While the Austrian city of Salzburg may be better associated with classical composer Mozart, DJ and producer Demuja has helped forge the city’s reputation in the electronic music sphere in recent years, with releases on Nervous Records, Traxx Underground, Toy Tonics and his own MUJA imprint.
He recently announced a forthcoming new album (his second in a year), Period of Time, which is set to land this summer, and last week saw the release of the first single, Love Is Free, which is backed by a fantastic video directed by Greg Barnes of Ridley Scott’s Black Dog Films agency.
Two more singles are set to be released, which will continue the video’s storyline – after watching the first instalment, we’re sure, like us, you’ll be keen to see how this tale ends. You can purchase/stream the track here.
909originals caught up with him.
The new album, Period Of Time, is due to be launched soon, and it’s only been a year since your last full-length album. With that in mind, it’s probably fair to say that the COVID lockdown period was a productive one for you?
It was. I’ve been in the studio seven days a week – I only took two weeks off for a little vacation. Maybe it was even a bit too much, but I just love to be in the studio. I really tried to use the time, make lot of music, get better, enjoy lot of sleep and lot of sport as well… and good whiskey.
Tell us about the planned ‘trilogy of music videos’ to accompany the first three singles – are these going to be positioned as three parts to a continuous short film?
I can’t tell too much about the music videos yet, but there will be a surprise at the end. One music video won’t work without the other, and every video is getting stronger and stronger. I can’t wait to show you the other parts.
In what ways will the music videos echo the story you are trying to tell with the new album?
The music of Period Of Time is, as the music videos suggest, something new I wanted to try. A more unique and original side. For me, it almost feels like a new era of Demuja, in my mind.
Your musical output varies between house, disco, drum ‘n’ bass, electro etc. Is it important to you to embrace different musical styles – that you don’t want to be identified with one specific genre?
I think most people still know and associate me as a house producer and DJ. And that’s fine. I love house music.
But I also love other genres, it would be super boring for me to only produce one kind of music. Especially when you produce almost every day, things could get uninteresting for me. So that’s why I try to challenge myself, and also don’t limit myself.
Career-wise, it’s maybe not the best move to release all these genres, but to be honest I don’t really care. I just want to produce and release what I feel, and this feeling changes a lot. 🙂
Last year’s album Atlantic Avenue was positively received, and again showcased your willingness to blend various genres together. How do you feel you have matured as an artist, compared to, say, you’re early releases on Nervous?
Oh, I really hope I’ve matured as an artist. I think growing and learning is one of the most important things in life – and it’s the only good thing about getting older, ha ha. And I hope people will hear it in my music as well, and especially in my new album and the new music.
Can we expect more one-off genre-specific releases, like 2018’s Demuja’s Disco Cuts? Or even a sequel to Disco Cuts?
As I’m not sampling that much anymore, I don’t think there will be a sequel, like it was with the 2018 Disco Cuts. But as said before, I’m changing my feeling and style all the time, so never say never.
But if I do it, I think it will be in a bit different way: not sampling some old disco tracks, but recording some stuff with a band or orchestra. It’s something I definitely want to do one day.
All the releases on your MUJA label to date have been your own productions. Are you planning on broadening that to include other artists, or up and coming producers?
Not really. I’ve made this label to have 100% freedom with my music. I just wanted no limits or boundaries.
It sometimes is a bad thing, as I really can release everything I want, even when it’s shit, ha ha. But having 100% control of everything is something I need. Making my own artworks, music videos, release-plan etc, I love to do that work.
You have a couple of gigs lined up for this summer. Do you think that things will go ‘back to normal’ in a few months from now, and what will be different compared to the period before COVID?
100%. I think a lot of DJs and producers changed their mindset during this year. Me too. I think I’ll choose my gigs a bit more wisely and put quality over quantity.
But I can’t wait to meet new, interesting people again, it’s what I miss most about traveling. Being surrounded by different, creative people and cultures is something I need for my mind.
[Thanks to Demuja for talking to us. You can purchase/stream Love Is Free here]