On the second day of proceedings Seth Troxler joined the fray at the Hard Rock Hotel for the annual IMS Ibiza event. The morning saw the Detroit star take part in a panel discussion with the likes of David Vincent and Ushuaia’s Yann Pissenem, as well as keynote interview with Pete Tong. In addition, we managed to grab a few words from Seth about his new projects, the White Isle and what gets his juices flowing.
Can you tell us a bit more about your attempts to push intellectual discourse into dance music culture? I’m really into the idea of intellectualism in general. Whether it’s creating or working on projects like Tuskegee or just trying to bring awareness to people. I think intellect is a really important thing in life, to be smart and to be aware. The more aware you are the more conceptually profound you can be. That’s kind of what gets my juices going right now! There’s that, comedy and food. If I can laugh, be really smart and eat like a fat ass then I’m the happiest guy on the planet.
Also with Tuskegee [one of the three new record labels Seth is involved in] you are trying to promote diversity in terms of getting a wider range of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds involved in electronic music. Yeah exactly, I feel like by creating a label that’s focusing on people of all kinds of urban backgrounds, other people looking in at the label and maybe kids getting into the music will see that there is a place that also represents the ideas that they already stand by. Whether it’s style, fashion or whatever and they’re like, ‘I get that, I actually connect with that’ then that maybe makes them feel like they can also do what we’re doing and create music for us.
It’s a platform for them to create their music so we’ll be taking their demos and all these things. It is really about promoting unknown artists and promoting artists of that background. I would not be here today If it wasn’t for electronic music and I’ve escaped a completely different life that I could live. Now I’m in Ibiza and it’s incredible, but without electronic music and without a knowledge of electronic music I could have ended up like any other stereotype in the world. I want to create a path where kids don’t have to end up that stereotype.
Obviously at the moment EDM is massive, but in the US it seems that many people don’t quite understand the original roots of electronic music in Detroit and Chicago. EDM is massive in America because media and much of the record industry is making it massive. That’s the reason. Underground music would be massive too if it had the same push. So it’s really about just trying to make kids aware of what else is out there and that’s kind of my mission!
You’ve spoken about your concern about a lot of electronic festivals, particularly with regards to EDM, and mentioned the likes of Shangri La at Glastonbury as a favourite. What makes places like this so much better than other examples of electronic festivals? Yeah, Shangri La is an area of the festival that is kind of focused on the other world and the unexpected. I think the unexpected is great. There is a huge amount of production and content and it is really the way forward. In the future I really think it is going to be about production level and content. If you can create something where people are almost in immersive spaces, that is really how you are going to make waves in this industry.
With your concerns about the saturation of dance music now, and tech-house in particular, did you make a conscious decision to move away from that in focusing more on productions? Yeah I’ve made a huge conscious decision just to focus on music. Also to legitimise myself and my music, the things I am doing, and the projects I am doing. It’s a creative outlet for me as well. I have found myself in a position where I am really creative and I’m feeling really happy about creating. I have always thought you should never create music or art because you have to, it should always be because you want to and you have something to say. For many years I didn’t have anything to say – now I’ve got too much to say.
Finally, what can you tell us about your summer in Ibiza this year? This year in Ibiza it’s going to be great. I’ve got DC-10 every Monday so I’m really looking forward to that. There’s a super strong team this year, bringing in some new guys, so it should be interesting. I’m really interested to see how the island really works, the amount of people that are coming and just to see how it all pans out. It’s going to be an interesting year for everyone.