Martin Garrix – The Spotify Interview

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Martin Garrix may be 17 years old, but the Dutch DJ is not lacking in experience. He’s been producing since he was eight years old, yes… age eight, and has been in the international spotlight since signing to seminal electronic label Spinnin’ Records in 2012. Since, highlights include being officially asked by Christina Aguileira to remix her track, “Your Body,” as well as producing a number one song in three different countries, in addition to huge amount of top tens, with his hit, “Animals.” Martin came by Spotify’s New York City office to talk about his earliest roots in electronic music, what his current listening habits are, and what his sound is progressing towards.

Martin has always been musical. He grew up playing classical Spanish guitar from the age of four. It wasn’t until he heard Tiesto’s monster track, “Traffic”, that he knew electronic music was for him. “It was on his album Parade of the Athletes and was played at the [2004] Olympics. I saw that and just had to buy the album and other electronic albums and compilations. But “Traffic” really drew me in because the melody is really simple and minimalistic, but the track has so much power and feeling to it. It’s just really, really great.”

We all have to unwind, right? So does Martin, he just has to do it in between jetting around the world for shows or intense days in the studio. “Sometimes I’ll stay for the after party, but usually I’m immediately going to the hotel or wherever to get some rest and recharge for the next show. After a long day in the studio I love to just chill out with family and friends… Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s “You & Me” is probably my favorite track to just relax to.”

You know when there’s that one track you can’t get out of your head? Well, the Dutch DJ usually has a few. “Picking one is hard, there are a lot of songs going on up there [laughs]. I really like “Aztec” by Julian Jordan. It has a catchy melody, and without noticing it I sometimes whisper the melody. I really like the track.” We asked Martin to pick one thing outside of his genre that he’s been into lately. “Once again, I’d have to say that album by Flume. His stuff is really refreshing. Yeah, it’s crazy. I really love that album.”

The best producers tend to have certain recognizable sounds, we wondered if Martin had any that he thought were unique to him. “I really like to work with that super plucky percussion sound [he mimics it by flicking his cheek with his mouth open, then quickly laughs]. But honestly, I’m trying to get away from it – I’m a little tired of it now. I used it in “Animals”, I used it in “Wizard”, I used a kind of similar sound in my remix for “Project T.” I’m looking for a different sound to start working with more. But I really like to work with just… silence. But with big sounds on top. The more trance-y kind of sounds, which you’ll hear in my new stuff.“

Martin Garrix’s brand new track, “Wizard”, was just released this week on Spotify. You can hear that, and more of Martin’s picks, in his Favorites playlist here.

 

Spotlight on Country – New Artists to Watch for 2014

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Love Country music? Check out the artists we think will make it big in Country this year, including infectious newcomers Dan + Shay, Nashville-based songstress Brandy Clark, industry-favorite Frankie Ballard, hit songwriter Eric Paslay, and one of Music City’s most exciting young performers, Cole Swindell.

Listen now and get to know all the artists here!

New Year’s Fitness Resolutions broken already? We reveal the ultimate workout playlist scientifically proven to keep you on track.

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We have analysed 6.7 million workout playlists to find out what people are currently choosing to listen to in the gym.

To help gym-goers perform even better this January, we teamed up with the Music in Exercise and Sport Group at Brunel University in London to create the ultimate workout playlist. The playlist is based on the global popularity of tracks together with tracks that are proven to make you work harder based on their tempo (bpm), style and lyrical content.

The bespoke Spotify playlist has been developed to match your workout with popular tracks, kicking off with a warm up, leading into high intensity and strength training and ending with a warm down. It is also designed to keep you motivated to stay at the gym post the first week of January.

