Over the weekend, German DJs/producers Cosmic Gate (Nic Chagall and Bossi) returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after a year to play a long awaited, much needed trance set at Zouk Club KL. The last time we spoke to Nic Chagall and Bossi, their fifth studio album, “Start To Feel” was still in the works.
One year on, we find out what they’ve been up to and if they were just as excited about coming back to sunny Kuala Lumpur as we were!
Hi guys! Welcome back. I think we haven’t seen you in just a little over a year. What were you looking forward most to when you knew that you were coming back to Kuala Lumpur?
Nic: Thank you!
Bossi: To play at Zouk! It has been so long and it’s always a good atmosphere and it’s a great club. We just remember people going crazy so let’s hope that it’s like that tonight too :)
Nic: Whoa, that’s a good question!
Bossi: How is the music different? (looks at Nic)
Nic: It’s 2 years after “Wake Your Mind” and I think we wanted to make more of a statement this time around. That music, for us, is about..”to feel” and this time, the music is more emotional. With “Wake Your Mind” we wanted to do that already but with “Start To Feel”..
Bossi: It was pretty clear to us that..we knew how not to sound than how we wanted to sound. We didn’t want to go down the EDM road because we were pretty annoyed with that sound. We were just like, “Okay, let’s just produce the right music that we like!”. So, relatively fast we did the demos and we felt that it sounded modern from the beats but still when we were writing the harmonies and melodies..it was all pretty touching. And when the vocals came on top, we right away knew that this was going down a certain road.
Nic: I really love how like Bossi said, how we knew how we don’t want to sound.
Nic: Nooo drops!
Bossi: You can have drops but that’s not what music is purely about.
By the way, I have to say that I love “Falling Back” & I had it on repeat for weeks. For a track like that, especially one that involves a vocalist, what was the production process like?
Nic: That’s cool that you loved it! Actually, “Falling Back”, it’s good that you mentioned it because that’s the perfect example of what we just talked about. I think “Falling Back” is a track that fits to the sound nowadays – it has that moment and it’s like, in your face, but it still has emotions, it has the pianos, you know what I mean? It’s still very touching. And for us it’s the perfect combination and the perfect example of what we just talked about. It doesn’t have a drop but it’s very euphoric.
Despite the changes & evolution that the both of you as DJs/producers as well as the dance music scene has gone through, what formula do you think it was that made it work for you guys?
Nic: Formula hmm..I think that we all just need our own identity. It sounds really stupid but when we go to the studio, we know what we don’t want to sound like. We always just go with the flow and we just do what we do. All that traveling, all the DJing, it’s all influence to us. We see what’s going on, we know what’s going on, and it’ll always be a part of our productions without losing what we really feel and what we really want to accomplish.
Bossi: That’s easy – we just do what we like. There are other projects that we produce that aren’t under our names that people don’t know about and probably won’t guess that we’re capable of doing. But Cosmic Gate will always be Cosmic Gate so there will never be a track that we both don’t like.
Nic: High five!
The DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll 2014/2015 will be announced in 2 days. What’s your take on it? Do you care or not care, is it still relevant or is it just a popularity contest?
Nic: What, it’ll be announced in 2 days? I had no idea! That is a tricky question.
Bossi: It’s business. There are promoters that look at the list but to be honest, I’ve seen names in there that I’ve never heard of before!
Nic: We have a very weird relationship with that. When we are climbing, of course we like it. But on other hand..
Bossi: At the end of the day, it’s just a list. It’s good that we have something to talk about though (laughs)
Nic: It’s just a list, but we’re looking at it. You know what, My hero Eric Prydz is not in the top 10. I know he pulls huge crowds wherever he plays but maybe not the 18-year-olds – I don’t know what it is. He’s a huge DJ and he could probably play Madison Square Garden in New York and it’d probably be sold out. But on the list he’s number 60 something. Think about that ;)
Thank you both for the chat! Also, much thanks to our friends from Zouk Club KL for making this interview happen. Let’s not forget to congratulate Cosmic Gate on cinching the #69 spot for this year’s DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll!