Behind the Beat: Alvaro
On Thursday October 8th, 2015 Jasper Helderman, the Dutch DJ better know to the EDM scene as Alvaro, took Washington, DC to 6th Gear. Alvaro made a debut appearance at Soundcheck, DC’s newest venue that is a part of ClubGlow. Alvaro who choose his stage name to honor his Portuguese grandfather, has been successful as a producer for over seven years creating tracks like Welcome to the Jungle, The Underground, Ready for Action, and recently Take U alongside D-Wayne.
Alvaro’s success is immense, but his humility and commitment to creating quality music is more apparent than his fame. Alvaro got his start editing video and creating aftermovies for festivals, but quickly took on producing his own music. Alvaro recognizes style in filming and continues to be active in creative video projects with his tracks and on social media.
During Alvaro’s show at Soundcheck, I had the opportunity to interview the DJ and his team before the show and witness the performance at the new venue that boasts a $200,000 sound system, 4,000 square feet of cork-hardwood floors, and 4-inch-thick soundproof foam in the walls and ceiling. Alvaro clearly felt comfortable in the venue, filling the packed crowd with energy and excitement through hard beats and intense remixes.
Alvaro’s Soundcheck debut was part of a three-day sprint where he performed in DC, Chicago, and Miami. Having seen Alvaro at EDC in Las Vegas and once at LIV in Miami, I asked whether he preferred festivals or nightclubs. Alvaro acknowledged that this is a question that he gets a lot, but he likes to perform in both forums and believes that there are advantages to both. “Nightclubs are very intimate where you can really feel the crowd and festivals are high-energy and it’s a great feeling to see so many people enjoying the music”, says Alvaro. Alvaro also acknowledged that he likes to perform at every venue, but said that some of his best shows have been in New York at Webster Hall and in Los Angeles at Create.
Alvaro outside of many successful solo projects has worked with industry leaders like Diplo, Lil Jon, and Carnage. I asked about any upcoming collaborative projects and Alvaro praised working in the past with Wiwek and will be working on a new track in New York with Wiwek called Jungle in the near future. Alvaro also spoke of another upcoming project with Jetfire this time with help from Lil Jon. Six months ago Alvaro and Jetfire released the track Guest List on Tiesto’s music label Musical Freedom Records.
Speaking of Tiesto, Alvaro accounts that his craziest experience in the EDM scene was when he was on tour with Tiesto watching him empty a whole bottle of Patron.
Two integral parts of DJ culture are social media and fashion, especially accessories like hats, watches, sneakers and sunglasses. I asked Alvaro for his preferred social media platform and what is his key accessory. Without hesitation Alvaro stated that he liked Instagram and takes pride in his sneakers.
I wrapped up the interview asking Alvaro about his plans for the rest of 2015 and onward into 2016. He mentioned upcoming solo projects in addition to his collaborations, a tour in Asia, and potentially starting his own record label. Expect big things coming from Alvaro in the future and check out one of his shows because the energy he puts into the performance matched with sheer talent is worth witnessing firsthand. Alvaro will make his next stop in Seattle, Washington at Foundation Nightclub on October 16, 2015 as part of Resonate Fridays.