Exolight: A perfect track is one that makes you feel something you can’t control. [Interviewing Artists]
Hellooooo Exolight! And welcome to Trancers.ro. ^_^ I can finally share with you my interview with a very hot name in the trance scene right now. The man, the music man is amazing and I am happy I finally met him at the Romanian Trance Gathering last month. He is the same as in all our online conversations: simple, smiley and genuine. He really know how to tell a good joke and I enjoyed the lunch and all the talks about this music we all love so much. Funny story: we should’ve had this on video, but you know how planning around a party can be. A loot of work to do, and after it a lot of rest to consider. So we ended up by doing this online, the old fashion way: in writing. But better, ‘cuz I got to find out his top 10 trance tracks of all time more easily! Enjoy!
Hello Cristi! Thank you for accepting the interview. Where in the world is this interview catching you and what were you doing right before starting reading this?
Hi Oana! My pleasure 🙂 Right now, I’m home in the studio, working on a new track.
Let’s start with the beginning: Who is Exolight -the artist? How did it all started? The love for music, the producing, the DJing?
I’m just a normal guy who loves music!
The love for music started years ago when I was a little child. My father is a musician so I was always surrounded by music. I started playing the piano at the age of 5 or 6, and a few years later I also followed some guitar lessons until I got bored haha.
The love for DJ-ing started in 2002 or so. I was always fascinated by DJs when they were mixing and spining vinyls and stuff and I always wanted to do that myself but I didn’t have money to buy gear. But later that time, a friend of mine showed me a mixing software (AtomixMP3 I think) and that’s how I started to “DJ”.
To produce I first started 10 years ago, in my first year of college. I installed Cubase and I started to play around. A few years later I switched to FL studio and I also started to play the keyboard again.But I didn’t have too much time and ambition back then so I dropped this idea of producing. All, until 2 years ago when I met Bogdan (Suncatcher. It’s funny how we met because I was always a big Suncatcher fan and we ended up being co-workers by accident. Anyway, right after we met, I posted a video of me playing on keyboard a trance track on Instagram and he saw the video. Right after, he told me that we should make a track together. Imagine the excitement 😀 However, after a few weeks, I sent him an idea and that’s how ‘Nothing Like You’ was born. This is how it all started and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for being such a great friend and mentor during the last couple of years. (Cheers bro!)
Who is Cristian Moga/ Exolight in the day by day life? Beside producer, DJ, artist?
In the day by day life I’m just a normal person who works as a QA Engineer, loves ribs and life in general.
Why Trance? What does this genre mean to you? How does it make you feel? How do you actually define it?
I can define trance as being the best thing that ever happened to music…and to me!
I also listen to some other genres like classic rock, alternative or post rock, house music and the list goes on but I can only find myself in trance. On the other hand, as a producer, trance is for me like a getaway. A way to express myself, my feelings, emotions etc.
What would you say it is your biggest musical accomplishment till now?
With no doubt, the fact that i was invited to play at Luminosity Beach Festival is my biggest musical accomplishment so far.
Which single track that you’ve produced had the biggest impact on your career?
Definitely ‘Day To Remember’ (w/ Suncatcher). The track is very special to me. Some people are still writing me about how much they love it.
How do you actually produce your music? Do your tracks tell a story? What is the inspiration behind your tracks?
Every track of mine tells a story and has some feelings in it. It’s hard for me to tell how I actually produce my tracks… I just write the music based on how I feel in that moment.
Who influenced your work the most? Simple people, other artists, works, etc.
I’m mostly influenced by the great trance artists I grew up with. Daniel Kandi, Ferry Tayle, Suncatcher, Armin, Tiesto, Above & Beyond are just a few names. And of course there are other people in my life who influenced me, like the people I love.
What do you think makes a perfect track?
For me, every track that moves you, makes you cry or makes you feel in a certain way that you can’t control, is a perfect track.
Have you ever experienced the creator’s block? And if yes, how did you snap out of it?
We all do. Usually when this happens to me, I try to find something else to do for a while.
Let’s go a bit into some technicalities: what’s your studio setup?
I don’t have a fancy studio: a Behringer UMX-610 keyboard, a Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 soundcard, a pair of Audi Technica headphones, a decent PC and a 25″ ultra wide monitor.
The one i’m using: FL Studio.
Can you name your top 3 VSTs?
I’m working a lot with Sylenth1, Spire and Massive.
