“It’s all about House and Techno, and I'm not interested in fads.” That's the motto Darius Syrossian lives by. It’s what made him a producer that doesn’t play by traditional rules. First, he’s been performing for over 25 years, creating his signature sound. Then, in 2019, he launched his [Moxy Muzik] record label and party concept.
“My inspiration came from the 90s scene, which was like Junior Vasquez playing Sound Factory in New York, and he played 24 hours and that's what DJing was about. Playing every week in the same club where you get to know the crowd. Now with Moxy, I don't play every week, I play once a month.” Having played gigs at every major club in every significant city. “Before that, I used to play Sankeys, and I've always been a resident. When I started playing After Tribal Sessions, Do Not Sleep, it got to a point where it became a bigger brand and put on getting so popular.”
The word Moxy comes from someone who does what they want and doesn’t even a fuck if people don't like it. “It became a point where it's like you've got Charlotte De Witt one week, then you got this and that, and there's no musical identity, nondescript. It's just anything that sells tickets. For me, that's not why I became a DJ.”
Darius Syrossian takes the underground scene to a new dimension with his own party brand. He is touring different cities across the country with Moxy Muzik displaying his passion and talent to new realms. He will be taking over The Brooklyn Monarch with his [Moxy Muzik] concept this Friday, January 21.
“I want to enjoy what I'm doing when I'm teaching, I want to play what I want to play. So in smaller rooms, longer sets are about 6 hours playing what I want with fewer people, but people who want to hear me play.”
He continues about the music scene. Back in the late 80s and 90s, people only cared about music. There were no smartphones which meant no photography and social media posts. It was simple back then, with good vibes and great music. These days it's all about those high prices to try and sell out the massive spaces.
“You end up with the people who think they should be listening to you, wanting to hear you play those big tunes that they've heard, and then it becomes soulless. You become a jukebox. I want to play my style of music inspired by the New York scene of the 90s, Chicago House, a little bit of acid, a little bit like European techno mixed up what you want.”
Moxy Muzik is an imprint where all listeners discover underground talent. It gives upcoming artists a chance to be found and heard. “Moxy started it to be a way that I can do this. Now, if you look, I've got loads of shows all over the UK, Manchester League, London, and I play a long set. I also bring upcoming artists. So I don't just book other established guests. I spot artists who I know are upcoming, and I know that they're good. It makes me feel good that I'm helping other acts as well at the same time. So that's what Moxy is about.”
From the beginning, he was always passionate about the music and the scene. But, as only some people do it for fame, Darius does it for the love of music. “I enjoy doing it with other people, have journeyed with other people '' What he is also known for that sample may not know about is that he has launched many other inspiring artists careers. “I think I'm in a position to help upcoming artists, so I've lost count. My label still presses vinyl.”
Since the label’s launch, it has only grown into a successful imprint. “It cost me a lot of money to do. If you want the records, they're going to buy the records anyway.” The digital tracks go straight in at #1 on Beatport ́s minimal deep tech genre. “Moxy Muzik has quite a lot of number ones on the Beatport, and it makes quite a bit of money.” The label has grown into producing multiple #1 vinyl records within three years. “We press vinyl, and we don't just press vinyl, we do colored vinyl. We also have Charlotte Archer, she's an independent artist. She's hand-drawn art for each one. So that costs quite a lot of money for each release. So trying to get up to sell and buy is really difficult. So I've given Lucas Alexander his first release on vinyl. Andrew K, his first release on vinyl. Many big names like Steve Lawler, Doc Martin, and DJ Sneak. We also help get music from an act because I know; she's important, that is.”
“You need to give these people a platform to show how good they sell. I find that quite rewarding. Helping other people as well and not just making Moxy just about me. That’s what I’m probably proud of a lot.”
Darius has a few tracks out now that are very popular, especially ‘White Rabbit.’ “My parents used to listen to it all the time because my parents always had music on nonstop, all day, every day in the kitchen house. So that was always music.”
“I did it just for a laugh, for myself, and it turned out quite good. But I didn't release it in Lockdown. I waited after Lockdown in England when the clubs opened, and I played it. Defected Croatia, and all the Defected crew was like, ‘What is it?’ Shoot. I was like, something I've done. We'll never play the sample, but we got a singer to reshape it all and replay it all, and I've sampled them. Otherwise, we'd never clear the sample.”
Darius Syrossian always had an act for being different, “from the beginning, I always do what I want, and it's not a typical dance floor track. It doesn't really sound like anything else I've made before, but I just like to mix it up and do what I want. If I want to make an edit, I'll make an edit.”
