Behind the Beat | Marcus Santoro Interview

Marcus Santoro is one of a few rising star’s from the Australian continent. Already supported by names such as Nicky Romero, Santoro has a very promising future. Definitely add him to your radar.

Only The Beat: Would you mind sharing your background with us?

Marcus Santoro: Sure thing, my name is Marcus Santoro. I’m a 17 year old Producer / Remixer / DJ from Melbourne, Australia. I started DJing roughly 5 years ago with my close family friend and I started producing House music roughly 2 years ago.

OTB: Your background sounds rather familiar to another artist that we recently interviewed named Throttle. Any connection?

MS: Throttle and I are good friends, we recently started talking late last year and since then we’ve helped each other out. He is a top producer, and I wish him all the best. Hopefully this year or next year you see a collaboration between us!

OTB: Since you began producing, have there been any other producers that you interact with on a regular basis?

MS: I regularly speak with Feenixpawl, we’ve got a collaboration (or 2) in the works, which I am very excited about and can’t wait to put it out. I also speak a lot to good buddies of mine, Will K and Daniel Gregorio whom I collaborated with on the record “Open Your Eyes” which is signed to Neon Records. In early March this year, I was at a Writers / Producers Studio Session where I got to meet and work with artists such as: Walden, Denzal Park, Zoe Badwi, Apocalypto, Grant Smillie and more. It was a great experience and I hope that I can do it again one day.

OTB: If you don’t mind us asking, how exactly were you signed to Neon Records?

MS: Well, back in March 2012 I started working on the collaboration with Will K & Daniel Gregorio. Initially, it started out as a collaboration as friends, who just wanted to make a record together and see where it headed. We got really stuck into it and we felt that this track needed to be on a prominent label in Australia. We all agreed that this track needed to be with Neon. I sent the track to the producer Nordean and he passed it onto Neon for me, I got a email back from Grant Smillie direct within the first 10 minutes asking that he wanted to sign the track.

OTB: That’s awesome! Would you consider that to be your breakthrough moment?

MS: I wouldn’t consider it to be my breakthrough moment into the scene, I’m still trying to get that breakthrough, especially to hit the American shores. Having said that, it definitely was my number 1 goal to be signed to Neon before I turned 18 and to be apart of the family is amazing, it’s great to see myself communicate and work alongside people in the scene that I’ve always dreamt of working with, so I’m very privileged and honoured.

OTB: Have you put together a plan to reach your goals?And, what are the other goals that you have?

MS: Indeed I have, last year I achieved all the goals I wanted and I felt really good. This year has been pretty busy with production, but I also want to start playing shows a lot more than I have, therefore, my main goal for 2013 is to be playing shows nationally across Australia and I hope to be hitting the international circuit in 2014!

OTB: Those are some fairly ambitious goals. Do you have anyone helping you reach them?

MS: At the moment, I have basically just my music to help, and I’m growing a massive amount of fans everyday and I’m truly blessed to have people ‘approving’ of my music, that is the main goal at the end of the day. I do although have the team at Neon who are pushing a brand for my productions, the main thing that I guess is needed to help me reach my goals is my following and the crowd who want to see me play.

OTB: Have you received support from any industry notables?

MS: It’s been a blast since the release of Open Your Eyes with industry notables, we’ve had support from the likes of Nicky Romero, John Dahlback, Paris & Simo, DubVision, Matisse & Sadko, Swanky Tunes, Dzeko & Torres, dBerrie, Martin Garrix, and many more. It’s so surreal to see these artists playing my music, it’s something I’m most proud of and I hope that they continue to support myself in the future.

OTB: Are there any plans on working with these artists?

MS: I’d really love to work with any of these artists, they are all big big inspirations to my music, and I’d be honoured to work with any of them, my main collaborators that I hope to be producing with in the near future are: CLMD, Michael Brun, DubVision, Matisse & Sadko and if I ever get the chance to be in the studio with Dirty South, that would complete everything I’ve wanted, because he is the reason why I started this in the first place.

OTB: Out of all the artists out there, why Dirty South?

MS: Ever since I was 12 years old, Dirty South’s music always gripped me. His music to me is really inspiring and I try to always put a bit of his influence in my music. His remix back in 2006 of Evermore’s “It’s Too Late” was one of the tracks that got me into production, and I just feel that his music has the power to connect with thousands on a daily basis. To me, Dirty South has been the number 1 on my list for a very, very long time and I don’t see it changing. Definitely in my opinion the best of the best.

OTB: What’s your favorite Dirty South production? And since how long have you been listening to EDM?

MS: My don’t have a favorite of Dirty South’s music, I basically favor all his music but my most favorite at the moment that I have had on replay almost everyday is from his album “Speed of Life” the track featured with Joe Gil, “Until The End”. That record is super beautiful. I have been listening to EDM for about 8 years now. I’ve always been into the sounds of Tiesto from 2004, Daft Punk have also been a massive inspiration, I’ve got all their albums and they are a big influence.

OTB: Do you listen to anything else besides EDM?

MS: I listen to broad range of music, besides EDM, my personal favorite would have be the Acoustic / Indie Rock genre, I really love the sounds that Coldplay have going on, they are an inspiration also, and I am really loving the new Birds of Tokyo album “March Fires”. I also like to listen to movie scores from Hans Zimmer and always a lot of Michael Jackson. And definitely the old school Disco House from the 70’s and 80’s.

OTB: Growing up, what type of music did you listen to? Or what were you forced to listen to?

MS: I was never forced to listen to any specific type of music. To be completely honest, I have no idea what made me listen to EDM, I was never a big music lover when I was growing up, I always loved to write things, didn’t know I’d be writing music now. I grew up listening to music on the radio, slowly moved onto looking at different types of music, and when my cousin gave me a copy of a 2004 Tiesto concert, I was immediately gripped by the music. That is what kind of started me having an interest in the music. I have always grown up listening to Michael Jackson, my dad was a DJ back in the 80’s so he had a good experience with music ‘selection’.

OTB: So it’s in the blood, per se.

MS: Haha, yeah! I guess it is. Music has run through the family from generation to generation.

OTB: Has your family been supportive of what you do?

MS: My family has been very supportive of what I’m doing. Considering I have had the experience previously from my dad, he understands this scene completely and so he knows what I want to do. My mother also approves of it, but you know, every parent has their doubts along the way. I am most grateful for the parents I have because I know a lot of others who wouldn’t ever let me to do something like this. My brother is also very supportive, he loves the fact that I am doing this as he is a very big fan of the EDM culture.

OTB: Besides the music, what do you do? Being a 17 year old DJ/producer must be interesting.

MS: I don’t do much besides music, lately I’ve been real busy with my productions it’s kind of taken away my “social” aspect of life but I have a good balance between the two. I really like to read so I guess that is something else I do besides music haha.

OTB: Can you run us through an average day for you?

MS: Haha, no worries at all. Well the day starts by getting up, having the breakfast, then immediately back into my room (currently situated in my ‘bedroom studio’) and I let the creative juices flow for a good 6 hours a day…and believe me when I say that staring into a computer screen for hours on end everyday really does your head in, haha! Although, when I have no inspiration to make music, I go for walks, play a bit of PS3 or watch some movies and just try to figure out what I want for a next production.

OTB: Do you experiment with your sound often?

MS: I’m always looking to differentiate my sound, I have a remix coming soon for Central Station Records which is more Groovy Progressive and kind of keeps you in the mood. I also like to incorporate more natural breakdowns and melodies lately, I’ve been in the studio day in and day out trying to figure out a more Indie/Big Room idea which I hope to have by the end of 2013.

OTB: In terms of sound, where do you see the scene heading in the next year?

MS: At the moment, EDM is kind of all the over the place, so I have no idea where it can head, it changes all the time so I just want to it to organically flow.

OTB: Do you have any tips for aspiring producers?

MS: Considering I’m still an aspiring producer, I guess I can give this advice, never give up, if you know what you want, you’re going to get it. Listen to all different types of music and don’t forget to go beyond the boarders of sound to make a difference.

OTB: And I think that just about wraps thing up. Would you care to leave us with any final words?

MS: Thanks for having me, it means a lot that you decided to put together this interview. I hope to see everyone soon where I play, there is big things coming and I want everyone to be apart of it! I hope to see all the American fans soon and thanks to everyone who has supported me so far. Without you I’d never be where I am today!

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