Exclusive Interview: Vanillaz – “Sunshine” Ft. Haight-Ashbury [Original]

New energetic house track “Sunshine” by Vanillaz was released May 19th via Thrive/Sony Records. This track brings the magic to lift morning spirits and keep them coming into summer nights. Flutes ring in a cheerful melody while deep bass drums beat on to preface the warm, graceful vocals from Scottish band Haight-Ashbury. “In the morning light, you can’t disguise all these feelings that you try to hide, ‘till the morning light.” The sun truly does shine through with this sweet new, mood-brightening hit. This Croatian/Slovenian duo’s style and skill mesh perfectly with those of the Haight-Ashbury trio.

We caught up with Vanillaz for an interview and to discuss their sweet new single. Check it out below while streaming “Sunshine:”



Long-time friends Marko and Miha are the EDM duo Vanillaz. They are a group with a true love for electronic music and the scene. Growing up with the electronic scene, they are truly artists who live their craft and love what they do. With more than ten years of experience and high recognition, Vanillaz have brought energy and joy to crowds at festivals such as Ultra Europe (which they will play again this year), WMC Miami, and Kings Day Netherlands to name a few. There’s also much more to come from Vanillaz this year.

Lacy Lindsay: How did you guys come up with Vanillaz as the name for your duo?

Vanillaz: We’d been in the process of searching for a name a while and to be completely honest, I got a phone call in the middle of the night from Miha who was drunk and had fallen over in the bathroom, “Dude, I got us the name, dunno the meaning, but sounds cool’’, at that point we didn’t realized that that combination of few letters would define the rest of our lives.

LL:  What do you feel defines your rhythm the most?

V: For us, music is more than a wav file, we don’t think about genres when we play or produce, we think about reaching out to people and help to make them smile. So hopefully in years to come you don’t put us in one narrow category. To us, whatever music we make, is “Vanillaz music.” 

LL: What is your favorite thing about electronic music and the EDM culture?

V: Here we are not only talking about music, it’s a way of life, it’s about sharing the love, it’s about good vibes, it’s about making the world a better place. Good electronic music can make you laugh, sing, dance or even cry. Great electronic music makes you do all of this at the same time!

LL:  What was your inspiration for your new track, “Sunshine”?

V: Growing up in sunny Croatia, which is a Mediterranean country, we know how solar/sun energy can energize things, this song is dedicated to all the sunny, beautiful places on planet Earth.

LL: Is there a specific artist who inspired you musically while growing up?

V: I grew up listening to a lot of Hip Hop and Gangsta Rap and loved artists like Cypress Hill, Wu Tang Clan and Notorious B.I.G., but the French scene of Daft Punk was particularly inspirational as they were for many people, particularly as this sound came from not the usual sources of dance music at that point, the US or UK , and its huge success gave us all hope in countries like Croatia, that it didn’t matter which country you came from, dance music is universal.

LL: What do you enjoy most about playing at your residency at Club Cirkus in Slovenia?

V: Slovenia is Miha’s home country and the country next to Croatia. The special thing about Slovenia is it was where we were probably more successful to begin with and they supported us in many ways. At Club Cirkus, we can always take chances and risks and try out new things we couldn’t do if we are touring or playing festivals as the people, who go there, know our craziness very well! 

LL: What has been your craziest memory while performing?

V: We had so many crazy stuff going on, but the craziest thing was probably when a girl vomited on our CDJs (hopefully it wasn’t our choice of bad music, ha ha..) she was so drunk, we had to play the rest of our set with her lying over the decks!

LL: Was there a specific song, or moment in the past that turned you onto electronic music initially?

V: Dance Music was a huge part of our growing up in Croatia, that is for sure. When I was younger, I used to go to a small club at the weekend with 150 crazy people crammed into a room for 50 -70 people, with people literally dancing on the ceiling. It was our version of New York’s “Studio 54”, very difficult to get in. It wasn’t about how much money you had, but if you were a cool person. While everybody in Croatia was into our local Folk/Pop music, all the pretty girls loved electronic dance music, went to this club, so as a young boy this was very inspiring!

As for a song it was probably Stardust “Music sounds better with you”, this was a huge track and influence on me that later led me to want to be a DJ and music producer.

LL: Where can you find your favorite music culture?

V: We’ve been lucky enough to have worked in many of the greatest, most incredible clubs and festivals in the world like Miami and Ibiza, and I love all forms of electronic music, but when I have a chance a great night for me might be in a cheap tiny club in a basement somewhere with a great atmosphere.

LL: What is an interesting fun fact about you that readers might be surprised to hear?

V: Funny fact is that Miha and I have totally different personalities, it is crazy how two human beings can be so different, it like we are from two different planets. As you say, yin and yang, he will like one type of food, me another.  I’m impulsive, he has to think things through. But this is great as sometimes you have to be spontaneous and take risks, but sometimes you have to be think first. But…of course sometimes these roles are reversed, ha ha.

LL: What advice would you give those who are just starting to mix music?

V: Being a DJ is not about pressing stop and play in a club. You can’t be a robot, you have to be human and react to the people, technology can make you lazy if you are not careful. A truly great night is only when the people and DJs come together spontaneously. 

LL: How do you feel when you are creating a song?

V: We like to work directly with singers, so we create some music and then work with them to find the best path to finishing a track, so we have input with melodies and can change things and feed off each other as we go along. This can take a while, and there can be many highs and lows but to have a new track wrapped and ready to go is the most exciting and fulfilling feeling in the world, we are so blessed to be doing what we are doing. 

LL: Where do you go when you are looking for inspiration?

V: Inspiration is all around us, any moment or person you come across in life can inspire you. But when I am home, I like to go into the mountains near Zagreb and train every day, and working in such a loud & intense music business, the peace and solitude can be very inspiring.

LL: What is a favorite memory for you both so far, unrelated to music?

V: Uhhh. When you are working 24/7 in music, it can feel that our personal lives outside don’t exist, everything we do or talk about is related to music, but probably when we first were booked into hotels with refrigerators with drinks and snacks in the rooms! 

LL: What is your favorite song?

V: When you are working in the studio on a new track, it is always your favorite track or you try to make it so, when you are DJing it’s good to always look forward and not back and it could always be the next track you hear. My favorite song at the moment is……

LL: Which music event have you enjoyed attending the most, as a fan? Why?

V: Probably the Ultra Europe Festival in Split, Croatia, though we are playing again this year, we will come other days, Joe Basic who runs it is a fantastic guy, the lineup is quite incredible everyone from Guetta, Hardwell, Garrix, Tiesto, Aoki etc., etc. With that lineup even when you make your living as a DJ, you can still be a fan. Every year we’ve been has been amazing.

LL: Do you guys have a motto that you live by?

V: Drink Triple, see Double, act Single…haha.

Nooo! It could be more like “share the love’’ we’re totally in that phase of our lives, just trying to inspire people to be the best they can be, first to themselves and then to others.

LL: Did you have a mentor for music?

V: We have met so many beautiful people all around the world, we are so blessed to have had so many mentors who give us their knowledge about music and the music industry. But we always have to thank Adam Bantz and Tara Tyler, our managers in LA for their constant belief in us and endless help 24/7.

LL: Are you currently working on new projects for music?

V: Working a lot on our upcoming music, a lot of shit is going on, FINALLY! Ha ha, after months and months of work, and hopefully some big announcements in the pipeline.

Till the end of the year well have 5 more tracks coming up, the future looks bright.






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Lacy Lindsay

Travel enthusiast with a love for all art forms. House and trance girl with a passion for many musical elements. Other than writing I love to explore, snowboard and admire art.

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