Dutch DJ and deep house music producer, Sam Feldt, recently teamed up with Hook N Sling to release ‘Open Your Eyes’, which has racked up 5 million streams on Spotify alone. At the ripe age of 22, Sam has already become one of the top young talents in dance music. Making his mark in 2015 with his rendition of the classic Robin S hit ‘Show Me Love’ which has received over 75 million streams on Spotify. Sam has been disseminating his fresh take on deep and tropical house across the globe ever since.
Sam launched 2017 in spectacular fashion. Winning the prestigious ‘Hit of the Year’ award for his platinum-selling single ‘Summer on You’ at this year’s Radio 100% NL Awards it’s certain to say that they Dutch hit-maker will continue his incredible success into the year ahead.
At what age did you start creating music? And what was your reason for getting behind the decks?
I started making music when I was around 7 or 8 years old, when I started to take piano lessons. I soon found out I didn’t really like playing other people’s music, I was more into composing and producing. I started DJing when I was around 11 years old with my own drive-in show, driving around with my friends and my Dad in a small car with all the equipment. I stopped for a while to focus on school and picked DJing up again when I was 17 years old. I struggled hard for many years to get my music signed and get some gigs until I started Sam Feldt three years ago. I signed to Spinnin’ Records almost immediately, as they really liked the first song I put out. It soon turned into a crazy roller-coaster of ‘Show Me Love,’ ‘Summer On You’ and ‘Open Your Eyes’ all becoming big hits!
When did you realise that you could make a career in music?
That was about three years ago around the same time I signed to Spinnin’. Having my own management company, doing my first shows, my tracks coming out on a label and so on. I also saw online that people were really liking my music and engaging with it.
How did you come in to contact with Hook and Sling? And how did you find collaborating for your new track, ‘Open Your Eyes’?
I’ve always been a big fan of his music. He’s a veteran of the scene and has been around for a long time. He’s Australian and lives in LA so I didn’t get to meet him in person before he sent me the idea for the track. He sent me the vocal, a guitar riff and a basic demo of the track. I really loved it and my label liked it so I started working on it. We sent the project back and forth a million times until we were satisfied with it. When we were both happy we sent it to the label.
Do you have any more exciting collaborations in 2017?
Definitely! My new collaboration with Ina from Romania is going to drop on 9th June. I worked with two very talented producers called Lush and Simon on the track and it will be one of the many collaborations. I’m trying to keep it fresh working with lots of different artists and musicians, a lot of artists you might not expect to collaborate with me, more hip-hop, RnB, indie type of artists.
If you could collaborate with one other artist in the world, who would it be?
Good question! I’ve always given the same answer to this and that would be Paul McCartney. He’s a legend and I appreciate everything he’s done musically. He’s a great guitarist, he’s a great writer and open to new styles of music. I think artists of his generation tend to look down on electronic music producers of today but he’s actively interested in new artists and new talent.
You’ve just headlined Ministry of Sound’s, People from Ibiza, in London. How do crowds in England differ from crowds in other countries?
The crowd in the UK is very educated. I think that’s something the Dutch and the British have in common. The UK has a huge dance scene, you turn on the radio and you hear dance music. You guys are spoilt with so many good producers, songwriters and DJs coming through, so there is a lot of competition. Ultimately you know what good music is. I’d say it’s a critical and educated audience but also fun to play for if you do it right!
You started the year winning the prestigious ‘Hit of the Year’ award for your platinum-selling single ‘Summer on You’ at this year’s Radio 100% NL Awards. What was your initial reaction when you heard the news?
Wow! The Radio 100% NL is really focused on music that is made in Holland. You’re competing against heroes that everyone knows in Holland. For me, as just a DJ, to take home the prize of ‘Hit of the Year’ is something I didn’t really expect, but therefore even more special.
Who is your favourite DJ?
There’s so many good DJs! It’s a difficult one as there are so many good DJs around. How do you define a good DJ? Is it someone who is a good crowd pleaser? Very good technically? Producer? If I had to name one I would say Don Diablo because he has all three – he’s very good technically, he makes good music and always knows what to play. There are tonnes!
What is the best DJ set you’ve been to?
I’ve seen so many DJ sets and sometimes I only see them for around 15 minutes and then I have to go somewhere else. You consume dance music differently as an artist, going from festival to festival, club to club. It’s hard to be there, in the moment and it’s rare I get to listen to a full set.
What does a typical day in the life of Sam Feldt look like when you’re not creating music?
Well, my last 24 hours I did four shows for Kingsday Festival in the Netherlands. It’s a lot of playing shows; travelling, sitting in airports, waiting; sitting in an planes, flying – I think the life of a DJ tends to get glamorised. Of course, being on that stage is the best feeling in the world, but the time in between the shows and making music is mostly about travelling and going from one place to another.
What are some of the most memorable events and venues who’ve played?
Number one has to be Coachella. The reason being Coachella is not a DJ-only festival. A lot of different music styles, bands, rock artists, hip-hop artists all come together so being one of the DJ’s asked to play there was really cool. Recently playing at Ultra Music Festival on the main stage was an honour and it’s a dream for every DJ! I brought my own trumpet and live saxophone so it was a cool live set. The Ibiza season – there’s a special vibe on that island. Clubs like Ushuaia are truly unique in the world, in the day time with the sunset and pool – it’s the perfect setting for my type of music!
Which festivals are you looking forward to playing?
I’m really looking forward to SW4 and making my debut there! I’ve heard from so many DJ’s and producers that the crowd is good and the vibe is cool! I’m also doing Creamfields again for the third year in a row. I’m also doing two weekends of Tomorrowland this summer which I’m very excited about.
Are you going on a lad’s holiday this year? If so where?
Well, all of my tours are like a lad’s holiday! I travel with my tour manager, camera man and now we’re expanding to Sam Feldt live with more musicians and people. It’s a group of good friends doing fun stuff together.
Being a 23 year old international DJ, you must have your pick of the girls, but what’s your best chat up line?
I don’t use one! They simply don’t work but in the past, my girlfriend has said my humour has worked for me.
Beer of choice?
Depends on the ambience. If I’m on the beach and relaxing I like a Corona. When I’m at the club I like a Heineken because it’s always a safe bet.
To be honest I don’t really watch a lot of movies but I’m really into TV series these days, they’re easier to watch. I’m a big fan of Orphan Black and recently I’ve started watching Designated Survivor. I’m a big series freak but not so much movies.
Being a successful DJ at such a young age, you’re an inspiration to thousands. Can you give any advice to those wanting to make it as a DJ?
When I started producing and trying to break into the scene, I was making music people would listen to, similar to something that was popular at the time and what would easily get into the Beatport charts. Once I broke free of that, it started happening for me, I started creating music I liked and found my own unique sound. If you like your own music people are bound too as well.
Describe yourself in three words? (On the spot question)
Energetic. Positive. Summer.
Describe your style?
I really enjoy wearing the colour black, which you wouldn’t expect as my music is really happy and summery.
You can follow Sam on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. Be sure to check him out if he’s playing at any festivals you guys are attending.
Check out the track on our boohooMAN beats Spotify playlist.