The Sound of Garuda: Mixed By Gareth Emery

Jason Van Wyk Interview

We Chat To Jason Van Wyk about lucky meetings, a little modern new age romantic music and chances of an upcoming album.

You’ve been a very busy man, mr Van Wyk… doing work for Blackhole, First State and a more recently a colab with Pierre Pienaar, how do you manage to stay so creative and productive?

Time management and knowing how to control what I put my energy into.
Over the last few years I’ve been trying to perfect those skills. It really takes a lot to keep this up constantly. 
One of the first tracks I put out I spent over 6 months on. You wouldn’t say so from listening to it, but there’s absolutely no way I could do that now. 
Sometimes deadlines are one or two weeks. Three weeks if you’re lucky!
You need to know how to pace yourself and channel your creativity into what you do.

How did the meeting with Black Hole recordings come about?

The signing with Black Hole happened just out of luck really. In 2009 I met Shane Halcon and Sander van Dien for the first time and Shane just suggested that I send some stuff to Black Hole, as Shane and Sander were planning to start First State Music (a subsidiary of Black Hole) the next year. I sent in two tracks, “Always” & “Once Again” around December 2009, and before Christmas that year I had been signed. My first few releases on Black Hole were on the In Trance We Trust label, then once First State Music started up, I moved over to there and I actually got to be the labels first release, with “Dream On”.

Has trance always been your major passion, or was there ever a time that house or even rock music looked like a better option?

Melodic and deep music in general I’d say has always been my passion. I was brought up on classical and orchestral music as most of my family are musicians, so I suppose that it’s all because of that that I’ve always felt a connection with melodious music. I got into EDM at quite an early age and Trance, because of its melodies and emotional rage (on occasion), hooked me straight away!

I listened to a radio show from the UK recently where you were announced as “Jason Van Wick” Obviously your surname is quite easy to pronounce among the dutch, but not so much in the UK and America, do you find a lot of people struggle with it? 

Haha yes, it’s a constant battle! I’ve kind of given up on it now as it’s been going on since I first started... 
People should just think of it as “van Dyk” with a “W”... “van Vake”, “van Vike” “van Whyk” ... Either of those pronunciations are fine. “van Wick” just sounds a bit harsh I think.

If there was one artist Singer/DJ/Producer/Composer or Band you would love to work with, who would it be?

I’ll keep this answer to living people... Plenty of bands for instance that I would have loved to of worked with but sadly half of them aren’t alive anymore...

Singer – Dido
Producer – Stuart Price
Composer – Hans Zimmer
Band - Coldplay

What’s playing on your IPOD/MP3 Player or Car Radio right now?

I’ve had a lot of Alexandre Desplat’s scores playing lately, I love the mans work! 
I listen to a lot of modern romantic / new age music, I find it a lot more inspiring than EDM in terms of musicality... 
I’m a firm believer that listening to and appreciating all kinds of music will only further your creativity when it comes to your own music.

Are there any DJ’s or Producer’s that you specifically look up to?

Definitely. I’ll stick to the electronic / EDM scene for this answer otherwise you’ll be reading for quite some time...
BT would definitely be one of them, the man is a genius and I’m honoured to be remixing his track “A Million Stars” off These Hopeful Machines.
Imogen Heap is the definition of talent and a true artist. I’d love to be involved with anything to do with her.
Above & Beyond I think are one of the greatest things to ever happen in Trance.
Guys like Andrew Bayer, Matt Lange, Trifonic, Boom Jinx etc. are really pushing the boundaries of electronic music in terms of production, synthesis and sound design. I have so much respect for them!
And then you get guys like Maurice Jarre, who without, electronic music wouldn’t be what it is today.

Where would we find “Jason Van Wyk”, when he isn’t DJ’ing or producing music? Do you have any hidden talents, hobbies or passions?

Nothing out of the ordinary really... Music is my life and takes up most of my time on a daily basis. If I’m not producing or performing I’m usually reading up on new studio equipment, plugins, technology, films, the global music scene etc. I enjoy the normal things in life... Watching movies, eating out, women, seeing friends, talking and spending far too much time on Skype with my fellow colleagues.

Is there a specific track that always seems to find a place in your sets? Something you never leave for a gig without? Something that just works every time?

Actually no... I used to have my gems that I’d always bring out back in the day of playing good old vinyl, but the way and the amount of music that’s released now, there’s so many great tracks out there and every set requires something different and special. I’ll always include my own tracks and remixes though in whatever performance I do.

What can we expect from Jason Van Wyk In the near and distant future?

Well next month I’ll be starting production on my first artist album for release early 2012 on Black Hole / First State Music.
It’s been quite a while in the making now. I’ve had themes and ideas written for it over the past 2 years, so these next 7 months or so are really going to be interesting, and hopefully productive.
It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages but the time to do it has never felt right until now. You’ll be hearing a different side to me and my work, it won’t be a collection of club tracks, nothing of the sort actually. It’s going to be a seamless journey from start to finish going through every style and genre that I love.
Besides that, there’s the BT remix I’m busy with and I’ve recently finished a remix for Susana for her “Closer – The Remixes” album, which should be out pretty soon on Aramda.

And my track with JPL / Joni Ljungqvist, “Elsewhere” has been picked up for In Search Of Sunrise 9, so a single release of that with a remix needs to be planned as well.

A busy year so far, but its going well :)


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