Exclusive mix & interview: Mihai Popoviciu
Mihai Popoviciu is considered one of the most innovative eastern European producers of electronic music today. He was born in Romania in 1981 and was drawn to the fast-growing rave scene of the ’90s. He started producing music in 2001 being influenced by the techno and house virus and it took many years of experiments until he came up with his first vinyl release on DJ Hell’s imprint Gigolo Records in 2005. Since then he has steadily added chapters to his personal success story with solo projects and those with partners like Markus Homm or Jay Bliss.
Mihai Popoviciu is the kind of producer that likes to innovate and to always refine his varied sound pallette surprising the audience in the best way. It’s not a big surprise that Mihai’s reputation as a DJ grew fast in the past years taking him to Europe’s most important clubs and venues. His flavourous DJ sets have a distinctive personal touch delivering you a perfectly balanced mixture of groovy beats, warm pads and musical emotions that will get you addicted.
Enjoy the guest mix he made us and the interview he gave in which he talks shortly about his musical career.
Hi Mihai, hope all is well?
Hello! All good, thank you for having me!
Let’s start at the very first beginning. You started to produce your first tracks around 2001. What has changed ever since in your production style & approach?
A lot has changed since I started to produce music. I have learnt about producing and mixing a track and how to structure it. Back in those days, I was more like discovering all that by myself.
A lot has changed in the electronic music scene since then. How has your view on the scene changed? What is different now compared to about 15 years ago?
The media and social networks have a big impact on the scene nowadays. Years ago we did not have the concept of “likes” on social media. Today anybody can buy their fame.
You come from Romania, how has the electronic music scene evolved in your country?
I can say that nowadays the scene in Romania has never been stronger. Luckily we have a lot of enthusiasm and support within the scene that allows it to grow and evolve.
What are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Romania right now?
I like the work of Azteca, Olivian Nour, Mihai Pol, Cosmijn & Lizz.
You have been DJ’ing for nearly 20 years now, that equals quite a lot of raves. Tell us the story of that one DJ gig you will never forget?
There are many unforgettable gigs but one that I will always remember is playing at Fusion Festival a few years ago in front of ten thousand people.
You travel a lot. You see a lot of cultural differences. Which of these inspire you the most when creating music? If any?
I can’t say that my music is very conceptual. It’s hard for me to identify what exactly inspires me most but it doesn’t have to do with travelling.
What other things are an influence on the music you are making?
What influences my music most is other people’s music, but I always end up sounding like me in the end.
The end of the year is approaching. How do you look back? What are your 2019 highlights?
I’ve had a good year with two releases on Poker Flat Recordings and tours in South America and Australia among the weekly gigs around Europe.
To end this chat, we should also ask about your release “Sleepwalking” on Poker Flat. You tested it, of course. How did the crowd react?
It works well on the dancefloor and people usually go wild after the break 🙂
Every release is special. What makes this one stand out?
The cool and elaborate remix of Francesca Lombardo completes this release in a perfect way.
What’s coming up? More collaborations on the way?
Working on something new with James Dexter as we speak.