There can be a lot of redundancy in the music scene nowadays. One group that has managed to be anything but that over the years is Showtek. From their hardstyle roots to festival bangers like “Booyah” and “We Like to Party” Showtek has firmly established themselves as one of the premiere acts in dance music. The Dutch brothers have been experimenting with new sounds as their production style has evolved over the years, and their willingness to try new things has paid off. Their most recent tracks “On Our Own” with Brooks featuring Natalie Major and “Believer” with Major Lazer have both been well received. We got the chance to talk to Sjoerd and Wouter after they played at EDC Las Vegas where they dropped an amazing set filled with several new tracks. Here’s what they had to say.
What are you guys trying to do musically right now? How have you guys evolved over the years? What do you guys want to do differently, what do you want to do the same?
Sjoerd: “Obviously people know our big bangers, ‘Bad’ ‘Cannonball’ ‘Booyah’ and sometimes it’s hard to step away from that sound and show the crowd we have more potential than that. We’re still doing that, but we’re also trying to show a different approach of what’s possible in dance music. Today we played a song called ‘Amen’ and it was more cultural.”
Wouter: “‘On Our Own’ that’s our latest song with Brooks and Natalie Major. We tried to transform into like the next level, a different stage, but you can still hear that it’s Showtek, in collaboration with Brooks. We managed to keep our own sound but turn it into something else and the same applies to ‘Amen’ which is trappy reggae, a little more socially and politically oriented. We want to try and explore new areas.”
What’s made you guys want to find more of a political voice lately?
Wouter: “We’ve been DJing for so long, we’ve seen every club, every festival, we’ve met millions of people. But it’s almost bad to just DJ and not say anything. If we have even 1% we can empower and inspire the next generation by telling how we feel or how we see the world, our perspective, how we perceive things, what’s going on in the world. It would almost be weird to neglect that. We feel we want to spread our perspective of the world and tell people how we feel about things.”
How has the live show evolved over the years. Sonny Wilson showed up a couple years ago and stuck around, how does he help you guys out live?
Sjoerd: “It definitely gives another level to our sets and it’s more than just DJing. We bring Sonny, also our singer GC, he’s on a bunch of new tracks coming out. GC was out there tonight, full Jamaica representing, and it’s just nice to have an extra element in our show that makes it different from everybody else. I think today, if I speak for ourselves, I think we gave a really strong performance, more than just a DJ set. I think it all really worked today.”
Wouter: “We try to get a new sound, cross new genres, but also stick to our festival vibe. It’s a challenge, because you don’t want to do ‘Booyah’ and ‘Bad’ all the time, but you still want to keep that signature sound.”
When you guys come here to EDC what sticks out to you about the American dance music culture? What’s different from Europe?
Wouter: “First of all, we both moved here. I moved to L.A. he moved to Miami, we moved to the States. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved in Europe and all over the world, but we feel there’s a lot more to learn here in the U.S. and to experience, and also gain a whole lot of new inspiration from the fans here, and actually implement it into our sound. The crowd gives us a new level of growth.”
Sjoerd: “You know what’s really cool, if you go back to our set today, it’s more than just dance music, we played some hip-hop, some crossover music. People here dig it, people love it, it’s almost like you need to do it to make people really feel it. People accept everything here.”
Do you guys think dance music will be strong in the U.S., no bubble bursting?
Wouter: “The bubble has to burst to actually reinvent itself. I think things have to saturate to make people aware of what’s going on and reinvent themselves. Say with hip-hop in 2008 and 2009 it was like ‘What are we doing?’ and now there’s this amazing movement of hip-hop, and I think the same thing will happen with dance music.”
Sjoerd: “You know what it is, it’s not up to the industry what’s going to happen, it’s up to the artists to make the next move.”
Who’s a rap or hip-hop artist who you’d like to work with?
Sjoerd & Wouter (in unison): “Post Malone“
Sjoerd: “I freakin’ love the guy.”
Wouter: “I think Future, but Post Malone would work with our music.”
Showtek will be launching a full North American tour in support of their new single “Amen” this fall. The tour will kick off August 31 in Seattle at Foundation Nightclub. Sjoerd and Wouter will be making 16 stops including Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Boston, Chicago and Miami. Click here for tickets and info. Full tour dates below
8/31-Foundation Nightclub-Seattle, WA
9/1-Exchange LA-Los Angeles, CA
9/2-Beach Tampa-Tampa, FL
9/3-Premier Nightclub-Atlantic City, NJ
9/22-Irving Plaza-New York, NY
9/23-Global Dance Festival-Chandler, AZ
9/24-PARQ-San Diego, CA
10/6-Royale Nightclub-Boston, MA
10/21-The MID-Chicago, IL
10/27-Premier Nightclub-Atlantic City, NJ
10/31-New City Gas-Montreal, QC
11/16-The Observatory-Santa Ana, CA
11/18-Stereo Live-Houston, TX
Check out Showtek’s new track “Amen” featuring Freetown Collective below.