Winner’s Interview with Ventura Magic

We ran an incredible Remix Opportunity with Grammy award winning songwriter, Itaal Shur.  Ventura Magic, an Indaba Member in Germany, won the chance to collaborate with the master himself.

Itaal named Ventura’s mix “the best,” saying that his use of vocals and harmony stood out on it’s own.

Before these two get busy, we had a chance to get to know the winner a little more. Check it out below!


Thanks very much, Alex! That’s really a huge honor for me. A brilliant musician and songwriter like Itaal Shur likes my remix and indeed I never expected to win, even though I was hoping for it, of course.

In his judges’ comments, he really described what I’m always trying to do when I’m working at a remix. I never try to make a song “better” than the original. I re-interpret it in a different, my own way. I always try to create an interesting atmosphere while avoiding “destroying” the song.

See Alex, “How lovers do” is such a beautiful song and we got really good stems. The vocals stems were awesome since the lead and backgrounds were separate. It gave us a ton of ways to be creative. I decided to make a club mix with an 80s touch to accent the melody powered by the rhythm and bass line. I have no huge technical playground. Even though we have tons of effects these days that can transform everything into anything, it isn’t always needed.

What did you use to produce you remix?

The center of everything is my PC (Intel I7-860, 8GB RAM, ATI HD5870 with three 24″ LED Screens, Windows7 x64) using a Maya 44e for playback and microphone in, my good old TerraTec EWS88MT/D for instruments input, Samplitude for  recording/mixing. Actually my only instruments I’m using are a Roland JX-305 and a Korg M1R EX. They’re a bit older but have solid great sounds. I’m saving for a nice new workstation one day. Additionally, sometimes iI use some VST instruments, but for some reasons I’m not really a fan of software synthesizers.

Is this the first contest you’ve entered on Indaba Music?

Yes and no. No, because I joined Indaba because two other contests and I also found Itaal’s contest there. I loved this song and joined! Yes, because it is the first finished contest, the others I joined are still running.

What brought you to Indaba Music?

Clearly the Ace of Base remix contests. I found them while searching for something different. I love Ace of Base since the 90s and Indaba seemed really interesting for me

Are you an Itaal fan?

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of him before this contest, but “How Lovers Do” made me curious for more… it’s such a beautiful song. So, I visited his profile at myspace, listened to the previews of the other tracks and liked it. When his new Album “Beyond tomorrow” was released, I bought it and I loved it! It’s a brilliant album so I really can recommend it to everyone who likes this contest. My personal favourite track, is “2 b Loved”

What do you do in Germany?

Well, I think what most people around the world are doing. A job, meet friends, hobbies and of course spend time with my girlfriend. My “regular” job is pc engineer. In 1984 I started to DJ at a club and in 1985 I met Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartmann of Coconut Records (Producers & Songwriters of Bad Boys Blue, Londonbeat, Chyp-Notic and much more). They often had guests at the dance club where I was DJing for 10 years. Tony invited me to the recordings of their first Bad Boys Blue Album. It was awesome and it was the start for me as a musician and remixer.

Any last words, thoughts, comments?

Yes! Thanks so much to all the people for supporting & inspiring me, for being friends and especially to my girlfriend for her support. Also, a big thanks to Itaal (for giving us such a great song to remix!), to Mantis (for the time he spent answering my questions and all of his nice words), and to Indaba generally for this awesome platform for all the artists.

Thanks also to my favorite coffee brand! ;)


Thank you too, Alex!

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One Response to Winner’s Interview with Ventura Magic

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