Interview: Sebastiaan T
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Currently I’m in my second year of applied psychology at the HAN. I am originally from Bennekom. I moved to Nijmegen because of my studies and because it’s a really nice city. What kind of hobbies do I have? I think that speaks for itself when you are a member of this association: I am a producer and a DJ. I really like DJing house and combining this with Latin or some harder sounds (like bass house). As far as producing I’m still experimenting what is cool and what is accessible to people listening to it. As a producer you have to keep it close to yourself, but if you want people to listen to your music it has to be somehow accessible. I myself am more into the harder sounds, but I notice some people are not ready for it if I let them listen to it. Their reaction is mostly the same ‘Wow this is right in the face!’. So yeah, lately I’m searching how I can combine the hard sounds with maybe some more melodic inspiration, but that really is a search where I’m dealing with at the moment. That’s the nice, but also the really annoying part: you keep learning, and with learning a lot of times things just don’t work out, and then you have to keep searching for new motivation to keep on going.
How did you get into music?
I played guitar for 6 years, but that was then I was younger. Sometimes i have a moment in which i like to play on my guitar again to get the feeling back, but now it looks very cool as decoration for my room as well. When i was 16/17 years old i wanted to produce my own electronic music. That’s where I started producing. This was a period in which dance music and big room was really popular. I was listening to the music and thought: ‘How cool would it be if I was really up to date on all the new music?’. Because every time I heard a nice song and thought it was cool it had already been released for like a year. And that made me think how cool it would be to immediately discover these new tracks and collect them. At this time I was not DJing or producing yet, but I really liked working on building my collection. Then I started thinking: maybe DJing is something I would like (this was around the time that martin Garrix got famous) so I downloaded free DJ-software and started mixing on my laptop, which of course sounded like shit. From there i noticed that i really liked doing this and i started thinking about producing my own stuff. I collected information about how i would be able to produce and i found Fl-studio. So i downloaded Fl-studio and went exploring the whole program. That’s pretty much how it all went down!
What role does music play in your life?
Music is a very big part of my life. I listen to music every day and I created a massive database of music for DJing, which I also divided in Spotify playlists. Every day one of my playlist will be played, depending on my mood that day!
If music had never been invented, would you have blamed your parents for creating you?
Well, if music had never been invented I would have nothing to blame my parents for, because then I wouldn’t know what I was missing. But if music would stop existing right now, there would be an enormous emptiness in my life for sure…
What music do you listen to in day-to-day life?
In day-to-day life I listen to different styles of house , Trap, and really chill music on which I can vibe. Not the floaty stuff, but relaxed music for summer nights. I also like rock, but that depends on my mood. To summarize: I like all the genres i DJ, but in daily life i also listen to the more chill, lounge and laidback tracks!
How would you define your DJ-style?
Stubborn, because that’s also what I am! I try to make it accessible, but I really like to mix in tracks that I personally like a lot and a few people really know. The challenge for me is to throw a set in a way where people will get surprised in a good way (hopefully). So yeah, stubborn and authentic.
What was the coolest gig you have ever performed at and why?
A while back I got to perform at ‘Basis’ in Utrecht. Normally this is a techno club, but this time there was a student association throwing a party. I was the closing DJ so I thought: let’s destroy this place! I was there with two friends, one was performing before me (Dupleaux, techno) and the other one was making pictures. I was so happy I could play a set I liked myself, one half of the club liked it, and well the other half kinda but I really didn’t care at the moment. The most important part was that my mates loved it and that really made me happy! Also that night I befriended the light-technician, a really cool guy, who showed me how all the light-related panels worked. And while I was playing my set I put on the song: ‘Chicken soup’ from Skrillex, and the light-technician totally lost it because it was his favourite song. At this point I was so hyped and I started playing even harder music which everybody liked. I can’t really explain how I felt, but I was in my element and I got tons of compliments later, so that really was the best experience!
If you had to describe your dream gig, what would it look like?
