FOCUS and determination are key ingredients if you want to succeed in the competitive world of electronic music.
Berlin based DJ and producer Emanuel Satie is a shining example of what it takes in the modern era to make your mark. Giving up everything to dedicate himself to music at an early age saw him join Sven Väth’s legendary Cocoon label as an intern to learn the ropes from the best in the business and since then he hasn’t looked back.
Fast forward to today and he has released an enviable, extensive and excellent collection of music on some of the best labels in underground electronic music including revered imprints such as Get Physical, Saved, Knee Deep In Sound, Crosstown Rebels and more. He has just come full circle with a release forthcoming on Cocoon in the not too distant future and a fantastic remix of Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons track ‘All I Need’ which is out now.
We caught up with the Berlin DJ/Producer to find out what it’s like working with some of the legends of electronic music and why London is in his top 5 places to play in the world alongside his home city. Listen to a mix from Emanuel on The Night Bazaar Sessions below.
Hi Emanuel, thank you for joining us. We are chatting ahead of your appearance at fabric for He.She.They on 25th May. How are you feeling about the party and playing fabric again?
fabric is one of my favourite clubs, it’s always great to be back, especially when it’s with my friends from He.She.They. I love the whole concept and feel of the party. It’s all about inclusivity and brings all shades of sexuality and gender together in such a positive and charming way. The line up is pretty dope as well with Dennis Ferrer, Magda, DJ Deeon and more playing.
How does playing in London compare to your home city Berlin?
Berlin is known for it’s never-ending parties, some clubs are open the whole weekend nonstop, from Thursday until Monday. Time doesn’t matter, DJs play long sets and people get into the music deep. Most venues are more alternative and people come to see the clubs first and the DJs second, which gives promoters more freedom in their booking choices. London on the other hand probably has the most sophisticated club culture in the world. The venues and production are top notch, people are very educated and there are incredible line ups for all kinds of genres every weekend. I love both cities for what they are and both rank in my top 5 places to play for sure.
Taking things back to the start can you tell us about starting your career as an intern at Sven Vath’s Cocoon and how your career progressed from there?
Yes that was a pretty interesting experience. I was 22 at the time, dabbling in DJing and production and studying music in Frankfurt, when I had the idea that I should learn from the best. So I applied for an internship with them and got lucky. The 6 months working for Cocoon taught me the basics of the music industry but more importantly, being surrounded by all these talented people that are making it in the music industry I adapted a professional mindset. All of a sudden it didn’t feel like a distant dream anymore to become a DJ, I knew if I treat it like a professional I would be able to make it. After the internship I decided to quit all my side jobs and university and just focus on music. It was the best decision of my life. It took some time and sacrifices, but eventually I made it. Now I just signed a record to Cocoon, which is a great full circle moment for me.
You are playing before Sven at Extrema in Belgium next month, it must be great to reunite with him. What have you learned from working with him?
Yes it is another full circle moment. From cutting papayas for him to warming up for him at the main stage of Extrema.
I wasn’t in much direct contact with Sven personally, but he is one of my biggest inspirations in the industry. The way he reinvented himself every couple of years yet still sticking to his own vision is remarkable. I love how eclectic his DJ sets are, he’s playing everything from electronica to house to techno and it works. This is the kind of DJ I also want to be.
Most importantly, I like how he always built platforms to support other people. It was always bigger than just him being a DJ. He built successful labels, an event in Ibiza that changed the island and created many new stars. Quite some things to aspire to.
You worked with another legend of dance music recently on a track with Pete Tong ‘Time for Love’. How did this come about and what was it like producing the record with him?
Pete is the man! He’s been supporting my tracks for quite some time already and when he heard my track ‘Don’t Forget To Go Home’ last year he sent me some ideas he sketched together that went down a similar route. It was quite musical stuff, perhaps inspired by his orchestral project. All I did was bring it into track form and make it work for dance floors. The track was a big success, so we’re already planning the next one.
Your current release is a remix of acclaimed artist and Crosstown Rebel boss Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons. Can you tell us a little about the release and how you approached the remix and being part of such a big collection of remixes?
I saw Damian & The Ancient Moons live last year in London and I was blown away, such great music. I knew immediately that I wanted to approach Damian about remixing one of the tracks. Luckily he agreed and sent me the stems to ‘All I Need To Get High’. Usually I like to use the full vocals when I remix a vocal track, but in this case I wanted to focus everything on the title sentence ‘You’re All I Need To Get High’. I stripped the track back to this core message of the lyrics and made the strings that are only in the background in the original the main hook of the track. It’s a quite emotional, euphoric affair. The whole remix project is phenomenal, it’s great to see me next to masters like Patrice Bäumel, Butch, La Fleur and more.
You enjoy some great relationships with labels such as Crosstown Rebels and Get Physical. How important is it to have long standing relationships like this as a producer?
I don’t know, but to me it is important. I like to develop proper relationships with the people I work with, it opens up important dialogue and you actually benefit from each other much more. It’s also more fun when you know and like the people you work with.
Are you as at home DJing as you are making music or do you have a preference?
I would say I have my phases. There are times where I feel more like a producer and times where I feel more like a DJ. At the moment I put in conscious effort to keep the balance. During the week is usually more studio focused, but I keep looking for records and playing sets at home. On the weekend is usually DJ focused but I keep working on my music on the road. That way I’m in both subject matters all the time. So right now I really can say I’m a DJ and producer in equal parts.
Can you tell us where we can find you playing this summer and which are the shows you are most looking forward to?
I’m gonna be touring quite a bit this summer. We have some South America, Australia, Asia, India, US runs planned, but obviously summer also means Ibiza where I will be playing again at Amnesia, Ants at Ushuaia, Cova Santa and potentially more. You can hear me play in Berlin at Watergate and Kater Blau and pretty much all over Europe. Best to follow me on Resident Advisor or Instagram to get the full tour dates.