say online or what your label might think or what this person might think or what you've done before, all goes out the window. And I just feel completely free to do what I want.

Karen:

I'm very excited to see it tonight.

MaRLo:

It's not something I can do at a normal festival, it's not something I can do at a club, I've only done like four times, ever.

Karen:

We're very honored to have you play a tech energy set today.

MaRLo:

It sort of came about because of my musical history. The first tech energy I ever did was at A State of Trance (ASOT) on the second main stage and I was playing closing. I just wanted to bring something different because I'd been playing A State of Trance a lot already and I knew that the year afterwards, I'd probably get played for a different set time. So, I took the opportunity, hey, I'm playing closing, this is my chance to show my other side. But I can't just go and be billed normally, I have to brand it as something because otherwise people expect to come and to hear my vocal tracks or my more pretty tracks and stuff. So, it's really an opportunity for me to show another side of me. Dreamstate is a perfect place for it. To play after Armin Van Buuren, closing set on day two. You've heard everything else, now check this out. You know what I mean? That's the whole point.

Karen:

What do you like most about the trance scene?

MaRLo:

I love that most of the time, it's a community that ... How do I put this? That share a moment together. There's something that's unique to trance out of any genre. I've been around a little while and there's something unique about the moment you feel when everyone's got their eyes closed and their hands in the air. And you really feel a moment and everyone in that room right there is sharing the same experience. It doesn't matter what country you're in, what your background is, what your religion is, what your political views, none of that matters in trance, in those moments. And for me, that's really attractive, that's something that I really believe in and that's why I love it.

Karen:

So, trance is changing quickly, what can your fans expect from you next?

MaRLo:

Photo Credit: Jon Vuke

Photo Credit: Jon Vuke

I don't know if it is changing. I think everything changes, I think life changes. But as many differences as there are, there's as many similarities and if you look back to when I started going out, there's a pattern that goes like ... It goes really hard, underground, right? And everyone loves it and then it goes softer again. And then it goes really hard again and then it goes softer and same with the popularity of trance, it's like everyone's hyping on it, everyone loves it and then it sort of goes back into the background a little bit but it's always there. It's always stuck around, it's not like a hype genre. Some genres stick around for six months and everyone loves it and then it's over, it's gone. There's lots of genres like UK garage, two-step, right? There's all these genres that had a big burst for a while and then they disappear for what seems like forever and they could come back. But trance is always there and goes through little peaks and troughs of excitement but I think when the new generation comes into it, the new 18, 19-year-olds that are first coming out, it might feel to them like things are changing within a two or three year period, right? But if you look over a 15 year period, it's like we've already done that change five times, you know what I mean? It goes like that.

Karen:

Any last comments for your fans?

MaRLo:

Without fans, I'm nothing. 100%. The fans mean everything to me, they're the reason I get invited to play shows. They're the reasons I get to do what I love to do, that's the most important thing, I think. If I didn't get booked for shows, there's no money in selling your music anymore, especially not in trance. It's not like people are on iTunes buying 10 million copies of your track, that just doesn't happen in trance and it's not supposed to, that's not what it's about. The fact that you build up a fan base means that you get to tour into all these special places, and get to see all this cool stuff and I'm really grateful and thankful for that.

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