Saturday Night Session 026: From being a die-hard Tiësto fan to playing on the mainstage, GATTÜSO talks about his entrance into electronic music

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Saturday Night Session 026: From being a die-hard Tiësto fan to playing on the mainstage, GATTÜSO talks about his entrance into electronic musicGATTUSO STUDIO 2

Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.

The journey of becoming a successful DJ and producer is different for everyone, but almost always unified by years of hard work. It’s a grind, and for many, an uphill battle to get booked, grow a fanbase, and score radio placements. Reem Taoz is as familiar with the hard work part of this story as the best of them, but the electronic music industry seemingly woke up one morning and decided that he was going to be a household name. Taoz arrived to the forefront of the electronic music scene the second he got into the studio, and this is almost certainly thanks to his infectious spin on progressive house and club music.

Taoz performs under artist alias GATTÜSO, and the Israel native actually credits legendary producer Tiësto as his inspiration to become involved in the electronic music industry.

He mentions, “I have to credit Tiësto as my biggest inspiration.  I heard him play first in Israel, and when I first started to really travel – it was to go to a Tiësto show, and I ended up following him to shows around the world.”

This led him to Peru, where he started working in the nightclub industry. The more time he spent around the music, the more certain he became that he needed to start creating his own. In 2017, a now New York City based Taoz stopped everything to focus on making music. Two years later he has 12 remixes and seven originals under his belt with 10 new original releases in the works. He has released music on Dim Mak, Armada, Enhanced, and he has his own record label called T&T Records. He has also done official remixes for an extensive list of tier one artists including forthcoming remixes for Galantis, Yellow Claw, and Sam Feldt among others.

The sheer volume of music Taoz has put out despite being a music producer for only two years is impressive. His output begins to make more sense after discussing the amount of time he spends in the studio and what he does outside of work to unwind. He notes, “The past month, I spent 300 hours in the studio, which hasn’t left a whole lot of time…I really try to spend every minute outside of the studio enjoying food, family, and staying healthy.  I’ve said it before, but Im a HUGE fan of sushi, and working out, and I hit the gym and run at least a few miles every day.  I also love tequila and champagne, although I try not to do that every day!”

For those trying to figure out what led to Taoz’s meteoric ascension, one stunt comes to the forefront. Taoz chose the artist name GATTÜSO because he was a huge Genaro Gattuso fan, who is an Italian soccer player from AC Milan.

When asked how he chose his artist name, he explains, “It’s ironic, because the name just came to me one night.  I wanted something that sounded strong and forceful.  I’m a huge football fan (soccer), and I knew that there was a former player for AC Milan, who was a major star, and then went on to coach the team.  I figured that somewhere down the road, we might cross paths, and as it turns out a huge AC Milan fan, with a big instagram account, realized that we had the same name, created a bunch of buzz on it, and we ended up collaborating on a song called ‘Scuza Gattuso,’ which started as an inside joke and went on to be featured in tons of global press outlets, featured on top playlists, and brought me a loyal fan base of Italian listeners.”

GATTÜSO’s inside joke has certainly garnered him a strong Italian fanbase. He also touts an ever-expanding group of loyal listeners in the U.S. and throughout the world. When asked what kind of a Saturday Night his Saturday Night Session will get listeners ready for, Taoz comments, “Life with GATTÜSO is always a party.  Life is meant to be enjoyed – every minute of it, especially this Saturday night! So get ready for good vibes and a playlist you’re going to play again and again.”

______________________________________________________________________________

You kind of came out of nowhere- releasing your first original in 2018, and all of the sudden you’re doing remixes for major artists and your originals are amassing millions of streams. Tell us about your entrance into dance music and why you started producing. 

I have to credit Tiësto as my biggest inspiration.  I heard him play first in Israel, and when I first started to really travel – it was to go to a Tiësto show, and I ended up following him to shows around the world.  Thats what led me to Peru, where I spent a few years in the nightclub business.  The more time that I spent around dance music and DJ’s, I realized that it was time to turn my passion for music as a fan into finding myself as an artist.  I played music as a kid and had messed around with some production software over the years, but in 2017 I stopped everything and turned to focus on producing full time.  My first original releases, “Who We Are” and “Dance Stay High” were really personal songs for me, as was “I Will Play.” This writing was directly from my personal life and was very cathartic for me.  Seeing these songs with millions of streams now is very satisfying because I think it shows that other people feel the way I do, and I’m happy to see my music resonating with people around the world. 

