Claptone is a mystical being, whom no one has ever seen without his mask. He has already been nominated by DJ Awards twice and both times won the awards. In this year’s edition he has again been nominated, this time in the House category.
How does it feel to be nominated at the DJ Awards this year again?
I have been nominated for this prestigious award twice before and I have won it twice already. It would be truly unbelievable to do it again.
We wish you luck to win the most votes from the public. But in the meantime, and at this stage of your career, which other Awards have you already been awarded with so far as Claptone?
Thank you! I don’t remember all awards I have won during my time on earth, but there have been quite a few. The most recent ones are the IDMA, International Dance Music Award in Miami last year and of course my two DJ Awards.
What would be your reaction if you win the DJ Award in your category this year?
It would be incredible, especially considering the calibre of the other artists that are nominated in my category.
Which one or two, among the other nominees in your category, did or would you vote for?
There are a lot of great acts such as Kerry Chandler, Doorly, Seth Troxler, Eats Everything or Purple Disco Machine. If I had to vote, I would have a hard time deciding for who.
Your first music release is documented in 2011. Were you playing gigs as Claptone before that? Or the productions came first and you started to tour and DJ because you started to be demanded.
I never planned to be a DJ, my aim was simply to share my emotions with other beings and I chose to do so by channelling these emotions into music.
You present yourself as one character in your press photos and at the gigs, but in fact you seem to be at least two artists behind the same mask, and you are known to perform two different parties, in different countries, simultaneously. Whose idea was this and why did you choose to market yourselves like one, when you are at least two people?
Sometimes you think you understand, you think you know about reality and what’s really happening on this very planet. But be assured certainties are only constructions to make you feel at home, to give you strength and put you in a position to act from. Truth is always a simplification of a complex universe of communication, of connotations and denotations. Spoken and written language very often ‘pretends to know’, that’s why I prefer music and emotions. Between us, even I don’t know the truth – and if in some cases I think I might be onto something – I won’t tell cause I love secrets.
If the demand grows, will you consider adding a third or even a forth person to the character, so you can perform more than a few gigs simultaneously?
Let me ask you something: Taken the case you auctioned an ancient Chinese vase and you want to set it up at the best spot in your living room, would you use a sledgehammer? But seriously, Claptone it’s not about earthly concepts such as numbers, ratios or quantities, it is about a feeling. I want to open a door for everyone that wants to escape their everyday life for just a few hours. In a world as fast-paced as ours, we should never forget to allow ourselves to open a window of magic.
Are you DJs and music producers at 50%? or are there roles for each of you in your tasks like producing music or performing on stage?
I am both DJ and music producer, but these job descriptions to me sound very one dimensional. First and foremost I am interested in emotions and enlightenment. In order to achieve such radical forms of existence, I have chosen the mediums of DJ’ing and club music as the mediums with which to achieve these states. Being a DJ allows me to experience an entirely different connection to my followers as I can see and feel their reaction to my music, which is a beautiful thing. And by the way There might be an ‘E’ in there but there certainly is no ‘S’ in Claptone.
What is your artist background before Claptone? Were you djing or producing music under another moniker?
As you probably know, I have been around for quite a long time and have walked many alleys, took many roads – explored many things, witnessed many changes. I always had a passion for art, but also I love the nature, to smell the green grass and the woods, hearing the birds sing. Throughout my whole life, I felt the need to absorb all these amazing impressions. These joys of mine have been alchemised into music – for all to enjoy.
What are you’re most remarkable gigs in Ibiza this season?
On August 5th, I played BBC Radio 1 Ibiza, on August 22th I am back at Amnesia for my residency at Together and on September 10th, I will play Defected Ibiza at Eden. It has been a great Ibiza summer once again. Did you notice my masks at Ibiza airport, dawning over all those that arrive to grace the white isle. They can be found there: suspended in time.
What are the next remarkable gigs worldwide you’re looking forward to playing the most.
It’s very hard to say as I am excited for every gig that I am playing, but The Masquerade (my own event brand) at Brunch in Lisbon, Street Parade in Zurich and later this year also in Brazil, Australia and the US is something I am very much looking forward to. Of course the next Ibiza dates, as this island just has a special kind of magic that I cannot even describe, and big festivals like Reading and Electric Zoo.
What advise would you give to the artists nominated in the Newcomer category of this year’s DJ Awards?
Advice has never been my stronghold. Everyone has to find their own way, struggle with their own demons. I still do and haven’t found wisdom yet at least not enough to feel confident enough to tell others what to do.
Is there any message you’d like to transmit to your fans to farewell this interview?
I am thankful and amazed that there are so many people who love and appreciate the music and mystique of Claptone.