Category Archives: INTERVIEWS

ASOT 800 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS: OMNIA!!!

 

And the interview saga continues this week with:  

So, during the latest, fantastic edition of our beloved festival ASOT 800 in Utrecht, we also had the pleasure to meet the super talented Ukrainian dj and producer for a nice chat about both his personal and professional life, let’s check out what it is all about 🙂

J: Thanks a lot for supporting THE BACKSTAGE ACCESS

Omnia:  Ok, and we’re right now in the backstage. Thank you so much I really like to see guys like you supporting the industry.

J: What does ASOT means to you?

O:  A lot of things. I think I’ve started producing my own music because of it, back in 2004, I started listening to the radio show, and it really inspired me and I realized that I wanted to make tracks which Armin would have played, so it was like my dream, you know, right now I am here and the dream came true! So i’d say ASOT is a very important part of my career, my music position so yeah, it means a lot.

J. The first time I saw you playing was during ASOT 600 and you totally blew my mind

O: Oh thank you, it was in Den Bosch right?

J: Yes

O: It was pretty special to me too because it was my first show where I was traveling outside my country so playing in places like The Netherlands or Ibiza made me very nervous back then, I was also very young as an artist and I was really excited…but well, I am still excited!!

J. When you make a new track are you ever afraid to play it for the first time in front of a crowd?

O: Yeah, I think almost all producers have the same feeling , because, you know, as far as I am concerned, I always like to do something new, I don’t like to do like a copy and paste of a previous track, I like to experiment with my sound and it means that sometimes you don’t know how it’s gonna be for people, how it is gonna be received, like if they like it or they not really like it, so it’s kinda risky but you know, this is something that pushes you to do many more things in the music production so I think I am always afraid to show my new tracks but I am doing this everytime and it’s a really good feeling and even right now I am really nervous about my set but I will do this.

(Oh yes, he did it folks!! Check out his massive set right here )

J: Where do you see the trance scene going ?

O: Oh I think it’s easier for me, I have my own signature sound and I know which direction I should go, people can recognize my sound which is really cool but I don’t know what to say about the whole industry, so, even tonight we have a psy stage here in Utrecht and we have a 138 stage too, so I think in this moment trance is going in a more uplifting direction, I can’t say I am a big fan of this fast trance honestly, because I’ve always been more progressive and more melodic and maybe more deeper, but I will still do my own thing, because I know what people expect from my sound so, let’s see, I would only say that at the moment it’s really hard to see where the industry is going , the only thing djs and producers can do is to create their own direction, so I am trying to do that ,I am just trying to make my listeners happy I am not thinking in trance or edm terms..I am just doing my own thing

J: And you are damn good at it!

O: hahaha oh thank you, thank you very much!!

J:So let’s talk about your new tune, Why Do You Run?  It has got a huge reaction right?

O: Yes, I’ve just released this new production with Jonny Rose, and it’s been voted as future favorite at A State Of Trance this week

J: Yes, I know and I voted it too!

O. Oh really?? Thank you so much!
And I would also say big big thanks to all my fans, I didn’t expect such a huge reaction it means a lot for me , it is something that helps me keep moving

J: Where do you find the inspiration to create your music?

O. It’s hard to tell…well, you know, I think it’s all about the life style and everything that’s going on with me, I think that inspiration is a kind of filter for musician ,music is your own emotion, you show yourself to the people through your music, I think with my music I try to show what’s going on with me, right now I feel so happy and I think it reflects in my music…in my vibes. Then the ideas just come in my head like melodies and that’s why I always travel with my laptop, cause sometimes I got an idea and I am not in my studio so I can try to fix the melodies that came to me.
Other than that, inspiration can be everything, even my cats, what inspires me today will be something different tomorrow.

J. How do you find the balance between your professional and your private life?

O: I think it was hard when I started my career because it was something new but now it’s ok because It’s my lifestyle, you know I love to do this, I love to create music, I love to travel, to do shows, it inspires me a lot, and all my close friends and my family and of course my wife, they are really supporting me, and my wife understands what’s important for me because if it’s important for me it’s important for her too, but at the same time I always try to find the balance between the work and the family, and it’s not really hard , if you can plan your time, you can plan your life and this becomes really easy.

J: Do you have at the moment any tool or synth in studio that you really like?

O: Sure, I am a big fan of Native Instruments and you know all the melodies in my tracks are usually made with Massive, I am really good with this instrument and it helps me a lot: thanks to Native Instruments (laughs),yes but I am using a lot of things like Silenth1, Nexus, Spyre, Z3ta+ , products from Spectrasonics, stuff from Rob Papen. And for FX and mixing I usually use the ‘Waves’ audio plugins! They have a really big choice of tools to work with sound! For mastering it’s almost always iZotope Ozone plugin!

J.Ok I think I have to let you go for now, but thanks again for your time and see you soon on the dance floor!

O: Thank you! see you soon.

WHAT DOES ASOT MEAN TO YOU??

 

The latest ASOT edition just amazed us all with its majestic show, the 800th episode’s celebration was absolutely insane, and we bet you are looking forward to the next edition already!!

Whether you were with us at Jaarbeurs during that incredible night or you were just spending a cozy night on your couch following the streaming, the main thing is we were all united for A State Of Trance, because it’s part of our lives and our stories and something we could not really live without.

