To make it on the Tomorrowland main stage you need energy, personality and, of course, an arsenal of party anthems. Not only holding the record for most Tomorrowland main stage appearances ever, but also hosting and curating his own V Sessions stage at the festival year after year, DJ/producer Yves V is an EDM force to be reckoned with.
Being a staple of the biggest electronic music festival in the world is no easy feat, but with Tomorrowland taking place in his home country of Belgium, the connection between Yves V and the festival is strong.
With Tomorrowland going down in less than a month's time and with a busy summer schedule ahead of him, we thought it was a good time to catch up with Yves V and get the low down on everything from his take on the state of electronic music to what we can expect at this year's festivities.
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First of all, congrats on reaching over 100 episodes and counting with your V Sessions radio program.
Yes, thank you very much, thank you.
I was wondering what you thought has made it so successful?
Wow, ya I have no idea. I think I try to bring a different kind of music for people, not only the music that I play during my live shows, but also maybe more deeper sounds, more harder ones, just all the sounds that I like, I put it in my radio show.
And also every week we have a Classic of the Week, which I get a lot of feedback from fans about, so I also try to give them a song from when I started as a DJ. So maybe that's it, I don't know.
You mentioned a lot of sounds there and electronic music seems to have more genres than other types of music. Do you think in terms of defined genre when you're making music?
No actually, and I never did. Even when I started, back then it was more like trance and even techno that I did, I don't like to think in boxes. To me good music is good music.
Of course, it's all about electronic dance music for me, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter if its deep house, tech house, future house, if I like it or if I think it's going to go well with the crowd, I'll play it. At the end of the day, it's all about good music, that's the most important thing.
You seem to have progressed into a deeper sound, or at least are working some deeper sounds into your music. Has this been a conscious decision?
I don't know, maybe it's because I'm getting old [laughs]. I think, of course, music evolves, and me myself I have as well. I have always been a fan of the more alternative scene, tech house, deep house, even rock music. All those things inspire me.
Ya it's true, even the next songs I'm working on are a little deeper. But it's so hard to say where it comes from, just because I like it. But that doesn't mean I don't like the other stuff anymore. I'm very open minded when it comes to music.
Speaking of upcoming projects, what do you have in the pipeline?
I have a lot of new music coming up. The song I'm finishing at the moment is a track together with Sevenn, who just had a track called Boom with Tiësto.
It's more of a radio song, and that's already finished and now we're doing the club edit and it's as well a little more deeper, more Brazilian bass. I really hope the fans will like it. But the radio edit is already done, so let's hope we hear it on the radio soon [laughs].
Electronic music is an art, but it's also very much based on getting people to dance. How do you balance music as an art and music to get people to dance?
Mostly when I produce music, I think about the crowd in front of me and I imagine playing the song and seeing how the people react. So mostly that's my goal. I want the people to have a good time in my sets, as well as when people play my music. That's why I do it.
You have your V Sessions stage at Tomorrowland again. How do you put together the lineup and can you tell us a little bit about who's playing this year?
For the lineup, I always try to bring a lot of friends, people that I work with, people that I just have a good connection with. This year there's Swanky Tunes, Third Party, Quintino, Kura, Brian Cross. Just people that I have a good connection with. Also musically-wise, people I do collabs with, things like that.
Besides that, in previous years I've had people like Eric Prydz, Nicky Romero, who are influences for me, so that was an honour to have them on my stage as well.
I believe you hold the record for most Tomorrowland main stage sets ever, is that true?
Ya, that's what they tell me! It's true, I've been there since the second edition, so that's been a while. Of course I have a very special connection with Tomorrowland, it's my home.
And of course being Belgian, it's your home in your actual home.
Ya it's true, because during the year I'm always travelling, always on tour so I'm always happy to be back in Belgium. I think I live 20 minutes from the festival, so it's always good to see my friends there. That makes it extra special.
Could you tell me a bit about the Belgian music scene?
For the moment it's going pretty well, we have the best festival in the world, in summer we have at least ten festivals every weekend, so it's growing a lot. We have a lot of good talent, number one DJs in the world like Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Lost Frequencies, and I'm sure there will be a lot of new talent coming up as well.
It's going well and I'm very happy for that because if you look at year's ago, we were really pioneers in electronic music, so it's good that we've finally found ourselves again.
Tough question I know, but do you have a stand out memory from Tomorrowland that you can share?
[laughs] Wow. I have so many good memories, even from the beginning when I was playing in front of a few hundred people. I was playing with vinyl back in the day and I remember once there was so much wind that the needle was always going backwards, so I had to stop it and put a new record on. If I think about it now, it's so hard to imagine.
Just the vibe there is unbelievable.
Ya I wanted to ask, you seem to be the foremost expert on Tomorrowland, so for people who haven't been, I was wondering if you could describe the atmosphere?
Well I always say it's like Disneyland for grownups. The thing is everybody wants to be there, nowadays it's so hard to get tickets. So when you're there you really feel like people are happy and that they finally made it so lets enjoy ourselves and have a good time.
That's the most common thing I feel whenever I walk there, that people are just happy to be there and want to have the most unforgettable weekend.
You're playing a couple of sets at Tomorrowland this year, what can we expect?
A little bit like all the previous years, I always try to give lots of energy, lots of new stuff. I'm still working on a lot of new tracks that I hope will be ready for my sets this year.
I'm also doing the Unite in Barcelona and Germany and I'm going to prepare a special classics set with all the big hits that have ever been played at Tomorrowland, so that's something new for me as well. Still a lot of work for me for the summer.
I was looking over your schedule and it seems like you're touring everywhere.
Ya [laughs], I can't complain, this is always good.
Any final words you'd like to add?
I can only say that I always want to thank everyone who supports me and I hope to see them one day at one of my shows, doesn't matter, anywhere over the world. And let's have fun!
Tomorrowland 2017 takes place 21-23 and 28-30 July in Boom, Belgium. Tickets for this year are sold out, but join our Waiting List to get priority access to Tomorrowland 2018.
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