How would you describe your musical style to those who haven’t heard you before?

I love progressive, with big drops, catchy melodies, and driven by memorable vocals and great songs.  Thats what I try to do! I balance this out with club tracks, and Im going to be releasing more of those in the near future, since I have a lot of fun making them. 

Given your first original came out in 2018 and you have since released a plethora of remixes and originals- you must spend quite a lot of time in the studio. What do you do to unwind? 

As of this week, Ive actually released about or exactly 12 remixes and 7 originals. I have another 10 originals that I’m working on now, and about 5 are ready to release.  The past month, I spent 300 hours in the studio, which hasn’t left a whole lot of time.  That said, I love to enjoy my life, and I make sure that I carve out time to do that.  I love making music and that time is very special to me, but I really try to spend every minute outside of the studio enjoying food, family, and staying healthy.  I’ve said it before, but Im a HUGE fan of sushi, and working out, and I hit the gym and run at least a few miles every day.  I also love tequila and champagne, although I try not to do that every day 🙂 

How did you choose the artist name GATTÜSO?

It’s ironic, because the name just came to me one night.  I wanted something that sounded strong and forceful.  I’m a huge football fan (soccer), and I knew that there was a former player for AC Milan, who was a major star, and then went on to coach the team.  I figured that somewhere down the road, we might cross paths, and as it turns out a huge AC Milan fan, with a big instagram account, realized that we had the same name, created a bunch of buzz on it, and we ended up collaborating on a song called “Scuza Gattuso,” which started as an inside joke and went on to be featured in tons of global press outlets, featured on top playlists, and brought me a loyal fan base of Italian listeners.  

Do you have any specific releases or remixes coming out soon that you are particularly excited about?

Yes! All of them.  August was a huge month for me, with 4 remixes back to back. There’s a Two Friends remix coming this month, “Dollar Menu” (Dim Mak 9/6), and then Im finishing up great remixes for Icona Pop (who I have always loved), and Starley, which should be out in October. It’s been amazing to work with such great songs and artists, that I’ve been following and listening to for some time now.  They have all inspired and influenced me, so its really awesome to have these kinds of opportunities.  I’m in the process of finalizing some label deals on a handful of originals, and I’m going to release one this month on my own label, T&T Records, called “Love Is Not Enough.”  I LOVE this record and the singer S.A.L.E.M just kills me.  She’s amazing, has something very special I think, which is hard to find.  

I just did a swap with Mark Sixma.  He’s awesome.  My song with Disco Killerz, “Million Things” was on Dance Rising with his song “Million Miles.”  I loved his style, and when I released “When In Rome” on Armada in July, when it came time to get remixes done, I hit him up and we decided to trade.  Really excited for that to come out September 20th.  

Other releases and remixes I have coming out:

Breathe Carolina X Asketa & Natan Chaim “Get Away feat. Rama Duke” (Spinnin Records)

Steve Void & Louisa – Aint Got You (Strange Fruits/Universal 8/23)

Sam Feldt – Post Malone (Spinnin Records 8/29) 

Galantis & Yellow Claw – We Can Get High (Big Beat/Atlantic 8/30)

What is your favorite song of all time?

Thats a tough call.  Lets go with top 3

Radiohead “Creep” 

Dash Berlin “Till The Sky Falls Down”

R3HAB “Lullaby,” and I was fortunate to do a remix for that one.  I have always been a big fan of Fadil’s and he has now become a friend.  

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday night session going to get listeners ready for?

Life with Gattuso is always a party.  Life is meant to be enjoyed – every minute of it, especially this Saturday night! So get ready for good vibes and a playlist you’re going to play again and again.  

Photo Credit: Richard “Parlay” Copier @OneiPhotography

Amsterdam Dance Event’s second phase of artists: Peggy Gou, San Holo, Sam Feldt, and more

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Amsterdam Dance Event’s second phase of artists: Peggy Gou, San Holo, Sam Feldt, and moreADE

Europe’s globally attended industry-oriented festival and conference week, Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), has released its second arm of genre-traversing musical meat for the affair’s 24th edition.

