Dutch-born Australian raised Marlo Hoogstraten better known as trance DJ MaRLo is at it again. These past years he has been steadily taking his performances to the next level with his concert series Altitude, a nine-city series of sold-out shows. With an annual audience of 15,000 people in attendance at the Altitude events, plans are in the works to host more Altitude events in larger venues and in more cities around the globe. In combination with the massively popular events, MaRLo has also launched his own label Reaching Altitude and is dedicated to recognizing and nurturing the next generation of talent.
Showcasing his diversity and artistic capability, MaRLo has been incorporating old-school, classic trance tunes in his DJ sets, which is a testament to his wide and eclectic range. With the whole touring schedule getting messed up these last 1.5 years, MaRLo has spend some time in the studio. In it he has crafted the perfect tune for dancefloor reunions this summer in the form of his thumping rave anthem “No Other Alternative.”
There are multiple trance artists that pull in inspiration from a breadth of genres but no one does it quite like MaRLo. His ability to infuse beautiful uplifting trance melodies with banging hardstyle bass and simultaneously dropping in his patented tech-energy style makes him one of the most exciting and dynamic artists to watch. Now we had a chance to sit down with this phenomenal artist and talk about his latest release and what the future holds for him.
The Nocturnal Times: Thank you for taking your time for this interview! How did you experience this last year? And how do you feel about finally being able to see countries organizing festivals again?
MaRLo: Having more time at home this past year was actually something I personally really needed, I finally found a better balance in my life spending time with family and close friends and spending time doing things I love. I also got to make a lot more music than I usually get to do when I’m touring all the time. The touring the last few years was getting a bit crazy for me, I was basically never home. And it was affecting my health both physically and mentally. This time away from touring has kind of put into perspective the importance of balance.
As for Festivals in other countries, I’m happy for the organizers, DJ’s, Staff, Photographers, Videographers and all the people involved can finally go back to working on the things they are so deeply passionate about. I also think music festivals are essential for the emotional, physical and mental well being for all that attend. Going to events is an outlet, an opportunity to forget your daily troubles and get lost in the music alongside like minded people. A place where everyone from all walks of life is welcome. Without festivals the world is not as much fun, that’s for sure.
The Nocturnal Times: Congratulations on your new track “No Other Alternative”! What is the message you want to spread with this track? What do you think the reaction of the festival crowd will be once this monster is played on a mainstage?
MaRLo: It’s a remake of an old Hard Trance classic that I just HAD to bring back to life. It goes absolutely crazy during my sets. And have been playing it at all my shows this year.
The Nocturnal Times: Your new track is a massive tune – it feels like you put in all your cropped up energy into this beast. How long did you take to produce this track? Do you prefer working alone or collaborating more on a track?
MaRLo: Thanks so much, I did a lot of vocal type songs last year, so I felt it was time to put the foot back on the gas and make some proper Tech Energy bangers now that I’m playing regularly again. I love spending hours in the studio, so I don’t really mind if I’m working on a solo original, a collab or a remix. I love it all! The art of creation is what gives my soul energy.
The Nocturnal Times: What will be your personal highlight this year?
MaRLo: My own Altitude concert shows! I just announced my Altitude Sydney show and we have sold out both Friday and Saturday shows in about an hour… a total of 18000 tickets sold!! More cities to be announced soon and we are planning similar sized massive venues.
The Nocturnal Times: Our last interview already dates back 5 years now. In that interview we asked you where you hoped to be in 5 years. Your answer was “Well I would hope to keep my own show going and make it an annual thing. I would also love to bring it around the world, like the Armin Only shows or the Above & Beyond shows. That for me is the ultimate dream. If you can build up your own brand and tour worldwide, that would be what I would hope to do in five years.”. What do you think of that answer now? And where do you see yourself now in completing those goals?
MaRLo: Well I am proud to say, I well and truly achieved and exceeded any expectations of that goal! I have now done 17 Altitude shows all around the world, with every single one selling out! And the shows this year are the fastest selling shows and the biggest shows we have ever done. Getting to a point where I am doing my own ALTITUDE solo concert style shows where I play a 4hr set, in the same venues as ASOT, Transmission etc. is just incredible. I am blown away to realise that ALTITUDE is now one of the biggest music events in Australia and nationwide about 40.000 people will attend ALTITUDE this year (18000 of them just in Sydney alone!!). We will be announcing more cities in the coming weeks.
The Nocturnal Times: Is there anything else that you would like to share with your fans about what is coming up for MaRLo this year?
MaRLo: My focus is mainly on my own ALTITUDE shows, so as soon as I have an opportunity to bring them worldwide again, I will! I’m also really passionate about all the artists on my Reaching Altitude label, so I really want to keep growing the label as well as the artists on it. Besides the label and my events – I Also have loads of my own songs lined up with a new release coming out every single month.
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