Matt Darey enjoys the mixture of life
A real pleasure seeker, music freak and talent, that’s what Matt Darey is. He has clocked up no less than 18 years of producing and dj’ing, as well as creating countless classics and future favorites. The UK producer likes to keep things challenging in life, touching different genres in music and giving each song its own color and feel. To Matt Darey, variety is the spice of life. And that’s exactly what we love. In 2012, he will finally reveal his first artist album. The second single of that album, ‘Follow You’, has just been released. All reason for us to name him our Artist of the Week and find out all about his plans, future, history and sound!
Hey Matt! Congrats on being Artist of the Week! How are you and where can we find you today?
Matt:”Thank you! J I just got to NYC after a few days snowboarding in Colorado, they just had a big snow storm out there so I just had to get out there on the fresh powder. I was there to play at Beatport’s club called Beta, one of my favorite clubs out here in the USA.”
You’ve been going through quite a few big changes these past 6 months. You joined forces with Armada Music and have an artist album coming up. What made you decide to go for this big change?
Matt:”I decided this was the year I want to get back to focusing on making music. Running my own label was taking up a lot of my time and Armada do it much better than I ever could alone. My music has always been word of mouth, no marketing or promotion hype so it’s great to have the backing of EDM’s biggest label who can give my music the exposure it needs. I’ve always been friends with the guys from Armada, known Armin and Maykel from the early days so it feels natural having someone I know well take care of business while I do the creative thing. The team they have are amazing, I couldn’t really wish for better, been a pleasure working closely with Gesine and Ruben from Armada’s A&R team on the musical side.”
You’ve been involved with music for about 20 years now, with many successes. Why oh why has it taken you so long to come up with an artist album? Are you that much of a perfectionist?
Matt:”Yes, I guess it’s a long time to not make an album. I’ve taken a lot of time out from the music industry over the years, one time I took 3 years out to travel. I guess I’ve always been the singles kinda guy. Releasing a track every now and then but always something I’m passionate about. I’ve always been hesitant about making an album because I can’t remember the last time I listened to an album from an EDM artist, I just pick off my favorite singles and make my own playlists and mixes. I wanted the album to be full of tracks that stand up on their own as singles and also every track to have a different sound. It took a lot of time to bring it all together and a lot of time working on remixes with up & coming artists. I must say though, I’ve really enjoyed every moment so I’m already working on my next album.”
Is the album completely finished yet, or is it in the final stages? First singles ‘Hold Your Breath’ and ‘Follow You’ are the first two previews of what’s coming up. Both tracks are very prog-trancy, does that mean the album will be too – or is it going to be a variety of sounds?
Matt:”Yes I actually finished the album and delivered it to Armada in December 2011. The album is prog house, prog trance and breaks. Each track has a different sound within these genres.”
Your career got a real boost in the late 90’s, when the ‘original’ trance sound was still hot. How, in your opinion, has your sound developed throughout the years?
Matt:”Yeah in the late 90’s trance crossed over and became pop, that was when I decided to get out for a few years, it all got a little over commercial for my taste but I guess it was nice to have some chart hits. I came back to the music when it all went back underground in 2004. I actually started off making drum & bass, then house, my first chart hit was a house track, then I was into breaks then came trance which no one really understood at the time and for the first few years, then it just went crazy. I guess I get bored making the same genre after a while, good to change it up a little.”
One of our many favourites of yours, is the stuff you released under the Urban Astronauts moniker. Any more of those tracks coming up?
Matt:”Urban Astronauts was an experiment, more like a band sound than EDM. I made a whole load of tracks which are still sitting there unreleased. You’re probably talking about ‘See The Sun’. I worked together with a Russian producer called Aurosonic on about 10 different versions till we got the right sound on that but when we cracked it , it was worth all the effort. The trick was to translate the band sound into trance, taking as many organic elements as possible, keeping some of the vibe of the original. I decided not to pursue the band thing and just focus on being a DJ instead. You will hear more Urban Astronauts tracks but they will just be released under my own name rather than confuse people with an alias.”
Along with the release of ‘Blossom & Decay’, you’ve set up a world tour. Where can your fans find you in the next couple of months?
Matt:”All over the place, I’ve started doing a few dates already across the USA, Russia etc and when the album is actually released I’ll be playing most major cites round the world. Last year over half my time was spent touring North America. The exciting thing for me about the tour is that I play about 70% my own music. Its much closer to my heart than spinning other peoples tracks. I’m also taking it live for the first time at select dates with singer & guitarist.”
What do you like to do when you’re not making Music or touring?
Matt:”I always try to fill the weekdays with fun stuff, preferably stuff that keeps me active and gets the adrenalin pumping. I started rock climbing for the first time last year which was amazing, it’s like opening the door to another world.. I’m also well on my way learning to skydive solo, again an amazing feeling of freedom and contrary to what most people think, its perfectly safe if you follow protocol. Also love mountain biking and not forgetting my passion for snowboarding. In the winter you’ll always catch me up in the mountains. Being in the great outdoors is the perfect antidote to life on the road. All those plane rides, hotels and nightclubs can get too much sometimes.”
Get Matt’s latest single on Beatport now!
Check his Nocturnal Podcast here.
Become a Facebook fan and keep track of his tourdates!