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OM R F R E LETT THE
R O T I ED This month in Raver Mag, we partied things up in Amsterdam. We partied so much so that we have dedicate a Special Edition of Raver Mag to bring you the full magnitude of what we experienced overseas. In short, we interviewed over 12 of the top producers in the world. We watched Martin Garrix become the top DJ in the world and watched Armin van Buuren go B2B with Hardwell during the Amsterdam Music Festival. We spent over 4 days attending the best sets and venues that Amsterdam could offer for the world renowned Amsterdam Music Festival 2017. The stage was set for us to be everywhere and attend everything so we did just that. We also had our talented staff cover the spookiest Halloween events in Florida and Texas! Share your thoughts with us on our social media via @RaverMedia
CEO of Raver Magazine
OUR STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael Beas PUBLISHER Wid Bastian Genius Media Inc. OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Kristine Kennedy CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Stephanie Piedrahita LEAD VIDEOGRAPHER Bobby Ben-Gal
PHOTOGRAPHERS Wes Cunningham Omar Negrin SENIOR WRITERS
Charlotte Vosbeck STAFF WRITERS Sandra Santana Michelle Fetky
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY
We’re huge fans of your music here at Raver Mag! If you could give an up and coming producer some advice for this industry, what would it be? What is the key to success?
That’s a really good question and I get asked it a lot. During ADE I started my day with teaching a Masterclass on track production, and a lot of the producers in that class were asking this question. They all make music but they want to know how to really make it in this industry because it’s becoming so saturated and everybody wants to be a DJ now instead of a football player or a soccer player. It really all starts with good music and it sounds super cliché but it’s so true. If you make music that comes from the heart and own a certain sound, in my opinion, that’s enough to make yourself into a bigger artist. There’s only one of you and there’s only one of you with your own creativity. Find your own sound, own your own sound, and continue to perfect that sound. Often we’ll have a producer reach out who has only been producing for a short time – maybe even only two weeks – and they ask what we think of the track. I want to tell them to go back to the studio and perfect the sound. There is that golden rule that says you need to put in 10,000 hours work before you can really own something. Whether you’re a fireman or a DJ, you have got to put a lot of effort into it. A lot of guys tend to think it’s easy to become a DJ but the creativity and being unique are what makes one a true producer. Can you talk to us about your label, Fonk Recordings? Where did the name come from?
: For me, Fonk was all about focusing on my own sound. I’ve always liked that groovy sound and the funky sounds from Motown from back in the days. Fonk is like a slang for funky music.
I also released a track called “Fonk” on Revealed Recordings back in 2015, so I thought this was the most logical name for my label. I wanted to create that Dannic sound and give it a platform. Having my own label was important to me because now I can actually help those who are just starting out and want to become bigger. What do you look for in the artists you sign to your label? What stands out to you as something you want to put your name on and represent?
Dannic: Well, I always look for groovy sounds, but still something that will catch my attention. I get a lot of demos and if they all sound the same then none will stand out from the rest. I really look for a producer to own their sound. Sometimes I’ll get a demo that sounds super dope but it’s not the genre I’m looking for and I’ll try to help them find a more suitable label to submit to.
But back to the question, with the artists I work with, it’s about creating unique sounds, unique grooves and something original. I also really try to make sure that someone is very genuine and passionate about their music. I want to be surrounded by the passion for the music and that, in turn, also inspires me. I can help those people get to the next level through my experience in the industry. Speaking about passion and perfection, we were listening to some Dannic tracks from the Revealed days and one thing really stuck out to us. Track after track, your chosen vocals are just so damn beautiful. How do you go about matching one particular vocalist to a certain track?
That’s the hardest part. I’m such a perfectionist about it. It’s the perfect marriage when an instrumental track and vocals come together. I always look for the goosebumps. That’s something personal as well, because a track might hit me but that doesn’t say it will hit you also. And it’s really, really hard. With my latest release, it took me over 20 demos and I sometimes get frustrated with it because the problem nowadays is that music consumption is so fast that if I make a track that is relevant and I wait for a year to find the right vocals, then that track is already outdated. Sometimes it works the other way around though. I’ll get a guitar or piano part and some amazing vocals and I can already hear in my head the melody I want to put into it to put the track together. My publishing company is really helpful with this. The track “Wait for You” with Shermanology came about like this. I’ve known the group for a while and just hit them up asked if they had anything lying around unfinished.
What musical artist outside of dance music, dead or alive, would you like to work with?
Michael Jackson! Everything from the early Jackson 5 stuff he did to his ‘Bad’ and ‘Thriller’ albums, there was no one like him. From the groovy tracks to his more edgy releases later on, everyone young and old loves Michael Jackson’s music and it resonates with everyone on some level. MJ is a true legend! What is the most difficult part of being a touring DJ? What’s the most rewarding part?
