It’s never too late to change. That’s the lesson I’ve learned from Jacob Van Hage, a Dutch DJ who’s turning over a new leaf. Though he learned how to DJ 20 years ago, 2014 was truly his breakout year. Releases like “Floorburn” and “Raid” on Flashover Recordings got the attention of label owner Ferry Corsten, who made Van Hage a staple at his Full On shows around the world last year. Now, with a steady stream of releases and a new fan base, Jacob Van Hage is ready to really take things to a new level, starting with a new podcast, his first EP, and more.
Why did you decide to depart from your Clear Blue Sky mixes?
Clear Blue Sky was a monthly DJ mix that I’ve been doing for over four years and I’ve built a great fan base from it. But I don’t want to do an electro or progressive-exclusive mix. I want to include more genres and craft something special – start out with a slow bpm and work my way up to a trancier vibe. I’m always trying to find ways to keep people surprised, which I think that’s my strongest ability as a DJ. In November I was doing Clear Blue Sky #056 and I got so sick of just doing a mix. I wanted to find a new way to show people what I was doing, not just onstage but with my own music. I want to create a rave. And that’s where ‘Rave the World’ came from.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
I was so fucking scared to do my own voiceover! Normally, when I pick up the mic and I hear my voice through the speakers I don’t mind; I’ve been doing it for 20 years. But I did my first take and I was so BAD, I sounded like a robot! (laughs). ‘Hello. My name is Jacob.’ You could tell I was reading from a script. So then I tried it without one but I kept forgetting what I wanted to say and that was also pretty bad. Finally, I had my friends give me advice and they told me to do both at the same time – sound more natural, but stick to the script – and that really helped build my confidence for the first show. The other challenge was trying to find the right way to compress my voice so that it sounded the right way no matter how people chose to listen.
So what can people expect from this first episode?
I just did a bootleg with a good friend of mine that’s an exclusive premiere which will also be a free download after I upload the first episode. There are some familiar tracks from me in there as well.
What’s your goal for Rave the World? What do you think can come from this?
The goal is to build the ‘Rave the World’ brand and take it globally. Instead of it just being a Jacob Van Hage Presents: Rave the World podcast, when I play a show in each city it can be ‘Jacob Raves New York,’ or something like that. Right now it’s monthly, but as it gains momentum I’ll make it bi-monthly and then before the end of the year it’ll be once a week. It all depends on how quickly I can prepare each episode. This is all unchartered territory for me, so it took a lot of time to prepare and make sure every detail was perfect. And I’m stubborn, so I want to do everything myself. I don’t want to think that I’m too busy to hand it off to someone else to mix for me like some other people do.
What would be really cool is to make this a live show, like on UStream or something. That’s what I really want to do, mix live for an hour with my friends, wherever I happen to that week: at my house, in the studio, whatever! Radio is supposed to be live! That’s how it should always be.
You’ve never released an EP before, what are some of your fears going into this project?
The expectations of people. I say I don’t give a shit what people think, but I really do. Sometimes I lay awake at night just thinking about my music, worrying about the feedback. I like a track, but my management or my wife wont’t like it and I can’t understand why, because I put all this time and energy into and I think it’s fit to release! Though you can’t please everybody; I’m learning that now. As long as I can make music that’s mine, that’s not just sounds copied and pasted from a sound bank or a sample pack, I’m always going to be proud of it.
The new music I’ve been working on has been more mellow than my previous tracks. One of my upcoming singles “Teardown” is still edgy like I have been – it’s the reason why Ferry signed me to Flashover in the first place – but it’s not as in your face like “Floorburn” or “Raid.” I’ve been on the road with Ferry a lot in the past year. At the Full On shows I saw MarLo, Bassjackers, Ferry, and Audien all play these great energetic sets to the same crowds but in totally different ways. That’s what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to show fans a different side of me without losing that energy in the music.
Rave The World 001 is out now, with the full tracklist below. Catch Jacob Van Hage’s latest track “Reckless” on Dada Life’s Welcome to Dada Land compilation in stores February 17.
Rave the World 001 Tracklist:
01. Ronde – Run (Max Moore & Jacob van Hage Bootleg)
02. Leon Bolier – Freak (Original Mix)
03. Dada Life – Freaks Have More Fun (Original Mix)
04. Halfway House & Tommie Sunshine – #BSOD (Original Mix)
05. Alesso ft Tove Love VS Mark Sixma & Kill the Buzz – Rise Up Heroes (MDH Projekt Mashup)
06. Kaskade & John Dahlbäck feat Sansa – A Little More (Cobra Effect Remix)
07. Art Inc. – Freezer (Original Mix)
08. Jacob van Hage & Art Inc. – Teardown (Original Mix)
09. Dash Berlin & 3LAU ft. Bright Lights – Somehow (Original Mix)
10. Pairanoid – Panic Mode (Original Mix)
11. Jacob van Hage – Raid (Original Mix)
12. Row Rocka – Kingwood (Original Mix)
13. Jacob van Hage – Reckless (Original Mix)
14. Bart Claessen – ET Astronaut (Original Mix)
15. DoubleV – The Gate (Original Mix)
16. Galantis vs deadmau5 & Joorn Bold – Runaway Strobe (Jacob van Hage Mashup)