Till Von Sein: A Man Of Many Hats
Till Von Sein is a man of many hats. DJ, producer, agent, fashionista. Brought up in the 90s, in an era of HipHop and skateboarding (a cultural diet that led him to go on to create and run a successful streetwear business for seven years), the German’s name is synonymous with the Berlin scene, despite only finally pursuing music full-time in 2006.
He’s spent the last ten years at the helm of the internationally renowned Clique booking agency (home of Rampa, David Mayer, Adam Port, &ME and Tigerskin amongst others) alongside Claudia Marquardt, helping shape the careers of some of the most in-demand acts in the game from the epicenter of cool – Berlin.
A highly acclaimed DJ in his own right, no two Tilly sets are ever the same. Punters are always in for a treat, finding influences of HipHop, soul, pop and more in his vibrant musical journeys. The Berlin local’s own productions are equally as eclectic and varied, touching on everything from Soul and Jazz-infused Deep House tunes to more laidback numbers, with a steady string of releases on coveted imprints including Suol, Supplement Facts and Dirt Crew Recordings and collaborations with everyone from Tigerskin and Chopstick to Aera and Catz N Dogz.
We caught up with him to discuss his new ‘Blacker Than Ever’ EP on Suol..
Clique is an agency with some of the best names in the game! Tell us a bit about Clique Bookings and what you get up to day-to-day.
Clique was founded by my really good friend Claudia M and when I joined her, I also moved to Berlin. I work with different artists by helping them schedule their shows and building their career. Most of them have become close friends and I’m super proud of what they and we as an agency have achieved in the past years. These days I only work with seven artists and it fits perfect into my touring and producing schedule. It still keeps me busy everyday but it wont stress me out like it did 2-3 yrs ago when I still had way more on my plate on day to day biz.
“I’m a club kid and always will be. I like those sweaty intense moments you can have in a club when you see the dancer in front of you.”
Juggling Clique and being an artist can’t be easy.. What do you do to relax in your downtime? Do you get any downtime?
Yes, as mentioned above I stopped repping a bunch of artist I started with and reduced my work load to an amount I could still handle. I need my “beach time outs“ from time to time where I spend a week or so just relaxing and turn off my phone for at least 3hrs a day. ;) I also always take January off to go on a real holiday. This year being the first in 3 (or so) that I am spending more time in Berlin than traveling and I’m enjoying it. Go to the gym, have dinner with my friends, etc. try to live that life most 39 years old out there live. ;)
Tell us a bit about the EP, what were your influences for this one? What have you been listening to recently?
The ‘U N U’ track I started last summer being in NYC for a week and it was inspired by that typical summertime in NYC vibe; positive energy, music everywhere, that feelgood vibes sh*t. ‘Itiswhatitis’ started in November in Berlin, which couldn’t be further away from said vibes. Dark, short days and a lot of negativity surrounding you. It’s def inspired by early Mathew Jonson, as I was going through a phase & I started digging for his old music again. The 3rd one I did when my dad died earlier this year. Hard for me to describe that vibe. My friends say its a typical Tilly Jam Joint… well, I guess that’s the way I deal with those moments in life, just sit down and let my emotions flow.
I listen to a lot of RnB and Modern Funk. I had the new King album on repeat for a while, Dam Funk LP and DJ Kicks of course but also Chance the Rapper and Kaytranada. Always some good old G Funk of course, West Coast Rap etc. I spend so much time finding new music and still buy albums, so I can listen to them on long travels but I also need my time for classics like Sade and Gil or Marvin.
Which label’s releases are you following right now? Any new labels popping up that are of interest to you?
Definitely Heist and Keinemusik. The quality they release is just consistent. I like Razor-N-Tape when it comes to good times party tunes, always need to check on what Jimpster releases on Delusions of Grandeur and Freerange, get some afro heat on Mo Black and when it comes to those peak moments I love me some Cajual or Turbo.
What up-and-coming producers are you most excited about, who have you got your eye on?
What exciting gigs have you got coming up?
I play a few festivals in Germany this summer which I’m really looking forward to. Then I’ll be in Romania for the first time which I’m really excited about, as I hear only good things from people who have been, and a B2B tour with my girl Meggy which will be fun for sure before a 4 weeks US tour in September, so the rest of the year will be busy.
Do you prefer being part of an epic festival lineup or being on the bill at an intimate club party?
I’m a club kid and always will be. I like those sweaty intense moments you can have in a club when you see the dancer in front of you. I like to see the people I play for. Don’t get me wrong, its also fun to play in front of 3K outside in the sun, but it wont ever get as magical and wicked as in a nightclub.
Do you prefer a sunrise or sunset DJ set?
That’s a tough one. I think I’m the sunrise guy. Taking you from darkness into the light. Lol, when everybody is already up for hours and you can basically do what you want to do as a DJ, that’s the magic moment for everybody involved.
Favourite place to play in the world?
Never had a bad gig in Mexico. It’s one of my favourite places for sure. I love how most cities I usually play in the US know how to get down and the crowds are always open for everything. The few shows I played in Johannesburg/South Africa were really special. The crowd loves it deeeep like nowhere else.
Tell us a bit about the Berlin scene at the moment.
For somebody like me who is traveling so much its really hard to keep up. There is always a new club, new bar or venues opening somewhere. So many places I’ve never even been to and I always wonder what is going on there. It doesn’t really feel like its slowing down. Sometimes I miss some young blood, a new label, a new crew etc. Those who run Berlin are the same big players now for 5 years or even longer. I try to play more shows in Berlin right now to keep up with it here cause to me it still feels like it’s the place where it’s really happening.