Laidback Luke has led an interesting life thus far. Born in Manila, the Philippines before growing up in the Netherlands, Lucas Cornelis van Scheppingen made his name as a graffiti artist way before he bcame know the globe over as Laidback Luke. Working with a who’s who of commercially popular dance music from Steve Angello to Daft Punk we caught up with the amiable ducthman ahead of his return to London for his new live show.
If we could go back to when you set out to start. You have been DJ'ing since the 90's, what has changed for you the most about how you approach your sets and DJ'ing in general?
There have been many changes and it's ever changing to me. I remember doing a lot of crate digging and selecting tracks from my record collection when I was still playing vinyl.
Since you could only carry a maximum of 70 vinyls in one case, you would always need to make a certain selection for a night. It used to take me at least two hours before every show Nowadays, I carry 3500 tracks on my SD card, so I just bring my selection. I used to be able to practice more because I had more time. I would record a set in my studio every night and then listen back to it critically the next morning to see where I could improve and to listen what combinations would work best. This all added up to my overall experience and thanks to that, I don't need to prepare or practicenowadays. I've been DJing professionally for so long now, the sets come really organically to me.
As a DJ, you’ve set the benchmark for CDJ use in a lot of ways as anyone who has watched you play live or caught one of your Pioneer DJ Sounds videos will attest . With so many DJ's today trying to help separate themselves from the massive amount of DJ's out there, do you think this is necessary?
Thanks for the compliment! Well it's a tricky one as I'm all for DJs that work hard and try to incorporate as much technique as possible. I always say beatmatching are the basics. In the end though, it's all about how it translates and connects to the crowd. In the end you want people to go home with the feeling they had an amazing experience. To try and separate yourself for the sake of separation, I feel is not the way. Sometimes those type of DJs forget the crowd and it's really that interaction or connection with them that takes a night to the next level.
You debut your world renown 'Super You & Me' show next month in our lovely city of London, England and I must say we are excited about this. What can we expect from the show? Something catered for us perhaps like serving Fish and Chips at the bar?
Ha ha wouldn't that be great? As a hobby chef I'm always envious of catering or people preparing food! I'm sure it's the other way around as well when they see me DJ. Expect the show to be similar to the Super You&Me experience we brought at Cream Amnesia Ibiza. Only it will be the XL version. And tons of people dressed up, we're bringing the fun and energy!
Your latest release 'Pogo' is a very Dutch sounding cool club track with a slightly heavier the Dub Mix. What can we expect from the rest of the release and when is it out? Will Majestic get a lot more vocal time on the original mix?
Absolutely! We just got the finished version of the video in and it's looking hilarious! Imagine hot girls bouncing around on kebabs as pogo sticks is all I can say for now. We're about to release the remixes together with the vocal mix. Majestic has a ton of vocal time on the vocal mix, don't worry! The remix pack will include remixes by Chuckie, Congorock and hot kid on the block Deorro. The video will come shortly after that, exciting stuff!
Are there any artists you think we should look out for in 2013?
There are four artists out of the Mixmash/Luke forum family that are rising up fast at the moment. Which are GTA, Moska, Deorro and Uberjakd. It's pretty much a head to head race and I'm wondering who will come out the biggest this year. Apart from those guys, I have a whole army ready who are right behind those four. I'm very excited for coming year!
Over the years you have brought out some truly memorable tracks. What inspires your productions?
That's really nice of you to say! I just love what I do and it's been such a long and hard struggle to get to this level. I don't take anything for granted and work hard every day to try and deliver the best work I possibly can. Although I've been producing for 20 years now, I'm no where near done yet. I always say the best is yet to come as it keeps me young, eager and passionate!
You have your own forum where you listen to demo's and give feedback to up and coming producers on their tracks. What would you say is the most common advice you give to all these budding producers?
This would be the top three basics I tell them, keep the kick drum and bassline mono. Produce with a compressor and limiter on your master output. And try to really finish a track, don't send me snippets. It's important for a producer to really finish a track off, as snippets don't count in my ears. I often also tell them to never ever give up on the dream they have. In Dutch we would say: 'You have a no for certain, but you can achieve a yes'.”
Your label Mixmash celebrated its 100th release last year, congrats! Are you happy with how the label has been progressing? Do you have any major plans over the next year for it?
Thank you! I'm really happy with that! Mixmash is part of this dream I have of creating a platform for new and undiscovered talents. We had the first releases and remixes by the likes of Avicii, Afrojack and Dyro to name a few. The platform is getting bigger and bigger and I'm happy Mixmash is a staple amongst labels now. Every year we are pushing harder and the hard work seems to be paying off!
What can we expect in 2013 from Laidback Luke? New releases? A new live DJ set up?
Very much new releases! After Pogo we'll release my collaboration with Hardwell called 'Dynamo'. And after that we have the collaboration ready that I did with the Tomorrowland guys Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike. These are mainly heavy club tracks and after the first half of 2013 I'm planning on coming with more melodic and vocally tracks.
Catch Luke live in London Saturday March 2nd at Electric Brixton. For more details and tickets visit http://dt-tickets.co.uk/event.php?id=11789448