It's crazy to think that Oliver Heldens is still only 22 years old. Especially if you consider that it is more than 3 years since breakthrough single 'Gecko' earned him a number one single in the UK (with a little help from singer Becky Hill), at a time when streaming figures still didn't count towards chart positions.
And yet, despite his youth, Heldens has already cemented his place as a festival headliner, record label boss, Ibiza regular and one of the world's biggest DJs (the 8th biggest if DJ Mag are to be believed).
Ahead of his headline appearance at Dreambeach Villaricos this weekend, we asked the Dutch superstar what he's been up to, and what his plans are for the rest of the year.
Did you have a good time at Tomorrowland?
Oh I definitely had a good time in Belgium. Tomorrowland was crazy as always. There were so many good artists and people coming from all over the world. That really makes the festival special, I think. And the stages and production are sick!
We saw you played your edit of The Journey, it looked like it went down pretty well! What’s the response been like in general to that track?
The overall response is super positive. I think the song gains curiosity as it surprises with its anticipating breaks that will make you want to hear more. So I’m really happy and proud about that.
At what point in your career did playing the Main Stage at Tomorrowland seem like a realistic goal?
Well I never expected that it would happen. So, I never really thought about the possibilities, it just happened!
Do you set yourself goals and targets for things you’d like to achieve? If so, what’s top of the list?
I’m really passionate about creating new stuff, and people ask me often about my goals. But for me, my goal is just to make music which makes me excited and that’s a big challenge, and that challenge is always there.
Even if you make something new, then after, you want to make more new music. It’s also really fun as a touring DJ if you can make music and then play it out live and see what it does.
Have you got used to travelling all over the world yet, or does it still feel slightly weird?
It still feels unreal sometimes that I can travel the world for work. But I think it’s great and I’m really grateful for it.
What would you say are the favourite places you’ve been lucky enough to visit so far?
That’s a hard one, I have been to so many great places… but Asia is special to me.
Is there anywhere you’d love to play that you’ve not had the chance to yet?
I'd like to continue with DJ-ing in weird settings; I already had a gig in a hot air balloon, that was super epic.
And at the moment I'm training for a free dive to 40 meters and then do a DJ set in a submarine, super excited for that. I think the challenge after that would be on a glacier or something like that.
You’re one of the headliners for the opening night of Dreambeach Villaricos this year – are you excited to be right at the top of the bill?
I’m very excited to play at Dreambeach Villaricos this year again. It’s a huge electronic music festival in Spain and there are so many cool artists lined up. It is an honour to be one of the headliners.
What memories do you have of playing the festival back in 2015?
That was really cool. The location is great on the beach and right next to the sea. The crowd was full of energy.
Will you get a chance to stick around after you’ve played to see other people? If so, who would you like to catch?
I hope so! It’s always fun to catch up with other artists especially because most of us have a crazy busy schedule. So if my schedule lets me, I definitely will stick around.
Finally, what else should we look out for from Oliver Heldens in the rest of 2017?
I will be releasing a lot of new music this year. I’ve been experimenting with some more disco sounding stuff, and a lot of vocal tracks that I can’t wait to share with all of you.
Also I’ll be playing Electric Zoo in September, some cool festivals in the UK, a tour in South America and Australia, and stay tuned for some big ADE news!
Oliver Heldens headlines Dreambeach Villaricos on 11 August. See our guide for more info.
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