The premiere event company Do LaB has announced the music lineup for the most original and dynamic festival, Lightning in a Bottle. Taking place at Buena Vista Lake in Southern California during Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-27, 2024. The festival provides a diversity of art installations, immersive environments, and sceneries. Each year the festival presents the most stellar and vibrant display of lights and lasers, plus imaginative decorations. Inviting top-tier music curation from DJs, bands, and singers.
The 2024 edition is all about the origin and meaning of a music festival, and having as much fun as possible. It's a festival defined as both a transformational wonderland and a wild party where everyone can be free to express themselves in any form. Making this festival more than just music and arts in an experience of discovering new paths within the person.(more…)
Releasing his third track within a year of emerging back into the dance music scene is Amsterdam’s underground most prominent DJ and producer ØSAS ØHM with ‘We Are There’. The melodic house track is out now on the future house label, Deep Winder Records. ØSAS ØHM quickly discovered his true signature sound in melodic house at the perfect time in his DJ and producer career.
It starts with stunning piano chords breaking into a soothing and comforting rhythm of melodic house beats. His signature melodic sound rages through the new release souring with high potential and positive outcomes for set plays at nightclubs and DJ sets. From the moment of pressing play, the listener is immediately transported on a journey to soulful vibes and happy energy. Its moving melody sets the vibe for ambition and passion in life.
ØSAS ØHM’s thoughts and feelings behind creating the track ‘We Are There’. “When I composed this track, I aimed for fulfillment when you’ve finally arrived at your desired destination, like achieving a goal you’ve diligently pursued.”
Hailing from Amsterdam, The Netherlands where some of the biggest names of electric dance music surfaced. ØSAS ØHM is a force to be reckoned with, pouring his passion and soul into every track he generates. He recently released ‘When We Were One’ and ‘Euphoria’ and more to be released rounding out the end of the year. When the New Year arrives it will be the biggest year yet with more incredible releases for the talented DJ and producer. ‘We Are There’ is out now on Deep Winders Records, available to buy and stream on all platforms.
It’s funny how social media can change everything! A few weeks back I posted a FRESH OFF THE BEATS article on Twitter/ X featuring one of the newest rising talents on Dirtybird Records, Danny Kolk, immediately he reshared the article and reached out thanking the team for supporting him and his new release. We started talking more on social media which led to a full-length interview article. Throughout our session of messaging back and forth, I automatically realized he is a hardworking passionate artist who thrives in uplifting other DJs the ones who are unheard of, a place and time where he was once in his career. Along with his EP on Dirtybird Records, he is the label boss of his own imprint, Red Paradise Records which showcases and shines a light on underground artists. "For a long time, I had difficulty getting my music signed by record labels, perhaps because my style of music is different, and I focus a lot on originality rather than closely following market trends. Additionally, I had little exposure as a producer. I noticed that many other emerging producers faced the same challenges as me, with many not even receiving responses to their emails from record labels."
“Once I realized this, I was motivated to create a record label to help these producers who faced the same difficulties I did. Of course, I also wanted to release my music. If you're a House Music producer and want a label that will pay attention to you, know that at Red Paradise, your email will get a response, whether it's with a 'congratulations, your music was accepted' or 'not this time,' and even with comprehensive feedback on your music, focusing on improvements to help you evolve in music production, something I've done many times.”Danny Kolk
01. Maximono - Digits (Original Mix) [This Ain't Bristol]
02. Crusy & Prophecy - Pills (Original Mix)
03. MAGNVM! - Clap (Original Mix) [Dirtybird]
04. Mosimann - Balek (Original Mix) [SANS MERCI]
05. Les Castizos - El Pescador (Original Mix)
06. Ocean Roulette - Sorry About This (Original Mix) [Box of Cats]
07. Max Kaluza & TRND - Hear The Bass (Original Mix) [Box of Cats]
08. Dipzy - Que Pasa (Original Mix) [Box of Cats]
09. Danny Kolk - Easy Love (Original Mix) [DIRTYBIRD]
10. CASSIMM - Freak (Original Mix)
11. Smith & Sorren x Jay Roman ft. Jaymalina - Somewhere Lost (Extended Mix)
12. Wilkie - All My People (Original Mix) [GOODSIDE]
13. Kyle Watson - Lost ft. Evida (Original Mix) [No Context Records]
14. Danny Kolk - Balanced System (Original Mix) [DIRTYBIRD]
15. Malik Mustache & Teklow feat. MC Dablio - Cha Cha Cha (Original Mix) [Dirtybird]
16. Danny Kolk - Abstract World (Original Mix) UNR
17. Cour T. - TRIPPPY (Original Mix) [Dirtybird]
18. Edgvr Romero - Elevator (Original Mix) [Artichokes Are Yellow]
19. Danny Kolk - Drop Me (Original Mix) UNR
20. OldChild, Freenzy - Saudade (Original Mix)
Following his label and his own mix series ‘Aloha Mix Show’ which gives underground and undiscovered artists a chance to show the world what they can bring to the new generation in dance music. “I receive many promos, and I have the desire to play most of them. Because of that, I started the Aloha Mix Show to support producers. It's also a way for me to stay updated on what's being released by record labels. It's therapeutic for me, as I love electronic music! Due to the many promos I receive, I'm maturing and starting to have a more open mind toward other styles.”
