One of dance music's hottest underground names of 2011 is geared up to be one of dance music's biggest draws of 2012. For those of you who have not been to a show or listened to a proper comp mix in the past six months, here's your chance to get acquainted with one of the most talented people in the game, [artist id="2818617"]Deniz Koyu[/artist]. MTV News recently sat down with the German producer while he was on tour with Fedde Le Grand, and even he admits that his ascension to the big league is something he never quite expected.
"I actually got into dance music and house music quite late, like 18 or 19," said Koyu, who recently made MTV News' list of [article id="1677064"]EDM Rookies to Watch[/article]. "Before, I was just into anything, pop music and indie pop also. I was also a huge fan of Daft Punk — maybe this is one of my big influences. Then there was this era with all this disco house stuff, which influenced me as well. Then electro house was big for a short period of time, then it went into progressive house. So yeah, I kind of got influenced by all of this over the past five years."
In that short time, Koyu has turned his personal tastes into thump-tastic tunes with some of the most unique and well-produced tracks you're likely to find. In fact, less than a month ago, Swedish House Mafia showcased three of his tracks at their highly anticipated Madison Square Garden show, more than any other non-SHM artist in their set. If anything, Koyu's calling card is his ability to avoid being recognized for any one signature thumbprint or production technique, but rather his uncanny ability to produce à la carte anthems with precision and depth, perhaps best personified in his breakthrough club smash "Tung!," whose success he admits was a shock.
"I did it very quickly in, like, four days in the studio, I just had a rough idea — this unique sound. It's hard to describe; it sounds like an instrument, like a vuvuzela," he explained. "I started to play the melody and I got a rough idea with the beats, and then, to be honest, I had no idea what I was actually doing there — I just finished the track there very quickly. I sent it to Fedde, and he was really amazed by the track. I got perfect feedback from it, and I thought, 'Hey, maybe it's a cool track, let's see what happens!' But I didn't think it would go so big."
"Tung!" was just one of many massive tracks, along with "Hertz" and "Hydra," that Koyu blasted out under Fedde le Grand's Flamingo Records imprint to the masses this past year, but perhaps what gave him the most radio and club play was his and Johan Wedel's infectiously addictive remix of James Blunt's "Dangerous."
"I didn't have the [expectations] that it would go that viral — pretty much every big DJ played the track, not only the [Swedish House Mafia] but David Guetta, Tiësto and pretty much everyone!" said Koyu, who tells MTV News that Blunt is actually quite the house head. "He was very much into it, which was surprising to me. I didn't expect James Blunt to be into dance music, but he actually is — he really is. Every summer he spends so much time in Ibiza, he's a house maniac freak even if you don't believe it!"
Since "Dangerous" became a late-year anthem, it should come as no surprise that with Koyu's seemingly magic touch, the remix requests have been pouring in. He was most recently courted by the likes of Ultra Records and Kaskade.
"First they asked me to do another remix for 'Eyes,' and then a few days later they offered the other track with Rebecca and Fiona, 'Turn It Down,' so I could choose between the two," he explained. "It was a hard decision because I really like both tracks. I think they're both amazing. I was always kind of a fan of Rebecca and Fiona. Their voices are great. I like them very much. I took ["Turn It Down"] but they're both great tracks."
But that's not all that's been keeping the producer busy in his spare time. There's also "New Day," his latest tri-laboration with Fedde and Wedel.
"I think if you go into the studio with someone, it doesn't always mean the best comes out of all of the people in there, but I think in this case it really did," Fedde said of the new track. "I think it's a very special, very amazing, very catchy track as well. We're checking at the moment if we can add a small vocal to it, and it should be out at the beginning of the year. We've both been playing it already, and the reactions are awesome."
"There's a lot in the pipeline right now," Koyu added. "I also am doing a remix for Fedde with 'So Much Love.' Then I'm doing some more collaborations — more with Fedde and some other guys I can't say just yet, but it's definitely going to be an exciting year."
What do you think of Koyu and his big breakout in 2011? Let us know in the comments below!