The top 20 Ultimate Workout playlist tracks are here:

http://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/6iJ9O8TnK67NKl3W6BWLT4

Our Interview with Daria van den Bercken

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“I’m not interested in changing the music, just, sometimes, the context…”

Dutch/Russian classical pianist – and Eddie Izzard fan – Daria van den Bercken recently performed a series of pieces by Handel while being towed by a car around Amsterdam. Last year she appeared at the Virada Cultural festival in São Paulo, Brazil where she played 25 meters above the ground – at midnight – and gave a highly entertaining TED Talk about the power of music, so, as you can imagine, when Daria came into record a Spotify Session in Amsterdam there were a few things we wanted to ask her,

Why is Handel so important to you?
There is a relationship here – some music just fits you and Handel fitted me perfectly. His music is energetic, it has melancholy and energy, and it always has a positive undercurrent. You can feel each small pain and wish. I like those contrasts and I enjoy the physicality of playing it. But also Handel is kind of underplayed. Beethoven and Mozart are both played a lot, so there is a whole world of information you have as a musician with all the different interpretations of their music. With Handel, it was just me and the music, because there’s a lot less baggage, a lot less perfomance history. The crucial thing is to spread the music, it’s not about stunts.

Unless they’re super exciting.
Well, yes. An Italian promoter has already offered me twenty shows flying over crowds, but I don’t want to become The Flying Piano Lady. I don’t want to be a gimmick.

How did you begin playing music?
I guess my parents noticed how I loved music, so I started piano when I was six and began to sing in a choir at seven. My parents always had music playing in the house too. I’m half Russian, so we had a lot of Soviet records! I remember going to concerts and hearing a piano concerto and being totally swept up by it. I wasn’t a ‘Wunderkind’, I learned many things gradually and over time. I had time to think about it and I worked hard. So I had a talent, but I wasn’t a prodigy.

In your TED talk you touch on that constant state of wonder that kids have. Are these events your way of trying to reinstill that sense of wonder in adults?
Exactly. I wanted to reach out and catch people unexpectedly! I played at a bank the other day – they don’t usually do that kind of thing, but I know a lot of people would not normally listen to the music I love, so I wanted to reach out to them, take the music to where they are?

Does the perfect piece of music exist?
I love that question! I’d have to think about it. Beethoven wrote some music that was so weird and gripping that it could have been written fifty or a hundred years from now. There is a piano sonata, Opus 101, that goes beyond anything you’ve ever heard before. I don’t understand it, but I love it. True art reaches forward. Radiohead have almost done that, I think a lot of their music is for later generations, maybe we don’t understand all of it yet.

Finally – crucially – what’s your favourite noise?
Oh, it’s one combined with smell. You can hear people mowing their grass, then you get the scent and that for me is the best. Then it goes silent and you’re left with only the scent. But I also love one beautiful chord being followed by another one – my internal strings are definitely struck by that!

 

Santa Claus shares his Christmas favorites on Spotify

That’s right – Santa Claus is on Spotify and he’s sharing his favorite seasonal tunes!

From his official hometown in Rovaniemi, Santa put together a playlist with his most loved holiday songs featuring the all-time classics Jingle Bells and Silent Night and even a little Wham! and Mariah Carey with Last Christmas and All I Want for Christmas Is You.

“There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than through music” says Mr. Claus. We couldn’t agree more! Listen to Santa’s official playlist now and be sure to Follow him on Spotify to get updates.

Check out Santa’s website here.

 

Carlos Vives – The Spotify Interview

Find out more about the singer who opened Colombia to the world.

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Sensitive, passionate, human. Just like that, we met the great Carlos Vives. With the charisma he is known for, and in only 20 minutes, he brought us to the magical, beautiful, and deep Colombia. Carlos Vives is internationally known for his genuine way of mixing old music genres from Colombia, such as vallenato and cumbia, with modern ones like pop and rock. He has been rewarded with numerous prizes throughout his career, and we were there last month in Vegas when he received 3 golden gramophones. He was just shining that night…

One of your songs, 19 De Noviembre changed my life… which of your songs is your personal favorite?
Oh thanks! There is one from the new album Salvar Tu Amor, I am sure no one will pay much attention to it, but I am fascinated by it. From my old ones, Santa Elegia; it didn’t get very popular, but I always loved it. In any case, it is hard to choose one of your own songs!

What about your favorite song ever?
Hard question because I have a lot, depending on the genre or region… I love rock, though! Miguel Ríos is one of my favorites, I was just with him actually! But if I have to think of one song that changed my life, I would go for “No queda más que el viento” from  Luis Alberto Spinetta. I love Argentinian rock.

