Coming off the release of his album ‘Colors’, we talked to MOGUAI after the first stop of his North American tour in Chicago.
There really aren’t many artists in electronic music that have had a career like MOGUAI. The German DJ/producer has been an influential artist since the early 1990s, staying relevant in the music scene ever since.
Perhaps best known for his Spinnin’ Records hits like “Mammoth“, “Aciiid“, and “Hold On“, MOGUAI previously released two albums with mau5trap in 2010 and 2012. He has since had a steady stream of singles on virtually every major EDM label. MOGUAI’s third album, the 15-track Colors LP, was released on Friday, October 1. Available now on all platforms, it accurately showcases his ability to make creative, high-quality electronic music that appeals to all kinds of listeners.
We caught up with MOGUAI following a surprise two-hour set at Spring Awakening Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. Coming just a few days after the album release, André shared his thoughts on Colors, the upcoming tour, the current state of EDM, and his plans for the future.
Let’s start by talking about your bus tour back home in Germany. So, three different shows including one in your hometown. How did that idea get started?
Where I live in Cologne is a big party! And in January and February, we have a lot of bands come in for Mardi Gras. One of them had the idea to promote the album on a bus, so I decided to do the same. We rented a Love Parade float and went to big cities like Cologne and my hometown Recklinghausen to promote the album.
Whenever we decided to park the bus, I started playing music. It was just random spots. We created the party wherever we wanted to…it was a lot of fun!
Were these some of your first shows back after the pandemic?
I’ve done a few shows in Europe. Most of them were in Germany, and then some in Czech Republic and Albania. Now, I have a big US tour coming up for my new album, Colors. It just came out on Friday, and I’ll be playing 11 shows across North America.
Now that you’re playing live shows again, what is something that’s changed in the scene compared to like, 10 years ago? Does anything come to mind?
Well, right now is weird because of this pandemic. It’s a totally different time! It’s hard to compare, but I think the main thing that changed for me is that we have more genres. 10 years ago, we basically just had EDM, trance, and house. Now we have everything. It’s great to see how it evolved, how it became so big…and how it became so normal.
Tell us a little bit more about your new album, Colors, and what the production process was like.
I’m always in the process of producing music. This was just a natural thing for me. A friend of mine is a big distributor in Europe, and he suggested that I do an album again. A lot of people were telling me not to – that it was too retro, or too old school. But I always did albums, and I love doing albums.
I think people appreciate having the full thing instead of having just one track every few weeks. It’s nice to have an entire project to tell a story rather than only releasing one single at a time.
I really like how the album explores so many different genres. You’ve always been a very diverse producer, but do you think this is one of your more creative projects ever?
Definitely. It’s a mixture of what I like to play and what I like to produce. It has a lot of variety, but all in a great sound and production style. I also have a plan for the next album…and that one will be more club music!
Colors comes on your record label Punx Records. You started that a while ago, but you’ve really stepped it up with releases within the last year. Have you enjoyed the process of curating your own record label?
Definitely. I had a lot of offers from major record companies. I do like working with them, but this gives you the independence to do what you want. When you have your own label and the money to do promotion and everything else on your own, you’re the boss and you decide what to do!
Besides Colors, I’ve also had recent releases on Dim Mak, mau5trap, and others. But normally, when you have an album deal with a big company, you don’t have as much creative freedom. And I needed that freedom for this album and for my way of thinking.
You also work with a lot of up-and-coming artists with your company Moguai Management. Do you enjoy working with the next generation of producers?
I do! When I speak with new talent, I can give them advice from my own unique perspective. It’s not about me, it’s about them, and I love to help them with my knowledge. I think the most important thing is to just passionately believe in what you’re doing.
Finally, being such a legendary figure in the scene, where do you see electronic music headed in the future?
For me, it just feels great to have made it this far. We have so many genres and so many people that truly love the music. Electronic music is respected, and it really has become its own style. I think this is just the beginning!