It’s like the whole trance world is connected for a unique night, a one of a kind experience which aims to unite us all; ASOT means a lot to us, right? Well… we’ve had a chat with some of the artists performing there and  found out what ASOT means to them (and a lot of other interesting things which will follow asap in their interviews, during the next days)

 

 

ESTIVA:

Well the first time I was listening to ASOT, no, actually, let’s go way back, when I was 15 ,16 or something, I used to listen to ASOT radio show, and it kinda got me into producing music’s at some point I was actually releasing music on labels, and one of the first songs, was picked up by Armin van Buuren and he played it into ASOT so at some point I was listening to it and I heard my song and I was like: hang on, this is one of my songs, so…. Armin was playing my song!!! Can you imagine it?… Like the thrill, for me it was insane!
So that was my first experience and actually got hooked from that moment on. ASOT It’s really special for me, the music, the beats, trance means a lot to me.

PURE NRG:

Giuseppe:  It’s kinda of an institution, you know, one of those BIG things that have to be part of your life if you are a trance artist, you gotta play here
Richard: It’s like I milestone. If I was Armin I would end it at 1000 because it’s a really good number, if you get to 1000 then you get to do 10000 so that’s not possible ( but I am not gonna say that to Armin btw…- laughs-)

OMNIA:

To me it means A lot of things. I think I’ve started producing my music because of it, back in 2004, I started listening to the radio show, and it really inspired me and I realized that I wanted to make tracks which Armin would have played, so it was like my dream, you know, right now I am here and the dream came true! So i’d say ASOT is a very important part of my career, my music position so yeah, it means a lot.

RUBEN DE RONDE & RODG:

Rodg: For me, it kinda changed, you know, I’ve been playing here for the 3rd time, before that I was a visitor, it was about the music, you heard new music, a lot of productions, you know it was just an amazing festival, but now, I am here as a dj, playing the record I made in the studio is more about I am gathering people, bringing people together to enjoy music all together and especially for his event they come from all over the world, you see flags from countries you can’t even think of, that’s pretty special like, we, with our music bring these people together, that’s exactly what ASOT mean to me.

Ruben : I think the most important thing about ASOT is unifying, like bringing people together, the media are trying to divide everyone nowadays, try to scare people and make sure that everybody hates each other like you need to hate that person because he does that and so…I think with ASOT or with music in general we are trying to do something different, we are trying to bring people together so that a perfect example is when you see people with palestinian flag or israeli flag and they can dance together like they are here for the music not for any political reasons….that’s the most important thing about it,yeah I know it’s a bit deep but it is what it is 🙂

RAM:

I think it’s already for years and years the biggest trance festival and it’s the party to be, it’s always something to look forward to, every time you get invited to play here, it’s like being a baby in a candy store! it’s awesome to be here, awesome crowd, everybody is so excited so it’s just very nice to play here!!

DAVID GRAVELL:

My very first ASOT was with my friends and I remember that I was in the car listening to the music and then I thought it was different from everything else  it was little bit magical, special, I love that everyone is different , everyone is loving the music, everyone is uniting and coming together to celebrate , there are a lot of other festival but this particular one is so nice and unique, I haven’t seen anything like this before.

BEN NICKY:

It’s a building block for me as an artist, and for my productions, I mean a lot of people know me for my persona, my branding, but ASOT is very good for the exposure of my singles too Armin and Armada always supported my tracks and helped me get me to the point I am now,I love playing here because Armin brings everyone together and it’s a great festival.

SUSANA:

It’ s a very exciting event to be, I meet all the trance family people , lot of people I work with…It may sounds like a cliché but trance is kinda a way of life for me , it’s part of my daily life.

When all is said and done, we do hope your ASOT experience has been great, and just stay tuned for the full interviews with each of these amazing artists!!

So… now we are curious, what does ASOT mean to YOU??

Up Close And Personal With Kimberly Hale

 

Hi everyone!

Today I got a pretty special treat for you: an exclusive interview with one of the most talented songwriters/singers of the trance scene, I am happy to introduce you to the lovely Kimberly Hale from the United Kingdom!

Let me tell you that her angelic voice and magical lyrics will charm you and bring you to another place, she will cast a spell on you…you have been warned!!

 

With a string of emotionally and stylistically diverse releases and compilations through multiple dance labels including Statement!, Armada, Amsterdam Trance, Raz Nitzan, Sir Adrian, Discover Group, EMI, and more…Kimberly’s tunes and collabs have been supported on worldwide radio shows and DJ sets by the top international superstars Armin van Buuren, Cosmic Gate, Paul Oakenfold, Max Graham, Andy Moor, Lange, Judge Jules, Simon Patterson, Marcus Schossow, Nifra, Ruben de Ronde, Susana, Audrey Gallagher, Jes, Beat Service, Pedro del Mar, Omnia and many more…

So, let’s welcome Kimberly on TheBackstageAccess!!

 

K: Thank you so much for asking me to be here with you and your readers, Jess!  

 

 

J: Could you tell us how and when did it all start in the music industry for you?

 

 

 

K: I do distinctly remember sitting in the bathtub when I was 3 years old and saying to myself that i was going to be female Elvis when I grew up. haha My parents watched a lot of Elvis movies in the Bible belt.  After that it was piano lessons and southern baptist church choir at quite a young age.  I think for a lot of us, music is a lifetime path! 

 

 

J: What inspires you when creating a tune ?

 

K: A few times it has been a choice between having a nervous breakdown or writing a song.  Crises are very fertile moments for songs and some of my best received tunes were written in those moments.  Plus I saved some money that would have been spent on therapy!   haha 

 

Otherwise, I would say when writing on piano I need a lot more internal and external inspiration — life events and strong feelings, poetry, or listening to so much of the great music we have in this genre for example.   

