New Scandinavian sensation Notize is a young producer from the Northern region of Denmark. With a background in minimal house and techno, he cites his older brother as his guiding light and first influence, such that his first encounter with house music was from artists like Booka Shade, Sebastian Leger, Extrawelt & Dubfire.
At the age of 15, he began experimenting with sound using his trusty Fruity Loops software, but not long after, he got his first version of Ableton. A lot of hard work and experimenting in different genres soon evolved into his unique and deep sound. A&R Simon Huxtable met up with Emil Præstegaard aka Notize, to find out more.
Hi Emil, thanks for taking the time to chat to us at Decoded Magazine. How are you today?
Hey Simon, pleasure is on my side, thanks for reaching out! I’m feeling great thank you, had my third cup of coffee and preparing for my weekend gig in Copenhagen this Saturday.
Tell us about growing up in Northern Denmark. Whats the dance scene like there?
Growing up in North Jutland, Denmark has been pretty chill. We got beautiful nature but horrible weather 8 out of 12 months a year, so I get to sit inside and geek around with my music. The scene here is healthy compared to Copenhagen, the producers from this area are super talented, like NOIR, Pete Oak, Greenville massive and Sivesgaard to mention a few. We support each other unlike Copenhagen where it seems like a competition sometimes.
You cite your brother as a big influence in your musical awakening. How has the relationship developed now you are a recording artist?
My brother discovered Beatport back in 2007-08 and he started to listen to some rare music (at that time) and I instantly fell in love with the vibe from Sebastian Léger, Booka Shade, Minilogue, Trentemoller and Extrawelt. Back then minimal house was sweet!! My brother lives in Copenhagen now and works in the banking world, so we go out from time to time when I land a gig there. I think he’s blown away by what I have accomplished by now. He was also the guy that got me a copy of FL studio 5 years ago, so thanks bro!!
The Danish scene has had its fair share of dance music heroes, do you feel any pressure to measure up to the likes of the aforementioned Trentemoller, Kolsch or Daniel Kandi?
I don’t feel any pressure, however I’m stoked for especially Kolsch, he is doing a wicked job out there and putting Denmark on the map! I try to focus on me and do the best me I can and I think my production level has really upped recently.
Talk us through those first few musical experiments as you found your sound. What was it that attracted you to FL Studio?
One of my friends back in 8th grade downloaded FL Studio and started to mess around, and I was blown away of how he could make a beat just like that by drawing the melodies and such. So I downloaded the demo version and gave it a go and I was instantly addicted. I think my drug is creating stuff, if it’s not music it’s something else, I’m really inspired by people who go out and make something for themselves for others to enjoy.
Soon after you changed over to Ableton. How do the two interfaces compare, and was there a time where you would use both DAWs?
I can hardly remember since this is 4 years ago, however, I do remember my workflow became so much more effective / fluent after swapping DAW, the first week in Ableton was a challenge, I just sat there for hours and hours trying to figure it all out.
Can you remember your eureka moment? The moment you realised music was all you wanted to do.
Awesome question!! Yes I do, I remember making a hook or something in FL Studio that gave me goosebumps and I was so hyped about it, I remember going to the bathroom and looking myself in the mirror and telling myself “This is what you’re going to do for the rest of your life” it sounds super cliche, and as if it was out of a Hollywood scene but it was just like that. Everyday is the same pleasure writing music however getting goosebumps now is rare, but when it happens you just know there’s magic in what you’ve made.
How long after learning production did you begin to DJ?
I think after 2 years I got a request from a festival here in Denmark so I had to learn how to DJ. My manager Jesper set me up with a local DJ named Runge, and we arranged to meet up for a couple of times to teach me how to DJ and we became very close friends and still are today. He arranged the parties at the local Club “Vesterå” in Aalborg, they host some cool parties and book some awesome DJ’s, it used to be the residency of NOIR and even Deadmau5 has spun his classic tracks there.
Can you talk us through your mix? Was there a concept or story behind the tracks you’ve chosen?
The mix contains almost all my new records, I featured some DJ Koze, Undercatt and DJ Lee Roi also. I like to mix both emotional tracks and tracks that gets the floor going to make an “all around” feel / experience when I DJ. Just playing songs that I really feel and gets me moving.
Your latest EP on Einmusika is going great. Can you tell us about whats up coming from Notize in 2016?
Yes the start of 2016 has been cool to me, Tiesto reached out to me and said that he loved my Small Minds release and his playing it in his clublife radio show! And he’s like the world’s biggest DJ, so I was blown away when I got that email. I couldn’t believe it since he’s in a total different league compared to me.
I have a bunch of tracks coming out this year, a techno banger with Pete Oak on Stil vor Talent, a solo EP with a Kevin Over remix, another solo EP with possible a Rancido remix and much more to come!
Do you find it easier to get new tracks signed? Can you tell about that first track and the challenges you faced?
Getting tracks signed can be a disaster, many labels doesn’t even open your email or write back, however I’ve built a good network over the years and the things that seemed impossible are now getting more and more possible. Some labels out there should seriously up their game when it comes to demos the least you could say is a “no thanks, not for us“.
Other than great new music, what else does 2016 have in store?
Hmm hopefully I land a gig or two internationally – I’m looking for an agency right now to help me get out there.
Artists in the modern age have to be experts at so many things. We noticed you maintain your fan page very well with a range of content, do you find younger artists seem to engage with social media more readily than established names?
Social media is key nowadays, it takes so much of your time but it’s important because if you don’t maintain it you would be a nobody or be forgotten I believe. Some artists have it easier because their fan-base is solid, however I hate Facebook for their “boost” function, it’s disgusting.. When I posted my EP last week it reached 89 people of 14k while my other post’s reached 2-5k roughly. Mark Zuckerberg you greedy bastard, if you read this interview I’m gonna trash your office one day if you don’t fix!! hahaha
What are your thoughts on Twitter beefs?
It’s entertaining to read when you’re not involved, but I think it belongs in the pop/EDM world, what should we beef about in the underground scene?
Haha, good point. Well Emil, its been a pleasure to meet you. We wish you all the best for 2016 and beyond. Thanks for finding the time to chat.
01// Notize – Recall
02// Maurice Aymard – Stripped
03// Notize – Night Shift
04// Notize – Pursue
05// Fernando Campo – Feel the Bass
06// DJ Le Roi feat. Roland Clark – I Get Deep (Late Nite Tuff Guy Remix/Emanuel Satie Rework)
07// DJ Koze – Bad Kingdom
08// The Temper Trap – Sweet Dispostion (Undercatt Remix)
09// Notize – Small Minds
10// Notize – Escape