Electronic Groove – ADID Off Sonar Interview – June 2017

YokoO.: ‘All Day I Dream events always are amazing gatherings’

We had the chance to talk with YokoO ahead of his performance at Barcelona’s All Day I Dream event on June 17th.

Electronic Groove: Hi YokoO, thanks for the time to chat with us. How was your first part of the year? Any highlights worth mentioning?

YokoO: The pleasure is mine! The first part of the year was very busy with touring. I’d love to talk in depth about all the places I visited but it may take a while . . . Honestly, I’ve had outstanding experiences everywhere I went. I adored going to Uruguay, Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic for the first time in January. The vibe in those countries is something else. The way people danced until the end of the party in Buenos Aires, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana truly blew my mind. Medellin also was incredible. And Mexico of course, I have an ever-lasting love relationship with Mexicans. Thailand’s Wonderfruit festival felt like a mini Burning Man. Australia was great as I took a couple of weeks off to breathe and enjoy the beach. The shows in the US and Canada are always beyond. I have built a solid family in the North American territory over the last 3 years. It has become yet another home away from home. Middle East adventures are always memorable too. Beirut, Dubai – I love. Sandbox festival in Egypt will also remain engraved in my memory forever. Returning to Europe after 7 months away is definitely worth mentioning too, as one of the highlights. Finally flying home to Berlin and finding my own space again, to write music and simply be, is something I do not take for granted when being on the road so much. All shows around here have been special as well. I could go on and on.

I feel blessed and grateful to be working with the people who book me. I seem to always get in with the kindest promoters. Cherry on the cake, locations happen to be ACE every single time. It is all a matter of perspective in the end. All places and people can be appreciated for what they are. I try to see it all as a blessing.

EG: This month you’re part of the All Day I Dream lineup during ‘Off Sonar’ week. What are your expectations about this event and are you preparing anything special for it?

YokoO: This event is sold out. It says a lot about its quality I believe. People get excited and jump on ticket sales right after them being announced. ADID events always are AMAZING gatherings. They are all about love, music for the soul, smiles, laughter, tears and friendly vibes. Attendants are always like-minded music enthusiasts vibrating with-in the same frequency range. It doesn’t get much better in my opinion.

EG: Talking about All Day I Dream, how and where did you meet Lee Burridge?

YokoO: I met Lee through Matthew Dekay, who became a close friend of mine back in the day. He was my mentor in a way. He told Lee about me for a while and we eventually all got to meet together in Berlin for a meal. From then on, Lee and I kept in touch and started working together. The rest is now history.

EG: Based on your frequent worldwide traveler profile, where do you find inspiration for your music?

YokoO: The inspiration comes from the heart, which essentially I see connected to the soul. I express the way I feel through my music. Every experience turns into emotions, which eventually affects the way I put sounds together in the studio. Traveling helps diversify the type of experiences I have, which as a result contributes to a constant flow of inspiration.

EG: Are you working on new material? Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s coming next for you?

YokoO: I am always working on new material, even when I am not in the studio. Based on what I said above, experiencing life in the present moment is a major part of the process. That said, in more concrete terms, I am finalizing my next 2 EP’s for All Day I Dream, one with Retza and one YokoO solo. Additionally, I am still working on my debut album, which I’d love to pitch to ADID as well. I have many others tracks on the go. Keeping busy!

“Every experience turns into emotions, which eventually

affects the way I put sounds together in the studio”

EG: How’s your summer agenda looking like? Any special events you are specially looking forward to?

YokoO: I doubt I’ll be seeing home very much. There will be many a show and I a look-ing forward to them all!! Keep up on my facebook page or website – www.djyokoo.com

EG: You just released your 2016’s Burning Man session. Are you going back to the playa this year? What are your thoughts about the BM experience?

YokoO: I’d like to think so and planned my touring schedule accordingly. I am yet to find a camp to stay, as well as get some tickets so we will see what the universe has in store.

My thoughts? It’s special, very special. I’ve talked about it many times before. I suggest you read my Burning Man sets’ blurbs on Soundcloud. In the end, my thoughts are just thoughts, based on my personal experiences. I suggest you go and find out for yourself.

EG: A few artists have mentioned that one of the perks of touring is having the possibility to experience worldwide gastronomy. Where and what would be your last supper?

YokoO: One of the many perks indeed . . . I would say Peru hands down. I visited a couple of restaurants whilst visiting in April and everything I tried tasted like it came from another world. I am pescatarian, fairly open with food and love it all but Peruvian cuisine, WOW.

Follow YokoO:

Live at Robot Heart | Burning Man 2016

DHA Mix #267

Deep House Amsterdam – SXM Interview – February 2017

SXM-2017-interview-yokoo

INTERVIEW: YOKOO

Published On 22/02/2017 | By Steve Rickinson | Interviews

YokoO is no stranger to house music in its deepest, most spiritual forms.

He has released on highly regarded labels such as All Day I Dream, Musik Gewinnt Freunde, Kindisch, Get Physical, Moodmusic and Plastic City, turning the heads of artists such as Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Matthew Dekay and Lee Burridge. As a DJ, he embraces the dance floor with a dynamic and honest approach.

