Melodic and Powerful are the words that describe Paradoks’ music. The Swiss/Belgian producer has released on labels like Stil Vor Talent, Parquet and Purified. His music has been supported by artists such as Tale of Us, Lost Frequencies, Pete Tong, Tiesto (VER:WEST), Lane 8, Nora en Pure, Oliver Koletzki, Kevin De Vries, Township Rebellion to name a few. We caught up with Paradoks for Naluda Mag to hear about what he’s been up to and what to expect from him this year.
Follow Paradoks @paradoks.music
Hi Paradoks! Welcome to Naluda Magazine. Where in the world are you?
Hey, thank you for having me! I’m currently on the outskirts of Zurich, Switzerland. But god knows where I’ll be next month, I’m always on the move!
Describe yourself in 3 words.
I would say “Dedicated”, “Genuine” and “Sensitive”.
We’re sure you have been asked this a million times but how did you get in the industry?
My introduction to music started with the piano. We had an old unused piano and the day my parents wanted to give it away, I tried to play it and was hooked. I then taught myself to play the piano for a few years until I moved towards electronic music production. I never really considered it as a full-time career until recently: I did a bachelor’s degree in economics and management followed by a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, and I was therefore always making music on the side. However, during my exchange year of my bachelor’s degree in Buenos Aires, I started playing more and more and I realized that this is truly what I wanted to pursue. I therefore dove deeper and produced in my free time between classes. Music is something that has just constantly been on my mind. It’s a dream and passion that has always been embedded in me, since I always had that driving force pushing me forward, despite how difficult it can be in the first years. There was no defining moment of “now I’m in the industry”, it was a slow transition because I knew nobody in the industry and had absolutely no knowledge. But with enough passion you can do anything.
Which artists and styles inspired and influenced you in your career?
I transitioned through many styles in the last years. My initial inspiration for Paradoks was the darker Tech House sound of Hot Since 82 a few years ago. Then artists like Moonwalk and Township Rebellion influenced into a dark Melodic Techno. The sound I make today is a bit different, not as dark as it used to be. Especially now, I gather inspiration by such a large range of Artists in all genres, so it’s difficult to name just a few. There is just so much good music out there, regardless of genres.
Are you able to pick your favorite track you have released?
I think ‘Floating’ is still my favorite one so far. ‘Floating’ is very special to me because it opened many doors and was also my transition to a more personal melodic sound. It felt like a liberation to me.
Do you ever get nervous?
It depends. Generally, when I’m in the hotel room the night of the show, I tend have an uneasy feeling, especially when I haven’t played for some weeks. Humans are afraid of the unknown, and you don’t know how the club and the vibe is. But once I enter the club and feel the energy, that nervousness transforms into excitement: I can’t wait to start that first track and flow with the people. I think that nerves will never entirely go away, but it’s part of what makes you feel alive.
Best club you have ever played?
It’s difficult to say, I have had amazing nights in some great clubs like E1, BAUM, Lost Beach Club and more. But for me the absolute best memories are always in open-airs. One of the best recent memories is when I opened for Denis Horvat and Mathame in Vila Habana, Barcelona. I hadn’t played in many months due to COVID, and that night I just felt pure bliss and connection, that feeling of “it’s so good to dance together again”, seeing those smiles and hearing those screams on the dancefloor. On top of that, I was surrounded with friends, so it was definitely a memorable night in a magical venue.
Funniest/Crazy thing that ever happened at an event?
I can share one of my more embarrassing moments. I was playing in a small venue in London. The auto CUE button wasn’t loaded on the CDJ. Every time I loaded a new track and hit the CUE button, it would cue back to the track I played before.
