Interview: 5 minutes with Roland Leesker

Image courtesy Dispersion PR

Roland Leesker lives for and loves electronic music, and has done since well before 1989, the year of his first show as a house DJ on the Frankfurt bar scene. The current managing director of the iconic label Get Physical Records, his passion for music developed early on and he’s never quite not been involved in the industry somehow. Just two years after his debut, he became a resident in clubs like Wild Pitch, XS and Dorian Gray while serving tastemakers like Sven Väth, John Acquaviva and Laurent Garnier during his time working at local vinyl shop, Delirium Records. In 1995 he left Frankfurt for New York City, where he opened the first international branch of Delirium Records. Since 2008, Leesker has stayed busy as the founder, shareholder and partner of many varied music business enterprises. But making music is also very much a part of his life, a calling that Leesker continues to embrace despite his jam packed role behind the scenes. As he releases his new single on Get Physical, No Way Out, we caught up with Leesker to find out what drives his passion for music and what he’s learnt about the industry: 

Set the tone for us. Why the arts? 

My mother taught me to play the guitar when I was very young and told me: “No matter what, music will never let you down.” I still believe in her words.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”? 

Oh, yes! When I was about to finish my studies in International Finance and Law, which I pursued after closing my record store in New York back in the 90’s. Literally on the last day, I had a dream in which I very clearly said to myself: “I will go back to the music business”. Once that was clear, everything else just happened.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea? 

The idea. I have a huge record collection in my mind, and that’s the basis for all my ideas. Once in a while, some kind of melody or song memory comes up and I try to make a new record out of it.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound? 

I always use my voice. Sometimes you hear it, sometimes you don’t, but it’s always there in one way or another.

What gets your creative juices flowing? 


Take us through a day in the recording studio.

My wife told me not to talk about it.

How have you evolved your craft since you entered the industry? 

I still feel like a beginner, to be honest. Of course, as a DJ, experience matters a lot. But for me every new opportunity to play or to produce feels a little bit like the first one.

What’s on your current playlist? 

Disco, Disco, Disco!

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Alinka Twirl is cool.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year? 

My new single on Get Physical, ‘No Way Out!’

Famous last words?

World Peace is possible.

Listen to No Way Out below and download the package including remixes from Scan7 and Francesco Tristano here.

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