This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to sit down and talk with musical genius, Sander van Doorn, just minutes before he took the Mainstage at EDC New York for the first time ever! The Dutch mastermind producer and DJ has a knack for creating chart-topper after chart-topper while incorporating a new and diverse sound every time. This electronic dance music godfather let us in on his plans to rock summer 2014, the secrets behind his creative process, and his tips for young artists trying to break into the industry!
Sensible Reason: How excited are you to play EDC New York? And how does the New York crowd usually respond to you?
Sander van Doorn: I’m super excited. First time playing EDC New York for me. I’ve done a lot of EDC’s in the past, but this is the first time over here. The New York crowd for me is one of the best crowds in the world. It’s actually one of the first crowds in the US I’ve played for, about ten years ago already. I really feel like I have a big fan base over here, so every single time I play here it’s really special.
SR: Could you describe your unique sound? And what do you think separates you from other electronic dance producers?
Sander: I’m more able to mix different genres. I don’t mind if it’s like house-y, or progressive, or tech-y, or more melodic, I really try to mix it all into one sound. As far as tracks go, we’re producing a few tracks right now. I’ve done a few new tracks that are more tech-based, but still has a lot of energy. That’s the whole thing about producing as well as dj-ing, combining different sounds.
SR: What’s next on your agenda after EDC NY? Any big plans for 2014?
Sander: I’ve got a week of studio time next week, which is going to be really cool. I’ve decided that this summer season is going to be pretty insane, a lot of festivals, Ibiza, I think about ten shows this year. Beside that, I have a few new collaborations coming up. One of which, “Gold Skies,” together with Martin Garrix and DVBBS, has actually just been released last week and it’s just going through the roof (over 2 million YouTube views). I’m really happy with that.
SR: How has your career progressed since the release of “Loaded” in 2004?
Sander: A lot. You know, my whole career has progressed really gradually and it kept on growing after that year (2004). It really just worked out really well. I prefer this over being up here one day and then fall down the next. I really started my roots over in this industry, people know me from making this music for the past ten years, and I’m planning on doing this for another ten years. Definitely.
SR: You’ve been ranked within the “Top 20 DJ’s of the World” several times within the past few years. Is there anything specific that goes behind your creative process? Any rituals?
Sander: Well, you know, with producing for me, the best ritual is to start with a blank screen and always make sure that I do something completely different. I never use the same drums or synth, I always like to do something different. For me, that works best. Trying different things, combining different sounds… Like I said, the last two records are a lot more rhythm-based and percussion-based….
SR: Kind of like a trial-and-error process?
Sander: Yes! Yeah, yeah trial-and-error, that’s it!
SR: Being a godfather in this industry to so many you artists, such as Firebeatz and Vicetone, what advice do you have to young producers trying to break through?
Sander: Be original. Listen to the sound that’s around and make it your own. Firebeatz are really able to do that. They have a very energetic sound, but still it has some groovy elements to it. I really love their sound. We did a track together incorporating the use of guitars, (“Guitar Track“), which is a bit hard to do. We actually produced it in both studios, my studio as well as theirs. The way they produce is really unique as well.
SR: Any last thoughts you’d like to share? Acknowledgements or shout-outs?
Sander: It’s always great to be here! You know, playing EDC New York for the first time, I’m really excited. Thanks to everyone for the support over the years, and here we go!