 

Writing over tracks, it seems to be a lot more instinctive and things just sort of come to me out of the air.  

 

J: a couple  of my favorite tunes you wrote are Moment Of Truth and  All In, could you tell us something about them?

 

K: Thank you Jess!  It’s funny you single those tracks out as they were the first vocals I wrote over tracks in a very long time!  Most of the other releases I have had recently have been me starting with nothing but my piano and having to write the structure/chord progression as well.  

 

Suddenly, not only did I get the tracks given to me first, but super fun and inspiring tracks that made my job really easy!  They both came out very effortlessly and I freestyled it completely.    

 

“Moment Of Truth” was such a blast and inspired me rhythmically.  

“All In” was so melodically developed that I felt the only choice I had was to follow and dance around with Ruben’s lead which made it very simple to write!  The lyrics and words i did not think about at all either.  They literally wrote themselves. i edited slightly in the honing stage. 

 

 

J: Are there any artist you would love to cooperate with?

 

K: I don’t know why I always feel coy when someone asks me this question!  It’s not like you’re asking me something naughty!  hahaha 

 

 

J: If you were not a singer what else would you like to do?

 

K: There have been times when I had so many friends coming to me for counselling that I could have been a full-time therapist/ muse!  I’m an enfp so that is definitely in the skill set! I really want to write a novel one day!  

 

J: For those who are not familiar with the whole creative process, could you explain a bit how it works for you when you are asked to write something ?

 

K: It’s definitely a different process when I am writing on piano or over a track as I mentioned earlier.  But one thing is that for both, a physical warmup is very important and I always seem to do better when I stretch out completely like I am about to pole vault or something like this. 😉   I think any tension in the body can inhibit flow!   

 

I can write songs quickly but I generally spend a couple weeks at least perfecting and honing as they always get better when I do that.  I am normally not happy with the lyrics unless they seem to have multiple meanings and I have three points of view which I typically like to incorporate.  I test each song this way to make sure they hold up most of the time.  I’m not sure if anyone else notices it or not, but it’s important to me! haha 

 

 

J: The most important tune to you so far and why?

 

K: It’s really hard to say on that one as many of my tunes have been instrumental in leading me to another place.  Sometimes you only get one opportunity to move a certain direction and each of those markers has been a moment of truth to me 🙂

 

J: What do you love to do in your spare time ?  

K: socialising with friends, health and fitness,  i’ve been taking ballet classes lately too. 

 

 

 

J: Your relationship with social media and your fans ?

 

K:I really wish I could figure out a way to better reach the fans on Facebook.  Since they started with the algorithms, i think it’s really made everything feel so stagnant.  I’ve thought about sending smoke signals!   haha I feel pretty sad and dejected in there now!  And most of all, I feel really terrible that it’s so hard to reach the fans.  :'(  At least Armada music and A State of Trance posted some videos of our music lately which did receive a nice response so I was grateful for that.  

 

On a bright note, my instagram seems to be doing better a tiny bit and I’m finding the nature of the site a lot more calming, fun and positive than Facebook at the moment.  

 

 

J: Describe yourself in 3 words 🙂

 

K: Perceptive

Creative

Nutter 

 

 

 

 

J: Please leave a message for TheBackstageAccess readers 🙂

 

K:  Thank you for loving and caring so much about the music!  Your energy is what makes this all complete!  Thanks for giving us the space on this earth and the constant support to create heavenly meaningful things!  Lots of Love!   Kimberly Xox  

 

 

Photo courtesy: Asia Werbel

 

 

A high on life kind of chat with RODG

 

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In a world jam-packed with one-hit wonders, extremely consistent producers of dance music have always been sought-after. And that makes Rodg one of the rare-breed. The humble Dutchman is one of the best kept Armada Music secrets, delivering top-notch releases on a regular basis.

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Photo courtesy of Remyonline

 

“One of the best producers of 2016” Armin van Buuren

 

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J: Hi Rogier, first of all, congrats on the success your album  High On Life  is getting worldwide, (and among my neighbors LOL)…Did you expect such a huge reaction?

R: Well not really… I didn’t expect anything actually so an album well received like this was something really special.

J: Talking about the producing aspects, was it all flowing nice and smooth or did you ever felt stuck at some point during the making of the album?

R: I think every producer feels stuck at some point making the album. I had it quite bad between ADE and the end of the year last year… Situations like that make you insecure, but in the end they might be there for a reason, I don’t know. At least I managed to get some music done after all, so that’s a good thing.

J: Being a producer and a dj, I guess it is very special to play a new track of yours for the very first time in front of a crowd…did it get you more excited or more nervous about the reaction of the fans ?

R: Haha combination of both I think. When I played A State Of Trance in Utrecht in February this year I was really nervous… Playing a lot of new records, and also being live streamed… That was quite something but I think it went well after all.

J: Can you tell me which artists did influence you the most so far?

R: Multiple artists influenced me a lot, there’s no one particular who influenced me the most. Years back it were Sander Kleinenberg, Sasha and John Digweed introducing me to that progressive sound, later Armin van Buuren and Eric Prydz added more inspiration with their more energetic sets.

J: And the one you really look up to?

R: Also difficult to name just 1 as I look up to many artists, on different aspects. I look up to Armin for instance for being a great DJ, Producer, Radio Show Host, Label Owner and how he manages to combine that with also his private life. I also look up to Martin Garrix for being so young and professional as a DJ with a pop star status. Lot of people have no idea of what kind of pressure those guys need to deal with. Yeah I look up to that.

 

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J:I know you will attend the very first Statement Night on Saturday (Grab your tickets here )and I wish you and all the other djs a great success and I hope you guys will export the concept abroad soon, so can you tell me something about it?

 

R: It’s something Ruben wanted to do for a long time already, and with the development of the label the last 2 years I think it’s great to make this step to the first club night. I’ve been with the label since 2013 as Ruben gave me a home for the progressive sound we both happen to really really love. I’m super happy and proud to be part of the label and also proud to be part of the first club night. I’m sure it’ll be the first of many 🙂

 

J:I’ve heard you and Ruben are working on a special B2B set for ASOTFESTNL ( Grab your tickets for ASOTFESTNL here) next February,and this is something I am really looking forward to, any insights you can reveal to us?

R: Wait and see 😉

J: What are you working on lately? (if it’s something you can tell already)

R: I’ve been working on music and can’t tell anything about it. Same as with the other question… Wait and see.

J: You love cats right? How many do you have ? I know you have a very special “ghost producer” in your studio, is your cat a kind of inspiration for your projects?

R: I do! I have two cats. Cats are not an inspiration to be honest, but they’re really good company in the studio while producing music.

J: When you are not working or touring, what do you like to do?

R: I like to.. Grab drinks with friends, visit restaurants to have great food or just hang on the couch and watch some series.

 

J: It looks like you are a great cook, any challenge among your fellow djs?

R: Haha yeah you see DJ Chef Top 100 once in a while on my Insta Stories while cooking. I think it’s more of a joke rather than a real competition. But you never know where it leads to 🙂

J: What is your relationship with social medias and how do you keep in touch with your fans?

R: Yeah I like using them, it’s challenging to be creative using them, I like that. I like to be in touch with fans on a personal level.

J: What are your favorite tools in studio? Any plugins you really love atm?

R: Favorite at the moment is Omnisphere. I’ve been using it for years actually already and every time I discover new things in that plugin. It’s great for everything almost 🙂

J: Any new collaboration on the way?

R: Oh yes! But can’t tell anything yet. I know it’s kind of lame to say that, but I really can’t.

J: The funniest thing ever happened while touring and the funniest one ever happened in your studio

R: Studio: not really funny but definitely something to mention. I was working on a track last week when I went out to grab a coffee… And when I came back my whole arrangement was simply backspaced. Deleted and couldn’t undo that. I guess my cat Bink walked over the keyboard and pressed backspace or something… Don’t know how he managed to get the project saved though, but it was quite annoying.

Tour: I was playing a show and the guy who was supposed to drive me back to the hotel got so drunk, that he couldn’t walk to his car without almost falling over. The hotel was only 500 meters away so I went for a walk 😉 If the hotel was on the other side of the city I would not have liked it but this way it was really funny.

J: Any chance to see you in Italy any soon?

R: I hope so! It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Italy, would love to come down to play a show 🙂

J: Leave a message for all your fans here 🙂

R: Thanks for all the support so far and there’s much more to come in 2017 🙂

rodg-6-cr-7l-photography

photo courtesy of 7L Photography

DREAMS COME TRUE…WITH RUBEN DE RONDE

Having the chance to catch up with one of the most talented, kind hearted and down to earth guys in the business is something you don’t get very often, so when he said he was totally up to grace my blog with an interview…I felt like the luckiest girl in the world and just like the title of one of his tunes, I realized that sometimes…Dreams come true 🙂

Considering how busy he is, I am really surprised he managed to take the time for this,so it is really a special gift from him to me, and I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.

 

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Hi Ruben, First of all, how are you doing lately?

R:I have been doing great, I spent most of my days this summer being on tour or in the studio!

How was your Australian tour and which were the highlights of it?

R:For me the highlight was being able to tour with such a great team! Emma, Christina, Chloe, Emma, Anthony, Abraham, Jano (and the rest of the team) and of course MaRLo created such a great environment to perform in.
Allow me to say that the Australian trance fans are so insanely intense. It was my first time doing big shows there, and I was blown away by the amazing reactions.
I played ‘warm-up’ sets, to set the mood for MaRLo’s 4 hours set, so I didn’t go too hard, but even that was received greatly!

 

You are very busy releasing new productions as well as touring…
After Steampunk, Leave a light on, Bliss, you are really teasing us a whole lot 🙂 when shall we expect the new album?
Any juicy insight about it that you can share with us ?

R: Hmm…………. I am aiming for a release in November! Thats all I can say now 😉
Your tune “Leave a Light On”  really means a lot to me personally, it has a special spot in my heart and always puts a smile on my face…So would you tell me the story behind it…

R: That is really, really nice to hear, I didn’t know!

I have been teaming up with Rodg several times now, and for this one we had the same synergy again!
A funny thing is that Louise works at the Armada offices, but is one of the most talented singer/songwriters that I have ever had the chance to meet. She is lovely!
A day in the life of Ruben de Ronde…knowing how busy you are, I’m very curious about one typical day of yours….I mean, running your own label Statement!, being an A&R for Armada, hosting your TSOH radio show and co-hosting ASOT and Armada Night Radio must be a hell of a job to do….how do you manage it all?
And which part of your job is the hardest (or most complicated …or hectic) and which one is the funniest?

R: Im still not sure how I juggle everything like I do, maybe I should write it down and turn it into a book haha!
The hardest part about being part of a radio show is that there are NO weeks off, ever. We have to deliver every single week, which means we can’t step a side for vacation.
But it is all worth it, when reading messages that we enlighten peoples lives, so its a sacrifice that I am more than willing to pay 🙂
Let’s take a step back in the past…I’ve heard you got into djing thanks to your brother… so, how did it all start?
Do you remember your very first show? How was it?
R: I remember my first show VERY clearly! It was in a youth hanging place in Gouda, where I was allowed to play the first hour. Soon I was playing there every week!
I have to be honest and tell you that I still get nervous for certain gigs haha!

During you spare time (wondering if you have some tho), which game do you like to play the most with your PSP?

R: I am a big game freak. I love playing Destiny and FIFA on PS4 !

This is actually a game inspired T-Shirt, from Destiny

Photos by Chris Lazzaro for www.FreedomFilmLLC.com Instagram / Twitter @FreedomFilmLLC

Do you love reading books? If yes, what’s your favorite one so far?

R: I used to read a lot of books in the past, like THICK books that would take you into a different world of fantasy. I love reading a lot of Terry Goodkind books!

Your favorite tv series?

R: Without a doubt Gotham!

I love how grimy they made this. It is exactly in the spirit of the latest Batman movies (not that horrible one with Superman in there).
Who is the artist who inspired you the most?

R: Without a doubt (and cliche) Armin. If you think I do a lot, you should see what he does in the limited time we have. Plus he has a family!
For the geeks out there….do you have a favorite software and plugin at the moment to use while producing?

R: Im 100% in love with the Output plugins!

Is there any artist you would really like to cooperate with?
R: I’d  love to make a progressive (deep) tune with Armin one day. Like a Prydz kinda vibe? If you get what I mean!
Name a festival to cross off your bucket list….

R: I truly would love to play at Tomorrowland one day! Besides that I am really keen into playing festivals in the States. Dreamstate/EDC etc.
How many tracks do you listen to per week approx ?

R: At least a 1000? It is hard to judge!

In my ‘spare’ time I do enjoy listening to other music than electronic. For example Maria Mena.
Thank you so much and see you soon!

R:Thanks Jess! 

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Ruben de Ronde official website

Ruben de Ronde on Facebook

Ruben de Ronde on YouTube

Ruben de Ronde on Soundcloud 

Ruben de Ronde on Spotify

Ruben de Ronde on Beatport

 

An Exclusive talk with Jochen Miller

Hello there and Happy Monday…

Yes, I know what you are thinking, how could  possibly exist a good Monday???….Hmmmm ok, let me try…What if I tell you we are starting the week with an exclusive chat with Jochen Miller?? does it feel any better now? oh I am sure it does!

So let’s check it out :

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Hi Jochen!Thanks for taking the time. Last time I met you we were all having fun at ASOT in Utrecht and you signed my flag so I was really looking forward to catch up with you again 🙂 How was your gig in London last weekend?
Thanks for having me and for bringing your flag;-) Let’s see if we can have another one signed in 2017 at ASOT. London was amazing, MOS is always so much fun!
 
You travel quite a lot, how do you manage to stay healthy?
By keeping yourself hydrated and choosing the more healthy food when possible. I also always carry my training-attire with me, so I can hit the gym at the hotel. But having as much fun as I’m having on tour is the main reason your energy stays up, it keeps my mental health in the best condition, and that’s probably the most important thing.

What’s the best remedy to cure the jet lag?
Depends if  I’m coming or going. When I get back home the best way to get rid off the jet-lag is a litlle rest and a lot of working out. When I’m arriving at the place where I’m playing on the weekends, I’ll be so high on adrenaline the jet-lag has never bothered me. I just fly in and go with it, soak up new cultures, the food, the crowd. I love it all so much, I’m rarely tired. 

ADE is right around the corner, what do you expect from it this year?
This year’s ADE will be about presenting my new forthcoming work. In the latter half of this year a lot of new Jochen Miller originals will be released, as will at least four very surprising collaborations. I’m very excited to be able to tell you more about those by the time ADE is here.

You always play at huge festivals, do you have a festival bucket list?
Well, Tomorrowland was crossed off, twice actually;-) But that still leaves room for festivals I’ve played before but would very much like to play again, such as EDC Vegas, ASOT Mexico… And I’ve never been at Coachella or Burning Man, so those would be the ones I wish for the most….
 
I know you love to play with your PlayStation , which is your favorite game?
FIFA!!! But you asking me about this now is quite painfull, as my PS4 is at the repair, and they can’t find the problem, so I haven’t been able to play for over a week! And though I still have the 2 and 3 at home, once you’ve played the PS4, nothing can compare to that one anymore….

In the past you joined forces with many other great artists to create some smashing hits… Is there someone else you would love to cooperate with now?
We actually have two amazing collaborations in the finishing process, but I’m so sorry for the fact I can’t tell you who with just this moment…. But I promise you’ll be surprised and curious to hear them as soon as they’re set for release!

