Artists to watch · music business · music industry · music industry interview ·

Tom Beck Interview

Richard Rogers (RR): For those that might be unaware. can you give us some background information about yourself please as I know you are more famous as an actor than as a musician/singer?

Tom Beck (TB):  My background is on the music side. I’m 40 years of age, I grew up in Nurnberg and I started to play the accordion at the age of 4 or 5, they were my first musical steps and then I played the organ and keyboards and then I started to play along to songs that I heard on the radio on the piano or keyboards and then i started singing to them. Then I started my own bands, the first one at the age of 12 and then I played at random weddings and stuff and played the things that people wanted to hear. I became the popular story of the bored man that sits there at the the piano trying to entertain the whole crowd, sometimes for 6 to 8 hours, a whole evening! Then i had other bands and started studying musical theatre and through that I started to do more acting and next to the acting I decided to do my first album and recorded that in 2010 and released that in 2011 and there have have been 3 albums with the last in 2015. So it’s been 4 years! I’ll be recording my 4th album this year.


(Richard Rogers, Tom Beck)


RR: On Wikipedia Deutschland it mentions you’ve released 5 albums?

TB: Yes that is correct. Three studio albums and two live albums.


RR: My German was obviously not good enough to understand. Enshultigung!

TB: No worries.


RR: So who were your influences musically?

TB: Well i grew up in a very very small village where people would listen to everything basically from early bad German folk music to Schlager but personally my influences were rock’n’roll music, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Ray Charles because of the work on the piano. Then of course The Beatles and The Stones. So all the piano hand work stuff I was influenced by the British musicians. Paulo Nutini is one of my favourite musicians and I went to about 6 or 7 of his gigs and saw him live.


RR: Who are you signed up to, record company wise?

TB: Well basically i’m a freelancer. I released three albums on my own label but with a distribution company. This time round I don’t know whether to go off in search of a label or whether to do it myself. I don’t know, i’m not sure. I’m not represented by a publishing company either so I collect everything through GEMA. Unfortunately they don’t play my songs on the radio but I have a loyal and true fanbase and they have been here and accompanying me for the last ten years now. Like tonight here at the Koln Luxor Club there will be over 500 people here and it is sold out and that makes me really proud as I have no single out and no album out and they don’t play me on the radio so I just have a real and true fanbase. If I had a label of course it could get bigger. But I think why should I, I just need to use my accounts more with things like Instagram, use more footage and do more advertising for myself than I actually do. Maybe I would go with a label and would they want me? I don’t know. I’m not filming at the moment so i took the time to do this short 7 show tour and afterwards to do some recording and hopefully do an album.


RR: And where would you do that. In Berlin?

TB: I’m not sure yet. Maybe some in Berlin and some in Cologne because I have a few producer teams that I would like to work with, also one team in Munich. I don’t know if I’m going to produce one album with one producer, I used to do that but it’s like an old school way to do it. So maybe I will split it.


RR: The only problem with that is from an A&R perspective when it is split up into so many different production teams you lose the basis of the sound that maybe you were aiming for in the first place.

TB: Yes you are right. That is what I am afraid of actually. I’m afraid it’s not going to be one unique whole sound. I’ve got some friends who have got in 3 producer teams and it seems to work fine and you don’t hear any difference.


RR: The last Lily Allen album felt from a professional angle very dissipated. It’s completely split with lots of separate producers as opposed to her first albums with one production team. For me it’s too diverse, it’s totally incoherent as a piece of work and I think a mess in part. I thought it was a poor piece of A&R to be honest. So why the tour with nothing to promote?

TB: It’s just to keep my fanbase motivated and as the last tour was 4 years ago. I didn’t know how many people would turn up. It make me happy and proud.


RR: Good for you if you have nothing to sell. Re-connecting to the fans is a great way to go. I passed about 45 of them lining up for the gig (it was 3 o‘clock in the afternoon in the middle of a cold February afternoon). That means you have a particularly integrated fan base, did they come initially from what you were doing in music or from your acting career?

