Dec 23, 2021
5 min read
If there's anything he's learned in the music industry, Paradoks says to "Never stop believing in your own music." When Paradoks – aka Kobe Motmans – emits powerful energy through melodic house, crowds and fellow artists gravitate towards him.
Paradoks is grateful to have strong support for his music, but his true friends in the industry are most important. He dropped the galactic track "Floating" via Stil Vor Talent. He has a handful of releases on Parquet Recordings, and the new track "Sense of Wonder" is his latest on Nora En Pure's label Purified.
He first connected with Nora En Pure after she started playing "Floating" in her sets, and he commented on an Instagram post to thank her for the support. They met for coffee at 8 am in Zurich and spent two hours discussing life. Since then, she has been pushing Paradoks to the masses. Soon after, he dropped the Flying Particles EP in 2020 on Purified.
His followers quickly grew while embarking on a handful of show dates in Uruguay and Argentina late in 2021. But success does not always follow every production–sometimes great tracks fall through the cracks before the world hears them.
"I've gotten used to the no's and the ghosting," Paradoks says. "Not everybody has it in them to be an artist at this higher level, because you have to learn to grow through this rejection and not take it personally."
On the day he touched base with Gray Area, Instagram suspended his account for no apparent reason. He's worried about losing that line of communication with fans. Luckily, he eventually regained control of the account, but the experience underscored artists' everyday reliance on social media. He's back to sharing images of clubs packed with ecstatic people at his shows.
Growing up, his family moved around between Belgium and Switzerland. In his adult life, he chose to live in different cities around the world, landing in Zurich for the longest period.
In videos of his live sets, we see aerial views of the Swiss Mountains and other scenic locations close to where he's settled.
"If I get the privilege to run in the forest, I like to just listen to the birds and nature and my own breath, focus on my own rhythm," he says. He's a faster runner when he's got his headphones in listening to melodic beats, but his mood "depends if you want to go for performance or just to oxygenate the brain," he says. "Slowly, I evolved into this type of person. I've always liked to move."
He organized his own 2018 South American tour and learned his travel style. "I like to take my time," he says, remembering when he did four cities in four days on little sleep. "I don't want to sacrifice my health and my relationships."
Paradoks enjoys soaking in the present moment. He uses yoga, sports, and meditation to take pressure off his mind and put himself back into his body. Rest is key to gaining the stamina for the studio and stage. He works on musical ideas in a small chunk of time and then takes a much-valued break. "This is how I do the best music I can. The most conscious music," he says, to inject genuine emotions. "I cannot do it in a fake way."
In 2021, he split his attention between making music and completing a master's degree in entrepreneurship and innovation. When it comes to applying that to his role in the industry, he says, "It definitely gave me a better perspective on the long term strategy…It helps to brainstorm different ideas and to bring more value as an artist to the scene in the long term."
Before he began DJing, he started on the piano and produced tracks for several years. After his first club gig, he'd close his eyes and "imagine playing that beautiful music with the people.
I felt in my heart, wow, this is amazing. But there's this big paradox: ever since I wanted to try to achieve this, I felt the contrary." This is how he became "Paradoks": "This pursuit of living the life you love and sharing these moments with the people, and then the anxiety on the other hand," that comes from doing this. "I decided to put the K from Kobe," he adds.
In the present moment, his focus is entirely on shaping his sound. Paradoks' signatures are dynamic shifts, crisp claps, and progressive sections that make the cool synth leads flow and drop like waterfalls.
"I mostly want to focus a lot on my own productions and get as much good music out myself," he says. Paradoks also dreams of starting his own label. "It would serve as a home base for my music."
Although he puts tremendous pressure on himself to achieve his vision, he realizes, "There's no clear way to get there, there's no path." The decision to make music his life led to sleepless nights and anxiety about making his dreams into a reality. He uses mindfulness to step back and realize what it all means. Paradoks says his ethos is "Worry less, let go more, and trust life."
Interview by Ryden