Having performed at countless venues throughout the world, MORTEN is surely no stranger to the bright lights. The Danish DJ has already made quite a name for himself with support from heavy-hitters such as Avicii, Tiesto, Chuckie, Axwell, Felix Da Housecat, Sebastien Ingrosso, David Guetta, and Diplo. So it was no surprise when he brought his A-game this past Friday to Create Nightclub in Hollywood. His set was fueled with high-energy mixes and beat-filled breakdowns. But before he rocked the crowd, we got the opportunity to sit down with the musical genius to learn a little more about his musical career. Check out the interview below, as well as his killer remix of 2Pac’s “California Love” that he dropped during his unforgettable set that night:
As an artist who’s very versatile with progressive and electro house, you’ve began to slowly dabble into dubstep and trap as of late. In terms of production, do you have a preference?
I’m very schizophrenic when it comes to music. I hear every kind of music and if it’s kinetic, I really like that. But production wise, it can go anywhere. Currently, I’m working on some dubstep, some powerful music, some more progressive stuff.
Of all the cities that you could’ve brought your talents to, why’d you pick LA?
I like the vibe and the everyday life here. There’s a lot of good people to work with, from everyone in the music business to the people that come through LA. On top of that, I’m really inspired by the whole city here. Just life and how people interact and act around one other. You’re happy, it feels good. I really like LA.
Did moving to LA and being more exposed to West coast artists have any influence on your recent production style?
Of course, I think you are influenced by your environment. I always listened to hip hop, especially west coast hip hop. And that hasn’t changed. At the end of the day, LA is really about hip hop. There’s hip hop everywhere here. Right now, the EDM scene is just beginning to take over everything. I currently work with different artists that are from here so that’s where I pull my influence from. But mostly, it’s music for me.
What can we expect in your set tonight?
Well, I would love to take people to school and play house music for them. People here love to party, so I’m gonna have to play power music. Progressive. I’m gonna play a lot of tunes that people play, but I’m gonna play my own edits. But, I’m not gonna stand here and educate people. This is a party place, where people like to throw their hands in the air. I’m gonna give them what they want… and more.
Having added dubstep and trap to your repertoire, how do you feel about those genres? Do you feel that they are styles that will last within the EDM community for many years to come?
Well, I thought when trap surfaced that it would explode. But, unfortunately, trap got a little bit like reggaeton. Everyone made a trap remix of big EDM tunes and that kind of destroyed the genre because it’s not original. They’re edits and mashups of it all. And I really miss seeing trap artists that are huge, huge trap artists who runs the trap scene (Like how Skrillex ran dubstep). I haven’t seen that yet. So it’s still a subject that is gonna weed itself out. Cause there’s so many edits of big tracks… unfortunately.
On your soundcloud, I’ve noticed a lot of mixes of Top 40 hits. What is your approach to making remixes and how do you select what you feel is worthy of remixing?
I’m not in a position (yet) where I can just pick whatever tracks I want to remix. But, I try to find the best part of the people I work with and if I like a vocal a certain part of the track, I’ll work with it. In the end, this business is also a lot about giving and taking. You help some people and surely they’ll help you.
Of all the cities you’ve performed in, where do you find most enjoyable as a performer?
In the US? Or, around the world?
Well, I’m from Denmark! So obviously I’ll always say Copenhagen is very special to me. But, it’s not to say that I don’t always have a blast playing in New York, Miami, Vegas, and of course Los Angeles. I mean, I think I’ve been very lucky and very blessed to be able to go where I’ve been doing. It’s a big deal. But to pick a specific city, Hamburg is a lot of fun for me. Stockholm as well. I could honestly go on forever.
Obviously, you don’t consider Los Angeles home despite living here now. What does Denmark offer that you can’t find in LA?
My family and friends that I grew up with. They’re in Denmark, but I live in LA and it’s been almost 3 years now. It’s not like home, but it’s my base for now.
If you could describe LA in 3 words, how would you say it?
3 words? Uh, sun …music …weed?
For those who don’t know, you started mixing at a young age of 14. What was your inspiration at that time?
I was in this youth club where everybody could pick different things they could do so they wouldn’t get into trouble. You could learn how to play soccer, you could be a photographer, or whatever you wanted to do. And there was this DJ school where you could become a DJ. And I started that and they taught me much of what I needed to know. Afterwards, I bought the equipment at home and just practiced everyday for like 10 years. And that’s how I learned how to mix.
Where do you draw your inspiration from now?
I’m very inspired by other DJs and other artists around me. I look around and I try to take what I like and make it mine. And of course, I’m inspired by the people around me and the people that I work with. But, mostly the whole environment. The crowd. The festivals. A party, like tonight. The way people react. The party people is inspiring.
What are some projects that you have in the works for 2014 and your fans?
I have a lot of really, really good releases, we signed with amazing labels. And I just can’t wait to start releasing more music. It’s been a very slow process the last few years trying to release music. And now we’ve got our whole fundament right. We now know where we want to release the tunes and who we want to work with. And I think we have insane material now. I can’t wait to release this music.
Recently, I read that you have the Shakespeare quote, “if music be the food of love, play on” tattooed. Amongst the many other tattoos that are on your body, which ones mean the most to you and are they all musically inspired?
Yeah, I have tons of tattoos. I’m pretty general with my tattoos, they don’t have that big of a meaning. I have Bob Marley, a big piece of Bob Marley on my leg, I love that one. Bob Marley stands for a lot of things that I like to associate with. Be good to everybody… music… make love. Take it a little bit chill sometimes, it’s not so important to have money and all these things. It’s more important for us to be happy and listen to the great music. Go out and party and celebrate, I love that.