Among the production’s most recent wave of names is Carl Craig, Catching Flies, DJ Seinfeld, San Holo, Peggy Gou, Steve Aoki, Dubfire, as well as dozens more, scheduled to stretch across its five-day tenure this October 16-20. Alongside the performer additions comes the next leg of conference speakers, including Nastia, Hannah Wants, and Lisa Ellis, SoundCloud’s global head of music and artist relations.

The new names join the ranks of ADE’s hotly anticipated first wave, namely Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte, Martin Garrix, Bonobo, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Netsky, and Carl Cox, just to name a few from the multitudinous menagerie of upper-echelon muscle.

This year’s installment will feature France as the festival’s focus country, along with the return of the endeavor’s live showcases at historic Amsterdam venues, Melkweg and Paradiso. ADE’s first wave of artists is available in full here. Explore the lineup additions and purchase tickets to the festival here. The complete artist roster and 2019 festival program is expected to be finalized in coming weeks.

NMF Roundup: NGHTMRE and ZHU link for new single, JOYRYDE reveals ‘MADDEN’ + more

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NMF Roundup: NGHTMRE and ZHU link for new single, JOYRYDE reveals ‘MADDEN’ + moreNGHTMRE Tessa Paisan Ritz Ybor 2017 39 Of 50

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

NGHTMRE and ZHU have linked with Kidd Keem to deliver the delectable “Man’s First Inhibition,” and Seven Lions, MitiS, and RBBTS join forces on “Break The Silence.” JOYRYDE has revealed the third single from his forthcoming LP, “MADDEN,” and Adventure Club, Said the Sky, and Caly Bevier flex their skills on “Already Know.” Duke & Jones try their hand at remixing Party Favor and graves’ “Reach For Me,” and Gareth Emery continues his Laserface takeover with “Laserface 01 (Aperture).” Fox Stevenson announces his debut album with the release of “Hold Steady,” and David Guetta and MORTEN take on a remix of Avicii’s “Heaven.” Also in today’s remix game is Ross From Friends, who puts his own spin on Flume and London Grammar’s “Let You Know.” Mura Masa and Clairo thrill with their release of “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again,” and Ilan Bluestone reworks Cosmic Gate and Emma Hewitt’s “Be Your Sound.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Tessa Paisan

NMF Roundup: Skrillex remixes Kelsey Lu, Drezo returns with ‘Afterlife’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex remixes Kelsey Lu, Drezo returns with ‘Afterlife’ + moreSkrille Live Aug 2017 Billboard 1548 0

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

The second-to-last NMF of May brings fresh material from Skrillex in the form of a Kelsey Lu remix. Drezo returns to drag his fans to the depths with a new original, “Afterlife,” and Spencer Brown delivers “Sapporo” as the title track for his new EP. Andrew Bayer brings two new tracks to Anjuna, including “Only You Boy,” and Kygo teams up with Chelsea Cutler for “Not Ok.” Chris Lake enters the summer months with a new groovy number, “Stay With Me,” and Nora En Pure fills her latest release with lush melodies and a breezy atmosphere. i_o takes on Above & Beyond in a formidable new extended mix, and Flux Pavilion joins forces with Nevve for “Lion’s Cage.” Borgeous links with RUNAGROUND for “Better Anyway,” and Chase & Status cook up some fast-paced drum ‘n’ bass on “Murder Music.” After debuting “Dragonfly” with DA earlier this week, Au5 releases his new LP, and Benny Benassi puts his own spin on Patrick Martin’s “Stranger Nights.” Curbi delivers some feisty new house music in “Flip It” and DVBBS rework Steve Aoki’s “Play It Cool.” Cedric Gervais returns with “Take You In,” and Don Diablo unveils a VIP mix of Jessie J’s “Brave.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Lunar Lunes: R3HAB refreshes ATC’s ‘Around The World (La La La),’ Notaker unveils ‘PATH.FINDER’ EP + more

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Lunar Lunes: R3HAB refreshes ATC’s ‘Around The World (La La La),’ Notaker unveils ‘PATH.FINDER’ EP + moreR3hab 4

