Saturday Night Session 029: The Showtek brothers reflect on the importance of musical versatility and the benefits of working with family

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Saturday Night Session 029: The Showtek brothers reflect on the importance of musical versatility and the benefits of working with familyShowtek Makj Echostage 2015 AndrewNoh 052

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.

Showtek is a moniker that means different things to different listeners, and their creativity has undergone different iterations over their 20-year music career. The Dutch electronic duo, who also happen to be brothers, started producing music in 1999, and they haven’t looked back since. Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen have an aversion to complacency, and this is what has allowed them to continuously strengthen their career despite the constant change of what is considered ‘popular’ through the passage of time.

As Showtek, the brothers have produced a few of electronic music’s most influential tracks, including the iconic “Bad” with David Guetta, which has reached over one billion streams. Before they became a commercial powerhouse, they paved the way for hardstyle, helping to define the genre itself. The brothers describe their sound as “melodic, accessible and global,” but they create this sound under the influence of a wide range of genres including Techno, Trance, and House.

Many artists feel pressured to keep a mainstream moniker consistent in terms of the style of music they put out, but the Janssen’s have taken their creative liberties and done their experimentation unapologetically as Showtek. They have taken their fans along for the ride, and this means their listeners aren’t simply interested in hearing Pop or Progressive House or Hardstyle. Showtek fans have proven that they support the creativity of Sjoerd and Wouter given their commitment to the duo despite their wide variety of past productions.

The brothers talk about how they have kept themselves inspired creatively as Showtek, saying, “As Showtek we have always thrived to reinvent ourselves, try new things, and break boundaries. That’s the only way to survive as an artist. You have to be able to be free and try new things.”

A 20-year career has allowed for the brothers’ to witness different popularity cycles, which has ultimately helped to give them perspective in their own musical journey. They comment, “Every genre starts from the underground, reaches the mainstream, and goes back to the underground again. This happens even in hip-hop. It doesn’t mean it dies or doesn’t come back; it means that it needs time to reinvent itself into something new.” Their observations are retrospective, and retrospective thought is a luxury in an industry where careers are so fleeting. The Janssen’s admit that a contributor to their longstanding success is the fact that they are brothers working together versus friends.

They explain how being brothers impacts their working dynamic, saying, “There are more layers in the relationship than you have with friends for example. We can speak our minds without being offended easily, and we know when to give each other space. There is just a difference when you’re blood related. When you know your weaknesses and strengths, it is easier to optimize that, focus, devise tasks etc. We both share the same vision of where we want to go, and even though we have different ideas of how to get there, we always end up where we want to be.”

The duo have crafted an hour long Saturday Night Session that they hope will get listeners in the mood for wherever they would like their night to take them. The brothers close with, “We hope we can get people in the mood- to work out and burn a sweat; to get ready for a party; or to test their subwoofers in the car! We wanna thank everybody for listening and supporting, without our fans we nothing! Enjoy!”

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How has the Hardstyle scene changed since you started producing music, and what do you think the future for the sub-genre is as the electronic music industry continues to commercialize?

We started producing music in 1999/2000 and Hardstyle didn’t exist yet. Our music style was formed by many different genres that influenced us; Hard Trance, Techno, Hardcore and House Music that have been around way longer. We have been in the forefront of the genre, our style was melodic, accessible and global. We were able to bring the sound outside of Europe towards Asia, America and Australia. It was around 2011 that we’ve realized it was becoming harder, faster and more aggressive and we felt like we wanted to shift into a new direction. As Showtek we have always thrived to reinvent ourselves, try new things, and break boundaries. That’s the only way to survive as an artist. You have to be able to be free and try new things. In 2013 we used everything we thought ourselves and decided to create our new path, a new sound that would bring us further in our career. Every genre starts from the underground, reaches the mainstream and goes back to underground again, this happens even in hip-hop. It doesn’t mean it dies or doesn’t come back it means that it needs time to reinvent itself into something new. Listen to David Guetta and Showtek – “The Death of EDM,” which you shouldn’t take too seriously, but it does refer to this matter.

Do you feel it is an advantage to be brothers as a DJ duo in this tricky industry? What is unique about the situation compared to traditional groups of artists who are not related, from your observations?

