Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “AVAO and MatricK. These guys are so consistent and have absolute top-notch quality releases.”
International trance star MaRLo is no stranger to the Top 100, and it’s thanks to the enduring loyalty of his fans that he’s making an unsurprising return this year. With a trail of releases under his belt, a sprawling list of festival appearances at the likes of Tomorrowland and A State Of Trance, and his consistent fostering of promising talent on his own Reaching Altitude label, life is normally non-stop for Marlo Hoogstraten. But the forced quietness of the last year has led him to invest his energy into more surprising things — like koi pond fish keeping and making 3D printed figurines.
Tied to his adopted homeland Australia as the country endured a yo-yo of lockdowns, MaRLo said that “family, gym, and surfing” helped him to get through (despite dislocating his shoulder while hanging ten). But time off from touring has, of course, also provided the Dutch-born artist with more time to make music: he’s produced two years of upcoming releases, with 20 songs and remixes polished off and ready to go.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“Absolutely incredible! The vibe, the energy and the whole sense of relief was amazing. I’m unfortunately now in a long four-month lockdown again, but my first show back will be my own ALTITUDE tour which I just know is going to be so powerful to come back with.”
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
“It’s put in perspective just how important home life is, but also just how much I miss doing my life’s work in music! I am hungrier than ever before to perform, but the key now is to balance my time better rather than just to tour non-stop.”
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
“Every individual can make everyday changes towards a better future. We need to keep our oceans clean, our forests green and clean up after ourselves.”
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
“Working closely with Denon DJ this past year, it’s been really great to play on all their new gear at my shows. I use the Denon DJ SC6000 decks and X1850 mixer almost exclusively now.”
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
“Billie Eilish ‘Happier Than Ever’. It’s a very different approach to vocal production and songwriting, I dig it.”