Category Archives: FESTIVALS

CATCHING UP WITH JENNIFER RENE ABOUT MUSIC, TRAVELS AND HORROR MOVIES!!

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I am going to treat my readers with such a sweet trance candy today…

One of my favorite artists, Jennifer Rene, has been so kind to accept this interview with me. Let’s see what she is going to reveal to us..

Hi Jen, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me!!

Thank you so much for having me! It’s my pleasure!

I’d like to know how and when did it all start for you? (I heard you have always loved to sing since you were a child..)

Music has always been a big part of my life since I was very little. My dad is a musician and so I started performing at church with him at a young age. I was in choir and show choir thru ought school and I’ve been writing songs since I was very little. I always loved dance music but really decided to go in that direction once I turned 21 and went to my first real club in Chicago. I saw the DJ’s “Blank & Jones” and the energy and vibe of the place was surreal, I knew then and there that this was what I wanted to do!

You worked with so many big names… Which cooperation challenged you the most and why?

I have had such great experiences working with producers. With each one I learn something new. I would say the one where I felt the most pressure to do a good job was when I was in the studio with Armin for “Fine Without You.” I only had one song out at the time and Armin was a really big name. I wanted to make sure I did a good job with writing a song with him since it was such an amazing opportunity. I was lucky that it turned out pretty well!

Being a singer, a Dj and a radio show host must really keep you busy, so how do you manage it all?

It can get quite hectic at times, but the good thing is that it never feels like work and I love every party of this career! I haven’t started my radio show or podcast yet but it’s something I plan on doing. I need to make sure I have adequate time to do that and lately I’ve been focused on writing and recording new music! I also go to school full time so I do have a very full plate. It’s all a blessing though.

What are the ups and downs of traveling so much?

There are so many ups about traveling! Meeting new people and making friends from all over the world, experiencing new cultures and seeing some of the most beautiful sites you could ever see. I love going to countries where I feel completely out of my element because it’s there where I discover so much about myself. Traveling and performing makes me come ALIVE! The downs would be the jet lag, long layovers, and having to leave a place or people that you really fell in love with not knowing when you’ll return.

I known you are a great horror movies lover (just like me) which film scared you the most?

Ahhh you love horror!!! This makes me so happy!! Haha yes I am a big lover of the horror genre, one of my favorite scary movies would have to be The Exorcist which I think tops most people’s lists. I also really love Amityville Horror, The Strangers, The Conjuring, The Descent, and Rosemary’s Baby. I could honestly go on and on haha.

I’ve red about that project still in the back of your mind about owning a club called “colors” and totally loved the idea (especially the white room) would you like to tell us more ?

Ahh yes! That’s the inspiration behind my upcoming radio show! I’m a lover of so many genres and always thought it would be cool to go to a club where you could hear different genres in different themed rooms. I’ve also always seen colors in music so I put two and two together! Owning a club is probably something that will never happen but having a radio show inspired by the same is sure to happen!

What inspires you in writing your songs?

What inspires me is things that have happened in my life. Love, heartbreak, anger, sadness, loss of friendship, all those things and more inspire me. I write from the heart and from my own personal experiences. Even when something bad happens in my life I turn it into a positive because I know I can write a song about it and hopefully there will be someone out there who can relate to it and enjoy my song.

Can you tell us something about your last productions and give us a sneak peek of your future projects?

I was really happy to be a part of Solid Stone’s debut album and have two songs on there “Heart Call”and “Pushing Up” .Working with Solid Stone is always something I enjoy and we work really well together. I never know what he’s going to send me after I’ve sent him a vocal and it’s always surprising in the best possible way. My recent collab “Smile”with DRYM was one I had been working on for awhile. I had been talking with DRYM for over a year about a collab and they sent me this instrumental that was so beautiful and I heard the lyrics right away over it! Right now I’m currently writing non-stop to new collaborations and some of my own material and I’m very excited where everything is going. I can’t wait to share it with the world!

 

 

 

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Jennifer Rene on Facebook
Jennifer Rene on Spotify

HARDWELL DNA PARTY @ USHUAÏA 

If you are among those lucky people that will hit the white island during the summer, make sure you won’t miss Hardwell DNA party at Ushuaïa on Tuesdays.

