The Blasterjaxx duo of Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf has been making waves throughout the Electronic Music industry over the past few years, releasing numerous hits that have been featured at festivals around the world and Beatport’s Top 10. We were lucky enough to chat with the Dutch duo to talk about their past, present, and future.
Starting off with some information about you guys, how did you two become a partnership? You both had your solo productions, but what caused the switch to join together?
It all started with Idir being a fan of me (Thom). Haha. It was just a coincidence that we met! We both made music and due to a mutual friend, we got in touch with each other. Decided to start some collabs together and we felt a very special chemistry while working together. That was the point where I asked Idir to join forces and the rest is history.
Obviously, you have had some big releases like Rocket, Fifteen, and Mystica, but is there one record that you are particularly proud of? Whether it is stylistically or due to the attention it received?
It may sound really cheesy, but we’re really proud of every single one of them. Each track has its own story and represents the true Blasterjaxx sound. We still play all the 3 you mentioned in our sets, and still today the crowd still goes nuts on them.
You two have skyrocketed in popularity over the past two years, hitting #13 in DJ Mag Top 100 in 2014 and #19 this past year, is there anything in particular that you two cite as being responsible for this growth?
We really don’t know what the X-factor is. But what I know is that we, together with our team, work really hard to follow our dreams. Idir and I make music that comes straight from our hearts. We put loads of work and effort in our tracks and live sets to make it as cool as possible.
Additionally, you are building your own record label, Maxximize Records, what launched that idea? Can you describe some of the work that you have had to do for getting that going?
Yes! It all started about 3 years ago when we were talking with Spinnin’ about a possible label for us/Blasterjaxx. It took a lot of negotiations and meeting to get both our noses the same direction and to finish agreements and paperwork but ended up presenting an amazing label!
Who are some of your greatest influences? Both within electronic music and outside of it?
We can’t really name one person who is our greatest influence. Within the electronic scene, we think all of our colleagues can have some influence on our tracks. However, we always combine this [their influences] with our own sound, of course. Outside the Electronic scene, we try and listen to a lot of different genres. We think Linkin Park and Daddy Yankee are really cool artists that are a great inspiration to us.
What are you plans for the future? Are there any upcoming releases that you can preview or discuss with us?
It took a while but we’re finally finishing new tracks. Right now, we are finishing like two tracks a week so we’re filling up the stack of new music! Coming up on Maxximize is our edit of ‘Get Ready’ by Boostedkids. This track is an absolute slammer and we’re blown away by all the great reactions on this tune.
Finally, you guys do a lot of traveling it seems, constantly playing all over the world. How do you make sure that you keep a balanced life, not only musically with productions, but enjoying life outside of the industry?
Since we found our way into the scene it has been a personal journey to find balance in your life. For Idir, it is being close to home, doing stuff with his girlfriend and family and playing piano. I really need to keep working out, taking my daily vitamins, being with my girl, but also not being home too long. This last may sound odd, but I like the adventure of traveling.
In addition to talking about their productions, both past and present, and their goals for their label, we wanted to discuss the one thing that is on our mind from Blasterjaxx, their upcoming Maxximize show in New York City, being held at the historic Hammerstein Ballroom on February 13th. We Rave You will be in the crowd that Saturday night and we couldn’t help but see if we could get a little information about the upcoming show…
Shifting to the MAXXIMIZE event, the Hammerstein Ballroom is obviously an iconic venue in New York City. Talk about your plans for the event. Any surprises up your sleeves? How much have you two been involved with the production?
Our plans remain secret… We don’t want to reveal too much for people in the crowd. We got plenty of surprises and many new Blasterjaxx tracks that will be premiered during that night! In all our Maxximize events are we fully involved! We discuss the visuals, stage-production, line-up, location, etc. We think it’s really important to stay involved if you want to give the people a real and genuine Blasterjaxx/Maxximize experience.
We are certainly excited for the show. Blasterjaxx will be bringing along a group of friends that is certain to provide the energy and make for a crazy night! The set times for the show are below and tickets are still available for purchase. We hope to see you there!