Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I’m based in Antwerp in the small but amazing country of Belgium. Since the origins of European electronic music lays here, you can guess that people here are born with kick drums & synthriffs. I’ve toured all around the world & every country has his genre, but in Belgium, every city or village has a different genre. You can play techno in the centre of Antwerp, while in a village 20 kilometers from there you’ll have to play hardstyle to get the crowd moving. It’s such a diverse scene, ranging from the deepest of house to the grindiest drum & bass. It’s an awesome & creative vibe to live in as an artist, but one hell of a job to please them all as a DJ.
How did you first start playing music?
Imagine a 14 year old kid in a dark attic playing old techno vinyls with his friends chilling on the couch. There I was vibing on the beats of Carl Cox and Frankie Knuckles. I always had craving to make those records myself. I wanted to have my name on the vinyls that I was playing. So that’s the point I started experimenting & learning about how I could create & produce my own music.
You’ve had a lot of success with ‘In The Mood’, where and when did you record it?
Henri PFR & me met a while ago. I contacted him when one of his songs ‘Until The End’ was played a lot on Belgian radio stations, and I didn’t really know him. I was surprised to find out he was Belgian too so I showed my support and we talked for hours about music. Since then we have become close friends & support each other’s work. I had this demo laying around and asked his opinion on it. It was a first version of ‘In The Mood’ with Veronica’s original vocal on it. I had found a cover from her of a Drake song on Youtube & she was totally the person and voice I was looking to find for this song. She delivered amazing work and brought the demo to a higher level. I suggested to Henri that we could work on it together. He was very excited but wanted to bring his own style to it, so we jumped in the studio together & made it work. We brought his original flavour from ‘Until The End’ into our song and came up with a catchy lead. We were so thrilled when we finished it that we were already dancing in the studio, hoping the crowd would like it too. And they did! In the first week of release it went straight to the Big Hit list on Belgians biggest radio station MNM, who’s list is only reserved for the very top, artists such as David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Ed Sheeran & so on. After more than 8 months it’s still on full rotation on the radios with a golden record as result. It was once my goal to own a golden record, and to have it now is so amazing. I look at it every day and it keeps inspiring me to go on and make more.
What influenced the songwriting and sound of this track?
Throughout my career I’ve been always focused on music for clubs & events. I love how rhythm and melodies can transform a place into an earthquake of dancing people. I’ve done some productions in the past for Pop artists, mainly singers that asked me to bring the club vibe to the radios. My main goal is to bring emotion into my music, no matter the genre. 2 years back I had a little bit of a creative struggle with myself, I wanted to make something different that I was used to. Get out of my comfort zone, which was club music, and make music I wanted to make. Slower, more melodic and something I wanted to listen to when I turn the radio in my car on. So I started to make more pop music. ‘In The Mood’ is the first Pop record I’ve released. The success it brought makes me want to release even more Pop songs and there will be for sure. But for my fans who love my club music, there is no need to worry, there will be something for them too very soon.
Where did you shoot the music video and who did you work with?
We shot the music video in Ibiza a month or so before the release of the song. Me & Henri are touring a lot so it was almost impossible to get a date set to do this. We only had 2 days to shoot all the possible footage we needed. Thankfully we worked with a small but very talented team. David Palmen & Merit Golka are a couple from Germany who travel the world making amazing travel videos. Their vibe was exactly what we needed for the video of our song. We wanted to bring that feeling of summer, love & friendship into it with their stunning eye for visuals. But because me & Henri are not experienced actors, it was hard not to laugh. We have a bunch of bloopers recorded, hopefully for no one ever to see. Thankfully my girlfriend Jelka Lepever, who is an experienced model & actor, helped us out and finally we managed to find the Oscar winning actors in ourself to come out. But please don’t take my word for it, watch it yourself.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Basically everything that inspires me. It’s not bound to any genre. At this moment, I think Calvin Harris is killing it with his song with Dua Lipa. He’s always changing the game & doing something that people don’t expect from him.
Please tell us about the new music that you have been working on and when you will be releasing?
I can’t say too much for what’s in store, but what I can say is that people can expect a follow up for ‘In The Mood’. I’ve a lot of songs on hold, waiting for the right time to release them, and I know for sure something as big as ‘In The Mood’ is in there. Also I will soon release new club songs, maybe some alert fans have already heard a few in some sets of mine, which I played to test out. I would say to keep an eye out on my socials & you’ll be rewarded soon.
Do you have any upcoming shows? If so where and when?
I’ll be back in Asia the next couple of weeks, performing in Taiwan, China & India in June. And as you can imagine, summers in Europe are crazy. I’ll be touring all around Europe through the summer but will also be a South-American tour in august. After the summer we are setting up my first North-American tour and we’ll be visiting Asia again too.
What do you like to do outside of music?
Family & friends are really important to me so any spare time I have, which isn’t a lot, I try to spend with them. In the past I’ve played soccer too, but sadly I don’t find the time to do that anymore. So basically I enjoy life with the people near to me.
Favourite artist of all time?
It’s hard to pick because I’ve more inspirations than just one. But if I had to choose, it would be Axwell. I follow him for many years now, even before the whole Swedish House Mafia hype. The reason why is because from a producers standpoint. every producers knows how hard it is to make the sounds he makes & to make it sound so clean & simple. That’s the art only a few master, and Axwell is one of them.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2018 into 2019?
The rest of 2018 will be filled with tours and setting up studio time with other artists & singers. There will be a lot of my new songs coming, including some club songs too. Also people will see some collabs appear with people who I believe are truly talented. Make sure to check all the socials to find all the info there.
Favourite food and place to hang out?
I can really enjoy all the tastes of the world, but if I had to pick, I love Asian food. When I’m home, I always make myself some form of Asian dish. Some chicken, fish or beef stir fried with some rice or noodles can do wonders. As for favorite place to hang out, any beach with a sunset and the smiles of people around me enjoying it.