Hard News
By Hard News

For quite some time he is developing his sounddesign. But this year he released two strong 3-trackers which you also might have heard in the podcasts of Brennan Heart, Isaac and Xxlerator. From this point he continues his producing style where energetic melodies play a major role.

Recently you revealed your second solo release of this year “Crazy”, where you surprised us with three euphoric bangers. Before this release you also had the 3-tracker: ”Alive”. What makes your love for euphoric hardstyle so strong?
Before I started producing hardstyle, I’ve listened to a lot of hits from Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo, Cascada and DJ Splash. These tracks always had a “positive vibe”, which gave me a lot of energy and made me feel good. After I had outgrown this style, I found this same energy in euphoric hardstyle. I had this feeling when I went to the local club Lucky in Rijssen with my friends. When the dj’s played a euphoric track I gathered my friends to go all out. The goosebumps, this epic feeling, it is something that everyone deserves to experience. When I produce these tracks I keep this in mind and I can feel if the melody or atmosphere is close to what I experience in those moments. I always try to experience my tracks as the audience could experience it.

The feedback on your latest release is huge. Did it gave you new opportunities or future projects?
Actually, Anklebreaker found my release. This is the guy who is well-known from pianoplays and his epic melodies. After a short conversation we decided to join forces to make an euphoric masterpiece. Next to this. There will be several collaborations with some interesting names in the euphoric scene, but I cannot tell too much about this yet.

What do you think of the current hardstyle scene and the place it has for euphoric hardstyle? Everybody sees that the current scene is revolving more towards the ‘raw hardstyle’.I think it’s a shame that this branch should have it’s own label/subgenre, because it divides the hardstyle scene into separate groups. In my vision, hardstyle should be one big family where the crowd should find there own energy in the tracks. The constant emphasize on these branches are not really supporting this feeling. For me.. hardstyle is hardstyle. I think that there’s no problem mixing the euphoric hardstyle with a more darker hardstyle on a party. Just think about the tracks of B-front where the euphoric part has a big role but it’s translated into a rougher and harder track. I can also enjoy tracks like this. I think there is a lot of love for good melodies, but a lot of artists still ignore this. Everything can be more simple, faster and bolder nowadays. Personally I think this is not really a good thing, but in the end I will respect everyone’s musical taste.

We saw some footage of you and Prefix & Density working in the studio. This could lead to an interesting track. Will you also produce solo raw track in the future?
Yes that’s right! This track will be awesome! In my opinion it is the perfect mix with the rougher sound including a nice melody. It really has an unique touch to it. To answer your second question: I am currently working on a track which might be different than a lot of other work of mine. Not something that you would expect. I am trying to combine the euphoric atmosphere with a more darker atmosphere. Something that some people might call “Rawphoric”. I never made something like this except in the collab with Prefix & Density. My melodies are often very happy. With this new solo track, I would like to think ‘outside of the box’ and produce in a more flexible way.

We noticed that you are making very good use of vocals. You are doing this in a unique way like in “Paralytic”. How exactly do you accomplish these results and what are your thoughts about it?
Most of the work is done by feeling and automatism. Allthough, when I search vocals, I try to look for vocals with a nice lyric or an interesting flow, without being distracted by pitch and BPM of the source. For example, in “Crazy” I decided only to judge the vocal by its lyric and quality. When I found the perfect vocal, I auto-tuned it to the max, chopped it up and distorted it. This little experiment became the fundament of an EP title track I am very satisfied with. Most producers attach great importance to original and clean vocals, but I think it’s important to stay away from the original purpose of the vocal and make it yours.

We noticed that your productions improved throughout the years on Heart for Hard Records. How is the atmosphere within the label, where do you get your inspiration and how do you manage to continue innovating your music?
The atmosphere within the label is just perfect. The thing that’s very important to me, is that everybody is working on the same goal: creating beautiful experiences together and go to the top. Nobody is in it for the money or the attention. We help each other as much and good as possible to achieve these goals. Think about it: how much time will it take our designer to create such awesome covers for the artists? I am also working together closely with the label manager when it comes to the planning of a release. We discuss the initial approach, the first announcement, the release itself and finally a smashing end for the purpose of support and spreading the word.

My inspiration pops up at the most random moments. For example, the melody of “The Journey” occurred to me while I was brushing my teeth. At such moments, I have to rush to my smartphone and record myself whistling the melody. When I feel little inspiration for a long time, I listen a lot to tracks of Bioweapon, Toneshifterz (2010) and the album “Smack” by The Pitcher. This could be the reason why people think my style sounds like it’s from 2009. Strangely enough, I am not aware of this while producing my music.

Continue innovating is and has always been difficult, but I always try to strive for a better quality. To me, a better quality means more detail and complexity in effects for example. I remember and analyze where my old tracks lacked quality and I try to improve this in a new track. I am never satisfied, but this also makes me focus.

What does the future hold? This year you came up with two 3-track releases. Is there another release planned for this year and where can we find you?
For now, there’s a whole bunch of interesting collabs waiting for me. I am very excited to start working on those. I’m also working on the finishing touch of a new euphoric piece, my collab with Prefix & Density and the experimental solotrack I was talking about earlier.On the 4th of December 2015, I’ll be playing at the ‘FOCUS’ event at Lucky, Rijssen. Besides that, there’s an international booking coming up! I can tell you more about this very soon.

What’s the last hardstyle track that gave you goosebumps?
Blademasterz – Still Here. What a beautiful piece.

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