DJ and producer Alvaro has been making his mark in the EDM scene for over 7 years by now. Alvaro, also known as Jasper Helderman (1987), grew up in the Netherlands. Discovering his passion for DJ’ing while filming on festivals, he quickly went from editing aftermovies to producing tracks. With most of his time spend in the studio, it didn’t take long before his dazzling career took off.
Dedication burns strong as the music flows, so it isn’t surprising Alvaro has a lot of killer productions on his name. Releases as ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings, ‘The Underground’ on Spinnin’ Records and more recent ‘Guest List’ on Tiësto’s label Musical Freedom, all ended up in the top 5 of the Beatport top 100.
His unique style and characteristic sound makes his fan-base grow day by day. But not only the fans love his music, as he has gained both the attention and respect from the music industry. Tiësto, David Guetta, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero, Zedd, Lil Jon and Diplo – you name them. All are eager to play his tracks and support the Alvaro sound.
First, would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
What’s up folks! My name is Alvaro, also known as Jasper Helderman. I was born 28 years ago in a small city named Naarden in the Netherlands. I’ve been a producer / DJ for almost 7 years and released several tracks on different labels like: Spinnin’ Records, Revealed Recordings, Mad Decent, Dim Mak and many others. I’m also travelling all around the globe to share my music with you guys!
How did you get started producing music?
As a little kid I really liked music and to entertain people. I pretend-played to be a DJ and built my own ‘drive-in show’ in the living room with disco lights and a radio. When I got around 18/19 years old I’d spend my time filming festivals and club events. That’s how I got closer to promoters and artists. It gave me the opportunity to build a network in the music/event scene in the Netherlands. As I was shooting those video’s I thought to myself.. I want to DJ and make music! So at home I started to make music with FL Studio and practiced day and night. Back then there weren’t a lot of tutorials or websites around that could teach you how to produce music. So it basically was a lot of trial and error. Next to that I saved up money from filming and bought my first Pioneer DJ set and practiced on my DJ skills. Around that time the whole ‘dutch-house’ music was blowing up worldwide and I made a remix for Chelley – Took The Night (Ministry of Sound). That remix gained support by many of the big names in the scene (like Chuckie, Hardwell etc.). That was a great boost, which leaded to producing a lot more tracks.
Who would you consider your influences and mentors?
Pharrel Williams and Timbaland stand out to me. They influenced me when I grew up. But EDM-wise Afrojack was the one who influenced me as a producer and inspired me to do what I do. He was and still is an innovator to me. I think he was the one who started the “Dutch House Bleeping Sound”. But as a mentor, Tiësto the legend himself was the one who took me under his wings a few years ago and who showed me the business part of being a producer / DJ.
Can you tell us the importance of breaking through in the American EDM scene compared to the European scene?
Playing out in Holland is just terrible, it is so difficult. You live in Holland and everybody is playing your songs, but you are still in Holland. You see all the crowds at festivals like Ultra going wild to your track and then you are like, why am I not playing over there. That is why it is such a key thing to play out in the United States. Everybody wants it and that is a really hard thing. You really need someone to help you and make a lot of good tracks and still than it is hard to setup an entire tour. You really need the right kind of management and right booking agency and people need to believe in you. It is really hard, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
How do you feel about well-known DJs using ghost producers?
Well, some people are good at playing and performing in front of a crowd and some people are very good at producing. If you want to combine both and become successful, who am I to stop you? Choose your own path and do what feels good!
What’s the last thing you discovered about yourself?
That I’m becoming a true sneaker freak! I can’t take my hands and eyes off dope sneaks. I can’t leave a shop without buying any.
Any advice for up and coming djs/producers?
Never give up the producing part! Keep grinding and pushing yourself. Nothing comes overnight! You’ll have to work your ass off making tracks. Try to create your own sounds and don’t be scared to be creative and innovative with it. There’s no model to create hits, just do what feels good to you! Also create a network of other producers/artists and try to inspire each other!
2016 will be a different year for me production-wise. I’ve got a lot of tracks in the making! I’m producing and releasing a few more house tracks and I have been working on several tracks in a new direction for almost 6 months now. Got some cool collaborations coming out soon with upcoming cats in the game as well as with some big guys. Furthermore, I am going to introduce you my label soon.. Make sure you are following me on my socials to be the first hearing them! I can guarantee that you’ll be in for a treat!