We catch up with Stil Vor Talent’s Marc Holstege and get the lowdown on the talented Dutchman’s career.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I’m currently 22 years old, I live in Amsterdam and I’m producing and DJing for 2 years now.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Was a career in music always the only objective, were you interested in anything else as a life journey? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
Music is a big part of my life. I’ve been playing the piano since I was a little kid and I’ve had lessons for almost 10 years. My first contact with electronic music was at high school. A lot of my friends where listening to EDM but I soon began developing a taste for the underground scene. After listening to a lot of music I wanted make my own tracks. That is where my musical career started.
3. How would you describe the club scene in Amsterdam right now? Do you get to play much in your home city and what was the first amazing moment you had in club?
The scene is very alive in Amsterdam, there are a lot of events and festivals each week. I think that we have one of the most diverse underground scenes in the world where you can find promotors that will bring headliners, but also promotors that bring new talent to the table to explore. Most of my shows are in Amsterdam and it is obviously great to be able to play that much in our capital. I think I had my first amazing club moment at Pleinvrees On Tour in Eindhoven. This was the first time that I had to play for a full house. The ambience and the crowd was just so nice!
4. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
It was not easy at the beginning, but I learned everything by myself and I never had any audio engineering lessons what so ever. Of course, I watched a lot of online tutorials and got tips from fellow producers, but I liked the process of teaching myself.
5. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
The hardest part for me is definitely mixing and mastering. Because I only have two years of experience I still need to learn a lot. But that’s also what I like so much about producing, you never stop learning. Coming up with melodies and chords comes easiest for me. This is because I had a lot of piano lessons in my youth. It really helps my creativity. When I hit a creative block I stop and I leave the project for a while. My brains need to focus on some other stuff. After a day or two I try to work on it again. Sometimes my creative block can last for more than two weeks, that’s so annoying!
6. You have a new remix out this week in collaboration with fellow Dutch artist Montem, it’s of the French band Aravis, there’s quite an interesting story behind it, please tell us about it.
We started this project quite a while ago. It was when I just started producing. I found this band called Aravis and I instantly fell in love with his voice. I shared this band with Montem and told him that it would be great if we could do a remix for one of the tracks. The next day Montem had send them an e-mail and surprisingly they responded! The next day we started working on the remix and this is the final result.
7. Your discography is quite short but incredibly impressive, with releases on Stil Vor Talent and your debut on WEITER being perhaps the most notable. It’s been less than a year into this great string of releases, what’s coming later this year for you and what are your long term goals in music?
I have another release coming up on Stil Vor Talent in June consisting of two tracks and another remix for my friends Hicky & Kalo from Canada. I’m trying to spend as much time in the studio as I can to make good music. Sometimes this is hard because I also follow a study. Thereby I really would like to further develop my own sound. There are so many great labels and musicians I would love to work with in the future. It would be great to work together with my favorite musicians so I can learn more. And of course I hope to play as much shows as possible so other people can enjoy my music as much as I do.
8. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
I listen to a lot of music. Pop, hip-hop, rock it doesn’t matter. I actually listen a lot of jazz and blues. I really like this music because most of the songs are so creative, especially the countless solos!
9. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
I’m not sure what was the first piece of music I bought. When I was a kid I really liked Coldplay (I still do). I remember that I once bought the album ‘X & Y’ so I guess that this was my first piece of music I bought. The last physical physical piece of music I bought was also from Coldplay. It was the ‘Ghost Stories’ album.
10. What five tracks are you currently loving the most at the moment?
Talaboman – Ghost Stories
BLOND:ISH – Endless Games (Patrice Bäumel Remix)
Pantha du Prince – Islands In The Sky (Recondite Remix)
Kiani & His Legion – L.O.V.E.
Rampa – Fluke
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound like you have, what advice do you have for them?
Be yourself. Make the music for yourself and not for other people. Don’t make music to fit in some labels of artist just make whatever YOU like! 🙂
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
That’s a hard choice but I think I would like to end my career with a track I made myself. I would go for ‘Mangata’.
Marc’s remix (in conjunction with Montem) of Aravis is out now on Manual Music, you can purchase the release: here