Hi Eelke! Recently, you have just unveiled your latest single ‘Shed My Skin.’ While we covered the track here at EDM Joy a couple days after release, we are now honored to have a chance to speak with you exclusively about your calming and sensational reinterpretation.
You’re an artist who has been in the scene for more than a decade, working with film scores and live shows along with curating a flourishing musical collection under your belt. While you have built quite the career for yourself, you became a huge fan of the iconic Ibiza track ‘Shed My Skin,’ when first listening to it.
Your reinterpretation is without a doubt dreamy, yet more energetic and atmospheric arrangement of the original production. Can you tell us what went into putting your own spin on the track, including your creative process and what it means for you?
It’s always a challenge to work with a well known track. I only want to remix something if I think I can bring something new to the table, and in the case of ‘Shed My Skin,’ I’ve been a big fan of the original and also the vocal for a long time. I started by stripping it down to the bare basics; only vocals and strings. I spent a few days playing with the groove. I was convinced that when I would get that right, everything else would follow naturally. The leading synth / bass line is a sound I made on my modular synth. It has free running filter modulation on it to give it that weird sort of cutoff that seems to come through randomly every now and then. After that sound, everything else came together really quickly and I think I finished the first version after a week or so. One thing I did on purpose was only introduce the recognizable elements in the club version after 3 minutes or so. I really wanted to get people into the groove without giving away anything too soon.
As a Dutch multi-talented DJ and producer, you’ve garnered a vast array of success. From creating remixes for artists as diverse as John Legend and Henry Saiz, composing musical scores in films like Wrath of the Titans and This Means War, performing all around the globe and even launching your own imprint DAYS like NIGHTS, it’s safe to say that you’ve done it all!
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While that barely scratches the surface, what are some of your most memorable experiences you’ve had in your fruitful journey so far?
There have definitely been many highlights! One of the biggest ones so far was probably having my music featured in a movie trailer for the first time. I think it was Wrath of the Titans that first used some of my trailer music. Then also doing the show production for Sensation The Legacy in 2015 was incredible. Unfortunately I was unable to witness it myself because I was on tour at the time, but I got to see some movies afterwards 😉 A highlight from this year was playing Mandarine Park in Argentina together with Guy J. We had a crowd of close to 10.000 people and that is one of the largest I have played to date!
Throughout your career, you’ve maintained a tasteful sound. Continuing to impress with every release, you present nothing but genuine quality in everything you do ranging from the artistic image of your tracks’ artwork and powerfully clean sound of your productions to the energy you give on stage.
What has it been like heading your own imprint, DAYS like Nights, and what are your goals with the youthful label?
We’ve only started the label this year, but I couldn’t have imagined a better start. For one, it’s great to do all of my own music on the label. Since my first release in 2003, I’ve released on a lot of different labels, and even though there are definitely advantages to doing so, I felt this was the right time to take matters into my own hands. We now have full creative control over all my music and I can decide when to release something, how to release it, etc. It definitely feels like a step up in my career. Another idea behind the label is also to gather a nice group of likeminded people and artists that I really believe in to create a platform together where we release music, but also do events for instance. The first one is set for ADE with Henry Saiz, Sébastien Léger and Martijn ten Velden, all artists that I hold in really high regard. In the future we’ll definitely be doing more of these, and I look forward to bringing other people, both known and unknown, onto the label as well.
As an artist who has had a wide variety of experiences in and out of the electronic dance music scene, it is without a doubt, thrilling to have a chance to speak with you! I want to end this interview by first thanking you for chatting with us and finally leaving readers with one last question!
What is some advice you could give to aspiring producers, artists and label makers, everywhere around the globe? Oh, and is there anything new you can tell us about what fans can expect from Eelke Kleijn soon? 😉
Especially as a new producer, it’s hard to get noticed because of all the noise out there nowadays. One thing I always tell aspiring producers is “quality over quantity.” It’s better to release 1 or 2 good tracks in a year, than an average one every month. I actually released too much music when I was younger. A lot of those tracks did not stand the test of time if you ask me. A trick I use now is to work on many different songs at the same time. I will let them rest for a few weeks and then continue. Only the ones that I still think are good after months of coming back to them are the ones that are getting released. In regard to my own music; there is a lot of new stuff coming up! If you follow DAYS like NIGHTS, you should be able to pick them up soon enough 😉
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