Being brothers means you know each other really well, there are more layers into the relationship than you have with friends for example. We can speak our mind without being offended easily, and we know when to give each other space. There is just a difference when your blood related. When you know your weaknesses & strengths it easier to optimize that, focus , devise tasks etc. We both share the same vision of where we want to go, and even though we have different ideas of how to get there, we always end up where we want to be. See it as like we are racing in an M5, the guy who steers the wheel is relying also on the guy sitting next to him telling him where to take the corner. It’s harder to drive it yourself as long as you rely on each other. Besides that, we have been hanging out with the same friends all of our lives, we share the same humour, love the same food, so when we are on tour we have a lot of fun because we have been doing things together since we were kids.

Do each of you have a release you are most proud of? And why did you choose the respective release?

Guess we are proud of all our work, so it’s hard to pick one but we think “Bad” with David Guetta has been such a big song for us. With over a billion views and streams, it became one of the biggest EDM bangers of this century and everywhere we play it people go crazy. It became an international dance hit and even your grandpa might have heard the song. We do want to say that “FTS” was our biggest Hardstyle song, and it is still considered to be the biggest Hardstyle anthem of all time. We literally have seen people cry to this song. That’s the beauty of music, it’s an international language. Music can reach to your heart or touch a nerve. It can create a moment where it brings memories back to life, and it can make you happy or make you cry.

You have produced so many genres of music over the years- what do you feel resonates most in a live setting? We would be curious to know what you feel resonates most as a performer and then what you feel gets each of you going most personally when watching a performance.

It’s a mixture of everything together that makes our career successful. We used to go to Techno raves, going crazy on 3 hour DJ sets by Marco Bailey. We bought all the albums of D-Trance by Gary D but we also used to listen to Dutch Hardcore while Wouter also played classical tunes on the piano. So Hardstyle might have been the backbone of our career, it’s not Hardstyle that influenced us. It goes so much deeper. Now a days we do a little bit of everything and again, it can be any track that make a crowd go wild. It’s the connection that they have with the music, so we really think outside the box, in the studio while we produce or on stage while we perform. And for our personal preferences, it’s mostly about the vibe. For example, Tove Lo came to Los Angeles once, just after she had released her song “Habits.” She performed in a small venue for like 150 people, and it was amazing. Nobody knew her really, but we went to see her, and it was incredible. Very intimate, but the effect she got on us was insane! But again, we also had the same experience in a rave, when Marco V played “Satisfaction” by Benny Benassi at Sensation White. It was a new and unreleased song, but the moment he dropped that track it got stuck in our brain. Such an inspiration! So it doesn’t matter what genre, what song, as long as it get to us it can influence us.

What is your ideal Saturday Night?

Going out to a restaurant and have a nice dinner, going home and watching a movie after. Just simple stuff! Hang out with family and friends and enjoy life.

What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session getting listeners ready for?

We hope we can get people in the mood- to work out and burn a sweat; to get ready for a party; or to test their subwoofers in the car! We wanna thank everybody for listening and supporting, without our fans we nothing! Enjoy!

NMF Roundup: Illenium delivers ‘Blood,’ Dillon Francis and Eptic link for ‘Let It Go’ on Monstercat + more

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NMF Roundup: Illenium delivers ‘Blood,’ Dillon Francis and Eptic link for ‘Let It Go’ on Monstercat + moreIllenium Press Shot 2

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.

Topping this week’s list is Illenium’s dark new single, “Blood,” with vocalist Foy Vance, followed by Eptic and Dillon Francis’ new Monstercat collaboration, “Let It Go.” Eric Prydz has blessed the music world with a new Pryda compilation, PRYDA 15 VOL II, featuring songs like “The Riddle,” and GTA and Diplo have linked up for “Milky Cabrera.” Rusko and Subtronics are a force to be reckoned with on “Bounce,” and i_o delivers a new EP, featuring tunes like “Possession.” The Knocks keep the summer grooves coming with a VIP mix of “Awa Ni,” and Rinzen flips Lastlings’ “I’ve Got You.” Paul Oakenfold and Galestian have crafted a mysterious collaboration with “Summer Nights,” and Hermitude bring along BJ The Chicago Kid and Buddy for “OneFourThree.” Kaskade and Late Night Alumni create a dreamy masterpiece on “One Track Mind,” and Cosmic Gate breathe life into their new single, “Light Years.” Jack Beats and Dillon Nathaniel open up the dance floor on “Mind Sensation,” and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Quintino, and MAD M.A.C. build a main stage earworm with “Boing.”

