It’s on the up and up for Danish DJ and producer Martin Jensen. And, we’re not just talking about the general perception of his rising success. Rather, all you have to do is check out the latest DJ Magazine poll and all of that’s evident. While some producers have seen their status fall a few places, Jensen jumped up to No. 54 – 16 spots since 2017.
Tropical house, along with trap and future bass, has replaced the hard-hitting progressive and big room sounds from just a few years ago, and Jensen’s likely riding the wave. While trends certainly play a part, so does diversification – a career booster for heavyweights like David Guetta, Tiesto, Nicky Romero, and Steve Aoki. On one hand, Jensen’s proved to be an expert pop crafter: You’ll hear it in 2016’s “Solo Dance,” his biggest hit to date, reaching No. 7 on the Danish charts. And, it emerged in 2018 with “16 Steps,” his collaboration with former Disney star and current Cloak & Dagger actress Olivia Holt.
Yet, while he could be dismissed as a lightweight version of Zedd, Jensen’s not afraid to flaunt his 10 years as a club DJ. That side of his background emerged last year with EP World.
However, Jensen’s profile didn’t just emerge overnight. His first single “Si,” which sampled Cristiano Ronaldo’s cheer from the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or, appeared all the way back in 2014, followed by vocal track “Miracles” the next year and “All I Wanna Do” in 2016. As Jensen gears up for the next stage in his career, we had a chance to ask him a few questions:
Since you started DJing, how have your style and production techniques evolved?
My live performances have really evolved over the last years. In the clubs I used to play longer songs, but with all the festivals I’ve played over the years my mixing has become quicker and quicker. Where it before was 3 minutes plus with a song, now it’s maybe one or one and a half minutes to get the crowd going.
You’ve collaborated with Olivia Holt and Loote, among others. How do you pick your collaborators?
When I do my collaborations it’s a workflow between me, my A&R and my manager. I always have suggestions and we discuss it within the team. The most important thing for me is working with talented and unique artists, the size of the artist doesn’t matter. It was of course great to collaborate with Olivia Holt and Loote, but I wouldn’t want to do collaborations just because of the size of the artist.
Do you have any dream collaborations?
I would love to do a collaboration with Martin Garrix on a club track! I think we could really create something very special together. On the pop side I’d choose Taylor Swift. That would be the dream!
Tell us about your latest single, “Somebody I’m Not.” How did this song come about?
I got the vocal for Somebody I’m Not sent by old singer songwriter friend of mine and after listening I immediately texted them that I need to get this song, it was so catchy. It luckily all came together and we had a great release! I’ve previously worked with these guys on for example All I Wanna do so it was a really exciting thing to work together on a project once again.
For upcoming music, what do you have in the works?
In terms of new music I have so much new stuff for you guys. I’ve of course recently released my brand new single Somebody I’m Not and last Friday I just released two new remixes. One for George Ezra and one for Clean Bandit, Marina and the Diamonds and Luis Fonsi. Next up is two new singles in the start of next year. I’m so excited about all this new music I’m able to put out lately.
In terms of equipment, what’s currently in your studio setup?
Right now in my studio I have a large LG ultrawide screen, Macbook Pro, Genelec 8351, EVE 307 speakers, Komplete Kontrol 61 keyboard and I just bought a brand new Yamaha U3 silent acoustic piano and of course a great microphone to records vocals on. My studio has also evolved a lot over the years but I’m very happy with the state of it at the moment.
Recently, you performed at Tomorrowland Taiwan. What was your experience like?
Tomorrowland Taiwan was so hot! I had just launched my new merchandise and of course wanted to show everyone what I had been working on. I chose to wear my hoodie on stage in the burning heat. I was so hot but kept it on for the entire show. I’m really happy I got to perform in it, but I’ll wear a T-shirt next time! It was a brilliant show and we had the mayor of Taiwan on stage as well. Was a super unique experience and a great event.
What’s your preference – performing at large festivals or smaller club shows?
I actually don’t really have a favorite. If the club is packed and the energy is there, it can be a more intimate and fun experience than standing at a huge festival where you can’t really see the crowd due to the lighting. Both are very unique experiences and I wouldn’t choose one above the other.
In terms of upcoming shows or tour dates, where can we expect to see you next?
I’m going to China this weekend and I’ll be doing 3 gigs there. Then off to Jakarta and afterwards Tokyo in Japan. New Years Eve I can’t say anything about yet unfortunately. In 2019 you can expect to see me touring the world as with this year. I can’t wait for all the shows to come! I’m super excited!
Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.