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

It’s been 18 years since the release of ATC’s classic “Around the World (La La La),” but R3HAB has revived the seminal track with a rework of his own. Notaker‘s new EP, PATH.FINDER, makes its full debut on Monstercat on April 8, featuring tracks like a VIP mix of “Into The Light.” DROELOE return to San Holo‘s bitbird with a new original, “Snow Shovels,” and Tiësto teams up with SWACQ for “Party Time.” Figure and Whiskey Pete join forces on bass-heavy “Exterminate,” and DEVAULT takes a dark approach with “RUNWAY.” Syn Cole‘s crafted a remix of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike‘s “Selfish,” and Bear Grillz taps vocalist Micah Martin for “Stay.” Dream team MOTi and Icona Pop have created “Sink Deeper,” and KAAZE and Aloma Steele flaunt their city pride with “My City.” Afrojack, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have put their own spin on Jewelz & Sparks‘ “Bring It Back,” and DJ Sliink brings a Jersey club bounce to “Murda On My Mind.” Lost Frequencies throws it back with a remix of Estelle’s “American Boy,” and Sam Feldt takes on Rita Ora‘s “Only Want You.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Photo credit: Tony Cottrell Photography

NMF Roundup: Dog Blood make a triumphant return, Dillon Francis teams up with lovelytheband, Whethan looks to ‘Win You Over’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Dog Blood make a triumphant return, Dillon Francis teams up with lovelytheband, Whethan looks to ‘Win You Over’ + moreDillon Francis Change Your Mind Preferred Press Shot By Lindsey Byrnes E1553870003361

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

It’s been more than five years since the music world has seen new music from Skrillex and Boys Noize‘s supergroup, Dog Blood, but that wait is finally over with “Turn Off The Lights.” Dillon Francis joins forces with lovelytheband for a, well, lovely collaboration called “Change Your Mind.” Armin van Buuren, Lucas & Steve, and Josh Cumbee deliver a feel-good number by the name of “Don’t Give Up On Me,” and Nicky Romero, DallasK, and XYLØ create a contemplative, low-key collaboration, “Sometimes.” Whethan and Bearson have crafted an effortlessly groovy “Win You Over” with SOAK, and Seven Lions and Kill The Noise take things up a notch with the formidable “The Blood.” Bassnectar reveals his Reflective Part Four EP is on its way with “Illusion,” and Kove keeps his brand of drum & bass subtle and smooth with “Echoes.” Jai Wolf and Dresage come together in “Better Apart,” and NGHTMRE and A$AP Ferg make a powerful pair in “REDLIGHT.” Sam Feldt brings summer a few months early with “One Day” with ROZES and Yves V, and Zomboy brings “The Beast” with his new single. The Chainsmokers prep for their new album with “Kills You Slowly,” and Mielo releases his Anywhere But Here EP, featuring a closing song of the same title.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

NMF Roundup: Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve kick off 2019 with a mega collab, Lost Kings deliver fresh EP, Hardwell teams up with JGUAR + more

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NMF Roundup: Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve kick off 2019 with a mega collab, Lost Kings deliver fresh EP, Hardwell teams up with JGUAR + moreSevenlions.da 24 Of 44

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With a refreshing amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today on the first NMF of 2019, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Perhaps one of the biggest releases of today is a mega collaboration from Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve called “Island,” which is packed with cascading melodies and powerfully emotive beats. Lost Kings have also arrived in full force, releasing their Paper Crowns EP, which is headed up by “Don’t Kill My High” with Wiz Khalifa and Social House. mau5trap has released their We Are Friends, Vol. 8 compilation, which features 35 tracks from some of the label’s best rising acts, including i_o, ATTLAS, No Mana, and more. Hardwell kicks off his 2019 releases with “Being Alive” with JGUAR, and Sofi Tukker delivers four remixes for “Benadryl,” including a breezy take from TOKiMONSTA. Ghastly and G-Rex have joined forces on the formidable “Heretic,” and Tom Staar puts a grooving twist on Oliver Heldens‘ “Fire In My Soul.” 3LAU taps the talents of vocalist Carly Paige on his newest, “Would You Understand,” and Galantis‘ “Emoji” gets a rework from BEAUZ in their new remix pack.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Sam Feldt enlists ‘Avengers’ actor Jeremy Renner on new single ‘Heaven’

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Sam Feldt enlists ‘Avengers’ actor Jeremy Renner on new single ‘Heaven’42420437 1212503495557502 7240396360824913920 N

Is Sam Feldt the newest member of The Avengers? Probably not…but people can dream, as the Dutch DJ just teamed up with Hawkeye on “Heaven (Don’t Have A Name).” Aside from being an Oscar-nominated actor, Jeremy Renner (best known for roles in Hurt Locker and, more recently, The Avengers franchise) is a multi-talented musician, making his dance music debut on this one.

