San Holo and DROELOE interview each other in celebration of their new collab
Lines Of The Broken, which features vocals by CUT_, is out now on bitbird.
The Netherlands have always had a stronghold when it comes to electronic music, regardless of sub-genre. Whether it's names including Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell and Martin Garrix as EDM main-stage headliners or Noisia and Black Sun Empire as drum-and-bass heavyweights, the Dutch are well and truly onto it when it comes to the world of dance music, and with the plethora of emerging, Dutch up-and-comers catching our eye every day, their dominance in the dance music scene is only set to continue. San Holo and DROELOE were both one of these up-and-comers once upon a time, the former riding the early trap/future-bass wave back in 2014 and the latter more recently emerging with similar, yet slightly heavier sound.
After touring the US together earlier this year, the two Dutch artists have now united in song form, teaming up with fellow Dutch vocalist CUT_ for a stirring new single Lines of the Broken. Out through bitbird - San's own label which has housed releases by the two respective parties previously, as well as singles by WRLD and others - Lines of the Broken is unexpectedly quite placid, opening with a chiming melody which is quickly joined by the calm and collected vocals of CUT_. Mind you, the track does eventually end up hitting banger-mode, with a championing, playful breakdown which kicks off almost a minute into the single. With the vocal prowess of CUT_ well and truly taking the limelight for much of the single, Lines of the Broken is more of a pop-leaning turn for both the producers, playing with more of an accessible, radio-friendly sound that's sure to impress many - including us.
In celebration of the collaboration, we managed to get the two respective parties to interview each other, creating quite an interesting chat about San's bitbird label, touring, and the culture shock that comes with touring internationally from the perspective of two of the biggest figureheads in the game.
DROELOE: San, what first drew you to our music and made you want to pick us up for bitbird? It’s been over a year since our first bitbird release Make My Day, how do you think we’ve matured musically?
San Holo: For bitbird we're always looking for something we haven’t quite heard before. When I first heard you guys’ music on Soundcloud, I was blown away. Literally never heard this kind of sound design before, it really inspired me and I’m sure it’s inspiring many people right now. Also, the entire aesthetic was on point - I was shocked you guys only had like a couple of hundred plays. Bottom line, I knew you guys were very talented the first minute I came across you guys AND you were Dutch! A couple of weeks after meeting for the first time in real life we released zZz on bitbird and man, that track went so hard. Still today I think that’s one of my all time favorites, what a timeless track… It’s exciting to see you guys grow as artists and experience this weird twisted music industry thing together. This is only the beginning :)
D: What should we expect to see from bitbird in the coming year?
S: Our label bitbird started about 2.5 years ago when me and my friend Thorwald decided to create a little platform to help promote music we thought was ahead of our time. We’ve been curating all the music on bitbird ever since and before we knew it we were running a record label. It’s really exciting to see how people are reacting to our releases now… They're expecting us to release something new, something fresh and innovative, which is great. Our goal from the start was to release music of any genre, as long as it felt right. We’re now at the point where we can involve more people in our company, so we’re definitely expanding our team this year. We have some amazing music coming up and I’m really excited for people to hear it! Also, we’ve spent a lot of time on getting top quality bitbird merchandise which is gonna for sale soon.
D: Talk about the plans for the upcoming bitbird Gouldian Finch Vol. 2 compilation? What should we expect to see and hear from that?
S: We’re planning on dropping another GF compilation by the end of the year. I am currently still actively looking for music - definitely looking for forward-thinking music, as always.
D: What’s the balance like running your own label and still running a very active artist project?
S: It’s definitely busy times, at the moment even too much for me to handle, which is why we’re expanding the team! I caught myself trying to do 10 things at the same time, like scheduling the next bitbird releases whileIi was in the middle of San Holo writing sessions. When I do too many things at the same time I get sloppy, which is why we now have a label manager onboard making my life a bit easier. I mainly wanna focus on the creative part of it, like working with the artists and helping them wherever they need it. This could be from fine-tuning arrangements to mixing and mastering or finding the right singer for the record, etc. The paperwork and scheduling around [running a label] is not for me.
D: Lastly, if there was any advice you could give to yourself from when you started out three years ago, what would it be?
S: Keep learning, keep changing, keep evolving. Opinions can be helpful, but your own gut feeling is what got you here in the first place, so go for that.
San Holo: What's the most annoying thing about having to be on tour with me? What's the hardest part of it besides seeing my every day?
DROELOE: Your unbreakable love with vegetarian Pad Thai. We probably ordered the same amount of Pad Thai this tour to feed a decently large village somewhere in Thailand. Every day when we were discussing food it was Pad Thai. Always...
S: What's the funniest hate comment you've gotten so far? Alternatively, what's been the most memorable compliment?
D: The funniest hate comment we had was some guy on Soundcloud commenting ''this is very very bad, you should quit'', that was it. He didn't even try to explain why or what was bad, it was just very very bad. We don't know why, but this just became a meme for us for some reason. The most memorable compliment was someone who sent us a private message on our Facebook page with some very personal stuff he was going through and that our song Bon Voyage really helped him to deal with all the things that were going on. Crazy thing was that one of us was in that same exact situation when we wrote that song, so we felt a really strong connection with him.
S: When I first got to the US I definitely had culture shock from how different things are there than at home. Did you guys also experience this, and if so, with what specifically?
D: We definitely had a culture shock, the US is so different from home. The biggest difference to us is that people in the US are way more "hardcore" so-to-speak, and a lot more open emotionally. Dutch people tend to be a lot more ‘sober’ and keep things to ourselves. We noticed it in so many different ways. The way that random people try to strike up a conversation with you, that almost never happens in the Netherlands. But also the way people are way more "hardcore" about the music they love and the acts they support. It doesn't happen a lot in the Netherlands where you have people who are such a fan of something that they get tattoos with logos. It all seems a bit crazy to us, but it’s also really nice, to be honest.
S: What's your least favourite San Holo song? Be honest!
D: Our least favourite San Holo track is BWU. It’s just a little bit too sweet for our liking. All your songs are pretty sweet and positive by default, but this one just takes the cake, and it just doesn't have the raw San Holo-esque edge your other songs have. Sorry :(
S: What's your favourite part of Lines of the Broken and how that all came together?
D: Our favorite part is the vocals, it was such a headache to get them right. We kept on changing things last minute to get it to a higher level but we're really happy with how they turned out. I remember you sending us the last part where the vocals are going through a vocoder and we just both had goosebumps.
S: Describe a 'broodje kaassoufle pindasaus' to a non-Dutch person.
D: Broodje kaassouffle with pindasaus is the best dish ever. Every situation would be better with a broodje kaassouffle with pindasaus in your mouth. But no, it’s basically a cheese hot-pocket/souffle with peanut sauce on a nice white bun. You might think "lol, Dutch people...'' but trust us, it’s the best!
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Follow DROELOE: FACEBOOK