Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I live in the heart of Amsterdam and was born here too. It feels Europe is a bit divided into two music scenes: one that’s leaning towards what’s happening in the UK, and the other that leans towards Berlin. Amsterdam is definitely the last, with lots of pretty deep club nights and a very big and lively club and festival scene. Even though Holland is known for it’s EDM and trance, it’s not a sound you’d hear in a club down here.
How did you first start playing music?
I borrowed my grandmother’s turntables around ’94 and started to make mixtapes in my bedroom. Not sure how much my neighbors appreciated the new hobby! Around ’98 things started to kick off with DJ residences in Amsterdam and playing abroad. Did take a few more years before I had my first record out though.
You’ve been in the music scene for quite some time, how have things changed since you started?
There are many changes, but a big one is the lack of record stores. They used to be the middleman between an artist & label and the listeners. Record stores also had a big influence in what became a hit and what not. Nowadays there’s just an artist and it’s fans – that’s it. It’s super direct, and you really need to create your own community to have people pay attention to your music and come to your shows. It’s much more DIY in that sense.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I think people can be a bit over-preoccupied with what’s trendy these days, while there’s so much amazing music behind us if you dig deep. I tend to listen to a lot of older stuff. Currently a lot of afro-funk.
Who or what influences your sound and songwriting?
I think listening to a lot of west coast hip hop / G funk when I was a kid was pretty important in my musical development. I’ve also been playing violin the first 20-something years of my life – so that must have had some effect too.
How do you go about choosing which vocalists it is that you will work with?
I like stand-out voices. There are lots of amazing singers with beautiful nightingale voices out there, but that’s usually not my cup of tea. I prefer the different, the stranger and the more outspoken vocalists. This is not always the way some record labels like it, but middle-of-the-road was never my thing. Its probably why I own zero private jets, but who needs those anyway?!
You are known for going down your own path by avoiding trends, please tell how and why you have made this decision?
It’s no conscious decision really. I just get bored easily and don’t find it challenging to make something that’s close to what’s already out there. I think to release music you have a duty of bringing something new to the table, something fresh, something different. There’s enough fodder out there already. I notice a lot of DJs just produce tracks to sound like the stuff they’re playing from other people, and I find that a dull way of going at it.
I hear you are passionate about running, what is it about running that you enjoy so much?
Well I’m in dark studio spaces behind computer screens all day, so for one, it’s really nice to get outside and see some daylight. It’s also great to combine with touring, as you can explore a foreign city well that way. I also love the challenging and competitive part of it, as I’m trying to get my marathon time under 3 hours, which is quite tough – few more minutes to go.
What have you been working on recently?
I’ve just released ‘Reminders Of You’ featuring Alex Clare. The idea was to give this pretty serious jackin’ house track I made a cotton-field / chain gang song kinda vocal. We’re happy with how it turned out, and those folks at Spinnin’ Records released it this month.
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?
There’s a new single coming up on my Animal Language label called Banzai. And I’ve just done an official remix for Blue Boy – ‘Remember Me’ that’s going down a storm in my sets and should see daylight pretty soon.,….
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Check out Coba in the North of Amsterdam. Edgy Mexican haute cuisine taco’s without all the tex-mex crap people associate with Mexican food. And a great mescal selection to make sure you’re stumbling home.