Markus Schulz: "I Didn’t Get Into the Scene to Play Simon Says With the Crowd"
Photo by Karli Evans
A military brat, Markus Schulz was born and raised in Germany in 1975 before he moved to Phoenix for his teenage years. He didn’t speak English very well and spent a lot of time alone in his room listening to the radio. Music inspired him.
As a teenager, he played eight-hour sets on Fridays and Saturdays at a warehouse club in Scottsdale called the Works. A self-proclaimed music junkie, the radio was therapeutic for the young Schulz, the same way he hopes his music can help others today.
“What I care about is when I get messages from people that tell me that my music has changed their life or helped them get through something difficult. It’s incredible to inspire others the same way I was when I first moved to the U.S.,” says Schulz.
From Arizona, Schulz moved to London to immerse himself into the scene that was exploding there. He literally lived in his studio on Coldharbour Lane for two years. Already a fan of trance melodies, he quickly fell in love with the DnB
“While a resident at Space, I played with Oscar G," he remembers. "We brought in Tiësto, Paul Oakenfold, and Ferry Corsten. All these guys were coming in, and they knew who I was. They were blown away by the contrast in the style of trance I was playing at the time. I have pictures from when I was opening for Ferry. Just a few weeks ago at Amsterdam Dance Event, I brought Ferry up to play back to back for the final 30 minutes of my set. Oakenfold was coming on after me, so the three of us were in the booth, and it was a wow moment for me. Obviously now we’re all great friends.”
Schulz is on the road for around 200 days a year, but Miami’s been home for him for more than a decade. He switched from the Suns to the Heat when Pat Riley pulled the trigger on a six-foot-four guard from Marquette in the 2003 NBA Draft. He watches Heat games from all around the globe on his laptop with his NBA League Pass. He likes to chill on the beach and will cruise around town on his bicycle when he’s home. He’s a big fan of El Cielo, a Colombian restaurant in downtown, but it’s his own bed that he’s most excited about when returning back to the Magic City.
His homecoming set at Space this Saturday will be special. “There’s only a handful of clubs like Space. There’s Avalon in L.A., Stereo in Montreal, and Ministry of Sound in London. It’s a very serious thing when I play at these places. I’ll most likely start around midnight and play till 7 or 8 a.m. I’ll play some nostalgic stuff and dust off some classics for the people that came to reminisce. Expect to hear 'Without You Near,' 'Destiny,' 'Remember This,' and I’ll definitely play some stuff from my label. And expect some Arkham Knights and Nifra — they’re two groups I’m pushing now, and they’re making music that blows my mind.”
Schulz's goal is to create togetherness on the dance
Expect a proper DJ set with an opening, then a trip down the rabbit hole and an appearance from the Unicorn Slayer (a nickname Schulz fans have come up with).
And, finally, a sunrise session.
“I didn’t get into the scene to play Simon Says with the crowd. Everywhere you go, it’s all the same. It’s like a bunch of wedding DJs. It’s not why I got into the scene. I got into the scene for the music and the sense of community.”
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