After the tremendous success of ‘Revolution’ and his latest original release ‘Come Closer‘ Danish DJ and producer Morten Brangstrup Olsen who goes by the name of Faustix reshuffles the Danish dance music scene. I met Faustix in Berlin on his Come Closer tour where he headlined for the Danish Takeover. We had a chat about his history as a producer, meeting Diplo and his plans for the future.
Janik: Morten, so far you’ve released a ton of music, something like 20 remixes and even more original and co-productions. Your most recent production “Come Closer” with David Jay got released in March and received more than one million plays on Spotify within a few weeks. Checking in today, the song has more than 8 million plays…
Faustix: Let’s party!
Janik: …what’s the magic behind becoming so successful from a single song in that short of a time, especially as an aspiring producer in the modern dance music scene?
Faustix: I think a good melody and great vocals are the key, besides sunny weather and sunny vibes. That’s what makes people wanna dance.
Janik: Are you getting a lot of sunny vibes back in Denmark?
Faustix: Absolutely. It’s actually better weather in Denmark, so I was a bit disappointed by the rainy weather that welcomed me in Berlin today.
So far I’ve warmed up for Diplo for his show in Copenhagen last year. Maybe it’s time for him to warm up for me
Janik: Your Come Closer Tour is also dedicated to the song we’ve just been talking about. Unfortunately, your show in Berlin is the only stop outside of Denmark. Do you have further plans to tour around Europe or work on new music in the US anytime soon?
Faustix: When I worked on “Revolution,” I’ve been to the Mad Decent offices in Los Angeles and also collaborated with some Danish DJs over there. So far I haven’t had my first gig in the US but I’m looking forward to it.
Janik: If you could pick any stage in the world, with a co-DJ of your choice, what would that setup look like?
Faustix: So far I’ve warmed up for Diplo for his show in Copenhagen last year. Maybe it’s time for him to warm up for me, let’s say at The Bank in LA – that’d be pretty cool.
Janik: Staying in the US, there were some ties between your song “Revolution” and the presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. The song has been used in the Bernie’s campaign on Youtube and on national television. How do you feel about that?
Faustix. Yeah, I think it’s awesome. I really like his way of doing things, and it’s a great match to have the song “Revolution” be a part of it.
Janik: Let’s say there was a musical equivalent for the remaining two candidates—Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton—how would that sound like?
Faustix: I think the US DJ MAKJ had a pretty decent approach towards Donald Trump on his Ultra Miami 2016 set.
Janik: Moving along from politics and back to music, how did you actually meet Diplo?
Faustix: That’s a funny story. I had a good friend from Canada who actually knew Diplo. At that time we were producing together, but myself, I didn’t even know about Diplo. So eventually we came up with a track and he sent it over to Diplo who was like, “Who made that synth?” After that we worked on “Revolution,” which he really liked and asked for the stems. So yeah, we sent him over the stems and two months later we got the final result.
Janik: And 3–4 years later it’s still buzzing all over the world, so cheers to that. What was it like meeting the people behind Mad Decent—who throw massive shows all over the US—for the first time. Are they as crazy as they seem?
Faustix: Their office is in a really ghetto place. I thought I’d get robbed like three times or so, and I asked somebody, “Where can I find the Mad Decent office?” So he showed me this building where there was a room with all white walls and 17—more or less—suited guys. Not what I expected but it was awesome to be there.
Janik: Diplo has also worked with the Danish singer-songwriter MØ. In 2014, they released “Lean On,” which became a hit single instantly. How would you feel about working with MØ on an all Danish collaboration?
Faustix: Well she’s signed at Sony and I’m at Warner…
Janik: But in the end it’s about the music.
Faustix: Exactly, and I really love her recent work like “Kamikaze” and “Final Song,” which has a nice urban flow and is really popular in Denmark. So yeah, I’d really like to work with her.
Janik: Speaking of Danish musicians, there are a lot of different talents like you, MØ, Trentemøller, or Galimatias, who all have very unique styles. What do you Danish guys put in your water?
Faustix: I think we have a great community in Denmark helping each other out, especially today with so many new genres coming out that give brand new opportunities to aspiring musicians.
Janik: Who’s your favorite Danish producer?
Faustix: I honestly can’t tell because I get inspired by a lot of them. We’re like one big, happy family.
Janik: You play a lot of Future Music. You label your music as Chill Trap, Future Trap, Dancehall, and Moombahton. For musicians, it’s important to stay up-to-date in terms of genres and also evolve in terms of style. You’re 27 now, I’m 25, so we’re pretty old lads. How much influence do you get from your daughter who’s one year old. Does she help you in the studio finding new styles or picking synths?
Faustix: Not at all! For me, it’s a good thing to keep work and family as two separate things. She’s really my everything. It’s nice to go from gig to gig, but having a home base is even more important. You know when I’m back home with my daughter and see her smile, I actually realize what life is about. It’s not always partying and drinking and everything. It’s nice to have a place like home to relax.
Janik: A little bird told that you were a pretty nerdy guy in your youth, playing computer games like Age of Empires before you started jumping into music production.
Faustix: Who told you that?
Janik: Your manager, I’m afraid.
Faustix: Well I lived out in the countryside so there wasn’t much you could do other than play soccer or sit inside in front of a computer screen. Somehow I always had the urge to do something creative and, eventually, I stopped playing games and started diving into music production.
Janik: So what was the production that made you say, “Mom, Dad…I’m becoming a Trap DJ now.”
Faustix: It wasn’t really Trap or anything like that in the beginning, but more like composing. I made a track for the European sound contest a couple of years ago that was pretty big. But when I have a commercial track like “Revolution” my Mom honestly just thinks it’s pure noise.
Janik: I’ve seen that you’re a pretty ambitious Snapchat user. Who’s your favorite profile to follow on Snapchat besides Futuresnapmusic?
Faustix: Dillon Francis, I’d say. He’s hilarious most of the time, sometimes not really but that makes it even funnier to watch.
When I have a commercial track like ‘Revolution”’ my Mom honestly just thinks it’s pure noise.
Janik: After ‘Revolution’ and ‘Come Closer’ what will be the next big Faustix release?
Faustix: My new single “Don’t U Worry” will drop next week. I’ve had the honor to work with the lovely Barbara Moleko and the crazy rasta vocalist Captain Mackay on this one so I’m really excited for the release.
Janik: That brings me to the final and probably most important question: Aquavit or Jägermeister for your show tonight?
Faustix: Even though I’ve had it for the past 4 days in my tour, I will definitely go with some Jäger!