We caught up with The Magician in Boston to get some insight into what makes this artist tick. He is a magician after all.
For those unfamiliar, The Magician is the stage name for Stephen Fasano, a House DJ and producer from Brussels, Belgium. His career started as one half of the duo known as Aeroplane, but he would part ways to go on the bigger and brighter musical horizons. Last year was huge for him with his single, “Sunlight” peaking at number 7 in both Belgium and the UK. He's even more popularly known for his Magic Tape podcasts, which blend a variety of today's best dance tracks with disco and funk elements.
When meeting, Stephen, he was indeed, The Magician. Having donned his finest (and shiniest) white and red striped blazer we began talking about what influenced his style.
For The Magician, it all began when he received a collection of records from his Uncle and they just so happened to be rare Disco albums. As a kid, he was not particularly fond of the genre; it was just something his father always played on the radio. He would hear popular tracks on the radio from Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Queen & ABBA, which were the influence to his pop-style elements. In 1988, Disco-House fusion was blowing up in the UK and the Magician, a DJ at the time felt compelled to mix disco and house at his shows.
“That time when you are a very young boy and you don’t care about old stuff. Disco was like for my father/for old people and I hated those records because they sounded so cheesy to me.”
Having been a part of the duo, Aeroplane, with Vito de Luca from 2007 to 2010, Stephen already had experience playing proper disco. Afterwards, he left Aeroplane and evolved to work on his solo project that would be his true calling.
Cheesy or not, The Magician’s mix tapes, Magic Tape, are what help me listen to popular music today without gauging out my ears. He does a terrific job creating a Deep House element while showcasing what is currently trending. Unabashedly admitted, the idea for “The Magician” came from Stephen’s girlfriend, as well as the getup. Julie Lievens also works with The Magician in running his label, Potion. “The Magician is two people actually…my role is, I make the music. I am the performer.”
When talking about playing shows, The Magician likes to surprise his crowd. “I don’t like if people expect something, I know that's not good to say, but I don’t like to give it to them. I want them to come to a show and be like, ‘What song is that’?” However, just like any business, when a fan purchases a ticket to his show, they come expecting to hear some of his better-known work. “I play a bit less deep, with the bpm slightly up.”
He even throws in a bit of a catch at the end of each set, which involves the tossing of some magic wands. Though, after the Escape Festival incident, where a tossed wand smacked a young girl in the face, he makes sure to give the crowd a fair warning. An innocent mishap lined with the good intention to give his fans some fun.
Currently, He's lined up seven new releases via Potion. Along with a young artist, he is working on developing the image and profile of an un-named young DJ from NY who is based in LA. We can't let you in on any more details about the project, but you can expect something completely fresh for dance music.
The Magician began his Potion Winter Tour in January of this year, where he's played a countless amount of shows between the states and Europe as well as a multitude of festival appearances. The tour brought him to Boston where I got the chance to see him play at Bijou Nightclub.
For a Wednesday night in the sleepy city, there was quite the crowd. Once behind the decks, the Magician, made is grand appearance and the audience responded with high energy and eager ears.
Full disclosure: I had fun that night with my associate; we danced and enjoyed the tracks. However, early on I was getting a more EDM type vibe that I didn't expect. I was fairly warned in the interview, that his Magic Tape sets and how he performs live are different. I was given some solace towards the end of the set when things began to get very disco-house and my groove came back.
If I was to take anything away from that night is that the crowd’s energy was unparalleled to any Wednesday night event I have ever been to, at least in Boston. People were definitely happy and satisfied which is more than most performances can claim. I got the chance to speak with a very interesting persona and view how his fans react to him. He's obviously a magician behind the decks and he had the crowd under his spell the entire time. I just wish I got to snag a magic wand.