I was lucky enough to chat with the multi-platinum DJ and producer Martin Jensen, who’s curently riding high from his latest release ‘Unwanted’ with Sam Feldt and Connor Maynard. Jensen is globally esteemed for his uplifting blend of dance and pop music and boasts epic productions such as ‘Solo Dance’, racking up the Danish don over a 2 billion streams across his releases. Jensen has kicked off 2023 at full speed, releasing an enumeration of catchy singles including ‘Worship You’ with Karen Harding and ‘Tokyo Trip’ with Landis. In our chat we took a deep dive into his new single, his experience as a the first ever DJ to sit as a judge on X Factor in his native Denmark and what the summer looks like for an internationally acclaimed DJ.
Thanks for speaking with us Martin! First of all, tell us about your new track ‘Unwanted’!
‘Unwanted’ is a track that fellow producer Sam Feldt and I worked on before bringing Conor Maynard in on the vocals. It’s a more mellow, chill tempo with an emotive message that then brings a brightness through the way we looped and used synthlines. We wanted to ultimately create a track that ventured away from the dancefloor but still sounded like it would appeal to a radio audience and those that enjoy more melodic, chill house.
You collaborated with Sam Feldt and Conor Maynard on the release – what drew you to work with these artists?
I’ve always been a fan of Sam’s music, I actually remixed his track ‘Madness’ last year and we’ve been wanting to jump in the studio together for a while. He has a great work ethic and brings a freshness to the scene that appeals to both the electronic world and the more commercial, almost pop world, too. We felt like Conor would be perfect to put his vocals to the track, I always enjoy working with vocalists as they can elevate and bring a whole new vision to the finished product, which was what became the fruits of our labour with ‘Unwanted’. We were so happy with the final result and I hope our fans are loving it also!
Do you prefer working with collaborators on releases, or do you find solace being solo in the studio?
It really is a bit of both but I always appreciate the potentiality of working with others. I enjoy writing camps a lot and working with other writers and vocalists as it is a step away from working with solely other producers, you can never guess where a combination of talents will take you. Overall, it really all depends as each track is unique and should be approached that way, but yes, each has their own benefits and also hurdles.
Congratulations on ‘Unwanted’ reaching 1 million streams on Spotify! Tell us, what makes a song a success, can anyone ever predict that?
Thanks so much! You know, I don’t think any producers ever go into the studio thinking how to make the next “biggest hit”. For sure, you can have a vision yourself as a creative, but then your label team could have another direction they want to take the sound in, the fans may not prefer a certain sound or experimentation to others. Everyone wants a big hit – who wouldn’t?! – but it isn’t that black and white, I think it is important to just make the music you want to make and be fulfilled with what you put out into the world. I do always strive to push myself further out of my comfort zone which is something I’ve been doing even more this year, releasing across a number of labels and showcasing all the different facets of my sound. I’m happy!
This Summer you’ll be playing a huge amount of events, has the vibe now fully returned around the world to what it was like pre-pandemic?
For sure! We are fully out of that now which makes the past feel almost like a weird dream or movie! I’m so glad we can focus on the positives now and all be dancing together again without worry!
What events and festivals are you most looking forward to playing and why?
This Summer, for sure Tomorrowland! I’m playing weekend one on the Sunday this year and I have been preparing my set for a few months now here and there. I have so much unreleased music and edits in my back pocket for such a special occasion, as is this, it will be dope to be playing alongside so many of my peers that I can call my friends, too. I can’t wait to go back!
You were also the first ever DJ to be a national judge on the X Factor in your home of Denmark, tell us about that. Could you see yourself returning to TV again in the future, or taking on a similar mentor role in another fashion?
I really enjoyed that opportunity and that chapter in my life, but for now, that is closed. It was a learning curve for sure but I don’t think people realise just how much work goes into that – not just as a judge but the whole production. It is one of the most famous talent franchises in the world exactly for that reason. For myself, I wasn’t just a judge on TV, I was a coach, a developing mentor, an ear if my contestants needed anything personal or professional – and yes it was something I’m super grateful for and will never forget – but it is also a super demanding role. Right now, I’m back to focusing on Martin Jensen the artist, producer, DJ, creative and business owner. I’m at a place in my life where I have complete freedom and control and so for now, I am my own drive and focus.
Being an international touring DJ and producer, you must have visited some amazing places. Where is the best place you’ve had the pleasure of playing a set? And what country/ nation has the best culture to immerse yourself in?
That would for sure be The Maldives! It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and for good reason, it looks like a picture postcard and I’ve had so many good memories there over the years. In terms of culture, I would say probably Asia as a whole continent – I’ve toured so much over there from places like Thailand, Korea, Chin, Japan – each region has its own unique style of course, but the people, fans and culture in the west is always something that is so welcoming, fresh and forward-thinking.
Linking to that, you also released ‘Tokyo Trip’ with Landis ahead of the Summer – how was it moving more onto the dancefloor with a tech-house sound for that one?
It was great to work with Landis! We released on W&W’s label, Rave Culture, so to take things more into a peak-time, bass-house space was a lot of fun. Its always cool to juxtapose releases and show all the different sides to my music. Sometimes we all want to party in the club, dance with no worries and other times we want to chill, or be inspired, or listen to something more downtempo, no? With ‘Tokyo Trip’, we wanted to just go all out and be like here is the party, lets fucking go crazy!
Finally, what is next for Martin Jensen?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m sitting on a lot of unreleased music at the moment, some may never see the light of day, some may get reworked and some I’m excited to line up for what will hopefully become my releases across the rest of the year! And of course, a lot lot lot of shows – festival season is underway already and I’m super excited to perform for you all!