Addliss Portrait

Addliss Celebrates 10 Years of Making Waves

R.A. Bakr

Coming from a classical approach, Addliss remains fascinated by melodies and harmonies. “They lead me through the music – be it DJing or producing”, he says and further adds, “When I hear a new tune, I listen to the melody to know if it’s good”.

Representing smooth chillout vibes, Addliss continues to bring tranquil listening to FRISKY. Now marking his decade long milestone, his show Waves continues to dominate FRISKY CHILL.

FRISKY News caught up with Addliss and discussed his decade-long journey, production process and routine, his album ‘Wonders’ and a glimpse of what’s next for his music career.

Catch Addliss’ 10th anniversary show February 2nd at 7am EST | 12 noon GMT [convert timezone] right here only on CHILL.

Addliss with Headphones

Hi Jakob, so nice of you to take time out and speak with us. How are you?

Hey guys, I’m pretty fine since I can take some time for the interview during the weekend.

You’re now into your 10th year with FRISKY, did you ever expect for your show to reach such a memorable milestone?

Actually, it doesn’t really feel like the 10th anniversary! When I first started, it was a great milestone for me, now it seems like a constant in my life. I didn’t think of carrying on so long, I just wanted to have a good show – every time. But here we are and I’m very happy with it! That’s why I wanted to make it special and invited an actual pianist called Xeuphoria to play something for us. So, he delivered an hour of piano pieces and I’m very, very excited about it!

There are so many facets to electronic music, producing and deejaying. What’s your process been like through the years?

When I hear a new tune, I listen to the melody to know if it’s good [or not]. Starting with producing I discovered DJing later but loved it just as much! To know, if tracks match in a set you have to consider different aspects of music – energy, rhythmic and melodic structure. If you play a Tech House track and a Trance tune follows that won’t fit (for me, at least). So, I try to put tracks together that are similar in these three aspects; but make a small step into a different direction where I can take the next step.

With that said, share with us (a little) of how have you grown as an artist over the decade?

I have grown a lot! Back then I had a very short discography, which now extends over quite a number of releases including EPs and albums. In 2010 I barely had released a handful of remixes, but in the early 2010s that changed. I found some generous labels, produced like a daredevil sometimes and was eager for feedback and releases! Having something on the record made me calmer. I don’t have to release everything right away, but I’m still excited of showing new music to my audience.

My style has changed a bit, too. In 2010 I was nearly a full-on uplifting Trance guy and had just discovered my love for Ambient music. With dance music I couldn’t go slower than 132 bpm. Growing older made me appreciate the slower tempo more and more, so now I’m working (and have released) tracks at 125 bpm.

Recently, I even took up the piano again and recorded something to give away to my audience – like this one called ‘River Flows’ that can be listened to on SoundCloud. The artistic expression has clearly grown on me. Now, that’s much more important to me than “danceability” of a tune.

Addliss DJing with FRISKY sticker

Besides your show, you managed to release an Ambient album in 2016. Tell us more about the album and do you have any plans to release another one?

Yes, “Wonders” was a great journey! Back then I tried to make a living from music (which didn’t work out, btw.), so I figured I had to release a full album. It had to be artistic, not a dance album, since I had developed a love for slower music with birds and pattering water or footsteps on gravel while hiking in nature. So, I sat down for 2 weeks and produced a tune every day!

Not expecting to finish it, the work went better than I hoped and so I sat there with a pre-master album after two weeks. It contains some “spacey” tracks, but also piano tunes and the aforementioned birds and pattering water. Within 6 months I had sold enough to get even with the cost, but I still have a really big box of CDs in my home studio! (Laughs)

I wanted to produce a second Ambient album but haven’t managed so far due to taking on a more demanding daily job. Having put a lot of time into this job I plan on taking time for producing this year. Maybe it won’t be the full album, but it will be a number of Ambient tracks, from which one is already almost done

Kindly give us a glimpse into your production routine.

If I produce, I always start with a melody, a motif and build everything around it. It has never changed since I started at an early age! I came from producing with beginner programs which opened a whole new world for me. Now I have the routine to build a harmony or a melody synth as the first step and when I have an idea about how the main part could sound, I add some percussions. In my newest production for the first time I produced without any preset mastering which I needed previously. I just set out every sound very carefully and plan on mastering the tune “when it’s done”, which is a premiere for me.

What type of challenges have you encountered from the start of your music career? And knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self?

There are several challenges for me. Being a diverse artist, serving different styles of music isn’t easy. But “always stay true to yourself”, which is kind of a shallow overused advice, sums up a good route to take. If you don’t feel well with a style you only produce to be or get “famous” it won’t take you anywhere you want to be.

My second advice would be to professionalize early and to plan out the economic side of music business better. Not doing so has been a big mistake I made. Also, I would advise myself to get more artistic early on. Dance music is nice and everything, but music is art and should be more than only serving the audience. It’s clearly entertainment, but also education, joint enjoyment, creating a unique journey and so much more.

What’s next for Addliss?

Recently, I released some old tunes with Ingo Vogelmann – which we will continue. Currently I’m working on a new track accompanying our next EP with tunes that have gone offline within the years. Of course, there’s the 8-year anniversary of “In Between”, my second show with FRISKY in March. Actually, I don’t know what to do about it, but I’m sure there a great idea will jump at me. Apart from that I want to produce the Ambient music guiding me to my next album and record some more piano tunes, maybe even my first classical composition on the piano. I know it will be a tough year with a lot of challenges on my daily job, but music is an existential escape and I will never abandon it!

Listen to 10 years of Waves on FRISKY: