Emanuel Satie:"I want my ideas to be more than just a couple of samples and beats"

Since winning the DJ Awards "Best Producer" title in 2016, Berlin-based producer & DJ Emanuel Satie, has grown into a fully established artist. His music has been regularly released on labels such as Knee Deep In Sound, Get Physical, Saved Records and Defected just to mention few. In the last few years, Emanuel has been busy playing his stellar house beats on the festivals and clubs all around the globe. 

His recent release "Don't Forget To Go Home", which was out in late may via Rebirth, showcased a slight turn into his sound. We asked Emanuel a few questions to keep him busy during long summer days.

Hi, Emanuel! How was the year 2018 for you so far?

Hey hey. Very good. I’m having the time of my life. In the studio, on tour and privately. Everything’s coming together at the moment and I'm very grateful for that!

You’re based in electronic music mecca, Berlin. Why is the German capital city so attractive to DJs, producers and musicians in general?

Berlin has a rich history of techno because there was so much free space here after the wall fell, many abandoned places to make parties in. Berlin is also still one of the cheapest big cities in Europe and also there is no pressure from society to make a lot of money, which attracts a lot of artists. On top, there are amazing parties and clubs open every day of the week that don’t even close in the morning. That’s why after all these years it’s still the mecca.

We’ve read in one of your previous interviews that you’re “in the box” type of producer when it comes to studio time. Did that change through years or do you still maintain similar workflow?

Yes, it changed in the past 12 months or so. At the moment I’m much more inspired by outboard gear, it creates more accidents in my music, stuff that I couldn’t have come up with in my head and I like this approach better at the moment. I still think young producers without a budget shouldn’t feel like they need expensive equipment to make great music. The machines are just tools, the music comes from you.

It seems that a lot of artists open their own imprint once their career reaches a certain level. Have you ever thought about running your own label?

Of course yes. I was actually close to starting my own label last year but decided that I want to focus on some achievements as an artist first. This year is all about me developing as an artist, DJ and producer, next year it’s about developing my own label, party and build a team of talented, like-minded producers around me that I wanna push.

The current house, tech house and techno sounds are surely moving towards mainstream music. Some say they even became the “new EDM”. Where do you fit in there?

Yes, I agree, most of the tech house released at the moment is too generic and commercial for me, there is not much that inspires me, that’s why this year I redefined my sound. All the releases scheduled so far for this year are collaborations with musicians, like "Don’t Forget To Go Home" with Billy Cobham, "Paris" with the singer Mama and my upcoming Crosstown Rebels with musicians from Ethiopia.

I have more collabs in the works with vocalists and a pianist. I want to keep it clubby and focused on the dance floor always, but I want my ideas to be more than just a couple of samples and beats. It’s time to make music now, not just beats.

A few years back, you received your “Best Producer” award and it looks like you didn’t want to stop there. Is it true that it’s harder to stay at the top then getting there? I mean there were a lot of examples where certain producers broke through but they just couldn’t keep up the tempo.

I never felt like I’m at the top, I’m not even halfway where I want to be, so for me, it’s not about keeping up the tempo, I’m still very motivated to get much much better. Something I noticed especially this year and that I learnt from the people I look up to is, that it’s really not about working harder, it’s about focusing on fewer things, but doing them very well. It’s all about saying no. You don’t need to be good at everything, just great at a couple things.

Just by looking at your gig schedule, we can say that you’re having a busy summer. Are there any special gigs that you've had this summer or that you are really looking forward to?

Ibiza was amazing this year. I already played Amnesia twice, Ants and Black Coffee at Hi. I have a couple festivals like Lovefest in Serbia and Sonne Mond Sterne in front of me. Right now I’m sitting on a plane to Mexico. I haven’t been here since the last BPM and I can’t wait to be back. I love Mexico, the people are amazing and the food is one of my favourites.

Can you share with us what do you have in the pipeline for the rest of 2018?

So there will be 2 packages of remixes for "Don’t Forget To Go Home", a dub mix from me, remixes from Francois K, Black Loops, Shield and some names that I can’t mention as of yet. My body language compilation is coming out on Get Physical beginning September, it's my first big DJ mix project. There are gonna be 2 exclusive tracks of mine on there.

Then we have a Crosstown Rebels EP coming that I recorded with Ethiopian musicians and then finished with Ninetoes and the French producer Mowgan in Berlin. I’m very excited to work with Damian Lazarus on this one and we have a remix from Matador coming with it. Last but not least I’m finishing off an EP for Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound right now. So, lots to come.

Last but not least. We really like the title of your recent release on Rebirth “Don’t Forget To Go Home”. Did you ever forget to do that?

Too many times! The title is a reminder to myself and others with the same „issue“. There are gonna be fresh "Don’t Forget To Go Home" t-shirts coming in the next week as well. Be on the lookout for them!

By Saša, edited on 30 July 2018