The collaborators performed the track live in Las Vegas during Life Is Beautiful Festival, building hype for its release through various Instagram posts from Renner. Released on Spinnin’ Records, the track is emotional at its core, with orchestral strings and mellow piano chords on the verses, and picks up into a powerful, staccato synth-lead drop (all encompassed by dreamy vocals from Renner). Feldt demonstrates an innovative mindset here, veering closer toward a future-pop sound with his production.

The music video is set to drop on October 11, days before Feldt will play back to back shows at ADE 2018.

Good Morning Mix: Sam Feldt heats up the morning with ‘Hittegolf’ mix [Exclusive]

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Good Morning Mix: Sam Feldt heats up the morning with ‘Hittegolf’ mix [Exclusive]Hittegolf Sam Feldt Artwork

Summer is reaching its peak, and few artists can capture the season quite like Sam Feldt. The piano and deep house purveyor has a way of making his listeners feel like a warm breeze is sweeping over them with his tune selections in his Heartfeldt radio series, and in releases like his recent single, “Just To Feel Alive.”

His most recent tape is especially heartwarming. Dubbed “Hittegolf,” Feldt has pieced together a one-hour mix that he hopes, “will be the perfect companion to this summery weather.” It’s packed with analog melodies, grooving basslines, and driving percussion, plus has a few hints of tropical flavor that tie together the sizzling atmosphere that he set out to create — one might even say it’s a “heater.”

“After a (too) long time, I decided to create a brand new original mixtape for you guys. This one is called Hittegolf which is Dutch for heat wave – something we are experiencing right now in the Netherlands. I hope this mix will be the perfect companion to this summery weather.”

Bask in the ray of sunlight that is Sam Feldt’s Good Morning Mix. Beyond that, American fans can catch him stateside in September, where he will be playing Life Is Beautiful fest in Las Vegas.

 

Beyond The Booth 012: Sam Feldt on sustainable living, remaining eco-friendly on the road, & how the smallest changes can make the biggest difference

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Beyond the Booth is a feature dedicated to the hidden side of artists that exists outside electronic music— a side rarely discussed with those outside their immediate circle. We venture “beyond the booth,” so to speak, and dive into their deepest passions that tie into their unique personalities. After some self-introspection, each participant then returns to the booth, providing an exclusive mix for the Dancing Astronaut audience.

Sustainable living has been an important practice for deep/tropical house Dutchman Sam Feldt since he was a child. Growing up as the only child of two “hippies” meant a big part of Feldt’s early life was time spent in nature, caring for the environment, and indulging in the fruits of Mother Earth’s labor in his family’s communal garden. Today more than ever though, Feldt’s seeing the direct ramifications of what remaining environmentally responsible means, and what the lack thereof can mean for the future of the planet. He is also hyper-aware of what those who have the power and reach to share their wisdom on the dilemma can do.

As one of Spinnin’ Records formidable forces, Feldt’s certainly had his fair share of success. Between a viral reworking of Robin S.’ “Show Me Love” – which charted at No. four in the UK — to his platinum-selling hit, “Summer On You,” Feldt’s grown to become a pivotal force in the tropical house sphere, largely shaping its sound throughout the years with his poolside hits.

Surely, a massive slew of chart-toppers, reworks, collaborations, and residencies alongside acts like Kygo, Bakermat, and Klingande, has seen that Feldt spends quite some time on the road.  Though keeping with sustainable and eco-friendly allegiances is tough, Feldt wants to do better, and in doing so, turn the entire music industry onto their responsibility to do better, too. At the end of last year he’d shared a New Year’s Resolution detailing his hopes towards more sustainable living, as well as his plans for making this project accessible.

New Years’ Resolution:

Traveling the world as a DJ has been what I wanted to do with my life from a very young age. Bringing happiness through music on a global scale for me is one of the most fulfilling things in the world.

