EJ is the exclusive and mysterious resident DJ for the global entertainment brand and race championship, Formula E, as well as one of the freshest talents on Armin van Buuren’s legendary Armada label. He takes 5 minutes with I Want EDM to discuss inspirations, his involvement with Formula E and his plans moving forward.
Tell us how you both first got into music – was it production, DJing, or something else that captured your attention?
I was always into music form an early age. The clubbing in the UK really inspired me to become a DJ. This lead me to move to Ibiza and work on the island DJing and promoting various dance brands from Manumission to MTV. Ibiza has played a huge part in my life.
What was your big break? And who were your inspirations in music growing up?
I would say my first big break was when I started working for Ministry of Sound. I got to tour around the world playing at some amazing places, including Space in Ibiza which was always a dream to play there. As I have such a diverse love of music, there have been so many inspirations. Slipmatt, Carl Cox, Paul van Dyke and even Guns n Roses, they have all played a part
Tell us about your recent Garuda release – have you always been inspired by, and wanting to make, trance music?
I have always loved Trance music. The energy that it brings to the dance floor is incredible. I have been lucky enough to now gain the support from Garuda who have been amazing. I have had 2 tracks out on the label so far. Slipstream being the first and then the latest No More Chances. Both have had fantastic support from the likes of Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery and Andrew Reyel to name a few. I am really enjoying working with Garuda and have plenty more music in the pipeline.
Do you plan to branch out with future productions in terms of genre, or is your aim to establish yourself with one style that you can perfect?
I am happy sticking with Trance and progressive trance at the moment but I have a really cool project coming up next year which will see me do something a little different. Still keeping to my style, but moving around a little bit.
Tell us about your Ignition series – what is your aim with this?
The Ignition show is a monthly radio show presented by myself that gets syndicated to various radio stations around the world. It’s a chance for me to play music that I love at the moment as well as showcase any new material and talk about what I have been up to. Its quite funny when I am doing this on the road as I don’t always have access to a studio to record my voice over, so I have to do this under the bed covers in the hotel room! Really works though!
And, of course, we couldn’t not talk about your relationship with Formula E – how did this come to be? How do you find playing to millions that are broadcast around the world?
I met Formula E 5 years ago now. They wanted someone with great music experience to help them with their music strategy and also DJ at the races. I thought it was a great opportunity to create a DJ persona that could grow with the championship, and that is where EJ came from. I now travel the world with the championship playing at some incredible places, venues and clubs. Linking the music to the broadcast can be pretty daunting to be honest, but I love what I do and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Where has been the best place you’ve visited with your music, and why?
As I said before Ibiza has played a big part in my musical career and Djing at Space was definitely up there with the best, if not the best. I have however been to some other incredible places. Punta del Este is a beautiful part of the world and I also got to play with Eric Morillo which was cool.
Do you prefer festivals or clubs, and what has been your favourite event this year?
Both. I played for Budlight Warehouse in Mexico City which was wicked. I played a progressive set which I really enjoyed, and the crowd were great. On the same w/e I played on the main stage at the Formula E race to a massive crowd which was pretty much like a festival. I also loved playing at Ultra in Croatia on the Arcadia Afterburner stage. Festivals or clubs for me. Both are wicked!
What track/ artist can you just not stop playing lately? Who shall we be listening out for?
I recently met Kolonie at Ministry of Sound. I’ve been supporting their music for a while now and it was great to meet them in person. Check their stuff out.
Finally, what is next for you? Where can we catch you live for the end of 2018?
The Formula E season kicks off in December in Saudi Arabia where I have never been. Looking forward to seeing what that is like. There is also a London date coming up December so keep an eye on my website for more details. On the music side, I’ve got a very cool project I am working on with Garuda for December also.