Oliver Heldens Talks Evolution, Beard Care, Upcoming Productions and More (FNT Exclusive)

Posted by on February 12, 2014

oliver heldens

Holland made its way onto the global dance music scene with dutch house and then trance. It soon, alongside Sweden, became one of the powerhouse nations for dance music. In 2014 there is a new sound emanating from its cloudy, flat and rainy populace, something deeper and more groove driven, the sound that Oliver Heldens is bringing to the world.

The 18 year old had an abrupt change in sound at the end of 2013, going from a harder, electro sound to the current, “big room deep house” style that adds energy and style to a genre that can be flat and monotonous at times (yes some deep house can be boring). His career has exploded since then with the release of “Gecko” on Musical Freedom, first unveiled as an “ID” tune, an idea he loves, and has landed him the high-profile remix for Martin Garrix’s “Animals” and acclaim and support from DJs across all genres. He is set to blow up this year and we were able to ask him a few questions about his change in style, ghost producing, labels marketing songs as “IDs” and much more. Read on for the interview.

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FNT: Looking at your December Mix from 2012 and then your Heldeep mix, one might think there were two different producers. What happened?

Oliver Heldens: I’ve always experimented a lot with other styles and in December 2012, I preferred my progressive/electro/EDM stuff, so I focused more on that. In the meantime, I experimented in deep house/old school house, for example. “Gecko” was also one of these experiments and as time went on, I started to prefer this deep/old school house-y stuff more than my EDM stuff, so I put more focus on that “Gecko” style.

FNT: I read in one of your interviews that it was a dream of your to finally work with Maarten Vorwerk, the most famous ghost producer around, when you did “Thumper” with him and Jacob van Haage. How do you feel about guys like Jacob who use ghost producers?

Oliver Heldens: I have great respect for him. It’s not my style to have opinions about colleagues and their way of working. I can only speak for myself and I’m too much of a nerd not to be found in my studio making music.

FNT: A lot of DJs like to pair songs with various labels based on style and sound, giving them more flexibility. You chose a different route signing a 360 deal with Spinnin’. What made you choose them and why 360?

Oliver Heldens: Spinnin’ Records still gives me the freedom to release on other labels, and they are a pretty strong partner themselves. I’d say it’s best of both worlds!

FNT: How do you feel about labels putting out previews, leaving the artist or the whole thing as an ID, especially since “Gecko” was revealed this way?

Oliver Heldens: I love that idea. I’m sensitive to it as well. I’ll sometimes search blogs for a hint on who the artist could be. But fair enough with “Gecko.” It was hard to keep my mouth shut. A lot of people were speculating it was me, but I could not say anything.

FNT: I am sure you are receiving all sorts of remix requests now after the success of “Gecko”, and your Animals remix. How will you keep them fresh, but at the same time giving them the sound they are looking for.

Oliver Heldens: Hahaha good guess! I’m so excited. There are some really good artists that I was able to do a remix for, but unfortunately I can’t talk about them yet. Every track received a unique element combined with my sound – you always get something fresh with an Oliver twist.

FNT: How do you anticipate dealing with the time conflict of school and your fast growing career in the coming years, heading into university at a music school next year?

Oliver Heldens: This is my last year of high school and I’ll pass it (hopefully). In the coming years, I’ll go 100% for my career, so I’m not going to study.

FNT: What is one thing people would not expect about you?

Oliver Heldens: I use women’s shampoo for my beard.

FNT: What is coming up for you?

Oliver Heldens: Production wise: “Gecko” follow up track, some high profile remixes, a kind of rework of a classic tune, and I’m working on a lot of fresh stuff.
Performing wise: many cool gigs!

Would it be ridiculous to speculate the below remix is his? I don’t think so.

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