In the world of electronic dance music, few names shine as brightly as MR. BLACK‘s. With an illustrious career that spans both time and genre, he has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity and sonic innovation. Now, with the release of his highly anticipated album ‘Tranceformation,’ MR. BLACK invites us on a musical journey like no other. We recently had the privilege of sitting down with the artist to delve into the creation of this monumental project, exploring the inspiration behind the tracks, the challenges faced, and the exciting plans that lie ahead.
Hey MR. BLACK, thanks for speaking with us, how are you doing today?
I’m doing great, actually just in a process of moving studios and in a short break for the holidays here with the family. Great to have some balance after a long and tiring tour.
Let’s kick things off with your brand new album, ‘Tranceformation’, how happy are you for it to be out?
I’m absolutely thrilled! Working with legends like Johan Gielen on the album has been a remarkable experience, and it’s been equally incredible to witness the amazing response from the audience during the album tour.
Moreover, I’ve been fortunate to receive tremendous support from the media, and I’m deeply appreciative to receive shoutout videos for my album by artists such as Vini Vici, MORTEN, Ownboss, and many others. It’s truly unbelievable and it is the driving force that keeps me passionate about pursuing what I love.
Can you give me a little insight into the story of this album and how it came about?
The story of Tranceformation started earlier around January this year and it took me around 7 months to finalize it. It’s been an exciting yet a challenging experience to finalize stuff with tight deadlines in between the tours.
The album blends all the worlds and musical genres that inspire me, you can hear the psy elements, techno fused kicks, trance leads, and breakdown with breakbeat elements, mixing between classic flavors that I grew up on in the early 00s and the more modern sounds that represents my catalog, as I wanted to ‘Transform’ the old and good into the new and modern.
Compared to creating and releasing singles, can you go into detail about the different approach you had for this album?
The most important thing for me was the make sure I conceptualize each track in the album so it all falls under the same umbrella and ‘theme’. The story about Tranceformation is blending genres and sounds that inspired me and I had to make sure that each track represents this. I had around 23 singles finished and only 12 made it.
When it comes to my approach for each record, it truly varies. Sometimes, I have a specific concept in mind that I want to explore in a song, such as ‘The Machines.’ In such cases, I start by envisioning the sounds, vocals, colors, and FX that will help me capture and convey that concept. Then, I proceed to write the lyrics and music.
Other times, I begin with a particular vocal that I’m excited about, and I build the entire musical arrangement around it.
Alternatively, I might have a melody in my mind that I want to bring to life, so I focus on crafting that melody first and then expand on it to create the complete track.
In some instances, I’m inspired by the idea of improving an existing song. I might think, ‘This song could have been even better with certain elements and sounds,’ and this motivates me to start a new project that draws from my inspirational reference.
Ultimately, my creative process is always in flux, influenced by my mood and the specific direction I want to take in the studio. I also find inspiration through dedicated listening sessions, where I immerse myself in music that I love.
Of all the tracks included in the album, which one are you most excited for your fans to hear?
To be honest, I’m curious myself! Before the album’s release, I decided to unveil a few singles because I was embarking on a massive tour starting in March. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the audience’s reactions to tracks like ‘Tranceformation’ and ‘Flight 303,’ which unexpectedly became some of the standout records in my sets.
Both of these tracks represented a unique blend of sounds, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to anticipate. However, I was thrilled to witness the audience genuinely connecting with them. Now, I’m eagerly awaiting the reactions of listeners to the remaining tracks on the album, the ones they haven’t had the chance to hear yet.
Did you have any extra singles that unfortunately couldn’t be included in the album?
Yes, indeed! Over the past year, I’ve crafted approximately 23 tracks as part of the lead-up to the album release. It felt like constructing an airplane mid-flight – I had a clear vision and plenty of inspiration, but I also had to make bold decisions, especially when it came to selecting singles.
Throughout this creative journey, I was lead only by the story and how to package it all together. It was a challenge solving such a complex puzzle. What guided my decisions, above all was the central narrative and concept of the album. Any records that didn’t align with the theme of the album didn’t make the final cut.
Are you planning any special shows or tours on the back of this album?
Yes, indeed. The album tour kicked off in March, and I took a brief hiatus in September to concentrate on the album release, as well as to transition into a new studio space. However, I’ll be back on the road in October, starting with a series of shows at ADE alongside Revealed Recordings and Transition. Following that, I’ll be heading to Germany to perform at the Bootshaus Club. In parallel, we are actively planning an extensive Asia tour for the fourth quarter of the year.
What has been your favorite show so far this year?
Don’t Let Daddy Know Korea was one of my tour highlights, the production, one of the best crowds in the world, and I was finishing the majority of the album so it was the first time that I saw the reaction to all the finished singles from the album.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, do you have anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Simply THANK YOU! As I said, without the fans I’m nothing and the support on my music and during my shows is something that I don’t take for granted. I feel blessed.
Check out the album below.