Starting his career at a young age at Gearbox records, he was directly in the spotlights of many people. He did create stunning tracks which give you chills all over the place, using the most epic vocals. Now he is ready for the uprising and releasing his tracks on End of Line Recordings. He worked together with DJ Thera, Crypsis and more. He did perform at Defqon and Intents a few weeks ago. We think it is about time to learn more about him, let’s have a chat with Artifact!
Hi Artifact, thanks for having us. How are you? Can you give us a little recap of the last months, Defqon, Intents and Emporium must have been insane right?
Doing really good! Finally kicked off the summer with some epic festivals. Defqon.1, Intents and Emporium were all great and I enjoyed every second playing there. The Blue area at Defqon has been on my bucket list since I started DJ’ing so it was awesome to perform in that massive tent! Also, the atmosphere at the Fanatics stage at Intents was something I haven’t seen in a looong time… Damn! The whole crowd, front to back, left to right, was going nuts on ALL the tracks… loved it!
Of course we went to your sets during these great events, where else can we spot you during this festival summer?
There are much more festivals to come! You can find me at Dominator, Fatality, Ultrasonic, Airforce, The Qontinent, Dream Village, Q-Base and more.
Let’s take a trip back, how did you come in touch with music, did you learn to play any instrument or something?
I have always loved music. When I was a little kid, I was always listening to music on my Walkman. When I was about 11 years old, I started playing guitar. I learned a lot about music that way, and I still play guitar now. Later on, I installed FL Studio on my laptop just to see how music production works… and now I’m here.
How did you come in touch with Hardstyle?
It was around 2006, when jumpstyle was a hype. I liked the sound of the distorted bassdrum and I started digging in to harder styles. I checked out some live sets (Tatanka @ Qlimax 2006) and the infamous Explosive Cartuning CD’s. That was when I got hooked.
What was the first Hardstyle-event you did visit?
Sensation Black 2007, in the Amsterdam ArenA. In one word; Epic.
When did you decide that you did want to produce tracks by yourself?
When I hear or see something I like, I always wonder how it’s made and if I can make it myself. Same with hardstyle music. I tried it, but it was way harder than I thought. Kickdrums are frustrating… damn. But I didn’t stop and eventually things started to sound better. That motivated me, and I kept producing.
Can you tell us something about the learning process, how did you learn to master the programs that you use in the studio for instance?
I try to learn everything by myself, just try something and hear or see what it does. This works best for me. I also watched a lot of Youtube tutorials. Some helped, some didn’t. I remember how I made my first good screech, it was when I heard the track “Rauwe Brok” by Josh & Wesz. There’s basically a screech tutorial in it! Listen carefully and you’ll find out!
Talking about the studio, can you tell us something about your studio set-up? Do you have any favourite equipment?
I have never had a lot of hardware, I think nowadays you can make quality music with pretty basic stuff if you use your software right! I see beginning producers buy expensive Virus TI’s or Genelec Monitor Speakers. Cool stuff, but it doesn’t make you a good producer! I use FL Studio for all my productions. I have a MIDI Keyboard and KRK Monitor Speakers. My favorite synths are Sylenth, Serum, Spire and Massive and I absolutely love the Filterbank fx plugin. You can make pretty basic sounds sound epic with that bad boy.
Lately many youngsters try to produce their own music, it seems like DJ’ing and Producing became a bit of a hype, or it’s just in everybody’s reach because of the technology and innovation. What do you think about that? Is it good for the scene, or is it an overkill?
I think it’s a good thing! However, some young producers have the wrong mindset. They hear something they like, and they want to copy it. That’s good if you want to learn how to create a certain sound, but I think having your own style and sound is the most important thing nowadays. Don’t try to copy, create your own. Look at Warface, for example. He came with a fresh, unique sound, and is the fastest rising star of the moment in raw hardstyle.
As a producer, do you have any tips for these talents?
Try to do what YOU like, not what others already do. Create your own style, be unique.
Speaking about talents, who would you recommend to keep an eye on?
D-Sturb is of course a huge talent. He recently joined the End Of Line team and I’m happy he did! I recently made a collab with the guys of Nemesis, talented guys as well! Also, keep an eye on Ignition and The Arkitect.
You did produce some new tracks lately, tell us a little bit about your producing process, how do you start for instance?
Most of the times I start with the climax or the break. I try to make a nice melody or chord progression on my MIDI keyboard. Try to set the atmosphere for the track. When I get the right feeling, the rest of the track will follow automatically.
Recently you did remix Crypsis – Tuatara, a brilliant remix in my opinion. If you can choose any track to create another remix. Which track would it be?
Yeah, that was a great honor! Hm another track… Jack of Sound – Kaylee’s Nightmare would be epic!
Speaking about other producers, who did inspire you?
My biggest inspirations are B-Front and Crypsis. I love the Frequencerz style as well. They all make great raw hardstyle without losing the true feeling.
If you have to choose between DJ’ing or Producing, what will it be?
Choosing between those 2 is impossible. I absolutely love making music on my pc, but there’s nothing compared to the feeling you get when you play that track you’ve been working so hard on live at an event.
You did perform at many great events already, what is your best experience on stage?
I think the highlight of my career so far is Supremacy last year. It was the biggest stage by far, the place was packed and the atmosphere was insane. After my set, Crypsis asked me to do the remix so the night couldn’t have gone any better. However, performing at the Blue at defqon was sick too, and the Hangar is waiting for me at Q-Base…
Which event is still on your bucket list?
Decibel! Haven’t played there yet. Also, events abroad would be sick. Defqon.1 Australia, Mysteryland Chile… that would be insane.
As mentioned earlier you did play at Masters of Hardcore, at the raw stage. Do you like to listen to Hardcore as well?
Yes I do! I listen to all kinds of music. I love hardcore, and I listen to it often. I like mainstream hardcore, but I love the PRSPCT crossbreed stuff too!
Of course we are also checking social-media, and we see many beers passing by watching your instagram and facebook. What is your favourite beer, or type of beer, do you prefer an IPA or Weissen?
Haha oh yeah I love beer. I think my favourite style is IPA, although I love all beers excepts the sour ones. I loved playing in Scotland, visited the Brewdog pub there!
Besides drinking beer, DJ’ing and producing, do you have any other hobbies?
I play guitar, I design some stuff, and I like to party a lot and spend time with friends. Go to festivals, hardstyle and non-hardstyle.
Final Question: Do you have anything left to share with us, maybe something exclusive?
I’m working on some interesting collabs, and I just finished a new track with Elke Donkers. It’s the follow-up for I See Lights. One of the collabs is with a MIM veteran… keep your ears open! I also uploaded my Loudness tool, The Intensity Of Sound, which I will give away when my FB page hits 10.000 likes! Besides that there is a cool giveaway coming up on the Hardstylemag page, something with my new snapback ;), haha!