‘Music is all about the way it makes you feel’

Anjali Jhangiani
Saturday, 27 January 2018

Austrian music producer and DJ Parov Stelar, who has worked with international artists like Lana Del Ray, Bryan Ferry and Lady Gaga, will make his debut in India by headlining SulaFest 2018

One man, many monikers. Marcus Füreder started out as Plasma, then moved on to Cash Candy, followed by Nola Grey, and now he’s known as Parov Stelar. Not only is he one of the most promising music producers active in Europe today, but he is also one of the most sought after producers that artists want to collaborate with.

He has already worked with international music superstars such as Lana Del Rey, Bryan Ferry and Lady Gaga, among others. One of the pioneers of electro swing music, Parov will be headlining the 11th edition of SulaFest, a two-day festival kicking off on February 3 in Nashik.
“I put a Billie Holiday record on my turntables and it got stuck. It sounded like a great loop, like a vocal sample on repeat. I thought it was cool, so I fired up my computer and started working on a beat for that. It all worked out great and that was a bit of a magic moment for me. That’s how it all started,” recalls Parov about how he accidentally created a new genre of music called ‘electro swing’.

In this genre, electronic dance music with house and hip-hop influences is mixed with vintage or modern swing and jazz. It is probably because of his love for the music he grew up listening to that Parov tried to blend it into newer trends and made it palatable for new-age listeners. “I grew up listening to techno music and the early techno scene in Linz Austria. This was the first influence. Later came music like Billie Holiday and that time was the kickstart for Parov Stelar,” says the artist.

But little did he know that when he experimented with fusing older elements with newer ones to create music that made him happy, that it would become a full-fledged genre on its own. But this isn’t the first or only time that he’s experimented with EDM, in fact his constant experimentation with various permutations and combinations of various influences is what makes his music so interesting.

 “I think electro swing delivers a very positive feeling and joy, an urge to move, get off your feet and dance. At the same time it’s a little odd to hear these old sounds mixed with modern electronic beats, but this is exactly what it needs for people to remember,” he says.

The artist will be making his debut in India at the festival, and seems to be quite kicked about it. “It’s an honour and very cool to play in India for the first time. We are really looking forward to it! There will be new songs as well as many Parov Stelar classics and a great light LED show. We plan to bring a full band consisting of vocals, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar/ bass and drums,” Parov says about his performance.
His music philosophy is quite simple: “Music is all about the way it makes you feel.” Ask him what are the components to create a good party track that is a sure-shot chart-topper and a popular favourite, and he says, “It has to be a positive track which makes you feel good.”
Parov has performed at some of Europe’s biggest music events including Zurick Open Air, Rock Werchter and Glastonbury. With so much content available on the internet, and music festivals mushrooming in every part of the world, where does he see the EDM scene heading? “Wait, let me check my crystal ball. Haha, no, I really don’t know and I don’t like to speculate about the future,” he jokes, adding, “As long as music still keeps making the world a better place I’m happy.”

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