Dannic: The most difficult part is all the travelling, spending time in airports and in cars and being away from family in Breda – that is always difficult. But getting to experience new places that I never thought I’d get to travel to is so rewarding, and seeing how far my music has spread and all the amazing fans in every corner of the globe, that is by far the best and most rewarding part. Last question is a hypothetical – Dannic and Hardwell have a day off from touring and are out of the studios. What are you two getting into?
We’ll probably…uh.. …go fishing. Oh no, we definitely don’t have the patience to go fishing! We’d probably go for some lunch and we’d end up at a bar drinking beers. That’s what we usually do. We’ll talk about music and just guy stuff. We’d just be two regular guys hanging out and reminiscing about the good old days when we were just starting out in music. We started out together as friends and now to see how crazy his career and Revealed have gotten – he’s like next level and I’m just really thankful to be a part of that with him as well. Side note: We here at Raver Mag would love to be so lucky to stumble upon these ‘two regular guys’ (who are anything but regular!) at a bar and join them for a Heineken!
With the worldâ€™s leading producers performing in one city, it proved to be a daily difficulty to select which parties to attend, what recording studio to visit, or what pop up store to shop in â€“ all that were happening at the exact same times! Add to that mix our own Raver Mag exclusive interviews and needless to say, we did quite a bit of running around Amsterdam. It was almost as if we were in some massive EDM candy shop where the flavors of the day were Protocol, Revealed, Armada, Mixmash, Coldharbour..you name it and they were there. Every event had its own twist, its own unique vibe that you can truly take in and enjoy.
You started off in the music industry at a relatively young age. Can you talk to us about what it was like to essentially grow up during your teen years in this industry? Growing up in this industry was strange at times. I was about 15 when I started touring. I had never experienced going out in the terms that we know it today. I wasn’t allowed in the clubs and festivals, so I didn’t have experience playing in those venues. There were a few festivals that were for all ages in my city, but I never had the experience of being a fan at these venues. Growing up and seeing the nightlife, it was sometimes pretty strange when you’re that young. Right now, it’s changing so much that it’s also possible to rave at a younger age. I like that. I like that it’s accessible for a lot of people now because I fell in love with the music at such a young age but I hadn’t had the opportunity to see the artists play whom I was a fan of. At the end though, I don’t think age really matters because as long as you’re creative and you love what you do, other people will love it as well. I never really feel young when I’m sitting next to Armin van Buuren because we speak the same about the music and maybe it keeps us all young. What’s the coolest thing about touring? And the hardest thing?
schedule, you don’t get to see everything you want to see in the city you’re in at the time. Sometimes I have to sleep during the day to make sure I am prepared to play that night, and I then miss out on experiencing the city I’m in during the daylight hours. But when I am playing my sets I know this is all worth it. You’re standing behind your decks and you see the crowd going crazy and it’s all worth it – it’s the best feeling ever! So you have a new EP out. Can you talk to us about its development? I’m really proud of this one because I’ve always wanted to be a mentor to young kids and upcoming producers and I think it’s really important to give other people the chance as well to release their music. It’s important also because you build credibility for yourself among other artists. It’s inspiring to me and it’s great to work with rising stars in the industry. I’m going to be doing a lot more EP’s in the future. Were you excited to host your own event at ADE again this year? I’m really excited. Last year’s event was so amazing. We had a lot of big DJ’s come through and everyone just had a great time. It’s held on the last day of ADE so everyone is just really enjoying themselves.
“I don’t thInk age really matters because as long as you’re creatIve and you love what you do, other people wIll love It as well.”
The coolest thing is absolutely being able to meet so many different people, seeing different cultures, and also to be able to visit places all over the world you may never decide to go to for a vacation. You are able to experience amazing places you may have never seen otherwise. The downside is actually flying! Being in a plane for so long is really tiring and sometimes depending on your
What’s next for Julian Jordan? I want to keep inspiring people and releasing good music and that is something I will always strive for.
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY You two have been so busy this past year! What’s it like working with so many talented artists? It’s really inspirational to work with so many different people. Of course, we have our newest collaboration with Firebeatz and we have a track coming out with Ummet [Ozcan] in December. It’s fun for us to work with a lot of people. They all have a different feel of how music should sound and it really gives us a lot of inspiration to develop and stretch our sound too. We loved your collaboration with Sam Feldt, “Summer On You”, talk to us about this track and how this opened doors for you.
