YokoO is no stranger to house music in all its deepest forms. A studio head in the true sense of the word, he spends much of his time pondering basslines and warm synth riffs that heat up dancefloors the world over. With releases on highly regarded labels such as All Day I Dream, Musik Gewinnt Freunde, Kindisch, Get Physical, Moodmusic and Plastic City, YokoO has marked out a spot for himself in the global house music scene with talent being sought after from every corner of the world.
Electronic Groove: Hi YokoO, thanks for the time to chat with us. How was your first part of the year? Any highlights worth mentioning?
YokoO: The pleasure is mine! The first part of the year was very busy with touring. I’d love to talk in depth about all the places I visited but it may take a while . . . Honestly, I’ve had outstanding experiences everywhere I went. I adored going to Uruguay, Argentina, Peru and the Dominican Republic for the first time in January. The vibe in those countries is something else. The way people danced until the end of the party in Buenos Aires, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana truly blew my mind. Medellin also was incredible. And Mexico of course, I have an ever-lasting love relationship with Mexicans. Thailand’s Wonderfruit festival felt like a mini Burning Man. Australia was great as I took a couple of weeks off to breathe and enjoy the beach. The shows in the US and Canada are always beyond. I have built a solid family in the North American territory over the last 3 years. It has become yet another home away from home. Middle East adventures are always memorable too. Beirut, Dubai – I love. Sandbox festival in Egypt will also remain engraved in my memory forever. Returning to Europe after 7 months away is definitely worth mentioning too, as one of the highlights. Finally flying home to Berlin and finding my own space again, to write music and simply be, is something I do not take for granted when being on the road so much. All shows around here have been special as well. I could go on and on.
I feel blessed and grateful to be working with the people who book me. I seem to always get in with the kindest promoters. Cherry on the cake, locations happen to be ACE every single time. It is all a matter of perspective in the end. All places and people can be appreciated for what they are. I try to see it all as a blessing.
EG: This month you’re part of the All Day I Dream lineup during ‘Off Sonar’ week. What are your expectations about this event and are you preparing anything special for it?
YokoO: This event is sold out. It says a lot about its quality I believe. People get excited and jump on ticket sales right after them being announced. ADID events always are AMAZING gatherings. They are all about love, music for the soul, smiles, laughter, tears and friendly vibes. Attendants are always like-minded music enthusiasts vibrating with-in the same frequency range. It doesn’t get much better in my opinion.
EG: Talking about All Day I Dream, how and where did you meet Lee Burridge?
YokoO: I met Lee through Matthew Dekay, who became a close friend of mine back in the day. He was my mentor in a way. He told Lee about me for a while and we eventually all got to meet together in Berlin for a meal. From then on, Lee and I kept in touch and started working together. The rest is now history.
EG: Based on your frequent worldwide traveler profile, where do you find inspiration for your music?
YokoO: The inspiration comes from the heart, which essentially I see connected to the soul. I express the way I feel through my music. Every experience turns into emotions, which eventually affects the way I put sounds together in the studio. Traveling helps diversify the type of experiences I have, which as a result contributes to a constant flow of inspiration.
EG: Are you working on new material? Can you give us a sneak peek of what’s coming next for you?
YokoO: I am always working on new material, even when I am not in the studio. Based on what I said above, experiencing life in the present moment is a major part of the process. That said, in more concrete terms, I am finalizing my next 2 EP’s for All Day I Dream, one with Retza and one YokoO solo. Additionally, I am still working on my debut album, which I’d love to pitch to ADID as well. I have many others tracks on the go. Keeping busy!
“Every experience turns into emotions, which eventually affects the way I put sounds together in the studio”
EG: How’s your summer agenda looking like? Any special events you are specially looking forward to?
YokoO: I doubt I’ll be seeing home very much. There will be many a show and I a look-ing forward to them all!! Keep up on my facebook page or website – www.djyokoo.com
EG: You just released your 2016’s Burning Man session. Are you going back to the playa this year? What are your thoughts about the BM experience?
YokoO: I’d like to think so and planned my touring schedule accordingly. I am yet to find a camp to stay, as well as get some tickets so we will see what the universe has in store.
My thoughts? It’s special, very special. I’ve talked about it many times before. I suggest you read my Burning Man sets’ blurbs on Soundcloud. In the end, my thoughts are just thoughts, based on my personal experiences. I suggest you go and find out for yourself.
EG: A few artists have mentioned that one of the perks of touring is having the possibility to experience worldwide gastronomy. Where and what would be your last supper?
YokoO: One of the many perks indeed . . . I would say Peru hands down. I visited a couple of restaurants whilst visiting in April and everything I tried tasted like it came from another world. I am pescatarian, fairly open with food and love it all but Peruvian cuisine, WOW.