Bassjackers, also known as Marlon Flohr & Ralph van Hilst, have been best friends since high school. At that age, Marlon realized he could not DJ on his own and recognised Ralph’s ability to produce techno beats. From there, the two friends decided to join up together and create what they are now known as – Bassjackers.
This duo is unlike any other in the electronic music scene. After teaming up with Marlon, Ralph discovered that he was more of a producer. He chose to stay behind the scenes while Marlon tours the globe, representing both of their work on stage with high energy and passion for entertaining the fans!
Bassjackers have reached massive heights in their career with numerous chart-topping bangers and hit collaborations with the likes of Martin Garrix, Afrojack, KSHMR, Dyro, R3hab, and Showtek, to name a few, as well as remixes for A-list artists including Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, Moby, and Ne-Yo. At the top of their game, Bassjackers continue to tear up stages worldwide and wow crowds along the way.
Which artist was the most fun to collaborate with on your tracks in the past?
If I’m gonna name one, I’m going to hurt so many people, but recently we have worked with Breathe Carolina for Spinnin’ Records. One of our other favorites recently is KSHMR. He is a genius! He took over the whole EDM scene, I think he is the best producer and live DJ.
“Destiny” dropped back in September last year. What can you tell us about it?
It is not our first EP, but it is a different genre; something unexpected for our regular fans, not a single 120 track. We did a collaboration with a huge video game and it inspired the track, which is called “Destiny”. I’m really happy that our fan base is accepting our new approach. You can’t release all the same stuff as a DJ these days, it is important to bring something new to the table.
How much time do you spend in the studio working on a track?
This is more Ralph’s field, he never gives up and can spend hours or weeks in the studio working relentlessly on new tracks. We always come together and review his production. I tweak and add my own opinions because I am at the events experiencing the sounds of other artists and watching the crowd’s reactions.
What differentiates you as a duo from the other duos in EDM right now?
Well, we have separated tasks while most duos work together and tour together. Ralph loves producing and being in the studio while I tour and do shows. Of course, we will still butt heads, have some serious discussions and fight like brothers, but we both have to agree at some point and move on to continue our career and love for the music.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I get my inspiration from the shows. I listen to the audience and the environment, watching the growth of EDM and bring it back to Ralph to hear to and understand. We speak different languages with music. Ralph will present a track to me and I will review it, tweak it and send it back to the drawing table if it needs improvement.
DJ Mag has ranked Bassjackers as #39 out of the Top 100 DJ’s in 2015. How do you feel about the rankings for 2016?
We had a lot of responses on social media. For us, it’s not about making it on those lists, but it’s nice to have that recognition and see that our fans are getting involved and wanting to help us out. I have a good feeling about this year’s voting!
Do you ever miss the Netherlands, your homeland?
Ralph is home continuously producing, while I am touring. It’s hard for me to be away from home. We started in the Netherlands during the first 3-4 years of getting into the EDM scene, and we played roughly 5-10 shows a week only in the Netherlands. Of course, our fan base has grown and always shifts, but every time we play at home it feels like a little reunion. We now play 4-5 shows in the Netherlands a year, but it’s always fun and reminds us of the days when we first started.
How do you keep your energy up while traveling constantly?
I work out a lot, simple hotel workouts. Once I get off the plane and to the hotel, I try to do a 45-minute workout so I don’t fall asleep and can be productive. I like to party sometimes, but it’s crucial to take care of your body. With 200 shows and about 150 flights a year, it definitely takes a toll on your body – it’s not healthy. So I try to take care of it with a little exercise and a healthy diet.