C wie? C-Jay! Jij kent hem misschien niet, maar hij is toch een dikke vijfentwintig jaar bezig. Hij tekende op John Digweeds Bedrock Recordings en 28 mei is hij de headliner tijdens Floorplay in Club NL. Laten we hem eens wat beter leren kennen....
How long have you been producing music for?
Believe it or not, since I was only eleven years old. I'm now forty... I heard 'Equinoxe' by Jean-Michel Jarre and that triggered it all. I started with a keyboard and learned how play pop music. Pretty soon I moved over to synthesizers and asked my teacher to learn me how to write music. And that was the beginning.
It seems progressive is back in 2016 in a big way. Can you explain this?
Well, for me it was never gone honestly. Progressive for me has always been a melting pot of styles rather than just one genre. Its trance, its techno, its deephouse and that all mixed down together, no faster than 125bpm. The bassline and groove is very important and progressive for me means hypnotic, uplifting, sexy music. I can just as easily name Hernán Cattáneo progressive as for example Digweed, BOg, Sasha or even Sven Väth. When its deep, groovy and sexy, its progressive to me.
Then again, I get your question: the masses seem to move slightly towards credible underground music and are fed up with EDM. Logical progression I say. When you listen to dance music when young two things can happen: you grow up and loose interest or you (never) grow up and start exploring genres and scenes. And then you are bound to fall in love with more serious dance music at some point. Which hasn't lost it's soul like top 40 dance.
What's the last great movie you watched?
'End of Watch'. Highly recommended. Really! It's on Netflix and released a while back in 2011. But I was blown away.
Pool party, club or festival?
You scooped a huge gig at Dance Valley a few years back, how was it for you?
Amazing. One of Holland's most legendary and oldest festivals which I visited since it's second edition back in 1996. Not only was I playing there, but I was invited by living legend Hernán Cattáneo to open his stage. I mean, come on, that was just unbelievable. Loved every second.
Please explain the story of how you got signed to John Digweed's Bedrock Recordings.
Well, the old saying goes "hard work pays off'....But not only working hard for over twenty-five years, but some persistence goes a long way as well. As in, never ever give up. Ever. When you do what you love, keep on doing that. But keep in mind that you have to do it for the love of music, not for getting famous. If that's your goal, please stop.
Long story short: I have been doing what I do for over two and a half decades. And the past few years I kept Digweed in the loop of what I was making. My first music reached him because i threw a USB stick at him after a gig in Holland. true story! Ofcourse I drew his attention first, before I threw, but that's how it went down. One USB stick with music. After that, nothing happened. No mail, nothing. But I had his private mail and just kept sending my stuff. To my own surprise the album I got signed now isn't even dance music, but chillout / ambient. How cool is that? That's really my roots and what iI grew up with, good old electronica.
Hot news by the way: I got a green light from Digweed the other day to make a follow up album. Will perhaps take more than a year but I started already. Next to that, a new remix will come out soon. And I will make some dance stuff as well along the way, if I can find the time. But my new album will be something special as well.
What have been the highlights of 2016 so far?
My gig at Geheime Liefde festival just a week ago, May 7th. One of the most beautiful locations I ever played. Maybe even in my top 10. Plus ofcourse the release of my album with Bedrock in April.
What do you expect from your headline gig at Floorplay at Club NL on May 28th?
Madness in any direction after midnight. Seriously, Paul Sparkes and I have known each other for years and I played Club NL lots of times before. I know the place, I know the sound system, and I know how to make things really, really silly at a certain point. Expect a long, dark, driving, uplifting set with some classics, new stuff, and ofcourse C-Jay stuff. Small secret: I'll start with an hour of chillout / electronica. From Jean-Michel Jarre tot he Orb to C-Jay. It will be quite unique to start the night like this, but you will be in for a surprise or two. Be early.
Please tell us a little about what is in the pipeline for C-Jay?
As said, a new album. And I am open for as many gigs as possible. So any promotor out there is free to ask me. I have lots to promote. Next to Club NL I have a mainstage slot at Mystic Garden festival in Amsterdam in June. And I play Pleasure Island festival in Amsterdam in September. And much more to come.
'Music can lie' - please tell us why you agree or disagree with this statement.
Totally not true. Music can't lie for a second. It's one of the purest forms of art. Either coming from inside and made with love and passion or made with the wrong reasons and having no soul...and that goes for country, dance, pop, metal, you name it. Most people who are openminded can tell shit from goodstuff. No matter what genre. It's in the silence between the notes. Listen carefully.
Please tell the readers a little about your current studio set up.
Cubase artist 7. My daw since forever. A clavia nord lead 1 keyboard for both midi keyboard use and nice bassy sounds.
Monkey Banana speaker monitors. Money and quality was never so spot on as with this brand.
Steinberg UR44 external soundcard.
And what technology are you using in the clubs?
I used to play vinyl ages ago. Than I played with cds for some years, long before Pioneer's cdjs. Then for about five years I had a midi controller / lapop setup, and now I'm playing music from USB sticks, using the Pioneer cdj 2000's. This is actually what you find in almost every club, it's just the setup for djs now. And for me it works just fine with my way of dj-ing. Both the 2000's and the Nexus are good.
What is your number one (dance) track of all time?
Pffff..I can name only one track? That's quite hard. It can change from day to day I'm afraid. If it can be just the one track, I choose Chronology part 4 by Jean-Michel Jarre. I can listen to that one over and over again.
Or 'The Robots' by Kraftwerk, which actually is in my sets quite a lot!