- Top 100
April 14, 2012
On the ninth edition of Canadian Beats: The Next Generation, I’m happy to introduce you to 17-year-old producer Markus Cole from Toronto, Ont. Markus has been taking over the Internet with nonstop releases of self-named ‘progressive house’ tracks. As always, if you or someone you know should be featured on CDN Beats: TNG, please holla at email@example.com!
Name: Marcus Cole Balkissoon
Current City: Toronto, Ont.
Style: progressive electro
Hi, my name is Markus Cole, and I am addicted to making music
What is your favorite part of the industry thus far?
My favorite part of the industry thus far has to be receiving amazing support from many people who enjoy the music I make and help get my name on the map.
What is the biggest challenge to you when it comes to making it as a DJ/Producer?
For me personally the biggest challenge when it comes to making it as a DJ/Producer has to be standing out from the rest and marketing myself properly in the big and rapidly growing genre of EDM.
Describe your first experience with electronic music?
Well my story is a bit funny because I never grew up with electronic music due to my parents being from the Caribbean, so all I listened to was a lot of reggae. However, when I was 15 or so I decided to start going to all age clubs with my friends and as soon as I heard the combination of hard bass lines with raging build-ups, I instantly fell in love!
What or who has been the inspiration behind your career choice?
Well my first musical-related experience was playing the drums, which I loved doing and I would play so much that my hands started to bleed. I really thought I would become a pro drummer or something, but as I slowly started getting into electronic music, I moved away from drumming and decided I wanted to DJ. DJing quickly became boring because I wanted to play my own tracks, so I bought a copy of Fruity Loops 10 and started messing around with software and I eventually started making full-length tracks.
When did you start producing tracks (how many to date ?) and what software do you use to create ?
I started producing when I was 15 years old, since then I have made around 50 tracks, but only released about 30 or 40. I currently use Abelton Live which is AMAZING software. It’s really good for work flow and also very user friendly.
Any you are most proud of?
I am proud of all my productions I believe that their unique in their own way. One I am most proud of is my new track that I am currently working on. It will be released sometime this weekend so stay tuned.
What is the first track that got your heart pumping?
Well the first track that got my heart pumping was Robin S – Show Me Love. That really simple yet catchy melody with some great vocals by Robin S really got my attention! Also, my mom played that song in the car ALL THE TIME! Ha ha.
What’s your favourite ‘pump you up’ track?
My favorite ‘pump you up track’ at the moment has got to be the new track from Hardwell and Dannic called Kontiki.
When did you get in the scene?
I first got into the scene when I was 16. I made a few tracks and met up with the manager I have now and since then I have been trying to make a name for myself by releasing free tracks for people to rave to.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hmm I see myself headlining the Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
What sets you apart from everyone else?
Well I believe that I have a great deal of audio knowledge because I took a co-op course at a studio from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday for a whole semester where we covered a lot of technical areas of sound, such as frequency range, compressing, limiting and several others. I also have a lot of drive and hustle in me, which I carry on through my tracks, try to put as much heart,and soul into my productions as I possibly can.
How have you grown the most since you first started out?
I have grown a lot in areas of workflow, creativity and my knowledge on mixing and mastering since I first started out.
Who is the artist you would most like to work with most and why?
There a lot of artists I would love to work with, but I would have to say Axwell mainly because he is a legend and such talented producer. His productions and ideas are so unique and top notch that it would be a complete honor to work alongside him.
What is your favourite track right now?
Well this is tough because I have a lot so I will narrow it down to three:
What is your guilty pleasure track?
Haddaway – What is Love. Jokes, a classic.
What do your parents think of your career choice ?
My parents have always been supportive in anything I do ever since I was a kid so I’m very thankful for that.
What’s your description of a great producer?
For me, a great producer is someone who can make very unique sounds that are all original with a lot of creativity and life, be able to catch the average listeners’ attention right away and know how to professionally mix their own tracks.
What’s your description of a DJ?
For me, a DJ is a person who can mix great records without a sync button and has great control of a crowd. Lots of people get upset and debate over this topic but overall a DJ should show the crowd a good time and make everyone go crazy!
How is the scene in your eyes in the moment and is there anything you would change?
At the moment , I think the electro scene is really taking off especially in the western hemisphere. I think that in the next couple of years electro music will be a main focus on daily news and entertainment.
What advice would you give to any up and coming DJ/Producers?
Well the best advice I can give is, go on YouTube check out a lot of tutorial videos, work hard and practice practice practice! You got to eat, sleep and breathe music to achieve your goal.