RAD Spotlight: Estiva Interview

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Steven Baan, better known by his stage name Estiva, has been welcomed into the electronic music world as one of the most respected artists in the scene.

The Dutch DJ and producer has been exploring and experimenting with melodic and progressive trance for over a decade. His now distinctive sound is made up of the perfect balance of danceable beats and melodic emotion and can be heard on some of the biggest stages in the world. I had the chance to catch up with Estiva after his performance at ASOT900 in Utrecht and talk about everything from inspirations to collaborations, upcoming music and more. 

You were the first act to perform on the main stage tonight, how did it feel to open up for the ASOT crowd?

It was fun because Armin obviously played the vinyl set before me so it was almost like Armin was opening up for me! It’s usually the other way around, but no it was fantastic to be here on the main stage in Utrecht. I’ve played many ASOT’s but this was definitely the biggest highlight and I felt like doing something different today. I have a lot of new music and 90% of the set I played was new music, so it was fun to see the crowd’s reactions but everyone was dancing so I’m happy. 

How do you think the ASOT crowd responded to your set as opposed to other crowds that you’ve played for? 

I mean it’s so big! It’s such a big crowd, and they’re so dedicated to having a good time. You see a lot of flags, you see a lot of different nationalities and the overall vibe is a very unique vibe. I love playing at ASOT.

Do you prefer playing for large crowds like this or would you rather play for a smaller, more intimate crowd, for example in a club? 

They both have their charms because playing for a huge crowd is obviously nice because you have so many people that you can share your music with, but if you’re playing in a smaller club, usually the interaction is more… you feel like you’re one-on-one with people, which is nice. You feel more like you’re part of the party. Like tonight you’re on a big stage and the crowd is in front of you, you feel like there’s some kind of disconnection; at least compared to being in a small club. 

Photo credit: Estiva

What is it about trance and the scene in general that makes you so dedicated to it?

People are very passionate about trance but, I’m not sure if it is like that in other genres. I think it’s… meeting people from around the world that’s what’s so nice about this. Music unites and definitely at a festival like this. I think that’s really triggering people to make the most out of it. 

Who are your biggest musical inspirations? 

Good question! It’s a tough question because it’s also … right now I’m listening to a lot of London Grammar, like when I’m on planes. It eases my mind and I kinda feel like that is inspiring to me as well. It’s a completely different kind of music but the vibe triggers me to write music. Music in general (when I like it) gives me a lot of inspiration. It differs from time to time… I listen to a lot of sets by Tale Of Us – so a lot of melodic techno sounds right now, it’s really cool. 

If you could collaborate with anyone from any genre, who would it be and why?

The funny thing is, two years ago I had an interview, and people were asking me this question too and I said Eric Prydz. I’d love to collaborate with Eric Prydz. 

Photo credit: Estiva

Being a touring DJ, you’ve obviously got a pretty busy schedule. Have you been able to find the balance between your personal and professional life? 

I think I have, yeah. It’s always different because you never really have a full plan of where you’re going to play or when you have time off and when you’re feeling inspired to write music. I feel like, I have been growing in doing so and I feel like there’s a good balance but you’ve got to stay on top of it and maintain that balance. 

Do you have any routines or rituals you do while you’re on tour to prevent yourself from burning out?

Not really but I tend to do some push-ups (only a few) right before I go on stage to just release the tension and get pumped. That’s like a ritual … but I mean, it’s important to eat fruit and not to drink too much, but I can’t really say that’s a ritual that I’m performing. 

Do you have anything interesting or unusual on your tour rider? 

Not really… I mean, a banana. I mean sometimes you’re travelling through different time zones and you’re not hungry but right when you go on stage, you feel hungry all of a sudden. So you just want to eat something and a banana would be perfect for me because that’s instant energy and it gets me through the set. 

Photo credit: Estiva

What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming year? 

I’m so busy with music. In 2019, there will be a new album which I’m excited about; but I have so much new music. I have to actually compile the album, so I have to pick the right tracks. Right now, the album is scheduled for May, but I can’t give you my word that’s going to happen. I’m always excited about releasing new music. 

Relive Estiva’s ASOT900 performance below and keep up to date with him on Facebook and Instagram. 

Feature Image Credit: A State Of Trance

Read more on our ASOT Interview Series below:

RAD Spotlight Rodg

RAD Spotlight FUTURECODE 

RAD Spotlight MaRLo

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Katarina Cvetko

Katarina is an international journalist and photographer from Sydney, Australia with a strong passion for music festivals. Since her first solo adventure in 2015, Katarina has travelled to over 30 countries in 5 continents and has attended over 100 music festivals worldwide. After conquering a bucket list journey of 52 music festivals in 52 weeks in 2018, Katarina continues to live a digital nomad lifestyle, travelling to festivals in a different country every week and sharing her experiences on social media.

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