“All my energy goes into it, but it doesn’t feel like work to me, because my drive comes from a passion, not a hunger for success. You can work really hard when most of the stress that you feel is positive stress.”
His label claims he is the fastest growing name in trance land right now and his relentless energy has brought a new spark to the scene, they say. The man known for his relentless energy and clear dedication to trance music better known to fans as Dash Berlin crossed the South African radar last year, performing in Cape Town at Trinity as well as at H2O as part of the Godskitchen Tour, indulging local trance fans with his signature ‘Dash Berlin Sound.’
Hot on the heels of his second album, #musicislife, released in April, comes the release of his annual compilation series, United Destinations 2012, a collection of top trance tracks including Alex M.O.R.P.H., Emma Hewitt and Andy Moor, as well as our very own Protoculture and of course Berlin himself.
Dash also filmed the music video for his track with Sarah Howells titled Go It Alone in South Africa and has recently returned from Mexico where he filmed two music videos, one for his track with Chris Madin, Silence In Your Heart and another for his track with Emma Hewitt, Like Spinning Plates.
Aside from the international jet setting and filming, Dash is definitely not one to leave his fans wanting. He talks to us about being discovered by Armin [Van Buuren], his avant-garde ‘Aropa’ imprint and the importance of being open-minded.
You were raised around a jazz musician (drummer) father, naturally your first musical encounters would have been jazz oriented. What did the essence of this genre teach you about musicality?
The most important thing that I learnt is that it’s all about rhythm, in music and in life. A regular heartbeat will calm you down. For example, try counting your breathing and watch what happens.
Your signature ‘Dash Berlin Sound’ has fast gained you fans the world over. What spaces or places do you zone into mentally in order to find inspiration for this emotive music you create?
Most of the inspiration comes directly from the dance floor, I am in the middle of the music every weekend. I always try to bring that energy into the studio. Also, being able to discuss certain ideas with my friends really helps make things better, collaborations with other artists can be really inspiring too.
Being discovered by Armin is any Progressive Trance producer’s dream. Not only that, but your track Till The Sky Falls Down debuted on his ‘Universal Religion’ album. What did it take for Armin to notice you and how did you end up getting to work with him?
Armin is a great guy and he has been really influential to me, things really started rolling when he discovered Till The Sky Falls Down. We’ve never actually worked together on music yet, but I’m signed to his Armada label and I did a remix for his track with Sophie Ellis Bextor, called Not Giving Up On Love, which did really well globally. I’m also a regular guest at his ‘A State of Trance’ parties which is always fantastic to be a part of, because this man doesn’t do things by half measures.
How did the warm reception from trance fans for your debut album The New Daylight affect your outlook on the impact you were making on EDM, and what about your music do you believe speaks to your fans?
It comes from the heart. This is the music that moves me as a human being. I believe that is what people relate to, it’s the soundtrack to their lives. Many people have fallen in love while listening or lost somebody close to them, with the music pulling them through it. This is the power of it and what attracts people to it from all over the world. It’s not about me, it’s about that personal relationship that people have with the music.
Since the launch of your inspired label ‘Aropa’ in 2009, from your perspective, how has your very own avant-garde electronic label grown in the space of nearly three years, conceptually compared to when you first launched it?
The concept is still the same, because it is still going strong. It’s basically a platform for my own music and the music of other talented artists. I’m taking good care of my label. People can always expect high quality releases whenever they see the Aropa brand on the cover. It’s also nice to have your own foundation to build on.
As we all know, EDM has had a revival over the last few years. What do you make of it and what do you think the recent Global Trance Revival could possibly grow into?
Trance will soon become the biggest global genre. Like with classical music, the human brain will always respond positively to beautiful harmonies. I see that all over the world. People love the euphoric feeling that a beautiful melody can evoke. People are ready for Trance.
Your climb to world fame and success has been a few years shorter than many DJ/producers, who go at it for often ten years plus, with little to no recognition. What do you think sets you apart to the extent that you made it this far in the space of six years?
Maybe the fact that I never aimed for any success to begin with. I found something in life that I enjoyed doing with all my heart. All my energy goes into it, but it doesn’t feel like work to me, because my drive comes from a passion, not a hunger for success. You can work really hard when most of the stress that you feel is positive stress.
A few hours ago you posted a picture of yourself on your fan page, at a gig, fly-jumping onto the stage. This portrayal of frivolity and playfulness is so awesome to see. At what point during a gig do you find yourself loosen up to this degree?
It’s not a conscious decision and it happens a lot, I get so much energy from a crowd that my body is always searching for ways to release it, you will never see me standing still. The more a crowd is into it, the crazier it gets with me. I can’t help it.
Your deck spinning translates into music that speaks a ‘Universal dance floor’ language. To what do you believe you owe this global musical thinking to?
Becoming open-minded comes from personal experience and meeting all kinds of people. When you are lucky enough to be traveling the world as a DJ, you’ll soon discover that human emotions and the way people respond to music is a universal phenomenon. I believe in focusing on the fundamental things that unite us, instead of focusing on the superficial differences that divide us. Life is short, let’s celebrate it with music!
Dash Berlin’s brand new compilation, United Destination 2012 is out now and available at outlets in South Africa.
Source: BPM Magazine