Local Rockstars: Macedonian mastermind ME.N.U. about his latest feat of arms

Local Rockstars: Macedonian mastermind ME.N.U. about his latest feat of arms

Feb 28, 2013 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Mark Visbeek is a designer, musician, superstar, and loves illeism. Always looking to create beautiful things, I'm often distracted by the amazing stuff happening around me. My most important weapons are limitless amounts of love and a faux-French accent.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber-geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the Dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

If you’re a regular reader of Overdose.am or visited Next Monday’s Hangover parties before, you’re probably already familiar with ME.N.U., the moniker of Macedonian musical mastermind Marko Nikolovski. He’s been living in Amsterdam for seven years, and is a serious rising star here, with an amount of creative output that gets me suspicious of him hiding a bunch of underpaid oompa-loompas in his basement. This Saturday he’ll present his newest feat of arms: an EP release on morgen.am. I had to have a talk with the man to find out more about what he’s hiding in his basement.

Marko, you’re quite the busy bee. Is this EP a big milestone for you, or just one of many things you’re creating?
“Well, it’s one of the many products I have created and will create. I just finished another EP for 8bit with Satori, one of my favourite record labels and producers. My first vinyl, it’ll be out in March. I’m also completing an EP for Excell and working on a few remixes.”

Where do you get all the inspiration to keep pumping out so much creativity?
“Driving my bike through Amsterdam is a big inspiration. Creating energy-powered loops with a perpetual steady foot motion, I find percussions and melodies along my path. That’s why my tracks contain a lot of vocals. People scream at me when I pass the red light. But all jokes aside; I truly believe that, unfortunately, pain and sorrow are the deepest and strongest form of inspiration. Music inspired by the BPM of the heart will stand the test of time and connect with the listener on a higher level. We listen to music when we are happy, but we understand it when we’re sad.”

Your music is very uplifting and danceable though. Do you make it for listening, or for dancing?
“It always has to be both. It has to make you dance when you’re in a club, but you have to be able to enjoy it at home as well. When I make a beat and finally get a groove going, and it makes me get up and dance, I know I got the groovy dancing character. Then I start developing the song and the arrangement. When it’s almost finished I try to fall asleep listening to the track on my headphones. If something’s off it’ll disturb me and keep me from going to sleep. So I work on it more, until I finally fall asleep. It can take a week.”

I would give anything to be on that stage one day, making the people feel the way I felt then.

The way you talk about it, it seems like it’s almost automatic. You just keep creating, because that’s what you do. Do you ever feel like it’s hard work, or does it come naturally?
“All the songs come naturally or by accident. The hard part is to transform your thoughts into beats and melodies. I always go with the flow; if that stops I delete the project. Or when I feel like I’m not yet technically capable of recreating the sound I hear in my head, I leave it and come back to it when I think I’m ready. I’ve got a lot of unfinished projects floating around in my head. It’s a mess up there.”

What was the biggest adventure you’ve experienced as a DJ?
“Playing in the Gashouder at Awakenings on New Year’s Eve. The first time I went to Awakenings it blew my mind. I’d give anything to be on that stage one day, making the people feel the way I felt then. And I believe I did, although I don’t think there was anyone enjoying it more than me.”

What are things you want to do in the future?
“If technology ever allows it, I want to create music with my head. I just want to sit in a chair meditating and have everything I hear in my mind directly played through the speakers. The audience hears what I hear, like seeing someone dreaming. There are big inspirations, but also millions of small inspirations that change every second. There will be no compromise, it’ll be pure musical inspiration, and it will never be the same.”

So what have you planned for us this Saturday at the EP release?
“It’s my first time as a resident in the Sugar Factory. We’ll be playing with DJs from the morgen.am label and my good friend Satori, who did a remix for the EP. Also playing will be Pete Bandit & Jason Shae, who really impressed me with their latest release. After hearing that I had to get those guys to come. I also have a special surprise for some lucky guests: a traditional drink from Macedonia that my grandpa made.”

Sounds dangerous. Anything else you want to share with your fresh fans?
“I’ve been watching porn during the interview.”

What kind?
“Stay out of my personal life.”


When: Saturday, March 2nd
Where: Sugar Factory
Tickets: €10 + support for O-foundation
Facebook: Event

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