The humble and talented Brazilian artist incorporates his native heritage in tracks and throughout his energic sets at well-known festivals. At a young age, the music spoke to Danny, and was influenced by different types of music to expand his pallet to new dimensions. As he got older he started playing private pool parties, where he learned to craft and learn the art of mixing and sculpting a DJ set. “My name is Danilo Morais, but you know me as Danny Kolk. I was born in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil, and I've lived my whole life in the capital city, where I discovered electronic music during my childhood. A neighbor who lived behind my grandmother's house threw a techno party in the '90s when I was very young, I had no idea what electronic music was at the time, but it certainly left a mark in my memory. Many years later, during my adolescence in 2005 with the release of the Summer Eletrohits compilation, I reconnected with electronic music, and from that moment on, my addiction to electronic music grew stronger every day.”
“My interest in mixing music arose as I attended small private parties near my home, where the DJ played for a crowd gathered around a pool, a true 'Pool Party.' While I watched the DJ mixing, all I could think about was wanting to be there, making people dance. From that point, I started delving into understanding the work of a DJ and connecting with people already involved in electronic music, finally taking my first steps in DJing.”Danny Kolk
Danny Kolk has already stood out for combining humor and synthetic elements, also incorporating his culture when creating new tracks and mix sets. Either at a live performance or in the studio, each set is unique in its own way, always changing up the placements of his tracks and keeping the groove going. “From a young age, I've always been eclectic; I didn't have a specific taste or tribe that I considered my ideal group. My family always listened to Brazilian pop music, and I was the family member who deviated from the norm. During my adolescence, I became addicted to rock, and to this day, rock is what I listen to the most in my daily life. Brazilians love deep bass frequencies, and that strongly influences my music production. As a producer, my focus is on creating fun and danceable basslines. Many of the elements I add to my productions are aimed at making people smile. This doesn't mean I don't take music seriously, but the point is to bring joy to people through music. It's not just about business; it's about having a goal and making people's days better with your music.” Listen to his exclusive mix for MyPlayground Media.
Creating his original corky, wild, and vibrant sound in house music, quickly led to the signing of the biggest house and techno music label that lives by the definition of weird and wild, Dirtybird. He describes his style of sound “For a long time, I called it Bass House, and then I started to believe it was Tech House. Today, I prefer to say that I make House Music because I'm influenced by many styles.” Staying true to yourself staying unique and passionate and never giving up, leads to a great opportunity as a DJ and producer. “I've been trying to secure an EP on Dirtybird for some time now. Since my EP on Dirtybird Select, I've been trying and even managed to get some releases on Birdfeed, but I never gave up and remained focused until I finally got an official EP on the main label. That was an incredible achievement for me! It was the same feeling as when I signed the EP Doctor. My heart raced, and I was ecstatic in my studio! I was euphoric and trembling, hahaha. Many times, I thought about giving up. Every day, we battle ourselves in our thoughts and persist in what we believe in. It's not an easy task, but we need to be persistent.” The Brazilian-based DJ and producer released his first official full EP on the label called ‘Easy Love’ which received huge feedback from the house music community as well as the Dirtybird family. With it, he joins the likes of Cour T., Bruno Furlan, DJ Glen, and Plastic Robots, other house and techno artists who have come out of Brazil and found a home with Dirtybird. 'Easy Love ' opens with its engaging, funk-riddled titular track. Cut with hypnotic vocals and rolling drum beats, ‘Easy Love’ serves as an introduction to the attention-grabbing listening experience of Kolk’s latest two-track EP. Its complement, ‘Balanced System’, is a shadowy heater that offsets its smooth predecessor with bouncing basslines and a dark, tech-heavy edge. Showcasing his amusing and versatile style through the catchy toplines and lively rhythms of 'Easy Love', Kolk’s whimsical bass house approach is befitting the Dirtybird ethos. The authentic new track from the newest Diritybird member delivers powerful and energetic melody flowers with prowess lyrics. Cut with hypnotic vocals and rolling drum beats, ‘Easy Love’ serves as an introduction to the attention-grabbing listening experience of Kolk’s latest two-track EP.
Danny Kolk continues about his inspiration behind the crafted EP. "Easy Love" came about at the beginning of the pandemic when I was facing my inner self. With parties put on hold, I couldn't test my music, and I always made music with the dance floor in mind. I had the desire to produce something that went beyond the clubs, something with a more prominent vocal presence and a deeper message, with more consistent basslines and not as "broken" as I usually produced. I wanted something that could reach more people, and that's how "Easy Love" came to be. I've always been a producer who, even though I have many reference producers, I’ve tried not to have direct influences from other producers when creating. But with "Easy Love," I did things differently and used another song as a reference, although I can't remember which song it was now because it's been a long time. This song wasn't necessarily made with the goal of releasing it on Dirtybird, but rather to express what was inside me. As for the second track of the EP, "Balanced System," it was indeed created with Dirtybird in mind, leaning more towards Techno, with small vocal cuts and a somewhat haunting synthesizer going in a different direction from "Easy Love." Basically, both tracks complement each other, with one bringing a happier and smoother energy, and the other a more underground and heavy energy.”
Creating a single track is very difficult, especially when entering the dance music scene as an amateur with little experience in the business and industry. On top of creating an original track, which every underground DJ should do, it's the only way they can stand out and become something. Remixing tracks is also a good start, but creating fresh and new tracks is the best way to enter the industry and be more likely to get signed to a big label. On top of creating new music and remixes, the DJ has to dive into what he or she has to offer to the industry and create an original sound that doesn’t get lost among the other thousands of artists who are trying to do the same thing. “I always aim to convey a joyful energy through my music. My goal is to make people dance with a smile, so you'll always notice a playful element in my tracks. Sometimes, I produce something more serious, perhaps because of my maturation, which happens over time. But I believe this mindset will continue for a long time. Since deep bass frequencies catch my attention the most, I typically start my productions by creating the basslines, and from there, I build everything else. Sometimes I start a production with a solid idea in mind, but in general, things flow naturally during the creative process.”