TB: Well the music came first but I became popular to most of the people out there in Germany due to the variety of TV series that I have been doing so yeah most people will know me from the TV. They started coming to the concerts 8 or 9 years ago from when I had my first concert and they are still there! The first gigs had about 1000 to 1500 people per show and about 500 of them just came to see the guy from the TV. I would rather be appreciated as a musician rather than the guy from the TV.


RR: Have you released any music outside of the GAS territories – Germany, Austria, Switzerland. AKA the DOS countries.

TB: No, all the albums have only been released in those 3 territories so if any labels come in there is a back catalogue to exploit. Everything is available on Spotify. The first two albums are completely in English and the second one was actually recorded in Nashville in the USA. It has more of a country vibe. The third album was the first one recorded in German and the next one will be in German as well. I felt strangely more comfortable writing in English. The German language is harder to sing, for example there are a lot of hard consonants so it doesn’t sound to smooth. You also need to be careful what you say in the land of the poets and intellectuals, as an idea if Ed Sheeran sang in German his songs he would not be successful because the lyrics would be too cheesy! It would sound like Schlager. It takes time to find your own language in German. It sounds weird I know. In fact I needed two years to experiment and write in German to feel comfortable with the language. It was tough writing in German at the beginning but it is very challenging to find unique German language in songs. Most of the time I am co-writing and I come to the session with a theme. Sometimes we jam to get a song started.


RR: You’ve been married for 6 months, is it what you were expecting?

TB: Yeah definitely. We have been together for 6 years before so I knew what i was going to expect.


RR: So for Valentine’s Day were you on the road?

TB: Well actually I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s the only day I don’t agree with it just because some industry tells me to celebrate that day. I can do that every day if I want and I can bring flowers and we can go out and have a great time together and I can tell her how much I love her.


RR: Well huge congratulations and good luck with this club tour.

TB: Thank you.

Artists to watch · Downtempo · Interviews · Netherlands · Uptempo

Music2Deal interviews; ‘Alex Cortiz’ (Aad de Mooy) Music Producer/Label Owner Netherlands EU

Alex keyboard

Web & platforms 

Apple Music  Vibin Grooves (Official website)

Discogs  Soundcloud 

Spotify  Beatport

Deezer  Reverbnation

Music2Deal  Linkedin

Welcome once again dear reader, another artist interview and I must tell you that I’m very pleased to have this opportunity to dig into the background of Aad de Mooy aka Alex Cortiz as I’ll admit I’m a big fan of this producers work so this interview was also an honour for this music-lover!

As an early aside folks, I’m always grateful that such direct contacts are now more easily made per the web, communication & the technology tools available to all of us in the age we live in.

So, this interview is another of those such encounters along my musical road so many thanks to Aad de Mooy for his time, myself & the Music2Deal team appreciate.

Let’s lead into our conversation via a tale of my own first encounter with the work of Alex Cortiz which began when I stumbled across ‘Bar Fly’ on a compilation album purchased on the spur of the moment whilst crate digging in London’s west end. I immediately loved the lazy lounge feel and vibe to the track but also, I found the name of the artist quite distinctive for some quirky reason although I didn’t dig much deeper at the time. A couple of years later a good friend in my music-land Guido van der Meulen** mentioned Alex Cortiz as we discussed life as well as one of his mix’s during an early morning Skype call and then, Guido mentioned the name ‘Aad’.  I dug deeper and it transpired that he already knew the producer behind the Alex Cortiz brand & persona as their paths had crossed via music and social media etc, a common tale in music-land I’m sure.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As an aside, I myself dig the work of Alex Cortiz as I admire how his work moves effortlessly between up-tempo, dark & moody deep house through to down-tempo but still with a good use of beats & fine atmospheres. Aad drops in effects and sounds that really work with the overall ‘tone’ and vibe of the track. This is an aspect I seriously dig about this artists work.  With that said, let’s now discover more about the man & producer behind the Alex Cortiz brand and various other production personas.

