Kaiser Souzai is a name that’s become synonymous with techno following releases on labels like Spartaque’s Codex and Christian Smith’s Tronic, but a fan of many musical styles, he has also been producing melodic tracks under the name Purple Kaiser.
Soon to release his debut Purple Kaiser album we decided to catch up with him to discuss how he has found things in 2020, plus his new Patreon account that’s been set up to further interact with fans during this lockdown period without gigs…
Hi Markus, it’s great to be talking with you today, could you start by talking through your style, as I understand you make music under two different names?
Thanks for having me, it’s good to be here 🙂 Kaiser Souzai has been in full effect since the early 2000’s. I’ve been producing techno under this alias for many years, but I felt the need to do more melodic electronic music as well, which would not fit under the Kaiser Souzai umbrella, so I decided to launch a new project under the name Purple Kaiser. Here I can play guitars, have vocals, and include my influences from film and score music. In many ways, it allows me to be more experimental, and create music that’s good for dancing plus home listening.
2020 has been a crazy year, what is your current lockdown situation and when focusing on music, how easy have you found it to stay motivated?
When it has come to being motivated throughout the crazy Covid year, I have to say it actually turned out quite well. I have time to explore more new genres in my production sessions… not only did I have time to do a full Purple Kaiser album, but I also tried my hand at doing some soundtracks for movie trailers. My album is scheduled for release in early 2021 and later in the year I’m also hoping to put out a soundtrack album with the concept of Dark Matter / Horror. I also tried scoring some orchestral music, which was a project that kept me busy all summer, as I had to learn a lot of new plug-ins, production techniques and musicianship. Having a break from touring and doing the techno stuff has given me time to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
It seems you have had some quite successful Kaiser Souzai releases recently, as I saw your track on Codex got charted high on Beatport. Has that influenced you to focus mainly on that style for a bit?
Techno is my foundation, and I’ve been producing that style now for many years. I have no plans to stop doing techno, and the next release in this style will be my Magma EP in 2021. I love lots of different music types, and I don’t want to bottle neck myself towards any one style too much.
I can see you are doing a good job of balancing the two aliases, as you also have a new Purple Kaiser release out in early December, could you tell us a little about you Purple Dreams EP?
Those three tracks are on the next Purple Kaiser EP called “Purple Dreams”, and it pretty much defines the sound of the album. These tracks are some of my personal favourites, and in them I think you can clearly hear the soundtrack influence.
What is your process for deciding where to release your music, as you also run your own labels Ballroom Black and Ballroom Purple, do you find it hard knowing what to offer to other imprints?
Most of my music is being released on my own labels simply for the fact these are my own projects and I want to support them. If an artist won’t release on their own label, then perhaps this is a sign their label is not so good. There are a few labels that I have been working with in the past such as Codex, and I will continue this relationship with them in the future, as variety is the spice of life, so I like to mix things up from time to time.
I understand you recently set up a Patreon account for your fans, I am interested to learn more about this, and if it’s something you plan to continue after the Covid pandemic eventually finishes?
Yes, Patreon is something that’s really new for me, and also probably new for most my fans and followers, as it’s quite under used within the electronic music industry. I’m still experimenting with it, and trying to find the best way to interact with fans as part of the service, but I think it’s a very personal way for fans to purchase my music or give other financial support. I also provide them with services, and the opportunity to direct conversation with me, so there are some great opportunities to be explored. On there you can find exclusive DJ mixes, Ballroom Radio show, and I also make samples available including remix parts for Patreon only competitions. All of this is very interesting, but still very new, and I’m at the beginning of getting everything set up the way I want it. If anyone reading this is interested to find out more, then I’ll include a link to my account below…
Can you share some of what’s forthcoming on both your labels, and if there is anything you are particularly excited about signing?
The Ballroom philosophy is pretty simple, it’s only great music that I sign, and I’m not bothered about how great someone profile is on Instagram or Facebook. I’m only interested in how something sounds, so if there is some great musical vision, then I will usually sign something, and because of this, many artists have their very first release on one of the Ballroom labels. Right now, the release I’m most excited about is my forthcoming album on Ballroom Purple, as I’ve put a lot of work into getting it perfect.
Assuming the Covid vaccine has inoculated people before the summer, what are you most looking forward to in 2021?
Well, that’s a good question! I’m not sure I want to be a beta tester for the new Covid vaccine; therefore, I wouldn’t recommend this, especially before we know what the side effects are. That decision could mean that I won’t be allowed to travel for a bit longer than some, but in return I’d have more time in the studio, which would mean more new music in all the genres I produce. The studio is my favourite place on the planet, so provided I can keep making music, then I’ll always be fine 🙂
Thanks for talking with me today, is there anything you have coming up that we haven’t already discussed?
Stay alert, stay safe, and most of all… stay positive!