By E.R. Pulgar
Queens-born DJ Manik sat down with WSN to discuss where he sees the underground scene going and the launch of electronic music into the mainstream, during the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival.
WSN: How would you describe your sound?
DJM: I guess I’d describe it as a melting pot of everything I’m into. Like, I don’t really have a definitive flavor, but I guess that’s really my definition because I like a lot of shit. I just grew up surrounded by a lot of different influences, and I’ve just been like that. To answer your question, I like a lot of stuff and I just play what I find is good music, whether that’s this or that.
WSN: How do you feel about popular music adopting EDM elements and giving deep house more exposure?
DJM: It’s cool that [electronic music] became popular [in the U.S.], and recently it started opening other doors; to me, it’s kind of opening festival doors and helping more underground guys like myself reach a larger audience. We’re getting billed with your Skrillex’s and whatever, and your mainstream audience is going to check that out. Some people will kind of migrate and check out some smaller stage and they’re going to be like “Oh, that’s pretty cool.” They’ll look back at it three days later, when everyone’s happy and sober, and research them and buy the record or not buy the record and spread the word. I guess it’s like a snowball thing. I don’t have a problem with it.
WSN: Where do you see the deep house scene going in 5 years?
DJM: Your underground guys and your deep house guys are becoming more commercial; it’s just going to keep growing. At the end of the day, it’s one of those things that’s on its way down. It’s not like it’s not cool anymore, it’s just one of those things where unless you start seeing more of the underground guys and getting more of that exposure, it kind of loses its flavor. People are going to get bored of your David Guetta’s and your Skrillex’s. It’s sort of a different flavor of electronic music. I don’t know where I see it, but I know it will definitely continue to expand depending on how aggressive publishing companies are going to be at getting certain underground tracks at proper exposure level. I feel like you’re just going to see more underground people getting that exposure like in the next year.
WSN: And where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
DJM: I’d like to produce for other artists and collaborate with vocalists. I’ve always wanted to be a record producer, whether it’s making house music, R&B, hip hop, indie rock… I’ve always been into that sort of stuff. I kind of see myself just producing for other artists across different genres of music, and focusing on my Manik stuff as well as some of the headier, trip-hop stuff I wanted to get done. I think the bottom line is continuing to tour, maybe not as much, but spending more time in a studio working with artists and collaborations and things like that. Just seeing where it goes.
E.R. Pulgar is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org