Deniz Koyu continues to produce fantastic bangers every year, which helped him become one of house music’s most-successful artists. Born in Bochum, Germany, Deniz Koyu has worked with top house music industry peers such as Alesso, Nicky Romero and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Likewise, Deniz Koyu has also released great tracks on prominent house music labels like Spinnin’ Records, Axtone Records and Protocol Recordings. Speaking of Protocol, Deniz Koyu recently released an emotional track titled “Without You” featuring Jess Ball on the record label.
He released the track on August 24 and it followed up on “Next To You“, the prequel that was released on June 26. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with Deniz Koyu as he discussed about the aforementioned tracks, the current state of the international dance music industry, his favorite Bundesliga club and where to visit in North Rhine-Westphalia. Also, check out the two awesome remixes for “Without You” after reading this interview article as well.
Kenny Ngo: Before talking about the music, how have you been doing personally for the past several months during this chaotic time in world history?
Deniz Koyu: It’s certainly been quite an emotional rollercoaster the past few months, having to deal with all the uncertainty, hoping for things to turn for the better. I’ve been using the free time at home though to work hard in the studio, finish a lot more songs than I usually do when living the tour life, and also spend more time with my family and friends.
I also picked up some new hobbies, like photography and learning how to make good espresso. So I’ve been alright, but I’m for sure hoping we can all go back to normal life next year eventually.
You released your latest single, “Without You” on August 14th and it is the second song in a two-song story, alongside “Next To You”, which was released on June 26th. Why did you decide to create this amazing project?
I’ve always enjoyed working with vocalists on more dance pop oriented songs in-between the club records that most people know me for. In this case I had received the vocal demos of these two songs separately from each other at the beginning of the year and loved both of them instantly.
It was coincidence that the lyrics of both songs seemed to have a connection. That being said, I had the idea together with the label Protocol Recordings to turn it into a two-part story, with two music videos that would tell the complete story.
Without You” combines energetic melodies from your music-making craft and Jess Ball’s soulful vocals. How was it like working with her on the track?
It was incredibly fun working with her vocal recordings on this production. Jess is really talented and her voice has that certain magic quality that spells a cast on you when listening to it. I don’t get that feeling often when working with vocalists.
“Without You” continues the story from “Next To You” where this track is being expressed from the other person’s viewpoint. Have you ever experienced any situation like that in your own personal life?
In fact, my current wife and I were doing a long distance relationship in the beginning after we first met a few years back. She was living in L.A. while I’m based in Germany, and handling that distance was tough. Fast forward to 2020, we actually just got married this summer. Things worked out very well!
In terms of music production quality, what are the similarities and differences between “Without You” and “Next To You“?
I’m a perfectionist in the studio (still have a long way to go). For me, all aspects of a song, from songwriting to sound design, production, mixing and mastering, are part of the package that makes up the final art.
I think even though the two songs have a very different tempo (107 vs 124 bpm) and they create a different vibe, sonically you can hear a lot of similarities. They have the same texture on the drums, the synths and even the vocals, as I have my techniques how to process sounds and mix them.
Did you have tours planned this year before COVID-19 happened?
Yes, quite a lot actually. I had a big four-week tour in China planned for February this year, right when everything started. We had to put that on hold obviously. Then Ultra Miami got cancelled, which was a huge bummer for me since I didn’t play Ultra for a couple of years and was really excited to return to it finally. I also had a lot of shows in Europe already fixed in my summer schedule. Hopefully we can postpone them to summer 2021!
What are your plans for 2021 and beyond?
I guess it’s really difficult to make plans for next year right now due to the uncertain situation. However, I will keep working on music and be ready for the time when shows can happen again.
In the meantime I want to also do more studio tutorial content, create sample packs and work with more people on song productions that don’t have to necessarily be for Deniz Koyu. Last but not least, me and my team are also working on a brand new fashion label right now, which I’m very excited about and can hopefully start to show firsts results of soon.
What do you think about the international dance music industry today compared to what it was when you first started your career in the 2000s?
I would say the dance music industry in the early 2000s was sort of like a young child, still learning how to stand on its feet, a time at which everything appeared fresh and new. The dance music industry has matured so much today.
It has become more professional and also a lot more competitive than before, with so many more artists fighting for attention and bringing talent to the table. I loved the simplicity and pureness of the industry back then, but also really appreciate the diversity of the scene we have today. You can’t have it all!
Since you are from North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in Germany, which Bundesliga football (“soccer”) clubs from that state do you support?
Borussia Dortmund of course!
The city you were born in North Rhine-Westphalia is Bochum. If everything gets better again, where in Bochum do you recommend the fans to visit if they are in the city?
To be super honest with you, I wouldn’t recommend anyone from abroad to come visit Bochum necessarily, but very close by you have Düsseldorf which is a really nice city with a lot to see. A walk through the historic district is definitely worth it. If you want to see some really beautiful areas in Germany though, you have to visit the south and see the Bavarian Alps!