From mega hits from ‘Mysterias’ to ‘Electronic Symphony’ and from his own X-Qlusive and Thrillogy to the Qlimax anthem – in the more than 19 years that…
The rise of B-Front; a living legend
B-Front is known for his dark and compelling sounds. Every melody that he uses in his track carry his ‘signature’ sound. Every time you listen closely you’ll get carried away on a trip through B-Front‘s vision on Hardstyle. He is a true icon in the Hardstyle scene and will have his very own event in the legendary Heineken Music Hall this weekend.
It’s without a doubt that this man deserves his own X-Qlusive, but what did he have to go through to get where he is today? We decided to take a leap with him to take a look inside his not so ordinary life.
Bob, your first release as B-Front dates back to 2005. That’s almost eleven years ago. How and where did it all start for you?
It all started when I was about eight years old and my neighbor invited me into his studio. He asked my and my brother to sing for one of his records. He had a label and multiple studios inside his house. From the moment I walked into that building I knew I would love it and instantly wanted to make my own music.
I had a big interest in music and especially dance music. From there I started creating music on the PlayStation. I taught myself how it all works. If I listen to those files now certain things still work. It’s good to know that I already understood how it all worked back then. To believe I was only eight years old.
That lead to different software which helped me to learn more about other parts in producing, like sampling and working with sounds and synthesizers. I’ve always told myself that in order to achieve anything you need to work hard and put your heart into it.
It’s always nice to hear how things can turn for the better. When did you decide to go from hobby to job?
Well at that age it was still a hobby of course, but I still remember listening to events like Sensation Black in the deepest of night. I would always imagine that I stood there in front of the crowd. So you could say that the dream of becoming a performing DJ has always been present. Besides wanting to be a DJ I played football (soccer) which also consumed a lot of my time. I just liked being creative, because it gave me a lot of satisfaction. When I finally had my first release my thirst for more grew naturally.
The next goal was to perform at a big event. That lead to even bigger goals, but every goal helped me to keep on reaching for more. My final goal was to become a full-time DJ/producer and I did it!
Are there people close to you who didn’t approve of what you were doing? Perhaps they didn’t like you being in the studio all day and they would rather see you having a ‘real’ job, like some parents might say.
No I’ve always had my parents supporting me. The same goes for other people close to me. But I did have an angry neighbor who thought my music was too loud, haha!
At first my parents thought it was boom-boom-music, but that totally changed. They think the music is really cool and sometimes come to visit my gigs. They did however always tell me that I should finish my education, which I did. And I will always be thankful for that. If it was up to me I would have quit, but luckily I didn’t.
Did it take long before you were confident enough to play your own music or send it to labels?
Yeah that took a while. At one point you’re convinced that your music is good enough, but when I listen to those tracks now I’m sure it wasn’t good enough yet. Luckily I reached a point where the productions were ‘okay’. From that moment on I gained more confidence which ultimately lead to a release on DJS Recors.
To see my very own record on vinyl and to hear other DJ’s playing it is just awesome. The funny thing is that I sent my very first demo to Fusion. They rejected it back then. But later things all turned out for the better of course, haha!
Have there been any moments in your first years where you had any personal issues?
No, not that I can recall. There wasn’t as much pressure as there is now. There also wasn’t any social media back then and I just made whatever I felt like making. When I was around 23 years old that’s when I did experience some difficult times.
My career sky-rocketed and that resulted in a lot of tension. I started taking less care of myself and thought I knew it all. That’s when I met myself. But every upside has its downside. When I look back now I’m glad to have experienced those moments, because it taught me a lot about myself.
When did you choose to stop with everything and focus solely on your career as a Hardstyle artist?
After I finished my school I wanted to take a leap to find out what was possible. Those are choices that you make in life and sometimes you have to go the extra mile to get where you want to be. I was still young and had all the time in the world. It’s hard work, but eventually it’s very rewarding.
At that moment it’s a lot about finding your way in music, meeting the right people and making lots of music.
It’s clear that you don’t regret your choice, because we currently live in the year 2016 and you’ve accomplished so many things. You’re amongst the top of the Hardstyle scene and to top it all of you’ll have your very own X-Qlusive this weekend. How does that feel?
It feels amazing of course! I would never say these things about myself, so It’s great that you see it like that. I try to be modest and do what I enjoy doing most. Things turning out this way is something that you can only dream of. It’s amazing that I can do all of this.
People that know you a little know that you’re a real family person. How did they respond to the new and how did you tell them?
They were all extremely happy for me. I thought it was absurd and instantly called my girlfriend, who was also absolutely pumped. After that I called my parents and they responded the same. Everybody is very proud and the entire family will visit during the night to party as well.
That’s great to hear! And the line-up is really big as well. It looks like it’s a reflection of you and your career. Was it hard to come up with this formation?
No not at all haha. It took me about 30 minutes to write down this line-up. Unfortunately I couldn’t get everyone that I wanted, but this is already as big as it gets.
All three your live-acts, 2-Sidez, B-Frontliner and B-Freqz will be present on January 30. A dream come true for every fan. What can we expect from these live-acts, besides your Dutch hospitality?
Well it has been a while since 2-Sidez has performed on-stage. So we picked all the most known records that had the most impact on us.
B-Frontliner will play all the known tracks and latest records that we’ve made together. Hard and euphoric. And B-Freqz will be nothing but partying hard! The fun part is that both acts have distinct characteristics.
We’ve been seeing more and more news about 2-Sidez lately. Does this mean that you’re working on a secret comeback?
Well I’ve never excluded doing something together again. And now that the older Hardstyle is gaining in popularity again the demand for 2-Sidez automatically rises. But we’ll keep things very exclusive. We never released our records which keep the interest high. But I’m also very busy, so again if we’re going to do this it will be very exclusive.
Ever since your performance with Barry as B-Frontliner last year people have been wondering if all those tracks will get a release. Or will you keep them for the act?
They will be released, I promise! But we haven’t found the time to sit down and talk about our options. We’re both extremely busy at the moment. Luckily the demand is high, so just wait a little bit longer.
What can we expect from the special A2 set that you’re going to do with Adaro? We can smell a classic A2 set coming.
Adaro had another booking, so he couldn’t be programmed in the Roughstate part. But I did want to have Adaro there with me during my special night. That’s why we decided that Thijs (Adaro) will play records from that A2 era. Prepare for some heavy classics!
Let’s not forget Fusion, which has been your home for a long time. How does it feel to enter the stage with your former family again?
It feels awesome! It had always been my dream to join Fusion Records. So they immediately agreed when I asked them to join me during this night. Of course our ways have seperad, but we will always remain friends. And I’m still stationed there with my studio, so we see each other every week. They can’t be excluded from this night, because they’ve had a major impact on my career.
Given the fact that Roughstate, the label where you’re currently releasing your tracks, will also be present this Saturday, does that mean that you’ve planned a journey through time for your own X-Qlusive?
I’m going to try to play as much of my music as possible. I had my own Thrillogy area in 2011 and that was also a pain to play all my tracks. But, everything will turn out fine! I’ll make a great selection for this night. The rest of the artists are free to play whatever they want, but the sets will also contain some nice classics!
The theme of X-Qlusive B-Front is ‘Inner Conflict’. Does this reflect your personal life?
I believe everyone has had an inner conflict in his or her life. I’m kind of a relaxed person, but on-stage I’m bursting with energy. The music completely takes over. It’s not so much a personal thing, but more projected towards me as an artist. My music also has two sides. It’s dark, but also somewhat euphoric. It goes both ways.
With just a few days to go it’s almost time for the big moment. The event is completely sold-out! Why should no one be allowed to miss this?
Music is a feeling and this feeling will be well represented during this night. It will be all about enjoying yourself and a big blast of energy! It’s also a one-time thing, so you just have to be there.