We had fun talking with Swiss/Belgian DJ & Producer Paradoks on where it all began, tour history and more. See how our interview went down below.
Hi Paradoks, welcome to Soundrive Music! Where are we speaking to you from today?
“Hey, thank you! I am currently at the outskirts of Zurich, Switzerland. I move around a lot, so I might be somewhere else in a few months.” – Paradoks
For those who aren’t familiar with you, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about how you got into dance music?
“I’m a Swiss / Belgian electronic music artist, and my sound is in the realm of melodic techno. I combine the melodies of my self-taught piano background with an energetic low end in order to enjoy that music through movement. The transition to dance music was a slow but natural process. My musical journey started by teaching myself the piano, since we had an old and unused piano at home.
A few years later I started composing my own songs on the piano. I was also listening to more and more electronic music and I wanted to open my possibilities of music production, so that’s when I got myself a copy of FL Studio and started experimenting. A couple of years down the line I had my first DJ gig, and at this moment I realized that this is what I wanted to do and have put my energy into it.” – Paradoks
Where have you been on tour, and why did you choose those destinations?
“So far, I have played and toured in Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East. I love to travel and discover new cultures, and I am lucky that this is now part of my job. My first tour was in South America in 2018/19 and it was really important for my career. I lived in Buenos Aires in 2017 for my exchange year of my bachelor’s degree in management. During that year I played in a few events and made a lot of friends from various countries of South America.
Once I had finished my bachelor’s, back in Europe, I wanted to dedicate myself entirely to music and I reached out to every single contact I could in order to make a tour. It took me a whole month to prepare, but things worked out and I went on my first self-organized tour in 2018-19, with 28 shows in 5 countries. I stayed there for around 6 months since I also considered this as time to enjoy, travel and discover new cultures.
This really showed me that with enough work you can do anything you want and confirmed that it was possible to pursue this dream. I always try to take extra time to discover the different cultures when I am booked in a new country. It is such a privilege to discover the world while doing what I love.” – Paradoks
What are your values, and what is your mission as a person and artist?
“As human beings, we indeed tend to ask ourselves why and what we are here for. I gave this question some reflection lately, because it can sometimes feel superficial to make music when there are a lot of things going on in the world such as wars, climate change and more. I now realize how important music is: it helps to either escape or add another depth to reality in people’s lives.
My mission as an artist is to add meaning to someone’s day and to bring people together. Music has the potential to transform any moment into something more meaningful, fun, epic, sad etc. I therefore try to add an emotional dimension with my music to people’s night out, morning walk, car drive or any moment, really. I also aim to bring people together, and I remember some nights where I just felt pure bliss and love on the dancefloor,
everybody dancing together with a big smile. This is really important to me because this is what it’s all about. If I can positively affect people’s lives in any way, then I’m fulfilling my mission.” – Paradoks
Could you tell us a little about the good sides and bad sides to the life of a producer/DJ?
“It’s true that the life of an electronic music artist can be a life of ups and downs. There is almost no barrier between work and personal life, since I live out of my passion and music is such a big part of me. The artist journey can be accompanied with many sleepless nights, facing inner conflicts, loneliness and constant uncertainty. We face writer’s block and can have weeks or even months where nothing moves forward.
The first years for me have been very difficult because I knew nobody in the music industry at all and I had to start from nothing. I did everything by myself, from leaning music production to making contacts and everything in between. I faced a lot of rejection but kept on working. But I see the challenges as a test from the universe to see if you really want it, and these difficult moments are absolutely worth it when you get to play music and connect with amazing crowds in different countries.
Once I’m in the studio and everything flows, or when I’m in the DJ Booth, time around me stands still and I’m in my bubble. I get to do what I am meant to do, and that is priceless. And of course, I get to travel, discover new cultures, food, and beautiful places and people of this world. It opens my perspectives in so many different ways. And I’m grateful to be able to wake up every day knowing I will work on what I love most.” – Paradoks
What are your artistic processes?
“I think it’s really important to be “in the zone” or, in other terms, in the present moment, especially when making art. If your mind is somewhere else, it doesn’t really allow for good music to flourish. I therefore try to get all the other things that are on my mind done before I sit down start producing, so that I can make my music with a free mind.
Otherwise we can fall into the trap of making music as way of procrastinating on what else needs to be taken care of. Once my mind is free, I like to set an intention for my studio time of the day and start by focusing on my breathing for a few minutes. This helps to calm down the mind and tell myself that now I can fully concentrate on these next few moments in the studio.
I work on many tracks at the same time, most of which will never be finished. I start many ideas, either by starting a drum beat or the main melodic ideas. I then listen back to them in another context than the studio (when driving my car or walking), pick the best ones and take notes on where the ideas want to go and what needs to be changed or added. Having many projects at the same time helps me to keep a certain objectivity as I cycle between them. It’s only until I realize a track is in its final stages that I give it my full attention in order to bring it to its full potential.” – Paradoks
What are your plans for 2022?
“I’ve been in the studio for almost two months now and plan to spend a little more time still. I’m focused on making new music and I really want to make it special and personal. I didn’t really have much time to make music in 2021 so I’m taking extra
time for this now. It’s a slow process but it will be worth it. Once I have everything set, I will start touring again and I have some other special projects I’d like to bring to life.” – Paradoks
Why do you do what you do? What keeps you driven & motivated?
“It really helps when I see how my music impacts people on the dance floor, or when I receive kind messages from fans that tell me how my music touches them. Coming home from a memorable show and travel really reminds me why I’m doing this. It’s also great to have big artists supporting and playing my music as it reminds me that the many days in the studio are worth it. But in the first few years I never had any of this, so I guess what really drove me during that period was my vision and determination to dedicate my life to this passion.” – Paradoks
Your sound is very cinematic and euphoric. Have you ever considered trying your hand at composing music for film scores?
“I actually had fun creating some music for a movie trailer once: I took a muted version of the trailer and composed music according to what I saw. It went surprisingly well, I liked the result and I had good fun doing so as well. I think the film industry is a difficult world to get into, and for now I’m more focused on making it work as a touring artist. Film scoring is definitely something I’d like to do in the future if touring is wearing me out too much or when I feel I am reaching a certain limit in the dance industry, so we will see what the future brings.” – Paradoks
If you weren’t in this career, where do you think you would be?
“I honestly like to do a lot of things. I recently finished a Master’s Degree in innovation and entrepreneurship, which I started during the pandemic because there was just so much uncertainty for the music industry and I wanted a plan B just in case. I pursued entrepreneurship because I don’t really see myself work for a company and I wanted to open my perspectives on what else can add value in this world.
I realize that out of all the things I could be doing with my life, what’s most important for me is to create. I would therefore most probably be doing something creative, such as making video or films.” – Paradoks
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