Deeparture shares his inspiration, goals and tips on our latest Hot & Current: Exclusive
“Not everyone in the scene enjoys this but it’s a trend that suits me well,” says Deeparture on what’s current on the scene right now.
Deeparture is our special guest at the last Hot & Current of the season. Deeparture is the stage name of Dominique Vijverberg, a musical prodigy hailing from Amsterdam. Born into a cradle full of musical notes, he let music guide his path. Today he walks the streets of melodic techno, but his influences span several genres. His creativity in the studio and his energy on stage have captivated more and more music lovers and artists alike. Above & Beyond, Black Coffee, Hernan Cattaneo, Mind Against, Eelke Kleijn, Lane 8, Yotto, Nora En Pure, Sasha, Guy Mantzur, Nick Warren, Guy J, Kryder, and Joris Voorn are some of the names that have supported Deeparture’s productions. We Rave You wanted to know more about his inspirations, future releases and aspirations. And the Dutch producer let us in on his journey.
Hi Dominique and thank you for joining us on this Hot & Current. First of all, congratulations on your latest release ‘Catch Me If You Can‘. What was the inspiration behind this incredible tune and how did the collaboration with ALLNIGHT come about?
I knew Jodie’s voice from her other collaborations with artists I like. A collaboration with her was immediately on my wish list! We got in touch, got to know each other a bit, and then she sent me a concept for the vocals of ‘Catch Me If You Can’. I was immediately taken with the beautiful melody and just drove in her acapella. That same evening I wrote a foundation for the track with the bouncy bassline and came up with the hook melody. Luckily she liked the concept too and after some back and forth with a few extra lines from her in the breakdown (I personally love the “my little soldier” line), we had a finished track. I’ve been road-testing this one consistently and kept tweaking until it felt perfect. A lot of experimentation from the past year in terms of stylistic ideas came together on this one. Really happy that the Odd One Out team believed in it and that it found a home on their label.
Another release that still resonates in the minds of your fans is ‘Appreciation‘. What are you most grateful for?
A very nice and original question, but very hard to answer. I’m grateful that I’m healthy (most of the time), born in a stable environment, surrounded by so many people I love and I get to spend so much of my life working on my passion, which, moreover, seems to be paying off as well professionally. ‘Appreciation’, even though a bit of a cliché word, was absolutely created in that state of mind.
These two singles have something in common, and that seems to be the defining characteristic of your music: emotion. How do you manage to pack so much emotion into your music?
I always enjoyed emotional music myself. I’m heavily inspired by film music and have always had a certain attraction to it. The starting point of my music is most often that key element: if it touches me personally. If it doesn’t do it from the start, then I’m already lost in the production process. The fun thing is that emotion can come from many elements, not just the chords, but also the drums, bassline, atmosphere and last but not least, a great vocal of course.
Has music always been there for you? How did you get from raver to DJ and then to producer?
Music has definitely always been there for me. For the love of music, first and foremost, raving is still a great personal hobby that I have enjoyed for most of my adult life. When I was 17, I got my first low-key bar/cafe CD turntable and started DJing. Production came along about a year or three later out of personal curiosity. At that moment Pandora’s box opened and I was hooked. I never had any training in audio/production and learned everything along the way. Fortunately, YouTube was getting big at the time and there were more and more tutorials, though nowhere near the level of today! Ultimately it comes down to the hours you put in over the years. It just never gets boring and there are endless possibilities fuelled by constant innovation in terms of instruments, plugins, sharing of ideas etc. Music has been a great comfort to me since childhood and I am glad that I have found a way to manifest this love in my daily life activities as an adult.
Your influences run through trance. Do you think that’s why you gravitated towards melodic techno and progressive house? How do you define the evolution of your style?
My roots definitely lie to a large extent in trance. The sound at that time was becoming more and more “big room” oriented, which I did not necessarily like. I remember being very inspired by what Anjunadeep was doing about 10-7 years ago, combining the emotion of trance with less bombastic sounds and more focus on groove and ‘air’. In the last 10 years, music has evolved so much that it has become hard to name anything. Honestly, most of the time I do not know if something should be called melodic techno, progressive house or something else. I usually take inspiration from what certain artists and labels are doing, and I also try to focus on just being me. Sometimes that leads to something that has similarities to melodic techno, sometimes it’s more proggy or trancey, deep, organic or anything in between. In the last year, I’ve been trying to reinvent myself a bit, to hold back a bit more on releasing music and spend more time playing around with new ideas rather than being focused on output constantly. Stylistically, it still varies a lot, as you will notice from my upcoming music!
Your moniker inevitably refers to travelling. How do you create the journey you offer the audience in your performances?
My sets are always a combination of much of my own music, released but also testing new ideas, as well as music from artists I enjoy and an occasional classic. I guess I do consider my sets a journey as it’s never just one vibe during 2 or 3 hours of playing. I like to play around with the energy level and present a reflection of my own musical taste, which is quite diverse within the boundaries of house music.
You have released music on some of the most sought-after labels and are supported by strong players in the electronic scene. What other goals do you want to achieve soon?
I would just love to keep on riding the wave I’m on and see what happens! Focus on my art and hope that those sought-after labels stay interested in what I have to offer. I have this feeling that there’s so much more musicality that needs to be expressed. I guess my goal is to share my art with as many people as possible and keep having as much fun with it.
Where can we find you in the coming months?
So my final festival performance will be this Sunday at The Gardens Of Babylon Festival. Following that, you may catch me at various locations throughout the Netherlands as the winter season begins. And of course at ADE, where I will be doing a set at Mystic Garden. More dates are about to be confirmed so for the interested listener: Keep an eye on my socials.
Do you have any tips for young producers and DJs?
Get to work and have fun doing it! Concentrate on creating good-sounding and original music. Put in the hours. Get out there and meet like-minded people, be open-minded and don’t think of others as competition but as potential collaborators. If you really love making and playing music, everything above will automatically follow from that.
Also, don’t worry about the external stuff: the perfect studio, the perfect equipment, the acoustics and so on. All that is not important and does not distract you. You just need a few things to get started, and just try to upgrade the equipment organically over time as it becomes necessary. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t need 700 plug-ins and +1000 euro monitors/sound cards etc.
Finally, for you, what’s Hot & Current in the scene right now?
Everything feels hot and current at the moment. I feel like there is something for everyone. I am noticing that the general tempo in BPM is increasing in almost all house genres lately, and I am noticing that I am shifting up a gear more often myself. Not everyone in the scene enjoys this but it’s a trend that suits me well.
Things get emotional in Deeparture’s exclusive guest mix. Listen to it from start to finish: