Interview: Ummet Ozcan Discusses OZ Records, ‘Change My Mind,’ And What It Takes To Get To The Top

Interview Ummet Ozcan

If you listen to electronic dance music and you haven’t heard of Ummet Ozcan then you’ve probably been living under a rock. The Dutch-Turkish producer and DJ has an impressive career spanning over a decade. With his roots in techno and trance, Ozcan is always attempting to push the musical envelope into new and interesting territory.

2018 is shaping up to be a big year for the Spinnin’ Records veteran. On March 19th Ummet officially debuted ‘Krypton,’ the first release on his new label OZ Records, a partner label to Spinnin’. With two more releases lined up for his label, Ozcan is set to make a huge impact on the music world by giving more up and coming artists a chance to make it to the top.

EDMTunes got the chance to interview Ummet Ozcan and ask him about all his current projects, including his newest track ‘Change My Heart,’ featuring the vocals of Laurell, out today, March 27th, on Spinnin’.

EDMTunes: As one of the biggest names in dance music over the last ten years, your dedication to the scene and high-quality music is without question. Is there any one moment in particular that stands out as the thing that inspired you to pursue a career in dance music?

Ummet Ozcan: It just came natural, from my early teens onwards I have been listening to dance music a lot. My brother collected all these funny CD dance compilations and I confiscated his keyboard to play along with the tunes. I guess that sparked it, but it took quite some years before I could call myself a professional. Suddenly you realize how awesome your job is.

R3hab, Dmitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Calvin Harris are just a few of the biggest names you’ve worked with so far. Is there any one producer or group you have always wanted to have in your studio? What about their music stands out in your mind?

I am a big fan of Hans Zimmer, he’s the master of film score and a great producer. He comes up with these mesmerizing impactful melody lines, take for instance the music of the movie Interstellar. It grabs you by the throat. It would be awesome to one day do a project with him.

You have released a ton of music and collaborated with superstars, but May 19th marks a pretty big date in your career. Your new label OZ Records is off to a great start with your own track ‘Krypton’ as it’s debut release. What was the inspiration for OZ and how do you plan to stand out in a world where electronic music is becoming more ubiquitous?

After almost 10 years of releases on Spinnin Records, I felt the need to establish something more personal. That’s why we’ve started OZ Records. It will become easier to schedule my releases, so the output will probably increase.

Regarding the creative side of things Spinnin has always been very cooperative, but I guess now I’ve got even more freedom to choose my own direction. However, the cooperation with Spinnin will remain very close as it’s a joint team effort. We just try to release good tracks that generally stand out, there is plenty of room to make a difference with it.

According to the website, “OZ Records plans to tap into the giant pool of aspiring producers and create a platform for this new emerging talent”. Without revealing any secrets, how do you plan to search for these new artists? Do you have any specific guidelines for the tracks you will sign?

There is a lot of talent out there that at a certain moment will reach out to the industry to get their stuff released. As many of us Dj ’s receive a lot of demos. Most of the time the quality is questionable, but occasionally there are some pretty good ones too. One of the main criteria is that the track is suitable for me to play in my sets.

As someone so interested in people working their way to the top, do you have any tips or insights for new producers? With influences from techno, trance, and house, is there any one trait or habit you see across genres in the artists who make it to the top?

You have to be determined to the bone! It’s a jungle out there with a lot of competition. But true talent will always emerge, you have to be dedicated and patient. Also, we need innovation, don’t try to copy others too much, be creative and passionate about everything that you do.

Your newest track ‘Change My Heart’ is out now on Spinnin’ Records! This fun, flirty, playful tune features the vocals of Laurell. How did you two end up working together and what is the story behind the song?

Laurell has been around for a while as a passionate singer-songwriter. I heard a few of her demo’s and this one took my attention immediately. It’s such a great and catchy song! We got in touch and started to work on it for a number of weeks. Sending mixes back and forth. We are really happy with the result and can’t wait to hear it being played at the stations.

Let’s say you didn’t become an internationally famous producer and DJ. What would you be? Did little Ummet Ozcan have any big dreams before taking the main stage at some of the biggest festivals in the world?

That’s a question I ask myself every now and then, what if…  I have always been a creative soul and interested in hi-tech almost nerdy like things, so I might be involved in other types of digital creation, maybe 3D design for games or movies. In my spare free time, I still like to experiment with 3D stuff and develop some ideas for games.

Big thanks to Ummet Ozcan for the interview and the insight into the world of dance music. Go check out his new record label OZ Records. and it’s first release, ‘Krypton’. And don’t forget about his latest release, ‘Change My Mind’ featuring Laurell, out now on Spinnin’!