DP Hi Aad, a warm welcome to the Music2Deal platform and thank you very much for making time for this interview. Let’s first begin with some background from yourself as a solid brand and producer, can you fill us in?

AAM Sure, well I have produced music professionally since 1990 with brands/personas such as D-Shake, Paradise 3001 and Flygang to name just a few and of course, as Alex Cortiz. I started off with D-Shake, a one-man artist & band known for the worldwide techno club hits ‘Yaaah’ and ‘Technotrance’.  These days though, I’m predominantly working under the Alex Cortiz banner capturing downtempo, nu jazz, dub and deep house. My latest project is planned for release via the Groove Gecko persona (album title ‘Slo-Fi Cuisine’) which captures musical elements including dark jazz, dub and future downtempo.

DP mm, sounds like a delicious mix of vibes straight away Aad, I look forward to listening to that new work (blatant fan comment :))

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DP Can you tell us some more about how your career in music began & developed?

AAM Well in 1983, 84 I started playing guitar in several new-wave bands based in Amsterdam and from there, I jumped into my first 4 track recorder & several other electronic dance devices, such as the Roland TR606, TR707 and the Korg MS10.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DP In-terms of the current operating environment for a producer & specifically the mixture of music, self-brand building and social-media, how relevant do you feel record-labels are in achieving a level of success & a viable income in today’s music industry?

AAM If the record-label can bring a relevant & viable database of music partners to the table & has licensing partners, promotion channels as well as a depth of experience in distribution and promotion then yes, I think a record-label can be valuable still.

DP Have you licensed your music/signed your artists internationally?

AAM Yes, many times, all over the world.

DP Which country have you found the ‘best’ to licence music & for what reasons?

AAM The Netherlands; because of trustworthy business partners, as other countries within the European Union. It’s better as business is straightforward overall, payment is made per the terms of the contract in-hand. But of course, other parts of the world are or can be potentially bigger markets (e.g. the united states) but even in America, things are already more complicated from a legal viewpoint. Payments are harder to enforce as PRO’s work differently and there are, of course, many different agreements regarding music in that region.

Alex studio

DP Can you tell us about some of the notable projects you’ve completed historically?

AAM D-Shake (techno /multiple 12” singles and one album), Paradise 3001 (ambient dub techno / multiple 12” singles and albums), Timewarp (Leftfield techno/multiple 12” singles), Flygang (disco/album Disco Machine), Hallucination Generation (techno/multiple 12” singles and an album), Cat Scanner (techno/various 12” singles), Alex Cortiz (13 albums). This is to name just a few as there are much more. *

DP *On that point, I thought it would be useful for our readers to get a flavour of this artists book of work to-date under just one of his production personas, Alex Cortiz. The list is both substantial & each album consistently contains good tracks, a rare feat in my world of music.

Volume 1 (1998)    Moodfood (2000)

Make Believe (2001)     Mesmerising (2002)

Magnifico! (2004)     Phoenix (2005)

Lo Tek (2007)    Camera 707 (2011)

See Me Flowin (2012)   Magnifico! Vol.2 (2014)

New Works Vol.1 (2014)     Deep Deluxe (2015)

Oddities (2016)       Zooming In (2017)

DP So if for example, you were to partner with another party to license their music or indeed even sign artists for your label & region, what sort of music would you be seeking and why?

AAM I would look for progressive downtempo and quality house music because this is where my interests lie and I think there is still much to win there if you have the time, money and insights to create a solid base & brand for that niche in music.

DP I understand that there is new work in your production pipeline, are you able to give us a flavour of your next project Aad?

AAM Alex Cortiz (2 new albums pending release early & late 2018 respectively)

Groove Gecko (1 new album released Sept.’17)

D-Shake (4 new techno 12”s are pending release this year)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DP What would you say is the biggest single problem faced by the music industry today and how can it be resolved?

AAM How to generate a decent and fair income/royalties from downloads and streams. This goes for both record labels as well as private artists/producers.

DP At what point did you observe that you could make this a reality for yourself and indeed, make a living from your production work?