The party is held in the breathtaking location of one of the most fashionable hotel of Ibiza, with its majestic stage​ ​right in front of the pool where gorgeous dancers will accompany the dj sets from 5 pm to 12 am.


I use to attend the event every time I am on the island in the last years, and everytime it’s something new and surprising. 

​This time, Hardwell reached the stage at 9.50 pm, an astounding visual introduction dragged the crowd to pronounce H-A-R-D-W-E-L-L with increasing rythm that led to an explosion of lights and sounds….and here we go: Hardwell is greeting Ibiza and everyone at the party.

From then on, all is pure madness, just good vibes and pounding beats, everyone is dancing and jumping to the tunes picked for us by this young living legend.

Ushuaia is going off!!

A few years ago I had the luck to meet the man behind Hardwell, his tour manager and assistant, Manny Zelaya, founder of On tour Management agency and let me tell you, he is one of the most kind and professional guy in the business; not only he was available to give me some insights about his job and passion(you will read more in my interview soon) but he was also so nice to introduce me to Robbert van de Corput (Hardwell) and this is a meeting I will hardly forget!!


(Photo Courtesy of Seb Devinc)

Right after his set, Hardwell left the stage (with Manny watching his back and following him) taking the time to please his fans stopping by for some pictures,and finally reached a private room where some friends where waiting for him and where he could eat something and chill a bit after what was without any doubt a killer set.

A consolle was being set up and the atmosphere was really cool….oh yes, guys, i was allowed to enter that room and after a few minutes Robbert stood there in front of me, smiling and stretching out his hand to greet me. An incredible happiness mixed with excitement rushed through my spine….wtf….I had Hardwell in front of me and he looked so different from the international big dj I just witnessed on stage; he seemed calm and even a bit shy and thanked me for being there! We had the time to share some words and I made sure he knew how much I loved the show, then it was time for me to leave.

A last tight hug with Manny and a big smile on my face accompanied me for the rest of the night.

‘SAVE ME’ BY GALACTIC MARVL

Galactic Marvl, a mysterious act said to have come from another galaxy, launched his latest creation today. Released on Amsterdam-based record label Armada Music, ‘Save Me’ is the first of a multitude of singles that is to build toward the release of a full-fledged album later this year. ‘Save Me’ also features the distinct vocals of US singer-songwriter Connor Foley. 
 

Though shrouded in secrecy, Galactic Marvl hasn’t exactly operated under the radar before releasing ‘Save Me’ today. Through stellar remixes of The Chainsmokers’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ and Kaskade & Felix Cartal’s ‘Fakin It’ (feat. Ofelia K), Galactic Marvl made a meteoric impact right off the bat, fueling the hype for ‘Save Me’ and every bit of new music still to come.

 

 Save me also comes with a grand music video!!

W&W, HARDWELL, AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER LIL JON LAUNCH NEW MAINSTAGE SMASH: ‘LIVE THE NIGHT’

W&W, Hardwell, and Lil Jon have finally put out their latest collaboration today. ‘Live The Night’ is the result of their full-blown team-up and is released on Mainstage Music, the record label of Dutch duo W&W.

 

‘Live The Night’ has been buzzing for two years now, ever since W&W and Hardwell played the track at Ultra 2014 for the first time. More recently, W&W played the track during EDC Las Vegas last month and yesterday, the track annihilated the main stage of Balaton Sound Festival in Hungary. In addition, Hardwell wreaked havoc with the track at The Flying Dutch and allowed for it to make a devastating impact at EDC Las Vegas as well.

Apart from being a main fixture in W&W and Hardwell’s live sets, ‘Live The Night’ soared in its makers’ own respective radio shows (Mainstage Podcast and Hardwell On Air).

 

After ‘Jumper’ and ‘Don’t Stop The Madness’, ‘Live The Night’ is the first team-up of the three Dutchmen to be released on W&W’s Mainstage Music.
Listen to Live the Night

OLD SKOOL mini album 

Armin van Buuren will put out a rather surprising mini album. The ‘Old Skool’ mini album features Armin van Buuren’s versions of world-renowned dance classics such as Human Resource – ‘Dominator’, The Ultimate Seduction – ‘The Ultimate Seduction’, and Speedy J – ‘The Pull Over’. The mini album is out on August 4th and available for pre-order as of today. 