Something  I really love about your sets is you always keep it energetic and your ability to read the crowd, is it something a dj can learn or would you say it’ s more like  a gift?
Thank you for the great compliment! I think the ability to read the crowd is something that comes naturally to me, but I got to refine by playing nights from open to close when I started to perform. When I was the resident DJ of the Matrixx in the Netherlands, I always opened for the guest DJ that night, and was able to kind of build the atmosphere from scratch. A true DJ will know what the crowd needs to hear to get them dancing, and not just play his or her hit-tunes. When I prepare myself for a set, I edit three times the amount of tracks I know I’ll be able to play, so there’s a lot to choose from, and my set is never the same. The only thing that will always be in there is the energy. Whether I play an opening, peek-time or closing slot, it will always have that drive, that push…

As you know I am a huge fan of your “Stay Connected”show, can you tell our readers what’s the idea behind it and how it started?
The Stay Connected show is my way of connecting with the fans all over the world that like to hear my music on a regular basis even if they can’t come to a live show. The mash-ups that people ask about after a performance are in there, same as all the new releases, and the most energetic new tunes I find in that month. And the titel of the show refers to ” Lost Connection”, of course…
Are social medias really important to you? Which one is your favorite?
Social medias are important to any artist, to be honest. It is a fun way to keep in touch with the people that like your music, and, less fun, the people that don’t;-)) I love Instagram for the visual aspect, Twitter is more the communication line with fellow DJ’s, and Facebook is the place to virtually hangout with all musiclovers.

Music is constantly evolving and it’s doing it very fast, so, for obvious reasons your music is always changing and evolving as well; in your view, which direction is electronic music taking now?
In my opinion the world seems to be ready for a new era of melodic music, music that contains emotion, and not (just) a fat drop, if you will. Music that will take you on a little journey in a club or on a festival, and not have you exhausted from jumping in a very short amount of time. But with the energy you need to have the night of your life.

If you were not a successful dj, what would you do?
When I was younger my soccer-team did quite well, but at a certain point, playing on Saturday night made me unable to commit to the team on Sunday morning. So it was either soccer or music. So I hope I’d be doing something with soccer? Maybe a trainer or something? Still love that game….

Can you share with us some of yours upcoming projects?
‘Cephalon’, my new track will be released soon and I have a remix due for Cuebrick & Apek’s ‘Safe’ in the coming weeks. Later on this year, some very interesting collabs, hope I’ll be able to share more about those shortly!

What does inspire you to create a new tune and what are your favorite tools to build it in the studio?
Inspiration can come from almost anything, from travelling, a vocalist singing something amazing or from engeneering a sound in the studio, for instance. My favorite tools in the studio are the omnisphere-synth and the UAD plugins.

Thanks again Jochen, and see you soon on the dance floor!
Thank you, and hope to see you soon too!

EXCLUSIVE: A BRAND NEW ELLER!!


You know that feeling you get when you listen to that one song…and you think, “Hey, this is exactly how I feel today”??

When the words you hear are the words running through your mind in that specific moment?

Yes, I am sure we all got this, but for me personally, it doesn’t happen quite often, it depends on the mood and on the phase of life I’m going through…So, when “Brand New” hit me right in the feels a couple of weeks ago,it immediately hooked me up with its charming (and pretty deep honestly) lyrics.

My pop rock soul side broke through…again!! And in that moment I knew it was going to be a pretty special song to me, the one to play over and over from now on.

 

Now, just pretend you were me for a moment ok?

You are listening to this gigantic tune during a perfect mid summer night…its lyrics hunting your thoughts while the captivating smile and eyes of Eller are sending you the right amount of positive vibes you need right now…and yes, it happens..you start singing at the top of your lungs….

“I feel brand new …because of you…yeeeeaaahhhh….It’s what you doooo…..oh yeah brand newwwwww”…..

( and I am so out of tune guys you have no idea but just can’t help myself as the song is so catchy)…..so….what’s the next thing that comes to your mind now?

HINT: remember you are still me…a blogger……oh YESSSS!!! I’ve decided to keep in touch with Eller and see if he was up for a little chat….

And yes, he was!! And such a nice guy!!!

The very first thing I perceived is that I am really talking with a “Brand New” man, starting from the artist name which has been changed in just Eller (direct and friendly if you ask me) I’ve got the feeling he’s been through a lot lately and this led him to a certain kind of evolution… so Let’s found out more about our little talk…


 Hi Eller, and many thanks for taking the time, it’s really a pleasure to have you supporting my blog.

How are you doing lately?
I’m doing very well actually, thanks. Some big changes has happened. I moved houses and studio, and of course my upcoming EP. Lots of singing, writing, playing etc. Really good vibes going on!
First of all congrats for the new single Brand New, I am in love with it, what has inspired you this tune?
All the change that happened to me was the big inspiration. It was the first song I wrote together with Tony Cornelissen. I insist that a song could only be about stuff which stays close to myself, musically, but moreover lyrically. That’s one of the reasons I started singing myself. I might not be the best singer in the world, but working with other singers, who had to understand my emotions and thoughts just feels unnatural. I think people can interact with the song, too. 
Your passion for the music started at a very young age, how did it all begin and how much your family influenced you?

There was always music at home. My father is a huge music fan, who played recordings in literally almost all styles of music. That influenced me. Also my guitar teacher Eltjo Cleton helped me a lot. Because of my parents and Eltjo I started dreaming and practicing. Oh my God, I’ve practiced so much, haha! Of course my brother helped me a lot in learning how music and the industry all works. And my friends are all great music fans, too. I remember playing in bands and talking hours and hours just about music with them. I still do that. So it’s actually the whole environment around me that formed me personally as well as a musician. 

