We really just should rename Hakkasan “Tiëstoland,” because he’s got a knack for bringing in the hottest rising EDM talent to support him (and even earn their own headlining spots). Add to that arsenal the 27-year-old Dutch DJ/producer MOTi (a.k.a. Timo Romme). Following a busy production plate that’s included work with Quintino, DVBBS and, yes, Tiësto, even more is on the horizon for Romme, who has a release planned for each month until the end of the year. Before his gig at Hakkasan (with Tiësto, of course), Romme tells us more about being MOTi.
You’ve been called the “not-so-new kid on the block.” What does that mean to you?
It means that I had a music career before this. I just got a new alias, but I’ve been DJing for a while now. But it was more European and a lot of gigs in the Netherlands, but never in the States. So that’s new for me.
What was your career like before becoming MOTi?
Before MOTi, I was playing as a duo, the Groovenatics, with my cousin. After awhile, we split up; we had different interests.
Before DJing, did you have to take on some crappy job?
I was still in high school, because I started DJing when I was 18. After that, I studied to be a fashion designer [laughs]—something totally different.
You collaborated with Tiësto on “Back to the Acid” in 2013. Was he the one who helped you nab the gig at Hakkasan?
He was. I’m his support act at Hakkasan. Thus far it’s been amazing. Playing at Hakkasan is one of my dreams. A lot of people would love to switch places with me.
When you sit down to work on a track, do you have a plan on which direction you’re going to take?
I love making EDM tracks, but when I’m making EDM tracks all the time, I get stuck after awhile, because I’m making too much music. I’m in the studio every day from morning until the evening. If I’m making the same kind of music or the same genre, after awhile it gets boring and I can’t work anymore. To keep myself interested in making music, I started working with different genres, a good way to educate yourself and think out of the box. I also think I can evolve. Sometimes it gets released, but most of the time it doesn’t. The Lil Wayne one [“Hello”] got released.
What’s the most unexpected or strange thing you’ve created, even if it wasn’t released?
I make everything from indie rock to more pop songs, hip-hop or sometimes songs without instrumentals where I try to record my own vocals—which never works out. [Laughs.] The strangest ones are where I try to sing myself, because it sucks so bad!
To hear what MOTi does best—producing music—visit Soundcloud.com/MotiOfficial. He opens for Tiësto at Wet Republic on Aug. 2.