The Belgian producer has nearly hit the pinnacle of mainstream electronic notoriety, however he has ended the year by making subtle changes to both his brand and sound to keep his hoard of fans guessing.
With a quick stop in Ireland to cap off a year where he curated his own stage at Tomorrowland to name but one milestone, Stephen Fasano AKA The Magician, managed to give us a minute from his busy schedule to let us know how he’s dealing with such a hectic life and staying fresh while doing it.
It’s been a huge year for you with loads of big tracks and a stage at Tomorrowland to name a few things, was there anything in particular that stuck out as memorable above everything else?
Yes, the Tomorrowland stage was so good. Everyone had a great time and I’m still receiving messages from my DJ friends and other people who were there too.
I also got offered to be the international DJ resident at Output in New York. I did 4 shows there this year (3-4h sets) and they’re keen to continue in 2018.
On the music production side, 2017 has been the year of ‘remise en question’ and nice meets. I’ve been working on a lot of different things, exploring different genres, so 2018 might be the most exciting year yet in terms of Magician music releases.
You teased a new logo and sound recently, do you feel that because the project has reached a huge audience that it’ll be difficult to try go down different avenues than the ones fans expect?
To be honest, I wasn’t that happy with the previous logo, and as I’m about to present new music it seemed the right time to release a new logo and refresh the Magician brand a bit.
I think my fans knows The Magician as open-minded and a tastemaker so they shouldn’t be disappointed. But I won’t go too different.
Is it hard for you to keep up with such a busy schedule as a father and travelling DJ, and stay on top of releases as you have such a big audience – do you have to be ‘stricter’ on yourself when it comes to deadlines etc?
I used to be very stressed about deadlines, but since having a child I’m way less stressed. This came naturally actually. I used to accept almost everything: shows, studio sessions, remixes, meetings, interviews, etc.. but now I pass on a lot of things to spend time with my daughter. The music has always been a game that I need to entertain myself (it also pay the bills I admit), but there is nothing more important than to see my daughter growing.
Was there any gig or experience in 2017 that stood out as surprising or unusual in some way?
I did a Potion party in Miami during the music week. It was at a new hotel pool venue with a great sound. The problem was that it was located in a quiet area so the neighbours called the police to turn the sound down. When it was time for my set I wasn’t aware of this so I played with the monitors very loud so I could hear the main sound. Everyone was a bit quiet at first and when I turned down my monitors I realised that they had shut down the main sound, so it was only playing through my monitors! I got pissed and invited people to come to the stage around me. Security went crazy but everyone was super happy which is the most important.
What’s next for the Magician?
I’m currently building my own studio. I have 2 singles lined up for early 2018 and more Magic Tape Lives all around the world. Also focussing on developing my record label Potion.
What have been your top 5 go to tracks this year?
To play out?
– Old school sound but there’s a definite energy to it – MK, “17”
– “Passionfruit” by Drake, I love the vibe on this track and I had a lot of fun imitating the Moodyman sample with the microphone when playing it
– “Cola” by Camelphat has been an instant classic since I started playing it around June
– “Slide” by Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean and Migos. Just because I have a lot of respect for what Calvin Harris did with his album “Funk Wav Bounces” and I dream about a collab with Frank or Migos.
– “Adieu” by Tchami, he’s one of my favorite producers and this tune is vibrant.
5 favourite artists this year?
- Majid Jordan
- Petit Biscuit
- Kendrick Lamar
Last but definitely not least, do you believe in magic?
Of course I believe in magic. This is just an illusion.