Next month, YokoO will return to the sunny beaches of St. Martin and re join the SXM Festival ranks. Here to give you an insight into his world is YokoO telling us about his experiences at the festival last year, his multicultural approach to DJing and production, as well as Amsterdam’s newly thriving spiritual house scene, and more.”

“In the end, it is not about looking for the perfect scenery or an ever changing horizon, all it takes for one to see the beauty all around is to be present.”

This March you’ll be down in St Martin for SXM Festival. What are your impressions of the island as a destination of electronic music?
It is refreshing. I see SXM as a nice addition to the industry’s yearly festival schedule. I am not very familiar with the island, but St Martin is in the Caribbean. It rhymes with crystal clear water, beach and sunshine. Such scenery combined with one of the most comprehensive line-ups there is [for this particular kind of music] definitely will not hurt anyone.

It will be your second time in two years at the event. Tell us a little about your experiences last year? What were your favorite parts? Did you get to chill at all or were you in and out for the gig?
I only recall spending two nights on the island. I arrived late in the day Saturday, relatively tired from a gig the night before in Boston. Knowing I was playing sunrise after Lee the day after, I relaxed at the hotel. I slept until about 5am, had a quick breakfast and raced to the party to catch the end of Lee’s set just before jumping on myself. That was at Layla’s Beach Club. It was raining a little at first but everyone was in full party mode. The sky cleared towards the end of Lee’s set. It was AMAZING and one of the parties people talked about the most post festival.

A group of us went back to the hotel and hung by the pool after the party ended. I could have attended another show that night but chose to stay in, in order to check out a beach nearby the following morning before flying out to Miami. It all happened quite fast, and there unfortunately was no time for any further exploring.

I will spend at least five nights on the island this year and will definitely take my time to sightsee besides the couple of shows I am playing.

Since SXM Festival is about a month away, it can be considered a “kick off” for a wider international festival scene. I’m sure you have several dates around the world planned already; so which ones are you particularly looking forward to?
Does the festival season ever end? It’s always summer somewhere!

There’s a few right now – SXM of course, WMC in the US, Sand Box in Egypt, Sonar/Off Sonar in Spain, Moga in Morocco, Tomorrow Land and Paradise City in Belgium, Piknic Elektronic in Canada, Burning Man in the USA, Isle 9 in Hawaii – and certainly more to be added.

YokoO-SXM-Festival-2017-in-post

Are there consistent dates each year that you know you will attend?
I’d like to think of Burning Man as a yearly adventure. WMC is one, although I am not sure how its future is looking. SXM could definitely be one of them too, potentially replacing BPM following the tragic incidents that took place a few weeks ago. I am very likely to be found in Ibiza every summer from now on, Mykonos too.

Recently you were in Amsterdam kicking off the Gardens of Babylon concept. How did you see that event, especially given the communal nature of its audience/artist participation?
It was purely magical. I instantly bonded with the promoter as we met and felt only positive energy. The girl in charge of the event are very passionate and dedicated to doing something good. They are switched on and experienced. I knew the night was going to be a success based on that. I got given the opportunity to play for 5 hours, which meant a lot to me. Everyone was smiling, dancing, and sharing good vibes. I remember the room being full until the end. It felt like a big family.

Speaking of Amsterdam, did you get some time (or have you in the past) explored the city? If so, what are some non-nightlife activities/places you enjoy?
I have now played in Amsterdam three times. The atmosphere was always spot-on. People are just so nice in Holland. I truly love this place. It was only upon my last visit (during ADE) that I stayed an extra day to walk around the city. It was my birthday actually. My experience was beautifully romantic. I wandered around the charming streets of the town center, daydreaming as I do, admiring the architecture. I stopped at a cute little café by the water – had some cheese and wine, checked out the red light district, and inevitably visited one of Amsterdam’s notorious coffee shops, bought a joint, had an amazing diner in a Moroccan restaurant and finally got stoned. I laughed a lot. I felt safe and at peace there. I remember saying to myself “I could easily live here someday”.

I’m wondering if you can speak a little of the wider cultural influences in your approach to music – when it comes to making music, what are the main things that have influenced you?
The music I play and produce is influenced by a universal culture, a culture without borders or separation. In essence, it all stems from LOVE.

We are all receptive to various frequencies, some more than others. But LOVE can reach everyone. It may sound corny but if you stop thinking about it for a second and FEEL it instead, you may just understand. My approach to music is set with this powerful intention, and reaches souls accordingly. Music is my chosen means to connect with people, as well as radiate healing energy to help lift their spirits.

Speaking of cultural influences, I am sure you have traveled the world a few times over in your career? Speaking as a person and world citizen, and not as an artist, what are some of your favorite places to visit? Why? Which do you find the most inspiring? The most beautiful?
I have indeed, but am far from having it all covered. I am yet to visit many places around the globe. I always find it difficult to answer such a question because I pretty much feel connected to most places I go to. There is always something, or someone that resonates with me. In the end, it is not about looking for the perfect scenery or an ever changing horizon, all it takes for one to see the beauty all around is to be present.

sxm-wild dark-podcast-1-2017

15-19 March 2017 | SXM Festival | Tickets | Saint Martin Island, Caribbean

ADID017 | C. Vogt – Purple Hills (YokoO Remix) (All Day I Dream)

Schirmchendrink Podcast – A Cup Of Hope | December 2016

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