Few artists can be regarded as true pioneers of the house music scene, let alone have the vision to create an entirely unique sub-genre of their own. Enter Mark Farina—an individual who has gained a cult-like following around the globe through his signature blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul and downtempo with his critically-acclaimed Mushroom Jazz compilations, now running into its seventh installment. Rather than simply enjoying fame and complacency, he continuously turns his attention towards new projects.
Farina has enthusiastically embraced new technology to interact with his fans through his recent DJ Mark Farina app, available for download on Android and iOS. Farina elaborates the reason behind it: “It’s just a way to connect to my audience more. Allow them to access all my material in one spot, rather than having to go to different places. I’m a bit of an app-aholic, so I am constantly trying to experiment with new technology in reaching out to my fans.” Compounding on the wealth of information provided through this medium, he hopes to introduce “a live feed of some shows…I’m constantly trying to tweak my current setup.”
Having grown up playing the trumpet since the fifth grade, elements of his jazzy roots are intricately interwoven into his productions. “I have used some horn riffs, very short samples, like one measure in my tracks, but I’m long past my marching band days.” Albeit using his brass-toting skills sparingly in his work, Farina is not opposed to the thought of potentially integrating a live element into his DJ performances for the future.
From the delicate arrangement of the various elements in his track, to juggling DJ superstardom and family life, it is evident that harmonious coexistence is something Farina cherishes greatly. When conversing with Farina about his recent fatherhood, he states, “[Having a kid] It hasn’t really affected my musical selection in any way. It’s just about finding the right balance and being able to draw clear lines between my family and music. It’s nice to be able to escape to both worlds.” Surely growing up with having Mark Farina as a dad must have its perks? Amusingly he admits, ”My kid can do a backspin and put CDs in the CDJs, but that’s about it right now.”
As an avid Arsenal and Bears supporter, you’ll often find Farina catching a game in his hotel room while sifting through playlists and doing last-minute homework prior to a gig. In light of future collaboration projects, he is keen to get into the studio with Q-Tip, Chuck Love, Chris Lum and Derrick Carter.
With his uber-hectic touring schedule and extensive time spent in flights, the critical items that Farina refuses to travel without includes, “my computer, an unlimited set of t-shirts, my iPad for entertainment and work [can’t listen to music all the time when on a flight], iPhone and one pair of shoes.”
In time for his return to Calgary later this month, be sure to check out his extensive discography and upcoming releases on Great Lakes Audio, Mushroom Jazz and OM Records.
Witness Mark Farina grace the decks with his deep, funk-infused house vibes on Friday, Oct. 19 at Habitat Living Sound
By: Rohan Murti