‘Someday’, almost two months ago, Suicide Club was getting physical for the last time before everything changes, meanwhile, we were checking its dance floors once again. It had to be the boss of Get Physical Music who opened the night’s core so smoothly, and shortly before spinning ‘Feeling Good’ for his end, made us dance till the last drop with an unforgettable premiere.
Known for his dazzle warm-ups, likewise elegantly speeding up dance floors as DJ carrera, or catching the audience with his bass-laden and gritty House, Roland Leesker’s brightly versatility exceeds DJ-pulpits and production studios. From the year of his debut in Frankfurt to his move to New York and return to Berlin, the German DJ/Producer not only achieved to imprint his name on the global electronic scene through hits like ‘My Warehouse’ or his Acid Love Series (Vol. I and II). But also, as an entrepreneur running music businesses all over, pushing the industry further, as well as pearls and fine new waves.
We caught up with Roland Leesker to talk about this new release and the label’s upcoming news.
Electronic Groove: Hi, Roland, thanks for taking the time to chat. What can you tell us about this special remix that brings us directly to our last great party?
Roland Leesker: Good day and thank you too! I have always wanted to remix CeCe Rogers’ classic ‘Someday’ and was quite pro-active when I heard that the master rights were recently acquired by ULTRA music. I simply asked them if they would like to release my version, and they confirmed, gave me the parts, and the job was done. I was surprised by how quickly that happened. It was good timing so to say, as my first remix idea for ‘Someday’ was about 3 years old and I’d almost forgotten about it. Obviously, my approach to remixing the track was strongly influenced by what Liquid did with their ‘Sweet Harmony’ UK rave anthem in the ’90s: We went bonkers to that tune and I always wanted to include some drum and bass drum programming in my own music for sure.
EG: Besides its sounds, what attracted you from the lyrics?
Roland Leesker: ‘Someday’ has always been one of my favorite songs in house music. Its core message, that we will all be free someday, mainly relates to racism from a colored person’s perspective but it’s also true and relevant for so many others ways of looking at it. You may be discriminated against because you have Asian roots for example, and some stupid people make you responsible for that virus thing that causes a lot of fear in the minds of many right now, it may be your love life is same sex-oriented, or whatever makes you feel different and consequently lonely: this song gives hope.
EG: Connecting for a moment with the context, would you like to share your thoughts on the impact of coronavirus within the electronic music industry?
Roland Leesker: Our electronic music industry, especially the live entertainment sector is facing an enormous challenge right now, but I am convinced that it will survive in the long term and you can already see many creative approaches of dealing with the new circumstances.
EG: Would you consider yourself an apocalyptic or integrated?
Roland Leesker: ‘Pragmatic Utopian’ might be the best wording to describe how I think, feel and act in general.
EG: What grooves menus are your newbies and legends mixing at Get Physical’s kitchens during this creative pause?
Roland Leesker: Our A&Rs all over the world are working on many high-quality projects at the moment. Just to mention a few of the upcoming releases we will have: Thandi Draai from South Africa with ‘Iris’, including an amazing remix by DJ Clock. Bruce Loko with a new single which he produced together with Rampa called ‘After Hours’ featuring a young singer named Biishop’ represented by the Major Lazer camp. Africa will Get Physical again with an amazing Vol. III, mixed and compiled by Banzi Mazimela. Cocada Music’s third release with Mezomo’s ‘Novo Dia’ including a remix by Floyd Lavine is an amazing melodic ride. Last but not least our new outlet METAPHYSICAL will present ARTBAT and Sailor & I’s ‘Best Of Me’ single on the 4th of July!
“I have simply never stopped trying to get another chance to play and I still see myself in the ‘learning’ phase of that art form.
Each gig is different and each one helps to
make the next one better“
EG: Now moving to your studio, how would you describe Leesker’s Art of Production?
Roland Leesker: I like to keep it short and simple.
EG: And Roland’s Art of DJing?
Roland Leesker: My first DJ gig was for a Catholic youth center party when I was about 17 years old. They threw me out after 2 records (laughter). That’s 30 years ago now, and since then I have simply never stopped trying to get another chance to play and I still see myself in the “learning” phase of that art form. Each gig is different and each one helps to make the next one better. I feel very inspired by nature, especially the sea, birds and big trees, so maybe that’s one of the reasons why my latest adventures as a DJ were mainly successful in Brazil with many highlights such as the Rock In Rio stage in 2019. And trust me I am working hard on getting back there very soon!
EG: In corridors, many still wonder how you managed to make music undress people (a whole ship) …
Roland Leesker: That was a very hot and humid night at the Rio Negro in the Amazon rainforest, it was just natural to dance the way we were.
EG: Pointing to the future, what inspirational message or master-key could you leave young producers who today don’t find Villalobos’ for jam sessions or Derrick May’s for deep conversations so easy around?
Roland Leesker: Listen to your heart!
EG: Which is your motto for this millennium?
Roland Leesker: It is only with the heart than one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
EG: How do you and your business label partner and friend, Mr. Phillip Jung, plan to manage this year’s Get Physical and sub-label goals, with this unexpected delay and weaknesses remaining?
Roland Leesker: We are always trying to improve the quality of our musical output in general. Also, the way we are “working” it, i.e. promoting and marketing our releases and communicating internally and with all our partners around the world. The coronavirus situation hasn’t changed much of our set up or structure, since we are used to working long-distance for several years now, and we are pretty good and flexible at this. Nevertheless, we have decided to release fewer records for this year, stretch our release plan to 2021, giving the releases and our team more time to breathe and shine even more.
“Our electronic music industry, especially the live entertainment sector is facing an enormous challenge right now, but I am convinced that it will survive in the long term”
EG: To close the interview, let’s jump to a short Ping-Pong questionnaire…
EG: Rewind, pause, or fast-forward?
Roland Leesker: Rewind!
EG: Every day is a cake with you?
Roland Leesker: Absolutely yes and today it will be topped with blueberries.
EG: Cement, marble or wood?
Roland Leesker: Marble.
EG: A sunrise or a sunset?
Roland Leesker: Sunrise!
EG: Analog, digital or both?
Roland Leesker: Analog for enjoying the essential selection, digital to getting there.
EG: 110 or 140 bpm?
Roland Leesker: 123
EG: A favorite piece of music?
Roland Leesker: Bobby Konders – The Poem
Roland Leesker’s ‘Liquid Harmony Remix’ is now available. Buy and stream here.