Local Rockstars: Joris Voorn, globetrotter from Amsterdam

Local Rockstars: Joris Voorn, globetrotter from Amsterdam

Mar 1, 2011 |  by  |  Music
About the author
Ridz, advertises, produces indie/electronic music, performs throughout the Netherlands but ultimately always ends up at an Amsterdam based ensemble... then he blogs about all these things.

Whether you went out last weekend to check out an uber geeky beat magician or a depressingly awesome indie rock band, we all know there’s always some serious musical talents rocking around the dam. You might not recognize them all yet, but don’t worry, you will soon. In this series of interviews we talk to remarkable artists about their music and their inspirations.

As a DJ Joris has been around for a while now, spinning in clubs all over the world since 1997. But besides being a renowned DJ, Joris is a graduate in architecture and co-owner of the Amsterdam based labels Rejected & Green. He plays his own groovy house, although it’s considered close to Detroit techno. Just a day after arriving from his short trip around South America I got to speak to him about his touring lifestyle, Amsterdam residency, birthday party and his upcoming performance during 5 Days Off, this Thursday.

Joris, you just got back from a South-American adventure. I can only assume it was good, so any first times?
I got to play in a few clubs in Chile, Sao Paulo and Peru, which was amazing since I hadn’t played for 6 weeks. As for first times; I’ve been to Sao Paulo before, but never in Chile or Peru. Especially in Peru the reception was really good, very nice crowd over there.

Speaking of Sao Paulo, Gui Boratto had some nice things to say about you a few weeks ago, did you know he likes your stuff?
I think he really liked my Dark Flower remix for Robert Babicz, maybe that’s why. Anyway, it’s always nice to receive compliments from colleagues.

I like to play very danceable, functional, melodic and specially groovy music.

I’m having lots of trouble defining your musical style. How would you describe it yourself?
I think it is hard indeed, but the main reason is that I like so many different things and music styles. When I DJ I like to play very danceable, functional, melodic and specially groovy music (obviously dependant of the party). Also, in the studio it’s usually very different then on stage. I haven’t produced much lately but I will very soon. I prefer doing my own thing, although remixing can be a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult because you have produce something that other people involved have to like as well. That’s not an issue when you do your own thing.

You’re celebrating your birthday at Studio 80 this weekend. Why specifically in Amsterdam, you grew up in Rotterdam right?
No, I just lived there briefly and was raised in Tilburg, but I currently live in Amsterdam with my wife. It’s no more than a 10 minute walk from my house to Studio 80. Basically, moving to Amsterdam was a no-brainer.

Joris Voorn’s birthday set last Friday @ Studio 80

You’ll be playing during 5 Days Off this week, but it’s not your first time is it?
I think I played there in 2009 as well, also in the Melkweg. I’m looking forward to it ’cause it’s an amazing festival with great music and good artists, taking it just a bit further than your average dance party. It tends to host lots of DJs that are more musically orientated than your average DJ. I’ll be playing with Ellen Allien and DJ Koze if I’m not mistaken… not sure about the others.

Have you shared stages with them before?
I remember DJ Koze played before me at Time Warp in 2009, but most likely I’ve shared stages with most of the artists booked for the night I’m playing.

Joris Voorn @ Melkweg during 5 Days Off 2009

How do you keep yourself motivated to tour places like South America, if you have to move on to play at Studio 80, Source on Ice and the Melkweg a few days after?
You know, the music I’m doing together with many others is actually very universal. I love to play in my own city, I have a residency at Trouw for example, or spending my birthday in Studio 80 which is amazing too. But being able to share your music with people around the world is not so bad either. People around the world love the music we make just as much as they do in Amsterdam.

What’s not so pleasant about the job?
There’s a lot of benefits, but if you play in places like Peru you spend the whole weekend in planes and airports waiting around a lot. Sometimes it’s a shame you don’t get to live the social life they have, but entertaining a lot of other people around the world can be very fulfilling too.

Do you still get nervous?
Not really, just slightly excited.

Focus on finding your own sound, do something else.

Do you still visit live performances as a fan/listener?
Not so much any more, I’ve been to Trouw once or twice during my six week holiday for example. Not specifically for a specific artist though, just to hangout with some friends. I actually tend to stay away from the clubs when I have a night off.

Would you say Trouw is your favoriute hangout in town then?
Yeah, I think it’s definitely the most exciting place in town at the moment. The line-ups are always really good, there’s a lot of things going on and musically there’s a lot of challenging artists being booked. Both for local and international talent it probably is the best platform in our scene.

Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring electronic producers who crave to achieve your DJ-lifestyle and career?
Focus on finding your own sound, don’t stick to the programmed stuff that’s available on Ableton and such. Just try to be original and don’t do what all the other guys are doing. Do something else, do your own thing.

Photo by Ruter Houweling during Source on Ice last weekend

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