Behind the Beat | Sick Individuals & JoeySuki on Dutch Influence, Deep House and Festival Dreams
The great Tiesto himself has quoted, “Innovate – don’t imitate.” This mantra can be applied to a few young talented Dutch producers as their dedication, skills and simple passion for music have put them on the map.
The wild ride to fame for the Sick Individuals has only just begun. With a Beatport hit that shot them straight to the top, support from wonder producers such as Axwell and records released on some of the biggest labels in the business from Armada to Spinnin’, these two continue to defend Holland’s reputation of having some of the world’s best house artists. Their talents have even led them to embark on a worldwide headlining tour, which I was lucky enough to catch. I got my “Sick” fix at San Diego’s Bassmnt this past Valentine’s Day and was blown away by these two, playing everything from Showtek‘s “Booyah”to ending with a personal favorite of mine, their incredible hit single with Axwell, “I Am.”
The two are touring with fellow Dutch producer, JoeySuki, who opened with an awesome diverse and energy-filled set. Playing everything from deep house to some fan favorite Beatport hits, he was able to get the crowd going and ready for the headliners. Not only does this young talent have mind-blowing mixing skills and had over 50 releases in the past five years, he even has his own record label, Dubbed.
Sick Individuals then took the stage, greeted by an eagerly awaiting audience with glow sticks and all. Their energy continued to flow from start to finish, throwing in previews of their new music, and a set that ranged from heavier electro to progressive trance. Their ability to work flawlessly together to deliver an epic performance made quite an impression on San Diego that Friday night.
OTB : The other day I heard your newest successful single “I Am” being played during the Sochi Winter Olympics – how does something like that make you feel?
Sick Individuals: Well actually, today we had a management meeting on Skype and they told us they just played it on the Olympics and we were just flabbergasted! It’s great news, and the money for the rights is nice 🙂
OTB: Speaking of Olympics – do you guys have a favorite sport to watch? I know you are cheering for Team Holland.
Sick Individuals: Really, nothing. Hahaha! Not super interested in it. But ice skating, because a friend of mine is competing in Figure Skating right now!
OTB: Your tracks such as “Blueprint” with Dannic went straight to the top of Beatport. What was your reaction when you found this out?
Sick Individuals: Well, one month before we did a release with Axwell, and that went to number 1 as well, so for us it was an awesome period…three months, two number ones on Beatport and they stayed there for a week and it was slowly climbing up. During that time, we had a US Tour, so there was a time difference in Holland, at 1 PM Beatport refreshed and there was a new rating, and every morning we wake up and would check and when we saw we were at number one. We popped the champagne!
It was funny because, I woke up and we were in Vancouver and I watched my phone I had like seventy messages and I knew something happened! All the big DJs, Hardwell, Showtek and Armin all sent us private messages; it was awesome to get that kind of recognition.
OTB: Your music is described as “big room house”, a genre that’s popularity is growing. What new genre trends do you think will be making their way through 2014?
Sick Individuals: Deep house I think; it’s already coming up and a lot of people are supporting. I think people are getting tired of hearing the hardstyle kick/same rhythm every time over and over.
I think two things will stand out; the melodic parts (real house music with melodies) and also the tech house/deep house. It’s been popular for around two years in Holland right now, and it’s big big big! In Holland, it’s always the first though, deep house is so popular, even the young kids are listening to it and going to deep house parties.
JoeySuki: A lot of it has been getting airplay on the radio right now!
OTB: Tell me about a specific festival experience that really sticks out in your mind and why.
Sick Individuals: I think for me, it was when we played in India. I always remember that gig I don’t know why. It was the first time we were far away from home and we had a mainstage gig there, we were the main act with fireworks and everything. And people went crazy and were so into the music and so happy we were there.
We’ve done bigger things than that one, but it was two years ago and it was the first time it was on that kind of stage and at night. Everyone was super excited to be there!
OTB: Is there a festival you haven’t played at and you are absolutely dying to?
Sick Individuals: Yeah that one!
OTB: Name a dream collaboration and describe why you would want to work with that producer(s)?
JoeySuki: I would love to do a track with Steve Angello.
OTB: You’re embarking on this huge North American tour and stopping in cities all across the country. What’s been your favorite city so far and why?
Sick Individuals: New York. So many true fans, we’ve played there five times. A lot of familiar faces from the shows!
And it was sold out, it was packed and it was crazy! Great fans. The people made it awesome.
OTB: Your motto and message seem to be “setting new boundaries” this year – can you go into detail about what you mean by this?
Sick Individuals: You always have to go forward; we are trained musicians and we both studied at the school of arts, so we are always trying to find new ways to get addicted to the music, again. We want to make tracks with that “wow” feeling. We are always coming up ways to do something new. I think if the EDM scene is moving that way we think, then hmm, what’s another way it could move. We are not trying to be that different, but I think it comes naturally.
OTB: So being from the Netherlands you were of course immersed in the Dutch music culture. Who were your biggest inspirations when you were younger producers and why?
Sick Individuals: For me, it’s definitely Hardwell.
For me it’s Bingo Players…and Fedde le Grande, his DJ skills are so cool and his shows were so nice. The Bingo Players had the funk and great simplicity in their tracks, and that’s what we really love.
OTB: What’s usually on your rider?
Sick Individuals: Water actually, and some drinks. But this guy is always hungry…
Yeah I love sandwiches, that’s on my rider. But room temperature water, otherwise if it’s too cold I get a brain freeze!
OTB: Have you fallen in love with American fast food/junk food and or alcohol yet?
Sick Individuals: No! We really love the healthy food, and the organic stores; we only eat healthy food. We try to avoid McDonalds, Burger King and all that.
OTB: Okay and one last question for JoeySuki,what is the biggest challenge of being an opener?
JoeySuki: I think you have to feel the dance floor, but don’t spend too much energy. The crowd has to have enough energy left for the main act. You have to keep them dancing and set a good vibe, but don’t go too hard.
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