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: Alexandra Gavillet

Steve Aoki, MAKJ, and Showtek merge for mainstage anthem ‘Rave’ featuring Kris Kiss

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Steve Aoki, MAKJ, and Showtek merge for mainstage anthem ‘Rave’ featuring Kris KissSteve Aoki

In an unlikely but welcome combination of forces, Steve Aoki has teamed up with MAKJ and Showtek for new release “Rave,” featuring London-based vocalist Kris Kiss.

The track’s drop is the ultimate blend of Showtek’s resounding big room energy that’s known to draw massive numbers on the festival front, while MAKJ and Aoki’s influences are apparent with the kicking crossover melody. Featured vocalist Kris Kiss serves up the track’s terse call to action: “We’re here to fucking rave.”

“…Super fun, super rowdy, this record is for our community, our world,” Aoki says of his intention for the track. “It’s for us all to let loose, go crazy and rave. I’ve wanted to make a song like this for a while and it made the most sense with Showtek and MAKJ and the vocal stylings from Kris Kiss.”

The producers have released the official music video for the release alongside “Rave,” which can be found on Ultra Music‘s YouTube.

Photo Credit: Rukes

Sultan + Shepard link with Showtek for the dance floor destined ‘We Found Love’

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Sultan + Shepard link with Showtek for the dance floor destined ‘We Found Love’059A0914

The musical roots of Sultan + Shepard and Showtek‘s newest sonic venture trace back to 1991, the year that Heavy D & The Boyz dropped their now iconic single, “Now That We Found Love.” The decidedly sing-a-long friendly original receives a modern update, courtesy of Sultan + Shepard and Showtek, who connect on “We Found Love,” to refurbish the groove of Heavy D & The Boyz’s 90’s classic.

Sultan + Shepard and Showtek preserve the distinguishing vocal hook of the original production, and brighten the track with an upbeat chord progression that tonally lifts the tune, to guide the modern take towards its builds. Piano chords eventually filter in, to mark yet another point of alteration audible in Sultan + Shepard and Showtek’s effort. “We Found Love’s” multiple drops imbue the single with a free spirited sense of fun: the descents are spunky and deep seated, certainly not soon to be forgotten by the listeners who allow Sultan + Shepard and Showtek’s collaboration made in homage to the 1991 release to infiltrate their speakers. “We Found Love” will appear on the track listing of Sultan + Shepard’s forthcoming debut album.

Photo Credit: New City Gas

NMF Roundup: Medasin and Felly team up, 1788-L and Deathpact deliver ‘M A L F U N K T’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Medasin and Felly team up, 1788-L and Deathpact deliver ‘M A L F U N K T’ + moreMedasin Felly

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.

A-Trak kicks off this week’s new music offerings with a groovy remix of Showtek‘s “Listen To Your Momma.” Medasin delivers his second release of the year, “At Fault,” with Felly, and 1788-L and Deathpact make a powerful team on “M A L F U N K T.” Claude VonStroke summons warm weather with “Getting Hot,” and Calvin Harris releases a 2019 edit of “I’m Not Alone.” Shadient‘s Divide EP makes its debut on Gud Vibrations with tracks like “Cyclone,” and Goldroom follows “Cocaine Girl” with “Yellow Flowers.” Cheat Codes and Kaskade craft a bouncing new single, “Be The One,” and Jai Wolf‘s The Cure to Loneliness LP has finally arrived with tracks like “Drowning” with Robokid. GRiZ‘s album has also arrived, delivering a barrage of good vibes with tracks like “Cruise Control,” and Alison Wonderland drops off her latest single, “Peace.” Destructo and Gerry Gonza keep the dance floor moving with “Rubber Band,” and Bassnectar unveils his latest compilation, complete with tracks like “Irresistible Force.” Varien melds genres with his latest, “Born of Blood, Risen From Ash,” and Conro dances into the weekend with “Remember You” on Monstercat.

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.