That was probably the first really commercial, radio-type track we did. Before this track we scored a lot of club hits that really went skyhigh on Beatport. We had then just started to get into the music industry full time and then “Summer On You” just knocked it out of the park. From there things excelled a lot more and from there we knew this was our sound and we went with it. You have a really catchy vibe to your sound. It’s a great thing to work with so many people but to still have your own unique sound be so easily recognizable. We hear that
a lot actually. You know..that’s just our sound and we want to make sure it shines whether we are making a more poppy track or a club song. We want that good energy, that feel-good, happy vibe. Speaking of techniques that make a solid producer, let’s talk about your track “Feel Alive” and how you guys are somehow able to evoke so much emotion out of that track with bare minimal vocals and still maintain that Lucas & Steve vibe. “Feel Alive” is one
of those tracks that has this melody that you could take in so many directions. You could do
PHOTOS BY COOHN
a super emotional ballad with it, but that’s just not our thing. So we decided to combine it with some solid beats and a sick drop. When we went to the studio with Pep & Rash to work on this track, the melody was just so on point that it was easy at that point to build up to that really powerful drop. This track did really, really good for the DJs but not so great on Spotify, but it’s not really built for Spotify. But every time we play this track, the vibe of the whole venue just goes off and we just say “wow what is happening right now?” The funny thing is now that you mention this track with the powerful melody and the break being so emotional sounding, it has actually gotten us into a bit of trouble with our fans in the past! We tend to make a number of edits to tracks and
this one we made some edits putting some vocals over the track to make it more commercial and appealing to people who don’t know the song. Doing so to this track, we got complains from our fans – “do not put vocals over that melody!” It’s really amazing – that’s the only track we have gotten messages like that from our fans on. Sometimes you just don’t need vocals to get the message of the track.
How are you two going to top 2017? Well, it’s going to be difficult to top 2017 but at the same time we have a lot of new music lined up for 2018 already.
Our new track with Firebeatz [Keep Your Head Up], we have a strong feeling will be one of those records that carries on through time and will still be hot in 2018. That song is not far off something we would release but for Firebeatz it’s a bit different from their harder clubtype sound. That’s what keeps it fun though. When we all went into the studio together and were discussing how the track should go, the Firebeatz guys actually had a lot of good ideas on techniques they couldn’t normally use on their own tracks but would suit a more pop-sounding track. Well, we can’t wait to keep dancing our way out of 2017 and through 2018 with you guys! Thanks for having us!
COVE R PH OTO BY FLOR IS HE UER | IN S IDE P H OTOS BY COOH N
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY
Growing up in Breda, when did you first know you wanted to get into music?
When I was about 4 or 5 years old, one of my birthday presents was a little keyboard. The keyboard also had some buttons where you could play with the kick, the high and the snare also. I didn’t even remember it because I was so young, but my mom showed me some videos where I was playing with the keyboard and the drums. I started playing the drums at a musician school when I was 7 years old. Then when I was about 15 I started playing for some birthday parties of kids in my school. It was just two old CD players and a really basic mixer. Later on I bought myself some new Pioneer turntables with my own saved money and just practiced at home a lot. One of my big breaks came when I was 18 and I entered a DJ competition to win a spot to play at Dancetour in Breda. It’s pretty well-known in The Netherlands and the lineup includes Hardwell, Laidback Luke, DJ Chuckie, etc. I ended up winning that competition which gave me the opportunity to play a set at Dancetour for 25,000 people. Did you have any influence from others who grew up in Breda? Hardwell, of course, is my inspiration
of mine. He’s a really good friend of mine and a very talented musician. I truly love his music. Tiesto is also someone I look up to. And we are all from Breda!
For those who have not been able to see you perform a set yet, can you describe your sound and style of play?
If you could pick one event that has been most meaningful to you thus far in your career, what would it be?
Dancetour was definitely one of them because that was my first huge event playing for such a large crowd in my hometown. That’s also the first point where I made a connection with Hardwell. I’ve had a lot of really important events in Asia recently in Shanghai. This December I have a really special show coming up – I’m going to play at World’s Biggest Guestlist for Hardwell in Mumbai, India. I’m really honored to play at this event because all of the money generated goes to charity. They will be building schools in the city and Hardwell told them that there had to be music lessons provided at the schools his event helps build. Now these children can learn different instruments and maybe some will find careers from that. Speaking of Hardwell, what is it like working with the Revealed family?
It’s amazing! For the last two years I’ve been releasing my tracks on Revealed and I have a really good connection with the whole team. Everybody is really kind and it’s really a family there. Everybody knows everyone there and we all support each other’s music and careers. I’m even going to begin doing some A&R work for Revealed maybe once a week. I’m really looking forward to that and to be able to work with new talent is a great experience. I really enjoy giving feedback to help new artists achieve success and become better producers.
“I always encourage artIsts to brIng somethIng unIque to theIr sets If they’re able to do so.”
Besides playing the music as any DJ would, I play live drums during my DJ sets. That’s how my start in this industry still influences my playing today. I have a drum pad and just connect it to the mixer and this way, when I am playing the drums the audience will hear it on the sound system. I love it because I can really express myself and show the crowd that I’m different and can bring more elements into my sets. I always encourage artists to bring something unique to their sets if they’re able to do so.
I’ve been in their shoes and I know it’s hard but I tell them they have to keep pushing, believe in themselves and don’t give up. You have to really be able to put yourself out there and show yourself. Of course you need to have the talent to produce and also be a little bit lucky, but it all starts with hard work. Years ago, I sent a demo of mine to a friend who worked at Revealed. “It’s okay but it’s not good enough” was the feedback he told me. So I kept practicing and practicing and two years later I signed my first record with Revealed. Now I’m up to ten tracks signed with Revealed.
