Published on December 29th, 2011 | by EDMinsider0
EDMinsider Interviews DJ/Producer Joel Hirsch
The young up and coming electronic music DJ/Producer Joel Hirsch shares his story with EDM Insider about his inspirations and influences, as well as upcoming releases. Most recently, Hirsch released his uplifting single “Alive” featuring Dustin Allen on Unearthed Records that is currently available for purchase through Beatport. Having a trance vibe to the track, DJ/Producers Aly & Fila stepped in to create a melodic remix, which can now be purchased through iTunes.
EDMinsider 1: When did you first discover electronic music? Have you always wanted to pursue becoming a DJ and producer?
Hirsch: When I was younger I had a severe case of Vertigo, which left me unable to walk and basically move for almost a year. Before this, I was a metal head and actually was a drummer in my own band. But during the time I was sick, I couldn’t do anything. Even laying down was painful, and this is when I discovered Paul van Dyk. I found his CD “Out There and Back” on the floor near my couch one day, as I must have bought it sometime without realizing what it was. I began listening to it and immediately knew it was different. I became so inspired by it I started buy up all his CDs and his DVD Global. I loved seeing the world through Paul’s eyes. It seemed so happy and magical, and I knew I wanted to live in that world. So I purchased my first set of turntables and listened to as many live sets of PVD as I could and then tried to figure out just what the hell he was doing. At this time, we had dial-up internet and YouTube did not exist, so I was completely alone in teaching myself. I would spend hours and sometimes days in my garage practicing beat matching and mixing with some horrible laptop speakers. I eventually started to recover from the side effects of my illness, and was able to do more and more. Since I have recovered I have spent almost every waking hour for the past 5 odd years on learning how to produce and developing new techniques for DJing and production while developing my image. I didn’t always know that this is what I wanted to do in fact I think I got a late start.
EDMinsider 2. How do you describe your personal sound as a DJ? Who are some of your biggest influences in the scene? Why?
Hirsch: Well I have a very interesting sound and I use Ableton Live with the Xone 4:D as my controller to help convey that sound. I am able to really create new songs on the fly by mixing three together or just parts of songs. Even sometimes just mixing two together in a very concise and fluidic way. I think to accurately describe my style I would say its an epic journey through my stream of consciousness. I like to play anything from Electro House, to progressive then to banging trance and combine them all in very unique ways to come out with something very cool. I think as long as it moves me it’s in my set! Paul van Dyk’s music has always been the most influential to me. Its the way he produces songs and creates unique soundscapes that no one else quite does. His mixing is almost always flawless and really knows how to give you a unique experience live. I am also really inspired by moments in life that reach you at the core. Moments in which you remember the way the air smelled , the way the room felt , and the unique connection you have with people you around in that moment.
This mix is a great example of how how I mix as a DJ and make my own edits and create almost new songs on the fly.
1. 4mal – Twilight Vs. Avicii – Sweet Dreams – Sweet Twilight (Joel Hirsch Mashup)
2. Dennis De Laat – Sound of Violence (Dub Mix)
3. Mat Zo, Arty – Rebound Vs. Conjure One – Like Ice – Marcus Schossow Extended Remix
4. Paramore – Crushcrushcrush (Fei-Fei’s Feided Remix)
5. Lisa Lashes – Numero Uno – Ummet Ozcan Remix
6. Dune – Heiress Of Valentina (Alesso Exclusive Mix)
7. Interstate, Tyler Michaud – Junkie feat. Jessy Greene – Heatbeat Remix
8. Paul Webster feat. Angelic Amanda – Time (Sean Tyas Dub Remix) Vs. Above & Beyond Feat. Richard Bedford – Sun & Moon – Time For The Sun (Joel Hirsch Mashup)
EDMinsider 3. Your debut single, “Alive” is currently available for purchase through iTunes as well as Beatport. What was the inspiration behind the track and why did you decide to release this as your first single?
Hirsch: Alive is an incredibly personal song to me, so it was always very important it come across in just the right way. Luckily, I was able to find Dustin Allen, who is just a great guy to work with and has an incredible voice. I wrote this song the day I came home from Ireland for summer break last year. It’s about the moment you share with someone, and all the walls you’ve put up around you come crashing down. When time almost seems to stand still and the earth shines seemingly for you and you feel completely and utterly at home. I remember the morning of my flight so vividly, just like it was yesterday. Everything tasted different; everything smelled so unique. I remember hearing the sound of the trees rustling all around me and feeling the warm sun on my face. This may sound corny but it was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Still on that high, as soon as I arrived home I wrote the song. After fighting through hell and back, and a year later, it’s here now and has an Aly & Fila Remix and a music video on it so I couldn’t be happier. I chose it my debut song because it was so personal and it just felt right.
EDMinsider 4. What is the most challenging aspect of being a new DJ/Producer in the industry? What is the most rewarding aspect?
Hirsch: I think the most challenging aspect is getting a chance to get your foot in the door, and grabbing that chance.
I think the most rewarding aspect is rising up and showing the world what I am made of and what I stand for by bringing my music to the table, with as much honesty and conviction as humanly possible. Simply because, it is what I love. It’s all about that moment when your hands go in the air and everyone in the room lives and breathes with you. Also, finding people who do it because they love it and it makes them happy. I believe that when one is truly happy that happiness spreads and engulfs those around them and so on and so forth. I think its really about sharing whats in your heart with people and hoping it can touch them in the same way it does to me. I absolutely love meeting people around the world and talking to them and hearing how music has touched them since it is truly a global language.
EDMinsider 5.Which DJ/Producers would you be most interested in collaborating with in the future? Can you give us any hints as to what’s in store for your music in 2012?
Hirsch: Gareth Emery and Alesso first come to mind and definitely Giuseppe Ottaviani. Also in terms of singers, I would absolutely love to do a collaboration with Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars, Katy Perry, John Rzeznik from The Goo Goo Dolls. I really love to mix it up and kind of blur the genre line. To give you an example, this is an exclusive mashup of one of my songs called “Coming Home” Vs. 30 Seconds to Mars – “Kings & Queens” and i call the end product “The King Has Come Home”. Its the best example I have of blurring the rocky vocal style of Jared Leto with my progressive trance instrumental all in one song.
Hirsch (continued): I am working on a few collaborations at the minute as follow ups to “Alive” and each one I hope will be bigger and bigger! I am coming up on my 50th Episode of my podcast, Global Language which will be divide into two parts both will have individual themes such as a place around the world. I also just recently remixed Sarah Howells’ song – “Winter Never Comes” and it came in 2nd place for the competition. I am going to work harder than ever before and will stop at nothing until 2012 is my year and every year after. This is what I want to do, This is what I love to do, this is all I know how to do. I believe you have one life and if you are privileged enough to be able to follow your dreams then you must do everything possible to make it a reality.