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Taking a deeper look at Miami-based DJ Producer Yanik Coen – Middle Ground Records. During this interview, over 2 years in the making, the artist joined Miami Publicist at Gallery 212 Miami in the heart of Downtown Miami’s trendy Wynwood Art District for a photo shoot. We have also met him and witnessed him shine in various DJ booths, in the studio and in the depths of event production.
Making waves in the industry does not always mean making tidal waves or tsunamis. Honoring the classics and the heritage of music’s deep roots while merging with the ever-changing “new” makes Middle Ground Records the buoy that floats successfully on the rise and ebb of music tides over time. Follow along below as the musician – businessman Yanik Coen takes us deeper into his perspective and strategy in the entertainment and music industry while allowing us a look into his intimate world as a master both behind and on the scenes.
Interview by Miami Publicist with Artist YANIK COEN published March 30, 2017.
MP :: It’s always a pleasure to hear your music and spend some time with you, Yanik, thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. Where are you from?
Thank you for having me. To keep it simple, I am Canadian & French. I grew up in Montreal, Canada and have been in Miami for 3 years already.
MP :: I understand you are passionate about spinning records. How long have you been a DJ?
DJing had always been a fun hobby of mine growing up. I started DJing professionally in my hometown of Montreal in 2005 when I got a random call to play at the city’s best venue. It all went up from there! I quickly found out that I had something special and presence as a DJ. Demand was rising so I started traveling early on, it was crazy. All of this happening without even knowing how to make music. So to answer your question, it’s been 12 years already. Time flies.
MP :: What clubs and or cities do you enjoy performing in the most?
The cities I’ve enjoyed performing in the most are of course Ibiza, but also Paris. As for one club in particular, I’ll have to say Stereo in Montreal. Not only because it’s my hometown, but because it is such a special room. And that sound… unbelievable!
I’ve always been told that I have a signature sound. Sexy House & Techno, with a twist of Disco & Afro-Soul, is how I would best describe it. I love to play all kinds of genres as well.
MP :: Which labels have you worked with?
I was fortunate enough to work with some of my favorite House music labels through the years. From Subliminal Records to Strictly Rhythm and Armada.
I recently launched my own label brand Middle Ground Records and (I am) currently working on many records from myself and other artists that I have discovered and shaped to become part of a strong roster.
MP :: I like the name! How can you describe your label concept?
I chose the name of the label by listening to a friend of mine being interviewed back in 2011 when the EDM movement was exploding. This person is a very experienced and respected A&R in our industry. He was saying how there was no middle ground in Dance music anymore. The scene was divided in 2 : Underground and commercial EDM. And I couldn’t agree more.. That sexy, beachy, vocal club House sound that we all loved had faded out and I strongly felt like people had enough of that radio ‘noise’ they called EDM. I really wanted to focus on bringing back that sound in my DJ sets as well as (in) my records. That is what I’ve been working on most recently. I am being very careful about how and when to release certain records. Quality over quantity has always been my motto.
My first release on MGR ‘Chance 4 Love’ ft Max’C is an homage to House music; vocal, soulful and with a beautiful energy. Check it out!
MP :: Who and what are your biggest inspirations?
So many names are popping up but here are a few : David Morales, Bob Sinclar, Louie Vega, Felix Da Housecat, Sasha, Erick Morillo & Subliminal, Deep Dish, Daft Punk, StoneBridge… I was mostly inspired by the NYC and Chicago scenes along with the French House sound.
MP :: Are there any artists you dream of collaborating with?
Great question… I would love to make a song with Usher or Alicia Keys on vocals. Or a collab with my boy Felix Da Housecat. My ultimate dream collabo would be with Bob Marley or Prince, but we all know that can’t happen.
MP :: What made you move to Miami?
Florida and I have had a love story for a long time. When I was 13 years old, I came down here for the first time as a young tennis player. I played an amazing tournament and loved the weather and overall SoFlo vibe.
I was then invited to my very first WMC in 2006. When WMC was still WMC…
I was an innocent 21 year old DJ with a dream. That trip changed my life on so many levels. From hearing some of the best DJ sets I ever heard to hanging with guys like Behrouz, Sharam, Morillo & Puff in one night. That one week was so inspiring, that my goal was to move and live in Miami. Fast forward 6 years later and lots of hard work, I made the move. This was one of the most transformational moments of my career.
MP :: And what is your take on the Magic City so far ?
I love it. Miami is a very special town. A city where you need to earn the respect of others. So many people come and go that locals never know who really lives here, it’s hilarious. Once people realize you’ve been here long enough and actually live here, it’s like “Oh ok, you’re one of us now” .. This is home now and I don’t see myself going anywhere.
MP :: What is your job title?
DJ / Producer / Entrepreneur/ Sexy Vibes Creator
MP :: Are you a business man?
Most definitely, you know me… I love to make moves.
MP :: In your opinion, what makes a great DJ?
Tricky question, as most “DJs” nowadays aren’t DJs.
A great DJ, can read the crowd in the room and is able play the right record at the right time. DJing is not easy, it’s an art and I strongly believe that it is a skill that comes naturally. Certain things cannot be taught. I always tell people who want to DJ, it’s not what you play, it’s how and when you play it.
MP :: What are your plans to grow as an artist this year?
My goal this year is to further develop my record label and event brand ‘Get Grounded’. Finish my album and finalize some amazing collabos with established and new artists I’ve discovered… I am really excited about this one particular record I did with the amazing Moria Moore on vocals, called ‘Open Fire’. I can not wait for you to hear this one. And of course, looking forward to Ibiza…
MP :: Can you give me an example of music right now that is making waves?
Perfect example right now is Drake‘s new soulful, afro-house track Get It Together produced with Black Coffee – on a Hip Hop album!!! This song, which appears on his newest album – More Life, is living proof of what I have anticipated for a long time and why I created Middle Ground Records. House music is back, once again.
MP :: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
“I was taught it is better to make one quality record than ten average ones.
As one of my mentors and friend once told me,
phases in dance music come & go, but true house music will never die.” – Yanik Coen
Caitlin Electra & Yanik Coen in the Do Not Sit on The Furniture DJ booth, Miami Beach, 2015
Find Yanik Coen on Soundcloud :: soundcloud.com/middlegroundrec
Yanik Coen on Facebook :: Facebook.com/yanikcoen
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