Australia’s number 1 DJ, MaRLo has become synonymous with a sound and a feeling that has electrified crowds worldwide.
Dutch-born and Australian raised, the globally in-demand DJ and producer has constantly evolved his own “MaRLo sound”, cementing his reputation as a genuine musical powerhouse.
We caught up with MaRLo right before his set at ASOT 900, and spoke to him about moving to Australia from the Netherlands, and how he plans to grow his “Reaching Altitude” imprint.
Elsi – So I only just found out why you spell your artist name with capital “RL”…Care to share how that came about?
MaRLo – Basically when I first started making music and doing interviews, so many times people would say Mario. The small ‘l’ looks like an ‘i’ I guess, so they would say Mario and one time even on a poster it was Mario so I said, I’ve got to make clear that it’s an L so I put a big L but it just looked a bit weird so I put a big R as well….that’s the only reason.
Elsi – You’re Dutch, originally from Amsterdam but you moved to Australia…
MaRLo – Yeah, when I was 13.
Elsi – How do you experience that now on a music level and a personal level because you still have a lot of connections with Holland but also with Australia, how’s that working out for you?
MaRLo – I think what happened was, when I was a young boy moving to a new country, I wanted to feel part of my identity, part of my roots so I listened to a lot of Dutch music. Guys like Armin of course, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Sander van Doorn, Marcel Woods. A lot of the music I was looking at was things from my childhood, from my Dutch roots. That influenced me when I started making my own music in Australia but I very much consider myself an Australian. I’ve lived there the majority of my life, did high school there, all my friends are there, my Mom’s there so I’m definitely an Aussie!
Elsi – For Holland and other parts of the world, we don’t hear a lot about Australia but what are really big festivals the rest of the world should know about?
MaRLo – Altitude! That’s my own event! We sell about 15.000 tickets every year but of course, there’s a lot of other big festivals such as ASOT comes to Australia regularly. TranceMission is coming next month in March, Dreamstate another big one! And we have a lot of great Australian festivals as well, home-grown Australian festivals.
Elsi – In the meantime, are there any new tracks are you working on towards the summer to get them ready for festivals, introduce them tonight?
MaRLo – Yeah, absolutely! There are about 4 brand new tracks I’m playing tonight! I finished about 7 or 8 for the next coming months that are getting released. I have some more studio time blocked in April as well so by the end of April I’ll have the whole year of releases finished so every month I will have a release.
Elsi – Are there any collabs in those new releases?
MaRLo – Yes! So, my main focus right now is on my own label “Reaching Altitude” which is a sub-label on Armada and Armin has been a huge supporter of it, I’m very thankful for that especially on the radio show. I’d like to try and help out the new guys, so I’ve done a collaboration with AVAO that we’re also playing on the 138?! stage tonight and I’m doing a collaboration with MatricK. I basically want to help out new guys on my label and that’s my main focus.
Elsi – And is the focus more Australian, worldwide or are you just looking at everyone globally?
MaRLo – I’m looking at everyone globally. It started off trying to really support the Australian scene and I still do that and release a lot of Australian music but the label has grown so much that we’ve taken on a lot of international talent. The AVAO guys are Dutch and MatricK is from Russia so we’ve got guys from all over the world! We just need more girls!!! So, girls send your demos!!!
Elsi – Last but not least, you’re almost up! How excited are you about this ASOT900?
MaRLo – I’m really really excited because I feel doing a tech energy set, I’ve got complete freedom to go as hard and as energetic as I want. I’ve got the late set time so I don’t have to worry about playing any tracks that are unsuitable for my set time so I’m really looking forward to it!!