MELODY (TIP OF MY TONGUE) - MIKE WILLIAMS After reviewing the track I can truly say that this should be the one that excitingly takes us into 2018. It is literally one of the best productions that I have heard in quite sometime. From start to finish the endless drops get your heart beating faster than anyone can shuffle, the smooth transitions blend the rhythm with ease and the uplifting tempo will sweep you into a world that you never want to leave. Having interviewed Mike Williams in Amsterdam for ADE we got a taste of his gentle persona and modesty. He has an endless attention to detail that cannot be overlooked and in the span of less than 2 years he has grown to become one of the Top 100 DJs in the world.
ENCORE (DJAFROJACK & SAYMYNAME REMIX) - MERCER This remix will have your hands in the air like there’s no tomorrow. Afrojack and SAYMYNAME have now teamed up for a colossal remix of MERCER’s Encore which is out now via Musical Freedom. There is no mystery here, this one is FIRE. The riffs, the drums and over all big room feel will get your pulse racing at the speed of light. What else can be expected from the Afrojack and the trap king SAYMYNAME. Released in 2015, Encore brings you in the center of dance music. This new take brings it back to life in a way that will take your breath away. If you’re looking for a fast paced remix then look no further this is the one for you.
RIGHT AMOUNT OF WRONG GIANNI BLUE Gianni Blu is at it one more time with his new single ‘Right Amount of Wrong’. It took me a minute to try and capture the essence of what Gianni was trying to portray with this track, but when I did, it totally floored me with emotion and an uplifting vibe that few can top. The vocals start you off slow, but slowly it builds to perfection. If you are looking for a groovy club anthem ‘Right Amount of Wrong’ is the track for you. WHAT YOU WANT - STYLINE With so much talk about the direction dance music is taking, it’s nothing short of a miracle that producers have not gone insane by now, trying to pin down their own sound. Producer and DJ Styline is defining his own sound by building his own Power House genre. He is a pioneer in a constantly changing world, that is something refreshingly new. That innovation takes courage and talent. His music is widely being picked up by the most prominent electronic labels, including Spinnin’ Records, Armada, Sosumi and Ministry Of Sound, and many of the biggest artists in the industry. His latest release is no different – ‘What You Want’ has gained the support of Kryder and Blasterjaxx, and now us at Raver Magazine. The new track is blended to perfection with the right elements that collide to take you on ride that you will not want to get off of. ‘What You Want’ is out now on Whore House Records.
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY You have a unique style. Can you talk to us about it?
They focus on who we are as artists rather than how many streams we can get on Spotify.
I’m really just being myself and with my music, it’s a way for me to express my feelings. When I make music I go into a certain state of mind. Music is about delivering feelings – it’s a piece of art. Some artists might make music for the clubs, but I make music for my fans to feel something inside and connect with the music. I get a lot of messages from fans who have told me my music has turned their sadness into happiness. That’s my main goal – I want to affect people with my music.
If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
How did you get into dance music originally? Back home in Sweden, we have had some big names like Swedish House Mafia, Alesso, and Avicii. Sweden is a very musical country even outside of the electronic music world. When I was younger, I was a background dancer on TV shows, so we had to learn to dance to a lot of different types of music. That exposed me to so many different genres of music. I was also a huge fan of Michael Jackson when I was growing up. When I was 18 I went to my first legal rave in Denmark and saw Steve Angello and Ingrosso and I became really interested in how this genre of music was created. I fell in love with house music. Can you describe your sound? I actually used to make hip-hop tracks with a friend. But now I play mainly progressive house. This year I’ve been doing some more work in deep house and electronic pop. I really love it, but my passion is with progressive house. It’s just so melodic and uplifting and energetic. What’s it like working with Revealed? Revealed is amazing! It’s like a family. We are many people signed to Revealed, but we are all close and tight-knit. We always help each other out and like to spend time with each other outside of the studio too. Revealed also really supports new producers a lot.
Currently, it’s Japan. I’ve heard so many incredible things about Japan! I’ve been close – I’ve been to China a couple of times, but never made it to Japan yet. That’s a goal for me for 2018. The fans there are amazing. How was the week at Amsterdam Dance Event for you? It’s been great! For me, ADE is about being able to meet up with all of my friends. People from all over the world come to this event so it’s great to be able to see so many friends in one city at one time. I also really enjoy meeting new people and networking as well. For me, I’m more focused on the fun aspect, at least for now! What advice do you have to inspire the younger generations who may be interested in music like you were in your teen years? If I think back to my beginning, my advice would be to find your passion. I think many times today someone will see a bigger DJ and want to be famous like him or her, but the main thing is finding your passion for making the music. You need to work hard and stay patient because this doesn’t happen overnight. What’s next on the horizon for you? I have a new EP out that I’m really excited about. My followers asked for some progressive house so this one is all for them. I also have a remix coming, but I can’t tell yet for whom, but he’s a really great trance DJ. I’m also working on some new shows in China and Vietnam. And of course there’s a lot of new music to come in my library.
