Exclusive Interview: MaRLo Talks Bringing [Altitude] To America


MaRLo’s “tech energy” style of trance is the sort of signature sound that every up-and-coming producer hopes to pinpoint. It’s paid off in dividends, too, as the Netherlands-born, Australia-based superstar’s meteoric rise in the world of pure trance has catapulted him through a plethora of career milestones in the past 12 months alone.

I had the pleasure of meeting MaRLo during this year’s edition of Miami Music Week back in March, right after he’d performed at both the Sydney and Melbourne 2016 editions of the trance festival Atlantis. In the time since, he played for sold-out crowds at all of his Altitude events – a series which took place at four major locations throughout Australia and consisted of events centered around his special four-hour live sets.

…And as if he wasn’t busy enough, he’s about to be a father!

While I was at Dreamstate SoCal over Thanksgiving Weekend, I got to catch up with him and hear about the highlights of his year in detail. Along the way, he set the record straight about Australia’s wildlife, and even revealed that he’s bringing Altitude to the U.S. in 2017.

Take a look below, and enjoy!

I understand you just came here after playing We Are Connected Music Festival in Myanmar! What was that like?

MaRLo: It was awesome! I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was crazy. They turned what was originally a swamp into manmade festival grounds where they filled the swamp up with dirt and built the whole thing around it. It was huge, as well! It had an 8,000-person capacity!

You’ve already played a Dreamstate event other than Dreamstate SoCal, haven’t you?

MaRLo: Well, at EDC New York I played on the Dreamstate stage.

Right, so the previous edition of Dreamstate SoCal consisted of a single stage, but this year it’s expanded to four. How excited are you that you get to perform on The Dream megastructure?

MaRLo: First of all, I’m really thankful to be booked for it. I’ve wanted to play Dreamstate [SoCal] ever since I saw videos from last year. As far as which stage I’m on, I didn’t really have any say in that so I’m very, very grateful and humbled by it.

I’ve had a crazy year with my concept shows in Australia, Altitude, which all sold out. My Altitude shows are my big focus for next year as well.

It has indeed been a big year for you! I interviewed you back in March when your tech energy sound was really starting to resonate with people – but I was going to say, your new song, “Join Us Now,” is a little bit darker than that. Are you leaning more towards psy lately?

MaRLo: Not really. When I get in the studio I don’t think about what I’m gonna make. I make whatever comes out, really, and sometimes it’s just experimenting with new plugins and playing around on the keyboard. Sometimes I’ll even get an acapella and sit down and write a song with someone, like a vocalist.

Each song is dear to me and I love it very much. However, just as my emotions vary from being happy to sad, I don’t sit down and focus on making a certain sound. I think that’s what makes me really diverse. I do whatever I want, whenever I feel like it, and that tech energy sound is also sort of a throwback to when I started out.

When I first started DJ’ing, I played German hard trance at 145 BPM. That’s my roots, and a lot of those old classics I’m remaking, re-editing, rebuilding, and putting my own spin on to bring that sound back. I think some of the younger crowd have never heard that sound before.