Exclusive Interview with Oliver Heldens
Oliver Heldens was signed to Spinnin’ Records at the age of 17. At the time his track “Gecko” was released he was only 18 years old - the song peaked at number 1 on the DMC Magazine Buzz Chart and the #2 spot on Beatport’s Main Top 100. Now at the age of 20, he performs on the main stages of the biggest festivals and is ranked on the #12 spot of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Oliver Heldens, shortly before his performance at 808 Festival 2015.
Where are you answering these questions?
I’m in the lobby of my hotel in Bangkok, waiting for my ride to the 808 Festival. Can’t wait to be at the Festival!
How did you get in touch with electronic dance music in the first place and how did you get into DJing?
Back when I was in high school we had some crazy parties. DJ’s like Fedde Le Grand and Hardwell performed there. When I saw them up on that stage I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I started producing and djing in my bedroom and one thing led to another.
You were signed to Spinnin’ Records at the age of 17. At the time your track “Gecko” was released you were only 18 years old - the song peaked at number 1 on the DMC Magazine Buzz Chart and the #2 spot on Beatport’s Main Top 100. Now at the age of 20, you perform on the main stages of the biggest festivals and you are ranked on the #12 spot of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list. Is it a gift or a curse to be so successful at such a young age? How do you manage to keep your feet on the ground?
I feel really blessed! I travel the whole world doing what I love most. From time to time it can be really hard, but I have an amazing team that’s always there for me and looking out for me. And of course my family that supports me in everything I do! They keep me grounded and I couldn’t do this without them!
You are a breath of fresh air to the Big Room dominated EDM scene; your sound is referred to as Future House – an accessible interpretation of Deep House. How would you describe your music in a few words, what is distinct about it?
People like to describe it as Future House or Deep House but I think it has more power to it. I describe my music as powerful, groovy and uplifting. I think what distinct my sound from others is that it’s more a cross over sound between different styles.
Your track “Koala" became the second-most popular searched dance recording at the 2014 Amsterdam Dance Event on music recognition app Shazam. What other tracks, remixes or mix-sets would you recommend to someone that is not yet familiar with your music?
‘Gecko’ because that’s my biggest hit, the set I played at my own Heldeep show during the Amsterdam Dance Event and of course my Heldeep Radio show because it contains a lot of my own music and music from other artist that I love.
What is on your agenda for the near future and what are you currently working and focusing on?
At the moment I’m doing my first ever Asia tour, really enjoying it so far! I’m also working on some new music that’s coming out in 2016 and of course I’m being busy running my own record label, Heldeep Records.
Looking back on the past 3 highly eventful and incredibly successful years, what were the best and the worst gig you ever played, and what were the funniest things that occurred during any of your performances?
Pfff that’s hard! I think some of the highlights are my performance at Coachella, and Ultra Miami. Funniest things during my shows uuuhm… I like it a lot when I see people jumping around in front of the stage dressed up as Gecko’s or Koala’s it looks so funny! And I must say that the weirdest thing that ever happened was this fan who started kissing my feet. I didn’t really know what to do but looking back at it, it was pretty funny haha.
You will make your Thailand Debut at 808 Festival 2015. Have you visited Thailand before? What can the Bangkok crowd expect of your performance?
It’s my first time in Thailand, but loving it so far. Can’t stop eating, the food is so goooooood haha! I’ve been working very hard on my new show together with my team. So for my performance at 808 people can expect that together with a set with some new tracks I’ve been working on. And who knows maybe I do a little shuffle ;)