I think I would have to say a performance at Ultra festival. Then I would play a really clean set in which tracks will be played that fit each other very well. I would make really cool combinations and I would of course want the whole audience to lose their minds! At this time I hope I would have a fanbase myself for whom I can play my own tracks! That would be amazing!
What are your ambitions as a DJ?
My short-time goals now are to find a good concept. I would like to find a different DJ name, and make sure there are social media pages on which I can post regularly. But to make posts regularly, I need to DJ more regularly, so I have to get some name awareness. My long-term goal is playing at the Ultra festival, but that really is a long shot. Nevertheless it’s a good target to work for!
Do you have any tips for people that want to start DJing?
Yes I have 6 tips for people that want to start DJing:
1. Search for the music you want to play.
2. Watch tutorials on how certain techniques of DJing work.
3. Purchase a DJ controller that is not a starter set but already has everything on it. My recommendation with every piece of equipment you buy is that you should invest!
4. Find a place with people (maybe friends) where you can practice playing for people so you can learn how to be comfortable while playing in front of an audience.
5. Keep all your tracks up-to-date, this might be one of the most important tips for beginners.
6. Become really good at your technique and maybe invent your own technique.
How would you define the music you create?
That’s hard for me to say, because I am still experimenting. But I think I will end up with the more harder sounds and combine this with something more melodic. I will, wherever I end up, always give my own spin at every genre!
How does the production of a track usually go for you? Take us through the process!
Usually I will look for a really decent sounding kick, because in my opinion this is the base of a track. Because when your kick is not solid, you can have a nice bassline or melody but the track will never have the same nice energy you would have had as with a good kick. So after I found the decent kick I will add basslines and melodies! Only in rare cases I start with a melody.
Do you ever create music with others?
I did work with others sometimes, but most of the times it ended in nothing or the other person stopped caring about the project. Because most times I collaborated with somebody the plans were made at a moment where you were really vibing, but after that moment for at least one of two parties this hype would fade away. Most times you stop communicating and you lose track of your project. However now I’m working together with somebody that seems to be as motivated as I am, so I think that project will be alright!
What are your goals with regards to producing?
Very focussed on quality. Right now I am really focussing at how I can make my sound very clear. And my long-term goal, when I can deliver with quality, is that I can focus more on the vibe in my tracks.
With what artist would you dream of collaborating with?
The artist I would like to collaborate with the most is JOYRYDE, the artist that also produced my favourite song. The reason I chose him, is because his sound design is so on point, amazing! The basslines he makes, they are out of this world!
Do you have any tips for people who want to start producing and have no experience yet?
You don’t have to know what you want to make right away, start by exploring the program you are working with! Start with small steps, for example how you can make drum patterns. Study the possibilities of the program before you start making tracks! I get that you started producing because you wanted to make tracks, but the fundamentals are so important.
What motivated you to join SoundLab Nijmegen?
First of all, that there was an association for producers and DJ’s! The day after I heard SoundLab existed, I applied! I joined because I saw it as a great opportunity to get feedback on my DJing and my producing and I thought it would be a great possibility to learn a lot. Also that time I was looking for associations to join, but with Every association is looked into i felt that there was something missing.. but this was not the case when i found out about SoundLab. When a friend sent me this and i saw what it was, it felt great right away!
What is at the moment your favourite artist and why?
My favourite artist is JOYRYDE. His tracks have so much energy! I don’t know exactly what it is, but his tracks have a certain vibe, which would fit amazingly in a house or EDM party. I think a lot of people would like the vibe and energy that goes out from his tracks. As I like to describe it: the genre bass house is cool, and I got a lot from it, but there was always something missing until I discovered JOYRYDE. His sound design is amazing and he has a really stubborn style which I can really relate to.
If you had to give one must-listen to song to the readers, what song would it be?
JOYRYDE – THE BOX
Anything you would like to add?
Yes! I have a request for people reading this interview! I’m thinking about a new DJ name/concept. But it’s hard to come up with something cool and original. So… if you have any ideas or inspiration for a new Dj name, please let me know and maybe we can work something out together!