You can imagine my face of confusion where I hear the previous track being played again and again the moment I mix it in. I ended up playing the same track on the left CDJ three times before finally realizing where the problem was. The funny part is that people
cheered with joy every time the first break came, not even realizing that I mixed in the same track three times in a row.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
Great question! It’s fun and rewarding to play and truly connect with a beautiful crowd. To feel that you helped to make their day or night better, to feel all of these emotions and energy. It’s my reason to keep on going through all the difficult moments that a music career can have. It can feel very lonely and it took me years of efforts and rejections to get where I am. I’ve had many sleepless nights because of earworms (hearing the track I’m
producing over and over in my head at night) and my mind unconsciously thinking about decisions for my career or for the tracks I’m producing. It’s really not an easy path, but you learn a lot on the way. And all of these hardships are all so worth it when you feel that you are making an impact on people’s lives.
What’s your advice for the up and coming artists?
Be patient, focus on the craft rather than on success. If you really want it, you have to be ready to put in the work. It takes an important amount of discipline and time if you want to make a living out of music. I would say it’s the same as being an athlete or any professional, really. But more importantly, music speaks for itself, so just make the best music you can and try to be better each day, step by step. And never forget to have fun.
What was the first record that you bought?
If I recall correctly it was a CD of Linkin Park “Reanimation” and “Hybrid theory”. I spent hours and hours listening to their tracks and diving deep into my imagination.
What’s next for Paradoks in 2022?
Right now, I’m fully focused in the studio making new music for 2022. I hadn’t been able to produce in a long time because I was busy with my master’s degree and touring. So now I am taking the time to explore and make music that really feels like me, and I can’t wait to share it soon.
Best advice ever given?
“Be so focused on watering your grass that you don’t have time to check if somebody else grass is greener.”
Nowadays it is so easy with social media to constantly compare yourself with other people, which can really bring you down sometimes. So just focus on your own craft, on getting better every day, and if you do the work, nothing will stop you.
Name one your strengths?
My determination is one of my greatest strengths. Whenever I have something on my mind and I feel deep down that it’s what I need to do, it’s very difficult to stop me.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Waking up from a deep night of sleep (wish I had more of these!), stretching into the day, knowing that today is a day to relax. Phone off, going for a motorbike trip with good friends to the mountains and hike there. Jump into the lake and feel the water wash away all worries and the things “I have to do”. Just feel fully present, surrounded by nature and
soak up some sun. Listen to great music, do a barbecue at night with a few beers and have meaningful conversations full of laughter. Go to bed fulfilled knowing you had a beautiful day with people that matter most to you.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness for me is a combination of inner peace and feeling of connection and love to the people around you. Both of which can only really occur in the present moment.
Do you support any charities?
Not for now.
What is your favorite healthy food?
A good varied salad, rich in nuts, avocado, mozzarella cheese etc.
And your favorite cheat food?
No doubt: Pizza!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
There are so many people I’d like to meet, one of them being David Guetta.
Even though I don’t make the same style of music, I really respect him for being such a kind and passionate human being, and he really knows how to write a hit. I would love to learn from him. Another completely different person I would like to meet is Alan Watts, in order to talk about the meaning of life. His words often translate into deep peaceful feelings in my body.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would love to play music all around the world in the best festivals and venues, all while having a strong, healthy life and relationships balance. I would also regularly sit down
and work with the people that inspire me most, and not be worried about the next paycheck.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Oversize. I like long coats and long T-shirts, and not too colorful.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand it’s amazing because I can keep touch with
everyone in the industry as well as with the fans and community, but on the other hand it’s easy to fall into the mindless scrolling pattern as well as the feeling of not doing enough when comparing to others. When I’m in a creative state, like now where I’m focusing on making new music in the studio, I try to avoid it as much as possible. But when I’m on tour again I really like to connect with everyone. It’s like retreating for a while to come back with better music and content.
Where we can follow you?
You can follow me on Instagram @paradoks.music and Spotify under my artist name.
Quote: The one I mentioned above. “Be so focused on watering your grass that you don’t have time to check if somebody else grass is greener.”
Travel Destination: A peaceful, warm place with nature.
Sports Team: I don’t really watch sports.