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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

GL0WKiD Interview (2018)

If you are a raver, you must have seen his name before. This mysterious DJ, radio producer, music blogger and promoter has become a well established name in the industry, and has created a platform on which he showcases his love for everything 90s Rave related. He’s been pushing the oldskool sound forward, and his dedication and enthusiasm has led him being recognised by big names in the game. This will be the first time I interview a fellow blogger, but obviously a more interesting one than yours truly. Sit back and enjoy the conforting words from the one and only GL0WKiD!

GL0WKiD, πώς είσαι? Γειά σου Martin, all fine in here;  preparing myself for summertime! Hope you’re fine too mate.”

I know that the majority of people don’t know who’s behind the name, but could you explain who GL0WKiD is, and what he does? And more to the point, where the name comes from? “Well, GL0WKiD is my 7 year old project born by my avid passion for radio, music & writing expressed on different angles. It’s my proud artistic part and I’d say in overall that I’m just a humble normal guy, who’s probably a little bit more passionate and 24/7 digger in music than others hahaha. Regarding the roots of the name, it’s a combination of 80’s/90’s superheroes, rave air and that ‘forever young’ spirit. In a few words, emphasis on positive vibes… So, all of these elements are still glowing inside me and hopefully will last for long enough.”

You are from Athens, the lovely Athens. And you are a fan of the Oldskool Rave sound. That’s kind of unique, seeing as I would not have thought Rave music would be big in Greece. On your website you state that this character started back in 2011, but the roots, that’s what I’m interested in: when did you hear Rave music for the first time, and can you remember what the actual first tune was? “I still remember myself listening to various local radio stations from the age of 8 around, born for real into music while also focusing on specific shows playing out from Pop and EuroHouse to Trance or Happy Hardcore. Big fan also of good old MTV too.

First rave vibes that infected me, were tunes like ‘Out of Space’ & ‘No Good’ by The Prodigy then ‘Age of Love’ anthem, Komakino’s ‘Outface’ or ‘L.A. Style – James Brown Is Dead’ and ‘Can’t Stop Raving’ by Dune.

I can admit that ‘No Good’ has transferred me to another dimension (although ‘Out Of Space’ teaches that). By this anthem, I’ve completely entered into The Prodigy world, additionally I’ve opened my horizons discovering new music apart from the Eurotechno vibes I used to listen mostly back then.”

A big name in the industry, and a huge The Prodigy Fanboy, but before we start delving into your work, I want to know when GL0WKiD was a real kid, what did you listen to? Who influenced you to become the person you are nowadays? “That’s a good question. Well I used to and I still listen to almost all types of Electronic music emphasizing to anything that’s uplifting and specifically everything started back then from Eurotechno/EuroHouse vibes. And I can now reveal that just before GL0WKiD birth, my previous project was on a duet with a girl where we’ve been reviving and breathing every single moment like 90s, having our radio shows, playing out Oldskool classics as well as participating on a few parties. So when this one ended, my current self project was born…”

You wear a mask, to hide your identity. Is there a specific reason why you do that? “Hahaha! It all started from my radio love. And from this perspective, I define it like: back in my youth when I was listening to a radio show I was becoming one with the presenter without even knowing him or ever seen him or whatever. And this kind of magic, the magic of the unknown and the desire for discovery into something different like a travelling without moving trip fueled with innocence, is my main message. I still treat my life like in the 90s. Life is too short, we should not get depressed or angry with anything and anyone. Live it like Oldschool but call it Nuskool!”

A big name, not only when it comes to blogging, but also radio presenter. A show called ‘Generation X’. You have had great response from literally the greatest in the scene, and you try to take down the barrier between the oldskool and nuskool sound. How did it come about, this radio show? Weren’t there enough show online already? “As already told you, everything started from my love to the value called ‘radio’. And you know what?! Everyone makes his own show, his own thing and that’s much respected of course, but there’s a huge fanbase and amount of people out there who appreciate that different approach of a show I’m doing over the years. It’s not just mixing or talking. It’s a complete radio show. Furthermore it’s educational as Matt, a good pal from Chicago, has described it.

I’m 100% proud of Generation X [RadioShow].”

A wide audience is captured by this, and you have been nominated as ‘Best Radio Show’ back in 2014. Within those 3 years you have done pretty well. Ever woke up and thought ‘this must be a dream’? “Definetely my nomination @ Breakspoll in 2014 was an absolute praise by all means and a good push forward to keep it up. It was followed successfully by entering into the Top 8 a year later as well. So before 2014, 3 years of hard work gave a straight pass to the next 4 years to harder work till present. I’ve stayed concentrated and simply keep doing what expresses me. It might sound crazy but I haven’t really thought of how big it is or how far it can get because everyday I wake up, I have a full notebook scheduled with different tasks to do within the scene.”

Explain to everyone, who are unaware of the show, what the mission is of it? “The mission of Generation X [Radio Show] is to bridge the gap between Oldskool & Nuskool generation by the rhythms of Hardcore and uplifting Rave buzzers! Everytime, emphasized on different setlist, new labels, promos, guests mixes & exclusive radio interviews either with well established legends in the game or new blood and upcoming producers that are my personal standout in the scene… The show is a serious takeover to the evolution of Hardcore featuring from Hardcore Breaks to Happy Hardcore and Ravecore dishes. Back in 1991, Qbass has said that Hardcore will never die and it’s totally true to date.

At present, I’m currently into some occassional special editions of my radio show, due to my busy schedule. Anyone can get informed by subscribing or following my socials.”

You have interviewed many great names (and I’m jealous), like Marusha, Mark Archer, Billy Daniel Bunter, Ratpack, Luna-C, Liquid, Fat Controller, Casketkrusher, and the list goes on. How do you prepare yourself for such an interview, and how have the responses been from the fans? “So far, all of my Guests (around 50 in total) are people that I appeciate and admire a lot and that gives me extra motivation and pleasure to make a good Interview with them. It takes time because I’m a perfectionist and everything should be done professionally, because it’s not just a chat but an interview and all listeners or blog readers should learn something and inform themselves. Till now, fans response regarding the interviews is ideal. I’d share as an example my recent interview with German superstar Marusha; its length is a bit less than 40 minutes and after that all messages I’ve received from the listeners were full of joy and excitement. Most of them said in common that it was about the real ‘chemistry’ between myself & the interviewee and then about the topics we discussed and news that revealed.

Last but not least, all of my Guests are picked not by accident but on the grounds of my support and preference to their work. I really like to push and promote all of them as much as it can get. Good for them is good for the scene!”

Who’s the biggest artist you haven’t interviewed yet, and really want to interview? “Everyone is special but The Prodigy was the beginning for me… I still call them my ‘music religion’. That says it all!”

You became more active back in 2013: you joined The Prodigy Fanboy team member. Now we all know who The Prodigy are, and how great they have been since the start. I’m also a fan of their earlier work (don’t really understand their ‘newer’ stuff) and have played their first three albums so much, scratches have made the album unplayable. But what’s your reason to join this club, and what’s the mission behind this fanclub? “The Prodigy Fanboy is almost a 10 years old large community founded by Danny an Aussie loyal Prodigy fan. I’ve been following this website from its early days and by the time I was doing some exclusive special radio shows dedicated to the band I got in touch with him and it was a matter of time joining Fanboy. Over the last 5 years I’m offering several website reviews as well as my Prodigy Fanboy Podcasts which have been still receiving great feedback from the fans. It’s a must to hear if you missing these, because it features anything around The Prodigy; from live versions to remixes, solo stuff, exclusive fan remixes etc. Needless to say that I love being involved on this role and promoting the band I love. Thanks to Fanboy which gave me this opportunity & appreciates my hard work.”

Ok, quick fire question (well, I had to): best Prodigy record, and why?‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ without any second thought. The reason is that Liam Howllet has correctly set up the right bridge between UK based Hardcore Breakbeat and German Techno as well as adding new elements of Punk attitude, experimenting more himself and forming step by step The Prodigy as a full band…”

The Prodigy has been a huge inspiration to many in the scene, and they still demolish dancefloors/stages all over the world. Are they succesfull in Greece too? “It’s been 3 years since the last time they played in Greece and when they return everything will be on fire again to embrace the new album. Every Prodigy gig in here is always frenzy. These boys are suitable to provide the right warmth to our mediterranean substance. Even though that Russia is the No.1 force of Prodigy fans I can say that Greek fans have built the right chemistry & a very good relationship with the band over the years.”

You have been to several Prodigy gigs, but what is so appealing to their performances? Why are they so unique and refreshing? “From a die hard Prodigy fan to a guy who hasn’t seen them before, the day of a Prodigy gig is something special because even though you can guess the setlist, you’re fueled with energy pumping from the immense beats of Liam accompanied by a storming performance from the others on stage.

We live in times when we’ve run out of big Electronic live bands; and when a 30 yrs band keeps doing that and still touring all around that’s unique, noteworthy and musically healthy. In addition their new direction since ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ has refreshed themselves as its something that totally represents them 3, thus it’s welcomed by all crowded venues they play.”

Talking about big things: you experienced something really good, playing at ‘Old Skool Festival 2016’ in Lodz, Poland, and you played amongst big names such as N-Joi, Rachel Wallace, Rozalla, General Levy, Nicky Blackmarket, and more. How did that come about, and how was the response from the crowd in Poland? “It was an amazing experience and finally I got the chance meeting in person many good friends from the web like Damage Inc. , Nefti, Oneplayz, Teknociziak, Simi, Greg Sin Key, Dymeq and of course the man who booked me, DJ Tornado. I have only good memories to share about this amazing weekender. I appreciate and love all Polish crew. Just to say that I’ve been calling this city like the Capital of Nu-Rave before visiting and living the Polish rave buzz. Lodz is full of talented people in arts and the music is a big part over there. Additionally they do know how to party hard with or without vodka hahaha!”

