Vienna based Dj & Producer Julius Abel performed at one of Austria’s biggest electronic music festivals “Urban Art Forms Festival” as well as international shows in Paris, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Zurich and Winterthur. His remixes and original tracks are attracting listeners from all over the world and he’s also a co-founder of the Viennese club series “Kain & Abel“.
We had the chance to catch up with Julius Abel for a quick Q&A:
You’ve just released your new single “Lost”. Can you give us a little background story on how the song came to life?
Originally “Lost” was called “Moon Lake” since I produced it during the first Covid-19 Lockdown in Austria at the “Mondsee”. The track gradually improved during the following weeks and months as I moved to Amsterdam and ultimately evolved to this melo-dramatic piece. In my eyes the listener re-lives the year 2020 with “Lost”. A structured start with bright expectations due to the bells bridging into something unexpected & unknown. The Vocal Chops/Cuts hit you from every direction making it impossible to detect where they come from. This feeling of “floating around and being lost” is then the new normal as the track progresses and re-gains some structural elements as we all felt in the second half of the year 2020.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an up and coming artist in the digital age?
The short living success stories. Young artists nowadays grow up in a sphere of immense growth opportunities without the need of a foundation to grow on. In the era of TikTok & Co. you can be a Superstar overnight and forgotten the next day. What “My Generation” (Highlight years of Soundcloud before Spotify was a thing) experienced just got more extreme. Next, a huge influence for these success stories is the presentation of the artist on social media. Even though it is a crucial tool to engage with fans and listeners, the spotlight of the perceived quality or originality of an artist is often measured via his/her appearance on social feeds.
Where do you see the electronic music scene in 5 years from now?
As a consequence of Question 2 the electronic music scene will be very diverse. The era of the top 10% of artists dominating the market/industry will be over. Selection will happen based on sounds rather than artists. The listeners will not connect to their favorite artists as a fanbase anymore waiting for the new releases. Much more they will connect to trending sounds/tracks and releases regardless of who produced them. On the other hand, if they connect to a certain artist, chances are this is due to their appearance on social feeds rather than their music.
Could you sum up some personal milestones in your artist development?
I would say the step by step process I experienced is a milestone for itself: After being interested in DJing and realizing “i want more than that”, to putting out the first baby-step experiments online (via Soundcloud) to telling my parents with 15 years that i will fly to Paris on the weekend because somebody wants to listen to my music, to playing at the “Donauinselfest” in Vienna to releasing my own EP. It is just great to realize that I am able to visit many places, meet amazing people and bring joy to people due to my music. Another Milestone was the founding of “Kain & Abel” (An event series in Vienna) and hosting many great party nights with amazing artists so far.
Is there a Julius Abel production routine or ritual?
I actually don’t want to have a production routine when it comes to the setup. I achieve my best creative output when I am away from a routine as far as possible. “Stockholm/Syndrome” was produced in Estonia. “Lost” was finished in Amsterdam. “Waiting on the Shore” was mainly made in Turkey and “Illusion” in Belgium. However, when it comes to technical stuff i like to follow a routine of arranging a specific idea as quickly as possible. For me it’s essential to have a skeleton of a finished track before fine tuning it afterwards. I like to set the melodic & harmonic parts of the tracks first before adding the percussive elements as I think that’s where the main “message” of a track lies.
How important are data insights for your (strategic) decisions?
It is a motivational factor seeing who listens to your music and where in the world this is happening. You can easily track the impact of different releases in different regions.
Furthermore, you can check if labels, publishers or promotional partners make a difference for your releases. In turn this can lead to strategic decisions such as “release a track for yourself” or “release a track via a (major) label”.
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