Sound banks or sound design? Which is the way to go?
Definitely sound design if you want to make your tracks to sound different and define to your own style. But with sound banks is more easier because the sounds are already equalised and it saves you time to focus more on producing.
What is the simplest advice you’d give to someone else that is starting this journey?
Work hard, practice, ask for feedback from experienced people and don’t give up!
You favorite trance subgenre?
Uplifting, of course! But I also like Progressive, Chillout Trance and other subgenres.
Any favorite artists?
Yes, here they are: Suncatcher, Daniel Kandi, Ferry Tayle, Steve Allen, Daniel Skyver, Amir Hussain, Alex M.O.R.P.H., Ferry Corsten, Factor B, Arctic Moon, Gareth Emery, Driftmoon, Craig Connelly, Kaimo K, Mhammed El Alami, A.R.D.I., Dan Stone etc.
How is working with Suncatcher?
It’s awesome! I love working with him! He’s a great guy and a great producer and we’re always on the same page when we are producing.
Any artist each trancer should definitely follow these days?
Factor B, Amir Hussain and Frank Waanders are just a few names that come to my mind right now. Great producers and I can’t wait for some fresh stuff from them. Also to mention my Romanian trance producers friends: Suncatcher, Nikolauss, Starpicker, Bogdan Vix and Sundancer (which is going to have his first release soon).
Any new projects coming up? What can we expect from you in the next months?
Yes! Lots of new tracks, both originals and collabs, gigs, new musical project and some other surprises 😀
How was the Romanian Trance Gathering party? What can you say about that night?
It was AWESOME. I always wanted to play in Bucharest. The crowd was very responsive and I have met some very nice people.
All the DJs impressed me there:
Skydreamer – Excellent warmup!
Sundancer – Very nice set!
Bogdan Vix – No words for this guy!
Nikolauss B2B Starpicker – Incredible back to back
George Andreas – Very nice and unexpected performance
Alkalin – Probably the best vinyl set i have listened in a while. This guy has the trance music in its veins. I have not seen yet a DJ more passionate about electronic music than this dude!
I cannot wait for the next Romanian Trance Gathering!
Congrats of becoming part of the Afterhills line up. What can we expect from you?
Thank you! I’m very happy to part of this amazing festival and i’m looking forward to play there! I promise a magical set wth lots of new tracks!
Another big achievement, maybe the greatest for a trance artist is to play at Luminosity Beach Festival. How was receiving this news to you? How did you got to be there? Anything special prepared for it?
Yes, definitely the greatest achievement for me so far! To be honest, when Bo wrote me and invited me to play, I almost cried haha. It was incredible to hear that the man behind Luminosity Beach Festival likes my work and wants me to play there. I promise to play there the set of my life!
What do you think about the trance community – the fans?
As Armin (i think) said once: “Trance music has the best fans in the world”, and I have to agree with him.
One thing I don’t really like these days is the fact that the comunity is somehow divided by subgenres. I miss the old times when trance was trance, and people did not argue that much about which trance subgenre is “the best” or “the real trance”, as you can see all the uplifting vs progressive vs psy “battles” these days.
And what about the trance community the DJs/ producers (the ones you encountered till now?
I didn’t have the chance to meet to many producers. I promise to tell you after I get back from Lumi!
If you could change your place for one day with another artist, not necessarily trance artist, with whom would you change places and why?
Hmm…Chris Martin from Coldplay or Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters. Both great artists.
Hardest question of all: Can you tell me the top 10 trance tracks of all times?
Oh my..this is hard! Ok, these are some of my favorite tracks (but not in this particular order)
- Suncatcher – Are We There Yet
- Cold Blue & Del Mar – 11 Days (Sebastian Brandt Remix)
- Way Out West – Killa (Orkidea Remix)
- Simon Patterson – Brush Strokes
- Solarstone & JES – Like A Waterfall (Solarstone Pure Mix)
- Daniel Kandi & Ferry Tayle – Flying Blue
- Sean Tyas – Lift
- Skin – Faithfulness (Tiesto Remix)
- Above & Beyond – Home (Above & Beyond Club Mix)
- Ferry Corsten – Anahera
Do you have a message for our readers?
Thank you for taking the time to read this interview and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all the amazing support!
PS. Everyone has a hidden talent. What’s yours?
I can do funny impressions of people. Or at least I think they’re funny haha.