Simultaneous with the start of the ‘Old Skool’ mini album pre-order, Armin van Buuren’s version of dance classic ‘Dominator’ has also been unleashed. ‘Dominator’ was originally put out by Dutch dance act Human Resource in 1991 and Armin van Buuren’s rendition proved one of the most recognizable records in his live sets over the past few months, with plays on major festivals such as Ultra Music Festival Miami, The Flying Dutch Amsterdam, Ultra Music Festival Korea, EDC Las Vegas, and more.

 

Though few fans would’ve expected Armin van Buuren to deliver an entire mini album so soon after the release of his sixth artist album (‘Embrace’), the concept didn’t exactly come out of nowhere. ‘Embrace’ featured a track called ‘Old Skool’ and the tracks comprising the mini album are all part of Armin van Buuren’s ongoing ‘Armin Only Embrace’ world tour.
Full tracklist:

Armin van Buuren vs Human Resource – Dominator

Armin van Buuren vs The Ultimate Seduction – The Ultimate Seduction

Armin van Buuren vs Speedy J – Pull Over

Armin van Buuren vs Quadrophonia – Quadrophonia

Armin van Buuren vs MainX – 88 To Piano

Armin van Buuren – Old Skool (Vigel Remix)

Armin van Buuren – Old Skool Ping Pong

ALEXANDER POPOV PRESENTS …..INTERPLAY 2016

Alexander Popov

The second volume of his acclaimed series named after his successful radioshow is finally here
with 20 tracks forged by the likes of Andrew Rayel, David Gravell, Husman, Matvey Emerson & Stephen Ridley, Suspect 44, Alexander Popov himself and more.

The Russian mastermind doesn’t need any introduction being into the scene since almost 10 years, he treated his audience with some trance gems such as “ Vapor Trails”, “My World” (feat. Kyler England), “ Lost Language”,“Quantum” and “Paradise” ( with TLN feat.Christina Novelli) ; you can find a lot of these classical hits in this compilation, some of them remixed by one of the scene’s leading artists above mentioned and some other in their original version.

So, let’s take a closer look to this record of epic proportions clearly delivered to please all the trance lovers on earth:
well guys, I promise you, taking the time to treat yourself with such an ear candy is going to be the best part of your day!!

As soon as “SPACEWALK” breaks in it instantly hits you with its addictive drops, a very catchy, flows well and generally feel-good type of track;

“PARADISE”’s sweet beats and Christina Novelli’s unique voice blend together amazingly giving you a massive fix of dreamy vibes,

“I KNOW YOU CARE” it’s one of that tune that affects you on more than one level, both physically and cerebrally, while “EIFORYA” is made to get you that “trance family festival like feeling” we all love…In a blink of an eye you will find yourself standing front row at your favorite party wishing and praying it won’t end.

Alexander Popov’s “WORLD LIKE THIS” builds up nice and slow progressing beautifully into an emotional melody.

“QUASAR” and “HOPE FADES” elevate it to the next level with their powerful drops and trippy pads..goosebumps are 100% guaranteed.

“FELL FOR YOU” overwhelms you with sweet vocals and a dance floor destroyer bass line.

“MIMESIS” drags you in its spiral with its bewitched strings, kinda enchanting, honestly.

We also got a bunch of bouncy, electro powerful tunes like “ATMOSPHERE”, “THE LAST OF US”, “DISTANT POWER” and “FANTASY”

“MY WORLD” is a summerish tune with beautiful vocals and a quite pop bass line, perfect to chill with,while laying on the beach (ideally on the white Isle….just saying) with your favorite cocktail…

“THE OTHER SIDE” is going to haunt your mind with dreamy,angelic vocals.

“FLIGHT 761”and “MY WAY” are serving up some very enjoyable festival beats to make you jump while “STAY AWAKE” leads the way with blissful yet dark synths and an infectious bassline.

“RUN AWAY” Alexander Popov remix closes this masterpiece with this outstanding tune which is going to linger on for a while, stucked in your head.

