In Conversation with Mark Blair

Open Air

In Conversation with Mark Blair

Open Air

In Conversation with Mark Blair

Open Air

Hailing from Belfast and residing in Barcelona, we took the time to talk with techno powerhouse Mark Blair before he touches down in Edinburgh for FLY Open Air on Sunday the 17th of September....

Tell us a bit about yourself  and how you first got into DJ’ing?

I bought my first set of decks for £80 when I was 18 years old, I played in my room for a few years, then I started to play at house parties, then I started to organise my own illegal raves and would play at them.

Your tracks often feature unique samples infused with Hip Hop references. Can you walk us through your creative process?

Hip hop and grime are my go to for inspiration. I’ll be listening to some tracks in my spare time and hear a nice vocal snippet that I think would sound good at the rave. Then I usually base my whole track around this little 3 second vocal snippet. Sometimes it works and sounds great, sometimes it sounds shit :) That’s life.

What drives you to keep pushing your creative boundaries?

I don’t think I wake up each day thinking “What boundaries do I need to break today?”. I kinda just make the music that I like to make, and that I would like to hear at a rave and things kinda just escalate from there.

How do you read and respond to the energy of the audience and how do you strike a balance between planning sets and improvising?

My shows are all about energy. If the crowd is going crazy to my tracks I usually end up going crazy back (with my physical energy and the energy in the tracks i chose to play). When it comes to planning sets, I usually pick about 150 songs, and then I end up playing about 50-70 of them depending on how the crowd is reacting.

Being from Ireland to now living in Barcelona, which city/country is your favourite crowd to play for?

100% the Scottish and Irish crowds. Nothing beats them.

Top 3 favourite tracks to play out in your sets right now or just tracks you’re loving?

  1. My edit of darude - sandstorm
  2. TNT - The Speed
  3. DJ Mango - Eurodrancer (DJ Hard Duck edit)

The music industry is constantly evolving. What advice would you give to emerging artists trying to make their mark as a DJ?

Make remixes and edits to get your foot through the door. Unfortunately, nobody will give your original music the time of day unless you have already built up some loyal following.

And finally, which do you prefer - playing at a festival or in a club?

Both have their pro’s and con’s. Festivals have a better vibe and the overall experience is usually better but nothing beats banging out some hard techno in a dark, dingy, sweaty club.

Catch Mark Blair on Sunday the 17th at FLY Open Air Princes Street Gardens, final tickets HERE.

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