It’s Magic: The Magician on ‘Sunlight’ & Rare US Tour
There’s always room for a little disco magic from The Magician. The Belgian DJ/producer—real name Stephen Fasano—is known for his output of colorful, laid-back house beats, including remixes for Clean Bandit and Lykke Li.
Right now, Fasano is on the brink of embarking on a rare US tour that includes stops at Brooklyn’s Output, Miami’s Grand Central, and Chicago’s The Mid, all coinciding with his new single “Sunglight.” DJ Times connected with the DJ/producer to talk about his latest release, monthly Magic Tapes mixes, and his production secrets.
DJ Times: Your single “Sunlight” is out now. How did the creation of the track come about?
Stephen Fasano: To create the main melody, I was influenced by a lot of progressive rock songs from the late 60s and early 70s. From that period, one of the most widely used instruments were the mellotron and the guitar, so I played and recorded different chords progression on a mellotron and a guitar together and then sampled all parts which have been replayed on an MPC to get a 90’s cut-up sampled vibe.
DJ Times: What about the beat?
Fasano: The beat is a simple house beat with an 808 percussion. And the bass is from a Moog Voyager synthesizer. Once the instrumental was done, Olly from Years & Years came to the studio and had been very influenced by the melody. He wrote the lyrics in 2 – 3 hours.
DJ Times: What goes into the curation process for your monthly Magic Tapes?
Fasano: Every month I sift through new music; most of them are exclusives from artists and labels. A couple of days before the release, I start to classify my 10 to 15 favorites from the 250 or 300 tracks I find and receive every month. Then comes the mix process: I try to start by the hottest track of the month and usually that’s the one that’s paid more attention. I never give the tracklist because I like to see people searching, and I think it’s more exciting to try to find tracks rather than having the playlist. Sometimes I just can’t reveal a promo I receive or a track or remix of myself, but people find the playlist quickly! [laughs] They get help from Shazam or are simply nerds! In the past Magic Tapes, way before they become a hit, I had the chance to premiere Kiesza’s “Hideway” (Magic Tape 38), Duke Dumont’s “Need U (100%)” (Magic Tape 28), Route 94’s “My Love” (Magic Tape 37), Perseus’ “Seychelles” (Magic Tape 20), and Disclosure’s “You & Me (Flume Remix)” (Magic Tape 34).
DJ Times: What are your go-to production plugins, software, and hardware?
Fasano: I work demos on Logic X and then record and produce at Club Ralph studio in London with ProTools and a SSL 4000. I use mainly Wave and Sony plugins, as well as Arturia, Soundtoys and Logic plugins. As far as hardware goes, I use a piano, guitar, organ, Mellotron, Solina, Roland JX8P, Korg Monopoly, Roland Sh-101, Moog Voyager, ARP 2600, 808, 909, and Akai MPC 3000, plus all the best delay and reverbs.
DJ Times: What’s your preferred DJ setup?
Fasano: Very standard: three Pioneer CDJ-2000s, one Pioneer DJM-900, and a powerful pair of monitors.
DJ Times: You’re touring the US this fall. What’s the biggest difference to playing to US crowds compared to Europe?
Fasano: Americans are more and more open-minded. I feel also more enthusiasm in America!
DJ Times: You’ve got a glittering disco style present in a lot of your material. What artists would you cite as influences when getting into music?
Fasano: From a very young age, I listened to pop music, disco and funk like Michael Jackson, Prince, Brian Ferry, Larry Levan, Giorgio Moroder, Abba, Supertramp, and Fleetwood Mac. I’ve been also influenced by the house and techno scene from the late 80ss early 90s; that’s when I started to DJ in my bedroom. Also, some UK garage and R&B in the middle of the 90s.
DJ Times: What projects are you working on right now and what else can fans expect from you in the coming months?
Fasano: I’m working on an album; I’ve got 7 tracks done with features. I don’t have any idea when it will come out yet. Right now, I’m focusing on the single after “Sunlight.” Regarding shows, visual animation is finally done by Baptiste Alchourroun and Julie Lievens (those 2 are working on the Magician image/artworks). So from October people who come to see me will enter into The Magician’s enchantment.
Watch the video for “Sunlight” below. For tickets to the tour, head to The Magician’s Facebook page.