When all is said and done, I fell in love with Interplay 2016, Alexander Popov never lets us down and I warmly recommend you to give it a listen asap… https://interplay2016.lnk.to/AlexanderPopov you can thank me later 🙂 but take care…it’s highly addictive!!!

ASOTFESTNL RECAP

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Hi everyone,
so….I am in full post-asot depression these days right after a spectacular weekend.

I know many of you have been celebrating ASOT750 in Utrecht just like me….Also, I am so glad I had the chance to party with you and see so many of my friends there.

The 4 floors were amazing and the lighting were just out of this world.
There was the MainStage, the 138 stage, I’m in a state of trance stage, and 15 years and counting stage.
Plus the Radio Dome where Armin and Ruben were broadcasting the event when not playing MainStage.

Unfortunately, as you might have heard, Paul van Dyk fell off the stage in the middle of his performance and has been taken to the hospital, my prayers and thoughts are still with him and his family waiting to know something more about his health conditions.
After the accident, Armin stated that in respect to Paul he would not have played his vinyl set to close the party.
Much respect to him for this decision.

So, if you are curious to know what happens during this huge party, let’s find here some pictures taken by a hell of a photographer, Maurizio Sutti, enjoy!!!

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ASOT Festival Utrecht…line up revealed

Hello there,
so we are slowly getting closer to ASOT festival in Utrecht, that will be held on Feb 27th in Jaarbeurs.
Now that the full line up has been revealed, I’ve already started to notice some comments about it, and as it always happen, there are people not completely satisfied….
What do you think? Happy with it or not?Which djs are you excited to see?

On my side, I’m pretty happy, and cannot wait to rave the night away together with my friends celebrating the 750th episode of A State Of Trance.
So, there is still time to book your flights and hotels but hurry up, be sure you won’t miss the event.

And as I am going to be there and will surely write some pieces about the party, even if you cannot be there, you will be fully updated, so …stay tuned!!

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Nicola Simionato…Semplicemente ESAGERATO!!!

Ciao a tutti, oggi vi parlo di un performer veramente ESAGERATO….Nicola Simionato, se non avete ancora sentito parlare di lui, ecco il link alla sua pagina Facebook ,dove potrete trovare tutti gli update per andare a vederlo esibirsi live nei locali più trendy d’Italia e non solo.

https://m.facebook.com/NSEsagerato/

Nicola è un ragazzo molto molto impegnato e con una vita frenetica, per questo, incontrarlo per l’intervista non è stato facile….Reduce da una spettacolare stagione ad Ibiza, sentite cosa ci ha raccontato…

J: Ciao Nicola, grazie per dedicare un pò di tempo al mio blog,mi racconti un pò com’è nata la tua passione per il canto ?

N: Ciao Jessica, sono davvero contento di poter partecipare a questo spazio nel tuo blog; la musica iniziò per me all’età di 5 anni, quando presi lezioni di pianoforte e canto dalla mia nonna materna, soprano di spicco per 20 anni del gruppo TEATRO LA FENICE di Venezia. Purtroppo, presi poi altre strade abbandonando la musica per dedicarmi allo sport… quando si è molto giovani si prendono spesso dei binari che non ci appartengono…le cause le conosciamo.

J: E la voglia di esibiriti come performer invece a quando risale?

N: La voglia di riscoprirmi artisticamente fu dettata da due avvenimenti: -la malattia e la morte della nonna,che mi ha fatto ritrovare la voglia di potermi riscoprire artisticamente,come se avessi ereditato improvvisamente il suo bagaglio artistico,musicale ed emotivo; -la voglia di affermarmi nel mondo della notte,dove già lavoravo da 5 anni,non più come strip man o cubista ma come un vero e proprio artista, cercando di riprendere in mano le doti canore,unite a costumi,sex appeal e carisma.

J: La prima esibizione sul palco te la ricordi? com’è stata?

N: La prima esibizione cantata me la ricordo benissimo, trash&chic al MOLO 5. Dove cantai un remix di SWEET DREAMS assieme a due ballerini professionisti…da quella volta capii che quella era la strada giusta.

