Thank you so much Santos for allowing me to probe you with all of these questions to allow our fans to learn more about you! I first came into contact with you after hearing ‘Supercell’ on ASOT 733 and your talent immediately blew me away!
Maeve: For those who have never heard of you, can you give us a brief introduction into who you are?
Monoverse: Hi! I’m a trance producer from New Jersey, USA, just outside of New York City. I’m self-taught. I’m signed to the following record labels: Armada (under Future Sound Of Egypt & Statement! imprints), Coldharbour Recordings, and Lange Recordings. Outside of music, I’m finishing up my degree in food & nutrition science at Montclair State University.
Maeve: What motivates you as person? What motivates you as an artist?
Monoverse: What motivates me is making music; being able to create something and share it with the world. As an artist, being able to work with labels and artists that I’ve looked up to when I started keeps me motivated. When it gets tough, I look back to where I started and where I am now, which makes me excited about opportunities to come in the future.
Maeve: How did you come up with the alias Monoverse?
Monoverse: I was actually reading something on Quantum Physics and I read over the word and it just stuck with me: a monoverse is a description of the universe; a single universe that is linear. It has a beginning point and an end point. Considering it has a bit of natural wordplay in the music world (mono vs. stereo for example), I was sold on using it when it came time for me to release my own music.
Maeve: When were you first introduced to trance music? What got you hooked?
Monoverse: It’s a funny story. I used to play semi-professional video games. When playing Counter Strike, some players would create videos of themselves playing and include older trance music in the background. One of the videos I remember included a live set from Paul van Dyk around 2002, and I was blown away. I dug further, found radio shows like A State Of Trance, and started collecting my personal favorite releases.
Maeve: What type of trance do you prefer?
Monoverse: I don’t really have a type that I prefer, to me trance is a journey. I love trance sets that go all over the spectrum and include all types. There are even songs outside of ‘trance’ that I truly believe are trance songs at heart. It comes in all shapes and sizes so to speak, and I’m open-minded about it all.
Maeve: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career producing music?
Monoverse: I saw Armin van Buuren at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn in 2008 and that was when I decided to get involved in the music scene. It was life changing. I was extremely introverted when I was younger and I never would have thought I would be someone in the crowd dancing and enjoying myself, but I got lost in the music with everyone else around me. Armin himself looked liked the happiest man alive, and that’s when I decided I wanted to pursue music.
Maeve: Talk to us about what you were doing before you jumped feet first into trance.
Monoverse: Nothing related to trance or music at all! For instance, like I mentioned earlier I’m finishing up my program in food and nutrition science. Though I find myself less passionate about that, and more passionate about music as time goes on.
Maeve: Which music producers do you look up to and why?
Monoverse: One artist I really look up to is Eco, another trance artist from New Jersey. He’s always done his own thing, never caring about conforming to trends. He stays true to himself and in turn his music has an amazing life and quality of it’s own.
Another artist that comes to mind is The Thrillseekers, who has been extremely influential throughout the history of trance and still remains one of the most down to earth people I’ve met. The same can be said for Andrew Bayer, who I consider to be one of the most creative and forward thinking trance & progressive artists.
Maeve: Can you tell us a little about your live performances? When and where was your first performance? How did you prepare for it and how did you feel?
Monoverse: My first performance was at a random place actually, a sushi lounge in Teaneck, New Jersey. Someone had posted on the tranceaddict forums looking for local DJs and I responded to them. Originally I wanted to play on my laptop, because I had only really made sets using software like virtual DJ and traktor, but they insisted the DJs only use CDJs – forcing me to quickly learn to beatmatch and play using real equipment. I was extremely nervous, but the night was unforgettable even with a small turnout. Many of those who threw the event and attended became very close friends of mine to this day. For example, one of the artists who also played that night is James Gill, who I’m still good friends with and has been doing amazing things in the deeper progressive house scene.
We continued to throw parties at that sushi lounge, until we got our feet in the door in New York City nightlife where I’m still regularly playing shows.
Maeve: Do you have any upcoming shows that we should know about?
Monoverse: I’ll be playing this weekend at Electric Fairy Tale in Fresno, alongside The Thrillseekers, Solarstone, Alex M.O.R.P.H., Talla 2XLC, Manuel Le Saux, Johnny Yono and more. More shows to be announced before the end of the year and planning those to come in 2016 as well!
Maeve: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why? Would you perform solo or with another artist?
Monoverse: I would love to play a show in Ibiza, at a legendary club like Amnesia. That, or Ministry Of Sound in London which has a rich history associated with the trance genre. It would be amazing to perform solo, as I haven’t yet had many opportunities to really play an extended and developed set.
Maeve: How did you get involved with your radio show on afterhours.fm? What is your favorite thing about Monoverse Radio?
Monoverse: It actually started off only as a podcast. I love playing music that people won’t find on the bigger radio shows, and that I think has been a key part of my radio show growing. After a few episodes, I approached Digitally Imported who hosted the show for quite some time before it was moved to its current home, Afterhours.FM.
Maeve: Do you have any advice for new artists that want to make it in this industry?
Monoverse: Try to finish as many projects as you can complete, and make music consistently. Your first priority should always be to create music you love, but don’t forget that at the end of the day the music industry is a business and needs to be approached as such. Think of it like a job interview: present your work in a professional manner. Beyond that, help as many people as you can in whatever way you can! We’re all in this boat together.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to answer these questions and also thank you for being my first interview with an artist! Good luck with your career, I definitely will be following you and seeing you accomplish great things in the future!
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