About the author
Following up to Quinten 909’s mixtape, we had a chat with him about his career, inspirations and future plans.
Good to have you and thanks for taking the time. First things first, how have the festivities around King’s Day been?
“Oh, it was okay. I’m not a big fan of King’s Day to be honest. It tends to bring out the worst and dumbest in people for some reason. But of course there are some good parties around if you know your way. I played a very cool gig during King’s Night myself, b2b with my buddy Donagrandi at Binnenplaats. These guys run an amazing semi-illegal underground party, I really liked it!”
Sounds good anyway! So your releases and performances have been strong and solid amongst the last five years, all with a clear and distinct nu-disco sound. Where does this love for disco come from?
“Thanks! Well, I like all kinds of grooves. Disco, funk, deep, bit of g-funk. Music is meant to make you feel something and move your feet at the same time. Nu-disco and related genres just do that for me like no other genre can. I always liked what guys like Miguel Campbell and Matt Hughes were bringing to the spectrum, a minimal style of disco and funk with amazing hooks. A few years later guys like Kolombo, Doctor Dru and Sharam Jey were bringing in some hip-hop and loved that too. But, as with every electronic music lover, it all started with Daft Punk.”
My favorite tracks must be Discodreams and Get Low, those represent my sound best: nu-disco with a gangsta lean.
How did you consequently come up with the Quinten 909 alter ego?
“I tried to come up with something, since I didn’t want to use my own name for my music. I read a lot of books in that time and decided to go for the name of one of the main characters from ‘The Discovery of Heaven’. Best book ever written, everyone should read it. The 909 comes from the drum machine of course. Not that I use it a lot, but more because of the electronic revolution it evoked.”
Your presence in Amsterdam nightlife is steady, we see you hold residencies at all the popular club nights and we can’t find any signs of a decreasing popularity. How do you cope with the fact that you’re booked for mainstream as well as deeper events?
“When I play my goal is not to brag about my musical knowledge or to educate a crowd. Whether it’s a deeper event or something more mainstream, I just want everyone to have a good time. My music and the music I like to play are very accessible. People just don’t know about it yet.”
Sounds fair, what can we see from you this summer?
“It’s looking good so far! I’ll be playing at Amsterdam Open Air for the third time in a row, got some other festival bookings and a few gigs abroad lined up. Now all we need is good weather!”
How about your international gigs, compared to playing in The Netherlands?
“People abroad seem to be more outgoing. They want to discover new music and aren’t afraid to look like a fool on the dance floor. Here, people are a bit more reserved. Maybe we’re spoiled with all the great DJs and big festivals.”
Good point, I guess we tend to forget that over here. What about your life as a promoter, how is life treating you as a promoter these days?
“It’s really refreshing to look at the scene from a different angle. Together with Aintsane I’m doing BLOCKPARTY. We moved from Club Up to Chicago Social Club a year ago and pack the club every time. Our blend of nu-disco and deep house brings a different flavor to the electronic spectrum. I book artists that I like, so as long as people enjoy it to we’ll keep doing this. I’ve had a lot of my favorites over already; Purple Disco Machine, Miguel Campbell and this Saturday Matt Hughes, another one of my long-time heroes. As for the studio, working with a big singer or rapper would be the ultimate recognition for me.”
Your discography is impressive, to say the least. Every release has that clear touch to it. When you first released the nu-disco sound wasn’t that big here. How has it developed during the last five years?
“You’re right, when I started out there was just a handful of people enjoying and making this sound. People told me I had to produce different music if I wanted to be successful. But I never cared about success; I just wanted to make the music I love. The last couple of years the disco flavor has returned to the dance floor, I guess people were getting bored of that monotone minimal and techno beat. The revival of the UK-influenced and deep house sound has done a lot of good for the musical spectrum in Holland as well. We’re in a happy place right now!”
Cool! Your remake of Dusty Springfields’ Spooky will get an official release later this month. How did that happen?
“Yeah it’s really a big thing for me! I jammed that out one afternoon three years ago and it has been the biggest hitter on my Soundcloud ever since. When Ministry Of Sound played it in their annual Halloween podcast I decided to take a leap of faith and got in touch with Universal Music, who own the rights for Dusty Springfield. I was a bit afraid they’d tell me to take it down, but they loved it and gave me the rights to release it!”
I like to be there at least an hour early to feel the energy of the room and think of what I’m gonna play. Two minutes before my set I pull out my Daft Punk Homework vinyl, kiss it and pray to the gods of house music I play a good set.
Let’s get it into the top ten then! Can you give us a head start of some projects that we can expect from you the coming year? We heard something about a big ADE showcase?
“I’ve teamed up with LouLou Records to do a BLOCKPARTY special. It’s still in the works, but I promise all the big boys from the label will be there. I’m going to Barcelona next month to play a showcase with them as well. Really happy to be in the loop with these guys!”
Which artist should we keep an eye on this year?
“If you haven’t yet, start checking out Purple Disco Machine. This guy brings something very fresh to the nu-disco spectrum. Also keep an eye on FREY, he’s going places in the next year!”
We look forward to see you play at BLOCKPARTY tonight!
“Me too, I’ll see you in the DJ booth. Bring some sick grooves!”
I’ll definitely do that!
BLOCKPARTY invites Matt Hughes
When: Saturday May 9, 23:00-05:00
Where: Chicago Social Club, Leidseplein 12
More info: Facebook event
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