Danny Kolk has been permeating the Dirtybird ecosystem for several years. After debuting on the limited Dirtybird Select series with his 'Doctor' EP, Kolk has since appeared on Birdfeed and was tapped to perform at Dirtybird Campout East. At the first and only edition of Campout East, we ask what was his experience. I also attended the festival, the first night for campers was next-level, it was jarring to see how the rest of the weekend could be better. The renegade after-parties made the camping festival unique because of the unbelievable sets by campers and themed camping sites. The crowd was a mix of Burning Man performers and attendees which made the vibe even better. The Campout Eat brought a slew of upcoming names on the label and in the scene, which are now dance music pioneers. It also gave an opportunity to underground artists including Danny Kolk on the ballot. The festival will always hold a special place in his heart. “This is a very special topic for me because Campout was the first major festival since the Danny Kolk project started. I had gone nearly 2 years without playing at any parties! To start by taking over one of the craziest stages I've ever seen was simply surreal! I could say that playing at Campout was my favorite part, but I believe that was my second favorite part. The first was the warmth with which I was received by people! I can't talk about Campout without mentioning the people who welcomed me and treated me in the best way possible. They vibed along with me, even though I couldn't speak English, and during my set, I felt the energy of these people. I was euphoric, and all I could do was thank God for allowing me to experience that moment and feel those positive vibes coming from all directions.” Dirtybird Campout East Coast edition was a festival that went down his history as one of the most creative and messy camping festivals in today’s era. It was also the first festival to hold a Super Bowl event on festival grounds.
“Since my first release on Dirtybird, my only job has been with music, whether it's producing, performing, or managing Red Paradise Records. Additionally, I also have Cream Dance Records and Word of Kolk Records.”
Everyone has to stay motivated in life and constantly within their career. This mainly includes anyone working in the artist and entertainment department in any realm. I stay motivated by listening to music and talking walks, also by journal writing which can also expand my mind when writing new material for MyPlayground Media. What motivates Danny Kolk as an artist? “The love for music and the mission of making people happy through my work were the primary factors motivating me to continue. Nowadays, being able to help other producers through my record label has also become another motivation.” Burnout happens to everyone, even when it comes to doing things that you love. Danny Kolk stays balanced and creative by pushing through his deepest and darkest thoughts, this was mainly during the COVID lockdown pandemic. “During the pandemic, we went through, I experienced burnout, to the point where I had extremely negative thoughts that I had never had before, thoughts that even put my life at risk. When I realized I was on the brink of a point of no return, I decided to take a break from production. For a producer, one of the worst things is forcing yourself to produce and not getting anywhere. You start to put pressure on yourself, which sabotages you even more, leading to frustration and various issues if you're not careful. If you're not careful, you can even fall into depression. When I noticed the signs, I set music aside and started doing things that brought me joy with minimal effort. I watched movies, and documentaries, listened to podcasts, played a lot of video games, and spent hours talking with friends. This, coupled with having my girlfriend by my side, helped me stay on track. I only returned to the studio after months, and I only went when I really felt the urge to produce. With this approach, we made progress without wearing out the mind, and things started flowing naturally.” Motivation is key to becoming a successful DJ and producer in today’s dance music scene. For underground DJs and producers, they have to work twice as hard to stay motivated.
There are many artists that we must also give credit to for the inspirations behind Danny Kolk’s music and mixes. “There are many artists who have inspired my work, and we can separate them into two categories: musical production and artistic presence.” From a music production standpoint, his list of inspirational DJs is long, which is why his style of sound is colorful and vibrant. “Some producers have strongly influenced my musical taste, production techniques, and many other aspects of production. These include Claude VonStroke, DJ Glen, Fractall, Maximono, Bruno Furlan, Erick Morillo, Walker & Royce, and many other producers.” From an artistic category in performing and DJ mixing there’s the only name that comes to his mind, the house pioneer, Green Velvet. “ I love watching how Green Velvet enjoys himself on stage, dancing without caring about what others might think. His green hair that stands out in black light is a great presence, and I end up bringing a bit of that into my performances! In Brazil, we had a band called 'Mamonas Assassinas,' and they had an insane stage presence. They were fun! They wore costumes, their songs were fun, and yet they had a critical message in their lyrics, which influenced me a lot. With my EP Doctor, I started performing dressed as a doctor, and today I have red hair, haha. Plus another house music legend, Erick Morillo always threw down a tremendous performance and conducted rare sets throughout his life and career. “His stage presence is a lot of fun. He's dancing and smiling all the time, which makes the crowd connect with the DJ and feel his vibe, and they start doing the same. So, it's very easy to see people dancing and smiling during his performances!” Being a big team player on the Dirtybird imprint, there are many producers and DJs that Danny Kolk would love to collaborate with in the near future of his career. “There are many producers I'd like to collaborate with, including DJ Glen, Fractall, Green Velvet, Claude VonStroke, Walker & Royce, Two Tails, and many other great producers.”
