IN FOCUS: MaRLo

When you talk about trance in Australia, there is always one name that constantly comes up; MaRLo. Born in the Netherlands, Marlo Hoogstraten was raised in Australia, where he is now claimed as Australia's very own. His signature sound (known as 'The Marlo Sound') and stage presence has made him one of the most loved and respected artists that Australia has to offer. Since breaking onto the Australian trance scene in 2009, MaRLo has released on some of the worlds biggest dance music labels such as A State Of Trance, Spinnin' Records, Armada, Black Hole Recordings and Flashover Recordings as well as mixed compilations though Ministry of Sound. Travelling non-stop to-and-from Europe, MaRLo is continuously on the road with fellow trance acts, allowing him to work with some of the best in the business as well as a bunch of talented vocalists. One of those vocalists is his wife Jano, who is as equally respected in the Trance music scene having worked with artists such as Armin Van Buuren and Andrew Rayel.

This year alone MaRLo has ticked off some massive achievements including a massive set alongside Armin Van Buuren at ASOT 700, headlining the Atlantis tour with Paul Van Dyk in Australia as well as a #1 Beatport Trance hit with 'Atlantis'. To top off a stellar half of 2015, MaRLo has just been recrowned as Australia's #1 Trance DJ, and #3 in the overall inthemix Awards rankings. Currently taking on Europe, MaRLo will be bringing his extraordinary trance sets to Belgium for the Tomorrowland festival, as well as Creamfields in the UK and Ushuaia in Ibiza.

Of the Australian contingent of DJ's taking on the world, MaRLo's next challenge is in the DJ Mag Top 100 Competition, where his worldwide support gives the Aussie a strong chance at competing for a top 50 ranking. (You can vote for the DJ Mag Top 100 Here)

MaRLo sat down with us ahead of his show Pacha Sydney to talk about new music, the Australian Trance scene and his love for playing at intimate club venues. Buy tickets to MaRLo's show at Pacha here.

Hey MaRLo, thanks for chatting with us. First off, You've had an enormous year so far this year with spots at ASOT 700, EDC New York and Ultra Miami, what's been your standout show so far?

There's really been so many crazy shows this year that I couldn't just pick one. But for sure the shows you mentioned as well as Tomorrowland and a few other shows like in Estonia and Moldova really surprised me! I even ended up playing back to back with Armin Van Buuren and Andrew Rayel.

Congratulations on the Beatport #1 for Atlantis, were you surprised by the reaction you received from the track?

Yeah thanks, it was awesome watching it all come together! I basically made the melody with the event Atlantis in mind, to see it being received so well and get the amount of DJ support it's gotten is very cool :)

What's your take on the ever-growing Trance scene in Australia at the moment, Are there any local artists we should be keeping an eye on?

Oh there's lots! Australia should be very proud of itself with the amount of Trance events and DJs doing great things at the moment. I'm so stoked to be a part of it all.

Your residency shows at Pacha Sydney this year have been some of the craziest we've ever had, how do the club shows differ from the mainstage festival performances for you? Which do you prefer?

It's been a real pleasure playing at Pacha!! I've been loving it. I don't prefer one over the other really as far as club vs festival... A club show is great because it's so intimate, you can see everyone's smiling faces and people hugging and chanting etc. Whereas a big stadium or festival show is very overwhelming and powerful in the grandness of it all.

What's in the works for the rest of the year? Any new releases?

Yep! Lots :) right now "Atlantis" is still in top 10 on Beatport, my new remix of Jurgen Vries - The Theme is getting lots of support and climbing the charts and I have my new single with Jano called "The Dreamers" coming out soon. There's also a bunch of new remixes coming soon of my track with Christina Novelli called "Hold it together" which I'm pretty excited about.

Who are some of the artists that have inspired you the most as a producer and/or performer over the years, and which one of them would you most love to collaborate with?

Some of the early Hard Trance and Tech Trance guys like Mauro Picotto, Marcel Woods, Sander van Doorn, Scot. Project, asys etc were a big influence and at the same time I also really liked the uplifting stuff like Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten etc. Armin has been such a great supporter of mine for so long, so he's still a huge inspiration to me and I am very grateful for his support.

Lastly, If someone asks where you're from, what do you say? Australia or The Netherlands?

Straya mate. ;)

Vote for MaRLo in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll here
MaRLo takes on Pacha Sydney on the 8th August – Grab your tickets here.