It has been a whirlwind year for 19 year old Oliver Heldens — after he scored a worldwide hit with Gecko his career has shown no signs of slowing down. From Spinnin’ Records to Musical Freedom, Oliver Heldens has made a massive name for himself since breaking onto the scene in early 2013.
It is with great excitement that we are welcoming Oliver for his Vancouver debut this Sunday, August 3rd. With only a few more shows until Shine closes its doors for good, we at Blueprint couldn’t help but go all in for one more deep and groovy long weekend bender.
But who is the man behind the irresistible Gecko? We sat down with Oliver Heldens so you, our Blueprint family, could find out a little bit more about just the man who is going to be keeping you dancing into the wee hours this August long weekend.
Blueprint: Upon which three pillars does Oliver Heldens stand?
Oliver Heldens: Creating and producing music, my family, & my management.
Blueprint: Stinger and Thumper were your first two releases on Spinnin’ Records. Stylistically these tracks are very different from your present deep-groovy sound. Do the aforementioned tracks reflect your roots and what lead you to change your style so drastically?
Oliver Heldens: I just like to experiment a lot, in the last years I made a lot of different stuff and a year ago I decided to put out the stuff like Stinger and Thumper, the style of Gecko and my latest releases suits me the best this moment, so I focus more on that. I think it’s important for a musician to keep on developing its sound all the time.
Blueprint: When you sent Tiesto Gecko he responded within ten minutes and told you that he wanted to sign the track to Musical Freedom. How has that singular moment changed your career and how did it all go down?
Oliver Heldens: Haha yeah that felt pretty unreal. I never expected that reaction. I am very thankful for his support because from that moment on everything started going really fast!
Blueprint: Your vocal edit of Gecko, Gecko Overdrive, went number one on the British Top 40 pop charts. How did you react to the news when you found out, and what has the accomplishment meant to you?
Oliver Heldens: I was super happy! I heard the news when I was at Summer Festival in Belgium, so there I celebrated with a lot of other DJs and we also watched the Dutch soccer game, had a good time. It means a lot to me, dream coming true! It’s such a good feeling when you achieve the goals you’ve set.
Blueprint: Name one DJ you currently admire for each of the following reasons—production prowess and live showmanship.
Oliver Heldens: The guys from Chocolate Puma deserve a shout-out. I’ve been loving their stuff for so many years, I don’t understand why they are not really big yet.
Blueprint: DJ Hanzel wants everyone to go one more deeper. Do you think you can take audiences around the world one more deeper and then even deeper?
Oliver Heldens: I think it depends what people understand under the word “deep.” I don’t think my music is “deeper” than other deep house producers, but I think my music is more uplifting than most of the “deep house” at the moment.
Blueprint: Some people have been saying that your next release, Koala, sounds too much like Gecko—are they wrong for drawing such a comparison? Has Gecko pigeonholed you to a very specific sound & if so has it become artistically limiting?
Oliver Heldens: On every popular track on the internet you can find people who complain that a track sounds similar to something else. Besides these few people who think it’s too similar, there are thousands of people who don’t think like that and like it (the preview on Souncloud has over 35k likes at the moment).
Blueprint: You have sighted old Fedde Le Grand and Sander van Doorn as inspirations: what is it about these particular artists that you find inspirational and where do you see yourself fitting into the current EDM landscape?
Oliver Heldens: I love their older tracks. Because of people like them I also wanted to make music.
Blueprint: Like every genre of music deep house has snobs and elitists: are you the answer to all their mainstream complaints or their worst nightmare?
Oliver Heldens:I hope so, I would like to be the bridge that crosses EDM/mainstream and deep house. The perfect in between.
Blueprint: This summer you are playing a lot of gigs in Ibiza: does the legendary White Isle still hold the clout it used to or are places like Vegas overtaking it and diluting its relevance?
Oliver Heldens: I like Ibiza very much, it still has its magic in my opinion. But of course Vegas and Miami are growing bigger and bigger in this industry.
Blueprint: In past interviews you have hinted at a tech house track you have slated for release, can you tell fans anything more about this ID?
Oliver Heldens: In the mean time I made a lot of new tracks/remixes and the schedule got changed, can’t tell more. Stay tuned!
Blueprint: What can fans look forward to experiencing at your August 3rd show at Shine Nightclub?
Oliver Heldens: They can expect to find themselves dancing the whole time! Will play a lot of my own (exclusive) tracks. I think the ambiance will be intense, because it’s such a small club and also a really nice club. It will be a unique experience.
Just about everything Oliver touches comes out with deliciously deep and there are still tickets left to Sunday’s show, grab yours while you can via thisisblueprint.com
– Ryan Hayesget tickets