Michael Moscoso aka Michael Phase is this month Hardstyle Mag talent. If you haven’t heard of him you may heard about his amazing tracks like ‘Kalypso’ or ‘Time Is Now’, which was recently remixed by Ecstatic. He has his own way to write music and it brings a very refreshing and interesting touch to the Hardstyle scene. We had the privilege to have him at the Mag and ask him a few questions about his career so far!
For those who don’t know you yet, could you please describe your work and the vision you have on hardstyle?
Well for me… I like to have ginger shots at 5 a.m. in the morning. I know it’s weird right? Wait it gets weirder. When I’m having my coffee I usually tend dance to some of my favorite wake up tracks: Tiësto feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw – Just Be (Original Mix)/ Armin van Buuren vs. Arty Nehalennia (Original Mix)/Above & Beyond’s Acoustic Album /BT – Force of Gravity /Eminem Superman /Jim Carrey – Cuban Pete /Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Geck - O - Craving (Michael Phase Remix)
I try my best not to listen to any hardstyle before making it. When I work on a track I usually start with the chords, designing a sound from scratch, going outside to the woods while the sun starts to come up to record sounds for my tracks. I even produce at different tempos to build an idea in a different genre and then rework it at 150 bpm. In the future, I would like to work more on an album, show concept and possibly even including my own voice for my tracks. I love to change my voice as much as possible, especially when I work with others.
Before we get into details, why hardstyle? Especially since hardstyle is not as big in the States. What was the X factor that pushed you to make the next step into hardstyle?
I wanted to start making hardstyle when I first heard of Headhunterz, Noisecontrollers, Bioweapon, & Toneshifterz back in 2010. Their sound design, compositions, and overall concepts drove me crazy. I spent months breaking down their music and working on my sound design and concepts. That X-factor you mentioned was that hardstyle in terms of production was a whole new genre for me to explore.
Everybody has a favorite artist. And of course one or a few favorite tracks that go along with him. What is your favorite artist Michael?
That’s a tough question for me, It’s like asking a child what’s his favorite candy. However, since I have to choose I’d say that Armin van Buuren would be my favorite. When I was a kid, I heard the full version of Armin’s “Burned with Desire” and his remix to Motorcycle’s “As The Rush Comes”. These two tracks put me in tears even thinking about it now I get nostalgia.
Many of your tracks are absolute masterpieces, for instance the tracks ‘Kalypso’ and ‘Time is Now’ that were released on the notorious HardwithStyle label. But where do you get your inspiration from?
Well thank you for the kind words! I am glad you’re enjoying my music. I have to say, most of my inspiration comes from my lucid dreams and everyday life here on this planet. In my dreams I have a habit of creating worlds, and labyrinths that I never thought could exist in my mind. I am also a Vegan, so I like to incorporate hidden messages within my tracks to try and spread my message about Animal rights without being so confronting about it. Like Time Is Now for example.
You also made a great remix of Selena Gomez track ‘Kill Em With Kindness’ and that’s an amazing tune to play in clubs for both hardstyle fans and non hardstyle listeners. And it’s always very hard to find a compromise between these two publics, as we all know. How do you do that?
It’s always a challenge for me! Mostly because a lot of producers tend to copycat formulas and elements that popular producers use to make their tracks. However, when I make my music I aim to please my broad taste in sounds. Like in the Selena Gomez bootleg, I didn’t have stems available. I ended up buying a WAV version of the track and using Edison on FL Studios to record and resample certain elements of the song to build my version. I also spent most of my time on the chords, harmonies, and sound selections for the breakdown to try to and create an uplifting element to the track that would connect with the build and drop. The drop features my signature sound from track’s like Banzai and even the undertone snare from the drop in Time Is Now.
You also took part in a guest mix for the podcast ‘FeelTheRhythm’ produced by our previous Hardstyle Mag Talent of the month, Stormerz. Can we expect more guest mixes in other podcasts?
Yes! There will be a lot of guest mixes from me even some mixtapes of my own. I have a guest mix coming up soon for Los 40 Radio in Dominican Republic which is hosted by a friend of mine Franko Ovalles. That mix will be 100% all hardstyle unlike my other sets where I go full on Multi-Genre. If I ever get a chance to be featured on Q-Dance NEXT podcast, I would like to take my set to another level but we shall see in the next coming months (ahah).
Now even though you have a great future in front of you, being an uprising hardstyle producer isn’t that easy everyday. Many talented yet young artist in the scene struggle a lot with the marketing process that tends to grow deeper its roots in the hardstyle scene. It seems that it’s harder now to make it to the top. What do you think about it?
It is DEFINITELY 100 times harder to make it to the top now. It’s not just about the music anymore, especially when it comes to the American scene. I hate to say it but it’s becoming more about who you are as a person. What you (Release, Post, Promote, Think, and Eat) will determine where you stand in the Dance Music scene in general. A lot of producers get these things mixed up. Now, in these times… You need the full package:
- Website Page
- Press Shots
- Unique logos
- Unique Music
- The ability to entertain people…
The list goes on! It’s a challenge yes, but if you really want to be at the top you’re going to need to make some life altering decisions in order to get there. Life as a producer has never been easy, especially when it comes to social life.
Do you somehow consider moving into the Netherlands to get more opportunities with your hardstyle career?
I would definitely love to move to NL but at the same time I would like to understand more about the culture, language, etc. Before making my decision. I am even considering Italy, London and even California.
Can we expect some collabs in the near future? Even though you won’t probably reveal with whom, maybe you can give us a little hint on ‘what Hardstyle genre’ they will stick to?
Well I have released some names in my social media and some previews as well like the collab I did with Ecstatic “Music Takes You Places” which was also premiered at Defqon.1. Currently I’ve been working on collabs with artist like… Dr.Rude, Alex Kidd, Royal S, Envine, Ecstatic, Reactor, Stormerz, and even a legend who recently left Hardstyle (name that shall remain unknown for now).
If you could go and play at one outdoor festival, where would you go?
That’s tough!!! But honestly, I would love to play at Defqon.1 or even EDC (Las Vegas). It’s been on my to do list for years!
Thank you for your time and keep rocking !
Thank you guys for supporting me and having me as the artist of the month, It was a pleasure.
Find more by Michael Phase on his Facebook Fanpage!