The Dutch house scene is one of the most iconic and influential musical communities in the world, and has helped to shape the current state of EDM today. Superstars ranging from Afrojack, to Hardwell, to Fedde Le Grand have all flourished in Holland’s house arena, and the sounds and techniques of Dutch house have had a reverberating effect through the house music scene from the late 2000s on. Nowadays, the Dutch house community is still riddled with talent, with many skilled producers and DJs trying to make their own mark on the scene. Chief among these rising stars is JoeySuki, a truly gifted producer from Tilburg, who has put his name on the map with his music making.
With 50 releases over the past five years, on labels ranging from Revealed Recordings to Armada Music, JoeySuki has dazzled fans worldwide with his wide-ranged production technique and masterful live sets. Fresh on the heels of his “Goosebumps” (925 Music, 2013) release, as well as his brand new banger “Kitchen” (off of Fedde Le Grand’s label Flamingo Recordings), it seems that JoeySuki still has a few tricks up his sleeve left for 2013. I got the chance to talk with Joey about his productions, his views on the Dutch house scene, what he’d like to hear more out of producers, and his plans for the rest of the year. Read on for the full interview, and make sure to check out the premiere of JoeySuki’s brand new track “Kitchen.”
Your EDM: For those who don’t know you, please tell us a bit about yourself.
JoeySuki: I am JoeySuki, 24 years old and living in Holland. My whole life is about music, food, and…uh…fun!
Your EDM: You’ve been producing house for going on five years now. What originally got you into house music production, and what was the first track you created?
JoeySuki: I started off DJing in my hometown and my cousin is a DJ as well but he was already producing house music at the time. After a few years of DJing I got really interested in the production side of music and so I asked my cousin to help me a bit with what hard/software I needed, etc. I bought a computer and a few monitor speakers and locked myself up for about a year to learn the basics of music production. After a year I got my first release, which was a remix. But my first original release was a collaboration with Apster called “Chekk,” haha! It’s probably still on the web–so if you want to hear it, Google will probably help you!
Your EDM: Tell us about your musical background. You use a great deal of melody in your tracks. Do you have any experience with other instruments, or other genres outside of house?
JoeySuki: Well the funny thing is that I have never touched an instrument until about two years ago. So in the first years of my career I couldn’t even read notes or play the piano. All the melodies and chords that were made in the beginning of my career were created without any musical background. But two years ago I went to a music school in Holland where I learned to read notes and play the piano for a bit, and since then I’m able to create better and more sophisticated chords progressions. It’s good to know what you’re actually doing or why something isn’t sounding the way you want it to sound, haha!
Your EDM: What’s your current studio setup, and what production software do you use? Also, what are some of your favorite plugins/synths to use in your tracks?
JoeySuki: I’m currently working on a Mac Pro with Logic on it but in the beginning I used Cubase SX 3. I’m really considering going back to Cubase again because i’ve heard a lot of good things about the latest version. I also use UAD since a few months now, it’s a great investment for your mixing and mastering! My favorite plugins are the ones that probably everyone uses: Nexus 2, Sylenth, A.N.A. and Massive.
Your EDM: Your production technique is highly diverse, to say the least. You’ve produced across the landscape of house music, ranging from classic house, to tech house, to electro and progressive house. What–or who–are some of your musical influences? What elements do you try to include in your tracks?
JoeySuki: I’m not sure which music specifically influences me because I listen to a lot of different styles. It really depends on which emotional level I am on at that particular moment haha. Sometimes I really enjoy listening to some deep house, and sometimes I love to hear some Justin Timberlake records. My music has a lot of different influences out of different styles of music, so I think that’s why the tracks are so diverse. I like to create something completely different each time! If I have to name a few producers who inspire me I must say that it’s Axwell, Hardwell, Claude Von Stroke, Laidback Luke, Mark Knight–the list goes on!
Your EDM: You’ve produced tracks in a variety of sub-genres. But it seems like the past couple years, much of your work has been in the progressive house realm. Compared to some of your older tracks like “Decimort” (2010), your more recent tracks seem to have a lot more big-room, progressive house elements within them. Do you view it as a natural evolution of your sound, or have you been influenced by some of the modern progressive sound?
JoeySuki: I guess it has to deal with both. One of the reasons is because of my evolution as a producer. I am now able to create better chord progressions, which makes it nicer to work with big room breaks because it’s all about the chords. Like I said before, in the beginning I wasn’t able to do this–but after a lot of studying, I now am.
Your EDM: You’ve been featured on quite a few notable labels, including Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings, Spinnin’ Records, and Toolroom. How does it feel to now be featured on Fedde Le Grand’s “Flamingo Recordings?” Any upcoming tracks in the works for other big-time labels?
JoeySuki: I’m happy that my new track “Kitchen” got released on Fedde Le Grand’s label. I’ve been very excited for this one because it’s been a dream for me to release a track here! As a young DJ/Producer, I already was a big fan of the “Flamingo” sound. Now I’m finally getting my own release on the label! Besides “Kitchen,” I have a lot of other new tunes ready, and I’m shopping for labels as we speak.
Your EDM: Let’s talk a bit about your new release, “Kitchen” which was just released today off of Flamingo Recordings. It’s already garnered support from David Guetta, Firebeatz, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. This is quite a unique -sounding track: it’s got that big-room groove, but also has some very rhythmic, tech house elements as well. Tell us about the production process you went through in making “Kitchen.” What are your thoughts on utilizing these rhythmic, tech house influences in today’s house environment? Is it something you’d like to hear more of from other artists?
JoeySuki: It’s funny you say that it’s a “unique sounding track” because thats exactly what I was aiming for, haha. The thing is: I was sitting in the studio with a new clean Logic project in front of me and I was asking myself what kind of track I wanted to make that day. I was really getting bored of the “big room” sound and was searching for something new. I decided to randomly browse through my sample libraries, select all the samples that I liked, and throw them on the working screen. I also did the same with the synths that are used in the track. Every decision that I made, was made with this question in the back of my head: “Would I normally choose this sound?” If the answer was “no,” I decided to use it! I guess the “out of the box” way of thinking has definitely paid off in this track, and I really would recommend other producers to try it as well!
Your EDM: The Dutch house scene really needs no introduction, as countless industry stars like Hardwell and Afrojack have all come out of the house community of the Netherlands. You’re decidedly in the “new school” of the next great Dutch house stars, among great talents like DubVision, Disfunktion, and Justin Prime. What are your views on this “new” wave of Dutch house artists and their sound, and how do you see the Dutch house scene evolving these next few years?
JoeySuki: At this moment tracks are getting harder and rougher, and it seems like all styles are merging into one. It’s a nice development but I’m not sure if it will take long before another new sound will take over the hype. I personally think it’s nice that the old disco / deep house influences (tracks like Duke Dumont – Need U 100%) are getting back on the dance floor and radio stations. I would love to see some producers taking more risks by creating something out of their comfort zone. I think that that’s important for the future. Don’t make something that sounds like someone else–try to create your own sound.
Your EDM:Who are some up-and-coming artists that have been impressing you lately? Anyone that we should keep an eye on in the future?
JoeySuki: I hear a lot of talent because of my SUKI LIKES promo sessions (link) which I do twice a month. Every time I have a session, I’m amazed by all the undiscovered talent out there! I get tracks submitted by 14 year-old producers that sound like they’ve already been producing for ten years! If you ask me, I would keep an eye out for Sick Individuals. Those guys are producing some proper music lately! (Ed. We had the privilege to interview Sick Individuals back in April.)
Your EDM: Tell us about some of your recent touring/live performances. Any memorable ones that come to mind? Also, what are your touring plans for the rest of 2013?
JoeySuki: A few weeks ago we celebrated Queensday in Holland. I had two gigs that day, and I was really excited for it because it was two very big shows. I’ve performed at a lot of shows in Holland, but these were definitely the best two shows I’ve ever done there. Both shows were packed and everybody partied hard! The after movie is online on my YouTube channel, so go see it for yourself! For 2013, I am planning to go back to South Africa again–it’s starting to look like that is one of my annual gigs. I am also playing in Greece this summer at Starbeach next to Afrojack, Hardwell, R3hab, etc. So I’m really looking forward to that! And in June I’m also playing at Summerfestival on the “Revealed Recordings” stage. So that’s gonna be crazy too! There are a lot of other gigs coming up, so if you want to know where I am playing be sure to visit my website for all the info.
Your EDM: What can we expect out of JoeySuki for the rest of 2013? Any other new releases on the horizon?
JoeySuki: Yeah definitely! I’ve got a lot of new tracks ready, and like I said, I’m currently shopping for labels so you will be hearing a lot from my side soon! There’s a new track coming up called “Builder,” but I can’t tell you anything about the label yet–it’s still a secret! Builder will be my first release after Kitchen, and we’re hoping for a release in June.
Your EDM: Lastly, feel free to make any plugs/announcements to our readers.
JoeySuki: If you want to stay up to date about all the info about me, be sure to visit my Facebook page or just keep an eye on my website. All the info you’ll need will be there. And don’t forget, “Kitchen” is out now on Flamingo Recordings! Thanks for having me, YourEDM.com!
Thanks very much to JoeySuki and TTTM Management for a truly enjoyable interview. Be sure to follow JoeySuki through the above links, as well as his Twitter and Soundcloud. Make sure to check out his latest release “Kitchen” on Beatport. And as always, for all the latest and greatest in the EDM scene, keep it tuned to Your EDM.