Exclusive: A-Trak adds a layer of disco to Showtek’s soulful ‘Listen To Your Momma’

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Exclusive: A-Trak adds a layer of disco to Showtek’s soulful ‘Listen To Your Momma’Atrak5 Rgb HD E1554398876737

A-Trak was enlisted for a remix project on Showtek‘s newest single, “Listen To Your Momma,” adding a helping of disco to the soulful vocals provided by Leon Sherman. The signature scratch sound from the world champion DJ at the intro leads into bouncing piano chords that guide the vocals into a disco house heaven.

The remix shows glimmers of the Fool’s Gold label boss’ Duck Sauce days with the energetic “It’s You” or his funky remix of Disclosure‘s Magnets featuring Lorde.

Showtek is gearing up to release an official remix pack on April 5 that includes reworks from Elliot Fitch, Linka & Mondello and LOUD ABOUT US, in addition to this disco house heater.

Lunar Lunes: Dr. Fresch and Sinden are up to ‘No Good,’ Crankdat teams up with Sara Skinner, Stephen returns + more

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Lunar Lunes: Dr. Fresch and Sinden are up to ‘No Good,’ Crankdat teams up with Sara Skinner, Stephen returns + more11.9.17 DrFRESCH 020 Edit

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.

Dr. Fresch and Sinden grind out a groovy house number, “No Good,” released via Insomniac Records. Mat Zo‘s four-track Tracing Steps EP has arrived, kicking off with a cheery track that shares its title with the EP. Louis The Child have released a remix EP for Kids At Work, which includes a blissful rework from Win & Woo. Half An Orange have revealed part one of their Mostly We Grow EP on Monstercat, which is stacked with diverse tracks like “Buzz Lightyear,” and Stephen returns after almost a year with the it’s too much love to know my dear EP. AC Slater and TS7 cook up a ferocious house number on Night Bass, and Syn Cole shakes off the winter blues with a sun-soaked funky song, “Horizon 83.” Showtek encourage fans to listen to their mothers in their new collaboration with Leon Sherman on Skink. Teminite and Whales have composed an anthemic dubstep heater, “Mayhem,” and Young Bombs have unveiled their debut original track, “Starry Eyes.” Crankdat welcomes fans to the jungle in a dramatic new release on Welcome Records, and DNMO taps Noy Markel for a bass-fueled Deadbeats release, “No Way Out.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

David Guetta and Showtek reunite on new collaboration, ‘Your Love’

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One of France’s most steadfast electronic exports, veteran mega-producer, David Guetta, is back with another larger-than-life big-room track, “Your Love,” hot off the heels of his most recent club sensation with Martin Garrix and Brooks, “Like I Do.” This time around however, Guetta has recruited some additional star power from European house’s heyday with Showtek.

“Your Love” sees Guetta enlist the tried-and-true talent of the Dutch producer duo for a anthemic progressive product that emulates all the tropes of a massive main stage hit from the early 2010’s. It should come as no surprise that the three forces at work here forge another invigorating dance floor bombshell, bringing two of the most enduring names in European dance music back together for another collaboration, four years after 2014’s “Bad.” Now, their new track’s melodic synth displays and colossal big-room fervor make it the perfect inclusion to poolside playlist and club sets alike.

Showtek & Moby – Natural Blues

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After a rather tepid 2017, Dutch electro house group Showtek have seemingly hit the ground running in 2018, reinventing celebrated veteran musician Moby for what essentially seems like a rework of “Natural Blues.”

The synths and mellowed house-inspired style seem to be majorly Showtek’s handiwork, as the duo seem to be moving onto yet another new sound over the past couple of years. Moby’s influence over the track is a lot more subtle, as the seasoned artist’s work can be majorly heard in the background, especially with the soft, string-plucked chord progressions. In fact, their style plays such an instrumental role in defining the identity of this ‘new’ track, that it could almost be labelled as a Showtek remix.

This revamped, modern style has given “Natural Blues” a ton of character and makes it a track with certain danceability.

 

 

 

Read More:

Experience Showtek’s ‘versatility’ through the drops of their Ultra 2017 set

Stream sets from Diplo, The Chainsmokers, and more at Insomniac’s Countdown 2016

Listen to Showtek & Major Lazer’s new collaboration, ‘I’m A Believer’