It comes at a cost, however. Through my travels I’ve seen what’s happening in the world and the many ways we, as humans, are destroying it.

Myself included: with more than 200 flights per year, I consider myself to be among the most polluting persons in the world. In 2018 I will make it my objective to change that, and take you on that journey with me.

Over the next couple of weeks I will let you know more about the steps I’m going to be taking to make my life more sustainable – and what you can do to help too.

We’re in this together, starting today.

For now, Sam Feldt has taken his first of many steps towards his goals of creating a more sustainable and eco-friendly world by offsetting his carbon emissions with a recently announced partnership with GreenSeat. Founded in 2002 as part of the Climate Neutral Group, GreenSeat focusses on offsetting as an option to travel climate smart, ensuring that the greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere do not increase when traveling by air.

As an official Ambassador for GreenSeat, Sam Feldt is taking action to address his carbon footprint as a direct result of his air travels, by making it carbon neutral through his contribution to various Gold Standard certified projects worldwide, but also, by making a lasting impression as to how artists worldwide can implement these practices, too.

In conjunction with the ambassador announcement, Feldt’s doubling down on his own Heartfeldt organization and platform as a means of forging a sustainable living connection with fans and influencers who’ll reach new audiences worldwide. Dancing Astronaut recently caught up with the admirable artist, who’s even shared a special mix in spirits of the celebration. Cheers to a better tomorrow.


What kicked off your journey into environmentalism/sustainability?
Growing up as the only child of two “hippies,” nature and the environment have always played an important role in my life. My parents raised me as a vegetarian and would take me to our communal garden to plant own fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis. After leaving home for university, my focus shifted elsewhere and sustainability – for that period in time – drifted to the background. Music came and after many years of trying I succeeded in something I had wanted to do my whole life: become a DJ. This allowed me to travel a lot and see much of what this planet has to offer. It also showed me the many ways we, as humans, are destroying it – and I realized I was a big part of the problem. And as we all know: the first part of solving a problem is acknowledging it, which I did at the start of this year with the New Year’s Resolution that I posted to social media. I promised that in 2018, I would take steps to make my life as a DJ more sustainable and take my fans on that journey with me.

Since your New Year’s Resolution, what have you adopted into your lifestyle thus far to live more sustainably?
After posting the New Year’s Resolution to social media, I quickly found out that the most polluting thing I was doing was flying. While often essential for my job, air travel is responsible for more than 2% of all global CO2 emissions is and therefore a big part of the problem. Looking at more developed countries, like the Netherlands where I live, that figure is closer to 15%. Because my fans would not be happy if I simply stopped flying, I investigated different ways to reduce pollution caused by the flights I take. One of the things I did was partner up with an organization called GreenSeat that offsets all CO2 emission caused by the flights I take, by participating and investing in sustainability projects in Africa. I also took the first steps needed to start my very own Heartfeldt Forest – where I will start planting trees on a monthly basis. More information on that will be released soon. On a more personal note, I’ve changed my artist rider to be preferably organic and plastic-free and I’ve started to carry around my own reusable water bottle on tour. It’s the little things that count the most, usually.

How do you practice sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint at home and on the road?
I have to admit, being sustainable on the road can be difficult. You spend most of your time at airports, in planes, and in hotel rooms and you really have to work with what’s available (which is different in every city you go to). One thing that has really helped me is using a refillable water bottle to avoid buying plastics every time you are thirsty at an airport. As I said before, I’ve also changed my artist rider so that it is plastic-free and organic wherever possible. Closer to home, I’ve become a lot more conscious about the fashion I wear and I try very hard to make sure it is produced in a sustainable manner. I’ve also installed a Nest thermostat to keep track of my energy usage and have planned a full home check-up to decrease energy usage in and around the house.

Give us some tips on the easiest things fans can do to start doing better by the environment. 
If you’re not flying as much as me, usually changing small things have the biggest impact. One of the biggest contributors to the pollution of the planet is plastic, so using less plastic and reusing bottles, bags and for example, cups can help a lot. Another thing you can look at is your diet: make sure you know what’s in the foods you eat, how it is packaged and how much water and CO2 are wasted to produce it. A great way to start is by eating less meats. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries too, so make sure you make sustainable decisions when buying new clothes (do you really need that new shirt?) and try to go for brands that care about the environment. Another thing you can do at home easily is being more conscious about your water usage – for example when you take a shower or wash your car.

