We have seen so many big DJ’s emerge from the Netherlands. Alongside you, there’s Tiësto, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Afrojack to name a few. What is it about the Dutch scene that seems to produce so many talented artists?
It’s because so many great producers and DJs have come from the Netherlands before, it makes the next generation feel like anything is possible. Especially now with like you say, Martin Garrix coming up so young and also crossing over into the pop world, it’s a big inspiration for newer artists. But before Martin, there was Robbert (Hardwell) and before him there was Tiësto. Dance music is such a large part of Dutch culture.
With this in mind, what do you think it takes to become a successful DJ/producer?
To have a vision of what you want to do and what music you want to make. Then, you can start crafting the path you want to take. You don’t need a lot of money or a lot of fancy equipment; having a passion is more important.
In the past you’ve released music on Hardwell’s label but now you’ve launched your own. What made you start Fonk Recordings, and how is it different to other labels?
I still make progressive music like I released on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings, but I also love a groovier sound on the dancefloor, which is what I wanted to release on Fonk Recordings. You know, that has really become the whole identity of the label, keeping a level of funk on the releases that still sounds big on the dancefloor. I also signed a lot of new talents when we were starting to launch, some of the younger artists we signed played their first gig at our sold out ADE event last month. To give them that platform was amazing for everyone.
What do you think the future holds for EDM and how do you see it progressing?
I don’t think we can label everything strictly EDM anymore. The original “EDM scene” has developed so much into progressive, tropical house and hard style. For example, trap and bass is becoming extremely popular in America. Electronic music has progressed a lot in the past five years and I think we’ll see that again in the next five, with a lot more experimentation.
You turn 31 this month (happy birthday from BESTFIT!) Any big plans to celebrate?
Haha, thanks! I’m about to kick-off a mini US headline tour and I’ll be in Miami on my actual birthday, playing at LIV – always fun to party there, they take it to the next level! Excited to party with my US fans and drink a beer!
You’re on tour in Japan at the moment; how’s the food out there? Do you try and stick to a healthy diet?
It was so much fun, we played a sold-out show in Osaka! The food is great, I had some amazing sashimi, which was fresh and healthy, but if I want to try something new in a new culture that isn’t the best for me, I have to live a little!
We’ve heard from so many touring artists how hard it can be to keep fit on the road. What is your fitness routine like?
My tour manager and I try to keep fit by doing gym sessions in the hotel before the shows and eating healthily when we can. The Jagermiester we drink probably isn’t that good for us, but I believe if you look after yourself, especially on the road, you can have some things in moderation.
Can you give us five top tracks to motivate a work out?
1) Eric Prydz – Call One Me
2) Reel2Reel – I Like to move it
3) ID – Move (Fonk)
4) Dannic – Blaze
5) Jane XØ & Dannic – Undone
What can we expect in 2017?
A lot of new music (high-energy funky stuff to keep you motivated on winter workouts!) and I’ll also be putting a lot of focus into Fonk, keeping up the momentum from the past year. I’m also working on some exciting projects and collaborations that I can’t quite tell you about – I’ll reveal all soon!