Home Featured Feature: Kevin De Vries [Interview]

Feature: Kevin De Vries [Interview]

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Showing his very own trance-inspired techno sound in his first EP called “A Journey Through Life“, he gained the support from some of the biggest players in the industry, with names like Adam Beyer , Richie Hawtin and many more supporting him. With Releases on Major Labels like Drumcode, Cocoon and most recently Tale Of Us’ Label Afterlife in 2018, de Vries’ “continues to lock down his reputation as one of Europe’s most promising techno talents” as Mixmag said.

Hi Kevin, thanks for joining us, how are you, and what are your plans for today?

Hey guys, thanks for having me. All good here! I’m about to head to the Airport for Afterlife Barcelona.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a producer and DJ?

I grew up near Cologne in Germany and we have a very healthy club culture over there. I was still quite young when some friends of mine brought me to one of the bigger clubs there and this is basically how I got in touch with it. A friend of mine bought a Numark Controller and so we started to play for fun in his storage. We split after a year because I wanted to learn to produce music and he had to study. In the end it was Paul Kalbrenner’s movie „Berlin Calling“ which made me start to produce music.

Can you name three tracks that were influential in your musical development ?

1) Recondite – Cleric

2) Daso – Meine

3) Push – Strange World

Where did you experience electronic music for the first time and what memories do you have from that moment?

It was back in the days when I was a kid and my mom turned on the radio in the car. I guess most of us can remember those moments the best like your first favorite track on the radio. The first electronic track I remember was „Rhythm Is a Dancer“.

Your productions carry intriguing design qualities; quite tough and astral sounding, while still having a great nose for rhythm, groove and ultimately the dance floor. Is this something you strive for in the studio and what do you want your music to convey to the listener?

My goal in the studio is to transform my emotions into music. That’s the reason why I started. To bring my emotions to the listeners at home, on the dancefloor or wherever you listen to it. Everything around it is just a nice way to present it. Of course I use drums & rhythms to underline but my main focus are the melodies which I use.

Tell us about Berlin, how has living there shaped your sound and career?

Berlin is a wonderful city. I love and hate it at the same time. The city never sleeps and is really fast. There is not much time to relax and chill but on the other side you meet so many amazing people from so many different places. The nightlife is like no where in the world. I’m sure that Berlin did something to my sound. I’m not quite sure how but I feel it. It’s just the vibe of the city or my experiences in clubs here. It’s a very special place and right now I am super happy to live here.

Getting signed to Afterlife must have been an impactful moment in your career but let’s take a look back before that, you’ve also released on Cocoon and Drumcode, is there a release that stands out which helped establish you previous to Afterlife?

For sure this was my first release on Drumcode. The „A-Sides Vol. 5“ with my track Eternity. Adam was one of the first persons who helped me in the very early stage of my career. After this I was able to start playing gigs on a regular base.

You’ve got a new EP out on Noir’s NM2 imprint, tell us how that came to be and why NM2 felt like a good home for that particular project

Rene (Noir) and me have been in touch for a few years already. We always wanted to work on something together and now the time was right.

Walk us through the production process on the lead track ‚Vertigo’?

I always start with the lead. I wanted to create something a bit more dramatic for the peak time moments of my sets. Therefore I used this one from DUNE2. I added some claps during the break to keep the tension. It’s a pretty simple track with 8 channels. The riff is the most important part of it. After the first break I added a few more notes to it to keep interesting. I really liked the guitar riff which I used for the bassline as well. It worked super well in my sets and I’m happy about the feedback I received.

There is also a remix from Marco Faraone, was he someone you had in mind for the track straight away, and how do you feel about your music being remixed in general?

Marco was one of the first persons who supported me. We’ve been in touch for many years and I’m a big fan of his productions. He is super diverse and can handle every situation. Luckily he instantly said yes when I asked him and he delivered a superb remix!

You have a full touring schedule for the rest of the year – looking back over the past 12 months are there any dates which stand out so far?

The Odyssey 24h opening party a few weeks ago was for sure one of them! It was a night to remember with many friends. My first shows in Beirut & Istanbul are also still in my head – those nights were really something special and I can’t wait to be back.

Ibiza holds a special place for a lot of DJ’s, and this year you’ll be returning to play for Afterlife – do you approach this kind of event in the same way as any other?

My Afterlife debut on Ibiza last year was one of my highlights – therefore I’m really looking forward to be able to play twice this year. The production is outstanding and also the Hi team is doing an incredible job!

What can we expect from you for the rest of the summer – any releases or special dates we should be looking out for?

I have a track out on the new Afterlife Realm Of Consciousness compilation. Meanwhile I’m working on my next EP which is planned for Autumn and I’m of course always road-testing some new tracks.

I’m super happy to play so many great festivals this summer – I announced my summer schedule recently and there are for sure a lot of highlights inside!

“Kevin de Vries will be at Afterlife at Hï on the 8th and 22nd of August. He also appears on the new compilation ‘Realm Of Consciousness’ available now via Afterlife”

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