This weekend at the Grietfest 2013 event, there will be some of South Africa’s biggest names in the EDM industry and a few big names from abroad. One of those names is a DJ/Producer called TAI. This London born guy that resides in Germany is a force to be reckoned with and is coming all the way to South Africa to make you dance!! We got to chat to him for a few minutes, discussing his journey in music, all the crazy friends he has and what he is excited about for his first tour to our beautiful country, this is how it went down:
MA: Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little bit of your background?
Well after being born in London we lived in a few different places like Thailand and then finally moved to Germany.
Musically i have a Hip Hop background where I come from producing most of the German rappers with over 300 releases. I then also started ghost producing allot of electronic artists like Tomcraft, that was liked my experimental Hip Hop productions. So one day I put my own name on a record. The first record with my name as TAI on it was, “Lyposuct” for Boys Noize Records. This was an interesting step for me as it was the first time my music was played internationally all around the world, not being limited to the German lyrics of my rappers. The feeling was good, so I decided to carry on and did another record for BNR. Soon after, Steve Aoki came to my studio to record Paradise Poltergeist which again had very nice exposure from the Afrojacks and 2 Many DJs of this world 🙂 So here I am now signed To Dim Mak Records 🙂
MA: What would you say are some of your biggest influences and inspirations as a producer?
Life itself man. All the countries I travel and cultures I love experiencing. This is all my food for ideas along the journey of producing and writing music every day.
MA: Do you remember your first gig? How did it go?
I used to travel gigs every weekend with Tomcraft 10 years ago so I was used to the touring life before I actually was the DJ act myself. Then my first gig as TAI was together with D.I.M. in Berlin. I was very excited. Allot of rappers came to the club when they heard I was playing an Electronic set to suport me, which didn’t make it any easier, haha 🙂
The Gig was amazing!!! It was a real Berlin underground, sweaty, topless, raging basement party back then when I was still young and able to play for 4 hours straight, haha 🙂
MA: Is this your first trip to South Africa?
Absolutely. Super excited to see the country. I have heard so much beautiful stuff. Haezer & Dom are taking me to swim with the Penguins!
MA: If so, what has you excited about playing here?
SA is super exciting because I have never been. I am like a sponge that wants to soak up the music scene and give what I have to offer with my music. Also I hear there are some heavy Vodka drinkers over there which should definitely come to the front row when I play 🙂
MA: To date, what has been your best gig / achievement as a DJ or Producer?
Oooh, thats a tough one man. It’s been so many and the Vodka doesn’t help remember them all, haha. I just came from playing Tomorrowland which is an absolute bomb every year with all my Dim Mak family. We get up to stupid stuff every time!
I guess the Gold plaques I got are cool but then again they were also the reason I started making underground music again. How schizophrenic, lol!
MA: What made you change your focus as a Hip Hop producer to an Electronic house producer?
I needed to evolve as a writer and producer. Experiment in producing without any boarders. Just go crazy with my ideas with no rules what is aloud and what not.
As much as Hip Hop are my routs, Hip Hop does not always allow you to do this.
MA: You have collaborated with some great electronic artists like Steve Aoki, to name just one…Who has been the most fun to work with?
I enjoy working With Bob from the Beetroots because we get deep. Like in a trance or a film. We’re like high off the producing.
Felix Da Housecat is a crazy one to be in the studio with, but I cant talk about half the stuff he does in the studio just to keep out of trouble, haha.
Working with Bot is always beautiful to me because we started out working when he was still half of The Crookers, and then when he started his solo project as Bot, all of a sudden we were totally open to go wherever we wanted and hadn’t been yet musically. We have a BBQ Grill on the rooftop in London after every session. This is why one of the tracks on our EP is called, “Rooftop”. The EP is called, “Nuthin But Fire” and will be released in September on Dim Mak Recs.
A funny collab for many people was with Tiesto. Nice dude though!
MA: Is there anyone you are still dying to work with and why?
I always wanted to work with Diplo coz of our Urban background and coz everyone kept saying we look like brothers from different mothers. But I made, “Bootey Drop” with him in my studio now where we rapped the hook together, yay 🙂
Hmmm, I don’t know. I just like working with all my friends I guess.
MA: Are you working on any other projects that we might be interested in?
Well I have finished a bunch of maaaad tracks with my buddy Bart B More. But we havent played it to any labels yet because we just have so much fun producing it in the studio.
MA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
No idea. I can barely think in advance to make my next flight. Just missed my flight to Hong Kong today actually because I thought it was later.
MA: Where can people follow you?
and youporn if you look closely.hahaha
MA: Finally, if you could open up for any DJ in the world, who would that be for?