DJ/Producer Darude is best known for the international smash hit "Sandstorm" which sold over two million units worldwide. He recently launched a new label EnMass Music with producer/DJ Randy Boyer.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Why do you go to ADE?
Darude: I go to ADE to see what's up this year, to attend some of the events, listen to and meet some DJs, to see some of the panels, to chance-meet old and new contacts and to see people who I've collaborated with or done business with before or talking with currently.
RS: What are your goals?
Darude: I'm about to release a DJ mix compilation, so I'm going to meet with some labels to offer them the album for licensing. I'm also looking to find co-writers and singers and producers who would remix my music and whose music I would remix.
RS: How aggressively do you set up meetings? Are they for every 15 or 30 minutes?
Darude: They're scheduled as aggressively as needed, but there'll be gaps, too, or I'll leave some time open so I can just putz around and bump into people.
RS: How selective are you with meetings? Will you accept a meeting request from anyone who contacts you?
Darude: I'll accept anyone that seems relevant for me somehow including my music; writing, production, remixing, licensing and bookings, my label EnMass Music, or other kind of possible business or promotion partnership.
RS: What meetings do you personally go after?
Darude: This time we have something concrete to bring with us; my DJ compilation. I'm mainly looking to quickly demo it and talk about it, explain it as there's a theme of sorts to it and to interested labels and talk about possible territory licensing.
RS: Are you looking to license tracks and original music? If so, how do you play the music for potential licensees?
Darude: I'll come armed with everything needed. I'll have the music on my iPhone, on my laptop, on CDs and USB sticks.
RS: At ADE, is there pressure to sign your projects immediately? Or do most of labels present offers after ADE?
Darude: I don't think there's pressure for immediate signing, I'd say usually contacts are made and things initiated at ADE and business really talked about afterwards via email or phone.
RS: Have you DJ'ed and performed during ADE before? Did it lead to additional bookings and projects?
Darude: I haven't, I've just attended the conference and taken part in the panels, both as panelist and regular attendee. Contacts I've made at ADE have led to additional projects, though.
RS: What effect do you think ADE has had with the current Dutch dance music movement with producers such as Afrojack, Chuckie and Fedde, etc.?
Darude: I don't know, probably de boys know better demselves! ;) As ADE has pretty long already been the more business-minded dance music convention, and now also has for some years had a huge festival and club line-up attached to it. I assume that it definitely has had a good effect on the already world-ruling Dutchies! ;)
RS: Aside from Romania and Netherlands, what countries do you think are developing a dance music scene and sound that is ready for a global movement or success in the US?
Darude: THE FINNS, of course! :) Seriously though, Super8 & Tab, K-System, Joonas Hahmo, Heikki L, Orkidea, Alex Kunnari, Weirdness, Marcus Maison & Will Dragen, to name many of the Finnish producers who have had hot international releases played by the biggest DJs in the last few years. To be fair, the Swedes lead by the Swedish House Mafia with Eric Prydz, Avicii, Mike Shiver, Matias Lehtola and many more are doing pretty darn well, too.
RS: What advice do you have for people attending ADE for the first time?
Darude: Plan a good bunch of meetings ahead of time, but leave some mingle time as well. It's a business convention, but a lot of cool people also can be met by walking around, or hanging by the bar for a minute here and there. Also, plan on going to some specific events, but maybe leave a night or two off and decide where you'll go based on who you meet that day. Also, have a billion business cards with you, and sampler CDs/USBs, or at least demo/promo links written down on your comtact info sheet you'll hand out to people who are interested, or maybe if they're not. (laughs)
RS: When you see US people attending ADE, does that change your perspective of them? In particular, does it change your perspective about the more serious in their craft or business?
Darude: I don't know, not really. I don't think like that. Obviously there are maybe a few more Americans at WMC, but I've seen several US labels' reps at ADE for several years already.
RS: What do you think is the perception of American/US dance music at ADE?
Darude: I guess some people think, or know, that EDM is maybe not as mainstream still is in US. But at the same time there's a great market for dance music, both sales wise and touring wise. So, especially with the globalness of everything these days with the internet, I think artists and labels are eager to break into the US market.