[Behind the Beat] Chatting With Oliver Heldens About Electric Forest

[Behind the Beat] Chatting With Oliver Heldens About Electric Forest

Oliver Heldens is one of our favorite producers out there today. His signature sound combines deep UK house with electro and it cannot be recreated by any other artist. He closed out the Tripolee Stage at Electric Forest on Saturday of Weekend 1 and it was hands down the best set to close out that stage that weekend (in this writer’s opinion). His sound is uniquely necessary for a time when so many artists are afraid to break the mold and create something new. We had a chance to ask this favorite a few questions about the festival, and some of his favorite collaborators. Check it out below.

Mix247: How was Electric Forest?

Oliver Heldens: It was great! The people and the energy, it was so much fun playing there.

Mix: You killed it at Tripolee to close out the night. How does it feel when an entire festival is looking to YOU to continue the party?

Oliver Heldens: Thanks. It feels amazing but also kind of unreal. I’m really grateful that my fans allow me to let my artistic side push the boundaries and that they fully support me with every release.

Mix: How do you calm your nerves for a set so large?

Oliver Heldens: I still get excited for every show, but that’s healthy excitement.

Mix: What has inspired you to create the sound you’re so well known for?

Oliver Heldens: I grew up in Rotterdam and hardstyle was big then. Because of that I already listened to hard music at the age of 10 or so. When I was 15 I really got into progressive house and electro. My musical taste was still in development. So when I was 16 I was making so many different kinds of music and then I got really inspired by the UK deep house scene, like Julio Bashmore, Disclosure, Shadow Child and Dusky.  

Mix: How do you go about creating your sets? How much is predetermined and how much is on the spot?

Oliver Heldens: I think it’s both predetermined and on the spot. Every audience is different and to get the crowd moving I like to make changes in my sets on the spot.

Mix: I recently spoke with Sander Van Doorn. I asked him who he enjoys collaborating with the most, he mentioned you. Do you feel the same way?

Oliver Heldens: Wow. Sander is a great DJ and producer. I love his house tracks from back in the days.

Mix: Who is your favorite artist to collaborate with?

Oliver Heldens: I do have a lot of idols in this industry. A lot of people have influenced me over the years but I would say currently my idol is Chocolate Puma. I grew up listening to their music and looking up to them and now it is cool to see that my music has influenced them also in return. If I had to pick I would like to one day collaborate on a track with Pharrell.

Mix: What was the scariest part of transitioning to music as a full-time career?

Oliver Heldens: Nothing… making music is my life, can’t imagine I’m doing something else!

Mix: What else do you have on the horizon for the summer?

Oliver Heldens: There are a lot of cool festivals such as Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, Lollapolloza, Untold, Sziget, Pukkelpop and I play Hï Ibiza every Sunday for the summer.

Mix: What is your favorite festival?

Oliver Heldens: That’s a tough one. I don’t think I have an absolute favorite. It’s amazing to experience so many different cultures and vibes!

Mix: Last question: Our mutual friend Tommy Trash would like to know just how Dutch are you?

Oliver Heldens: Very Dutch. I love playing in Holland. It’s where my friends and family lives and the Dutch crowds are the most educated when it comes to dance music.

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