Stephan Hinz: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix


Sometimes there is more than meets the eyes when it comes to your favourite producer. Stephan Hinz is known for his heavy hitting club cuts and appearances on the likes of Drumcode and Second State. However, behind the scenes he is also an enigmatic producer whom creates and writes music for film and television. It is the latter of which we have invited to feature as part of this mix for our 'Monday Is Okay' mix which focusses more prominently on ambient music and escapism. 

We are delighted to be able to welcome Stephan to the series as he showcases a whole new world of music. Listen below: 

Please introduce yourself…

My name is Stephan Hinz.

Who are you, where are you and what are you?

I’m a composer and musician based in Berlin. I’m actually from the South of Germany but at some point I moved here because it’s the city where everything is happening when you’re making electronic music. I mainly write electronic underground club music and also perform this music as a live act in clubs and in festivals all over the world. I also wrote some music for TV movies and series, and a feature film.

What does your music sound like? 

Sometimes very dark, sinister, sometimes not, mostly melancholic with splashes of color. It has a lot of energy, attitude and a forward momentum, melodies and the atmosphere of a track are very important for me. I’d describe it as soulful electronic music.

Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us. 

I’ve done it on a Monday after a weekend of touring and it really is a little journey through my state of mind on a Monday. You might get an idea about the things that inspire and accompany me through my life.

If it were to be drawn what would it look like? 

Like a foursome of Francis Bacon, Frank Miller, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Salvador Dali.

If it were a food what would it be? 

Raclette. Very diverse in it’s ingredients, eclectic and everything is held together by melted cheese.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Lying on your balcony couch, slight hangover from the weekend, glass of a fruity white wine in your hand and nothing more to do today.

What should we be wearing?

The most comfortable clothes you have in your wardrobe, or nothing.

Where was it recorded?

In my studio here at the Riverside Studios Berlin.

Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?

I like Mondays a lot because it’s the one day of the week where I have something like a weekend. It’s very important for me to have this one day where I don’t need to do anything and can just live the day like it is. Sleeping a lot, hanging around, listening to music, reading, watching a movie or something, doing Aikido and that’s it. Just flowing through the day…

Who got you hooked on electronic music?

The Pet Shop Boys. As a kid I was very often at my grandma’s house and my cousins were living in the same house too. The older one, Ralph, had a huge record and tape collection and we were listening to music all the time. He showed me this tape from the Pet Shop Boys and I was fascinated by all those electronic sounds right away. I remember how I borrowed the tape, went down to my grandma and how I was lying there on the floor in front of the stereo, listening to this tape again and again…can remember like it was yesterday.

Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?

Radiohead is one of the biggest influences for me. But also composers, like Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds or Hans Zimmer for example. I listen to music all the time. And if I’m not listening to music, I’m reading books or watching movies or tv series. Art and architecture sure is also an influence. I’m a big fan of the works of Francis Bacon or Gregory Crewdson for example. All that is influencing me one way or the other.

For me, music is good if it asks some questions, maybe answers some, raises new thoughts, plants ideas, helps you get lost in the moment, inspires you, helps you to let loose on things you can’t influence anyways, makes your time a better time… things like that. It would be a nice if my music does something like this as well here and there.

What were your original aspirations as a musician and how do you think you're shaping up?

Being true to myself. I think one of the biggest challenges when you’re living from your art is that you don’t get corrupted by it. Of course, we all need to earn money to have something to live on, but sometimes you have the feeling this or that artist is just in it for the fame and money. I’ve personally never worked for the money and never would, I always did what I did for myself and was lucky enough to be able to pay my bills with it. Of course, that’s a privilege but at the same time it’s the only way I can do it. I’m simply not good enough if I’m not all in. And I’d say I’m pretty true to myself.

If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?

My girlfriend, soon to be wife. Since I’m trying to be a vegetarian at the moment (well, at least for 6 days a week) probably 6 days.

How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?

I’d say when I’m making music there’s not a lot of thinking involved. It’s more like following my intuition and seeing where it will take me. The rest of the time I’m thinking a lot and probably most of the time way too much. I don’t know, I want to somehow understand what’s happening around me, I try to be involved and also try to shape the world I’m living in. In music it’s more like the music is shaping me somehow.

What were the first and last records you bought?

I’m not sure about the first one…might be Halloween „Dr Stein“ or something from Metallica probably. Could also have been a vinyl with one of the themes of my favourite TV series back then. I love those old themes of TV series from the 80s or 70s. They created such a tension of what to expect. Amazing! The last one was „A Moon Shaped Pool“ from Radiohead.

What are you obsessed with at the moment?

My first artist album.

What's your answer to everything?

Nothing is so bad, that it isn’t good enough for at least something.

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