One of the hottest artists to emerge from Lithuania, Andrej Anskinas widely known to the world under his DJ/Producer alias “Anske” has certainly been piercing the airwaves with his impressive array of original productions on labels such as “Enhanced“, “Black Hole Recordings” and “Coldharbour Recordings“.
Gaining loads of support by some of the biggest names in the scene including Markus Schulz, an artist whose mind and imagination are always active as he sets forth his creativity and love for dance music with the end result being mind blowing music that get our senses and feet moving in an instant. As well as djing at various events around the world he hosts his own radio show called “A Spectrum Of Dance” (or “ASOD” as the die hard fans call it) where he showcases his own personal selection of some of the hottest productions by fellow artists and friends as well as his very own work taking us all on a journey through dance music.
I had the opportunity and unique pleasure to meet him in April of 2016 in London and now have the grand honor of taking this exclusive written interview with him for Trancefix.nl.
Many thanks Andrej! It was indeed an honor and privilege!
What was the force behind you diving head first into the ever changing waters of dance music?
– I always had a mystical attraction to music and I guess at some point I felt the urge and need to create something original and personal. Another reason was that I wanted to contribute and make my mark in the scene as well as express myself artistically.
Which artists do you hold in high regard and draw inspiration from when working on new music or preparing your sets?
– Without a doubt Markus Schulz. He is a very inspiring and important persona in my life. However, when I am working on my music or preparing for a set, I try not to think of other artists too much to not get distracted and stay more authentic.
You are known for your massive instrumentals, gaining recognition left and right in the field. Have you ever considered doing a vocal track and if so who would your dream vocalist be?
– Thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. I did my very first vocal track together with the talented Denise Rivera called ‘Cold As Ice‘ in 2015 and it was a very interesting and fun experience! As for now, I am mainly focusing on instrumentals and other projects, but on the side I am definitely starting to think about my next vocal track. Regarding favorite vocalists, it is quite hard to choose as there are many incredible voices in the scene. However, I would really love to try something out with Coldharbour beloved singers such as Seri, Lady V, Adina Butar or Jennifer Rene.
After years of honing your skills and having the pleasure of releasing tracks on respected labels you were welcomed to the Coldharbour family with your “Epika E.P” which has been a huge success. How does it feel to be a part of it?
– Coldharbour was always my goal almost from the beginning I got into music production seriously, so you can imagine how it must have felt joining the family. I absolutely love the sound of the record label, the team, fans and the amazing #SchulzArmy.
If you could sit down and work with any artist from the whole dance music spectrum who would it be and why?
– I already did mention Markus Schulz a few times and I will have to do that again now, haha. The second artist would probably be Ferry Corsten as I really like his versatility and respect him very much as a person and creative genius. There are many more producers I admire such as Beat Service, Protoculture, M.I.K.E. Push, Rafael Frost, Omnia, Stoneface & Terminal and the list continues…
Are your tracks inspired by real life stories or personal experiences or crafted by your own vivid imagination?
– I think it mostly comes from personal experience and stuff like that. It’s quite hard for me to tell what exactly inspires me as there is no specific one thing. Often, the inspiration comes in a weird and abstract form (and usually unexpected). However, I have noticed I feel more productive and able to enter a creative mindset when I feel happy, calm and not worried. Obviously, traveling, being surrounded with inspiring friends and fans and gaining support from your idols can create a spark too!
There are so many amazing tracks in dance music that have stood the mounds of time and are now regarded as all time classics.Which track or tracks do you regard as an all time classic and why?
– That’s a tough one but let me try! Hmmm… Just to give you a couple of examples:
1. Tiesto – Suburban Train (that is what really got me into trance I think. The first time I heard it I had major goosebumps. I still do)
2. Armin van Buuren – Control Freak (Sander van Doorn Remix) (my all time favorite tech classic. You cannot go wrong with this one)
3. 4 Strings – Take Me Away (this one is also responsible for a crime of bringing me into trance, haha. Such a beautiful and essential classic in my opinion)
There is much much more than just these 3 examples. The list could go on and on…
You had the opportunity to meet one of your idols the boss and creator of Coldharbour himself Markus Schulz. How did it feel to have finally met the man that has been such an inspiration to you?
– Yes I did. It felt and to some extent it still feels surreal! Unfortunately, we did not have much time to chat a lot but it was definitely something I only dreamed of in the past. I hope to meet him again sometime soon for a nice talk and a good time!
You are from Lithuania but live in England for a few years. How does it feel to be living in one of the countries that was responsible for the growth of dance music? Do you feel a special vibe driving you forward music wise?
– The UK is very much different from Lithuania music-wise. Sadly enough, I think that trance is doing much better here than in my home country. Also, being here now I can feel and tell that people are more appreciative, passionate, diverse and open-minded towards music. It is great being a part of this community.
As a producer what is your daw of choice and what method do you go about constructing your tracks?
– My musical weapon of choice is Ableton for sure. Although I have tried the majority of other workstations, I have been using Ableton for the last 7 years or so. For me, it is very flexible and fast to work in. Regarding the process of creating a track, most of the time I like to start from the heart of it which for me is a catchy and memorable hook or melody. Everything else is being carefully built around that.
If you could choose one classic trance track to rework and incorporate your sound into, which would it be and why?
That is a super tough question! So many great ones to choose from… But the first one that pops into my mind is “Suburban Train” by Tiesto.
What does the current year hold for you and are there any surprises up your sleeves?
Currently focusing on some big smashers which I am still developing in my studio and also working on something exciting which I unfortunately cannot tell yet! Expect more vocal tracks from me to come soon too.
You had a definite success with your high energy remix of “Shining” by Paul Thomas and Alex Di Stefano. Are there any other extra special remixes you are working on?
I might have a couple of remixes coming out in the near future but at the moment my main focus lies within original works.
You recently brought your “Aqsua” alias back into the light. The new track being:”Keep Believing”. A truly remarkable piece of music which I daresay resembles great works of music and film scores like Hans Zimmer’s work. What was your inspiration behind it and would you like to one day score music for a film?
Thank you very much, really great to hear you enjoying it! It was quite a challenge for me but I always wanted to create something that was inspired by cinematic soundtracks. And yes, I can tell that Hans Zimmer was one of the many who influenced me. It would be great fun and an enormous challenge to score music for a film one day!
What other activities do you enjoy doing when not engaging in your passion for dance music?
– Besides music taking a big chunk of my life, I really love films (yes, I am a big film buff). Also, I love cycling when I have the opportunity to go back to Lithuania and cook meals (when I am not in a crazy studio mode, haha) from time to time.
Do you like to travel and discover new countries and if so what would your favorite destination be that you always dreamed of visiting?
– I love traveling! Meeting amazing new people and discovering new places is absolutely crazy and fantastic. One day I would love to visit and explore Australia or North America. But who am I kidding??? I would love the explore the whole world and as many countries as possible! 🙂