Already surging into their 4th guestmix of 2017, Spinnin’ Sessions is well known for providing listeners with a piping hot audio buffet of the freshest dance tracks from around the globe. And this week’s episode is no different, with a very special guest-mix from a man climbing the dance music ladder faster than any other, Oliver Heldens.
Kicking off with his very own latest single ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Home’, the 21-year old Dutchman’s mix is the kind of sprinkling of feel-good vibes many have come to expect from his live sets, with pepperings of Heldeep classic ‘Bunnydance’ and ‘WTF’, the collaboration between Sander van Doorn, and Oliver’s alias HI-LO.
The future house pioneer goes on to provide effortless transitions, launching into his 2013 breakthrough ‘Gecko’ and a smooth polished mash of Junior Jack‘s tropical floorfiller ‘E-Samba’ and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ between his very own remix of G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha‘s ‘Me, Myself & I.’
These kooky selections and mixes are just a small part of why the Heldeep master from Rotterdam has built such a loyal and fast-growing fanbase over the past few years. And we sat down with the man himself for an exclusive interview to discuss the growth that has seen him leap to #8 in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s poll in 2016, and what 2017 has in store for Oliver Heldens fans across the globe:
Your breakthrough initially came when Tiësto discovered your track which we now know as ‘Gecko.’ How long before that happened had you been producing, and putting music out there?
I had been producing for some time before Tiësto noticed me with “Gecko” as I used to send music to different labels and DJ’s, hoping that one day someone liked my music. I was quite shocked when Tiësto contacted me!
Many credit artists like yourself and Tchami with the birth of the ‘future house’ genre. What does that term mean to you? How do you categorize ‘Future House?’
I don’t really like to put my music into one genre because I want to be able to experiment and produce different styles – that’s why I also have my HI-LO alias. Although, I do understand that people see us as the pioneers when it comes to future house because we are bringing that sound to the main stages of festivals. It’s cool, I appreciate it but there’s a lot more to it.
What tips would you give to someone trying to break into the industry?
Stay true to a sound you created yourself. It’s important to have your own style of producing, because people will recognize the music. Also, never give up on pushing your tracks to DJ’s and labels. Don’t be afraid to put your tracks out there.
You are often hanging out with many other artists via your social media channels. What collaborations have you got in the pipeline right now?
Yeah it’s been fun to be able to hang out with so many talented artists, you learn a lot from them through just talking about their process and comparing that to what you usually do yourself. It’s amazing to hear all of their tips and tricks. I’m working on a lot of new music, gotta be ready for the summer season! I can’t give away too many details at the moment but definitely stay tuned!
Where do you see the dance music scene in 5 years? How do you think the sound will progress?
There’s been a revolution going on in electronic music lately and I think it’s a good thing. DJ’s are constantly reinventing themselves and this creates new sounds. You can also see the impact of future house right now and I’m curious to see how this will develop over the years.
Are there any talents you are tipping for a big breakthrough year in 2017?
That’s definitely Throttle. He’s such a creative guy. He came on stage to play some live guitar during my performance at Tomorrowland last year! Also, credit to AFSHeeN, and Steve James.
Your sound, and in particular many of the tracks on your Heldeep podcasts, often have a very retro disco feel to them. What is it about this style that you enjoy so much?
Disco is a legendary genre! When I was younger, my father used to keep all kinds of records at home. And at times we would play some of these records, which I really liked. I think I’ve got more into it over the years and now I like to implement it into my tracks.
Talking of Heldeep, you’re almost approaching the three year anniversary of your podcast first launching. How did the idea first come about for you to create this?
I just want every aspiring DJ to have a platform to put their music out there. I know how hard it can be for a DJ to get noticed in the beginning of your career. So this is really the general thought behind it.
You recently said that you now feel your sound is better suited to the main stages of festivals than it was a few years ago. What did you mean by this? How do you think your sound has evolved?
By this I meant that the sound of music has changed over the years. As I said before, everyone has witnessed the evolution of future house and this changed the mainstage music a bit. I just try to be myself and make jokes but I also like to dance with the crowd during my gigs.
You’ve often said you were inspired by the UK deep house scene. Did creating your HI-LO alias give you more of a chance to make this kind of music, compared to the sound people were used to with the ‘Oliver Heldens’ productions?
Of course! HI-LO is just me expressing myself in a different way of producing. I’ve always loved the UK underground/deep house vibe and HI-LO gives me this freedom.
Finally… What new things are you anticipating in 2017? How do you see yourself evolve in the year ahead?
Things will get better and better in 2017, because I’m planning to share so much new stuff with the world! I’m totally ready to take on this year!
Oliver Heldens’ new track “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” is out now on Heldeep Records, and you can listen to his fantastic Spinnin’ Sessions Episode 194 Guestmix below: