Upon sitting down with the now world-famous future house DJ/producer, Oliver Heldens, we learned quite a bit about his past, present and future. He offered some great insight into his childhood aspirations and how he progressed to the sound he’s known for today. From Gabber-head to house music god, the transformation took years and years but the effort was, obviously, well worth it.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a DJ/Producer? How long has it taken you to get to where you are today?
When I was like ten, eleven years old I started listening to hardstyle and jumpstyle. My home city is Rotterdam which is where Gabber originated (Rotterdam techno retrospectively called “early hardcore”) so I guess that’s the reason why I got into harder dance at such a young age. Maybe one year later when I was twelve, then I started getting into house music because Fedde Le Grand had big hits on the radio & [so did] Axwell.
It quickly becomes apparent who some of Heldens’ biggest influences are. But more importantly is the journey that lead him to the discovery of his sound. There is a noticeable gap between when he first started producing and when he really “found” himself – which goes to show you that becoming one of the industry greats takes quite a bit of time and perseverance. Read on below…
So what made you decide to pursue future house? What got you to the sound you’re known for today?
My first experience with house music was with old Fedde Le Grand, old Chocolate Puma, old Laidback Luke, old Sander Van Doorn, and so I started producing when I was like 13 like house and tech house and [my productions] got more progressive when I was 15 or 16 in 2011, and then it got more electro. Then in 2012 I discovered Disclosure and I was like “woah this is sick shit,” it was more throwback to me – the old house style but it was still really fresh. So since then I started to try more house-ier stuff and used the structure of 90’s and UK house and brought in hardstyle influences and dubstep influences with the hard metallic sounds. “Gecko” used like a metallic sound, it was really different from these warm deep house sounds… almost industrial. It was a good crossover. So that was the start then the rest followed really quickly. So I did stuff like Disclosure did but my music sounds really different. And of course Tchami is doing very well with his sound, it’s really good. So now it’s two years later since I made “Gecko” and I’m working on my new alias.
This brings us to the current day, where Heldens has become a huge name, but he has decided to expand his horizons even further via experimentation with a new alias. Although he has faced some criticism in regards to not releasing his HI-LO music under the original Oliver Heldens moniker, part two of this interview, which is soon to follow, further explains the reasonings behind his new project and what’s next for Oliver Heldens, HI-LO & his new Spinnin’ Records imprint, Heldeep. Stay tuned!
Image via Rukes