Exclusive Interview: Five minutes with Laidback Luke
Dutch DJ and Producer will be gracing the stages at SW4 again this year. Known as having “laid the foundations for the distinctive Dutch house sound that would provide one of the building blocks of the EDM sound and help bridge the gap between dance and pop / urban music,” Laidback Luke has an impressive string of releases to boast. The hugely accomplished producer owes his eclectic style to his early foundations in techno, and his distinctive take on electronic music follows through in the ethos of his own label Mixmash Records. We chatted to him ahead of SW4….
To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
I think the description up here does a really good job at it! It’s very eclectic as I still have the mindset that ‘House Music’ can be everything from Acid House, to Rave to Techno to Trance. With that mindset, I’ll just still play anything I like. But I do love it chunky, energetic, fun and commercial. I deliberately say that, I love underground too, but I do cater to a mainstream audience, not just for a niche.
What are the five albums that have influenced you the most?
‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson, ‘Homework’ by Daft Punk, ‘Supa Dupa Fly’ by Missy Elliott, Experience by the Prodigy and ‘Justified’ by Justin Timberlake.
Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
I’m currently buying a ton of techno as I’m grabbing back to my roots and playing some exclusive super underground sets! I still love anything Mark Broom makes, Gary Beck and Joseph Capriati.
You’re due to play SW4. If you had to choose between never playing live again, or never being able to release music again… Which would you go for, and why?
Never to play live again! Fun fact: I started my career off as a producer 25 years ago. That’s my first love. I’m known for my DJ skills but all of that sprouted from my curiosity as a producer.
What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
I still do it the old fashioned way: with a lot of crate digging! Actually I just did a VLOG about that. About how I prepped for my EDC Las Vegas set. In there I went through requests I got in through my Instagram. I’ve been putting out weekly VLOGs for a while now and they are very helpful for up- and coming producers and DJ’s. Check out my youtube channel that’s simply: ‘Laidback Luke’.
What was the inspiration behind starting your own music label, Mixmash Records? How has the experience measured up to the original ‘vision’?
I’ve always wanted it to be a platform for new talent. And obviously a platform I could release on as well. I’m happy to say we’ve always gone a steady course and a lot of big professional names you know now, came up through Mixmash Records.
What do you feel are the elements an artist needs for you to sign them?
I’m always looking for people that have the full package. Not only the producer skills, but also people skills. If they are humble and in it for the right reasons and if they are able to push themselves to the bars we set so high for them.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
A big project in the pipeline is a new album that me and the team will start working on soon. With team, I mean my crew at Mixmash records. My latest track with Konih called ‘Like This’ is currently out as a free release through my sub label called Ones To Watch records. It’s a certified festival smasher and it’s right there to download off of their Soundcloud.
Famous last words?
‘If you can set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.’