Jeffrey Sutorius Interview: The ex-frontman for Dash Berlin talks about the pressures of DJing, and more.
Jeffrey Sutorius was the DJ and frontman for Dash Berlin. He is highly aware that his success comes hand in hand with the love of his fans who have always supported him and remained loyal throughout his career.
This heartwarming and lasting support is one of the key drivers of his journey. The DJ has a preference for emotional, energizing quality dance music and loves to bring that across on stage.
We caught up with Jeffrey and spoke about moving on from Dash Berlin, pressures of DJing and more. Read our chat below.
T.H.E – So we want to start off with the question that everyone has been wondering. Why did you decide to move away from Dash Berlin?
Jeffery Sutorius – It’s a fairly complex story. I just recently did a DJ Mag interview and in it, the core of the situation is explained. A part of my decision is that I had a burnout and I’ve been touring so much since middle 2017, that it is really hard to keep up. And this is something which is lurking in the industry and it’s something that not a lot of people are speaking about openly but sometimes it comes up as part of discussions with other artists, “ok so what actually are you doing like mentally, physically”.
And there are a lot of artists who actually respond with, “what I am doing besides playing music, is having fun you know. Traveling the world, enjoying new experiences, making new friends.”
I also touch upon it and what I tell a lot of people is that if you take the example of the UEFA Champions League if the teams in the world have to play Champions League twice a week and have to travel for it, then the world would be too small. Then it would be in every newspaper. It would be on every internet page. And it would be a massively discussed topic because you just cannot play soccer on this high level twice a week.
But, what today’s DJs are doing is way more than that. Travelling, doing shows at the same time. International flights in between. And as we saw this year unfortunately also due to the pressure of a schedule, someone had to die for that, who we all know.
T.H.E – Yup.
Jeffrey Sutorius – And this is something that I wanted to prevent. And my agent at that time was thinking otherwise and therefore there was a conflict and I had to resign from that corporation, that collaboration. And when I ended it, I got an email back where it said directly that I could choose the shows that I wanted to do but the management would decide who the promoter was?
T.H.E – Ok.
Jeffrey Sutorius – And, to me, that sounds like modern day slavery and I’m not a slave.
T.H.E – You touched upon a very important topic, which is the pressure that DJ’s today face in terms of touring and everything.
Jeffrey Sutorius – Yeah.
T.H.E – And obviously, DJing is important for revenue, right?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Um-hmm.
T.H.E – And not a lot of them actually choose to speak about it. What do you think can be done to actually address that situation in the electronic music industry?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Very good question. So I always think that there’s a very big parallel with professional soccer players and what is lacking in the industry right now towards artists is an overhaul. An organization who says gives an ok to travel and do shows in terms of mental, physical health. There needs to be some kind of research, or study to analyse what is the capacity which can be healthy, for DJs and management to follow.
The capacity limit will differ with each age group or to what you can do. And this kind of study or research also needs to take into consideration information like – How you act on stage? Are you physically active – yes or no? Do you drink – yes or no? Do you smoke – yes or no? Do you have a sporting background yes or no so that it will accumulate some kind of algorithm which will place you in a certain stack?
And this stack should be pieces advice for an organization that actually cares for artists instead of management that want to push artists to do so many shows as possible.
T.H.E – Being part of Dash Berlin for so long, you obviously being synonymous with a kind of sound that Dash Berlin used to represent, right?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Absolutely.
T.H.E – And now going forward, what are your plans? Do you intend to stick to the same sound?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Good question. I really still believe in emotional dance music. Everyone sees EDM as a generic type of music, typical mainstream. I see EDM as emotional dance music, it is where I relate to it and it is where I have a connection with my fans and people who support Jeffrey Sutorius. And have been supporting Dash Berlin in the past and I still feel a very strong connection to this. If you would like to, then I can let you listen to one of the new songs. I’ve been making new music for some weeks now and have some tracks ready. And if you’re interested, I would let you hear something.
T.H.E – I would love to! Does it have a very similar vibe to your previous productions as Dash Berlin?
Dash Berlin – It’s still the same guy (laughs) so I’m not all of a sudden going to play like underground techno music or stuff like that. So people when they see Jeffrey Sutorius, they can expect what they think they will expect.
T.H.E – Since you’ll be branding yourself in a very different way now, going solo as Jeffrey. Do you think people would sort of relate to Dash Berlin more than the fact that you are trying to build a new brand?
Jeffery Sutorius – That won’t happen for a long period. Depends on what kind of mark I can make with my own music, with the new shows and how will people react to that. But Dash Berlin has made a very beautiful mark within electronic music landscape and that does not have to be forgotten at all, you know. I will continue to play Dash Berlin music. It’s a part of who I am.
T.H.E – You obviously have not had the greatest sort of management experience. Moving forward, do we see you partnering with a management agency or do you want to take things into your own hands for the next few months?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Yeah, first in my own hands, when it comes to management. Borys, my former Dash Berlin tour manager is still my tour manager; he is still on my side. And we take this as a new adventure, where we will go into this story together.