J: Sei molto sicuro di te sul palco, ma ci sono mai stati momenti di “panico” prima di un’esibizione?

N: La sicurezza è arrivata con il tempo, non è stato facile, l’ho acquisita step by step man mano che gli eventi son cresciuti,sia per quantità che per qualità e responsabilità. Ora mi sento sicuro di me stesso, ma sento che c’è ancora molto da imparare.Diciamo che la tappa fondamentale per la mia carriera, ma anche della mia vita se così vogliamo dire, è stata la prima estate a Ibiza dove lavorai per il PACHA_FLOWER POWER come performer e voce ufficiale per tutta la stagione estiva 2013/14 più tour europeo.Esibirsi in prima persona, live, davanti a migliaia di persone,personaggi e dj internazionali nel locale più famoso al mondo, mi ha dato davvero tanto ed è stata ad ora l’esperienza più bella della mia vita artista e personale.Momenti di panico non ne ho mai avuti, ci sono stati dei problemi tecnici ma son sempre riuscito a saltare l’ostacolo cercando di non far mai capire al pubblico che qualcosa non andava.

J: Ci racconti un aneddoto divertente che ti accaduto durante una serata legato alla tua esibizione?

N:In realtà non ci son state delle cose in particolare o aneddoti durante serate.. perlomeno ora non ricordo.. però ti posso dire che spesso capitano delle situazioni e imprevisti davvero improvvisi e sta alla bravura dell’artista saper rimediare o improvvisare.Parecchie persone han cercato di mettermi il bastone tra le ruote,addirittura tagliendomi i fili del microfono o spezzandomi i cd con le basi delle esibizioni..ma alla fine sono sempre uscito alla grande!

J: L’esperienza Ibizenca…ogni estate la isla blanca è un punto di ritrovo per tutti i clubbers, e ovviamente per gli artisti, com’è iniziata quest’avventura e com’è andata la stagione appena passata?

N: La prima estate a Ibiza è stata sicuramente la più toccante ed importante proprio perché mi ha aperto un sacco di strade e ho avuto una visibilità internazionale notevole, il secondo anno son cambiati i club e le performances ma comunque c’è stata una continuità soprattutto a livello di immagine. Ci sono moltissimi progetti in atto…vedrete!

J: Nicola Simionato Esagerato..mi racconti da dov’è nato il nickname?

N: Per quanto riguarda il mio nome d’arte, ho sempre tenuto il mio nome e cognome con l’aggiunta dell’aggettivo ESAGERATO. In realtà, nacque al trash&chic quando SIMON B.I nel presentarmi mi dava sempre l’aggettivo ESAGERATO,proprio perché uscivo sempre con dei look stravaganti e a volte davvero notevoli ed appariscenti.ESAGERATO ci sta molto bene cmq anche con il mio carattere e carisma sul palco, a volte animale da palcoscenico ma allo stesso tempo anche teatrale ed elegante.ESAGERATO può aver molte sfumature…. ma lasciamo che resti un po’ da scoprire.

J: La one night Folies de Pigalle è un appuntamento mensile con il tuo pubblico, parlacene un pò…

N:LES FOLIES DE PIGALLE, ilparty di Giuliano Bavutti che fece la storia qualche tempo fa…da un paio di anni ritornato in auge ad alti livelli. Posso solo dire grazie a Giuliano, uno dei pochi art director che guardano ancora alla qualità del prodotto e non solo alla quantità e all’incasso … LES FOLIES DE PIGALLE è una serata completa, di alta qualità performativa e musicale.qui mi sento a casa mia, con il tempo ho imparato a farmi conoscere dal pubblico ed essere davvero apprezzato, grazie a Giuliano che ha sempre creduto in me dandomi lo spazio e la giusta visibilità.Ha saputo mantenere il vecchio stampo e pubblico delle folies inserendo i personaggi giusti senza stravolgere troppo il prodotto,sapendo quindi confermare la vecchia clientela ma portandone anche di nuova.

J:Com’è nata la collaborazione con Max Orian e il progetto Contamination?

