Finnish power in the harder styles: Straight from Helsinki, signed at Dirty Workz Anarchy he brings us euphoric and uplifting melodies, but also heavy kicks in his screechy climax parts! He’s the best friend of Riiho and brought us an incredibly awesome set at Loudness last year. Today he’s here to tell us more about himself, his music and love for the harder styles in dance music.
First of all, could you introduce yourself to the reader? Who are you, where are you from, what are you doing besides producing music and DJing and what are your hobbies?
I’m Oskar Hänninen aka Digital Mindz and I’m 22 years old DJ/music producer from Finland. I work full-time as a print technician, which means I print flyers, business cards, brochures etc..
Producing music is of course my favorite hobby. Furthermore, I will start at a audio engineering school next month, which will take 2 years and I’m already really excited about it!
That sounds pretty interesting. What do you think, will you learn in this two years? How about the balance between school, your time in the studio and your performances?
Yes it’s very interesting, I can’t wait to see what I can learn and experience in the school. The teachers are very experienced and the studios there are top notch quality with all the devices and equipments you could ever need.
It’s an audiovisual communications school in my city, Helsinki. I get taught the theory of audio engineering and prepared for the work with different techniques of the audio industry. In other words, I will be making sound designing and compositions for games, TV or movies when I’m graduated.
I don’t think the school will give me any time issues, since working in audio industry is mostly working in a project as a freelancer in specific time. There is usually no strict working times, so I’m able to work on music, too.
You and Riiho are both from Finland – how did you get to know him? Are you good friends? How is working with him in the studio?
Yes, we’re good friends. We got to know each other through the internet a few years ago. First we talked about some music and one day I invited him to a local hardstyle/hardcore party with me and that’s where it all started.
Working together with him is easy, I would say. Our styles and sounds fit really well together and when we hit the studio together, we get a lot of ideas from each other. So the work flow and ‘chemistry’ between our ideas is really nice fluently.
How would you describe your own musical style? Are you satisfied with it? How did you start producing and why hardstyle? Are you in general interested in producing music or just hardstyle? Would you ever start producing something else?
Hard and raw intros/outros, deep atmospheric breakdowns and euphoric massive melodies. That’s how I imagine my style in my head. Am I satisfied with my music? Well I don’t know, are there any music producers who are totally satisfied with their work? There is always something you could have improved. Let’s just say that I cannot wait to see and hear how my music sounds in 3 years and where it has taken me.
Digital Mindz - Resonant
I started producing music in winter 2008. First, I produced Hands Up/Trance/House music for about 5 months, until I heard some hardstyle tracks on YouTube and that moment basically changed my life.
In general I’m interested in producing anything. However it’s of course most fun to produce the music that I love, hardstyle. Often I thought about producing a hardcore track but I did not manage to get to it until now. But maybe I’ll start ghost producing one day, who knows haha!
Hehe, so what’s your opinion about ghost producing?
Well for me, ghost producing is totally okay, however I respect honesty. I would respect and support an honest ghost produced artist more, than an artist who will lie to the grave, that he/she totally produced all his tracks. However in the end it’s none of my business, so it’s nothing that I would argue or rage about. I’ll just keep my own business real and that’s enough for me.
Furthermore, you trying to deliver a good balance between raw and euphoric – is there a style you prefer while producing? If you look further into the future – are you more into raw or euphoric? Do you care about the recent discussion about EDM, raw, euphoric, .. ?
I’d say the word Diversity pretty much sums up Digital Mindz. I prefer to produce music that makes me feel good. I love euphoric melodies, which evoke real emotion and feelings and also hard banging kicks with a lot of energy when listen to it loudly on a nice sound system. For me, Rawstyle is of course my biggest love.
Nico & Tetta - Restart The Party ( Digital Mindz & Riiho 2014 Remix)
Sometimes I think to be a diverse artist can be bad as well, since organizer would not know what to expect from my set, but I don’t want to be a boring artist and get stuck to the same sound design. It’s good to experiment with different styles in the beginning, so over the years I will find the style that I love to make the most.
I don’t really care about the genre discussions, for me music is music and I listen to whatever sounds good no matter what genre.
What are your goals as a producer as well as a DJ? Or in general what are your live goals? Do you have a bucket list? Can you name some points you always wanted to do, or to do at least once in your life?
My biggest goal is to be a full-time music producer, so I can do what I love most.
Do you remember the first hardstyle track you heard? What was your first event you visited?
My first hardstyle track was from Showtek and Headhunterz, don’t really remember which one, because I immediately searched everything I could find about hardstyle afterwards. I guess that’s love on first sight.
My very first event was an local party here in Helsinki, when Angerfist came to play here in 2012. I was at the age when I began to visit nightclubs the first times, so I was of course super drunk and it was the first time ever when I danced to hardstyle/hardcore – I guess, I looked so awkward haha!
And my first major event was Defqon 1 in 2014, it was one of my highlights, especially because I was there to witness it when Crypsis played my track ‘Resonant’ at the mainstage.
What was your favorite performance so far? At which festival you would love to play and why?
My favorite performance was at Loudness, Rotterdam 15.11 b2b with Riiho. Very dedicated crowd and a great party overall. I would love to play at some Q-Dance/b2s major event , since that’s something that I have not experienced yet.
Is there something you would love to tell the readers?
I would like to thank everyone for all the support and the nice feedback that I’ve got, it’s really motivating! As for news, I have some new raw tracks under work and I got a new big booking from NL which will be announced anytime soon, stay tuned! 😉