Hard News
By Hard News

Kaiser-T, or Tiago Castro, is a Portuguese Hardstyle artist from Lisboa. He started out playing Techno & Tech House as his learning was almost all made in underground clubs such as Kremlin Lx.  In 2012, the most important achievement of his career happened when he won the Portuguese Movida Corona Dj Competition, and went to Sweden to represent Portugal alongside other 21 European finalists and Fedde Le Grand.  Being signed to Hard Music Records in the summer of 2016, his sound is really to be heard all across the world. That’s why we thought it was time to ask him some questions and ask if he’s ready to face the future.

Hi Tiago, thanks for your time.
Hey guys! Thank you for inviting me, it’s a pleasure to speak to Hard News.”

How and when did you start listening to Hardstyle?
I think somewhere around 2009, and it was actually just scrolling through youtube, when I saw a video of The Viper’s set at Decibel Outdoor playing his ‘Come as One’ edit, after that I’ve looked to other dj’s on the same festival and I found Headhunterz with a video playing ‘Megasound’, and I instantly got addicted on the hard scene!”

When did you first decide that you wanted to be a Hardstyle artist?
It was actually on the end of 2015 that I really felt like I needed to go and chase my Hardstyle dream. Until that date I was an EDM dj and producer, but it never fulfilled me like Hardstyle does nowadays, even with less gigs and less crowds to play for in my country.”

Did you first start as a DJ or as a producer, and why?
I started as a DJ, at the age of 15. As you state in the intro, I learned most of it in Kremlin Lx watching my good friend Oscar Baia (Big Techno Dj in Portugal). I got in love with all of the atmosphere around it and the way people responded to his feelings shared trough music. Since the first time I saw it, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Producing came only when I was 20… I really wanted to learn and to share my feelings trough music with people, and this was made possible mostly because of one of my greatest friends DJ Bruno F, he was the one that took his time and patience to stay with me in his studio teaching me the basics.”

How do you describe your sound?
”I don’t like to label my sound euphoric or raw, I love and produce Hardstyle. As you can see for ‘Stand Up’ it’s a mix of both sides. I think my sounds is described by what I’m feeling at the moment I’m creating, and for the message I want the track to have.”

What do you want to tell people with your music?
I want to share my feelings, whether it’s something happier or rougher, I want to make music that people can relate to.”

Do you have any hobbies besides music?
I work with a wedding company, I’m the Dj of some venues on those weddings, this is kind of my second music job haha. And then my hobbies are mostly things I can do with my friends, like football or going to the beach.”

Hardstyle in Portugal

We’ve heard of artists from Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, but not so much from Portugal.

How is the scene over there, also compared to The Netherlands?
Compared to the NL? It’s like comparing an ant to an elephant haha. Nowadays it’s virtually nonexistent. We have a small group on Facebook where I can see some true fans, but we are merely 100 active people.”

How is it to be a Hardstyle DJ in a country with such a small scene?
”It’s hard, in terms of gigs and recognition of the tracks, because even if there’s interest for something new, Hardstyle ends up being a little too hard for some crowds around here. But there is being more and more support by the Portuguese music networks, and we can see some development in the last months with more and more people sharing and listening to our stuff.”

Have you ever thought about moving to The Netherlands?
I’d be lying if I said no. But it’s not on my mind right now.”

Which events are your favorite, and have you visited them?
Tough question, they are a lot haha! From the one’s I visited Defqon.1, Qlimax and Tomorrowland are definitely my favorites in their way. But I have to include Intents, Decibel and Hard Island on this list of favorites.”

What is your best festival memory?
I have lots, but having to choose I’d definitely go for Tomorrowland 2013. The first time I had the chance to go to a Hardstyle stage, Wildstylez playing in some HEAVY rain, and me and my friends (we were like 20, and there was almost nobody in the crowd due to the weather) were all in by the bars in absolute euphoria!”

Hard Music Records

You have joined the Hard Music Records label.

How did this all start?
It’s actually a fun story! I had ‘Stand Up’ instrumental finished, and was looking for some feedback of pro guys and from some label A&R’s, since them both are the one’s that are most qualified to give me some harsh constructive tips my friends couldn’t. And HMR actually gave me that feedback and in the end they just told me – “We could actually release this when it’s finished!”. I couldn’t believe since it’s my first full Hardstyle original track, but we ended up doing it!”

Can you describe the HMR family feeling?
It’s amazing! All the guys from the label are 100% available to help me with everything they can… And we talk about various themes, I think we’ve really became a family in some way! I actually never felt so “supported” in my career than I do now with them.”

And does your own personality fit within this label?
I think I’m like one of the family kids haha. Full of dreams and hopes and always trying to learn from the big guys! This of course means I’m one of the label clowns too hahahah.”

HMR is a Austrian label, how do you keep in touch with the other guys?
Nowadays I think that’s definitely not a boundary anymore… We have Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype… I just need to have attention to the difference in time.”


What is your ultimate goal, your dream?
I have some big goals… First of all I want to be able to make people feel my music and my message, as we all want… Another goal is to make Portugal a Hardstyle loving country, I don’t need it to be like the NL but to actually have a scene here and to be able to have some legends playing on the festivals and clubs here.
As for the dream… call me crazy but it’s pretty simple – Closing Defqon.1 with my anthem!”

Could you tell us about new music that you’re working on at the moment?
”At the moment, I have some bootlegs and a fresh collab on which I already gave a peak to the fans on my networks… Can’t give you much more details about it! Just that it’s going to be a big milestone for me! I’m also working on a new original track on which I’m trying to include a Portuguese singer for it, and I have some scheduled collabs with HMR guys bound to happen! Just wait for it!”

What can we expect from you in the near future?
You can be sure to ear from me in the short term! New tracks, and if all goes well, some gigs are coming!”

Perhaps Event promoters are reading this, why should they book you?
I’m fully driven to what I’m doing while I’m Djing, I put all of my heart into my sets and to what I have to say to the crowd with my music. My feelings come out, and I try to get them to reach each and every heart that it’s in front of me.”

Any last words for your fans?’
”Well I just want to thanks everybody for the amazing support in 2016, getting my first track to the top30 of Hardstyle.com was all because of you guys! I feel blessed to be part of this family that is the Hard Scene, and I’ll do my best to stay here for years to come.”

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