We met up with Dallas-based musical artist StefanAnion, a German/Italian dual citizen mixing tracks in the U.S. We spoke with him for a few minutes and we're posting the conversation right here. CF: Stefan, how many years have you been mixing? SA: I've been a DJ for about 13 years and writing music for 10. CF: Has your approach to the "remix" changed over that time? SA: My approach to doing remixes hasn't really changed much. I usually take the best bits from the parts I get and write a new track with them. CF: What technology did you start off using and what are you into now? SA: Technology-wise, things have changed quite a bit for me over the past few years. I originally started out using Tracker software and stuff like Re-birth before I got into using synths and samplers. A few years into having a fully stocked studio and as computers became more powerful, I sold off most of the synths and started using software again. Nowadays it's a combination of both, but a lot is done using plugins and such. CF: What's been your most successful remix so far? Where has it been a hit? SA: Hmm..interesting question. I don't really pay too much attention to how well my music does once it's been released, but i would say that the recent remix of Hybrid's "Until Tomorrow" seems to have gotten the most attention. CF: So you've been doing this for a while and you've experienced some success. What's the next step? How do you take your work to the next level? Or is it more an issue of increasing your production? SA: Well, the next step at this point is to work on the album and see how that will do. In the meantime, I'm hoping to pick up more remix work and also get out and play a few gigs here and there. Eventually I'd like to get into scoring films, so i've been using more of that "soundtrack" type of approach when i work on tracks. CF: Who out there are you tracking year by year in the industry? Do they inspire your tracks, or are they a different feel just for your personal use? SA: I'm a big fan of bands like Radiohead and Kasabian. I don't really "track" them, but i do check in to see if new albums are available. I really like going out on iTunes or in local music shops and find new and interesting stuff I've never heard before – which has so far had a positive impact on my creativity. CF: Okay… New subject. Money or Recognition? Which one motivates your music more? SA: Neither. I LOVE music. I love writing and learning new things each time I'm in the studio. It's the experience of writing music and seeing a track through from beginning to end that motivates me the most. It is, of course, my dream to make music full time and make a living with it, but that's going to take a lot more work 🙂 CF: Give us an idea of how much time you dedicate to your music each week. SA: That usually depends. Sometimes i'm in the studio 60 hours a week and sometimes i just need a break and go do other stuff, like hang with my mates or go to the lake and chill. CF: You obviously listen to quite a few genres. But which genre will you return to over and over again to recharge and get away from dance/club music? SA: 2 genres actually: Rock and Classical. I really don't listen to dance music all the time, but more so to rock, acoustic or classical. CF: Any strange hobbies or interests that influence your work in some way? SA: No strange hobbies really. I love being outside and going for a walk to recharge. Inbetween remixes i like playing video games every once in a while too 🙂 CF: What about art? painting? sculpture? literature? composers? Any major influences or greats that you appreciate? SA: As far as composers go i would have to go with Claude DeBussy, Hans Zimmer and Harry Gregson Williams. Literature-wise i love all of Douglas Adams' work (although i don't read that much) CF: Do you consider yourself a success based upon income, exposure, travel invitations, etc? SA: I don't really think about that, but I guess the more requests for remixes and gigs i get – that could be seen as increasing success, I suppose. CF: I've heard you're your own worst critic. How do you overcome your own opinion? Do you have some friends or other DJs in the industry that you run your stuff by for a creative opinion? SA: I am… hehe 🙂 I'll always be that way, but that's a good thing. it drives me to continue learning more about music and production as i go along. I'll never be done learning. Most of the time i don't play unfinished tracks to anyone except for my best friend, but that's rare. CF: For all those kids out there thinking about becoming a DJ, throw out 3-5 tips you'd give them to help them get started in the industry. SA: 1. Do it for the Music 2. Listen to as much music as you can and always try to explore new genres 3. Experiment with making sounds and have fun with it * * * * * Thanks, Stefan. For more information about StefanAnion and to listen to his music, visit www.stefananion.com. I am personally a fan of his Mad World Remix, available online.