In the studio, just as in the DJ booth, Konstantin lives and breathes the idea that music is fluid and that setting constraints based on convention and expectation will only hinder musical personality. He moves fleet-footed between musical categories, with characteristic confidence and a quintessential style that shines through. As a producer, Konstantin’s burgeoning reputation has led to his widespread acclaim due to being voted ‘Newcomer of the Year 2013′ by the readers of Groove Magazine, receiving significant support from Recondite, Disclosure, Move D, and the Kompakt family.
Recently, Konstantin remixed Adriatique’s “Home” on Siamese and “Shake The World” on Afterlife’s VA which was also performed by Tale of Us at Tomorrowland. Konstantin was also featured in the overall round-up of the second weekend at Tomorrowland. For both of these tracks, he has gained support from the likes of Solomun, Tale Of Us, Adriatique, Joris Voorn, Magdalena, Kölsch, Denis Horvat, Innellea, Colyn, Kevin de Vries, Oostil, and among many others. Apart from performing at recent festivals such as Solomun +1 Opening Party at Pacha Ibiza, Tomorrowland, Awakenings, and the Paradies Garten Festival, Konstantin’s upcoming performance will be at Amsterdam’s Dance Event in October 2022.
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In addition to being featured as this week’s Global Vibe Radio artist with a live recording mix from his performance at Klein Phönix Istanbul on August 26th, 2022, Konstantin lets down the veil and candidly shares with the 6AM fam about finding music at a young age, going with the DJing flow, and artistic authenticity.
Hello Konstantin, very nice to connect with you. I actually saw you play at SXM Festival in St. Martin when I was there for my bachelor party weekend and it was a fantastic night, thank you! Where in the world are you today?
Hi, happy to hear that you liked it, and nice coincidence that we “meet” here again. Right now I‘m in the U.K. in Newnham for Warm Up Festival, but I‘m already at the airport again off to Saint Tropez, and Sunday I‘ll be back at Else in Berlin.
Buy ‘Home Remixes’ EP / Stream ‘Unity Pt. 3 V/A’ EP
Thank you so much for the mix. Can you tell us when and where it was recorded and how the experience was for you behind the decks?
The mix was an unprepared set I played at Klein Club in Istanbul. I played outside on a nice warm summer evening, and Brina Knauss played before me, so the vibe was more on the melodic house side of things and I remember I played very entertaining and danceable.
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You also recently played Awakenings. Can you tell us how the gig was, as well as the overall Awakenings experience?
Awakenings is always a great festival to play. In recent years, I tend to get booked more and more into melodic lineups, so sometimes I really enjoy playing a Techno set again. I like contrasts. The set was quite a journey starting at around 129 bpm going up to 142, and the weather was hot and dusty, so that was a memorable one.
Avalon Emerson played after me, but I sadly didn’t have the chance to stay since I had to leave directly to Tomorrowland where I played a completely different set. It was quite a pity I didn‘t have more time since the vegan & vegetarian catering at Awakenings is always amazing as well.
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I’d like to fast forward a bit here, away from the big Awakenings stages and back down to the early days of your life. Where did you grow up and how was your upbringing?
I was born in Stuttgart and raised in a smaller town close to Stuttgart. I have an older brother and lived with my parents and our family dog in the countryside of south Germany. My luck was that the S-Bahn station was super close to our house and took you to Stuttgart in about 20 min so I could enjoy both: silence and nature — but also the city life including clubs, record stores, fashion stores, and music stores.
What was your connection to music in early life? Was music an important thing to your family?
I think already as a small child, music of any kind attracted me. My mother once told me the story that we were camping on vacation in Croatia, she didn’t keep an eye on me for a second and I was gone. My parents searched for me on the whole camping side and then found me in the camping restaurant/club dancing in Pampers to the music that was played there. I began to take drum lessons as a child, and then also worked as a drum teacher in my early 20s.
“I think already as a small child, music of any kind attracted me. My mother once told me the story that we were camping on vacation in Croatia, she didn’t keep an eye on me for a second and I was gone. My parents searched for me and then found me dancing in Pampers to the music that was played in the camping restaurant/club.”
As a child, music found Konstantin in the most unexpected way.
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At which point did you fall in love with electronic music, and how did that come about?
My cousin gave me a copy of a simple Digital Audioworkstation when I was very young, and it included many electronic samples and loops. Then in 1998, when I was 11 years old I recorded my first electronic 6-track EP on tape. Going to the infamous Humpty record store in Stuttgart when I was around 16 was definitely a big part of my musical education and led my way into the world of electronic music.
When I was 11 years old, I recorded my first electronic 6-track EP on tape in 1998. Going to the infamous Humpty record store in Stuttgart when I was around 16 was definitely a big part of my musical education and led my way into the world of electronic music.
Konstantin didn’t waste any time creating music at a young age.
My back then DJ partner & best friend Leif Müller had some older friends who went to Ibiza and legendary German Techno & House clubs, and they gave us the first DJ Mixes from Sven Väth, and from there the fire spread.
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Do you remember the moment you realized this was gonna be IT for your life, that it was the passion you were going to pursue and turn into a profession?
I‘d say it was more of a slow but steady process than one specific moment. At my first DJ gig, I was around 16 years old, and starting from that I played all kinds of music at many school parties, weddings, and in different bars. You could say my friend Leif Müller and I really used every possibility to DJ because it was just a lot of fun for us.
After finishing high school, I started studying Aerospace Engineering. While studying for eight years, I was always DJing and producing on the side, became a resident DJ at legendary Stuttgart club Rocker 33 around 2009, threw my own monthly events there with Leif Müller where we booked DJ Koze, Avalon Emerson, Helena Hauff, Gerd Janson, and many more — and at some point, I had to admit to myself that my studying was just an alibi I had kept.
“I‘d say it was more of a slow but steady process than one specific moment. At my first DJ gig, I was around 16 years old, and I played all kinds of music at many school parties, weddings, and in different bars. After finishing high school, I started studying Aerospace Engineering.
While studying for eight years I was always DJing and producing on the side, but in 2013, my touring schedule became tighter and it was a problem to keep my academic “career” going — so I decided to invest all my time and energy in music.”
The push and pull between music and school pushed Konstantin to figure out what he really wanted to do with his life.
After releasing Madeleine on Innervisions and my remix of “No One Gets Left Behind” in 2013, my touring schedule became tighter. Timewise, it was a problem to keep my academic “career” going. I passed every single exam and the only thing left was my diploma thesis. In order to write it, I would have had to stop touring for about 6 months — so I decided to have no Plan B anymore, and invest all my time and energy in music.
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Who were your early musical influences then?
Regarding electronic music and Djing, probably Sven Väth. I‘d say another early hero of mine was Kerri Chandler. Many early productions of him are genre-defining masterpieces and influenced my earlier more house-y productions.
Around the time, I produced my track “Madeleine” it was maybe James Holden, who is brilliant in his field. But I always listened to all kinds of music, so I was also influenced by MF DOOM and Madlib or Artists from the Wave scene.
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Who are they now? How has your sound evolved and why do you think that is?
It sounds a bit odd, but I think nowadays I try to be as less influenced by other productions as possible. Of course, I‘m aware of the Zeitgeist and what others are doing, and it comes naturally with also being a DJ to be a bit ahead of the trend — but I try to create my own thing. For DJing and production, I try to present electronic music in a way that also people who are not part of the scene can relate to it and can enjoy it.
“I think nowadays I try to be as less influenced by other productions as possible. I try to create my own thing and try to present electronic music in a way that also people who are not part of the scene can relate to it and can enjoy it.”
Follow the beat of your own drum — create music how you want it to be, not how it should be.
I see myself on the border of house, techno, and pop and I try to move between those and take the best elements of each to combine them into an approachable, highly energetic but still eclectic and unsubstitutable overall concept in the end. Around 2013, I would have described myself more as a producer than as a DJ, and that’s how my sound was back then and my productions.
With touring more as a DJ, the efficiency of tracks and their impact on the crowds became more important to me. The scene has changed since then, and so did my sound. Tracks like “Madeleine” and “Mutter” cannot have the same impact on the audience as they did back then, so I evolved my sound in a way that still has a specific impact on the often oversaturated consumers nowadays.
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What do you think your breakthrough moment WAS, and what would you advise young producers/DJs on how to get such a moment?
I think for me personally, it was the release of my track “Madeleine” on Innervisions and my remix of “No One Gets Left Behind” in 2013. That’s when I started to get more and more international bookings, and I was able to build myself a name in the scene. My advice? Be original and unsubstitutable I‘d say.
Don’t try to produce like someone else, or for someone big, or copy the sound of the moment, but try to be a bit ahead of your time and create something new, outstanding, and which is worth being remembered — which also leads to being able to renew/reinvent yourself all the time. But in the end, there is always a quantum of luck you need — being at the right place, at the right time, and meeting the right people which support you in the right way.
“I’d say be original and unsubstitutable. Don’t try to produce like someone else, or for someone big. Create something new, outstanding, and which is worth being remembered. Renew/reinvent yourself all the time.”
Don’t be afraid of the unkown — step out of the box when it comes to creativity.
