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WMC Preview: Q&A with Surkin

Angel Ghosts
Surkin, the self-proclaimed Internet child.
Compared to most DJs, Benoit Heitz, better known as Surkin, is a relatively young to be so far ahead of the game. Yet, the 23-year-old proves he has plenty of maturity when it comes to laying down the beats. Tracks likes "Ghetto Obsession" and "White Knight Two" are regularly played on dancefloors across the globe and he has lent his remix skills to everyone from Justice to M.I.A.

Next week, Surkin will be abll over Miami during Winter Music Conference, the highlights being his appearance at Les Six Years du Institubes party at Louis at the Gansevoort, Wednesday, March 25, and Day 1 of Ultra Music Festival, Friday, March 27.

New Times: As a young DJ/producer, do you think you offer a new kind of mentality as far as they way you approach and create dance music?

I'm an Internet child. Having access to virtually any track ever made at any time really helped me to discover a lot of things, really fast and to build really eclectics influences. I'm DJing with software. I never used turntables because it just don't make sense to me. It's peer to peer that made me into dance music. My record collection is on hard drives and my studio is a MacBook. That's perhaps what makes that new generation different. Sometime that 100% digital environment is missing the magic of the good old days. But it's really convenient.

NT: From your first Institubes release, "Ghetto Obsession," to your latest releases, "Next of Kin" and "White Knight Two," your sound has progressed dramatically. What is influencing your sound these days?

Many kinds of dance music. From French touch to electro funk. A lot of Chicago house.  Mostly old stuff, even if I love a lot of today's artists. I'll definitely load my iPod with a lot of early nineties Miami freestyle before I pack for WMC.

NT: You're also scheduled to play the first day of Ultra Music Festival. How does a festival appearance differ from nightclub appearance? Do you approach it differently?

Festivals give you the chance to play in front of a bigger crowd, and to a lot of people that don't know your music yet. In a clubs you're closer from the crowd and the party can get more intense, and you can take more risks without the fear of people running to another stage.

NT: Is there anything else you are working on for 2009?

I just finished a remix for the next Juan MacLean single, but I'm trying to focus on my own stuff at the moment. I'm finishing my first album which is going to be released sometime in the second half of 2009.

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Jose D. Duran has been the associate web editor of Miami New Times since 2008. He's the voice and strategist behind the publication's eyebrow-raising Facebook and Twitter feeds. He has also been reporting on Miami's music, entertainment, and cultural scenes since 2006, previously through sites such as MiamiNights.com and OnBeat.com. He earned his BS in journalism with a minor in art history from the University of Florida. He's a South Florida native and will be a Miami resident as long as climate change permits and the temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees.
Contact: Jose D. Duran

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