Behind the Beat: Brooks
Last week, Dutch producer Brooks released a hit remix of the popular track ‘‘Make Your Move” and continues a history of producing Dutch house remixes with complex percussion, drumbeats and the customary dramatic buildup. Brooks went Behind the Beat a few weeks ago to discuss his past, present and future in the music industry.
Only The Beat: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get your start DJing and producing? What was your first break out show?
Brooks: I think it all started when I was 13. I was having a small party with all my classmates and we asked my older cousin to play since he was a DJ at the time. When he started playing I was just so amazed with it that I actually ended up watching him mix tracks together that whole evening!
After that night, I was checking out tutorials on the Internet on how to mix, and that eventually switched to tutorials on how to make my own tracks. When I was 16, I first downloaded Fruityloops and after a couple of years of practice and spending hours behind my laptop, I uploaded a couple of previews to my SoundCloud. Because of those initial uploads, I was contacted by 2-Dutch & Showtek, and that’s how I got the opportunity to do official remixes for their tracks ‘Booyah’ and ‘Cannonball’ and do a couple of shows with them!
OTB: Tell us a little bit about working with Showtek and your quick success in Electro House.
Brooks: From the moment I signed to their management they helped me a lot, bringing me to their shows all over the world, introducing me to other people in the scene and spending time with them in the studio which has been really, really helpful. They even built studios at the 2-Dutch office, which I can use whenever I want, and on top of that, they’re great guys to hang out with so I’m really thankful for everything they did for me.
I think my success has a lot to do with them and 2-Dutch, of course I spend just as much time on my music as I did before I met them, but they already had a big network that I could use from the moment I signed there. All of a sudden I wasn’t uploading some random previews on SoundCloud, but I was releasing remixes on Spinnin’ Records and playing shows in the best clubs in Europe!
OTB: You recently released a new remix of Morgan Page’s ‘Safe Till Tomorrow’. Are you happy with the reception of the track so far?
Brooks: Yeah, I loved the original mix and those vocals are amazing, so I was really happy Morgan asked me to do an official remix! I actually made three different versions of it, but this one was the one I liked the most and eventually ended up spending even more time on it. Because of that it’s extremely satisfying to get all those positive reactions and messages from everyone, so you know it was worth all the time you put into the track.
Morgan Page ft. Angelika Vee – Safe Till Tomorrow (Brooks Remix)
OTB: What other artists influence your style? Who do you follow in the industry?
Brooks: Believe it or not, most of them are Hardstyle artists, haha! I started producing when I first got my hands on tracks from artists like Noisecontrollers, Headhunterz, Wasted Penguinz, etc. so they are always going to be artists I look up to. Of course I also have a lot of artists in different genres that inspire me a lot, of course Showtek and Bassjackers, but Don Diablo for example is one of the artists that I have a lot of respect for. He just took that Future House sound and made it his own. And on top of that he’s someone I look up to, not only as a DJ, but also what he’s like as a person.
OTB: What is your favorite track that you produced and one that you did not produce, but admire?
Brooks: I have a lot of new tracks coming up – they might even be my best work so far but I can’t really say anything about it yet! So, if I had to pick one out off all the tracks I released I think I’d have to go for ‘If Only I Could’, as I loved working with those vocals and couldn’t be happier with the end result. It got so many great reactions from everyone, it reached 2 million+ streams on Spotify and is almost at 1 million views on YouTube, which feels amazing!
The track that I admire the most is a pretty hard question, there are so many tracks that I absolutely love, but I feel like ‘Psychedelic’ by Headhunterz is the track that impressed me so much at the time that from that moment I knew I wanted to become a producer, stop messing around and take things to the next level.
OTB: What is a personal milestone in your DJ/producing career so far?
Brooks: I think that has to be my track ‘Alamo’ with Bassjackers! I spent a lot of time working on that one together with Ralph (producer of Bassjackers). When it was finally done I remember seeing David Guetta premiering it at Ultra Miami, and after that receiving the support list with every big DJ on it, saying they loved it! And of course making the music video for the track, playing it in front of 30.000+ people…that’s something I will never forget!
OTB: Outside of Djing, what are your other interests or hobbies?
Brooks: I love to hang out with my friends! I love going to festivals or clubs with them, or just simple things like chilling in someone’s backyard. As much as I love spending time in the studio working on tracks, it’s great to take some time off every now and then to just relax.
OTB: What can we expect from you this year? Any big shows, mixes or collaborations coming up?
Brooks: A lot of new tracks! I just checked and found out I’ve got enough tracks ready to release an entire album!
I just released a remix of ‘Work From Home’ by Fifth Harmony, which is doing great! Already got support from Bassjackers, R3hab, Yves V, Don Diablo, Lucky Charmes, Mike Williams & Justin Mylo just to name a few! I am working on big collabs and got some more remixes and originals coming up! I’ll be playing shows and festivals all over Europe, even headlining shows at Starbeach – so I couldn’t be any happier right now 🙂
Thanks for having me guys!