With diverse productions fusing many different elements into their brand of progressive trance, the Maltese duo has plans to make their country one of the new pillars of the new electronic wave. Originally plucked out of dancehall obscurity by Armin van Buuren in 2012, Jovian Grech and Cyprian Cassar have grown from strength to strength while crisscrossing the globe and collaborating with artistes the world over. JUICE talks to the enigmatic pair ahead of their visit to Kuala Lumpur.
Not many producers have come out of Malta and made it on the global stage. What is the EDM scene like there, and in general?
Joven Yes that is it true, we are the very first DJs from Malta to really make it this far till now, but our achievement has revolutionised the whole concept of a club DJ on the island. This is not because there is no talent as I can assure you that you’ll be hearing about a lot of new producers from Malta in the near future, but the scene here was so good that DJs use to focus more on making events locally then making a name abroad. The weather, the sea, and the social people of the island makes this a perfect party spot, and in fact Malta has experienced some big events through the years, maybe not as loud as Ibiza but the country surely offers practically the same atmosphere and it’s much more affordable. The scene is big enough here for us to host Tenishia in Concert, which attracts 1% of the whole population of the Island.
How did the both of you meet, and start what we now know as Tenishia?
Cyprian Both Joven and I had our separate music experiences before we met through mutual friends. My first steps into the music world started at the age of 10 when I started my piano lessons that later resulted into building my own studio as my music tastes changed to trance and progressive throughout the years. Joven also started very young when he joined a small community radio at the age of 15 and his first club residency a year later. When we met in this small bar in Malta, we noticed that we had much to teach to each other and joining forces was the perfect solution.
Speaking of Tenishia, how did you come up with the name, and what does it mean?
J This is the most common question that we get in almost every interview but we do not really have an answer for it as Tenishia doesn’t mean anything (laughs), but it’s a catchy girl’s name we taught would work for our project. This question being asked so much shows that it works great as everyone is curious about it. But again, it doesn’t have any meaning.
What is the working process like for the both of you when you’re coming up with a new track? How is the dynamic between yourselves?
J There is absolutely no particular pattern, any of us can come up with a melody or a new idea for a new track and we just go along with what we have. Sometimes it starts on the piano, sometimes it starts by humming something in the head… what we do is bring that idea forward, try it on the computer, and take it from there.
With electronic dance music being the mainstream genre of music now, where do you see yourselves in five years?
J Can’t really tell what will happen in five years but we mainly do what we do because we love it, so I can’t really be ambitious and say what will happen to EDM in five years. Although we can adapt to crowd in different countries and events, we are mainly trance DJs as that is the genre that we like and we think we’re good at. To be very honest we really do not like how EDM is sounding at the moment… just noise and no intelligent melodies at all. So we hope that in five years, EDM will be at least be more mature musically.
Any big plans for 2014 from you guys that we should look out for?
C You have to look out for the collaboration with Jonothan Mendelsohn called ’New Dream’. It will be out in April just before we arrive in Malaysia and I think it is our biggest track so far. Also the track with Ana Criado should be a big one. Besides releases, we will also be celebrating 10 years of Tenishia this year in Malta, so if anyone is going to be on the island in July, make sure to watch out for this event!
Do you have any advice for up and coming DJs who want to make it in the scene?
J Firstly, only do this if you love music. If you wanna do it to get the attention or girls, then do something else. Maybe stripping! (Laughs) If you love the music though there are two important things that we believe in and they are determination and learning, practice makes perfect.
Tenishia is set to play at Mysterious on Saturday 26 April ’14 at MIECC.