If you don’t know who Oliver Heldens is yet, you’ll know soon enough. This young and uniquely talented artist has come into the electronic dance music arena and has been kicking music ass ever since he got started. With 2014 already being a huge year for Oliver, 2015 is set in motion to push him even further along, making Oliver Heldens in the hybrid they like to call techy/deep house a household name. Ascedance Radio got a chance to catch up with Oliver, check out what he had to say.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Hi guys, this is Dayanna with Ascendance Radio and we’re here at EDC Orlando with one of the biggest names in dance music today, Oliver Heldens. As fans of dance music try to figure out what sound will come next, after big room EDM, you seem to be pioneering the charge as a poster boy for future house. Are you feeling the pressure yet?
Oliver Heldens: No, I’m not really feeling pressure because, of course, there is pressure because people expect a lot after “Gecko” and “Koala” but the thing is, before “Gecko” was out, I had already made “Koala”. And before “Koala” was out, I’d already made six new tracks, so I’m way ahead of schedule.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Okay. So you’re doing your thing?
Oliver Heldens: Yes. Many people think that my thing is the new thing in EDM, and that the sound will change to that. So yeah, there is a lot of pressure, but the thing is I’m further than the rest. So if it really changes to that sound, then I will be way ahead of the others, because at the moment, I’m busy with really different stuff. It’s really different than Gecko, but still really groovy and melodic.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Yeah. So I have to ask: “Pikachu“, how did that track come together?
Oliver Heldens: Yes, so the track is a collab with Mr. Belt & Wezol. And I discovered them the beginning of this year, on the internet, and then I introduced them to spinning and we went into the studio. Then came the idea to use the Pikachu sample and then we made the track.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): With the monstrous year 2014 has been for you, you must have a ton of producers beating down your door to work with you. One of those producers is Sander van Doorn, who you recently released a track with called “This.” How did this collaboration come together and who else might you work with in the future?
Oliver Heldens: I am a big fan of the old work of Sander, like his techy and groovy stuff from like five years ago, and then we met in Miami (in March), the beginning of this year. We were talking about music and he really liked my music. And I said I really like you’re old music. He said maybe it would be cool to do something like my new stuff with his old stuff. We went to the studio and a disc came out. I’m working off new collabs. I’m working with a lot of different artists. I like to work with different artists. I’m working with Tiesto, with also and with Headhunters, who is standing right there. I’m also with The Magician, and this guy, and Chocolate Puma. So there are a lot of really different names and I really like that.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Great. So it seems to be trend with some dance artists, to experiment with new sounds. Oddly enough, this experimentation always seems to happen with the new sounds that are raking in the big money like EDM. As much as fans want to believe that every producer is in this because they want to create works of art, artists also have a business to run and what works creatively doesn’t always work financially. So my question to you is: Where is the line between being an artist and being a business and making money?
Oliver Heldens: I have no idea. The music which I make now is the music I really like. The thing is sometimes, if the producer wants to do something really different, then he could also lose loyal fans (if it’s too different.) There always has to be good balance, it can’t be too much the same, it can also not be too different. Especially, if an artist has a really big hit with one track, then he can’t do the next track completely different. It will be really confusing for the fans. So that’s maybe, how producers like [for] years, and years, and years, they came into this EDM thing with loud kicks and stuff.
For example, if you make three tracks, and you like them all, maybe, you like one better than the other, but you like both. If one of these tracks is a big success, then automatically, you will focus more on the thing that brought you the most success. That’s not a choice, that’s just something which happens in your brain. When you have success with something, then you will focus more on the thing, what gave you that success. So I think that’s maybe how this reason why this EDM thing came here and why so much stuff now sounds the same in EDM.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): You’re biggest track to date, “Gecko“, originally blew up without vocals. What was your initial reaction when you first heard the vocals that Becky Hill recorded for the track?
Oliver Heldens: At first, I had to get used to it, but after listening to it a few times, I really liked it. From the first time, I love it acapella, the vocals were amazing. I was used to the original track without vocals. After two weeks, I just really loved it. It fits perfectly, I think.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): We agree. As the end of the year approaches, it’s often a time to think about New Year Resolutions. If you were to come up with a resolution for 2015, strictly music-related, what would make it on your list?
Oliver Heldens: If I had a resolution, I wouldn’t wait ’til the new year. I think that resolutions I have, I don’t really have them. If I want something to change, musically-wise, then I’m not going to wait for the new year or something.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Well, Oliver, thank you so much for everything and we’re looking forward to your tour.
Oliver Heldens: Thank you.