EJ is the exclusive and mysterious resident DJ for the global entertainment brand and race championship, Formula E, as well as one of the freshest talents on Armin van Buuren’s legendary Armada label. Touring the world, performing at some of the most exciting venues and parties on the planet, EJ plays hi-octane sets at Ibiza clubs, worldwide festivals including ULTRA, and during each race to trackside fans, as well as a TV audience of 200 million. The last few years have turned out to be one hell of a ride for this multi-talented DJ/producer. Listen to his latest track, ‘Slipstream,’ embedded below.
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SunCity Paradise: Kicking it off with London, what really stands out and makes it special to you? Where would you send a first-time visitor to get a real sense of the city?
EJ: London in the summer is amazing. I don’t know if that’s just because I am a Londoner, but we very rarely get nice weather, so when we do, we really embrace it. As soon as the sun is out the vibe goes up 1,000 percent. I love South West London during this time. It’s where I live. People are drinking outside by the river and in the parks. It’s pretty special.
SCP: What was your first real exposure to music? How did you get inspired to create your own and eventually pursue it as a career?
EJ: My first real exposure to music and wanting to pursue it as a career was from working summers in Ibiza. The island is a very magical place. I met some amazing people and played some seriously cool gigs. Everything followed from there really.
SCP: To create music, and traveling to promote it, must be such a feeling. What’s the most impactful and meaningful part you cherish about it? Does the travel help inspirationally?
EJ: Yeah, definitely seeing different cultures, and spending time in other countries, stimulates the brain and makes you think more creatively. Different crowds react to different things, so you have to think outside the box a little. My music has a style though. It’s nice to see the crowds in each country I visit all have smiles on their faces when performing a set.
SCP: You just released you newest single ‘Slipstream.’ What was your thought process behind this track? Describe your excitement to share it with and play it live for your fans.
EJ: I wanted to produce a summer festival banger that was uplifting, powerful and could also be played at the Formula E races when the winning driver crosses the finish line. It’s amazing to crank up the volume when this is happening and see the crowds get excited.
SCP: How did you become involved with Formula E? What has the experience of coupling your music and racing been like?
EJ: I met Formula E a year before the first-ever race. They wanted to add music to the race series due to the cars being electric and not making as much noise. Now, I create the soundtrack to the racing, as well as play on the main stage that has a real festival feel about it. Then I play the after parties t00. Playing to the race is very different than playing a main set. You have to be aware that you are adding music to the already exciting entertainment that is going on around the track with the racing, commentary, crashes, etc. So, the main thing is no vocals during this time. Pretty hard, as I do love a vocal uplifting record! I make up for that in the other performances though.
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway?
EJ: I love a bit of both to be honest. That is why Ibiza will be really special to me. You can have the chill time, but then hit the clubs and even throw in a bit of scuba diving. I think if I had it too chilled I would want excitement, and if it was too lively I would want chill time. So, a good mix of both is the best.
SCP: Everyone has a list of places that they still have to hit. What are three destinations, either work or pleasure, that you need to see?
EJ: I’ve never been to Australia yet. Hopefully we’ll soon have a Formula E race there, so we’ll be able to tick that one off. Bali is also another one. The beaches look incredible and I love the look of the food. And finally, even though I have been there before when I was very young, I would like to spend more time in Japan. The history and the culture fascinates me.
SCP: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding dance music, have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
EJ: I think traveling is one of the most important things you can do in life. Luckily enough, I’ve done a lot. If you just get stuck in the same country you were born in and never see any of these other beautiful places, experience other cultures and meet different people, you are starving yourself of knowledge and creativity. So many times when I’ve been away, I’ve made decisions that have affected the path of my life for the better, which I am very grateful for. Throw a bit of dance music into this, and it breaks down boundaries and brings people from all over the world together. It’s pretty incredible.
SCP: When you’re relaxing on a beach or just have some downtime are you listening to music? Do you like to switch up the genre you listen to? If so, to what?
EJ: Definitely. I’m not always listening to banging progressive house and trance. I love a lot of chill out and more down-tempo stuff. Tom Misch is a favorite at the moment. The guy is seriously talented. Seeing him develop from the early YouTube videos he used to put up, to watching him perform at The Roundhouse in Camden a few months back, has been amazing.
SCP: Lastly, what do the next couple of months have in store for you?
EJ: There is the last Formula E race in New York City on the July 14th and 15th that I’m playing at. This was pretty special last year, so if anyone is in NYC, I suggest you check it out. I have a lot more music due out on Garuda that I can’t wait to release. We’ve been working really hard in the studio and have finished a load of new tracks, so watch out for those. Then [starting in] September, during the Formula E offseason, I will be touring globally. Keep an eye on my website for more info.