Mark Sixma: 2014 will be big!
Hey Mark! Happy New Year! Are we right to say that 2014 is going to be BIG for you?
Mark: “Thank you and best wishes for 2014! A lot of exciting things are happening right now. I’m working together with some of my favorite artists in the world. Apart from that I also have a lot of new solo tracks in the works and my touring schedule is filling up rapidly. Looks like it’s gonna be an extremely good and busy year!”
How do you look back on 2013? Has it been a good year to you?
Mark: ”I think it’s safe to say that 2013 has been the best year in my career so far! Before that I’ve been working with a lot of artists in the studio behind the scenes. With the release of ‘Requiem’ however things changed rapidly. Hitting #1 and staying there for two weeks resulted in a fast increasing fan-base and a lot of booking requests and I decided that it was time to put more focus on my solo career and I must say I’m very happy with that choice haha!”
The last studio jewel of yours was the collab with Jerome Isma-Ae, ‘Refused’! How did that collab came about? Any more of those in the pipeline?
Mark: ”A mutual friend of ours introduced us actually. I think he showed some of my recent tracks to Jerome and after that he approached me to see if I’d be interested in doing a collab. Of course I was NOT interested at all and ‘refused’! That’s how we came up with the title haha! Just kidding of course. Jerome is a very talented and consistent producer, who likes to make tracks that are a little different than everything else that’s out there. That’s exactly what we tried to do with ‘Refused’ as well. We worked over the internet through Skype and collaborating with Jerome has been a lot of fun and went very well! So well that we might even do a new one at some point!”
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What about other collabs, who are you teaming up with in 2014?
Mark: ”I’ve just finished a collab with the man who released the Kraken, Chris Schweizer. We’re both very excited about this one! I love Chris’ tracks and when we were touring together in Australia we started talking about doing a collab. Now that it’s done we can’t wait to share it with the world!”
You’ve been around the scene for quite a while, and while some change sounds, with you it’s always been quality. How did you get to be so consistent?
Mark: ”Well thank you! I think the key to making good music for me is to enjoy myself while I’m doing it. For some people that means creating a certain sound that they stick with and perfect over the years. For me it means trying different things and challenging yourself. For instance my breakthrough track ‘Destination 6’ was a 140 bpm melodic track. The next single I wanted to do something totally different and that was ‘Fade 2 Black’, a 128 bpm, dark and techy track. Technically I feel I’ve improved a lot over the years. It’s a cliché, but practice makes perfect. Musically speaking I think I got to be where I am now by being fascinated by music all my life. It got pretty extreme when I started spending all my allowance money on buying vinyls and cd’s, even though it was also meant for buying clothes. There was no way that I would buy new jeans instead of new music haha! Also I’ve been playing the piano since I was little, that really helped a lot.”
We’ve had lots of awesome instrumental Sixma tunes. What about vocal ones? Can we expect some for 2014?
Mark: ”Good question. Apart from my track with Amba Shepherd I haven’t released that many vocal tracks indeed. Perhaps because when a track is coming together nicely, I want to wrap it up so I can start playing it instead of waiting for a singer to provide the vocals. Having said that, I want to do at least one vocal track this year! “
You’ve also launched a new radio show, Sixmania Sessions. Why did you choose to do so, and how is that working out?
Mark: ”Creating and sharing music that I like is the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. What better way to do that than through a radio show! Some fans might not be able to come to my shows, with Sixmania Sessions they get the next best thing. So far the reactions have been very positive, it seems like there’s a lot of Sixmaniacs out there haha!“
Fans are anxiously waiting to see you play – where does your schedule take you in the next couple of months?
Mark: ”I’m gonna be touring Asia for two weeks later this month, really excited about that! I’m also very happy to be playing at ASOT 650 in Utrecht, I’m definitely preparing something special for that. Apart from those we’re working on North and South American tours and I might be going back to Australia again as well!”
Is it true you’d rather focus on producing than dj’ing? How do you create that balance?
Mark: ”I love both, but DJ’ing and producing are two completely different things. When I’m producing, I’m by myself, sitting behind my pc. When I’m DJ’ing, I’m interacting and partying with the audience! I think that’s why it balances out so well, versatility. When I’m at the end of a long tour, I can’t wait to be back in the studio and when I’ve been in the studio for a few weeks, I can’t wait to hit the road!”
Last question: what’s your new year’s resolution for 2014? (We’ll hold you to it!!!)
Mark: ”I was gonna say something like ‘put an end to all wars’, but if you’ll hold me to it, I’ll pick something a bit more realistic haha! Working my ass off while trying to stay healthy!”
Get Mark’s latest tune, his collab with Jerome Isma-Ae (Refused), on iTunes and Beatport now!