Not only is Stiven Rivic one third of the well known production trio Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic he is also a professional football player and one of the owners and founders of Mistique Music.. Stiven teamed up with the brothers Michael & Levan to form the Mistique Music imprint in 2009 which is now home to artists like Kay-D, Loquai, MSZ, Timewave, Domased Electronica, Stanisha, Blusoul, Suffused, Deep Fog, Deep Soul Duo and many others. 2013 has already gotten off to a great start for Mistique with the release of Kay-D’s latest EP entitled ‘Sagittarius’. As producers Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic had a great year in 2012 with appearances on Mesmeric, Joof, Movement and Stripped. 2013 promises to be the biggest year yet both for Mistique Music and also Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic. We had a chance to sit down and chat with Stiven over the holiday break, a transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it.
1. How old are you and how long have you been producing / DJing?
Stiven: I am 27 years old and I developed an interest in producing at the age of 17 although I was not fully committed until I teamed up with Michael & Levan in 2008.
2. What are your earliest memories of music, what did you listen to growing up? How did you get involved in electronic music and what made you decide to pursue it seriously?
Stiven: I was born into a musical family, my father is a musician therefore I was always surrounded by music and instruments so I guess it was imminent that I would follow in the same path as my father. Growing up I mostly listened to Techno and Progressive Trance music from DJ´s such as Valentino Kanzyani, Umek, Petar Dundov, DJ Rush and local DJ called Crazy Lemon as well as Metallica.
Obviously being young I attended many parties in my home town, electronic music is something that I found myself being into. In 2008 after I met with Michael & Levan at that time they were producing the exact kind of sound that I wanted…everything after that is history.
3. Many of the Mistique Music fans are aware that you are a professional soccer player. At what age did you start playing and when did you know that you potentially had a career playing soccer?
Stiven: Football has always been my true calling. I started playing football at the age of 6, turned professional at the age of 15 when I started to play with the first team of NK Istra in Pula, Croatia. I realised that this is going to be my profession when I received my first call up for the Croatian National Team, where I played from U15 till U21. After that I signed my first major contract with a Bundesliga club, called FC Schalke 04 and since then I remained in Germany . To this day football is still my priority and the main profession.
4. When the season is on what is a typical day like for Stiven Rivic? And do you find it difficult to take care of the A&R and management duties of Mistique Music given the demands of being a professional athlete?
Stiven: During the season it is very hard to concentrate on both, but as I mainly have one training a day and games on the weekend. I manage to take some time out to concentrate on Mistique stuff. And since the label is run by the three of us, we manage to keep everything under control.
5. Do your team mates know that you run a very well known record label in the progressive house genre? And if so what do they think about it? Do they like the music and do they ever listen to your DJ sets?
Stiven: Yes, my team mates know about our labels but since they are not into this music they are not so aware of Mistiques achievements. But sometimes against their will I do play our cd´s before the game or trainings for motivation purposes however there are few players who have requested that I give them some cd´s with my sets.
6. You grew up in Croatia, do you still consider it your home because you move around a lot to play professional soccer? Do you go back there during the off season?
Stiven: Even though I spent most of my time in Germany, Croatia will always remain my home. During the summer vacation I am in Croatia, since I live on the coast there is not much point to go anywhere else as we have it all. It’s kind of a perfect combination where I can spend time with my family and friends as well as enjoy sun and the sea at the same time.
7. As most people know you produce with the brothers Michael and Levan as Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic. You’ve really had a groundbreaking year with releases on Mesmeric, Movement, Joof and Stripped. You’ve already achieved a great deal as producers, what would you still like to accomplish? What are your goals for the future?
Stiven: Although we have managed to achieve some pretty great things with Mistique , we devote a lot of time concentrating on our own productions. We had the honor to work with great artists and labels too; I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them for all their amazing work and help. Our goals for the future include possibly a second album this year, and just generally continuing making music that we love and enjoy.
8. You’ve now had several releases on John OO Fleming’s Joof label as we mentioned earlier, It was a big moment in your career to get signed to Joof as John is one of the top DJs pushing a unique blend of trance, progressive and psychedelic sounds in his sets, how important was that for you to appear on the imprint of one of the world’s most well known DJs?
Stiven: John is a great guy and signing on his imprint would be a huge deal for any artist, as it was for us. It is truly an honor to work with him. Since then he has been a huge support for us, together with Airwave which has been very important in our career.
9. Looking back what tracks or remixes from Michael & Levan and yourself are you most proud of and why?
Stiven: I am proud of all our tracks equally, however ‘State Of Liberty’ will always have a special place in my heart as it was our first Mistique release.
10. When you sign a new single for Mistique how do you go about choosing the remixers for the project? What criteria do you think about?
Stiven: After signing a new single I always think about producers which can deliver different sound, so in the end there is something for everyone. Sometimes I ask the artist which remixers he would like to see remix his track, this way it makes my job a little easier :).
11. The Mistique catalog is now up to over 320 releases, do you have any favourites? Which ones do you find yourself coming back to and listening over and over again?
Stiven: It’s hard to choose any favourites as we have so many great tracks, I find myself listening to all of them, on certain occasions some more than others but I really like them all.
12. How would you describe the Stiven Rivic DJ sound?
Stiven: I mostly play Mistique unreleased tracks and sometimes I like to support other artists and tracks from other labels, so my sound kind of ranges.
13. What artist or track would you love to remix?
Stiven: There are couple of artists that we would love to remix, but we are working on it and hopefully soon will come to realisation. We just might have few suprises in the near future.
14. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic?
Stiven: In my spare time I like to listen to all kinds of music, but my favourites are Metallica. I can honestly say that I am one of the biggest Metallica fans. I find that their first five albums are truly genius.
15. Stiven Rivic Current Favourites
Food: My girlfriends.
TV Show: The Simpsons, Entourage, That 70´s Show and Friends.
Movie: The Shawshank Redemption, Snatch, Goodwill Hunting, Transformers.
Video Game: Assassins Creed 3, Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution on PS3.
Album: Kill Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, And Justice For All, The Black Album by Metallica.
Track / Song: All tracks from the above albums.
Producer / Band: Metallica.
Record Label: There are many labels that I like, I don’t think it would be fair to name them and miss someone out.
Nightclub: Don’t have a favourite.
DJ: There are too many.
15. If the final DJ set of your career was next week what would be your last record?
Stiven: Most defiantly a Michael & Levan And Stiven Rivic record.
16. What can we expect to see from Stiven Rivic and Mistique Music in 2013?
Stiven: 2013 will be a busy year for Mistique, there are a lot of new tracks coming. In regards to M&L And SR there will be some amazing releases coming including remixers by Lank, Antix, Andrea Cassino & Danny Lloyd, Pole Folder, Airwave just to name a few.
Interview courtesy of: Release Promo
Release Promo would like to send a huge thanks to Stiven for taking the time to do this interview.
Michael, Levan and Stiven Rivic’s ‘Follow Me’ is out now on Sound Avenue, you can purchase the release: here