Awesome choice, have you ever had any artists as influences?
I always loved the old ones, musically speaking, Ive been educated by them. My dad and his friends were very much into Boleros, Caribbean music, but also Sinatra and Glen Miller. I was too, but when I became a romantic teenager I was more into spanish ballads. Nowadays, they bring me so many memories from when I was 14-15.

Are there any modern artists that you especially like?
Yeah! From the Colombian scene. I love Santiago CruzAndrés CepedaMaía. I’ve been very into Colombia music, I think I got a bit stuck on it actually.

How do you feel about totally different music genres, such as electronic music?
There is actually an electronic wave in Colombia now that mixes traditional Colombian genres with modern ones. For instance, Bomba Estéreo. I love what they do, cumbia rhythms with electronic music.

Lets talk now about Carlos Vives and his Spotify Playlists…
You will find a lot of classical music, especially romanticism, like BachYou will also find a lot of folk music. The thing is, in Colombia, we like all kinds of music. We were in the middle of many different cultures, close to the Caribbean, on top of South America… so we took a bit from everyone. We have been influenced by Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Spain… So basically you could find anything in my playlist.

It’s time for The Spotify Time Machine… where would you go and how does it sound?
I would definitely go back to my childhood, in Santa Marta, when I was 6 years old. We were living in this little plantation house, so special, we had such a humble life. I remember there was a Mango tree and, sometimes, when the winds from the mountain reached it, it produced this particular and special sound. I can perfectly remember as it was yesterday. Thanks for making me go there!

There is something so so so special about your music…
It is full of the essence of my people. Humble but caring, kind, nice, happy. I always try to add these elements to my songs.

Tell us your Bonnaroo Dream Lineup

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It’s almost that time of year music festival fans! That’s right, lineup announcements are just around the corner and we’re already seeing tons of people are starting to share their dream Festival lineups. Our friends at Bonnaroo want to see your wishlist and just how creative you can be.

Why not share your dream wishlist as a playlist just like Instagrammer Sean Gumin below?  It’s simple – just drop your top tracks from artists that you want to see in TN next year into a playlist, take a screengrab of your list, and share it on Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr using the #Roo14Wishlist hashtag.

See your post and the whole #Roo14Wishlist conversation happening in real time at http://www.bonnaroo.com/thefountain. Best yet, Consequence of Sound is awarding a pair of Bonnaroo 2014 VIP tickets to their favorite #Roo14Wishlist - so get in on the action now.

Rock legends Led Zeppelin arrive on Spotify!

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 3.48.48 PMWe’re very, very excited to announce that Led Zeppelin is now streaming exclusively on Spotify!

Nearly 45 years after the release of Led Zeppelin – the astonishing debut that catapulted the band to rock superstardom – Led Zeppelin’s legendary catalog is now available to stream on demand for the first time ever, only on Spotify.

We’re releasing two albums per day this week, starting today with Led Zeppelin and its almighty follow up, Led Zeppelin II. By Sunday, December 15,  the full Led Zeppelin album catalog will be available to play as often as you like. Follow Led Zeppelin on Spotify now and we’ll let you know as soon as the next albums drop.

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Turn up the volume and start listening to Led Zeppelin now.

 

Music for everyone. Now free on your mobile.

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You can now get Spotify on your mobile or tablet, absolutely free. Find the right music and shuffle play it on any iOS or Android device. Available to all today – Spotify’s new free mobile experience lets you shuffle play:

  • Your music: Listen to all the playlists you’ve created and playlists from the people you follow. Spotify lets you discover new music, save, shuffle and share.
  • Your favourite artists: Want to listen to a certain artist? Just hit shuffle play, sit back and listen to their entire catalogue. Don’t settle for something similar. Don’t settle for just one track from the artist you want to hear every 20 minutes.
  • Discover great new playlists: Going for a jog or to the gym? We’ve got the playlist to help you go the extra mile. We know you just want the perfect music for a specific moment in time – and we’ve got you covered. There’s something for every mood, genre or moment.

Sound good? Get Spotify on your mobile.