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Congratulations by the way on your recent remix of Adriatique’s “Home” and your “Shake This World” track, both fantastic! What gets you going and keeps you motivated and inspired in the studio these days? Are you more of a hardware or software kind of producer? Which one is your favorite of each?
Thanks, I‘m happy to hear you like them both. When I observe my own temporary interests, I always see myself, in the end, coming back to the studio world again. Music production itself, the software and gear involved always catches my interest again even after more than 20 years of spending time with it — it still feels virgin somehow. Of course, life always goes in phases, and sometimes I identify myself much more as a DJ surrounded by people and traveling places than as a producer who isolates himself in the studio and only thinks about this specific bubble and how to create new songs — and sometimes, it’s hard to combine these two worlds since they can be quite contrary.
“When I observe my own temporary interests, I always see myself, in the end, coming back to the studio world again. At some point, I evolve an idea in my mind, and then I’m unstoppable until I brought it to life and baked it together into a consistent track.
Music production itself always catches my interest again even after more than 20 years of spending time with it. I guess for me you could say the process of producing holds its own inspiration within itself.”
The way music can be weaved and produced into anything always surprises Konstantin.
But at some point, I evolve an idea in my mind, and then I’m unstoppable until I brought it to life and baked it together into a consistent track. I guess for me you could say the process of producing holds its own inspiration within itself — everything comes together while doing it, and the process itself feels pretty meditative if no deadline is involved ;). Since I’m touring so much lately I have often no other possibility than using software on the plane, but I somehow like the limitation of it. But my studio is still full of gear.
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Touring the world and DJing is the dream of many aspiring artists, but it can also be quite taxing and tiring. Is it still something you look forward to despite the traveling?
For me, it’s often like this: I love Djing so much, but I don’t like the logistic insanity behind it. It’s always quite hard to leave home because I think not too many people are able to look forward to flight delays, delayed trains, waiting for lines, and the dry air in the plane with not that much sleep. But as soon as I‘m on the road again, I enjoy it and I‘m excited to see old & new friends & places.
“I love Djing so much, but I don’t like the logistic insanity behind it. I think not too many people are able to look forward to flight delays, delayed trains, waiting for lines, and the dry air in the plane with not that much sleep.
But as soon as I‘m on the road again, I enjoy it and I‘m excited to see old & new friends & places.”
Constant traveling can be hectic, but having the balance of meeting friends and new places can put a positive spin on a busy schedule.
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What are some of your travel “hacks” to travel easier? Is there something you must bring with you on tour at all costs?
I always only travel with hand luggage. No matter how long I‘m on tour, I only have my old Rimova Pilot with me, which is exactly the maximum size to take into the cabin; that’s the best thing since you can do online check-in — it never gets lost and you never have to wait for it.
I love the AirPods Pro — noise canceling is a true life changer since it enables me to produce in a silent environment. Also, it increases your chances to catch some sleep when being on the road. Therefore, I also have something in my suitcase to cover my eyes on planes, trains, or hotel rooms you cannot fully darken.
“I always only travel with hand luggage. No matter how long I‘m on tour, I only have my old Rimova Pilot with me. Noise canceling is a true life changer — I love the AirPods Pro since it enables me to produce in a silent environment. Also, it increases your chances to catch some sleep when being on the road.”
Keep it simple. Travel with what you need and what will make you feel comfortable.
How do you recharge after a week of touring? Can you describe a typical weekday in Konstantin Sibold’s life?
Lately, the recharging isn’t too easy since I often also tour on weekdays, so I spend 2 max 3 days of the week at home. But when I have time, I try to spend as much time possible outside, sitting in the sun in my garden, taking walks in the forest, or doing outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking. Nature has a really calming effect on me, so I try to get as much of it as possible — and definitely sleeping a lot, 12 hours of sleep is a real luxury for me!
“When I have time, I try to spend as much time possible outside, sitting in the sun in my garden, taking walks in the forest, or doing outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking. Nature has a really calming effect on me, so I try to get as much of it as possible.”
Try to make time for your physical well-being, and try to find activities and excercises that you love.
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Is there a country you still hope to play in someday?
Difficult question, since I already played in so many. I loved playing in Iceland and Tasmania, so maybe New Zealand?
What else is in store for you in this second half of 2022?
I‘m really looking forward to touring the U.S. at the beginning and the end of October combined with Central and South America. Besides that, I have an India tour in December scheduled, and a show in Vietnam. I hope that the situation with Covid stays controllable, and the clubs also in Europe can stay open since I truly missed some of those during the lockdowns, and they deserve a good club season for this year. I’m also excited for my remixes for Ben Böhmer & Monolink being finally released Mid October.
Connect with Konstantin Sibold: Website丨SoundCloud丨Facebook丨Twitter丨Beatport丨Instagram