This past week I had the pleasure of attending my first Masquerade event curated by Claptone. If you’ve never heard of the Masquerade be sure to add it to your bucket list. A full lineup curated by the masked avenger himself, fabulous production, incredible dancers, and a whole lot of dancing. The event kicked off Miami Music Week at Hyde Beach and SLS South Beach and featured sets from Claptone, Fatboy Slim, James Hype, LP Giobbi, and Marc Rousso.
Claptone takes extreme pride in his music and events. Hidden by a golden Venetian mask, Claptone gives the crowd a wonderful mix of electronic tunes to allow them to escape to a magical place. Prior to the event, I got the chance to chat with Claptone himself about the history of the Masquerade, Ultra Music Festival, and more about his future plans for 2022!
EDM Maniac: What’s up Claptone, thank you so much for meeting with me today! How are you?
Claptone: I’m very well, thank you!
EDM Maniac: Good, I’m glad to hear that! We’re currently at your legendary “Masquerade” event here in Miami, can you tell us about this event and how it started?
Claptone: It started as an idea like so many good things start. I started in Berlin actually, I saw MK didn’t play in Berlin very often or almost never so I was like “man I got to put on an event and get MK.” I also got Perel when she played a bit of different music back then. Anyway, I curated a good lineup and thought I should make this a masquerade event! I would give out my mask for people to wear, have a good time, and create a whole musical journey for them. That was the first masquerade, it was very successful. I decided to bring it to Paris next and then I brought it worldwide.
EDM Maniac: Definitely, I mean who doesn’t love a masquerade party! You had your first Masquerade event back in 2016, how has it transformed over the years?
Claptone: It has gotten much much bigger and also the production has gotten better. Here in Miami, the production isn’t as big because it’s an outside venue. I think the main change that has happened is getting a residency in Pasha in Ibiza a year before COVID- that was a big success on a Monday night haha! Then they asked us to do Saturday night and COVID came. But now this year we will do Saturdays starting May 14th to October in Pasha so that’s gonna be big!
EDM Maniac: That was gonna be my next question actually, congratulations on that by the way! How does it feel to know you’ll be playing such a special event in a special place like Ibiza?
Claptone: It feels great! I mean it’s a big responsibility but we have a big booking thanks to Pasha because they pay some of the DJs haha. But I am able to curate ya know, to puzzle it all together and make it right. And also the production in Pasha is amazing and they have amazing dancers and it’s just beautiful!
EDM Maniac: I can only imagine, well if I make it out to Ibiza this summer you know I’ll be there haha!
Claptone: Haha ya you should! Be sure to let us know and we’ll put you on the list!
EDM Maniac: Haha thank you! So this weekend you are playing the main stage at Ultra and going b2b with Vintage Culture! Are you excited about your set? What can fans expect?
Claptone: I’m super excited because there hasn’t been an Ultra for 2 years and it’s just like woaaah! It’s gonna be packed and it’s a pleasure and honor to play the main stage. It’s also my first time going b2b with Vintage Culture, we’ve had lots of talks and thoughts and made some music together so it’s gonna be a very unique set. You won’t see it again and be sure not to miss it!
EDM Maniac: I will be there and I know a lot of people are looking forward to it! At the end of 2021, you released your album “Closer”- I read a quote from you saying “Closer is about the joy and sometimes the pain of being human”- that really resonated with me and I’m sure a lot of your fans- can you tell me more about the emotions of that album?
Claptone: Well as you might know I’m not 100% human. I always try to find on my journey how it really feels to be human. I look at human interaction and relationships. I try to look deep into that and learn about what makes this life. I write music about this but also work with vocalists that write lyrics about this and that was the idea behind “Closer”. To get closer to human emotion and to understand the real joy and real pain and a lot of everything in between. Overall, it’s a very positive album this time.
EDM Maniac: Definitely.
Claptone: Compared to the first two, it’s kind of weird because with COVID those times were not always positive and then you come out with positive music. I puzzled myself but what can you do!
EDM Maniac: I think you said it great! Life is definitely about the good and the bad, you have to embrace both- COVID was really bad but look at us now enjoying live music together again!
Claptone: Exactly we are even happier now!
EDM Maniac: Are there any new projects you’re working on in 2022?
Claptone: Ya there are still some remixes from the album to drop by summer- I have two club singles lined up that will be more club-friendly versus the album that has more songs.
EDM Maniac: Very exciting! So how does the man behind the mask balance music, touring, and your personal life?
Claptone: Well, I don’t know the man behind the mask! I just know the man with the mask.
EDM Maniac: Haha no such thing- well how does the man with the mask?
Claptone: So the man with the mask doesn’t have a personal life so it makes it pretty easy right haha.
EDM Maniac: That’s true I guess haha. How did you decide on the gold mask? Has it been the same design since the beginning?
Claptone: I didn’t decide on it, it was given to me. But I embraced it and I think it makes good fun for the viewer and listener. It’s a Venetian mask and has a lot of history which plays a big role for me, rich history allows you to tell a lot of stories and then you look at it and it has some bling- it’s golden and very stylish!
EDM Maniac: Gold never goes out of style!
Claptone: Yes! I’m happy it’s not just a gadget or anything- it’s a serious mask for the music that I make, it’s a great fit and feels right.
EDM Maniac: Haha yes I love it and think it looks great, I’m excited to throw one on myself.
Claptone: Haha thank you, go ahead and knock yourself out we have plenty!
EDM Maniac: Oh I will haha! So can you explain the identity of “Claptone- the masked avenger” and why you decided to keep your personal identity secret?
Claptone: Well, I feel that in the music today very often people try to look authentic or the viewer thinks it’s authentic but if you look at social media there is no authenticity anyway. Everybody has their own image if they want it or not- but with people not wearing a mask you might not see their real image. I’m honest enough to say “I’m staging this,” but I think it’s a valid point that authenticity to that level is dead and it’s more about creating a reputable and authentic image that you are in charge of so that the image doesn’t control me but I control the image. I am in charge of my image. I can mold it, I can change it, other artists or even celebrities can not do that anymore.
EDM Maniac: I completely understand and I think that’s an amazing way to look at it. Thank you for sharing that with me! My last question is what other festivals will we see you at this year?
Claptone: Oh god there’s so many! EDCLV, Tomorrowland, Ibiza… keep an eye out on my socials.
EDM Maniac: Awesome! Thank you so much for talking with me and taking the time! I’m excited to see your set later and at Ultra this weekend!
Claptone: No problem and thank you! Enjoy the night!
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