From managing multiple projects including his imprint and releasing music for Dirtybird Records. Danny Kolk is becoming a house music staple his today’s underground house music scene. From São Paulo, Brazil with a driven passion for dance music and a hard-working and motivated attitude, he is an artist that everyone needs to know about. His creativity should be showcased on an album, not a lot of DJs release albums these days, mostly compilations which Danny Kolk has been a part of. “Having an album has always been a goal, maybe not now, but certainly that day will come. I intend to work hard to create an album of good quality and invest heavily in marketing, creating music videos, and more, connecting all the album's songs. This is a dream, and I'll make it happen at the right time.”
What’s on the horizon for Danny Kolk? There are new projects in the works such as more releases on his second label Cream Dance and more mixes for his radio show. “One thing is certain; I always have songs to finish. You can follow my second label Cream Dance Records; I'm dedicating a significant part of my time to elevate this label. So you'll see many songs being released on both labels. Additionally, I have the dream of hosting a Red Paradise showcase, so that might happen in the near future” Look out, Danny Kolk is coming through with more music than ever this remaining year. He is a force to be reckoned with and will never slow down or stop from doing his passion. The future is bright and clear with Danny Kolk in it, release the next banger in house music.
Chicken or steak?
Beach festival or city festival?
Coffee or Tea?
Club sets or Festival sets?
House Music or techno?
House House House
Perform back-to-back or solo?
Day event or weekend festival?
DJing or producing at the studio?
Producing at the studio
“If you love music and are willing to work HARD to become someone relevant in the industry and make a living from music, know that frustration will often be a part of your daily life, and that's okay, it's part of the process! You need to persist, and even if everyone around you doesn't believe in your music, it depends only on you! You can be sure that somewhere, someone will connect with your production, and your art, and things will start happening. So stay focused and keep moving forward.”Danny Kolk
Following a successful year with mega releases, headlining club slots, and festival performances, Newcastle native and progressive house giant Cristoph is thrilled to announce his forthcoming 'O2C' North American Fall Tour. Since its debut in Europe and the UK, the 'O2C' tour will expand to the States aiming its growth on the rise of progressive house music and techno. The two-month run will begin in Chicago on October 13 the innovative live op-to-close concept will tour across Houston, Brooklyn, D.C., Toronto, Seattle, Denver, Los Angeles, and more dates.
His passion and dedication to his craft and connection with his fans remain a forceful energy to an ever-evolving legacy. Cristoph’s monumental rise in the US music scene is a testament to his unparalleled talent and work ethic. His growing popularity stateside, combined with an insatiable demand from fans and venues, compelled him to make a strategic move. He recently relocated from the U.K. to the U.S. this past year, further solidifying his position as a global powerhouse in the electronic music industry.
At each 'O2C' show, Cristoph intends to take the crowd on an intimate and immersive journey through sight and sound. With an open-to-close concept with no zero openers or closing acts, only Cristoph will be the headliner at each event. This upcoming Fall tour will see the electronic music maestro curate an experience like no other. A total of seventy-two hours of tunes with an impressive fifteen show dates.
Techno titan Richie Hawtin has recently announced his latest project ‘From Our Minds’ its next expansion destination, New York. The concept will take over the premiere dance space Knockdown Center in Queens. Earlier this year, the unique imprint made its North American debut in the origin of techno. Detroit. The series made its way to a sold-out warehouse event in Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and more. It holds a strict no-photo and video policy, making each event a one-of-a-kind experience for those in attendance. Richie Hawtin believes he is helping push the techno scene and sound forward in innovative new ways. Knockdown Center will see this dynamic group come together for the first time on the East Coast.
This evolved from Richie’s CNTRL tours back in 2012, when EDM was booming and mainstream across the US. He toured on a bus across American college cities performing and educating a new generation entering the dance music scene of the origin of techno music. The tour takes its slogan and ethos from Hawtin’s ‘90s label imprint Plus 8 and its ‘From Our Minds To Yours’ slogan, connecting back to the early days of techno. The New York showcase will feature a wave of new techno talent throughout the States, representing the scenes of a wide range of dark, heavy, and euphoric sounds while keeping the original traditional techno elements. Heavy-hitters and craft-makers the lineup consists of visual artists, producers, and DJs such as Korea-born and Tokyo-based, machìna and Detroit natives Tylr and Henry Brooks. Brooks will be joined by another rising Detroit artist, producer, DJ, and visual artist Huey Mnemonic, who aims to both preserve and add to the rich lineage of his region’s homegrown sonic culture by channeling the Black American experience into his work. Canadian artist Barbosa, owner of the Toronto label Heist Mode. Representing Texas is the pair of Declan James and Decoder, who often perform back-to-back as their side project Frame. Out of New York is DJ and producer Jay York who runs the vinyl label TOCA Records alongside Decoder. Completing the ballot is Cali-born, Phoenix-based, Lindsey Herbert first encountered techno on Richie’s CNTRL tour and has been a champion of the sound in the South West ever since. She’s joined by Octopus Recordings artist Michelle Sparks, an artist who has been an inspirational gem in the growth of the underground rave scene.
‘From Our Minds’ is committed to working with independent local promoters who are aware and respectful of the history of techno music. Making the future for techno and its programming, planning, and execution in events. Knockdown Center is home to the club BASEMENT, which has been hailed by locals and touring DJs as one of the country’s top techno sites, drawing comparisons to Berlin’s famed Tresor. The New York edition of ‘From Our Minds’ will take place on Saturday, October 21, 2023, come suited in your blackest attire and immerse in one of the greatest techno vacant in modern dance music.
