Yves V discusses his latest single 'Innocent', the future of electro house in Europe and the Disneyland of electronic music
The Belgian DJ and Tomorrowland resident talks collaborations, influences, touring the world and the future of electro house in this exclusive interview with Meaww
Belgian DJ Yves V is the mainstage resident at Tomorrowland and has performed at the Mecca of electronic music festivals more than any other artiste in the event's history. In 2007, he was the first Belgian DJ to climb the main stage and was scheduled among stars like David Guetta and Armin van Buuren. He soon joined Belgian-Greek DJ-duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike as a mainstay at the festival.
Yves' sets have illuminated the mainstage of iconic events that include Sensation, David Guetta in Concert, Don’t Let Daddy Know, and Mysteryland, whilst taking over dancefloors all over the world such as Green Valley, Nikki Beach, Amnesia, Privilege and Pacha. In 2012, Yves began hosting his 'V Sessions', sprawling one hour-sets that started off as a separate stage at Tomorrowland and are now available to stream on his official website.
Late last month, Yves teamed up with Brazilian Bass head honcho ALOK and renowned Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James to serve up his latest offering 'Innocent' through Spinnin' Records. His music has taken him around the world, recently wrapping up extensive headline tours of Europe and South America, and currently trekking through Asia.
In this exclusive Meaww interview mid-way through his Asian tour, the Belgian DJ discusses his latest single, his residency at Tomorrowland, sharing the stage with some of the industry's greats, his inspirations, the future of electro house in Europe and more. Check out the full interview below:
You’re the main stage resident at Tomorrowland and have performed there more times than any other artiste. As a Belgian artiste, what does Tomorrowland mean to you?
The most magical place in the world is what it means to me! It is the Disneyland for electronic music-loving adults! The line-up is so diverse as you can find everything from big-room, to techno and hardstyle there and the production is crazy, it truly entrances you as an experience and it is a place/ event I think everyone should visit at least once.
Congratulations on your latest single 'Innocent'. It’s an absolute club thumper! You collaborated with ALOK and Gavin James on the track. How did the whole thing come about and what was it like to work with the duo?
Thank you! I’ve always had an affinity with Brazil, it’s culture, and ALOK is an artiste I totally admire and who is at the top of his game. When we spoke about collaborating we bounced ideas around before coming to Gavin for his vocal that I feel really changes the mood but in exactly the creative way we wanted. It was also the soundtrack to the Tomorrowland aftermovie this year, so it was brilliant for so many people to feel like they were there and experience it almost with our music.
'Innocent' also came with a very interesting animated music video. How much were you involved with the video and what was it like to see your music set to the animation?
A lot of videos in the past – for me, personally – have told a story; a love story, an uplifting story, an unexpected story etc, all starring actors and musicians. For this one, the label (Spinnin’) raised the idea of an animated video and we recruited illustrators and designers Estúdio Rufus, they too are from Brazil. It was fun, vibrant, engaging and different from what a lot of producers are creating for visuals right now. The perfect fit!
You were recently at Waterzonic in Myanmar and in China before that. How did you like your trek through Asia and where did you particularly enjoy performing?
Asia is always breath-taking and the audiences there are so cool! Ningbo [in China] was a great place to start my tour; high-energy and lots of feet moving on the dancefloor is just what I love to see!
Which part of the world are you heading to after this? Any tour dates coming up or are you heading back to the studio?
Korea, Bali and Mexico – I feel very blessed!
Since when have you been performing and when did you realize that DJ'ing is your true calling?
I’ve been DJ’ing for a long time – let’s say a little over a decade ago I decided to jump into this, professionally. I’ve always loved music from across all genres but it did take me a while until I realized wow, this is what I want to pursue! At first, of course, it was difficult. It is an 'unstable' or an 'unpredictable' career in comparison to something like being a policeman, a teacher, or working in an office for a company – but it’s all about taking that leap of faith. How else will you ever know?
What sort of music did you grow up listening to? Who would you say are your current favorites on heavy rotation?
From listening to rock music (bands like Green Day, Pearl Jam, etc), to Daft Punk and trance & techno in the 90s – I love the likes of Push and Tiesto as well as Jeff Mills, Dave Clark, Claude Young – variety is something to be cherished!
What do you think the future of electro house looks like in Europe?
Very bright! We do have hardstyle but I think in terms of more trap and bass artists, we are still yet to see that explode (like it is in the USA) or infiltrate (like it is starting to in Asia) across Europe. I expect more of that soon in terms of the electronic scene overall.
You’ve been working on your V-Session series for a while now. How did the whole idea kick off?
I have! It's basically my outlet for hosting my stage at Tomorrowland and beyond – we’ve held parties in Ibiza before – and also for my radio show V Sessions. I just think of it as an umbrella for my projects, that is the simplest way to look at it and we’re always hoping and looking to branch out with ideas.
You’ve shared the stage with the industry’s greats like David Guetta and Armin van Buuren. Do you think we’ll see a collaboration with either of them any time soon?
Who knows! I love both artistes and every artiste I've worked with – from Laidback Luke, Don Diablo and Florian Picasso, everyone works differently and I’m so proud of every release I’ve put out over the years. But for sure, if Guetta and/or Armin invited me into the studio, I’d be crazy to say no!
What’s next for Yves V?
Lot’s of exciting shows and I’ve recently been working on a collab with KSHMR that was premiered at the Amsterdam Dance Event, so I’m excited to share what I’ve been working on. Thank you for all your support this year, listeners!