INTERVIEW: Schulz Music Group – Grube & Hovsepian, Khomha and Mr. Pit (2013)
Markus Schulz started the Schulz Music Group as a way to help artists develop. With the label system, there is no loyalty and tracks come out everywhere. He said that he wants to “help them achieve their dreams in ways that you can’t really do with a label.” At WMC, I spoke with Grube & Hovsepian, Mr. Pit, and KhoMha to learn more about them and their music. The Coldharbour team is definitely in demand with major gigs lined up around the world.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: With Grube & Hovsepian, one of you was based in LA and the other in Florida, do you guys live together in the same city now?
Tim Grube: Yes, as of July of last year we are now Miami-based.
Mike Hovsepian: I moved out to Miami last July and loved it.
RS: Before you moved out here, how did the two of you collaborate?
Tim: We would send project files back and forth online, call, and eMail each other.
Mike: Skype did a lot of wonders, and honestly just sending files back and forth. Even though our schedules were kind of conflicted we got a lot of work done because once I had something finished I would send it over to him and he would send it back, it just worked out.
RS: Are you both using Logic?
Tim: Yes, both on Logic.
RS: How did ya’ll get involved with the Ellie Goulding project?
Tim: It’s kind of funny, we listen to the radio and are inspired by the Top 40 and a lot of commercial music. That was one of our favorite tracks; she is an amazing artist and an amazing singer. We heard it and found the acapella online and got involved. From there it blew up and everyone wanted it.
Mike: It’s pretty crazy because there wasn’t a lot of buzz around it at first but it just kept growing and growing and now everyone, everywhere knows the track.
RS: What are you guys working on right now?
Tim: We just finished our new vocal track with Vice called “Memory Lane.”
Mike: It is a male vocal that is very smooth and sexy.
Tim: We debuted it at Coldharbour Night here in Miami on Monday. We have the Elevation remix and the Skytech remix that will be out in about a month-and-a-half.
Mike: We have another big room progressive tech trance-banger that Markus has been playing in all of his sets. He debuted in ASOT-600, Brazil, Beyond Wonderland, the Space Terrace, and you will probably hear it again on Sunday at Mansion.
RS: Okay what is the name of the big room track?
RS: When you two DJ together how do you choose who plays next?
Mike: Lately we just alternate, but it really depends on what we are doing.
Tim: Sometimes he will be vibing to something and we will switch it up but 90% of the time we just go back and forth.
Mike: Kind of like a tag team, he will pick a track he likes and then I will feed off of it and we go back and forth. We have a lot of fun!
RS: Switching over to you KhoMha, how did it feel to be the first artist signed to Coldharbour?
KhoMha: It is all such an honor and amazing. Coldharbour is such a big label in trance music and it’s really an honor.
RS: You are very young, do you ever feel like it is hard to get respect from the guys that have been around a little longer?
KhoMha: Respect is very important to me and I feel like this has all been a dream.
RS: Were you a producer or a DJ first?
KhoMha: I was a producer first.
RS: Did you move into DJing to play your own tracks?
KhoMha: Yeah, at the beginning when people started hearing my music they would ask me why I didn’t DJ and play my own music. From there I learned to be a DJ and I started playing, it was a success. That is more or less my history.
RS: I have two controversial questions, in your DJ sets how much of your own productions do you usually play?
KhoMha: I would say that 80% is my own music and the other 20% are mash-ups so it is very unique.
RS: I heard your set on Monday and what struck me was that I heard a lot of the big room anthems from you and I wasn’t expecting that. Is that what you normally play or was it a special night?
KhoMha: It depends on the night and the crowd. For Coldharbour Night I was trying to do something more big room, I am playing Saturday at a Dutch party, so I will probably play more progressive music. It just depends on where I am playing.
RS: Mr. Pit, why the switch from rapping to DJing?
Mr. Pit: I switched because I can’t sing or rap anymore.
RS: Haha. So you are from Romania right?
Mr. Pit: That’s right.
RS: When I think of Romania I think of Roton and the real fun Euro pop – like Inna and Alexandra Stan. Is there a big EDM scene there?
Mr. Pit: You know Roton? That is the biggest label in Romania. I don’t think there is a big EDM scene yet, but it is growing. You are right that pop music is the biggest thing.
RS: How did Markus Schulz discover you?
Mr. Pit: I knew of him and who he was so I sent him a track of mine. He listened to is and said it was a good track and wanted to play it all summer. I was amazed and he started playing the track in 2007. I sent him more tracks and he loved them.
RS: What releases do you have coming up, what are you working on?
Mr. Pit: I am working on a new EP on Coldharbour, we are almost done with the new track and Markus is testing it. I played it on Monday and I am currently working on two more tracks and a collab.
RS: Who are you doing a collab with?
Mr. Pit: I am doing it with Arnej, it is still in the beginning stages but it is going to happen.
RS: A question for each of you, what is the best piece of advice that Markus has given you about your career?
Mr. Pit: Definitely to be patient.
Tim: He has helped us a lot with the openings of our sets and learning how to build them, I think that has been our main advice.
Mike: Be patient and to do things the right way, grassroots, and eventually it will catch on. Not everyone has the same blueprint or takes the same path to get to where they want to get to.
KhoMha: To be more professional and to be a good, honest person with the people that you work around.
RS: What is coming up on Coldharbour? This group together its like a Benetton ad with the International colors of Coldharbour. You guys have been together with the Schulz Music Group for about a year now, how is it all going?
Tim: Well the launch of Schulz Music Group was at the last WMC and it was the first Coldharbour Night. We didn’t envision it blowing up and being as big as it is right now. We have had gigs in LA, Coldharbour Night New York, Montreal, Seattle, Miami, and Dallas.
Mr. Pit: We have a lot of gigs in Europe as well.
Tim: The success of The Coldharbour Night has really taken us by surprise and we are really excited about it.
RS: So what releases are coming from y’all?
Mike: We have “Trickster” coming out next.
Tim: We also have a follow up to “City of Angels” with Elevation and other progressive tracks with Tiffany Johnston.
KhoMha: I just finished my remix, through Cosmic Gate, to the “Storm Chaser” track, the Godskitchen anthem, and I just released a remix to the ASOT 600 Anthem by Armin van Buuren and Markus Schultz as well. Right now I am working on my new EP through Coldharbour.
Mr. Pit: Right now I am working on new tracks for my new EP
RS: I have two last questions for ya’ll, what is the best way to follow you, Twitter, Facebook and what would you like to say to your fans?
Mr. Pit: I use both; Twitter is twitter.com/mrpitofficial and Facebook.com/mrpitofficial. I would like to tell my fans that I can’t wait to see them, talk to them and play for them.
Mike: You can catch us at Grube & Hovsepian on Twitter and Facebook. We have Instagram as well but fans should follow us on Twitter because that is where we post a lot of our stuff.
Tim: We are easily accessible; all of our fans know that we try to get back to each and every one of them.
Mike: To our fans, thank you for the support since we have started and we hope to see you in your city pretty soon.
KhoMha: You can catch me either on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. I would like to say thank you very much to my fans and I hope to see them all soon.
Interview conducted during Winter Music Conference 2013.