EJ on his Relationship with Formula-E, How the Persona Began, Future Plans + More
We sat down and had a beer with mysterious DJ and producer ‘EJ‘, known for being the brains and face of Formula E music, as well as enormous tracks such as ‘Fire In Your Heart‘, ‘One More Night‘ and countless others. We chat about his introduction to Formula E, how he came up with the persona and his future plans.
Where are you based?
Based in London!
How did you relationship begin with Formula E?
I was working at Ministry of Sound for 10 years and that's where I originally met Formula-E. They wanted Ministry of Sound to come in and do all the after parties as well as their overall music strategy. Of course they thought Ministry would be good for that considering their history in dance music. Unfortunately that deal didn’t go ahead. At that time I was considering leaving Ministry of Sound, so I contacted them and said “I love what you’re doing, do you want me to come in for a meeting?” They needed a DJ to play the races, they needed someone to help with and produce the broadcast music as well as help all the music content overall. It was perfect timing, so that's how my relationship started with Formula-E.
How did the EJ name and persona begin?
I really wanted to put my spin on things musically at Formula-E. What it came down to was me wanting a persona that would grow alongside the championship. So I created EJ and actually got referred to in the press as the bastard child of deadmau5 and Daft Punk! I began with house but always had a passion for trance, so when I decided to take the trance route with my music, I wanted an identity that stood out and was unique. The name came from mixing Formula-E and DJ, which resulted in Formula-EJ but that didn’t sound right so we ended up with EJ.
Do you have a favourite Formula-E driver?
I’ve got to go UK, so Sam Bird from Virgin. But you know what, there's a lot of really good racers in there now. BMW is actually coming in this season and then Mercedes and Porsche coming next season. The championship is just getting bigger and bigger.
Could you describe your music in 2 words?
Overall, I’d say it's Progressive Trance. I like to put a spin on the vocal stuff because I always love a vocal. But a lot of the stuff when I play the races, it's quite unique what we do for that. We aim for energy during the race, the cars are racing around the track and there are speakers at all the grandstands. There’s 3 different parts to it, I DJ with the cars going around the track. Also an EJ show that's on stage for the podium crowd, as well as all the after parties around town after the races. When I DJ during the races and when the cars are lining up and getting ready, it’s actually broadcast live on TV. It can be a little bit daunting because sometimes it's 20 million live viewers. I’ve been DJing for 5 years but still definitely get nervous during those shows!
Your record 'Fire In Your Heart’ is very powerful, what inspired it?
When I produce I make sure to think about how it’ll feel being played at the races, so it’s got to have a lot of energy. There is a funny story behind some of the lyrics, “fire in your heart, ice in your veins” is basically the polar opposites and I remember feeling frustrated at that time.
What's happening for EJ in 2019?
Got loads of new music coming out, I’ve got hopefully another 2 releases on Garuda confirmed. I’m working on a compilation album on Garuda also, ranging from progressive sounds to trance. It’s going to be titled ‘Formula-E - The Soundtrack’ and it’ll be all the music I play on the racetrack. That’ll be releasing in December and will coincide with the launch of the new Formula-E season. I’m also working on something pretty special which’ll be out in Q3 2019, that is something that’s very close to my heart.
Listen to EJ’s latest release ‘Follow Me‘ + Stream/Download