“I Think after you start as a Hip Hop DJ and you practice every day and master your crafts then it’s super easy to play all other kinds of music. I think Hip Hop is the Champions League of DJing” – Ninetoes

Ninetoes arrived on the house music scene with a bang in 2013. His track ‘Finder’ set Ibiza on fire that season, being the most Shazam’d track on the island. This left dance music connoisseurs around the world are asking themselves, “Who is this Ninetoes guy?” It was like he appeared out of nowhere and was immediately getting spins and recognition from a variety of highly decorated DJ’s such as Carl Cox, Loco Dice, Maceo Plex, Nic Fanciulli, Jesse Rose, Luciano, Davide Squillace and Koze.

Well, Ninetoes was not some new kid that fell into the scene, but a hugely gifted producer and DJ that had been playing spots around the globe and mastering his craft for more than fifteen years. Hailing from Stuttgart, Germany’s Motor City, and coming from a Hip-Hop background, this music enthusiast knows how to tastefully tear up a party in a way few others do. He had been producing for many years, but when he came up with the idea for ‘Finder’ his career in music took a turn not even he was expecting! Originally recorded at a slower tempo the track was meant for his Hip-Hop sets, but he decided to up the tempo of the track, change the beats, and one of house music’s most iconic records of the past decade was born. Quickly picked up by Martin Eyerer, and old friend of Ninetoes, the record came out on Kling Klong and the rest is history.

Hi, Ninetoes and thanks for talking with us today. ‘Finder’ has become firmly associated with Ibiza, and ‘Bonita’ continues in the same Balearic vein. Did your perception of the island change after 2013 and what kind of effect has the place had on you?

The island is constantly changing and this is good. I still love this island and always look forward to it when I get there.

How much do you think your background in hip-hop informs both your DJing and productions?

A lot! I Think after you start as a Hip Hop DJ and you practice every day and master your crafts then it’s super easy to play all other kind of music. I think Hip Hop is the Champions League of DJing. Production wise I’ve always used hip hop samples or grooves in my productions. The good thing is that I have so much Hip Hop music from the 90’s till now which all the young cats don’t know and have.. so its a huge sample bank only for me :)

Did you have an opinion on the worlds of house and techno before you became a part of it all?

Sure. I was always interested in electronic music. In the early 90’s I was listening to Jungle Brothers, MK and Kenny Dope and a lot more acts from back then. My first electronic music party was in 95-96 somewhere in Stuttgart. It was a off location with a noisy and very terrible sounding PA and a lot of colourful ravers.

Moon Harbour is one of the hottest imprints around just now. How do you feel to have them get your music out there?

It’s a good feeling and I like the flow how they are working. I became friends with all the guys from Moon Harbour in the last years and I also changed my agency and I’m working with Times Artists now. The agency of Matthias Tanzmann and Andre Quaas.

Talk us through your workflow in the studio and the methods and equipment you use?

Actually I only use my laptop with some plugins and sometimes I use outboards, the rest are samples. This is how I learned to produce music back then as a hip hop guy. So samples are very important for me. And when it comes to mixing and mastering I always work at the Red Bull Studios in Berlin.

Is there anywhere you haven’t played yet that you’d be keen to?

I wanted to play at the legendary Space in Ibiza before it closed. But there was unfortunately no chance to do this.

Do you have any superstitions or lucky routines that you stick to whilst touring?

Sports, healthy food and don’t drink too much and avoid hard alcohol :)

What would you consider to be the best leap forward technologically for DJs over the last decade?

There are so many great stuff. I think all the technologically products are going hand in hand with each other..

Who were your heroes growing up and when did you decide that music was the life for you?

The first guy I’ve ever seen DJing in a club was my uncle. I was 4 or 5 years old and after I’ve seen him I knew this is what I want to do! And DJs you know and who inspired me are definitely Jazzy Jeff, Craze and DJ AM.

Do you have any quotes or standards that you live by and try to apply to your career?

I try to find the right balance between everything I do to be happy. Too much of everything is not good and less too. So I try to find the right mix in my life and in my career.

Ninetoes ‘Bonita’ is out now on Moon Harbour
Grab it here

About the Author

Mark has been in love with electronic music since hearing Jean Michel Jarre's "Oxegene" at an early age. He has been DJing for over 15 years and has played all over his hometown, Lurgan. He also obtained a degree in Music Technology from Belfast's prestigious Queen's University. Has an (as yet) unfulfilled ambition make a pilgrimage to Chicago, the birthplace of house.