UMEK played a pivotal role in kickstarting the electronic music scene in his home country by organizing underground parties. He quickly gained recognition and became Slovenia's most sought-after export, serving as a prominent music ambassador worldwide. UMEK's exceptional achievements include being the top-selling peak time techno artist on Beatport, with an outstanding record of 13 number one tracks on the Beatport Peak Time Techno charts.In addition to his chart-topping success, UMEK has released notable tracks that have made a significant impact in the techno scene. His track "Once Again" gained recognition and found its way into esteemedSpotify editorial playlists like “Techno Bunker”.
Recently, UMEK collaborated with artist Sam WOLFE on the track "Mind of One," generating considerable buzz in the industry.Renowned for his captivating performances, UMEK takes his unique brand of techno to audiences worldwide. He performs at numerous shows annually, gracing underground clubs in Berlin and headlining renowned techno stages at major festivals.UMEK's artistic journey continues to evolve, leaving a lasting mark on the global techno scene.
With his remarkable success as a best-selling artist on Beatport and his track "Cryptic Speech" featured in popular medialike the new Need for Speed game and the Netflix series Élite, UMEK remains a true legend in the techno genre. Audiences are captivated by his driving live sets and top-notch productions.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.
Thank you for talking to us! We know you regularly tour in Spain, in your long career can you share some of your best club experiences here?
A: Yeah, I mean, I've been to Spain so many times, it's probably the country I've visited the most. You guys have an incredible club and festival scene, it's hard to talk about one particular place.
You know, kudos to the whole techno scene in Spain - it's just beautiful. Great people, great clubs, and I'm always happy to come back.
What do you think it takes to create such longevity in a career in music?
Basically you have to stay active, that's the most important thing. I advise young producers to be super patient and release as much quality music as possible, because people have a short memory span. So you have to promote yourself as much as possible, but in a good way. Quality always comes first.
And one more thing: nothing happens overnight.
Have you ever worked another job outside of music? If so what and when?
For a summer job, I moved furniture for a few days before becoming a professional DJ and producer.
Luckily, when I left school and basketball, I went straight into being a DJ and producer, and with hard work, it worked out for me.
We’ve listened to your new single ‘Footmachine’ which is out on Drumcode on the 30th June. Your debut on the label. Is it true you sent a demo to Adam 20 years ago?
Yes, I sent Adam a demo 20 years ago - maybe a little less, maybe a little more, and with a few more demos to this day. So as you can see, it can take some time to reach your goals, sometimes even 20 years. I hope the younger generation of producers can learn something from this.
The track has a nice vocal. We hear you used AI to create this. Can you explain this more to avid producers?
Yes, I used AI for that. It's edited, pitched and sorted, of course, and not just the way you write the text, put it into an AI and it's done. It takes a little more time and editing, but it's worth it, and the results are exactly what you need, and for "Footmachine", exactly what I expected from a virtual singer. I like it.
What other gear in your studio can you not live without?
Basically, the speakers are the main thing I use to make music besides the computer. I don't have any hardware equipment at all, so there's not much I use.
Another piece of advice for young producers: You don't need shiny synthesizers to be successful in this business. You need good ears and good ideas, and then you have to translate that into a good track.
What 3 lessons can you give the younger generation when it comes to creating such a big dancefloor track?
Maybe other producers disagree, but for me the most important thing is to listen to my feelings and emotions when I DJ and try to transfer that energy to my tracks.
Then of course it has to be a dancefloor oriented track, with a real big kick, basslines, a bassline with a rhythm section to create the energy.
And finally, it always takes time to reach perfection. When a track is finished, I always send it to one or two of my trusted producer friends to critique it, to see if they hear some mistakes that I can't hear after hours of work. So it's nice to have friends in the industry to review your tracks and give you proper feedback and a different perspective.
Can you tell us where we can see you play this summer, as well as any other future projects?
I'll be playing all over Europe this summer, as usual at some big festivals and nice clubs.
As for future projects, I'm sure I have some, but for this time let's focus on ''Footmachine'' because it's such an important track for me and a release on Drumcode. You will hear about all other projects soon enough on my social media!