Hardstyle DNA – known for the largest harder styles festival in Scandinavia – is about to start a new two-day happening. This weekend, the Norwegian organization goes…
The new euphoric talent from Norway: Refuzion
Norway isn’t a country that is famous for his deep love of Hardstyle music, but things are changing. Da Tweekaz are the number one reason for the growth of hardstyle in Norway, but there is a new kid in town. His tracks are getting really good support by the big names in the Hardstyle scene and that’s because of his euphoric and emotional style. We are talking about Refuzion. A young and talented dj from Norway. We had an interview with Benjamin Sahba, that’s his real name, about his everyday life, his gig at Defqon.1 Festival and his future plans.
Benjamin, first of all thank you for this interview. You are a young and talented producer. Could you tell us something about yourself?
Thank you! And thanks for having me. My name is Benjamin Sahba, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Norway where I also live at the moment.
What are your hobbies besides producing music?
When I’m not working in the studio I like going to the gym, hanging out with friends and spending time with my girlfriend. I’m not really the type that sits inside the studio all day, I don’t get inspired by that. I have to get outside the house and be social.
How were you at school?
I’ve done well in school so far; I just started my studies for a bachelor in Music Technology four months ago. Even though my focus has been shifted more towards music than school, my grades have been good.
How do your friends describe you?
I think my friends would describe me as the funny guy, I love joking around and I don’t really take my self too seriously.
If we had to wake you up with food, what food do you prefer at that moment?
Hmm that’s a tricky one! I got to admit I’m a sucker for junk food, kebab, burger, pizza, you name it. If I had to choose one that would probably be the burger though, nothing like a really good burger!
The introduction of Refuzion into Hardstyle
How did you came in touch with Hardstyle and what did it do to you?
Actually a friend showed me hardstyle, he goes under the name Digital Mindz and is also signed at Dirty Workz. I knew him through YouTube before I knew what hardstyle was, and he later introduced me to it. I had never heard anything like it so I found it really interesting. I think this was back in 2009.
What made you decide to produce Hardstyle?
I instantly fell in love with the unique sounds and high energy, I was already producing for a year so I could hear how complex it was. I think I just immediately started to (at least tried to) produce hardstyle after I first heard it, and I’ve been doing it since.
Hardstyle is a upcoming genre in Norway. How is the Hardstyle scene in Norway nowadays?
The hardstyle scene in Norway is really small but also really dedicated. It’s far from as popular as it is in Holland, we probably have around 3-4 hardstyle parties each year. But the cool thing about having such a dedicated scene is that people come from all over the country for each party, and the crowd is always good!
Da Tweekaz are from Norway as well and are currently very popular in the scene. Do they inspire you and how did they do it?
Da Tweekaz really inspire me because they started with nothing and now they have built such a huge, dedicated fan base. They have their own gimmick (the ducks) and are unique with both their image and music. And I also have to appreciate all the support and help they’ve given me!
How would you describe your style of music?
I would describe my style of music as very euphoric, emotional and energetic. I love big euphoric melodies that bring out as much emotion as possible. I think music is all about emotions and feelings, and I want people to feel something more than just a heavy kick or catchy screech when listening to my music. I want my music to be enjoyable even when you’re sitting at home listening to it on your laptop, you don’t have to be at a party to enjoy it.
You’re quite new to the scene, how come that your videoclips are watched so much?
Well to be honest I’m asking myself that very same question. Before I did “Without You” my tracks didn’t really get any good amount of views on YouTube, but with that one it just went far beyond my wildest expectations. If you told me one year ago that it would reach 800 000 views I would never believe you, haha! I think also that the tracks I’ve done video clips for have been my best tracks so far, and people like good music so that might be one of the reasons. I’ve also noticed that video clips generate a lot more attention than just the still image preview videos, so a good tip to all producers out there who wants to generate more views and general attention on their music, is to invest in a decent video clip.
We’ve seen that your track ‘Without You’ has received massive support. What does all the support do to you?
The support has been overwhelming and I think it’s been a bit surreal to have so many people enjoy and support your music, it’s something I didn’t expect to ever experience when I started out with music.
Your first big gig was at Defqon1. Festival, how was it to play at the Walhalla of Hardstyle festivals?
Defqon 1. was probably one of my best gigs to date, even though I played the smaller talent stage (Purple), the tent was packed with people and everyone that came to see me was a fan who knew my music. It’s an amazing feeling when you’re playing your own tracks and everyone sings along to the lyrics or melody. It’s also amazing to meet people who have travelled from different parts of the world just to hear your music. Big ups to Q-dance for giving me this opportunity!
How has this helped your career?
I think it helped my career in more of a motivational manner, I felt motivated to work harder on my music to persuade my goals after playing at Defqon, and in general just visiting the festival. One of my biggest goals would be to play the main stage one day!
Do you have collabs planned at the moment?
I do have a few planned with some really cool artists, might give more info on that on a later date!
What are your future plans in Hardstyle?
Next year I’m doing a lot more gigs and it will help me get my face and identity out there, I think this is the next important step in my career. I don’t really have any long term plans as it’s difficult to plan ahead when anything can happen, but I do have some for next year.
Are you planning to move to the Netherlands (The Capital of Hardstyle) in the future?
I’m actually considering moving to Holland for a month or two next year to experience what it’s like. In terms of a permanent move, let’s see what the future brings!