Have you ever considered going vegetarian, vegan, or adopting a mostly plant-based diet to help the environment?
For the first 17 years of my life, I was a vegetarian, because my parents raised me like that – so eating meat is definitely not something that I’ve always done. After moving out of my parents’ house I got introduced to eating meat for the first time and since then it is something I’ve moderately done. Eating 100% vegan or plant-based is a full-time job / near impossible if you’re touring the world and doing 200 shows per year, so I think I will continue to eat meat once in a while – but I am definitely more conscious now about how much and what kind of meats I consume.

On that note, have you also considered cutting back on touring to save your carbon footprint, or refusing to fly private if the opportunity is offered?
Because of my life as a DJ and therefore an influencer, I have a unique opportunity to speak to and influence a broad audience – both online and offline. Therefore, I think it is important I stay on the road, spreading not only good vibes through my music but also awareness and education around sustainability issues. To do this, I need my fans. I have, however, taken actions (see my partnership with Greenseat above) that ensure my air travel is 100% carbon neutral. On top of that, I am planting trees for every flight I take in the Heartfeldt Forest to become not only carbon neutral, but carbon positive.

Where are some of the most beautiful nature spots you’ve visited that you would recommend?
Every country I visit is unique, and I always try to explore as much as possible in the limited time I usually have. If I’d have to list a top three: South Africa, Australia, and Brazil.

Which cities and countries do you think have the most environmentally-friendly policies, and what makes it so in your eyes?
The Scandinavian countries are definitely at the top of the list! This has mostly to do with the way they generate and use electricity and the respect the people have for nature over there. Nature is 100% part of their lifestyle. Closer to home, my home country of The Netherlands is not doing so bad either – we are in the Top 10 of least polluting countries if you look at CO2 emissions. Another country that has greatly fascinated me is Singapore – everything’s so green out there!

How are you taking action as an artist with a large platform to ensure the environment is kept a priority in global politics? Have you thrown benefit shows, donated to Green Organizations, lobbied your politicians, etc? Do you have plans to do so?
While it is still in the early stages, my dream for 2018 is to establish a worldwide Heartfeldt Foundation that can serve as a platform for other influencers and people in the dance industry to follow in my footsteps. It would be awesome if this could become the go-to organization for any influencer that wants to show back some love to this wonderful planet and help fans live in a more healthy environment. Under this Heartfeldt Foundation umbrella, connected influencers may throw benefit events and set-up their own projects to help the foundation and its cause.

What will your Heartfeldt organization center on in terms of environmental issues? What do you feel is most important at this time?
The Heartfeldt foundation will be founded to create a platform for influencers who want to implement a more sustainable lifestyle and inspire their target audience to make conscious decisions as well. The mission will be to create awareness for the 17 United Nations sustainable goals – where we put the most amount of focus on the UN goals that directly influence climate change.

You also have a Heartfeldt fan page. Can you tell us more about that, and the importance of connecting with fans? What is your favorite part about the page?
Definitely! I launched my very own fan portal called Heartfeldt.me little over a year ago and over the last 12 months more than 20.000 fans signed up. This gives me an opportunity to directly reach these people and reward them with cool and exclusive content, cutting out the middleman like Facebook and Instagram. I was getting tired of having to sponsor posts and pay money to social media giants to reach the people that already wanted to hear from me so I decided to take back control of my fan base. Looking at the Heartfeldt foundation and my sustainability plans, this is invaluable – because I can now directly activate 20,000 or more fans to take action. The more people sign up, the more people I can inspire and motivate to do the same.

What inspires you most when it comes to writing new music?
For me, inspiration usually comes from vocals or a lyric. That’s why I like to work with singer-songwriters and vocalists in the studio a lot. A Sam Feldt production is usually very song-based and the lyrics usually dictate the general vibe and feeling that a track has.

What things are you working on musically now that you are most excited for?
My summer singles! I’ve just released a whole album so for 2018 I’ve decided to put a strong focus on a few singles that will be dropping in the next months. My latest one, “Down For Anything,” together with MÖWE and Karra has just come out and is already being played on the radio all around the world!