This weekend EDM Charts welcomes legend Bart Claessen for an interview! Check out even more about his recent releases, his radio show Playmo Radio and his thoughts on the current EDM scene. Drop what you’re doing and check out more!
Bart: Thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule to do an interview with EDM Charts about what your recent projects. Tell fans where you’re from and how you got involved with EDM and DJing.
Hi guys! I’m from the Netherlands, south east part. Grew up with early EDM over here, and got involved when I made my first production, ‘Barthezz – On The Move’, which turned out tobe a huge world wide club and singles chart hit. It all started from there. Booking requests came in so started dj’ing internationally, and I was lucky enough to be able to take the step and start working as a music producer and dj full time. That’s been over ten years now, so I’ve been in the scene for quite a while now!
Being from Weert, Netherlands, you are from one of the biggest exporters of EDM music. What is the music scene like in Holland and how has it changed since you got involved?
I remember in the nineties when EDM was all still so new and fresh, that we had this environment where instrumental, sometimes very un-radio kind of tracks, could suddenly make it to mainstream daytime radio and get a much bigger audience. It disappeared for awhile, but in the last year that seems to come back, and that feels really exciting to me. Feels like there’s a new kind of freshness to EDM these years, good for the scene. I mean, in the last few months, suddenly main radio stations start playing radio “friendly” hardstyle music, weird but true. And fun.
“Showtime” is your most recent single. It has already received support from various radio shows and podcasts such as Thomas Gold and Morgan Page and many others. How did you come about creating the track and did something specifically inspire it?
I’m inspired by lots of music, basically everything I hear and enjoy, inspires me. So I couldn’t really tell what it was that made me produce this one. Sometimes, a few years later when I look back at a track I’ve done, I suddenly hear which were the tracks that inspired me back then. Takes time to look at it from a distance I guess. And the process of creation wasn’t like such a beautiful story honestly. I promised Be Yourself Music to deliver the new single before Christmas, started late, worked through a few nights being totally exhausted, and delivered. I work best under pressure 🙂
You have an upcoming release with Raz Nitzan with “Rubicon”. Describe the direction you are going with your music and other upcoming projects.
This one was actually produced before Showtime, so it doesn’t really show the route where I’m going. And to be honest I never really choose directions. I go into the studio, do what I like, what moves me, what gives me energy, and that’s it. If I’m in the studio and at a certain point in the track, I jump off my chair and stand up, I know it works for me. And if it works for me, I know that it must work for some others as well!
You’ve worked with huge labels over the years such as Anjunabeats, Spinnin’, Armada and Flashover. How has this impacted your career and what is it like working with the major labels in the game?
I’ve always been a very much down to earth person. It’s not in my nature to really look up to people, labels, anything. I can respect people for what they achieve, but I usually rarely get that wow fanboy feeling 🙂 Naturally it’s good to be able to work with labels who know what they’re doing. And how it’s impacted my career, well, my opinion is that in a good situation you should be working with someone on the same level. So working with a good label is good for my career, on the other hand don’t forget that for those labels it’s just as important to work with good producers, you help each other out.
You produce a biweekly radio show called Playmo Radio. How do you go about producing this and what’s the concept behind it?
The idea is that I want to be able to show people the music I like, without thinking about people I’m playing for in a live environment. So the music I play covers more styles, goes deeper, smoother, harder, dirtier, more vocal, whatever, than I would usually play. I enjoy that. First I select the tracks, make the mix, write down some thing I want to talk about, grab the mic and record it all. Then mix it off.
With every interview at EDM Charts we always ask artists what their current top #5 are? What are your top #5 songs right now?
I won’t include my own releases haha. In no particular order:
- Audien feat. Michael S – Leaving You
- Boys Noize – Ich R U (Jacques Lu Cont remix)
- W&W & Ummet Ozcan – The Code
- Roul and Doors – Melody In Harmony
- Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano & Jaz Von D – Firefaces
With the recent outright purchase of Ultra Records by Sony, this is starting to lead towards a trend of EDM becoming more and more commercialized. How can EDM maintain its genuine style and continue to grow in the right direction in the next few years?
I’m not against commercial music, and don’t think it will ever affect EDM in a negative way. People will always keep on producing music for clubs, as cheesy as others might get with their productions. The more commercial attention for EDM, the bigger the audience, the more people will get in touch with EDM, the more new great producers with their own brilliant different views on music will stand up. In my opinion, times when EDM went commercial, have always been times where the most interesting things happened in music, where people pushed borders, invented new sounds, combinations. People might hate Zedd for working with Gaga, I think it’s good, and not only for Zedd’s wallet.
When I got into the music business, all the major record companies had their EDM labels. And it’s not even thát long ago when all the majors stepped óut of the dance market. And those years where the majors were absent, weren’t the most interesting years for dance music at all. If the big labels get on board, it means they smell that there’s money to be made, which means there’s actually some exciting stuff happening. It’s a good sign.
What festivals and concerts can fans catch you at in the upcoming spring and summer festival season?
Keep an eye on my website for upcoming tour dates!
What artists, regardless of genre, do you cite as your biggest influences and why?
As replied on any of your previous questions, I’m influenced by a lot of music. There’s so much good music out there I love, listen to, and probably without even knowing, use to influence my own music. I honestly couldn’t mention just a few.
Tell fans where they can purchase your music and where they can find out more and follow you online?
Purchase it anywhere! 🙂 Should be available on all portals, Beatport, iTunes, Spotify, wherever you want. Here are a few links to get in touch: