Dutch producer Sander van Doorn is a busy man. Both his label and his productions are doing very well and he still is one of the leading producers in the EDM-scene. With these achievements, you also get more obligations. Isn’t it hard to deal with that?
Van Doorn sees this as a challenge. “Of course I have my own label, I produce my own tracks, plan the future myself and I have my own radioshow. It can be hard to combine everything in the right way, but luckily I’ve got a strong team to help me with my label. Still, I must do many things myself and it is a big challenge to deal with this in the right way.”
That’s not just it for Van Doorn, who headlines many big festivals and makes people travel the world just to see him. The question is, isn’t hard to stay focused and recharge for the next event?
Van Doorn answers firmly: “For me it’s not that hard to get ready for a new festival or party. Every country and even every city has its own charm, so it’s interesting and fun to see so many different places and audiences. Everything is different every time, which makes it very interesting to do.”
The fact that he’s such a busy man, is the result of the achievements he reached in the past and in the present. The worldhits, international tours, high rankings in DJ-competitions, a huge fan base, they all show us that Sander van Doorn is one of the most successful producers of all time. With all these achievements, what more does he want to accomplish?
“The most important for now is to continue doing this for at least 10 years. I also want to produce even more tracks, support and help younger artists with my label and after my producing career I might want to join a label, to help young and upcoming artists. At this moment, they are developing in a strong way, which is a positive sign.”
At the moment, more and more young and talented producers are coming up. This also brings some negative views, especially about EDM. Ghostproducers, the same sounds, these are just a few opinions about the development of the genre. Of course van Doorn is familiar with these critics, but he doesn’t see it as something negative.
“I create my own music and I’m proud of that, because dj’ing is a tough job at itself. I think EDM will change again soon, it will be more musical. The basis is strong already, so it will be no problem for the new guys to adapt to the new style. Who the future leaders will be? I think of Martin Garrix, DVBBS and Firebeatz. They’re enormously creative and always deliver strong productions.”
Talking about the new leading artists, we wonder who needs to be watched in the future, according to Sander van Doorn. Besides the earlier mentioned Garrix, DVBBS and Firebeatz, he also adds Dubvision and Oliver Heldens to the list.
“I love the Dubvision style, they always deliver something special and fresh. Heldens is bringing something new and with the Deep House music, we can see the same trend in the nineties. People were looking for something different as well and Hardcore came up more and more. The same can be said about Deep House now; it differs from EDM and that appeals to the people.”
The fact that young producers are so popular and famous after a huge hit worldwide doesn’t appeal to anyone. Van Doorn disagrees with this view:
“It is very positive to see how the young artists are doing right now. I came up in a completely different way and it was a long process to become a bigger name. I do think it’s very important that young producers get the right coaching from their management and create their own music. Because if you are 18 years old and already use a ghostproducer, you can’t deny you’re doing something completely wrong. As long as talents join the right management that can help them further, I see it as a positive development.”
During the interview Van Doorn shows his knowledge and experiences in the scene in a very relaxed and enthusiastic way. He lights his cigarette and calmly listens to the questions. When I ask him about his favorite track, he immediately answers.
“Riff” is in my eyes the best track I’ve created. What I find very important is the process of creating the track. In fact, a track is never completely finished, it can always be improved. It’s also important to be able to leave aspects that aren’t essentially needed in the track. You’ll see that many drops are quite dry; they’re not filled with annoying effects that distract you from the actual climax. Lately I also created a track with my own vocal in it. The small things can make or break your track.”
Even though Van Doorn is a very experienced producer, it doesn’t mean his productions take less time to be created.
“Producing takes even longer than before. In the past I created my tracks digitally, but now I’m focusing more on the analog approach. In that way I’m working on a track much longer than before, but it also sounds way more smooth and tight.”
Now we’ve taken a look at his past, the future of EDM and the productions, but what about the future of Sander van Doorn and his label?
