Any write-up about Lithuanian producer Ten Walls will direct its way to the year 2015, when his infamous remarks on Facebook gained him considerable flak from the DJ community.
In the ensuing two years since, Ten Walls — real name Marijus Adomaitis — committed himself to "do something in my home country of Lithuania, to support LGBT groups and educate others on acceptance and tolerance," written in an apology note issued shortly after his remarks were taken down. He even mentioned his participation in an electronic opera titled Carmen, armed with a strong anti-homophobia message.
For music under his main project, he's released his debut album Queen after a lengthy period in studio hibernation, fleshing out his dancefloor-focused house compositions with luscious strings and pounding, dominating drums.
Ten Walls has channelled his focus away from maintaining a PR image and into crafting a piece of personal art that's intensely focused on the ethereal. As such, questions about the incident were deflected, but he remained fully engaged when it came to the topic of Queen.
Hi Ten Walls. How are you doing?
Hi. I’m doing good. My days are settled between studio and touring most of the time. So busy, but good.
With the recent release of Queen, please tell us more about what went behind the process of making this album.
The process was quite dynamic. Some of the tracks (at least the original versions, [those] have been remastered for the album) were created even three years ago. Of course, most intense period was the six months right before the release of Queen. I had a chance to work with amazing professionals and friends, so these months were full of responsibilities, as the barrier in terms of quality was set very high.
Also, it’s tough to be art director, producer and an artist at the same time, but this was exactly how I wanted it to be. I could retouch and work with every even minor detail so it would satisfy my vision. Queen is [a] very personal, close album from me. The way I imagined my story will sound and look like.
Let’s get it out of the way — your remarks in 2015 cost your career dearly, and you’ve since made visible efforts to rectify the situation. With the new album, what efforts have you made to address that period in your life?
I would not say that there was something intentionally added or included to the new album. Of course I spent a lot of time in studio creating music, so you can hear tracks made back in 2015 and in a way inspired by my inner motions — just like the ones, created later. So each track [has] kind of a personal touch.
Was there ever a moment where you considered changing your artist name to start anew? Why/why not?
No. Ten Walls stays Ten Walls.
Does Queen feature collaborations?
Indeed. I’ve made collaborations with very wide and different spectrum of amazing musicians and friends. Conductor Ričardas Šumila, legendary piano genius and artist Petras Geniušas, my good old friend Vytautas Sondeckis added some Cello masterpiece, bass guitar Domas Aleksa, drummer Marijus Aleksa, singers Monika Liu, ALX and Jonatan Bäckelie, special thanks to my spiritual friend and teacher Andrew and nonet (nine strings) performers.
With live shows and DJ sets, they’re part and parcel for a producer such as yourself. With your upcoming tour, what are you preparing yourself for?
The tour has already started. It is Queen that is all about and each gig is made so that the audience could feel the story this album brings and be a part of it. By feel I mean hear and see. So there is a unique visual storyline performed together with the set.
You’ve mentioned before that you’re “addicted to making music.” Has there ever been a point in the making of Queen where you had to tell yourself to take a break?
Well when you’re addicted you don’t actually take breaks, so music and me have this kind of relation. On the other hand you simply can’t have a break with something that is your creation. I used to wake up and fell asleep having Queen in my head and this follows me still. But I like it, music inspires me, sounds inspire me. This is kind of a positive addiction I would say.
What can fans expect from your show at Zouk?
Their first ever electronic journey through the tale called Queen.
Ten Walls will be performing at Zouk Singapore on September 29th. Grab a spot on our guestlist before they're all gone.