N: La bellissima collaborazione con MAX ORIAN risale circa ad un anno fa durante i dinner show all’AMAMI DI TREVISO. C’è stato subito un feeling musicale, ho capito subito di aver a che fare con un professionista preparato e disponibile a poter collaborare. Contamination nasce dall’unione di più generi musicali,mai banali ma sempre molto ricercati,musica dal vivo e live vocale.E’ un prodotto di qualità, credo ad oggi il mio miglior progetto. Il progetto di cui vado più orgoglioso ed il BIGLIETTO DA VISITA PERSONALE,portato ad ibiza la scorsa estate e nei migliori club italiani.

J: Progetti attuali e futuri?

N: La stagione è iniziata parecchio bene,nonostante lo stallo dei locali… ma son contento di aver il giusto lavoro e tutti i progetti sono progetti di qualità.
Parallelamente sto finalmente lavorando su più fronti per cercare di finire quest’anno in bellezza, cioè uscire con il primo progetto discografico.Ci saranno parecchie novità in merito nei prossimi mesi, ma per scaramanzia preferisco far parlare i fatti quando sarà il momento.

Ringraziando Nicola per la disponibilità e cortesia, vi invito a seguirlo in una delle sue prossime esibizioni e poi fatemi sapere se anche voi siete d’accordo con noi…è veramente ESAGERATO 😉

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Let’s Embrace….this new album

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We could sense that something was about to be different in this new album right when Armin announced the release of it showing us the art work album cover by the renowned photographer,film and music video director Anton Corbjn.

“Don’t be a prisoner of your own style”….this is what Armin van Buuren always stated and honestly, on my side, I could not agree more, considering that the sound is always evolving as well as studio technologies so, obviously when you listen back to his old trance tunes like, “Love you more” and then compare it to, for instance,something more recent like “Brute” (two songs that I truly love) you can clearly hear and feel how the sound changed as the years went by….but that said, I sadly came to terms with the fact that nowadays mainstream dance music took over that trance beats I loved so much….or at least it seems to happen with all the artists that become so big in the industry.

Not saying trance is dead by the way, because we still have some good big trance artists who remain true to that sound; by the way if it is pure trance you are looking for, you ain’t gonna find a full trance album here.

When you listen to his sixth studio album you can clearly hear that Armin’s trance signature tho, but he moved forward and decided to “embrace” so many different genres….Must admit this is a huge work he released proving that he is able to renew his style keeping the trance vibe alive.

This album is full of great collaborations, such as Eric Vloeimans, Cimo Frankel, Kensigton, Hardwell and Cosmic Gate, who contribute to make it a precious jewel in the market.

The title track “Embrace” with the famous Dutch trumpeter Vloeimans’ solo is such a great intro to the album, (as we were used to in the previous Armin’s albums already )a very enjoyable and totally unexpected kind of tune, until that smooth jazz turns into cheesy elctro house at least.

“Another you”, feat. Mr.Probz, just reminds me of the past summer when Armin and Mr. Probz where performing it together everywhere, a full load of good and happy vibes,and a perfect follow up of “This is what it feels like”.

The collaboration with Hardwell for “Off the Hook” is exactly what I expected…a festival banger, something to make you jump, nothing very new nor exciting…

“Strong Ones” fet. Cimo Frankel is a totally uplifting tune and I love the lyrics as well.

“Heading up high” is going to be the fourth single of this album during the first months of 2016 and it really stucks in your head, thumbs up!!

“Embargo” with Cosmic Gate and “Old Skool” are made for the clubbers obviously and are the perfect tracks to put you in the party mood, especially “Old Skool”, it really gives you the feeling of being at an Armin’s gig….which makes me remind you that Mr.van Buuren announced a new Armin Only tour already, yay!!

“Make it right”, “Gotta Be love” and “Slisptream” will make it impossible for you to stand still without dancing and some of the other tunes,like “Freefall”(feat.Bully Songs) just remind me of that SHM sound I so loved at parties, good tunes but not very orginal…

The closing tune of the album “Looking for your name” is a very sweet song with a warm melody perfect to chill after all that dancing 🙂

When all is said and done, I can say I am very happy with this album, Armin is showing us he can basically play whatever it crosses his mind and making it huge, and now, just like my friend Fred said….le’ts wait for the remixes, i think something great is coming up about some of these tunes.