The advice I would give anyone pursuing a production career is don't make big room or melbourne bounce...
Frederik Mooij, 2015
DJ and gifted producer are adjectives that not everyone can combine in a perfect way. Everyone thinks that in order to have both you will need to be dutch and sometimes if you add Mexican in the mix people think it is some sort of joke. Not this time. We talked to Frederik Mooij, an extremely gifted sound designer who spent his college years learning the ins and outs of music production in his free time while pursuing a degree in the complex field of Industrial Design. After he graduated, he was so taken with music that he decided to forgo a lucrative career for the chance to champion the underground sounds of house music.
Frederik has built his imprint Loudroom Recordings into the top-selling record label out of Mexico on Beatport, fulfilling his bold ambition of exposing the Mexican EDM scene to the world. A few such successes so far were at last year’s EDC Mexico where Loudroom Recordings notable Icarus Fly (which Mooij is one half of) performed on the main stage and Mooij's most recent EP ‘Electro Techno’, a collab with Canadian techno pioneer JELO, landed at #5 on Beatport’s Electro House chart.
When did you notice your passion for electronic music?
Mooij: I started to get into electronic music by DJing. It was back around 2004 and after some time, DJing got a bit monotonous, so I moved on to production. At the time I had already started messing with hip-hop using FL Studio and I started to experiment with Ableton shortly after. I got a hold of a synth and started exploring that route instead of sampling my sounds, took me awhile but after long hours in the studio I finally grasped the concept of sound design and started to build my own sound after approaching tracks with a better knowledge. Ever since, I've been making tracks and I've learned a lot of other concepts that help make a track a quality product.
Who are your influences?
Mooij: I have many influences, from hip-hop, soul, funk, disco & rock. So many to name but if I was to name a few electronic music artists at the top of my list, they are Savant, Uppermost, some of the classic Wolfgang Gartner, Oliver, Mat Zo, PIXL, Adam K, JELO & Pairanoid. I love all good music and I am a sucker for Melody.
Do you find any obstacles to developing the electronic music scene in Mexico? Why?
Mooij: There is always going to be a scene with big festivals and big name headliners, what I find as an obstacle is building a scene with good music, and by good I mean all types of music. There is so much variety these days you only get one product and style that is manufactured because it 'sells'. Everyone is playing Big Room EDM and commercial stuff in the 'Main Room/Stage' and it is very limiting to an experience I want to have, which is appreciate a variety of styles and sounds and not to be blasted with mindless generic music.
I am a fan of melodic quality and a bit of thought into melody. I want to feel something and not baby melodies that a 6-year-old comes up with while humming their favorite nursery rhyme. I get it, it's 'edm' and it's what's hot, and people can love it as well. The problem is the closed minded way people will get with a 'trend' and just be another sheep in the herd not, not considering all the rest of the beautiful music out there. It takes a bit more time when your pushing your own sound but I trust good music and quality will prevail! Hopefully promoters will get a bit more quality filtering and filter out the monotony in the music people play in their shows. Variety would be a blast!
Can you tell us about your first gig?
Mooij: My first gig was playing at a festival with my partner Daniel Cantisani as our alias 'Icarus Fly' - we got the chance to do a DJ set/live act in front of around 6k people. The energy was great and we got to play all our own original material. It really set the tone to our direction of performance. Eventually I'd like to perform with more live elements in my sets.
What does “Mooij” mean to you?
Mooij: Mooij is my last name. I always used to be know by my whole name 'Frederik Mooij' but took my first name out to start off fresh with a new catalogue, new direction and new branding. The name is derived from the dutch word 'mooy' meaning 'beautiful', 'graceful' or ‘charming’. The name represents both my roots and my music.
What are your plans for the next 5 years as Mooij?
Mooij: One thing for sure is a lot more music as I'm always working on new material. I want to move to LA soon and start playing more often as my career develops. There's so much to do! I also plan on working on my live performance and plan to pursue more musical knowledge.
Is there any advice you want to give to young/amateur producers?
Mooij: Yes, the advice I would give anyone pursuing a production career is work with great musicians. Make tons of music, some of the music in that ton will be great! The key is to always keep making music. Music theory ftw!!!! Log hours in the studio... They help! Click that mouse and explore all routes. Don't make big room or Melbourne bounce...
Thank you Mooij, anything else you want to add?
Mooij: I would like to thank everyone that supports my music!