He is the Winner of the Carl Cox – “I Want you” track, Worldwide Remix Competition held by Beatport for Best House Remix, back in 2007, which helped a lot to put a spotlight on his work. Since that time his career is moving nothing but fast forward with multiple releases for record labels such as Suara, Tronic, Waveform, Soma, Global Underground, Break New Soil, Bitten etc. He was the headliner on the biggest festivals in the world and an international gig schedule playing all over Europe, USA, Asia, Australia and South America, just to name a few, he is the owner of Alleanza Recordings, he is only 28 years old, comes from Malta and represents one of the most recognized names in the today’s techno world, we are of course talking about Jewel Kid!
CP: Hi Jewel, on start of this interview, we want to ask you a question that you probably heard many times before, but since it is very interesting detail from your career, can you please tell us why Jewel Kid and when did you start dj-ing?
Well I’m the youngest in a family that runs a big jewellery company in Malta, so when it came to find an alias it was quite natural to adapt to how I was referred. The 14 year old DJ from that jewellery company, the Jewel Kid.
CP: In your sets today we can hear a wide range of styles and genres of tech house and techno. How do you choose music that you’re going to play?
I am very thankful to receive a good amount of promos from different kind of genres for reviewing as this broadens my collection, making it smoother when it comes to building a set. Obviously I still scout around Beatport in-search for hidden gems not to mention the bulk of demos we get sent for Alleanza. From this vast collection I then sit down in my hotel room or on a flight and assemble a folder with music that I would like to play over that weekend which then depends on the mood and feel of the crowd.
CP: Interaction with crowd has always been important on live performances, do you believe in the possibility of “reading the audience” – and how do you put it into practice?
I strongly believe that knowledge of “reading the audience” is what separates one DJ from another. Being qualified in knowing how to observe and react to the crowd should always be the primary role of a DJ, making those pivotal moments so special that it’s quite impossible to put into words.
CP: You display the skills as a dj that are quite obvious. Do you still practice, trying the new equipment, search for new ways to shape and change your music during performances?
The last time I practiced was about 12 years ago in a 14 year career, as I’ve been DJ-ing mainly every weekend so far. I’m always eager to test out new equipment but until now I’m still enjoying my CDJ and RMX-1000 setup which I constantly update with new sound banks and fx.
CP: You had a chance to play all around the globe, can you single out a place or gig that can qualify as your best experience?
Reading this question instantly puts weight on my shoulder because every weekend carries its own experience. There are so many great clubs now-a-days with the explosion of electronic music that it astonishes me how places I never considered can pull out such a great and professional event.
CP: Let’s talk about Alleanza Radio Show for a moment, you have been host of that show for almost 3 years now, correct? How do you choose guests for your show?
We like to rotate between artists that have appeared or are about to appear on the label, but we also like to bring in a few guests that we appreciate and think that our listeners will enjoy too.
CP: Your latest EP that includes tracks Don’t Stay and Hear Me went out on Alleanza early this month. We think both tracks are hot! How are you satisfied with reactions so far?
I am greatly fulfilled with the feedback from this EP since it’s my first release after my 3 month break. There was a 6 month gap between my previous release and this, something which never happened during my production career. This release got a main banner on Beatport’s techno page, a “must hear of the week” and high billing on the techno charts. So without question satisfactory has been given to the fullest.
CP: Recently you posted a print screen picture of Cubase new project on facebook with comment that after all those projects you still get excited like it’s the first time. What inspires you to do what you do all these years? Where is the source of that driving force?
I think looking at all the aspects of this career, making music for me is at the forefront of it all. It’s what I get up for each day. The adventure of building a track that might resonate through all four corners of the world gives me a reason to live. I know it sounds a bit overwhelming but it sets me apart from the stereo typing that a lot of humanity revolves around. I don’t care about money and stability, if I did I could have made use of my I.T. diplomas or other opportunities that revolve around me, but for me stability is dull. Everyone knows that choosing a music career is very tough but it’s what fulfills me, I do it for the buzz. I do it for the pure joy of the thing. And if I can do it for joy, I can probably keep doing this forever.
CP: OK, so we know it is Cubase, is there any specific piece of gear / hardware that you are using, or any particular VST that gives you the sound you’re searching for?
I’ve got quite a good number of VST’s but it seems that I always end up using the same plug-ins. Waves, Native Instruments and Sound Toys could be found in all my projects since all 3 brands produce a vast selection of software. As for hardware I would have to give my full credit to my Genelec 1030A monitors as I could never swap them with anything else.
CP: Great roster that represents Alleanza has been put together. What is the plan for this summer and for the rest of the year? What is next for you personally and Alleanza?
All of us are super looking forward to what we have coming up, from five-star releases to worldwide showcases where I will be joined by the likes of Julian Jeweil, Paul Ritch and more. Our annual Alleanza Boat Party in Malta is also around the corner, something that we and 250 dedicated techno veterans wait for each year. As for my own, we have decided to keep my releases exclusively on Alleanza for now since the label has been doing so great. Being crowned as the 10th most selling techno label on Beatport was quite a milestone for us being that the label is only three and a half years old. So apart from touring and visiting a handful of fresh countries I must say that all of us are more than curious to see were our brand is heading.