What about Bagga Bownz project?
Bagga Bownz still exists, but not as a band at the moment. I still see the guys quite often and I’m also still working with them, but more in different projects. Sometimes you just got to let go stuff, even if it’s very good, and move forward to new things. But Bagga Bownz was (and is) still a very good band and act. I still listen to “Done With The Pain” a lot. 
Can you tell me something about your upcoming solo album?(I can’t wait to listen to it)
Oh yeah! It’s an EP, called “Brand New”, and, like I said before, all of the songs are written from true experience. I did some co-writes and a duet, which at the moment I can’t say too much about (sorry!). The next single is called “Traffic Dance”. It’s a really happy one about the movements in a traffic jam, which makes it more a dance than just a bunch of cars. I thought of the concept while I was stuck in traffic on the way to Tony (Cornelissen, co-writer) for a writing session. 
The next single is ehmm…, AAARGH! Can’t say too much about it. The title though is “Better Now”. You should also listen to the pianos and Hammonds done by Sytze Verbeek. 

The other songs are ‘Ready To Go’, a heavy blues, about being done with the relation ship you’re in. The drums on that (by Tim Brink) are really pumping. Then there’s “Rescue Me”, an uplifting “Maroon 5” kind of feel, on which I really love the basslines (Auke Haaksma). The song sounds happy, but is about feeling helpless. 

And there’s more coming! Already did some writing for the second EP, which is already sounding great in demo phase. 
Talking about your professional life, you are a musician, a song writer, a singer… And you are always on the road with more than one project as you are following your brother on his world tour, so I was wondering if any of your song is maybe born really on the road? 

At the moment I’m not on tour with Armin. Touring is one of the best things that could happen to you, but on the Armin Only tours there’s almost no room for writing, because I need to be focussed. I was actually mostly having fun or sleeping the jetlags out 😉

And about collaborations with other artists, is there some one you would really like to get in touch to write something together ?

Ow, there are so many people, but if I had to name one right now it would be Ed Sheeran. In the beginning I wasn’t a big fan of his music, but when I listened more closely, and after I read his book, I would love to hear how he writes.

The funniest things happened to you while traveling?
So much funny things happen during touring. Laughing is one of the most important things during any tour. Me, Michael and Koen (Bagga Bownz members) used to have great laughs. The more stupid it is, the better. Of course it makes no sense in telling this in this interview, nobody would understand a particular situation. I also used to do solo shows, or tours with others, like my friend Chris Jones. Because “touring equals being tired” it makes the jokes even worse than they already are. Nobody would understand, but we just couldn’t stop laughing at some points. 
Looking back to some time ago…. There is an album you releases called Aacustico Dance Music, all my favorite trance tunes were rivisited in acoustic version… The very first time I heard the album I was attending Armin Only Intense in Utrecht if i am not wrong and I was like … Wow… Maybe you can tell us the idea behind this project ?

It happened during the shows. When you’re ‘home alone’ at your hotel room, waiting, or when you can’t leave for whatever reason, you’re just being bored. I started playing the songs acoustically, with the original singers, who were also in the same hotel. I recorded it with some iPhones, put it on YouTube and people starting asking where they could buy it. That was what helped me into doing this album. My name is on the front, but I did this together with the people from Bagga Bownz.

I know you also been a model in the past, how have you been involved in that?
Modelling was just something I ran into. I always love the creativity behind a photo shoot, also for an album. I love working with photographers, I don’t know why. Maybe because they have a different eye on the world?
What do you love to do in your spare time, if any? 🙂
“If any”, yes! Haha! I’m still learning on how to relax, I’m not very good at it. I love hanging out with my friends. 
Thank you very much and hope to see you soon!
Thank YOU very much. Really enjoyed your questions.
Eller – Brand New 

On Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/track/2hpdDhe9nE5hhkmS8TmVcs

On YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/ellervanbuuren

On Apple Music/iTunes:

https://itun.es/nl/TR7xdb?i=1130347354

Also available in all streaming/download services

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

You say Techno? …We say MOKA!!!

Ciao a tutti e buon 2016!!!
Spero che il vostro anno sia iniziato meravigliosamente bene!!

Il mio è iniziato con una bella dose di techno old school, che lasciatemelo dire, è decisamente un’ottima maniera di celebrare il 2016…
Facciamoci una chiacchierata con uno dei dj storici della techno italiana, Moka!!

J: Dall’inizio della tua carriera musicale ad oggi com’è cambiato il mondo della notte e la tua percezione del modo di divertirsi dei giovani ?

M: L’unico cambiamento che ho visto è l’età del pubblico che frequenta i pochi locali rimasti, negli anni 90 era raro trovare un quindicenne in pista, ora il sabato sera ha ereditato il pubblico delle mitiche domeniche pomeriggio.

J:Ti seguo da quando hai iniziato a mettere i dischi a La Scala, fino alla consacrazione all’Omen Frankfurt 🙂 ma tutte le volte che hai cambiato club è sempre stata una sfida, vedi Night&Day e Asylum, e lo stesso Omen un posto molto grande da riempire ma tu ci riuscivi sempre…hai mai avuto dubbi o timori in proposito?

M: Vedo che hai buona memoria. Di solito chi accetta le sfide, non ha mai dubbi, ha solo la consapevolezza che può perdere. Accettavo di suonare nei locali chiusi da tempo per mancanza di pubblico e con un sound non commerciale, nonostante tutto riuscivo a riempirli. La sfida con l’Omen Frankfurt fu la più ardua, nemmeno i miei fedelissimi ci credevano. Il locale, prima del mio arrivo, registrava di media di 20/30 presenze, per un locale con capienza di 5000 persone il fallimento era dietro l’angolo. Amministrai tutto, dalla pubblicità alla direzione, inaugurammo nel luglio del 1995. La serata inaugurale registrò oltre 6000 presenze, il resto è storia. Se in Veneto qualcuno parla di techno è perchè prima ha parlato dell’Asylum e del’Omen Frankfurt.

