With a huge wealth of studio experience and an impressive catalogue of internationally acclaimed hits clocked on the likes of Sirup Music, Enormous Chills, Muve and Le Mans Recordings (to name a few), hotly-tipped Swiss artist Twenty Feet Down has the production skills to rival the very best in the industry. Fresh off the back of his huge vocal record Numb with Nino Lucarelliback in April, the legendary Cape Town-based talent – better known to his friends and family as Michel Lüchinger – now returns to Blue Crane Records with another hefty cut, as he delivers his formidable new original single, Animal.
An upbeat and uplifting house offering, beaming with Twenty Feet Down’s soulful flair and atmospheric panache, Animal is everything we could have hoped for and more from the in-form Swiss producer, who delivers rousing basslines, vivacious rhythms and expertly manipulated vocals across the three-and-a-half minute duration. Due for heavy rotation across international playlists and radio airwaves over the weeks and months to come, Twenty Feet Down is a name you’ll be hearing a lot more of over the course of 2021. We caught up with Michel to find out more.
Hi Michel, how are you today?
I’m pretty good thanks.
Where are you answering this interview from?
I’m currently at my studio in Cape Town
What’s been your highlight of 2021 so far?
The highlight of 2021 was definitely to see the slow re-opening of the clubs again. And seeing that some festivals go for normal again as it was a tough time for all of us!
Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into electronic music?
I was always interested in music, but never really learned an instrument when I was young. Then I started DJ’ing for about 15 years and got into productions, which I found anyhow more satisfying as mix music. So, I started my own studio and learned to play piano, how to produce and write music, which is just my life now and I love it!
Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
Well, my wife says always “you are a real ARTist”….If she says that in a positive way, I don’t know (hahahaha), but to be an artist, and I also LOVE to Oil Paint, is to express your feelings, your idea of something…doesn’t matter if it’s a painting, a book or a piece of music. Art is expressing your interpretation of something. My approach as an artist in a musical way, is to bring the people joy, to brighten up the listeners 3min when they listen to my music. Try to make them listen to it on repeat, that’s what art is for me.
When did you start producing – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started producing about 15 years ago as was influenced, as a 90s Teenager, by lots of stuff from dance music. But also bands like U2 and Depeche Mode. In EDM or Dance, I was fascinated by the whole Hardhouse, Noom Rec, Time Unlimited Stuff, which brings me immediately Goosebumps when I talking about it as it was an amazing time, back in 1994/1995. So inspirational and peaceful and I wanted also to be able to write/produce music that touches the people like I was touched by so many great songs!
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic career?
I would say there are a few. First of all, my decision to build my own studio, the decision to go this way as I loved it. Then for sure, the first release, which is still one of my top productions, musically not technically, haha…To have a release on Enormous Tunes Records with my single “When You Need Me” was definitely a game changer for me and gave me the confirmation to be on the right track. And then my decision to make my own imprint with BCR, as I always wanted to release what I LIKE and not what others seems to like.
Tell us about your new single ‘Animal’ on Blue Crane Records.
Animal is a more dark, groovy production with a great topline which makes the track radio compatible. I got that topline and knew immediately where I want to go. It’s always different when you got a topline as when you start with a “blank paper”. In this case, I just wanted to bring the Twenty Feet Down vibe arounds it and I think it turned out really well.
Do you have any plans to tour this year?
Not yet as we still in a difficult situation here in South Africa. I don’t know when this will be “normal” again. If there IS a normal again. But would love to start travel again, yes
Finally, what comes next for Twenty Feet Down?
Still working on a club edit for Animals, which will be released more towards end of the year when clubs are opening maybe again. But for now, the next Single “Low Life” is already in the pipeline and ready to be released around end of August.