Future House maestro Oliver Heldens has been touring Asia since the past few weeks.
We managed to get in touch with him during his Singapore layover and had a short chat about 2017, label, new single – What The Funk, and loads more.
Ranjiv – Hi Oliver! How’ve you been doing?
Oliver Heldens – I’m doing great! I’m super happy to be on the road in Asia again.
Ranjiv – How has 2017 been treating you? How’s the label coming along?
Oliver Heldens – 2017 has been huge for me, I’d say it’s been my best year so far. I’ve done so many important gigs, stuff I’ve dreamed of since I started DJing. Hosting my own stage at Tomorrowland was a big dream come true and also getting asked to do my residency at Hï Ibiza was a really big deal to me.
Ranjiv – We really enjoyed your mile high-set that you streamed on Facebook. What made you do it and where did the idea come from?
Oliver Heldens – It was something we did to launch Fantube, which is a Dutch start-up. I really like doing stuff like this because it’s something out of the ordinary. I’ve played many DJ-sets in my life but only one while flying in a hot air balloon.
Ranjiv – You share such a fun bond with so many DJs and producers. Could you tell us about some of your closest friends in the industry?
Oliver Heldens – Hmm, it’s really tough to pick my closest friends because there are so many people that I’ve had the pleasure of befriending. For example Don Diablo has become a really great friend and I have a lot of respect for him and how he’s been able to build his career. Also it’s been unbelievable to hang out with the guys from Chocolate Puma. I’ve looked up to them for years and to now just have dinner with them as friends is still weird. I also have a great relationship with the Dutch guys that I came up with in the beginning, like Martin Garrix, Julian Jordan, etc. They’re all great people and it’s nice to be able to talk to someone who’s in the same position and age as you are.
Ranjiv – We love your new track ‘What The Funk’. How did you get the idea of producing it? And how did you choose to team up with Danny Shah?
Oliver Heldens – I just really wanted to go in that funky direction. It has like a disco kind of vibe and that’s actually been a sound that I’ve been a fan of for a long time.
Ranjiv – Which track produced by you holds the most special place in your heart? Why?
Oliver Heldens – Ha, this is like asking someone to pick their favourite child! I love all of the music that I make, but some tracks mark special moments in my career. With Gecko, I had my first big break, with The Right Song I collaborated with Tiësto and with my recent track Alien Technology (as HI-LO) I was able to show a more techno-y sound, which is something that I’m really into it at the moment.
Ranjiv – Your music consists of funky beats and aims at spreading good vibes. What would be your dream destination, set up and stage to perform in a manner that enhanced the whole experience?
Oliver Heldens – Aaa you’re giving me carte blanche for the perfect set.. I’ve had a tropical theme in my clothes and artwork for a long time now, so I guess we’d be somewhere in the tropics at a nice beach. The stage set-up can be whatever’s available there, as long as it integrates nicely with the surroundings. The location can be just as important as the stage. A big part of why Ultra Miami is so cool is that it’s surrounded by skyscrapers. I’d definitely want my close friends and family there too, they’ll get me pumped to really deliver my absolute best set.
Ranjiv – You’ve been touring Asia for quite a while now. If you had to pick your favourite location on the continent, which one would it be and why? Also, what city/venue in Asia (that you haven’t already visited) do you wish to travel to next time you’re here?
Oliver Heldens – You know, it’s a shame that I’ve come here so many times and rarely get the chance to actually experience these cities’ real potential.. I’ve loved coming to Japan because the fans there are so dedicated. Literally dozens of people would wait at the airport for hours with fan-art and signs asking for my autograph, that’s a surreal feeling. Also the culture there is just so interesting. In the Netherlands you don’t really get much of the Japanese culture apart from the very basics and to see that there’s so much more to it was a great surprise. I’ll be heading to Bali for a bit after this tour, and I’ve heard great stories about Potato Head Beach Club, would be awesome to play there sometime.
Ranjiv – We bet you’ve been eating a lot of local food here in Singapore. What’s your favourite local dish and what do you like about it?
Oliver Heldens – Again, on tour we don’t get the chance to really properly have a dinner all the time. I love Asian food though and when it comes to Malay food I really like satay and curry laksa.
Ranjiv – Final question, we’d like to know what’s next for you, for Oliver Heldens, for Hi-Lo? Any news you’d like to share with us?
Oliver Heldens – I’ve got a bunch of new stuff coming up, but right now my main focus is really on getting What The Funk out there as much as possible. But fear not, I’ll have plenty of great stuff coming up. Also, I’ll be out at ADE with my own gig at Paradiso which I’m really excited about.
Ranjiv – Thanks so much for doing this with us! We look forward to seeing you again next time.
Oliver Heldens – No problem, always happy to talk to you guys.