Chicago’s newest and only festival, ARC Festival which is dedicated to house music and techno, has announced the ARC After Dark afterparty lineups. It is heading into its third year, gaining more popularity from festival-goers plus the consecutive legendary DJs who have performed. It's about time that the birthplace of House Music has its music festival celebrating its roots and culture. The 2023 edition will be taking place Labor Day Weekend September 1-3.(more…)
Amsterdam is the mecca of dance music, some of the greatest DJs that have entered the industry over the last two decades have emerged from The Netherlands such as Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Oliver Heldens, Joris Voorn, and Martin Garix. It's home to some of the most significant festivals in the world like Awakenings, Luminosity Beach Festival, Defqon.1, and in October, the largest dance music conference ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event). One particular DJ and producer from The Netherlands who is rapidly looming in the dance music scene is known as ØSAS ØHM. He has always been passionate about music. The euphoric feeling of making music and showcasing it in his performances translates into a universal sense. “Melodic deep house. I like to use euphoric chords and euphoric melodies, which are energetic but also deep sounding.” His following is strong and he can describe his sound as an emotional feeling instead of a sound to be heard. “Where words fail, music speaks.” - ØSAS ØHM.
In this exclusive interview, ØSAS ØHM speaks about how he got inspired to become a DJ and producer, the person he looks up to, and music. He is still in the underground deep house scene however, he is rapidly growing with his mixes and his debut release ‘When We Were One’ on Sunchild Records. “What got me into music, I think I always had a passion for music, even when I didn't create music when I was very young, I can remember like about ten years ago, my nephew, was a DJ. I just saw that they were always doing stuff with music and I got inspired by that. So the next day I bought a DJ controller and I made music.” He created a unique melodic sound that is stirring a following. “I did a lot of different types of music. I produced hip-hop and house, mainly right now with ØSAS ØHM (pronounced as Ossos Ohm), I think it's really a bit of a melodic deep house. I really like to use euphoric chords, and euphoric melodies, really energetic, but also deep sounding.” His passion is fueled by creating music and developing a signature sound that is unusual and exceptional.
“I really try to go to all the emotions because I think many people say it's only love and light and that's really cool, like the euphoric sounds. But I also like to go to the darker type of emotions and the deeper sounds because they are also part of human life. From a spiritual standpoint you can't neglect them, you know. So I just like to make my mixtapes a kind of journey through all those emotions.”ØSAS ØHM
His biggest inspiration and the artist he looks up to most is surprising, “it started about six years ago. I always was a fan of Martin Garrix because he was also young and he started young and he was, like in no time he became very famous. It was about six years ago, my mother, met Martin Garrix in Amsterdam. She was in a restaurant, we were friends of hers,” he continues “She met Martin Garrix, he was at dinner with Tiësto so she immediately gave me a call and she said, oh I'm with Martin Garrix in the restaurant so I got him with him on the phone because she just went up to him and we talked a bit, he also gave me his email address and from that on my real goal was to be like Martin Garrix. Not really his sound of music, I got my own sound. But I just really got inspired by his positivity, how he is with his fans, how he communicates with the fans. Just his vibe, I really like that overall said ØSAS ØHM. What Martin Garrix is doing with his platform now, is he goes to third-world countries and cities and towns and throws shows for them for free, and interacts with his fans. “I really love that about it. He is really doing something for the community and for the people who love him. He's very humble too,“ replied ØSAS ØHM. Martin Garrix is a very humble person for a DJ with that high of a status. He's a very humble person. Throughout the years of being a music journalist, I met him a couple of times he is such a nice person. “It's important to stay humble, no matter how big you are. People really appreciate it if you're humble. Even if you're like so big as Martin Garrix, just have something magical to like to stay humble and don't become too arrogant.”
The Netherlands celebrates dance music as a culture that unifies music lovers all around, excepting everyone. It's been a while since I’ve been to The Netherlands, I've been to festivals and ADE events at Gashouder in 2018 and Awakenings Festival in 2017. “What I like most about the dance music culture, is there's some form of unity. About a year ago I went to Tomorrowland for the first time in my life. My uncle, he works at Jupiler, and BUD and he was able to get me an extra pass. So we went there and it's funny, about two, three years ago, I stopped making dance music, EDM all together because I got a bit of like I got some losses and I wasn't feeling inspired after all and I just said, fuck it, I'm going to do hip hop. Maybe there's where I find my success. I tried and I tried, and then I went to Tomorrowland one year ago and I came back and I really felt that I need to go to the dance music, to the dance music world again. That's just where my passion is and I like how people are feeling connected when they are at a festival like Tomorrowland. Just incomparable to any other music genre in my opinion,” said ØSAS ØHM. It doesn’t even compare to how much effort and passion the festival and event producers put into creating these iconic shows, between the carefully created lineups, the details, food, organization, pyro, and technology. “It's just lovely how the dance music and the dance culture are really integrated into the Netherlands. It's just special. I actually feel blessed that I'm born in this country because of all the other big DJs that came from here.”
ØSAS ØHM's very first moment began ten years ago when he first ever attempted DJing and already produced music at that time. “I think it was like really when ‘Animals’ by Martin Garrix first came out, he really inspired me because it became so big overnight a lot of people say overnight with you really worked I had like two-three years. He wasn't famous at all and he just kept working But like the moment that you really get discovered by a big label and they see the value in you You really can grow and really big really fast and that really inspired me.” Back then, ‘Animals’ was a different and unique sound that everyone couldn’t get enough of, everyone venue wanted him to headline, every media site wanted an interview and his name was on every lineup.