What’s it like putting together a party of the Protocol Recordings magnitude together in Amsterdam? The Amsterdam Dance Event has been around for twenty-two years already. It has grown bigger and bigger and bigger and the biggest challenge around this year is to sell out a party around the size of the venue that we had last night [Melkweg Amsterdam]. It might not seem huge, but in Amsterdam it’s a pretty big venue. So, all the venues around it are probably smaller. Needless to say it was a success. I’m thankful for everybody who came down for the last four years to fill up and party with us and it seems to get better and better each year. You did an amazing back-to-back with Fedde Le Grand. How did that come together? It’s kind of a thing at the Amsterdam Dance Event, at least for us it is. It’s not only about me. It’s about all of the artists. It’s about the family feeling that we try to get across to everyone. At last year’s event, we had David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, and Martin Garrix who believe it or not was an opener. He [Garrix] was the second DJ and look where he is now. I can’t believe it. This year one of the artists was Fedde Le Grand and all of us try to support each other when we are in town. Armin wasn’t in town yet. David came in late, I think. So it’s not possible every year to get everyone to do these back-to-back sets. There are a lot of obligations that people have. That being said we are always trying to invite everyone and give a family feeling. Speaking about the Protocol family, talk to us about the evolution, how did it began and where it is now? Well, it started in 2012 in a small place called Ede in the center of Holland. And I realized I didn’t want to be depending on someone else’s opinion when it comes to music, and when it comes to artwork, when it comes
to release dates. I called up my manager and said I want to start my own label. He was like it’s too early. And I said, “It’s not too early. I have songs and even though it’s like a small group of people, there are people who are waiting for every new release.” Then we came up with the name traveling to Paris. First it was “Proton” then we said no because the name was too close to Axtone which is Axwell’s label. He’s an inspiration for me so I suggested we call it Protocol. It was like a good name for the feeling that I wanted to get across. Like a “protocol” for quality and a “protocol” for artists, so it seemed to work. It slowly progressed when we signed songs from R3hab, NERVO, Bassjackers, and even Calvin Harris, which is crazy to think especially when you think of where everyone is now in their careers. Along those five years, we have found a good group of people and artists that I’m really proud of. Without them this could never be possible. You’re such an inspiration to so many people, us included. Who are your inspirations and mentors? Do you have an hour or so? [laughs] Let me cut it short. First and foremost, David Guetta who gave me the opportunity to bring me into production camps like the ones for Rihanna, Sia, and Black Eyed Peas and I will always be grateful. So that being said, Armin van Buuren is one. Hans Zimmer that does all the music scores for movies like Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean. Fedde Le Grand is one of the first people to support my music publicly and the first he did was at Sensation. Well you guys did a great job going back-toback last night! Nicky Romero: Thank you again Raver Magazine!
You truly know music and you bring in classical elements into your production. Walk us through that moment in time when it all started for you? Where does the inspiration come from?
That’s a very interesting question. In the beginning when I wasn’t touring or not playing a set somewhere I would find my inspiration from watching movies. I would find it by watching a show about space or some fast paced thriller. I find that certain emotions can make a track catch fire, and movies have a way to get things going in the right direction for me. After one of my live sets today, the crowd and the fans inspire me. I wish I could go from the stage to the studio because that’s when I am most inspired to create a new track. I would love to do that before all the emotions fade out. Because classical music has a huge influence on you, I wanted to ask if anyone else in your family is as musically inclined as you are? For me, music
is like playing the piano, in that so many elements go into a sound that touches your soul. I was lucky to have been born in a city where music is a big thing. That being said none of my family plays music. I even asked my parents and my grandparents if anyone in the past has been into music and they told me I was the only one. Even though my town only has 10,000 residents we still have a big music school and college. I was really lucky to be born there. In the end it’s about having love for what you do, and for me that love and passion comes from music. Who’s your favorite composer? I would have to say that Frederic Chopin is my
favorite of all.
So what’s next for Andrew Rayel? The next big thing for me is the launch of
my own label, inHarmony Music. It took me some time to launch it but in just a few months we already have two several releases that are out. I am excited for all the support that I am receiving and the amount of music submissions that I am getting in. We are signing new talent and we are going to have some really good productions in 2018. We know you’re a lover of chocolate. How much chocolate are you consuming these days? It’s funny that you would remember that and
unfortunately I have to report that I am not having chocolate anymore. Not by choice, but I was having way too much and I need to get my sweet tooth under control.
