Tom Boxer is one of contemporary EDM’s most established DJs and producers.
Hailing from Bucharest, Boxer has become one of Romania’s most widely recognised musical exports, pushing a dynamic, technicolour take on electro, house and EDM that’s drawn support from heavyweight DJs across genres and continents. He’s one of the most accomplished selectors on the MN2S DJ roster, and also a valued client of our social media management team.
Regularly issuing hit singles and inspired remixes, Boxer’s 2011 hit ‘Deep In Love’ shot straight to No 1 in over ten countries, picked up 50 million views on YouTube and earned the producer his first double-platinum record. He’s since collaborated with Markus Schulz, signed with 3Beat and founded his own self-titled imprint as an outlet for his electrifying new productions. We caught up with the globe-trotting selector and studio wizard to hear about his studio secrets, upcoming projects and the importance of yoga and meditation in his creative process.
Hi Tom, what have you been up to recently?
A LOT! After an intense touring period with both mixing in clubs and live shows in Morena, I felt like I needed some time to cool off. We all need time to reconnect with our inner peace, right?
Many people do yoga and meditation to help restore their mental balance. How do you reach that peaceful place?
I used that time in a very constructive way, literally. I’ve managed the building of a country house on a hilly region of Romania, an area full of history and marked by the art of Brancusi, a sculptor who still inspires generations with his work.
“We all need time to reconnect with our inner peace, right?”
So you’ve built a house?
Yes, I got involved in all stages of the construction and supervised most of the work. During 5 years I was on the road so much that I almost forgot what a house is used for (laughs) … Besides music, I have always been very attracted by craftsmanship. When I’m producing music I use so much of my creative mind that I feel the need to find a balance by using my brute physical force somehow. It relaxes me enormously to do carpenter work, like building a table from old oak wood. I’ve already made four or five of those.
Are you back in the studio now?
Well, I never left it. I carry my studio with me – I always record my ideas either on my phone or on my laptop, everywhere I am, just in case inspiration kicks in. Then I just refine the ideas and come up with the context to accommodate them. Nevertheless, I am working intensely right now, I’ve been in studio sessions for the past six months.
“I carry my studio with me – I always record my ideas either on my phone or on my laptop, everywhere I am, just in case inspiration kicks in.”
You frequently collaborate with vocalists, what’s your work process like when you get in the studio with a singer?
It’s pretty intense. I’m currently working with three top vocalists and I’m very demanding. I like it when vocalists get creative and we work together on the composition. We start by listening to some beats, or some chorus ideas. Then I prepare some tea and we all sit down and brainstorm. When we start recording sometimes I find myself yelling at people, I have to print out a paper and stick it next to the microphone to warn them.
Your latest full-length release was almost a decade ago: 2010’s ‘Morena’. Do you have plans to record another?
Morena has put out several releases, her latest will be out soon on Save Me, it’s a great tune for the summer. We worked together but also each of us on our own individual projects, which have proved to be excellent. I really admire how Morena has evolved and worked on her voice and personal music style over the years.
Can you tell us about your studio set-up and methods?
My studio is like a living room, very cosy, welcoming and warm, although super technical. In order to feel good and creative in that space, I considered small details like lighting and created several areas to sit down and just listen to music. The greatest thing though is the sound of it. I personally learned all there is to know about sound-proofing and had all the walls custom-built with special wood and insulated with specialised foam. I’m especially proud of my new speakers, which make a huge difference in the accuracy of the sound. I keep up with the newest technology and I am constantly studying tutorials: the learning process never ends when you are a perfectionist.
You’re an important part of Romania’s club scene. Which venues, labels and artists are most exciting you right now?
I love the way the Untold festival developed. I like Eneli’s voice and we’ve recently started collaborating, I believe we have a good chemistry.
What are your favourite places to play outside of Romania?
Surprisingly I loved playing in Russia as I got the feeling people were really having fun, but also Turkey, and many more.
Finally, could you give us two tunes: one all-time classic track, and something mind-blowing you’ve recently discovered?
An all-time classic that I love and I sometimes include it in my sets is Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. A new one that I love J Balvin and Willy William’s ‘Mi Gente’.