J: Cosa fai nel tempo libero?

M: Lo dedico interamente alla mia passione: la difesa degli Animali, tutti gli Animali.

J: Qual’è il collega che stimi di più nell’ambiente musicale?

M: Frank De Wulf, un autentico genio.

J: Nuovi progetti in arrivo?

M: Nulla di particolare. Ho creato Versus Management, una agenzia sempre alla continua ricerca di DJ talentuosi.

J: La tua maggiore fonte d’ispirazione?

M: L’umiltà.

J: Cosa ti piace di più della scena dance attuale e cosa di meno?

M: Devo essere sincero? Non posso vedere i dj che suonano con il traktor, con le chiavette. Il Vinile (non a caso sta tornando di brutto) rimane l’unica garanzia di tecnica per un dj, con il computer anche lo zio Pino può sentirsi un dj, rimane comunque una mia opinione. Per tutto il resto, i fenomeni c’erano negli anni 90 e ci sono anche adesso, cambiano le mode, ma quelli rimangono.

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Hello everyone and Happy 2016!!
I hope you’re starting the New Year in the most possible amazing way!
Mine..started with a fix of old school techno, which, I’d say was a pretty perfect way to celebrate 2016!!
Let’s have a good chat with one of the djs who wrote the history of techno music in Italy.

J: How do you think the world and people of the night have changed throughout the years since you started?

M: The only changing I’ve noticed is the age of the people attending the parties in the few clubs that are still working, back in the 90ies it was quite hard to find a 15 y.o. guy on the dance floor, now, on Saturdays’ we’ve plenty of young people, just like it was back then, on Sundays afternoon.

J: I’m following you since your beginning, when you were playing at a club called La Scala, to your professional celebration at the famous Omen Frankfurt 🙂 but everytime you have changed club it was like a challenge, just like The Night&Day one, and the Asylum, and even Omen that was such a huge place to fill with people, but you never failed, so I was wondering…were you ever doubtful or scared?

M: You remember it well, Usually who takes a challenge does not have doubts, but he knows he can fail too. I accepted to play in clubs that was closed for a few time due to a lack of audience and luckily I was able to succeed and the dancefloor was always packed.
The hardest challenge was with Omen Frankfurt, not even my fanbase thought it was possible to make it work there.
Before I came there, that club had about 20/30 people attending, and it was a huge place that could guest about 5000 people so the failure was around the corner. I’ve managed everything, from the promotion to the artistic direction,we opened in July ’95. The opening night counted more than 6000 people, and the rest is history.
If in the Venetian area someone talks about techno, it’s because of Asylum and Omen Frankfurt.

J: what do you do in your spare time?

M: I am extremely committed to my passion: the safeguard of animals, all animals.

J: Which is the colleague you esteem the most?

M: Frank De Wulf, un authentic genius.

J: Any new projects on the way?

M: Not really, but I created Versus Management, an agency always looking for talented djs.

J: what’s your source of inspiration?

M: Being humble.

J: what do you like the most about the dance scene and what you don’t?

M: If I am honest I can’t stand djs playing with traktor, with usb keys.
The vinyl, (coming back in fashion actually) is the only reliable technic for a dj, with a computer, anyone can be a dj…By the way, this is just my view.
We had big djs back in the 90ies and we have them today as well, times change but talent remains.

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Waiting for Menno de Jong

Hello everyone, sorry for being away for quite a while but I had a very annoying flu last week that drained all my energy; luckily I have been better in time for an amazing Halloween party…but I will tell you about it later…

Now, the main event of this upcoming weekend: yes, Trance Gate 10th Birthday!!! I already wrote about it, but what about a little chat with Menno just before we can meet him at the party next Saturday? I bet you would love it, right?
So here for you, he took the time to stop by for a quick interview:

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J: Hi there Menno,how and when did you start making music?

M: It started when I was really young, my dad had a keyboard and I would try to play things I heard on the radio on there. Eventually I started to take piano lessons and when I made my way to high school I had a classmate who was making music in an MS-DOS computer programme called Fasttracker. It was a very primitive bit of software but a fun way to start learning!

J: What are you working on at the moment?

M: I’m working on a new vocal single as well as a new collab with my friend Adam Ellis. I’m also collaborating with my management to bring In Trance We Trust and Menno Solo events to various new locations around the world.

J: Did it ever happen something funny or weird with fans during your gig?

M: Nothing weird really ever happens with fans (fortunately everybody is always very cool), however plenty of weird things happens when touring. One day I was accidentally dropped off at the wrong terminal in India, and because the driver was gone I had to take a Rickshaw to the other terminal. Because the person driving it did not understand a lot of English (and how much of a hurry I was in) he stopped to help someone with car trouble on the way over. I had to explain with sign language my flight was departing in 40! minutes.. Fortunately we got on our way and I made it to the terminal / gate seconds before cutoff time. Thank god I checked in online!

J: What are the ups and down of traveling so much?

M: The ups: playing the music you love for amazing crowds and meeting cool new people as well as seeing new places. The down: jetlag and missing your friends and family at home..

J: How was your ADE experience this year?

M: It was amazing, we organised the first In Trance We Trust ADE party and it was packed. The vibe was also awesome. Can’t wait to bring it back next year!

Menno de Jong contacts:

web www.mennodejong.com
facebook www.facebook.com/mennodejong
twitter www.twitter.com/mennodejong