Tell us about your music. A lot of people your age are probably devoting too many hours to video games while you’re devoting those hours and more to furthering your career. We want to hear your story. Well, when I was in middle school around 9 or 10, I started listening to Avicii
and his track “Fade into Darkness” really made me fall in love with dance music. I was really inspired so I started looking up Avicii’s production methods. I started messing around to see if I could get the melodies I had in my head into the computer successfully. This was mostly a weekend thing for me at that time because I still had to go to school during the week. Then when I was about 13 or 14 music became more of a full-time thing. I wanted to learn as much as I could in the shortest amount of time. I really wanted to take this to the next level and find my own sound. I met up with Mixmash soon after and from them on we have been working together. I’m really lucky because I started very young so I had a lot of time to really develop my music. So, it sounds like Avicii was a big inspiration for you. Have you met him yet? Yes, he was. I would
love to meet him. Of course, he’s just focusing on releasing music now, so I don’t think I will run into him at a festival anytime soon. But maybe one day we’ll be able to work on a track together. He did play my latest single in his podcast!
What’s it like working with Mixmash? It’s been great! They’re all so friendly and they really help me
out. I basically have them to thank for my career so far. They have built my career and now we are all exploring those next step opportunities, working on a lot of new music and future collaborations. What did your parents say when you told them you wanted to pursue this career in music at such a young age? They have always been helpful and supportive, even doing simple things like
helping me download a music program. When I was younger I was living at my mother’s house mostly and she knew a lot about computers and programing so she helped a lot. My dad and I would always listen to music together. I’m very lucky to have such supportive parents. How do you balance your music career with school?
I currently go to a music school – Herman Brood Academie. It’s also where Martin Garrix went. The school is great. They help me develop business-wise with contracts and stuff. They also help with making music and how to make various sounds. With this school, I can really just focus on my music and not have to worry about anything else taking up that time during school hours. In the years before going to this music school, I started to struggle with finishing homework and studying for tests while trying to give time to music and also going to shows. But now I have much more time for music! Do you ever feel any pressure with having big-name DJ’s supporting you?
Sometimes I do, mostly when it comes to finishing up a track. This industry wants you to keep supplying new music consistently and the moment you lose focus or lose track of time, you start to feel some pressure that you need to finish the track in time. For everything else, there’s no pressure because I do what I love and I try to give my 100% every time. The Mixmash team is also great because instead of pressure, they give me guidance. Outside of music, what do you like to do for fun? I used to play tennis, but I quit to devote that
time to making music. I wanted to give it 100% so things got pushed to the side while I got into music. Nowadays, sometimes I will still play tennis but not competitively like in the past. I like to chill with friends and watch videos. It’s important for me to keep my friends and family close to me even though I am spending the majority of my time focusing on music.
Kris Kross Amsterdam is a Dutch DJ and record producer trio from Amsterdam. The group consists of two brothers Jordy Huisman and Sander Huisman and Yuki Kempees. Their music is a mix of various music styles that people from all over the world, especially Amsterdam go crazy for. The buzz is that Kris Kross Amsterdam fire Europe. Their sound is growing like a wildfire here in the USA and more then anything there is no limit to what is in store for them in 2018. Raver Mag. had an opportunity to catch up with Sander Huisman in Amsterdam for a quick Q&A; this is what he shared up with us. Your music is highly addicting, for those people in the USA who have not experienced your music how would you describe your sound?
When we started and came up with the name Kris Kross Amsterdam we wanted to have no bounds, we wanted to break all of the obstacles that in music. We wanted to play R&B, Hip Hop, House, Disco, Big Room, maybe some EDM, whatever we liked that’s high tempo, so every minute with us you can expect another song. At our parties here in Amsterdam we definitely go old school, because that’s where we came from and that is what our fans go crazy for. When we first started it was all techno and house music and now with our sound its something that more people are flocking and trying to get into. Now you see things becoming more eclectic and more of an urban party. For those who have never heard our sound or who have never experienced our music, definitely come out to one of our parties. The mix is usually 70% girls and 30% boys, the girls love the sound and it’s definitely an experience that you have to experience for yourself.
How do you work together as a team being a trio and all, do any fights between the three of you ever go down?
Jordy and I are brothers so if we get into a fight we usually get over it in a few minutes. Yuki is our MC so we all really just mesh together and work things out together as a family more then anything. We work together to bring the fans together with our music.
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY
If you guys can collab with anyone who would it be? We would like to collab with DJ Snake and
the clubs and its sexy, with a bubbling beat that everyone is enjoying around the world.
What plans for New Years Eve? You just dropped your new track ft. Jorge Blanco, ‘Gone is the Night’ tell me about the track?
It’s going amazing so far. It’s hitting the top of the charts all over the world. It’s definitely playable at
We have a crazy warehouse party lined up for New Years Eve. It’s at Warehouse Elementenstraat here in Amsterdam, that’s one of the largest venues in Amsterdam, so we are happy and excited for that.