T.H.E – What are the other immediate goals for you as Jeffrey, like what are the kinds of accomplishments you want to achieve in the near future?
Jeffrey Sutorius – So after coming out of a burnout, I’ve been standing still for like 4 months and a half months where I did a lot of soul-searching, a lot of talking and trying to go a little bit back to the core of who I am not only as an artist but as a person. I’m going to start touring again and one of the first shows that are announced now are ZoukOut in Singapore. I’m also going to LA for New Year, very much looking forward to that.
T.H.E – That’s nice.
Jeffrey Sutorius – And I will take it from there. Definitely looking forward to going back to Vegas. As soon as more information is available, we will throw everything out there on social media.
T.H.E – You mentioned that you did a lot of soul searching during the break, right? What prompted you to get back into music, were there any artists or people close to you that inspired you to get back to what you do best?
Jeffery Sutorius – No, people didn’t really need to inspire me to continue to do what I really like because I know what I really like. But the fact for everything that you do in your life is you have to stop sometimes… Think and ask yourself a question like am I responsible towards myself. And this is the main question for me. I wasn’t responsible for myself and I had to take action to be responsible for myself.
T.H.E – On the production front, what can we expect from you in the next 6 months?
Jeffrey Sutorius – In the next 6 months? Well, I’m planning to do a new record label. I’m not going to reveal it yet. I have quite some material actually which is finished. So I will be pushing that in the new shows as well. And from that moment, yeah, what is on the planning? The first and foremost is touring… record label and eventually I hope that within a well-balanced tour schedule, I hope to eventually finish an album.
T.H.E – Will the record label only be for you or will it be for other artists as well?
Jeffrey Sutorius – What do you mean?
T.H.E – Will only your tracks be released on the label?
Jeffrey Sutorius – No, that’s a good question actually. It’s just not going to be only Jeffrey Sutorius.
Having toured across the world as Dash Berlin, I’ve seen many great talents and also a lot of talent, who never get a shot. I’m not going to say that I will be the one to help them make it big, but I’m open to listening to it. I know there is a lot of incredible talent out there and there’s also a lot of talent who don’t get a shot. Maybe it’s something for the record label, as I want to start. And actually like we did with Dash Berlin in the beginning. We had AROPA Records, where we also pushed new talent and over time, it kind of slowed down, which was beyond my control. Starting up a new label, it’s actually in my control. And I do see it as my obligation to help new talent.
T.H.E – Which artists are doing really well according to you at the moment?
Jeffrey Sutorius – At this point, if I had to take some names then I would say Bassanova. I would say Tomas Heredia from Argentina. I would say Estiva.
T.H.E – And coming back to Amsterdam Dance Event, what’s your plan of action for the next few days here?
Jeffrey Sutorius – I’m just wondering around here actually (laughs)!
T.H.E – So just taking it all in?
Jeffrey Sutorius – And I am taking it all in and for me seeing all the familiar faces, it’s like coming home in The Netherlands.
T.H.E – What are your favorite things to do in Amsterdam?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Favorite things to do in Amsterdam. I actually didn’t do that so much, I feel like a tourist myself but I like a canal ride. I really enjoy that. I went to the Amsterdam Tower after a few months, just to blow off some steam and to take that view in. And I think that the Amsterdam Tower is an amazing lookout point. I would highly recommend everyone to go there because I think this is the main lookout point for Amsterdam.
T.H.E – It’s the Adam lookout, right?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Yeah.
T.H.E – Where there’s a swing!
Jeffery Sutorius – Exactly, with the swing. Yeah, it’s amazing. I love it. They have a good restaurant there too where you can have a nice bite or drink. I was there, I really enjoyed that too. It’s definitely a very interesting and nice, new landmark for Amsterdam.
T.H.E – Lastly, Dash Berlin has been a very popular artist for dance music fans in India, like some of your classics are still heard today.
Jeffrey Sutorius – Yup, Blue Frog. (Laughs)
T.H.E – Ha-ha yes! So any message for your fans in India?
Jeffrey Sutorius – Yeah, I can only hope that people will enjoy my new music as Jeffrey Sutorius. I hope that they understand that the soul of Dash Berlin, with me on stage, will never be forgotten. And I hope that within the next year, there will be some room to actually visit India again. It’s been a while.
T.H.E – Quite a while.
Jeffrey Sutorius – Actually quite a while, you are right! And it would be nice to see some Indian fans again. I know they’re there because I’m always into my social media. So I know they’re there and I would love to be a part of some new experiences in India.
T.H.E – A lot of people that I know in the Indian market have been asking like what is happening with Dash Berlin?
Jeffrey Sutorius – So now they know!
T.H.E – The kind of classics and all that you’ve come out with. I mean, as you said, they will never be forgotten.
Jeffrey Sutorius – Absolutely not.
T.H.E – Thank you so much!
Jeffrey Sutorius – Thank you very much!