[Q&A] Netsky: Vocals bring life to the electronic sounds

During the first two days of July, Sofia will experience the first edition of HippieLandia summer festival. Throughout the event, the stage, situated in the park next to airport Sofia, will host a number of prominent drum and bass and techno artists. Fans of both genres will enjoy the works of Gorgon City, Black Sun Empire, Gus Gus, Enei and many other names from both around the globe and Bulgaria. Among the main headliners is Belgian Netsky who will be the main DnB artist for the first night of the festival. Thanks to the organizers from EventEase, we were given the opportunity to talk to the artist.

We decided to break some stereotypes with our questions. Although the interview is part of our HippieLandia festival coverage, we haven't mentioned the festival in the questions. We also didn't include anything concerning his new album either. We are sure that Boris has already answered hundreds of questions for '3' (the name of his third studio album) so we decided not to bug him with more of those. Instead, we thought it'd be better if we channeled our questions towards the never-ending topic regarding the underground roots of drum and bass and it's mainstream success over the years, so we asked the Belgian what commerce is and whether it is bad in any way for the music.

Honestly, we didn't expect him to answer our unusual questions. Yet, the Antwerp-born artist managed to surprise us, showing great professionalism by giving answers to everything in a proper way. Our short talk gives an insight on a couple of interesting viewpoints presented by Netsky which deserve our respect. Have a glance at the interview bellow:



Hello, Boris! You're a Drum n Bass performer. This is a musical genre with deep underground roots, but you're more of a ‘mainstream’ performer (no offence). How much would you say that the mainstream sound is needed in the electronic scene? In your opinion, should a genre have a well-developed mainstream appeal in order to be successful? What does the mainstream sound have, that the underground doesn't?

Hello! Well normally Drum and Bass music is labeled as 'Underground', but I have always liked sticky melodies and especially with the right sound and the right vocals, it can become more ‘mainstream’- people play it on the radio, show in on TV and it kind of opens a whole new world for my production. Half of the tracks in my new album can be labeled as drum and bass, the rest of them are in a completely different directions and genres, they are not drum and bass at all. It is kind of restrictive for me to only work with one temple. Personally, I have never searched and I’ve never tried to become mainstream, it just kind of happened along the way.

Using the clichés ‘underground’ and ‘mainstream’, how big would you say your comfort zone is as a producer? Hypothetically, how far would you go in order to produce a piece (track, release, album)? And which artist, in any musical genre outside of your comfort zone, would you most like to collaborate with?

As a producer I grew out of that ‘underground’ sound, some people define my new work as ‘pop’, but pop is definitely not the right word, I don’t want to label it, I think it’s more melodic and more energetic. The one thing I try as a producer is to make every song completely different from anything that is already out there. I have always admired the vocalist from Fat Freddy’s Drop, for me he has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard in my life and I’ll be honored to work with him one day.

You're from Belgium and the number 1 act for 2015 in the top 100 DJs by DJ Mag are also Belgian - Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. In your opinion, how much do polls like these accurately display the person's ability behind the decks and the talent that the artists possess?

The pulls only show what people like, not the abilities of a certain DJ behind the desk. They can only make the music more popular and I don’t think they are able to hurt the electronic scene development.

What kind of people would you say like to listen to your music? If one could imagine a typical Netsky fan, what would he look like? And what would you want your average fan to look like?

I don’t really think that a certain ‘type’ of fan exists. I’ve met a lot of people, I’ve been to many different places and I can say for sure that there is no such thing like an average fan, especially labeling the way he looks like.

You're one of the many New era Drum n bass performers with an own Live project. How much would you say that the raw power of DnB performances is reinforced by the Live acts? What other artists are featured in your Live performance? And what artists are best suited to perform live with a DnB DJ?

Luckily, my music suits best be played live and I am a big fan of all kinds of instruments, so that helped a lot in the process. The set on our stage is a drummer on the left, a keyboard on the right, I’m standing in the middle and we usually have guest vocalist or a MC, so it’s really energetic and excites the crowd in front of the stage. The visual reference between us is also very important during a show, but most of the times it comes naturally and it’s not like a jam, it’s still electronic music, so you cannot improvise that much. For me the vocals are very important, because they bring life to the electronic sounds and when it is all live it is much more impressive. It was just a matter of fact for me to find the right musicians and I did it.

Your success has been helped a huge amount by several YouTube channels and platforms that promote Bass music. How much would you say that the success of an artists depends on his popularity in the social networks and the well-known promoting platforms nowadays?

I think that all kinds of creative industries are driven well by such channels and platforms, not only the drum and bass music industry. For sure for a new artist, no matter what he is doing, these kinds of promotions are very important, as in this way people could discover him, listen to his music and go to his live performances. So, yes I think a big part of the success of an artist depends on the popularity he has in the online environment, but it is definitely not the only thing that is sufficient for success.


Тръпнем в очакване да чуем Netsky на живо с неговия DJ Set по време на HippieLandia. Повече информация за фестивала можете да намерите в нашето пълно отразяване:

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