Can you talk to us about how you first got into the music scene? In the United States it is all about sports. Here in Holland we are so used to dance music, and since from a young age when I went to study music, the first thing my teacher told me was like hey we also have this new program that teaches you how to produce music with a keyboard at home. So I automatically got into that mindset. You’re from Breda right? Yea, Breda, yup. What’s in the water there? We joke that we have a business plan to bottle the water from that city. In Breda, we have great artists. We have guys like Fedde le Grand, we have W&W, we have Hardwell, and we even have R3hab, and Dannic of course. But the thing is that since we are all so well connected with each other, it’s easy for use to say like ‘hey I’ve got this new upcoming guy with really good music, you want to listen to his track?’ So we have this community which keeps each other flowing. Nowadays you see that in Amsterdam. In Breda, since we don’t have anything to do, you either play soccer with your friends or you make music. Since we are a bar culture, all the DJs get together and meet at a bar. If you live in a big country like the US, not a lot of people will talk to you about music. In Breda, it’s all about, ‘oh you’re like a musician, let’s connect.’ That makes a lot of sense. That’s what makes the whole sense of community, and that’s why I think so many people are becoming famous. It’s the same in Stockholm. The same thing happens to us in Breda, because everyone is mutual friends. Even in the photography business, it is the same thing - you all get connected. That’s how it works for us since it is such a small community. So tell me about your DJ name - you’re “Kill the Buzz.” Where did you come up with the name? Are you killing the buzz or making it? “Killing the Buzz” in the US and in England means you are f*cking everything up. I had this track “Party Hard” and it was number one in the buzz chart. The track said ID- Party Hard, and I didn’t even have an artist name back then. Since it was in the buzz chart for like one or two weeks with just an ID, I said “hey somebody needs to kill that buzz, somebody needs to come up with a name.”
That’s where Kill The Buzz came from. Well it definitely got killed, but then you made some buzz. I got picked up by a friend of mine, but he was 15 minutes late. As soon as I got in his car, I said “damn slow down cab driver”. And then he yelled, “stop killing my buzz.” Can you talk to us about what ADE [Amsterdam Dance Event] means to you? This is a pretty big week for artists! It’s intense! You have to go from point A to point B to point C in a day. You have to have all of these conversations with everybody, and so you do couch sessions. You have to talk about your personal life, and your career. Then there are conference days, where everybody is interested in how you do your productions. And at night there are all of these different parties just to meet industry people. So it’s an intense week, but it is really cool to meet up with all of the different people. What’s it been like working with the Revealed Family? What’s it been like working with the Revealed family? It’s been a lot of fun. Me and Robert [van de Corput (Hardwell)] have been friends for almost 15 years and I just enjoy the Revealed Recording family. Every new guy that comes in feels like a new family member on the tour. Working with all of those guys keeps your mind focused because everybody brings up new stuff-stuff that you have never heard before. That brings us to the next level, because if someone makes a better track than I did then I have to make another better track. You keep each other focused on the production level and it’s really intense. It’s easy to get lost with the hype, you have to get in the studio and make music. Thing with studio work is you have to be really dedicated when you are working in the studio. It can be difficult. If you are away from home for four weeks, and when you come home for a couple of days sometimes you want to take a rest. You have to keep in mind that you have to make new tracks. In the first couple of years, it’s really like a struggle on how to balance everything out. After a while you get used to it, you think of concepts to do on the road, like drafting it on paper, and then when you get to the studio you finish it up to the final draft and then you send it out. They tell you what to fix and then you test it out again.
How did you get into the music business and why is Global DJ Broadcast so important to you? When I moved to the USA at a young age, I didn’t really speak English very well. For me, music was my escape. I remember being in my room and just getting lost in the music. Music, in essence, helped me when I didn’t understand the language or the culture here in the USA. Radio has always been something special. I started producing and eventually everything started to grow. It was one of my dreams to always to have my own radio show and to touch somebody through my music. I wanted to guide them the way that some DJs inspired me back when I was growing up. Global DJ Broadcast, in my view, does exactly that. It inspires people and it has for over 10 years and while I don’t number my episodes I know we are well over 1000 episodes.
You’re an inspirational person. How have things in the news recently affected you?
Does it sometimes feel like everyone has a radio show? How does your radio station differ from the rest? Yes most definitely, it does seem like everybody has a radio show these days. I feel that these days there is a lack of passion when producers make a podcast or radio episode. There’s no attention to detail and that for me is very important. I love to tell
When you get to a certain point in your career, in your life you want to work on your legacy. What are you going to be remembered for in this life is very important to me. That’s why the Dakota Project is important to me. I want it to be around for ten, twenty years and long after I am gone.
