How did you all meet and decide to join forces to create this trio?
Martin: It all started when I met Johan some years ago on Facebook. We started working together in a collaboration and the connection that we had while working was amazing. We loved our way of producing, working, and creating ideas. At the end of the day, we decided to create a group. After some years we split up because we wanted to follow our styles, but recently we decided again to work together. It is different than some years ago because now we are more mature and we know our styles better. During that time apart, Johan met Luis and because of his amazing abilities in production, we decided to bring him in on the project as well.
Johan: Martin and I worked on a label together and ended up working on a collaboration. After talking for some days, we decided to form the progressive duo Totemlost. I learned production, mixing, and promotion while working on Totemlost but after a while, I decided to leave the duo and start 98.20.11. The main reason for leaving was to do more variation in my songs and try out different styles. Around that time I also decided to join Nightro. Luis became a part of 98.20.11 after we worked together on two big room collaborations and I thought he would be a great fit for the project.
Luis: Since the start of my career as a producer, Johan helped me with advice and tips to improve my production. I remember always telling him my goals as a producer and my dreams. Because of his help, I improved a lot and then one day, Johan offered me to be part of the amazing group 98.20.11. I met Martin because of Johan and we created a nice bond. I knew his work from Totemlost and have really admired his work. It's really incredible for me to be working with two amazing producers who are also incredible people.
What do each of you bring to the project?
Martin: I consider myself as the melodies and vocals guy. I have been playing piano for a while now which taught me how to compose and some of the rules involved. I try to make catchy melodies and I bring a bit of progressive house style to the project since it's my favorite sub-genre. At the end of the day, Johan is the genius, he is the best producer I have ever met.
Luis: I love big room so one of my strength is in making powerful big room drops and bringing energy into the tracks. I also learn really fast and work on new styles quickly.
Johan: I focus mostly in production, mixing, and sometimes mastering. Most of the times, I start a project with the drop and focus most of my time there. After that, I'll work on the breakdown and add in as many details as possible to make it dynamic. If the intro and outro need work, I'll spend time there as well.
Over the past few years you've amassed quite the discography. Which 98.20.11 songs are your favorite and why?
Martin: There are so many! I would say "Every Little Piece" because it is a collaboration between 98.20.11 and Totemlost. It is a little bit old but I have this track inside my heart because we made it to support my country, Ecuador, after a powerful earthquake. Then we have so many unreleased and WIP tracks like there are three progressive house tracks that I quite love! Soon they will be ready.
Luis: I find "Nemesis" amazing! It has this unique fusion of trap and big room which is a real banger at festivals. Another one that stands out is "Atlas" because the breakdown melody really resonates with me!
Johan: "For Her" since it was my biggest release when 98.20.11 was a solo project. It was also my first future bass track!
Luis: I am studying as well but outside of that, I love to play soccer and volleyball. It is a nice way to give your mind a break.
Johan: I've got one year left of school. I'm currently studying history in Fairleigh Dickinson University. Apart from that, I enjoy reading books and watch documentaries. Lately I have been checking out some theology books; cultures from other parts of the world is something that I truly love. I'm also a car enthusiast and I like to see political-social debates.
âLooking towards the future, what are you hoping to accomplish together and on your own?
Thanks so much to the guys over at 98.20.11 for taking the time to answer our questions! Be sure to follow them using the links below and stay tuned for a huge announcement in the coming days!
Chris W. Lao
Writer, DJ, and Student.
High 'n' Rich
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Tom & Jame