“Doorn Records is totally booked till May with releases. During last ADE we had a special label night in Amsterdam and we’re now focusing on expanding the reach of the label. We have planned a night during the Ultra-weekend and we’re also trying to get the label night to countries as Argentina. There are also many tracks coming this year. For example the one I mentioned before, with my own vocal, but also a collab with Firebeatz. We are definitely not slowing down!”
Label boss JoeySuki released his original known as “Aftermovie” on his own Dubbed Records label last month. He was able to gain the support of Tom Swoon, Jewelz & Scott Sparks, and Bingo Players in recent weeks. Now a month removed from the release, the remix package for “Aftermovie” is here. The remixes have come in from Matt & Kendo, Jonathan Pitch, and Cazler. These three tunes will be available on the very same Dubbed Records label on May 5.
The Matt & Kendo remix is quite a funky tune. The Dubbed Records veterans bring in tempo, melody, and vocal sample from the original is maintained, but the drop takes a sort of deep house turn to it. Even still, the drop packs a punch on the dancefloor. Jonathan Pitch brings in his signature electro sound for his remix. This remix has a big-room influence, and that combined with the electro sound he brings is full of energy and serves a huge peak-time track. For the house fans, Cazler brings in a slower deep house take. A few BPM’s slower and a funky deep bassline pulls this remix together.
The remixes from Matt & Kendo, Jonathan Pitch, and Cazler will be out on May 5. Enjoy!
Ok California! Hard Summer 2014 just released its line up and, as always, its ridiculous! On August 2nd and 3rd the likes of Jack U, Tiësto, Disclosure, Dillon Francis, Nero, Seth Troxler, Martin Garrix, Maya Jane Coles, Chase & Status, just to name a few, will grace the 5 stages of the annual festival held in Los Angeles, CA. The 18+ event is sure to be an amazing event with music choices from groovy beats to heavy hitting bass. Hard is known for bringing in amazing talent and having unbelievable production so buy a ticket today!
Not very long ago you were in the same spot as Julian Calor and Joey Dale, so how does it feel to now be their mentor and in what ways do you help them?
I think it’s great, I mean my career is blowing up so fast now and I’m very thankful for that. It’s just weird to see how fast things are changing and it’s just great to be a mentor for them.
How do you plan your sets and do you always mix live?
I’ve been mixing for 11 years now so for me I feel like I’m always on automatic mode. I never plan my sets I always go with the flow, I always look at the crowd and try to determine what will work best in that moment. It’s all about timing for me. I keep the CDJs on CDJ mode all the time, never on vinyl. I mean sometimes I use vinyl mode to backspin or to scratch, but mainly for me it’s about interacting with the crowd. It’s all about playing that certain song at just the right moment. That’s the most important thing.
Can you describe what it was like to play that B2B2B set at Ultra? That must have been incredible.
It was incredible. It wasn’t planned of course, so for me it was a big surprise, but in the end it was the best thing that could have happened. I only had 10 minutes left of my original set because of the weather; they were going to shut down the whole place. Dyro was supposed to go on and he was like no we’re going to do this together and then Hardwell came on the mic and he just hyped up the place and the whole stage just filled up with people. It was way over capacity and it was just great.
Do you have big collaborations or any big tracks coming out that you think fans will be excited about?
Well I just released my new track with Bright Lights, “Dear Life”, and that a was a really hard track for me to make. I had actually finished the instrumental of that track in November of last year and I sent it out to some vocalists, but Heather just killed it. There’s just nothing else you can say about it, she just killed it. I was nervous about having her on the record at first because Hardwell and Dyro had already done tracks with her and I didn’t want to be a copycat, but she nailed it and that’s why she’s on the track. I have a like 4 or 5 new tracks coming out on Revealed soon though that are really great including a new collab with Merk & Kremont. They’re super young, talented guys that also make progressive house and electro, but with a groovy twist. I also have a collaboration with Dyro coming out soon which is about 90% finished now and I’m super happy with that one. We’re actually gonna play that one tonight and I’ll give you guys a little inside scoop; all three of us (Hardwell, Dyro, Dannic) are actually working on a track on the bus right now.
Since you tour so much it must be hard to get studio time. How do you produce your tracks most of the time?
I use Ableton for my mashups, edits, and for my radio show, but for everything else I use Logic. I’ve taught myself to produce on the road, but I can’t finish anything without being in the studio. I need my studio monitors, I need my hardware, UID software, and stuff that I use for compression and EQ. What I can do on the road is basically get down my demos and my sketches and then once I get home I finish up the track.
Any interesting stories about yourself?
(Laughs) what do you wanna know? I actually released my first ever web series called Front of House TV where I give people more insight into my personal life and my DJ life. I get the feeling that people don’t actually know me yet, because they only see the DJ and the producer. There’s much more to me than that though. There’s always a different side to the DJ thing, people always always romanticize it you know? They’re like “Oh you travel the world, you’re always partying”, but there’s always a downside. I miss my family a lot, my friends. I’m really a social guy, I need my friends everywhere and that’s why I’m really excited about this kind of tour because I’m actually playing with my friends and having fun.
Can you describe how it’s different playing with Dyro and Hardwell compared to playing with people that are maybe just your colleagues and not close personal friends?
I can get along with a lot of people, but we’re all very close. There are a lot of Dutch DJs that I know from back in the day and we all started off at similar times, but it’s just different playing and touring with your best friends. I can share all my private things with them and everything and that’s not something I want to do with someone I only know as a colleague. Of course we’re talking and we’re having fun, but it’s not like I can share my problems or my tips and tricks. We try to keep that stuff in the family (laughs).
What was the moment when you felt like you made it?
The most important moment in my whole career was when I quit my day job as a marketing manager. One of the main reasons was that my family was really supportive about my decision. They all know me very well obviously and they thought that I had the talent to make it big. They really encouraged me to follow my dreams and they said you can always go back to being a marketing manager, but you’re going to regret it if you don’t take this step. That’s something that I’m super thankful for, but I’m also thankful for Hardwell. That guy is very supportive of me and he’s also one of my best friends. That’s not the main reason he helped me though, if I didn’t deliver there’s nothing he could do to help me. I’m just really thankful for his support though and I think we all do a great job of supporting each other on the Revealed label. It’s good to be around friends with the same goals.
Deadmau5 has criticized many artists for making mainstream tracks and he made fun of Martin Garrix by dropping his own edit of “Animals” at Ultra. What’s your opinion on your music becoming mainstream? You’re sound appeals to a really wide variety of people, but is this something you want or do you want to stay in the niche of EDM?
Everyone’s always talking about mainstream music, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s been there forever, in the Netherlands dance music has been big for over 20 years, it’s always been on the radio. I always try and come up with my own unique sound within EDM. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mainstream music and I laugh at Deadmau5 for playing that “Animals” edit. I like “Animals”, that track is just cool. He’s just a little bit weird (laughs), so he can do that. I’m not offended by that, I just make music that I like and it’s just great that people like it as well. I’m not going to stop making music I love because some people think that makes me less credible. I just make music that I like.
Have you ever though about producing Top 40 music or for someone that is truly a pop artist like DJ Snake did with Lady Gaga?
Yeah I actually have had some requests about that from big labels and from big artists. At this point in time though it’s really important for me to focus on my career and on my production, but in the future that’s something I would love to do. I would love to produce a hip-hop track or just something totally different. I think it’s really cool to think out of the box and to come up with different styles of music.
He’s only 1/2 of his way through his massive Worlds Apart North American Tour, but Seven Lions has just announced his “Worlds Apart EP,” which is due to be out April 29th. The EP has 5 songs on it, including his massive collaboration with Myon & Shane 54 and Tove Lo, “Strangers.” The short, minute long video paired with “Strangers” is an interesting one. It is constantly changing, possibly hinting at the songs on the album. I’m excited to see what this EP has to offer, and you should be too.
Check out the preview video for Seven Lions EP, Worlds Apart below and enjoy!
Few can smash the stages with as much energy and big tunes as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Martin Garrix can. The Belgian duo that hit #6 on the DJ Mag Top 100 chart has been one of the highest-demanded acts of the year already, and the 17-year-old solo artist rocked Ultra Music Festival for the first time in his career. These European big-room titans have come together after months of speculation for “Tremor,” a huge tune that has now been named the Sensation 2014 Anthem. “Tremor” has enough energy to get just about any crowd up on its feet, going hard with absolutely no regrets. It does this through one of the most powerful basslines and kicks of 2014, and razor sharp synth leads. This tune’s power is obvious, especially since it was played by Diplo, Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Hardwell, and plenty more through out the weeks that have passed since Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike debuted the track during their set at the DJ Mag Awards party in Amsterdam during ADE. All in all, “Tremor” brings the power and sound one would expect from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Martin Garrix. “Tremor” is available for purchase now on Beatport, so grab a copy of this banger and enjoy!
Spinnin’ Records - SP831 | Buy “Tremor (Sensation 2014 Anthem)” here.
With his Chromeo remix and his album due out soon, Dillon Francis gives us something for free to keep us wanting more. He releases his remix of Daft Punk‘s classic “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” that he debuted this year at Ultra Music Festival. He puts an amazing trap flip on an already amazing song. I’m a huge fan of Dillon Francis‘ versatility as a producer, when he’s able to make songs like “Set Me Free” (His collab with Martin Garrix which will be out on his album) and his rebirth of “Without You” with TEED.
It’s an amazing remix that he was kind enough to give out for free, so show him some love and get your copy now. Take a listen to the whole song below and enjoy!
Audien returns to Anjunabeats with another amazing track, this one called “Hindsight.” You can definitely Audien‘s trancy sound in this one, I love how versatile of a producer he is, one song can be trance and they next a banging electro house tune. This song features those classic massive Audien trance chords over the melody and the drop as well as some mellow strings and piano at the beginning of the intense melody. “Hindsight” is the definition of an Audien song utilizing all of his distinct sounds into an absolutely amazing song.
“Hindsight” is out now on Anjunabeats, so make sure you get yourself a copy. Take a listen to the song below and enjoy!
Italian duo Merk & Kremont created quite some buzz last week. They previewed two big tracks and showed once again their amazing talent. During the years they have developed their own unique and grinding style and even though Merk & Kremont-track does sound different, the basic vibe always has the same big elements. It brought the Italian duo further with every production and they slowly became a bigger and bigger name in the scene. It’s now time for a new track, ‘Amen‘, that got released today on Size Records.
I mentioned it before, the Merk & Kremont guys have their own unique style that became their trademark. The grinding sound is also part of this climax, that gets introduced perfectly by the little mystifying and sweeping break. The break rocks and grooves like we’re used to from this duo and it keeps on increasing in power towards the climax. The drop is insane, filled with power and bouncing tunes. All the elements together make this track a new Merk & Kremont banger, that has everything it needs to become successful!
Sometimes you see collaborating producers and immediately get the feeling, this must result in a big track. This was exactly the feeling when I heard of this new Disco Fries & Loopers production. Both American duo Disco Fries and Dutch producer Loopers have made their mark during the years and their last team up with Tommie Sunshine was an instant banger. Now they do it together with ‘Exposure’, released on Powerhouse Music.
Before the release, I didn’t hear much about this track. When I saw it entering my release list in Beatport, I knew we could expect something big. The basis of the track is a very recognizable and catchy melody, that builds up perfectly towards the heavy, grinding Electro House drop. It sounds like a very musical blender and it’s a good tune to rave on during the whole night!
Powerhouse Music | BEATPORT