To be honest it’s been really hard on me. With all the shit going on in the world, especially what happened in Orlando at Pulse nightclub…that just destroyed me inside. For about six months I didn’t even produce or even go on social media. I wanted to do something, I wanted to say something, and I wanted to break something. I decided I want to do something therapeutic through music. So I studied Reiki to try and figure out why this stuff is happening. Through the influences of Reiki and my Dakota to make a show that was self-helping - something that was going to get us through these difficult days that we are living What is important to Markus Schulz?
lIke to to touch touch the the heart heart of of the the crowd crowd - II take take II lIke prIde In In everythIng everythIng II do do In In lIfe lIfe and and that that reflects reflects In In prIde my musIc musIc.. my a story through my music. It’s a theater of the mind, as I like to call it. With everything moving so fast I just feel that people slap some tracks together and call it an episode. For me personally I like to touch the heart of the crowd - I take pride in everything I do in life and that reflects in my music. How did you emerge as Dakota? The weird thing is that Dakota actually came first. I was using the alias back in the day when I did some tracks that were on 10 compilations. As a producer I had to market myself so I made the switch to my name Markus Schulz. For years and years I grew as a producer and then at some point I was like “I want something deeper and darker with more meaning”. I brought back Dakota and it just kind of blew up from there.
Talk to us about your expectations when it came to the Amsterdam Dance Event week. There’s so much competition for ADE week. The good news is that the show is all sold out. At first some of my friends in the industry were telling me I was crazy to only have me performing vs. others to add to the performance list. Even my team was a little hesitant at first but my gut told me this is what I needed to do and it worked out again this year just as it did last year. My fans are truly my inspiration. They are definitely coming out to support me. Expect nothing but a memorable night.
What is like growing up and being surrounded in this industry with so many talented artists? It feels weird really, it’s almost like being surrounded by the big kids in class because there is so much talent and so many amazing producers around me all the time who are trying to help me. So while its weird it is also humbling. I am trying to take in as much as possible everyday from everyone. Tiesto is vouching for you and saying such nice things about you, what’s it like having that backing and support from him? He’s been supporting me for some time now and it was good to finally meet him. It was good to see that he is just a normal guy, who is super cool and who taught me a lot of things about the industry. It’s truly a blessing and it has helped launch my career. You’re already getting support from all of the big names in Dance Music, where do you go next? I’m focused on the music right now and on perfecting my sound and show. I really want to have a Mike Williams show and I want to show my fans what Mike Williams music is all about. If you can play anywhere where would it be? Basically what is your ideal festival goal that you would like to perform at one day? Well… all of us do all have goals and for me my goal would be to one-day play at Tomorrowland on the mainstage. You’re only 20 years old and you have been crowned as one of the top producers in the world. How does this rapid fast track to fame change your family life? There is no way that you can change everything around you. Like family, for example, normally I was at school and now it’s more like running a business. Its super cool that my family is involved with my career and they are supportive and helping me despite the changes. My friends are also helping me and supporting me. But your right, it is different in many ways and you just have to adapt to that change so that you can grow as a persona and as a producer.
Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF) is on its 5th year of creating memories for the dance music community as one of the best festivals in the world. Luckily for us at Raver Mag, this was our first year we are able to bring those memories back to you. The beauty of all of the people, the pyrotechnics and a breathtaking arena set the stage for an endless array of unity. Over 40,000 people from all walks of life and from all around the world gathered that night, not only to watch the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ countdown, but to also experience a once in a life time event. Shouts of joy could be heard from outside the arena as the Netherlands’ own Martin Garrix was crowned #1 DJ in the world by DJ Mag. Picking a favorite set for this night was difficult so we did our best to narrow it down to some sets that stood out amongst the rest. To start, the b2b from Armin van Buuren and Hardwell was nothing but energetic and full of life. Vini Vici also put out some wickedly addicting Psy-Trance that kept our blood pumping right up to the end. Lucas & Steve brought in track after track of uplifting energy and we truly felt the crowd connect with them immediately. Last but not least, Marshmello. Yes, dare we say, Marshmello. Frankly, watching a giant Marshmello head bobbing up and down to those bass driven beats in the middle of a massive arena
was nostalgic in a fun and trippy kind of way. We should also add in some notable performances by David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike also took place, but in reality, it was Lucas & Steve that took it to the top of the list for us this year at AMF. We were happy to know we weren’t the only ones enjoying the show as AMF was live-streamed through AMFTV. Just the thought that you can party with the world around you and share the moment is truly a harmonic experience that cannot be overlooked. The AMF team is awesomely interactive on their social media accounts and strives to showcase the unity of patrons who traveled from near and far to celebrate AMF. In the words of Martin Garrix, “Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me from day one. It’s been one crazy rollercoaster ride.” Martin, we truly can’t agree with you more. Amsterdam Music Festival was an absolute rollercoaster of emotion and music that will never be forgotten and will only be amplified for the 2018 edition. We wish you, all of the producers in our dance community and the entire AMF family a world of thanks for uniting us as one as we always say here at Raver Mag. we are “all united for one common affinity… ‘Our Love of Music’.”
This month in Raver Magazine: Download your FREE Copy TODAY! Exclusive coverage of Amsterdam Dance Event. Including Interviews with DANNIC,...
Published on Dec 1, 2017
This month in Raver Magazine: Download your FREE Copy TODAY! Exclusive coverage of Amsterdam Dance Event. Including Interviews with DANNIC,...