MOTi: "Tiësto Jumpstarted My Career After We Met on Twitter"
And now the Dutch producer is bubbling up into his own
After collaborations with Martin Garrix, Yellow Claw, Quintino and Tiësto in the last year alone, MOTi AKA Timo Romme has fast established himself as one of the most unpredictable and exciting producers in big room sounds, especially as Tiësto himself noted MOTi in his 7UP Bubbling UP DJs to watch alongside the likes of Dzeko and Torres and Danny Avila.
MOTi's new track "Lion" is a stompy main stager with a big kick and gliding synths. It's a sound he's also had success with in his Martin Garrix collaboration, "Virus," but MOTi is more known for exhibiting a flair for experimentation throughout his music. "I get bored really fast in the studio so I need to try different stuff every time," he says. "If I do the same tricks again and again, I get bored and I don't finish tracks. I like to experiment."
Although it's been a big year for the Dutchman, he's no rookie to the game. "I've been DJing for a really long time," he tells THUMP. "Before my name was Groovenatics, together with my cousin. We were a duo. We started off in Holland and released on labels like Toolroom, CR2, Defected, Strictly Rhythm." Dutch House at the time was populated by familiar names like Bingo Players and Tiësto, but the offerings were a markedly deeper affair. "Like the stuff that Oliver Heldens is making right now," explains MOTi - "That's the old Dutch house sound. We started with that sound."
Check out the Bingo Players remix of Groovenatic's "Joy" below, released on Spinnin'
It was dance legend Tiësto's guidance that leveled the rising star up last year. MOTi explains, "He did a compilation CD for Dance (RED) Saves Lives, and he put a track from me and Quintino on it – "Circus." Afterwards, he followed me, so I tweeted him like "Dude! You're following me! What's up?" I sent over all my new tracks, and after a few months he was like 'Do you wanna do a collaboration together? Because I'm playing all of your tracks!' We ended up making "Back to the Acid" together and then he said "I wanna help you out. I see a career in you. Do you wanna join the Musical Freedom family?"
Learning from the master himself would be a game changer for anyone, and MOTi definitely picked up a few pointers from Tiësto on the way: "Make the music you wanna make. Don't let other people get in your head. Make the music you feel good with. Never let labels, other people, anything influence your creativity."
Watching Tiësto work was also an education. "The way he DJs is super impressive. He's really good in reading the crowd and building the set," MOTI says. "He's one of the last DJs who, even if he plays a super big closing set at the Ultra main stage, still just does it on feeling. He knows what tracks he really wants to play, but if he feels like he has to change it up a bit, he changes it up. With bigger festivals, it's harder to do that, because you don't wanna fuck up. Really. But that's DJing."
MOTi's putting those lessons into practice on his current North American run of shows, taking his Lion tour from New York to Los Angeles and beyond. In his words: "This is my first headlining tour and this is my first tour without Tiësto. It's super exciting to come into my own, but at the same time, it's super scary. It's been amazing so far, though. I loved it."