He continues by explaining how the music industry can work against him sometimes. With Darius Syrossian, he thinks outside the realms of music and creates masterpieces. He explores different subgenres and does not categorize himself in one dance music category. It works out both good and evil; however, he will always have loyal fans. “Tne techno tracks on Drumcode, and I've played House Music on Defected. The problem is that it works against you a little bit because people want to pigeon all you, and you can't pigeon on me. It's like, I'm not part of any crew. I don't want to be part of any crew. Right now, business technology is big. But I released it on Drumcode, and Adam Bayer loved the track. He said it was brilliant. When I posted that, there were a lot of Drumcode fans getting angry.”
It didn’t happen overnight for Darius Syrossian, and becoming a DJ was never planned. It all just worked out for the best. “I had a record shop about 15 years ago, so it was never my plan to be an international DJ. It just happened because in 2008, when vinyl crashed and we had to close the shop. I thought I might have to get a real job. So then I thought I was going to fucking start making records. Then the records that I made started getting signed by all the labels, and then I ended up having a career that way.”
He has had many proud moments throughout his career, but there's one moment that will always stand out. He also put out his vital entry into the Essential Mix series doing two, so he remains a pivotal figure in the house scene. “This was the one live at Sankeys Visa on Radio one week in 2013. Then halfway through the track, the mix, I played Dusky, and you can hear the crowd on the mix. It was surreal because I just suddenly looked out and saw the whole crowd, and they all started clapping, and I don't know, I got a bit emotional. I just started breaking through at this point. So I've been trying for fucking years, and this was like a massive thing.”
He never comes to the club with a pre-recorded set. “I never plan a set. You plan for yourself, but there are many people in that room. You have to try and build something within the energy that's going off in that room at the time.” Although he never wavered from his devotion to the groove, Darius’s vast music knowledge and unique vinyl collection allow him versatility. “A good DJ is someone who can read the crowd. It's not about matching as much. Lauren Garner is one of my favorite DJs, he mixes it up all the time, but his beat matches are sometimes constrained. It's about reading the crowd and the emotion in that room in front of you and what kind of vibes will come off the previous track. You're going to have happy records, technical records, moody technical records. It's about knowing how to play the right track at the right moment.”
Moxy Muzik is all about playing extended sets in an intimate setting with a loyal crowd listening to one artist for hours. The party brand is coming to New York at The Brooklyn Monarch, where he will be bringing all the vibes and divine music. “That's what inspired me. It's a New York House Music, to some extent, Masters At Work. You couldn't even see the DJ back in Manchester because he was on a balcony behind you. Everyone was dancing, and nobody was facing the fucking DJ with a phone. But we can sit here and moan as much as we want. Things change. There are a lot of things that are better now. There are lot more types of different music with sub-genres, and the sound systems are more advanced. So we can always moan but the scene is still good. I still enjoy what I'm doing. I just wish people were more about the music than they are.”
He continues about the club scene in Manchester, a huge party city. “I'll play every month in Manchester. It sells out every month, but it's only 500 capacity. But the crowd is fucking bang on. So I don't want to play just once a year, 10,000 people for 1 hour. I want to play every month for 5 hours. That's the difference between me, and I don't want to be a jukebox.”
Darius has more to come, such as another world tour and upcoming releases with respectable artists. “I've got a release on Catz 'n Dogz label, PETS Recordings, that's out later this month. I've been playing it out, and it seems just to pass the test, let's say. Then in February, I got a remix on the label from Canada, Griffintown Records.
A true workaholic, Darius Syrossian has many upcoming tracks that will take over dance charts, dance floors, and minds. “Then I've got a huge record called “Back in a Dance,” which is a collaboration with me and George Meadows, and this is going to be massive. When I played it on my Mint Festival set, the number of people that ask for track IDs for this, when I play in clubs and on SoundCloud in the comments, it's going to be huge! Next, I've got my own release of Moxy called “Mercy Me,” that's going to be a viable release. It's a remix by Jordan Masters from Birmingham. He's another upcoming artist. It's going to be his first final release. Then I've got a track called “I'm the Joker,” and you'll hear it in New York. I've sampled an old hip/hop, bass, house kind of vibe.”
You can catch Darius Syrossian in a city nearby as he continues his tour, expanding his brand. “We’ve got Moxy Muzik at Zeti Hotel. The lineup is getting put together now. I'm also doing the Hideout Festival in Croatia, Defected Croatia. The lineup is unreal for that. In Croatia, I met so many amazing people from America.”
When he’s in the studio or performing at a nightclub, Darius Syrossian represents the value of being an original artist and not afraid to stand out. His success from doing just that empowered and inspired other artists to do the same. More DJs and producers should do the same and not listen to their inner demons and just say the word “Moxy.”