Swiss-Italian DJ and producer Maurizio Colella has been producing and spinning tuneful, summery house tracks since the mid-1990s. Under his moniker, EDX, the Italian native artist is globally known in the house music scene. With over two decades of experience, Colella is a worldwide acclaimed remixer as well as one of the most dedicated, hard-working characters in the industry.
With a vast catalog of top chart original productions and remixes, he has earned the hearts of many adoring fans. Prior to his #EDXTakeover set at Splash House 2018 in Palm Springs last weekend, we got to catch up with EDX as he reflected on his music career thus far, his current tour and what’s to come, and even some personal insight on the dance music scene.
You’re getting ready for your Splash House set! Are there any tracks in particular you’re super excited to play?
Well, most of the time I’m super excited to test new tunes – just released stuff. Sometimes it’s even records that friends have sent over. I’m never thinking, “Oh, now is the right moment.” There’s a pool and it’s kind of different to the festival shows and night shows, so there will be a lot of tunes I am really excited to test out today.
Tell us about your new track, Anthem. Congrats on the 1M plays on Spotify – can you give us some background on its production? What was the inspiration behind the track?
Anthem, wow yeah. Just been released a couple of weeks back and we are already at 2.5M streams on Spotify. That’s exciting actually!
Anthem was a record I produced after a lot of releases, including vocals, from last year. My last tune was a remix for Charlie Puth’s ‘How Long‘ and my own track called ‘Running‘. So like old tacks, I was 20. I felt that I needed to go back to club music, with a little bit less vocals and a little bit more banging to shake people in a club. When that record was promoted around Ultra Week and Miami Music Week, that is what this record was for. Feedback was incredible on it. There were lots of DJs reaching out. They love the record!
On the production side, you know, most of the time you start off with a loop. The whole record was built around a disco loop, which was the first thing I had. Then I tried to add some beats to have a lead sound and a break, to add a little bit of an atmospheric vibe. I went a little bit trance-y – which is kinda cool – and I also added a 90s sample that everyone used back in the days for hip-hop records. It was actually the time when I grew up, and it’s a complete record. It’s a club record, it works. The feedback from the audience and fans is incredible. So I’m very, very thankful and happy about that release.
What does your typical pre-set routine look like?
On a day like today, it’s mostly water because it’s super important – not only for myself, but for the people out there – to stay hydrated. In general, I don’t really have anything I do. I don’t pick this or that. I think it’s always important to just, right before the set (well, not today because I only play for a little over an hour), go to the bathroom! It has happened before where I have played long sets and I was happy that I went to the bathroom before. Anyways, I just chill, make a few calls, check out social media and most of the time before I go onstage, I don’t know what track I’ll start with. So for today, I will find out when I am up on stage.
You’ve been touring around the globe this year quite regularly – what’s been your favorite stop in 2018 thus far?
Well, there hasn’t been just one. I played a lot of festivals already in Europe. Some have started early this year. I always like to actually play open space venues, where you feel when the sunset starts and you actually are able to bring the people into a very special vibe. So all of those stops are particular to me, like a few festivals I have played in Germany. I played in Israel, in Eilat actually, which is a beach club and it is awesome. One of my favorite places was Tante Mia Tanzt in Germany and another one was called Tropical Mountain which was a festival type event on top of a small mountain in Saarland, Germany. I played just a little bit before the sunset started and the audience was really good.
But anyways, you know I’ve played many shows, it’s so hard to pick just one. I had a great show in Atlantic City this year. I had a great show during Miami Music Week for No Xcuses. For next week, I’m going to play on my own No Xcuses Yacht Cruise in New York on the Hudson River. I already know since I’ve been home it’s about to sell out a week before, and I am really looking forward to it. This will be, again, one of my favorite places this year.
Which venues are you looking forward to playing at next?
You know, it’s always good to play on a boat. It’s a good experience and people are always in a special vibe – happy, good vibes. New York is always special. I played a lot of great shows there. I remember one of my first shows in New York was many years back at Electric Zoo. I still think today, wow this was a magic moment. The crowd went mental, it was so much fun. So it’s always there and I feel a very special energy when in New York. I am really looking forward to it.
With over 20 years of music making under your belt, tell us: out of all of the tracks you’ve produced, do you have a favorite?
That’s not a fair question. Every track is my favorite track. Of course, every tack has a story behind it, a connection – something sentimental to it when you produced it, when you wrote it, or collaborated on the record. It would not be the right thing to just pick one record.
But if I had to pick one from last year, I think I would pick ‘We Can’t Give Up‘ that I recorded together with Tom Gregory. He did an amazing job with the lyrics. I would also pick ‘All I Know‘ because it incorporates old and new beats together. From my older ones, I think ‘Embrace‘ is one of my favorites. [There’s] ‘Casa Grande‘ and ‘Breathing‘ too, but as I said, every record is connected to a moment during my journey. They are all fun to produce.
Looking to the future, what can we expect to look out for? Any new releases, collaborations or tour dates you’ve yet to announce?
We actually newly released four records this year. One was the Charlie Puth [‘How Long‘] remix that came out late December. We had 10M streams on Spotify. It’s the best release so far.
My single ‘Jaded‘ is still growing with 6M streams and it’s been added to so many compilations as well. ‘Anthem‘ is growing, and then there’s my [‘Make You Feel‘] remix for Janelle Monae. It’s just been released as one of the top Janelle Monae records of the moment. So I’m really looking forward to more music and there will be a couple more remixes around summer. It may also be time for another vocal record.