Throughout the years dance music evolved along with artists also evolving, trying to stay current even changing their form and sound. “First of all, I want to put my passion into the music. I want to put my feelings into it. I really try to create a signature sound that nobody has. I also feel like there's in the sound that I have, I'm really into the melodic house. In the last couple of years, I felt a bit of a trend going on. Towards the melodic house and the melodic techno as well the specific genre is getting big, so I'm trying to wave a little bit. Just besides getting a signature sound, because it's just really important, I try to stand out in a way, like when I'm on stage when I'm with people I don't know if I got fans already, but when I got people who really got inspired by my music, just to treat them well and just be loving. Just like Martin Garrix, because he makes incredible music, but a big part of his success is just the person he is and the pureness in himself, you know. That's just, that's really important. It's just all kinds of factors. I think it starts with, of course, just putting the work in, in the studio, and just making something that feels good and it really comes from the heart. Don't try to use a formula to make commercial music that you think can be a hit. Just do something that you love, because it's lasting.” When you listen to his mixtape, it takes you on a journal of emotions. Which is what his main goal was in the process of creating it. You can feel the passion and euphoric feelings through each transition.
His journey is only the beginning with releasing his debut single ‘When We Were One’ on Sunchild Records to his mixtape. He dabbled in making hip-hop but then realized he wanted to re-enter back in the dance music industry not music it's more popular these days globally, but because that’s where he belonged and that’s what his true passion really is. “I'm more proud of all these tiny steps. I don't know if there's particularly one big thing but I think it is because like two years ago I was into that hip-hop. I was only doing hip-hop and it was maybe just a cope mechanism because I didn't want to go back to dance music because I failed the first time and I thought, I will never make it. I think the moment after Tomorrowland that I decided, I'm just going to let go of that hip-hop world, it's not my world anyways. I'm just gonna start pursuing dance music because that's what I really dreamt of as a kid. Those people normally I think they're gonna give up in like two or three years. Of course, there are some producers who just started, and two years ago or two years after that they just got a huge hit and they got big. But 99.99% of the time I think you really need to put at least like seven, or eight years in. Using your dog just making music just doing stuff Before you can actually make something that's worth it and of its labels think oh, I want to sign it one.”
ØSAS ØHM is working hard in making his true passion into a full-time lifestyle and full-fledged career. Playing at sold-out events and festivals, getting him on lineups to dream festivals like Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and Tomorrowland. This media site is meant for artists such as ØSAS ØHM who is more upcoming in his country but unknown in the states. MyPlayground Media is here to shine the light on the underground on a global base. “Tomorrowland is number one, at the main stage, that's like the ultimate goal and play at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. I like any festival I just like to be connected to the crowd and it can be on a big stage but also on a really small one but I think it's too much land that's like the ultimate goal at least for like the European people I don't think maybe for the American people it's more like Ultra Music Festival. Tomorrowland, it's magical, when you step in there, it's like a fairy tale you're entering with music. It's also like really the vision of, like in the general, in the world. We all have that vision of coming together in peace, with all these wars and things going on, the left versus the right and black versus white in Tomorrowland, everybody is coming together and just loving the music. If like the whole world could be like Tomorrowland it would be amazing,” said ØSAS ØHM. His dream collaboration would have to be Martin Garrix, when asked, “I'm just open to a lot of collaborations. Every artist has his unique sound. I'm just really curious about how their sounds can inspire my sound and not only in that collab but also in the future, how they can inspire me to do new things. Artists to name other than Garix would beI really love Meduza a lot, they're really dope! Also, Vintage Culture, and Rufus du Sol.”
The underground artist should be on your radar, between his debut release and mixtape, plus upcoming music in the works. “I'm working on a remix project. I'm doing this for the Armada Music remix contest of Seq. Martino Kill My Heart. It's already finished so I hope that it's gonna be released on Armada Music of course.” He will be on the road soon performing at nightclubs in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands. Amsterdam Dance Event recently release their first artists phase it will be the perfect opportunity to showcase his work and network there. He has new projects in the works, going strong never giving up, and maintaining that focus to become a successful DJ. “I'm currently working on two new projects. The other two projects I'm like still working on and I still need to find a label that maybe wants to release them. So yeah, definitely more music coming soon.”
“I'm like the worst self-critic but that's a curse it's also can be a blessing because when I make a track and when I'm often when I make it that's the worst part of it the curse I don't like it when it's finished as I listen to it so many times and I think you need to send it. For the track I do after that, I always try to search for the tiny little thing in the previous track that just didn't work out or just try to fine-tune that. With every track, I try to get a little bit better and that process in itself is already a big motivation for me.”ØSAS ØHM
Wine or beer?
“Beer, I love beer!
Normal hours or after hours at a club?
American football or football soccer?
Club or festival?
Techno or house music?
“House Music. But I also love techno festivals.”
Walk or run?
“I go running once a week running. Before I go to sleep I always try to go on a walk for 20 minutes.”
Day event or weekend festival?
Perform Back-to-back or Solo?
Underground warehouse raves or an organized rave at a venue?
“I love the vibe of the underground.”
“Just keep, definitely for the artists who are listening, keep making music, and keep chasing your dreams. Keep loving, because getting your dreams is cool, but if you don't, if you're friends, we're gonna party with you and celebrate with you. The success is not good. You just need people who love you around you. Also just follow Myplayground Media of course! Follow the podcast, and follow you on Instagram. And it would also really be nice if you guys can follow me on Instagram.”ØSAS ØHM
On a night at Webster Hall, that's where I first met the trance DJ, James Cottle. “It's Cottle, same as a bottle.” We were there for Paul van Dyk's new event concept Venture X. From then, we agreed to an interview together. Trance music has always been the heart and soul of dance music with the emotional lyrics and chords it's a global genre that everyone can speak. "Uplifting, joy, and happiness to do with trance. There are so many sad things, what terrible things going on in the world. That's why I try to inject a bit of joy and happiness into something out there and that's not to say I don't like making dark styles of trance music. It's something a little bit sad, but it's definitely. Directed towards Uplifting and happy sound.” It's the reason why James Cottle entered the scene and persuade his passion and dreams into a reality. From releasing unique tracks, and performing at iconic trance festivals and events to his weekly Twitch channel, James Cottle is the one to be on your radar.
Born and raised in England, UK - Northeast of the country. At an early age, he discovered dance music. “The year was 2000, the first time I heard trance because my sister was listening to tracks like ATV at home. I started building my music library around 2003 and 2004 when I was leaving high school. I managed to find a lot of Tiësto tracks. Then I heard them in a local nightclub that I probably shouldn't have been going to at the age of 15. I decided I love trance music.” Through the beginning of his DJ career, he experienced different sub-genres and different types of trance music. “In a different direction, I was going to a retro-style piano house night in England. It was a nightclub called Club M, and about 7,000 people would go. It was a huge event, it was a monthly thing”. Cottle then discovered the business side of the music industry and began to hustle his way through. “So trance kind of took a bit of a backstep. There was a lady at work who was buying their Mix Mag, and she just gave me loads of them, like Slammed, The Band On, there was Armin van Burren, Big Room Tracks in 2004, Paul Van Dyk, Return of God MixMag CD, which blew me away. Then after a year or so, some friends who were more into tech house and earlier tech house stuff got some Pioneer CDJs and would go around and have a mix on them. So then in 2008, I got some Pioneer CDJ 800s. That's when I started to learn to mix and download lots of trance music. I didn't have any vinyl decks.” Through discovering more artists that touched his body and soul he was able to create original mixes and tracks. “So from then, I was just all about DJing and I kind of didn't realize the importance of making your own music to promote yourself. I was very single-minded on that subject. Then I bought Ableton Live and started learning to produce music, which took a long time. I also started to work for an events company called Good Grief Events and Tours in England and they were booking DJs like Eddie Halliwell, John McCallaghan, Giuseppe Ottaviani, and the big trance acts. I was getting to meet these people. I was then getting gigs, which it's all part of the process. Soon after, I ended up getting a main room warm-up slot at Digital Nightclub in Newcastle. Probably the longest club in Newcastle.”
After breaking through, he signed his first track with a major label, officially putting his name on the trance map, leading to more releases and appearances at events and festivals. “When I signed my first track to Vander Records in 2016. That was the moment I decided I wanted to do it as a career. But what got me into electronic music was probably, I told you my sister was listening to a lot of trance music. Also before that my, parents were very music orientated. Going back a long time before they had a vinyl playing. They would play stuff like David Bowie a lot.” Many artists and DJs will not make it big in the dance music industry if they don’t have an inspirational icon to look up to. With any genre in any realm of music, a song is always inspired by an old track or beat that was produced in the past. It all circles back to the beginning when I first met James Cottle at Webster Hall who then told me who his number one DJ who inspired him, the answer then made sense. “My number one is Paul Van Dyk, I love his older music and I love his current music. He stayed very true to his sound over the years. Also, I love Alex Moth. I used to listen to him a lot like a while ago.”
Throughout the years he established his style of sound in trance music, teaming up with heavyweight DJs and producers such as Paul van Dyk, “done two tracks together with him but the first one was a proud moment for me.” Plus, Craig Connelly ‘Place in the Stars “Was released on John O'Callahan's Subculture record label. So we discussed potentially doing a second collaboration over a few drinks. I'd been writing some ideas and I sent them over to Craig and he said he liked one in particular. So I end up going to a studio in Manchester. I met John O'Callahan in 2009 when he was playing a trance gig. I was just in the crowd. I went and said hello to him at the end. So then he got a girlfriend and one of her friends is one of my friends. Then we all became good friends over the years.” One of his biggest accomplishments as a DJ was performing at the infamous Ministry of Sound “That was a proud moment then. A dream come true, to be honest with you.”
Artists from different genres have been changing their DJ sound and sometimes identity by creating another alias. Sound change is not a bad thing, it's the perfect way to stay current in the music industry and express a different range instead of one specific genre giving artists a bigger platform for more releases. James Cottle was asked if he would ever change his style of sound and explore a different genre. “It's a difficult question. I just love the uplifting trance sound, it sounds so much at the moment. Art is changing its style to stay current. I used to have some quite interesting views. I thought people shouldn't do it, but at the end of the day, these are their main jobs and they need to earn money and they need to feed their families. I've got more of an open mind on it now. Whereas I was probably a lot more narrow mind on the subject a few years ago.” Circling back to where we first met at Webster Hall, Paul van Dyk was not an ordinary trance event. Recently he launched a new event series concept called Venture X releasing a slew of techno and melodic completely shifty to a different gear in music. He completed his tour with positive reviews and maintained his original followers and supporters plus gaining more. “So my view on it is, I like techno a lot, so I don't really have, a problem with people changing the sounds, also like has a lot of like fancy elements in it. It still does it, doesn't it? But I'm not sure whether I considered doing it at the moment. Memories I could take some crossover style tracks, but I wouldn't slow, my sound right down to that speed.”