Can you describe your set in three words? “Energetic – Uplifting – Multigenre”

But we nearly forgot to mention the Strictly Nuskool Blog! You are a partner/manager and blogger/author of this wonderful website. For those unaware of what this blog does, can you elaborate on what it is that you all do? “Strictly Nuskool Blog is in the game over the last 5 years and I’m personally very happy & proud seeing how it’s evolved and helping also various producers/labels/promoters. It features exclusive content like interviews, reviews for newish releases as well as various podcasts/mixes. You should check the annual series of Hall of Fame mixes by myself & Tariq Ziyad done every December of each year. Apart from that, it’s also run as a free net label aiming to promote Nuskool artists. There are 36 releases so far including Singles, Eps and Album compilations all available on digital format. You can stream/download all releases here:

All in all, it seems to me that our scene needs more blog entries like Strictly Nuskool or yours to step next to everything new in order to promote the continuation of the music we love. Have to send my shouts out to Tariq, BreakbeatScientist, Andro, 2Nzy and Ted, and hopefully more people will start something on their own for the good of Hardcore music.”

You’ve had me on twice, naming my top 5 records of the year (I think it was back in 2015 and 2016). Now I’m going to ask you a very, very difficult question, and I hope you are ready for it: if you had to choose 5 records of all time, which ones would they be, and why? “Tough 1 because they’re tons of good stuff from different genres. For example I can opt a Depeche Mode album or even Bomfunk MCs debut… Alright. Since you asking this question I can mention 5 albums that come straight to my mind at the moment for different reasons.

  • ‘The Prodigy – Music For The Jilted Generation’ = Already told you the reason. Top of everything for me!

  • ‘The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole’ = Godfathers of Big Beat and rocking attitude in Electronic music. This album makes does it for real!

  • ‘Moby – Everything Is Wrong’  = Nothing can beat Moby’s 90s albums and everything is totally… correct on this versatile LP.

  • ‘Altern-8 – Full On Mask Hysteria’  = The Rave Bible

  • ‘2 Unlimited – No Limits!’ = 90s of innocence”

Not only a blogger/author, DJ, manager/partner, but also a vlogger! You are indeed a very busy man. Why did you add vlogging to your already busy portfolio? “Early of this year I had this great idea launching something that has been missing nowdays from Hardcore and that is dealing with Video. Furthermore a videoshow of me doing what I’ve been doing on my radio shows over the years. So, #GLOWBUZZ was born.

The result, especially on the second episode, is totally phenomenal and I’m inclined to say that there will be more like these because all Hardcore community is next to it and I need to offer more. There are people like Luna-C, Jay Cunning, Hyper On Experience, Liquid, DJ Faydz as well as many good friends from various labels, DJs & producers, all showing their love on my new project.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all kind words, feedback and love. Bigup goes also to Akrivi Kollia, the videomaker. We’ve spent many hours sorting out these videos and enjoying it quite a lot. The second episode is available to watch now including forthcoming Kniteforce Records 12” Eps by Gothica Shade, Liquid, Hyper On Experience & Pete Cannon.”

We’re coming towards the end, so before we sign off, can you please tell the fans what’s happening in the near future: anything we should focus on? Any gigs/interviews planned? Any other business venture you would like to share with us? “I like a lot doing surprises and this is the reason I haven’t revealed in public the subject of #GLOWBUZZ second episode. When people noticed that ‘Forthcoming 12” material by Kniteforce” they got blinded!!!

Well, there are some good things and fresh projects in the pipeline but the main big thing coming up is Unity In The Sun 2018 in the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, where I’ll attend, making a big review of this proper Hardcore & Jungle week plus getting some exclusive interviews for an upcoming radio show. Keep your eyes peeled for this one. Last but not least I’ve been contributing on the music selection of a live theatrical play and this is a big challenge. Certainly something interesting and new for me.”

We know each other due to the work that we both do. And I’m being humble as always. But if you could give me clues/tips on how to improve my blog, what would they be? (I always want to learn from the master blogger) “Martin keep doing what expresses you mate. No rules, no anything in our emotions and expression on the music we love and represent. This message goes out to all. Express yourselves.”

Last question, and it’s a simple one: when will we see the true GL0WKiD (meaning without the mask?). When will the world find out who’s behind it all? “Time will tell… Till then go with the glow!”

A big thank you to my fellow blogger/music lover from Greece! Thanks for these interesting answers. If you are intriguid by his answers, you should, and I underline the following, check out his social media pages, which you can find underneath the interview. Also, as an added bonus, you can find two episodes of his succesful vlog!

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