Los Angeles based DJ and producer Michael Badal recently sat down with The Nocturnal Times to discuss his early dance music start and his earliest inspirations. Badal was signed by the iconic DJ/producer Tiësto at a young age and has persisted musically ever since.
Releasing his debut album “Now That We’re Human” through Black Hole Recordings, the full-length studio LP consists of 12 tracks, which were written and produced by Michael. Classified as a trance and progressive house DJ and producer, Badal discusses his musical diversity and capabilities, future collaborations, and where he sees himself five years from now in this Nocturnal Times exclusive.
The Nocturnal Times: What first inspired you to begin exploring dance music? Who were some of your first influences?
Michael Badal: I was blessed to find dance music at the very early age of 6 years old. The first trance song I ever heard was Robert Miles’s “Children” back in 1995. Ever since, I really started diving into the works of ATB, Paul Van Dyk, as well as the Chicago House coming out at the time.
TNT: Tiësto signed you at 17 years old. What do you recall about being signed by such a musical icon at such a young age?
Badal: I had idolized Tiesto for years before getting signed to him. The first time I heard he was supporting my music was while receiving a phone call that my demo CDs had been finished printing. I was shocked and ecstatic all at the same time. Ever since, Black Hole really became a supportive group of people around me and I’m grateful for it. It’s name to know I can still feel like that even after nine years.
TNT: You will release your album “Now That We’re Human” on Black Hole Recordings on April 27. What made you decide to release a full-length studio album rather than a bunch of EPs?
Badal: I grew up on albums and it’s always been a dream of mine to complete and release an album. This seemed like a right time as I felt that I had something more to offer than just a string of dance floor bangers. When you listen to the record, I hope that message reads through.
TNT: “Now That We’re Human” is a four-year project in the making. What can you share with The Nocturnal Times about some of your experiences creating the album over the four years?
Badal: The beautiful thing about working on the record is that the entire process was extremely personal, which was rewarding because I knew that I was making music for me and not worrying about the avenues as to which it would be marketed. It’s a very different experience than working on club singles and it’s something every passionate artist should experience.
TNT: You’ve worked alongside a number of vocalists on the album. What comes to mind when you recollect studio sessions or collaborating with these artists?
Badal: They were all a dream to work with both during the process and the fact that with many of them, it was a dream come true to work with them. I grew up on the music of Jan Johnston, Shanokee, Tiff Lacey and had been a huge fan of Plumb and I was so blessed to have been able to work with them. I had wanted to make a follow up to “Don’t Be Afraid” with Tiff for a while and I’m happy we finally had a chance to complete it.
TNT: Which vocalists do you hope to work with in the future? Which DJs/producers do you hope to collaborate with in the future?
Badal: I am currently working on Richard Bedford’s album and hope I can bring him on for my second. I’m also in the process of finishing a collaboration with Boom Jinx and have been testing it out on tour. I’ll definitely be working again with many of the vocalists on this first album as well as with my good friends, JES and Shamina. There’s lots of work to be done so don’t expect me to slow down any time soon.
TNT: Given the opportunity to play a back-to-back set with any DJ, who would you choose and why?
Badal: This may be a bit left field, but I would absolutely LOVE to do a back-to-back set with Bad Boy Bill as well as Eric Prydz. The both of them have had such a massive impact on both my DJing as well as my productions.
TNT: Can you share any news about upcoming gigs, releases, remixes, or collaborations to come from Michael Badal throughout the remainder of the year?
Badal: As I mentioned before, you should expect collaborations between myself and Richard Bedford as well as Boom Jinx and I’ll also be visiting Austin, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Chicago very soon. It’s going to be a very good year (as if it hasn’t been an amazing one so far).
TNT: Where do you see Michael Badal five years from now?
Badal: I’ll still be making music, hopefully be almost done with a third album, and hopefully still remaining on fire for the music as I have been since I was 6 years old.
Photo: Fabian Pourmand
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