The freshly talented, innovative, DJ and producer has captivated the trance scene with his original tracks and selection. His pure natural skill and the deliverance of each set are what make him shine. His abilities and talents of playing diverse sets are why his highly entertaining and unique and put him on the right path to building his impressive catalog. The process of making original tracks is difficult on its own, but what's the process like for James Cottle? “I would normally start with writing some melodies and then, and maybe just thinking about a point in time in my life, like for a theme, maybe something that's happened or something that's like, maybe it's planned to happen in the future. So the way I work is I would write the main theme with melodies and chords and pads, string sounds, and then a kind of layout of structure with drums and baselines. Sometimes it can take quite a long time and sometimes it can just maybe take one or two weeks to make a track. I would do is I would listen to lots of tracks that I love from other artists. I wasn't feeling so inspired on a particular day, I would maybe listen to Paul Van Dyk one of his earlier albums. I should also say that I like going out for walks as well away from electronic devices, getting away from social media and electronic devices, and maybe spending time with family, and friends. If you're struggling with ideas, just being with family could just lighten the mood up, and then something pops into your mind.”
From the beginning of entering the dance music community, I always loved trance. The three Ts in my life are trance, tacos, and techno. I’ve been to many trance events and shows and they always held a special place in my heart. I ask James Cottle why trance music. Why did you become a trance DJ rather than a different genre? “I think it's so emotional and the melody and riffs are so catchy. I just became obsessed with it. Trance was his calling card, he continues - “It's not to say I don't like other genres of music. I do like techno and things like this. I would go out to a club and see a techno DJ. I think trance will always be the one for me. I'm one of those types of people.” His all-time collab was difficult to answer because he already collaborated with icons such as Paul van Dyk and John O'Callaghan. “If I had to pick somebody else, it would probably be Michelle Jean-Jacques, he's an electronic artist, French. He's been doing it for 50 years. His sound is so weird, modulated synthesized music from the 70s. He's just so forward-thinking, it sounds like striving to expand and push boundaries to warp your mind. I love people like that.”
“Finding that balance is difficult.”- James Cottle
James Cottle is now on tour, he is performing at two iconic Ibiza clubs, Eden and Privileg. Plus, the Ministry of Sound UK, and a few trance festivals such as Marquee Mini Festival “In the summer, I’ll play down in Nottingham in England, it's like a mini-festival with Piotivari, Bryan Kearney, and Will Atkinson. I'm excited about that.” His most recent release is with one of his favorites and close friend Craig Connelly ‘Got to Give’ along with two new tracks still in the works. “I've got two new tracks signed. I believe it's early summer, but I can't say the record there was at the moment. I'm very excited about that. I've been working on a vocal project together with a singer from England.”
“Inspiring words for producers, we're just getting started! I would say YouTube is our friend. There are more music production or trance production tutorials than ever on YouTube. So I would go and check them out. Also, I think it's very valuable for new producers to go and spend time in the studio with a professional and I think it's a great thing. Also, if you're struggling, don't be afraid to ask your peers. The colleagues for help and guidance. So I'm going around, circles on your thinking, you know, you shouldn't ask for help because of the song you're lying and complaining about it. I want to thank everyone so much for their support over the years. I can't wait to show you my new music.” - James Cottle
Coffee or tea?
Normal hours or after hours at a club?
Club sets or festival sets?
Be on stage or in the crowd?
Social media or not at all?
"Not at all."
Sneakers or sandals?
Soda or soda or beer?
"Beer, of course."
Cheers to that!
The summer and the official festival season have arrived, which means a boast of new releases for the perfect setting for Ibiza, open-air events, rooftops, pool, and the beach. FRESH OFF THE BEAT is back in the official summer playlist, this is only part one of the summer series playlists. The first edition features local and internal talent from full EPs to techno remixes and house bangers. This will jolt emotions and body to ultimate levels with these next-level bangers and soon-to-be summer anthems.
OpenLab the renowned broadcasting Ibiza-based brand is launching an exciting new project, OffBeat. The weekly events series. Inviting acts include Daniel Avery, DJ Masda, Roman Flügel, Ivan Smagghe, and Optimo will all headline over the course of the summer.
OffBeat and OpenLab continue their miss to bring back the original vibes for which Ibiza first became famous. Founded by the late great Robert Miles and since reinvigorated by pioneering rave promoter and digital guru Quentin ‘TinTin' Chambers, OpenLab is a global twenty-four-seven culture platform based in Ibiza. The radio show broadcasts worldwide and on 104.4FM in Ibiza, OpenLab showcases a carefully curated selection of innovative, alternative electronic music and digital art. OffBeat looks to extend the platform's programming as we add live shows to the mix, delivering exciting DJ and AV performances.
With OffBeat OpenLab continues our mission to bring back the avant-garde eclecticism for which Ibiza first became famous. Coming from the phrase - "Off The Beaten Track" it will provide an exciting, authentic alternative to the homogenized superclubs. A home for artists and clubbers alike to enjoy extended sets, experience new visual art, and be part of an event where music curation, artistic freedom, and an inclusive policy sit center stage. OffBeat will be held every Friday at NUI (New Universe Ibiza), an intimate industrial space in the heart of the Arts District on the edge of Ibiza Town. OffBeat Complete with a finely tuned Function One sound system, late license, and canvas for creating immersive AV experiences, NUI will host OffBeat opening on June 16 till the end of the Ibiza season
The response to OffBeat has been overwhelming with an unreal selection of artists across multiple genres all putting their trust in the project from the outset. There are several artists for whom OffBeat will be their Ibiza debut and others returning after many years of disillusionment. See the full lineup below and go to OpenLab for more information and to register your interest. For the best Ibiza party experience to date.