AAM When the 2nd D-Shake release ‘Yaaah’ became a worldwide club hit.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DP With regard to creativity vs, the business aspects of the Music business, what are your views on this important area? **

AAM They are both as important and in the end, you will see it takes 50/50 of your time. If you neglect the business aspect (marketing/promotion / good contracts / solid administration) you will not be able to live off it.

**Asked as yours truly has met artists with an (IMHO) unrealistic mindset reflecting the following attitude; ‘I don’t do the business side, I’m the creative one’. I just find this unrealistic as the two areas go together and even more so in an age when a manager is arguably not even required to achieve a level of standing.

DP What have been your best & worst experiences in music Aad?

AAM Best; being in several hit charts worldwide. Worst; several bankruptcies of record labels and licensing partners, meaning I ended up not getting paid the royalties/income that was due to me.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DP with regards to social media, how do you project yourself as well as share your work?

AAM I try to share work at regular intervals on social media and I consider how old or new a piece of work is as well as which as the time of year & which social media platforms to post on.

DP Do you ever see yourself playing outside of a studio?

AAM  Hmm, although I think it can be very useful, I’m fortunate in that I manage to produce sufficient income without live work.

DP Can you give us a flavour of the background to the creation of your forthcoming Alex Cortiz album?

AAM The next Alex Cortiz album will take off where Deep Deluxe ended. (a response which btw prompted a big grin from myself dear reader, as I really dig the Deep Deluxe album, dope)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DP Per your now 27-year career on the underground-scene, it seems that this is a big album as it will take your music to a wider ‘general’ audience, how does that make you feel?

AAM Well it’s not a big album in the way you’ve described it as frankly, I keep it simple & always hope the next album (under any guise) will take me to a wider audience. Therefore I try out several new ideas for every album. For instance, my last album’ Zoomin In’ is quite different from its predecessor ‘Oddities’. I use glitches and bass sounds not everybody will like. Also, I added more vocal touches than usual.


DP Clearly you have established a fine reputation on the underground down-tempo scene & in other genres also Aad so what are your current ambitions for the future?

AAM To buy a yacht! Ha-ha! J but seriously, it’s my plan to try to develop myself as a DJ. I’m hoping to create some mixes that matter. I’m curious to see if I will be able to add new music samples & use the music of others in a fresh & even daring way.

DP A very interesting last response above and most intriguing to me too, must listen out for that new work-string from Aad, variety is life after all and the same applies in music-land.

For now, at the top are relevant web links to Aad’s book of work to-date as well as direct album links below. I highly recommend a listen and do feel free to add thoughts & comments below post listening dear reader, I’ll be reading all with interest.


Volume 1


Make Believe



Magnifico! (bonus tracks)


Lo Tek

Camera 707

See Me Flowin

Magnifico! Vol.2

Magnifico! Vol.2 bonus tracks

New Works Vol.1


Deep Deluxe

Zooming In

Get it on itunes-square_bd8a97e

Volume 1


Make Believe



Magnifico! (bonus tracks)


Lo Tek

Camera 707


DP Ok, I’ll conclude this interview with a big shout out and much appreciation to Aad de Mooy for his time & on-going musical offerings, I’m always glad we crossed paths Mr Cortiz, my ears tell me so! 😊

AAM I would like to thank Darren for his interest in my music and to the pointed questions. I think M2D can be a valuable platform where musicians, producers, record labels and managers from the music industry can interact with each other with the prospect of good deals for everyone.

Thank you Aad and peace & music dear reader, forever!

Darren Pearson, Music2Deal UK

Darren (DP) on Twitter     Music2Deal UK Home
Join my business network on Music2Deal
Join my business network on LinkedIn
Reference: Guido van der Meulen, DJ & web broadcaster and the man behind ‘Guido’s Lounge Café’, a global & highly popular downtempo weekly show & musical brand.  Listen and more here;
Mixcloud   Soundcloud   Twitter   Website  YouTube  Goggle+  Guido’s Lounge Cafe on Facebook