Home Featured Feature: Guzy [Interview + Premiere]

Feature: Guzy [Interview + Premiere]

39 min read

Hi David, thanks for sitting with us today! What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hello Progressive Astronaut, it's truly delightful to be here with you. I'm currently in high spirits. As for your inquiry, I recently had the privilege of previewing an unreleased track by Th;en. He shared with me his remix for Adam Sellouk & Like Mike, and I must say, I was completely captivated. I couldn't resist listening to it three times consecutively – it's an absolute banger. Fans can definitely anticipate its official release in the coming year!

How has your post-summer been so far? Are there any gigs which have stood out for you? Radikon just had a showcase in Brussels I think? How did that turn out?

While I'm not particularly fond of the end of summer since I adore the sun and everything that accompanies it, overall, the recent times have been quite positive. I've been dedicating more time to my music, engaging in some rewarding shows such as the Showcase in Brussels. The atmosphere there was fantastic, especially during those Radikon events where the crew gathers, creating memorable moments. Additionally, I had the pleasure of a remarkable 6-hour b2b set with Jonas Saalbach at Watergate Berlin, and the Mexico tour was absolutely stunning.

Did you attend ADE? And if so, how was your experience?

Absolutely, I attended ADE, albeit for just two nights filled with back-to-back meetings and a bit of partying to unwind. It was a cool experience; I had the chance to finally meet in person individuals from the scene whom I had only communicated with through emails. Additionally, I reconnected with friends who are constantly touring and don't reside in Berlin, making it challenging to spend quality time together. That's precisely why I find ADE to be such an enjoyable occasion.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not traveling, what does a day in the life of Guzy look like?

First and foremost, my typical day often kicks off with a couple of cups of coffee. If my roommate is around, we like to gather in the kitchen and engage in discussions, whether they pertain to our creative projects or life in general. While doing so, I often have my phone in hand to stay updated on industry news and any developments within the music scene. WhatsApp plays a significant role as I use it to stay in touch with labels, ensuring everything is running smoothly and to stay informed about the day's agenda. When I have the luxury of staying home without any scheduled meetings, I like to open up Ableton, my preferred digital audio workstation. I delve into the latest loops and projects, dedicating time to explore and refine them. This is a crucial part of my daily routine, as I strive to be as productive as possible.

I recently decided to give up my studio at Funkhaus because I've discovered that I'm more productive working from home. Having the ability to access my music projects whenever inspiration strikes, without the need to commute and lose creative momentum, has proven to be a game-changer for me.

Every artist has their own unique source of motivation, and for me, it predominantly thrives within the comfort of my home. In fact, I've recently moved to a new place, which happens to be a house filled with fellow music producers. Living in such an environment is incredibly inspiring. For instance, my upstairs neighbor, Coloray, often works on his own projects, and hearing him at work motivates me to sit down and create something of my own. I share my living space with Yubik, my roommate, and we often challenge each other to produce chart-topping hits. The synergy and energy in this environment are truly remarkable.

Diverging slightly from the music production aspect of my day, I'm also passionate about cooking. Therefore, I make it a point to prepare my meals. This means I'll head out to get groceries and then enjoy cooking up a delicious dish for myself.

In addition to my music-related activities, I also engage in various business-related calls, which I thoroughly enjoy. These discussions contribute to my growth as an artist and help me stay connected within the industry.

As the day winds down and I've completed my tasks, I like to unwind by watching cartoons. One of my favorites is "American Dad." It's a great way to relax and let off steam after a productive day.

You have a very catchy artist name, where does it originate from? And if you were to create a second alias is ‘Guzman’ something you would consider?

Hehe, absolutely. Nowadays, it's kind of known that Guzy is simply my last name. As a kid and even now, many people have affectionately called me by my last name as a nickname.

As for a second alias, I'd imagine it to be entirely different from my last name. A fun fact: during my last tour in Mexico, after my show, the promoters from OTL started calling me Don Guztavo. So, perhaps that's something worth considering.

You’ve been active in the scene for many years now, both as a DJ and producer, so what would you say are some of your career milestones both as Dj and producer thus far?

Numerous moments in my journey have felt like milestones, and it's an evolving experience with new achievements each year. However, playing at Burning Man was undeniably a dream come true for me. Witnessing the overwhelming support for my latest single, 'Blunts Rolled,' from a diverse audience was truly something special.

And what goals might you have for the future? Or is this something you think about?

The continuous pursuit of ambitious goals is the primary motivation that propels me forward. Achieving the top spot on #1 on Beatport with one of my tracks would undoubtedly be a significant accomplishment. Additionally, there are specific destinations I aspire to perform in, such as Australia and Argentina, just to mention a couple. Maintaining a multitude of dreams is crucial, and I believe it adds immense importance to my journey.

