A few weeks ago, we did discover talents from Germany called ‘Riot Shift’. We did spot some of their new bootlegs and did fall in love instantly. We wondered ‘Who are these guys?’, and wanted to learn more about them. Let’s have a chat with Riot Shift!
Hi Guys, thanks for having this interview, for the readers, can you tell us something about yourself?
Thanks for the invite buddy! We are Ole Baehr & David van Offern, also known as Riot Shift. In the beginning of 2016 this project was born when David and I decided to join forces and started making tracks that were harder and more energetic from the usual stuff we’ve been making before. Actually we both were producing Euphoric Hardstyle under our aliases “Dokserz” and “Riliz”.
Back then David contacted me when he was still just starting to produce music and over the time we became really good friends. As we recognized that we had a really good chemistry going in the studio, we had the idea of creating a new project. I then stopped producing euphoric hardstyle completely and focused on Raw style. Besides Riot Shift, David is part of the duo “Heatwavez” who signed on the big Belgium label Dirty Workz recently. I’m really proud about that cause it showed us that always helping and teaching each other can bring us so far in this scene.
How did you guys come up with the name ‘Riot Shift’?
I always liked the word “riot” since it fits so well to the rougher kind of hardstyle and represents something strong and powerful, exactly like we want our music to sound like. I then had the name Riot Shift in mind, we both liked it and that’s it haha!
Let’s go back to the start, when was the first moment you did come in touch with Hardstyle, can you remember the first track you’ve heard, the first event you did visit?
Ole: I think i started listening to Hardstyle in 2011, I’ve been trying out nearly every common genre before like Hip Hop, Drum n Bass etc. but it never really fascinated me. One day me and a friend were scrolling through his USB full of music and discovered ‘Project One – Life Beyond Earth’. I instantly fell in love with that track and listened to it every day, i then came in touch with all the other tracks by Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Noisecontrollers, Showtek and so on.
Besides some local hardstyle events the first big festival I’ve visited was Defqon.1 in 2015. It was absolutely amazing!
David: My first hardstyle track ever was ‘Headhunterz – Scantraxx Rootz’. I got a CD from a friend and it felt kind of forbidden to hear it because I come out of a classical music family but i fell directly in love with this genre.
My first Festival was Pumpkin in Germany in 2014. It was a really exciting experience!
Who were your heroes back then?
Ole: My all-time hero will always be Atmozfears, been loving every track of him from the very beginning. Also the Project One album was the very first hardstyle album i ever bought, definitely heroes as well. I’m super excited for their reunification!
David: For me, Atmozfears is my all-time hero, too. He just perfected Raw and Euphoric and brought hardstyle to a new level, but there are so many good artists out there, i could mention.
What made you decide to start producing on your own?
Ole: I started making music in 2012 when i downloaded a copy of FL studio 9. Back then I was lucky to get in touch with Danouh, former owner of the label Musical Awareness, who taught me a lot and signed me later on his label.
David: I make music since I am 6 years old. I started playing the piano and later the drums. As I got my first Mac around 2010, I started to try around with Garage Band. In 2012 I bought myself a PC and I started working with FL Studio.
David, you are producing in two duos at the moment as mentioned above, can you tell us something about the up and downsides, how do you combine it?
David: For me it’s cool to have the option to produce Raw and Euphoric. Sometimes I’m tired of producing always the same genre so i just easily switch the project.
The downside is that it’s sometimes hard to focus on one project because both are taking much time.
Do you guys still work in FL studio?
Yeah we are using FL Studio 11 and 12. Already tried other DAW’s but we have the best workflow in FL.
The Pitcher - Fuck Hardstyle (Riot Shift Bootleg)
Do you guys have any tips for talented bedroom producers?
Get in touch with other producers, the right connections are so important nowadays to get you signed on labels etc.! Always be kind towards colleagues, give feedback so you will get feedback on your stuff as well, stay motivated, produce what YOU want to produce so you can find your own style and last but not least never stop dreaming!
That was a great ride back in time. Now let’s talk about the present. You guys did start Riot Shift in 2016. Can you give us a little recap, which tracks did you release, did you play at any events, did some crazy things happen already?
This year we released a few Bootlegs/Remixes that all had a great response and caused many people to support us on our social media which is keeping us motivated. Even if the project is still fresh, we already got booked at a couple of events in Germany but there is surely more to come, also in the Netherlands! We already finished some solo tracks and collabs with other great producers and there are still tons of projects to finish. You will probably hear them on a label soon, that’s why we are still keeping them secret. The whole year crazy things were happening that we would never have thought of. Some of our idols in the scene supported our tracks all over the world; we made friends with lots of talented artists and so on. Hopefully 2017 will become even better!
If guys have to describe the style of Riot Shift in a quote, using 3 strong words, what will it look like?
DIKKE FUKKING KIEKZ
We expect that you guys are not full-time producers, right?! Can you tell us something about your work, study and other hobbies?
Ole: Unfortunately, no, haha, maybe one day. I just finished high school and now I’m doing a voluntary social year in another city, that’s why I’m only able to make music on the weekends at the moment. Besides my job i like going to events/festivals with my friends, watching Netflix and of course producing. I’m actually not really into gaming or something like that.
David: I’m not a full time Producer as well. Ole and I have kind of the same life. I just finished high school too and i work for one year at a school for handicapped people. Next to producing I love to play piano or go outside with friends.
You guys made some awesome productions in 2016. Can you tell us something about the producing process? How do you guys start, what can inspire you for a new track?
Thanks! Well, most of the time a Riot Shift track starts with a new kick or a new vocal that we want to build the track around. I usually show it to David and he continues with the track until he sends it back to me and so on. That’s how we get both our ideas into a track. We actually try to get inspired by everything that’s happening around us. We really like listening to different genres as well to get some ideas. Most of the time we have some atmosphere in mind that we want to create and then the whole track is getting done step by step.
With your latest bootlegs, Riot Shift – Headhunterz & KSHMR – Dharma (Riot Shift Edit) and Riot Shift – Far East Movement – Like A G6 (Riot Shift Bootleg) you guys are exploring the boundaries of Hardstyle and Progessive House. Why did you guys select these tracks and what is your vision about these boundaries?
We often try to get as much influences from other genres as possible into our tracks. We are big fans of that oriental sounding touch, artists like KSHMR are doing a lot, that’s why we decided to edit Dharma and add a bit of our style to it. The ‘Like A G6’ Bootleg was actually an old project from 2014 that we gave a whole new makeover. Was really fun to make these bootlegs!
Headhunterz ft KSHMR - Dharma (Riot Shift Bootleg)
We did spot a new teaser at your socials recently. Can you tell us something more about it?
Yeah, it’s basically a bunch of Riot Shift tracks that you can expect in the near future. There are some solo tracks we put lots of work into but also a few collaborations with artists like Criminal Mayhem and Antagonist – two close friends and very talented producers you should definitely check out!
Riot Shift - Teaser
What are the future plans with Riot Shift?
We are currently preparing demo packs for a few labels we want to get signed at and already received some good feedback. Also there are collabs with Ncrypta, Secrecy and other cool producers planned that need to be done in 2017. We want Riot Shift to become a project that stands for Raw style tracks outta the box.