Tell us a little bit about how you got started DJing. Who was your biggest inspiration?
I first started playing out in local venues in Breda, my sound wasn’t as refined then though. I remember being inspired by fellow Dutch guys including Fedde Le Grand and thinking “I want to take this route and make it my own”, and so I started producing house music and pushing the progressive sound I knew I had to offer.
Will this be your first time in Hong Kong? Is there anything that you are looking forward to doing or seeing in particular?
I have played in Hong Kong before, my new years eve show was a highlight! It’s always a pleasure to return to China, amazing culture, food and the crowds over here are something special…
How do you feel that DJing and producing has changed over the last few years?
I feel like a lot more younger artists are coming through which can only be a good thing but we do need to support quality, not quantity. That’s why artists such as Martin Garrix and Oliver Heldens are doing do well, they’ve worked on their sound and they’re still only in the early stages of their career. It seems like house and it’s offshoots – tropical house, deep house etc – is the direction that most new producers are taking. There is something different that takes hold every few years in dance and with this, it’s not diluting anyone else’s work and it’s amazing to see the next generation getting excited and involved like never before.
What was your favourite memory of 2015 so far and what do you have planned for 2015?
So far this year, I’d have to say when I played 6 shows in 24 hours for Kingsday at home in the Netherlands! Crazy but fun and such a huge sense of national pride! I have a massive festival season ahead of me with shows all over Europe and of course, I’m looking forward to heading back out to Ibiza for the madness of the White Isle. That and lots of new productions in the works, I’m constantly working on new solo material, mash-ups and remixes and I’m hungry to let them out the bag this year!
What can we expect from your upcoming performance at W Hotel / Electric Wonderland Hong Kong?
I’m looking forward to returning to Hong Kong! Expect high-energy, big beats and a lot of love for the Chinese crowd, I just know they’re going to bring it!
Aside from your DJ equipment, name your top three touring essentials.
- My trusty Sennheiser headphones - which isn’t strictly DJ equipment if I’m locked into them on the plane!
- A load of Dannic merchandise to bring the good vibe to the fans and to get everyone really involved. Wherever they are in the world, I like to think my logo carries universal - a fan in Asia might not be able to speak the same language as someone in Spain, but if they’re both working the Dannic caps or tees together, then that speaks volumes.
- Beers of course! I save the healthy stuff and detoxing for when I return home!
What is the weirdest thing that you’ve seen from the DJ booth?
There are too many to mention! Body parts, lost clothing – I’m sure you can imagine! Although one of the weirdest venues I’ve played in had to be New York on our North American Bus Tour – there was stories of the Niagara venue being haunted but we just thought these were rumors to scare us – until the power started cutting out unexplained… Creepy!
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
Have a beer and soak up the good vibes!
Who in your opinion are the best up-and-coming producers at the moment?
Tom & Jame and Mydo.
If you weren’t a DJ/Producer what would you be doing?
I would still be working in the music industry in one form or another, there is no doubt about that – I’m Dutch and so electronic music is practically in my blood!
What tracks/ projects can we look forward to in the upcoming months?
I have a new collab with Hardwell called ‘Survivors’ that we dropped at Ultra Miami for the first time, I’m also working on some new solo material – I always am working even when on the road but the travel and touring bug is what really has bitten me. I’m looking forward to Vegas for EDC – the Summer is only just getting started!
What would be your dream collaboration?
I’d love to collaborate with someone(that) people wouldn’t necessarily pair me with – I’m a huge fan of John Legend, and in the electronic world, I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with great names like Shermanology and Lucky Date – but on the to-do list is definitely a collaboration with Fedde, I’d love that!