Berlin is widely known for being a hub for electronic music artists. Tell us how living there has impacted the music you make, and your career path into the industry.

I've noticed that musically, Berlin doesn't hold the same allure for me as it did when I first arrived. There's been a shift, and while it's still enjoyable here, the BPM has increased, and the overall vibe is more diverse than just melodic house and techno. The younger generation is seeking something different, and the Berlin vibe doesn't resonate with me as much. Despite this, I acknowledge that Berlin's current state is positive. I don't view myself as a significant figure in the Berlin scene, which is fine by me. However, if it weren't for the friends around me, I could easily envision living elsewhere. The food, culture, and the diverse people on the streets are the factors that anchor me to this city.

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in Berlin, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

First of all, I'd treat you to a delightful dinner at one of my favorite spots, depending on the vibe and location. I have a list of must-visit places like Duc Anh, Gazzo, JOSEPH, Marafina, Secret Garden, and the options are plenty. Following that, perhaps we could enjoy a drink or two in one of Berlin's quaint old bars. Despite my limited personal outings as a touring DJ, Sisyphos is always a reliable choice. For a more low-key and lesser-known experience, Krista Kupfer in Neukölln is worth exploring. Alternatively, if there's a great concert happening, Panke is an excellent spot to indulge in some old-school hip-hop vibes.

You have a new track ‘High Voltage’ out now via New Tab which we’re thrilled to have hosted the premiere for. Tell us a bit about the track, how it showcases your current sound and who’s been playing it.

Certainly, and thank you for the premiere!

"High Voltage" is a melodic track with a potent energy. I crafted the melody right here in my room, constantly pacing back and forth to share the evolving idea with Yubik, who, as always, would say: "Nice, but it can be better…" That constructive feedback fueled my determination to refine and perfect the track for the dance floors. I believe the melody has that catchy quality that lingers in your mind long after you've heard it.

Thus far, I've had the pleasure of being played by Innellea, Hunter/Game, Jonas Saalbach, and even spun it myself. While many others have downloaded it, I haven't had the chance to catch it in action with some of them yet.

So being a label owner, when you finish a new track, what does the decision making process look like for finding a potential home for it? For example, why was New Tab a good spot for ‘High Voltage’ as opposed to Radikon?

Usually it’s easy to choose whats gonna be released on Radikon and whats not. However, with this particular release, I wear the hat of managing the label New Tab Music as well. Knowing that I have the freedom to promote it as I see fit without the need for external approvals made the decision-making process more straightforward. The track is fresh, and I had a goal to release it in 2024, so it fell into place seamlessly. Additionally, I'm a great admirer of Daniel Bornmann's work in graphic design. Done deal.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your New Tab release?

As I mentioned earlier, my current workflow revolves around doing everything from home, exclusively using Ableton without any hardware. I heavily engage in sound sampling and enjoy experimenting with those samples. Additionally, I make extensive use of VSTs, with Serum being a prominent choice for me these days. I've accumulated a substantial collection of presets that provide a versatile range of options, then tweak them the way I need them. For me, the emphasis lies more on discovering the right elements and crafting melodies, rather than delving into the intricacies of being a studio gear nerd.

Who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback? And how much road-testing do you do on a track before you consider it ‚finished’?

I typically share my unfinished tracks, loops, or ideas primarily with my roommate and Jonas Saalbach. These two individuals are whom I trust immensely and find it easy to collaborate with when incorporating the feedback I receive.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

The most enjoyable aspect is the jam session, where nothing is set in stone. It's a process of trial and error until everything clicks into place. Crafting a vibe and coming up with a melody can be incredibly rewarding, yet, at times, it can also be a bit challenging. I believe many producers can relate to this experience. There are days when I wish someone else would craft a catchy melody for me, and every now and then, it miraculously happens.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

My unique touch would probably be the setting, perhaps with a sauna right alongside it. I believe having a sauna nearby could enhance the creative flow, especially when you've listened to a song too many times. Just picture it – heat up the sauna, step in for a relaxing break, take a shower, and then settle back to listen to the track with fresh ears.

Let’s move forward and talk a bit about your label Radikon, founded by yourself and Jonas Saalbach in 2018. Firstly, what led you guys to start the label initially? And was this your first foray into running a record label?

Initially, Radikon was the inaugural project for both Jonas and me in terms of label ventures. At the outset, we lacked a concrete plan and conducted extensive research when the idea first emerged. A year passed before we solidified our vision and the approach we intended to take. The motivation behind founding Radikon was rooted in our desire for independence from the broader music scene. Notably, this decision predates the significant trend of artists establishing their own labels. For us, it was the optimal choice, and I'm genuinely pleased that we took the plunge.

You’re approaching the label’s five year anniversary, anything special planned for that?

WOW… Five years, it's incredible when you mention it, and it does feel a bit surreal that Radikon is reaching this milestone. To be transparent, we haven't planned anything grand for the celebration. We faced some challenges recently, prompting a temporary pause in releases. During this time, we've taken a step back to reevaluate, generate fresh ideas, and embark on a renewed journey as Radikon enters its fifth year. You'll witness the results soon enough.

How has your vision for the label changed since its launch in 2018? And what would be some of your biggest takeaways from running a label over that time?

I believe Radikon's vision continually evolves in sync with the journey we've undertaken since its inception, growing and maturing with each experience. Change is inherent in our progression, and not evolving would signify being stuck in a particular mindset. While much has transformed since our initial release, one unwavering constant remains—the unshakable conviction that I stand wholeheartedly behind every track we release, a commitment that has persisted since day one.

What advice do you have for artists hoping to get signed to Radikon?

Patience is key! Currently, we're not actively signing anything. Our Demo subscription is closed, but if you're creating exceptional music, our paths may cross in the future.

We’re in an age where content turns over quickly and attention spans are short; so how does this factor into how you run and sign music to Radikon? Do you feel pressure to keep a consistent release schedule? And what advice would you have for new or potential label owners out there?

Given the current circumstances, I completely agree with you. It's challenging for artists and labels in the industry. However, for Radikon, I make a conscious effort not to let these external factors dictate our direction. In my view, striving for uniqueness and avoiding imitation is the key in navigating these challenges.

Who do you see as the most talented new artists in Melodic House and Techno? Who are you liking at the moment?

That's a challenging question considering the abundance of talents in the industry. However, I recently crossed paths with Miguel Lautaro and Lumme. While they might not be the newest names on the scene, I genuinely appreciate and admire the work these guys are putting out!

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

When I step up to play a set, various factors come into play that guides the direction of the night. The duration of the set and the crowd's mood are key influences. However, I don't adhere to a predefined set structure. While I have specific tracks in mind, I don't plan the arrangement in advance. Instead, the set develops organically in response to the energy I receive from the audience and how I can translate that into the tracks I choose. This spontaneous and adaptive aspect of DJing is something I truly appreciate.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

I'm unsure if it's a one-way influence or if my approach to working as a DJ shapes the way I listen to music. So, it's challenging for me to provide a definitive answer to that question. However, I suspect that the influence goes beyond what I might initially think.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

5PM-6PM a Concert of Galv
6PM-9PM Tantum
9PM-12PM Yubik
12AM-3AM Guzy
3AM-6AM Konstantin Sibold
6AM-9AM Dahu b2b Jonas Saalbach

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

If the working hours weren't so demanding, I might consider working in a kitchen because I have a genuine passion for cooking. However, the thought of turning this passion into a job gives me pause, as it could potentially diminish the magic and love I have for this as a 'hobby.'

Current top five tracks in your sets?

Guzy - Blunts Rolled
Jonas Saalbach - Feliteira
Th;en, Carlo Whale - Elation
Ankytrixx - Baby 2000
Monophase, Recondite - Elevated

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

I also appreciate moments of relaxation, indulging in a day or evening on the couch or at the spa, though I admit I don't do it as often as I'd like. You can also find me at a cozy coffee spot, savoring a delightful cappuccino with oat milk—even after 11 am.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

Recently, I haven't delved into many movies, and there haven't been impactful books on my radar either. To unwind, I prefer watching series. However, my go-to for thought-provoking content is podcasts. Specifically, for German speakers, I highly recommend Hotel Matze—an interview podcast that consistently prompts reflections on myself, my surroundings, and life in various ways. It's truly worth a listen and never feels like a waste of my time.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?


You can ask all people around me, that I love when food tastes good. I can not get enough of that feeling. It’s actually that simple.

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for you in terms of releases and gigs? I think you’re playing at Watergate for NYE is that right? Anything else you can share with us?

I have a gig in Frankfurt, which is close to my hometown. Apart from that, Christmas is spent with family, and I allocate more time to producing new tracks. Jonas Saalbach and I are in the process of working on a collaboration EP, scheduled for release in early 2024. As for the rest, nothing is set in stone yet, so we'll have to wait and see.

Once again, thank you for having me. Your questions were incredibly interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.

Guzy - High Voltage: is out on 01-12 via New Tab Music

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