Jacob Van Hage burst onto the scene with his first release in 2010 and since then, it has been a whirlwind experience. Reigning from the same town as Ferry Corsten helped, and the musical genius spotted Jacob’s talent, and in that, he became associated with the Flashover Recordings label. Since then, Jacob Van Hage has churned out a number of huge tracks, as well as performing all over the world and there doesn’t look like much will stop him doing the same in the next few years.
You started DJing at the tender age of 12, how did all that happen?
Actually a funny story. I was already playing the piano and organ (no shit) but no DJ equipment ever crossed my hands. So as I was ice-scating in my neighbourhood one day I saw this
guy on the ice with all this DJ stuff. After 10 minutes I was behind it, playing with it and that same night the guy says “you take it home with you and practise, it looks like you will learn it yourself in a few days.” And from that moment on I played for so many hours in private and the first gig at my school in front of 1000 kids followed quickly.
Your musical style has you seen everything from hardcore to techno to house. What part of dance music is your heart really at home at though?
I’m really in love with house music and I will never let it go, but I have to admit, when I hear a good produced Hardstyle track by either Headhunterz or Noisecontrollers it gets my blood pumpin’ and I feel like raving till the break of dawn!
What’s the best feeling about being a DJ?
Reading messages from people before the show like “We can’t wait” or “drop Panic” stuff like that. And than meeting with these people at the party and get into the moment together. Just 1 smile, 1 eye contact or heart in the air does it for me. It’s all about the connection with the music at that moment.
How would you describe your sound to a fan who has never heard your music before?
In this case they must not yet be a fan of my instagram account otherwise they should’ve heard my music somewhere ? but I would describe it in the following way; In my sets and my tracks you can find bits and pieces of so much different styles and also feelings from the past. I’m trying to think a little outside the box and also trying to keep things fresh.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
I was so fucking scared to do my own voiceover! Normally, when I pick up the mic and I hear my voice through the speakers I don’t mind; I’ve been doing it for 20 years. But I did my first take and I was so BAD, I sounded like a robot! (laughs). ‘Hello. My name is Jacob.’ You could tell I was reading from a script. So then I tried it without one but I kept forgetting what I wanted to say and that was also pretty bad. Finally, I had my friends give me advice and they told me to do both at the same time – sound more natural, but stick to the script – and that really helped build my confidence for the first show. The other challenge was trying to find the right way to compress my voice so that it sounded the right way no matter how people chose to listen.
What’s your goal for Rave the World? What do you think can come from this?
The goal is to build the ‘Rave the World’ brand and take it globally. Instead of it just being a Jacob Van Hage Presents: Rave the World podcast, when I play a show in each city it can be ‘Jacob Raves New York,’ or something like that. Right now it’s monthly, but as it gains momentum I’ll make it bi-monthly and then before the end of the year it’ll be once a week. It all depends on how quickly I can prepare each episode. This is all unchartered territory for me, so it took a lot of time to prepare and make sure every detail was perfect. And I’m stubborn, so I want to do everything myself. I don’t want to think that I’m too busy to hand it off to someone else to mix for me like some other people do.
What would be really cool is to make this a live show, like on UStream or something. That’s what I really want to do, mix live for an hour with my friends, wherever I happen to that week: at my house, in the studio, whatever! Radio is supposed to be live! That’s how it should always be.
What are your thoughts on the lap top DJ in today’s nightclub world?
Mmmm, that’s a good one. I think the music is evolving so will the technique. I’m wondering if it really matter if someone is played at UMF with vinyl, cdj’s, a laptop or even with a beatboxer for the beats. I mean, you gotta use whatever you need to give the crowd the best night of their lives. So if it’s with a laptop, do it ! Wanna stay with the cd/usb stuff, good for you.
With regards to experiences, there must be something that really stands out for you where you think back to and go wow, or “that changed everything”?
Oh there are plenty of things that swept me off my feet in a positive way in the last years. My début in Colosseum Club in Jakarta, fantastic experience, my first time Tomorrowland was amazing as well, and off course my USA début was mind-blowing. In terms of music, I’m still very very proud of the remix I did for Metric’s “Artificial Nocturne”.
Festivals are also a big part of the dance music scene now. For you, do you prefer the club or the festival stage when it comes to performing?
That’s a hard question because I love both! So both have there own highlights but in that case I think I prefer the club. This way I’m closer to the audience and the atmosphere is more intimate.
We like to ask two questions at the end of our interviews. Are there any talents or artists out there that you reckon we keep an eye out for or you would like to collaborate with?
A few years back I got the same question and back then I answered Dyro & Oliver Heldens which I both did a collab with. Now I would say Hasse De Moor and it’s not even the music I play but I love the craziness in his productions and the “thinking out of the box” stuff!
And finally, what would be the one piece of advice you would give to a new and upcoming talent looking to break onto the scene?
Be and stay ORIGINAL with capital letters! Create music, use anything for inspiration (even sample packs) but make it your own!