Hi Kevin Kaos, First, let me ask, How was your year so far?
Hey man, I am fine what about you? This year I had some up and downs. I had some problems in my private life, but it’s all sorted out now. Had a big fire in the house which caused a lot of problem and I needed time to solve everything. Musicwise the absolute highlights were Defqon.1 and Qapital.
We can remember the day of the big fire, you were still performing at PURGE! Much respect for that! We hope you are fully recovered!
Yes, physically I recovered pretty soon. Mentally it took a bit longer. As you can imagine it was hard to sleep. And nowadays I still dream about it, in the middle of the night I suddenly awake very sweaty. But no worries, it’s fine again!
You are in the scene for a while now, but still many people don’t know you. For our new readers, can you give us a little introduction?
My name wouldn’t surprise you; Kevin. And the Kaos part comes from a friend of mine. When I needed a DJ name I asked him what do you think about? He said;’‘Kaos’ because you are an chaotic guy.” Kaos already existed so I did put my name in front. I’m already in the scene since the beginning and yeah time is running.
Is there a difference between now and your early years, how did the scene develope?
The scene is developing, of course, but the same is happening with the “fans”. People who were really into hardstyle a few years ago sometimes don’t even listen to it anymore, so there are many new people who need to get to know you again. Which is good, of course. Besides that hardstyle is becoming bigger and bigger so more people get infected. So it’s time to win their hearts.
Let’s go back to the beginning, When did you start DJing?
Actually, my first gig was in 2003 so in the years before I was a bedroom DJ. Man, how many times my neighbors were standing at the door. Or even more awkward when my parents came into my room when I was dancing around like I was playing in front of 10.000 people, haha!
Was hardstyle your first ‘love’? Or did you start mixing with other music in the first place?
When I started with buying vinyls and mixing, hardstyle was not really a genre at that point. Imagine Qlimax in 2000 with Armin van Buuren, after that Qlubtempo events started and hardstyle begun to grow. I loved that event.
To answer the question in those days I played also a lot of trance and hardcore. I still do by the way. I love to mix music and mixing other styles because it gets you better. I love to improve skills.
Which DJ did inspire you to start mixing and producing?
When I started that must be Tom Harding and Dave Clarke.
How did you become familiar with hardstyle music?
Just from the start. Still love that music. Every record comes with a memory. And as you know once you get infected, you will never lose that feeling. A lot of cliches though, haha!
You are well-known for your rough “kaos” sound. How would you describe your own style?
At the moment we have to say RAW, right! I think it’s best to describe it as rough indeed,but also with a good drive.
There are a lot of talents out there who start producing hardstyle music like you did in 2006, do you have any tips for them?
It’s cliche but make what you like and ask others cause 2 persons know more than 1 ofcourse.
What do you prefer; producing in the studio, or performing on stage as a DJ?
Performing, without a doubt. To make it even more clear, producing 1% and performing 99%. Nowadays it’s important to produce to get booked, because people recognize you from your tracks. Somehow it’s a shame, because most of the times you know what a DJ is going to play. A few years back it was always a surprise.
Especially that point is the essence of DJing. I never know what tracks I am gonna play. Even five minutes before my set I still don’t know. A DJ for me is someone who reacts on the public. I rather hear that people say you played a great set than that they say your new release a great. Long story short, but this is the way I think and feel.
Zero Sanity & Kevin Kaos - Hit The Floor
So is that a negative development within the scene? Do you think the rising popularity of RAW and hardstyle is not always a good thing? What is your opinion about that?
It’s not negative. It’s just different. I mean sometimes you see people posting “If u can’t mix vinyl you are not a DJ” But why should DJs in these days mix vinyl? The tracks are not released on vinyl, and second; the technology is becoming better and better, so why not use it.
Armin van Buuren and Hardwell do play hardstyle tracks during their sets at Tomorrowland, and other big events. Dedicated hardstyle people hate the fact that this is happening. What is your opinion about that?
The bigger hardstyle gets the better for us all. It will only mean that more people get involved in making music which means the music gets more diverse. That’s all we want right? My opinion about Armin and Hardwell playing hardstyle is simple! Why not? If people don’t like it, there are a few easy solutions like getting a drink at the bar or just get ready for the next track in a few minutes.
If we take a look at your producing process. What does it look like? How do you start?
It depends. I usually start with a melody to get the vibe of the track and from there the building process starts. Sometimes when I work with an MC the vocals already have a direction.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Listening to music. Sounds confusing, but sometimes you have the feeling I would do it this way or that way, while listening.
Besides listening to hardstyle, hardcore, rawstyle, do you listen to other genres as well?
Yes. I love the 80s and I love trance as well. I am big fan of the “A state of Trance” podcast by Armin and the “Future Sound of Egypt” by Aly & Fila.
Recently, you released a new track together with Stereotuners called Skullfuck! Why the collab with Stereotuners?
We were already planning this for a while. We are good friends and give each other advice on the tracks. So, the day had to come. We tried to create a track which combines our own styles. As they said I have a typical drive in my tracks and I like their screeches. Skullfuck was the result 🙂
At the end of this year we will start with the follow-up.
Stereotuners & Kevin Kaos - Skullfuck
Talking about collabs, who would you like to collab with?
Hard question. There are so many great producers. I would love to work with Ran-D and Adaro. I really like their Gunz for Hire sound and besides that they are awesome personalities, which is even more important to me.
At the moment I am working with Desnar on a collab and I am planning to do something with the Bass Chaserz, they are doing great at the moment. Keep an eye on this guys.
Bass Chaserz are doing great indeed! Are there any other talented DJ’s or producers you are excited about?
Sub Sonik, in my opinion though. Great tracks. Actually, I was one of the first who supported his first track.
Artifact, who I know for a long time now and we have had contact about music ever since dreamfields 2011. He sent me his tracks and they were already sounding good at that point. So it’s cool to see that he gets a lot of support and is playing a lot of gigs. Dark Pact has a great drive in his tracks. Especially “Godlike” is one of my favorites.
And last but not least; Solutio who isn’t new anymore but very underrated in my opinion. I always play his tracks.
Deetox and Deepack are really good friends of yours, how did you came in touch with them?
Everybody is my friend, haha! To start with Deepack, we are going waaaayyyyy back. We know each other for so long. For me one of the most inspiring acts hardstyle ever had. There is always happening something when they are on stage. I played my first gig with them, we are from the same city so have a lot in common. The same for (mixmaster) Luna. In my opinion the hardstyle legend.
I know Deetox from her first gig in UK, which is a different story. I have great memories from that gig. We still have contact. I played at one of her hostings and I invited her a few times as well. I think she is gonna be one of the headliners in the coming years.
What makes it different to play in the UK or in The Netherlands?
Haha they are crazy. Very, very dedicated. Totally wasted at the end of a party. But in the other end it’s coming from their enthusiasm. We must not forget that we have like 10 events every weekend and they have 1 a week if they are lucky. I really appreciate it. And the Uk has nando’s, the best food before going to the club :D!
What was the greatest event of your career so far?
It’s a cliche but all have something. To name a few my first Hardbass I will never forget. I still remember every second from when I got booked. The first contact was via Partyflock, haha. That year I played Decibel, Euphoria and Pussy Lounge as well, so that event meant a lot to me.
Another was Defqon ofcourse. The vibe around that event is amazing.
The last one which is worth a mention was Qlimax. I am sure everyone is thinking; I never saw him on Qlimax. It was at the Vip room haha. But hey, I can say I played at Qlimax, haha 😉
Worldwide I played for example in Mexico, USA, South Africa and Malaysia and it’s amazing to see how dedicated they are. They are so happy with just an event.
Do you think their should be more events in this countries? Or is that not feasible due to a smaller fanbase?
Obviously Hardstyle isn’t as big as the so called ‘EDM’. We still are a bit underground. A lot less than lets say 5 years ago. Hardstyle is ‘accepted’ now as far as I can see.
Slowly but surely it will change. I mean Q-dance didn’t start with 30.000 visitors. Fact is that we, in the Netherlands, are in front.
Where would you love to play sometime?
I had a few goals I already reached and still a few to go. What is life without dreams.
I would really love to play in Australia and Chile. I heard and saw so many great things about the events there, so I have to experience that at least once. The passion the people life for Hardstyle is amazing and I speak with a lot of them on facebook. For the Chileans in Spanish because my Spanish is good. It seems that they are really appreciating that. Fingers crossed.
Another goal for me is to mix a compilation:D!
Kevin Kaos Ft- MC I See - Destroy You At Once
You did play on big events a few years ago, Hardbass for instance. Since then other people took over the scene. But at Qapital 2014 you played at a big event again! Can we expect more Kevin Kaos at bigger events soon?
The scene is changing. A lot of new artists ofcourse. Nowadays everybody wants to be a DJ. In the past little kids wanted to be policeman or fireman. Qapital was very cool. I did open the extra area and people were waiting in front of the area, which was awesome. I was really thankful to get booked for that event. Of Course you will see me more often.
Final question: Do you have anything to share with us, maybe something exclusive? Or something to say to your fans?
Yes. Enjoy life. Don’t take life unnecessary serious, it can be over in a second.
Musicwise, I am working on a few new tracks. 2 solo tracks and 2 collabs. Besides that there gonna be some remixes of a few of my tracks.
I am starting again with my podcast #RAW, which I haven’t been working on lately because of the circumstances I mentioned earlier. And last but not least I am working on something which has something to do with early hardstyle!
So to everybody, keep an eye on bla bla bla, 😉 – No, if u want to ask me something about anything, you know where to find me!