Getting Introspective With Dutch Musician MaRLo

*written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

As I sat across from Dutch musician and Electronic artist MaRLo the Thursday of EDC week in Las Vegas, I was struck by how kind and polite he appeared. I could tell immediately how genuine and appreciative he was and that his presence made those around him feel comfortable. When listening to his music, I realized that there’s a dynamic range of sound, going from a beautiful dreamy sound to pumping heavy beats. Lucky to be able to grab a conversation before his performance at the Marquee Day Club pool party during EDC week, we got into all sorts of topics – from intention to inspiration.

Lizzie Rose: When did you get to the point when you knew this was something you were supposed to be doing?

MaRLo: When I was little I used to like drawing a lot and painting and creative things. I also really liked computers and I started making creative animations. Those things kind of fused together and for that, I started making music as the sound effects- So that got me into starting to make music which I enjoyed just as a hobby for a few years, but I got given a tiny opportunity when one of my friends submitted one of my tracks for a radio show contest. Now it didn’t win, but the fact that it was even submitted got me thinking- “Hey, I could do this for a living- This could be something real instead of just a hobby.”

It wasn’t until I was working at a venue in Holland carrying other DJ’s equipment and experiencing the backstage experience and what it was actually like- seeing it from the other side. That’s when I decided this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Lizzie Rose: Was being around the culture and being around others who were excelling in the electronic space inspiring for your progression?

MaRLo: Not so much the success part, I’ve never been focused on or hungry for some sort of success- because in my opinion, success means you’re doing what you love to do. So in that respect, I am already very successful. Because I love what I do, Every day. Once you have that, everything that comes after is just icing on the cake.

Lizzie Rose: Who are some of the artists whose music you’ve connected with throughout your career?

MaRLo: There’s a lot of people who have inspired me, especially early on I am originally Dutch and moved to australia when I was very young. Because of my european background I’ve instinctively felt a connection to the Dutch DJ’s like Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, and Sander van Doorn. One because I really liked their music, and two because they were Dutch.

Lizzie Rose: What was the feeling like as you started sharing your music with more and more people.

MaRLo: As soon as you’re standing in front of a crowd, you know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. When you are following your passions, you know you are on the right path because your heart is in it.

Lizzie Rose: Since you have the ability to influence the energy of the crowd and bring them on a journey. Do you do that intentionally and do you try to guide the experience of the crowd?

MaRLo: Every audience is as different as they are similar. Everyone wants to enjoy the social environment and feel like they are sharing an experience together, but also people respond differently to music in different parts of the world. I never pre plan my sets, so I always read my audience and feel which set our journey would fit that crowd best. A freezing cold stadium in Prague is completely different from a pool party in Vegas.

Lizzie Rose: Would you say it’s like a conversation? A back and forth exchange between you and the crowd?

MaRLo: Absolutely. It’d be like wearing beach attire to a formal wedding if I didn’t listen as well. You have to match the feeling of the music to the feeling of the crowd you are with.

Lizzie Rose: Do you have a favorite place to perform?

MarLo: Australia really feels like home. I’ve lived there for so long, I consider myself Australian. It is also cool going back to Holland but I don’t have an attachment creatively to Holland, but I do have an attachment from living there when I was a little boy, so there is a strong moment of pride when I play there.

Lizzie Rose: Would you say that your music either song by song or by set, tells a story?

MaRLo: I would like to think so. I make music first and foremost as a creative outlet. When I’m happy I want to make music and when I’m sad I want to make music. It’s a way to get my mind off of things so for me it’s something I have to do or I go crazy. Sometimes it’s dark and sometimes it’s not. I struggle a lot with making the same type of music, so I just do what I like to do. I think the audience shares in the experience with me in my story.

Lizzie Rose: When I photograph I get into a flow state, my mind shuts off and I am just the creator.

MaRLo: Exactly, there’s no thought behind it. If I went into the studio and sat down and thought, this style is very popular right now, I am going to create a song that fits within it- that’s very easy to do. But, are you really expressing how you feel in that moment or are you riding on someone else’s style and path? In the past that has meant that my career has taken longer at certain points because my style isn’t for everyone. But it’s true to me. When I create it’s like a child playing with blocks- I experiment and hit other chords until it grows.

Lizzie Rose: I feel like people are very appreciative of what you do and how you help them explore their emotions. Music can be such a great equalizer that helps us cope.

MaRLo: I think music can encourage the emotions you’re feeling and it can also neutralize them. For instance if you’re really angry at something you want to feel even angrier and listen to angry music that matches your mood. And then maybe listen to something that calms you down. I think there’s room for all types of emotions within music.
My interview with MaRLo truly proved what an awesome heart is behind the music he creates. I consider myself lucky to have been able to hear about his journey throughout his career and how it serves as such a beautiful outlet. It is my hope that more artists of all kinds can find an outlet to share their emotions with the world. Be sure to check out his pictures from this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival performance at the Las Vegas Speedway below & connect with him on facebook here.

(photo credit: Bondio for Insomniac Events)