(Original Photo By: Rudgr)
What do you get when you mix Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool?
A Dutch duo that will absolutely blow your mind time and time again. In this week’s episode of Aspire to Inspire we sit down with the men behind Vicetone to discuss the success behind their careers in electronic dance music.
Both Ruben and Victor dreamed of becoming DJs since the young ages of ten and twelve, but were not always sure that it would come to fruition. Ruben has even said that, at the time, his dream seemed to be so unreachable that he never even thought it was worth telling anyone about. Growing up in a place like the Netherlands, they were exposed to dance music quite early on in life, as it became extremely popular on mainstream radio around 2006.
Victor: “It was definitely a dream, starting at the age of 10 or something. I think we got a head start in comparison to other countries because radio has been blasting dance music for so long. I feel like Dutch guys kind of got a head start.”
While we often see duos and groups of talent hit rough spots and disagreements, this is simply not the case for the boys of Vicetone. The two have known each other since the age of fourteen and have been the best of friends ever since, even living together. Their passion for dance music has grown so much since their early exposure to it that working together as a duo has been nothing but the best possible creative outcome.
Ruben: “We have two separate studios because we do work alone sometimes, but working together is so easy for us because we have the same musical vision. I have certain strengths and weaknesses and he has some too, so we kind of play off of that. If there is some part that I know Victor will do better, then I’ll give it to him. We only release something that we are both very proud of. This is always the end goal. I can’t imagine not being friends with Victor.”
Ruben and Victor have worked so well together throughout their career that they do not have a whole lot of concerns about whether or not they will continue to do so in the future. In fact, when asked about any concerns they may have as artists, the only things mentioned were losing their projects or their computer crashes and getting to a point in life where they were behind a desk working nine to five – not DJing anymore. Both dropped out of college to pursue their dreams of entering the music industry and could not imagine living their lives as happily in any other way.
One of the biggest factors in the eventual success of Vicetone was the support Ruben and Victor received from each of their parents. Both sets have seen the duo perform in their hometown, as well as on the mainstage of Ultra 2015 – a first for Ruben’s parents. The family support and encouragement throughout their careers has worked wonders in the long run, which is reflected in the music they produce. For example, their hit “Let Me Feel” with Nicky Romero and “When We Are Wild” is a sure fire way to bring up all the feels; complete with passionate lyrics and synths.
Ruben: “We always put a lot of emotion, melody, and harmonies into our tracks. We like that there is a sort of build up in our sets and evokes some sort of emotion.”
Though Ruben and Victor have seen great success so far, there have definitely been some scary moments along the way. Ruben shared a specific moment in which Ultra 2014 almost didn’t happen for them, reminding us all that not everything goes smoothly all the time.
Ruben: “Last year we almost missed our whole set in Miami because our Visas turned out to be invalid at the last minute. Someone messed something up along the way. We were in Canada for two weeks and we stayed there because we still wanted to go to Ultra. They were either going to deny it, which meant we would miss the whole festival, or approve. They waited until the very last day [the day of our flight] and they approved it so we took the flight to Miami.
When I got through customs, they picked Victor out of the crowd. We almost missed our flight so that was probably the most stressful thing we’ve encountered. We were on edge the whole day because you wake up and say, “I can either play Ultra today if they approve, or I’m going to miss it.” He got picked out by customs and they told him his papers didn’t work so he got sent to this immigration inspection thing while the flight was on the line.”
Victor: “I had mixed feelings because Ruben got through, Thank God. Someone would be able to play Ultra, but then I might not be able to.”
However, the risks and last minute hang-ups are definitely worth the reward. Ruben and Victor have met fans all over the world that have come from far and wide to see them play, which is an incredibly redeeming feeling. Seeing the love and support they receive from family, also coming from fans who will drive almost thirty hours, even flying all the way from Germany, to see them play, has them truly grateful for such awesome loyalty.
The biggest takeaway from all the things that the two Dutch DJs have learned and seen has a lot to do with the work that is put into their trade. Despite being so loved and adored by their fans all over the world, Ruben and Victor know and understand that it still takes a huge amount of devotion and commitment to make it all work out at the end of the day.
Ruben: “You can take nothing for granted and no one will put in the hard work for you. You have to do it all yourself. You have to work hard to get something. Nothing will be given to you.”
Victor: “When we started, we had specific goals like wanting to get our music on the radio and such. We’ve just learned that we have to be really really patient and work hard the entire time. It’s not easy, you go through a lot of hard times, but you have to persevere.”
Not only do they apply these ideals during their time in the studio making music, but they also take the time to apply it in their relationships with the fans that do so with them. Whether that means taking as many pictures as possible with fans, shaking hands, or hugs, Ruben and Victor see direct contact with the people as the best way to give back beyond a musical connection.
In doing so, Vicetone hopes to contribute to the task of making the world a better, more tolerant, free, and accepting place that leaves people to live their lives as they choose. In traveling from place to place around the globe, they have seen societies that are not nearly as accepting and loving as their Holland home. Therefore, they hope to spread the acceptance and tolerance bit-by-bit, show-by-show, and track-by-track.
If you want to get a more in-depth look at Ruben and Victor’s friendship, their ability to overcome life’s obstacles, and their desire to make this world a more loving/accepting place, then we invite you to tune in to Aspire to Inspire Live TOMORROW Wednesday night at 8pm EST via Twitch: