Producing from the age of 11 and taking the dance music world by storm at 15 with his Anjunadeep debut, the DJ and producer has proven himself to be one of the most creative and innovative artists in the scene. I had the chance to sit down with him after his performance at ASOT900 in Utrecht and discuss everything from his personal life to upcoming releases and a potential album, as well as why he carried a framed photo of ‘The Hoff’ around Jaarbeurs all night!
It’s been great. Armin and Armada and everyone, they’ve been very supportive of my new stuff; and I’m just very happy to see that people actually like it again. I’ve had a long break but I came back really inspired and it’s been good.
They loved it! I’m glad because I played a lot of new stuff and always when you play new stuff, you don’t know if people will like it or not. This was like the first time I test drove those tracks and the reaction was really good, I’m really happy.
You know what, it might sound funny – even in the trance world, but people like Skrillex, Axwell, Swedish House Mafia, Armin of course, Tiesto (the old Tiesto). A lot of names like some tech house, Dubfire, Carl Cox, Sasha and Digweed. The list goes on and on, but those are the main characters that really shaped me as a producer when I started.
Axwell. I’m a huge fan of Axwell. A lot of people can hear it through my music, and I think he’s one of the most creative producers out there. Every time I see an Axwell record, I know it’s going to blow my mind so that’s what I want to do with my music; so people can expect a record and be mind blown.
I’m really into film scoring. I enjoy doing film scores, just for myself, I never really publish anything. It’s between that and techno, I love techno; but when I say techno, I mean the really minimal stuff, like the heavy, bassy stuff. Bottom line is, I’m really into bass music, I love it; and when I mean bass music I don’t mean dubstep and drum and bass. I’m into all of that as well, but I mean just in general, the baseline is just what gets me going personally.
It’s very tough, every DJ’s life is always a tough task. I think it’s just important to sometimes take a break; so I took a year break from touring and decided to focus purely on music, to just kind of get my sanity back. Touring… even today, I was really stressed because I haven’t played a show in a year, and there’s always this feeling like you’re really nervous and your body is shaking. People don’t know that stuff, but every show I’ve had in my whole career (and I’ve been DJing for a very long time), I will still be nervous; even if it’s a festival or even it’s a small club, I’ll always be nervous. But you know what, if you’re not nervous, then it’s not for you. If you’re not nervous anymore and you don’t feel that kind of stuff, then it’s not the job for you. You have to be nervous because you really want to make a good impression on the audience and I think that the number one thing about being a DJ is interacting with the crowd. At the end of the day, they’re the reason I’m there.
I love the intimate stuff. I like a sweaty club where people rage and they scream every track, every drop they just scream their lungs out; that’s what I like to see. To me, it gives me this hit in my heart like ‘wow, people love this, people are actually feeling this’. With festivals, you have so many people from different genres. It’s still gonna feel so great to present your music, but when you have those hardcore fans that understand what you’re doing, for me, that’s like pure satisfaction.
Not drinking. I don’t drink until I’m done with my set. I drink a lot of water… usually, because I’m so nervous before my shows that not even a drink would help me; so I just pass on it. When I’m on stage, I’m trying to be really focused on everything and then when I’m done, I wanna loosen up and let everything go. So it’s been really good, it’s been working for me for a few years now.
A framed picture of David Hasselhoff with a shrine and a bunch of candles next to it. So yeah… they actually did it tonight! I never expected that in a million years. I mean to me, putting a David Hasselhoff picture, which is the most random thing ever, on a rider is actually measuring how serious the promotor/club really is about their job. So far, only six or seven venues and clubs did it.
Yes, I straight up have like seven or eight pictures of David Hasselhoff framed, not up on the wall but just in a box. Usually, it’s the same picture that you’re looking at right now, the same picture most of the time. But I get it, it’s iconic, it’s something you never forget, this picture is insane. So usually when clubs do it, I take the picture with me and put in the DJ booth where David is facing me and it gives me a lot more confidence. It sounds funny but I think like… he’s the man! The Hoff!
Wow, that’s a tough one! I would love to play Woodstock… because it’s Woodstock! No explanation needed. Coachella would be nice as well, just to try and bring trance to that area would be really cool!
A lot of stuff on Armada, I’ve already released nine or ten records. I have more stuff coming, more collaborations, more remixes. But yeah, 2019 hopefully I get to work on an album, but right now I’m just trying to focus a lot more on my own material; not even collaborations, mostly singles.
There’s gonna be a lot of surprises but I’m just getting back into touring so there’s gonna be a lot more.
David Hasselhoff is the man. That’s it.
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