“I remember the night tropical house was created”- Sam Feldt opens up in exclusive interview
While only in his early twenties, Dutchman Sam Feldt has emerged as one of the most exciting artists of recent times. Ever since his release of the classic ‘Show Me Love’, which proved to be his definite claim to fame, he’s justified his talent through consistent quality releases since his breakthrough hit.
By now, Sam has played all around the world, sharing the stage with the biggest names in the industry. His sound is characterized by beautifully built melodies, loads of atmosphere and emotion packed in a tantalizing, often laidback groove. Amidst Ibiza residencies, massive festivals like Tomorrowland and forthcoming tours of Asia and the United States, Sam is loving every minute of the DJ life. The Dutchman is keeping himself busy with the popular Heartfeldt Radio shows which have collectively amassed over half a million streams online, as well as his collaborative release alongside Lucas & Steve for ‘Summer On You’ which is currently dominating the charts.
We Rave You got the exclusive opportunity to chat to the Dutch hit-maker at the spectacular Exit Festival in Serbia where he revealed all about his start in music and the origin of tropical house. We couldn’t resist but compliment Sam on the successful 2016 he has had and he gladly looked back at some of his fondest memories of the year:
“I think my biggest highlight would be Coachella. That was really really epic to be able to play there. The whole tent was completely full. Even though it was an afternoon slot everyone went really crazy. Ultra also. I’m just naming the gigs that stood our for me. I’ve just played at Balaton Sound which was huge. Also Electric Love – I’m in the middle of such a busy summer. I can’t even keep track anymore. Really excited for this as well – Exit festival. I think it’s the biggest festival in Eastern Europe so yeah I’m excited. Ibiza a couple of times – too many to name but it’s a great summer.”
With tracks like the massive ‘Summer on You’ with Lucas & Steve, Sam is just as successful as part of collaborations as he is on his own. We asked the Dutchman if we can expect any more in the future – especially with fan favorite Felix Jaehn.
“We haven’t got a collaboration planned yet. Who knows in the future. The next one is going to be with Deepend – the guys that remixed Matt Simon’s ’Catch and Release’ and that one turned out really well. It’s coming out at the end of August. We have a new one coming up with Cheat Codes. There’s a bunch of collaborations coming, a new EP coming at the end of the year so a lot of new music in the works.”
Sam’s music evolution is one that many would not be familiar with. After achieving success as a tropical house artist it’s surprising to hear that his music direction was quite different in the beginning:
“I used to play and produce commercial big room stuff under a different name. I did that for 3 years and saw that it didn’t work out so Sam Feldt was like a side project just for myself, my friends and family – making mixtapes that I wanted to hear in my car. Made one record the first time – it’s called Alien – it’s up on my Soundcloud. Wasn’t really expecting a reply – after one or two hours they came back to me and said ‘We really like the record’ and it rolled from there. I think the Sam Feldt sound has evolved over the past two years. Going from only chillout to a mix of chill emotional songs to a bit more up tempo songs because I need to play them live as well. I think it’s a good mix between tropical house and progressive house and bringing that to the main stage.”
The popularity of the tropical house genre has been nothing short of phenomenal. We asked the star about his thoughts on whether the electro bigroom sound has been exhausted and he delved into an interesting topic: the origin of tropical house:
“I think people are always looking for new styles of music and also tropical house if that’s what you want to call it – it’s evolving. So is progressive house and so is deep house. That’s the beauty of music. You can’t pinpoint a genre – it’s changing and evolving. I still remember the night that tropical house was created. Thomas Jack was doing a show in Oslo and I was in Amsterdam. I told him ‘What are you up to? Come to Amsterdam’ and he booked a flight and we partied the next day. And he told me ‘We’re all making the same music but there’s no real name for it. How do you feel about calling it tropical house? And I was like ‘That’s quite a catchy name’. So we went home and changed all our Soundcloud descriptions to tropical house and that’s actually how the whole thing got started. So then we adapted and called everything tropical house – I don’t even like the word anymore. That’s how it got started. It just blew up. I’m not a big genre guy. I want to make everything ranging from 100 to 130 bpm and I just call it Sam Feldt music and when people hear that it’s my music.”
After numerous versions of the classic ‘Show me love‘ we would assume that the task was a daunting one as Sam took on the challenge. It seems as though the situation was quite different – serendipitous in fact:
“It was never my idea to do a re-work of ‘Show me love’. I just stumbled upon this great vocal online by Kimberly Anne – she was doing a cover in her bedroom of that track. But it could have been any other track. It wasn’t like I was going into the studio to re-work ‘Show me love’. It was something that naturally happened so there was no pressure. I didn’t even know if it was going to come out because it’s a long way you have to walk before a track comes out. So no pressure and that’s what made it work. Because otherwise you might want to re-create something that’s already done or you want to aim for clubs so I was like ‘Let’s make a song and make it beautiful and that’s what I did.”
Beautiful indeed. So much more to look forward to from the young hit-maker. Check out a short video which is a taste of what we got to experience as we were lucky enough to share the stage with Mr Feldt at Exit Festival: