Exclusive Interview: EDX on the future of EDM
Maurizio Colella, known to his fans as EDX, has been in the electronic music spotlight for well over a decade. He has become a recognizable force with a unique sound and headlined the world’s finest clubs and festivals with crowds in excess of 60,000 fans. The chart-topping Switzerland-based DJ/Producer has worked with some of the biggest names in music and even ranked in the TOP 3 of Beatport’s Best Progressive House Artists alongside Deadmau5 and Eric Prydz.
His involvement in the music industry began at an early age, but his steady output of masterful productions and exceptional performances have made EDX an exemplary success story. Back in 2011, he launched his weekly radio show ‘No Xcuses’ on SIRIUS XM’s Electric Area Channel which has since then hit the 1 million downloads mark on the radio show and podcast, which is a testament to not only his devotion to his craft, but also his growing popularity.
We Rave You sat down to a chat with EDX at his No Xcuses residency in Privilege Ibiza and the star delved into what makes his residency different from the myriad of superstar residencies on the popular island:
“I’ve been running my radio show ‘No Xcuses’ for about 6 years. It’s been a very nice journey working on a weekly radio mix and seeking out brand new music. We also started to do the ‘No Xcuses’ events all over the world. We’ve done it in my home town of Zürich and then we expanded it to the US. We did them during the special events such as the EDC week and WMC. We also had some shows in Europe, Australia and Brazil. Earlier this year we did a No Xcuses bus tour in North America and Canada and I had as a guest on the tour Nore En Pure, Croatia Squad and it was really a great journey when it comes to music in 2016 where we’re at the last few moments of the EDM scene which was banging and bringing a lot of heartless music over the last 3 years. When it came to Ibiza and the opportunity to do something in Ibiza at Privilege I was going back and forth if it makes sense. We developed the No Xcuses concept to suit the island with the special effects and dancers and I had Nora En Pure and invited a lot of guests and great talents. It’s been a 10 day journey – we start at the end of June and end at the end of August and it’s a great experience. Especially the island. There is a huge diversity when it comes to electronic music. There is a lot of culture and people from all over the world travel to Ibiza to experience it. A lot of great nightclubs on a very small island with people from all over the world – the greatest and biggest in demand DJ’s. I used to have a residency at Space in 2011 and I played every year at Ushuaïa for Avicii 5 years in a row. To come back with my concept was something special.”
The star has seen many changes in the Ibiza landscape and believes the evolution of the island is inevitable:
“Ibiza is now neither better nor worse. The evolution is happening and it’s organic and natural. Technology is changing, marketing is changing, the music is evolving , people have more opportunities – they can see them online through modern technologies. I’ve seen Ibiza with more day clubs like Ushuaïa and Destino and also a few on the San Antonio end. They’re definitely changing the island. It’s a tougher market right now especially for nightclubs.”
Having been a veteran of the scene for so many years another hot topic that we’re curious to hear about is the evolution of commercial EDM and its explosion in recent times.
“Being able to experience the birth of the rave generation back very early in the 90’s right after the acid house movement and culture I see these kind of new waves that have come from the United States since the last 6 years since 2011. It’s a re-birth. The sound is different but in Europe it’s nothing new. It’s something that’s been happening for 20 years and it’s just coming back because the US finally started to understand and build an interest for electronic music. They’re switching from the other genres. There are a lot of things that are different because of the electronic and social media. All these things weren’t a part of people’s lives before. On Fridays you’d go to a rave and see a DJ like Carl Cox because you love his radio show and you’d go to old industrial warehouses. It all started as a culture. It’s now coming back to Europe and funnily enough the festivals are back. It’s a music for that generation. It’s always one generation and then the next generation does it with a fresher sound. It was a nice experience for me to see an EDM boom coming and I felt 20 years younger. I’ve seen it back in the days since I’ve been there since day one. 5 years through this EDM movement – now people have more of an understanding. People now understand that there are subgenres and they’re falling in love with different genres. The generations are learning about that culture and the music and it’s great. I’ve seen a big change in the US in the last 12 months.”
The superstar is all about the fans when it comes to his approach to producing music:
“I’ve always had the same approach to music which is to make people smile. To make music that makes people feel good on the dancefloor and have a great time with their friends and to fade away the day for the weekend. My signature sound is very groovy, sexy and it’s always this kind of mixture between a more minor approach, more melancholic approach but still with a progression to happy music. But always keeping the quality.”
One of the most recent and most recognizable remixes is EDX’s Indian Summer remix of the classic ‘Show Me Love’. The backstory to the conception of the track is a highly interesting one:
“I have a close relationship to the original ‘Show Me Love’. In 1991 and 1992 this track turned out to be a huge track all over the world – especially the Stonebridge remix. I was switching from more urban music to electronic music. This record and another one were the tracks I was trying to beatmatch. I spent hours trying to make a good mix in my bedroom. The track has been following me for the last 20 years so when Kimberley and Sam reached out to me asking me for a remix I liked that they had a different approach and a completely new layout of the vocal. It was a good energy and a good vibe. The track had a lot of memories connected to it. It was a huge success – it had 80 million streams and a takeover all over the world and it impacted on my touring. There were a lot of covers of that track in the past.”
Now with further recognition as the #1 top charting artist on Beatport in 2015, beating out everyone from Tiësto to Maceo Plex, EDX will undoubtedly continue to reach and impress the most demanding audiences around the world for many years to come.
Privilege Ibiza photograph: Andrei Oprescu