Firebeatz, the dynamic Dutch duo of Tim Smulders and Jurre van Doeselaar, have become a true international sensation. Playing mostly self-produced records, the duo has delivered countless mainstage anthems, including collabs with Calvin Harris, Tiësto and Martin Garrix. On the remix front, they’ve delivered altered sides for a star-studded list that includes Rihanna, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Snoop Dogg, James Blunt, and Sean Paul.
You’re a Dutch DJ duo living in The Netherlands, living in a world of dance music from a young age on. Tell me about your early influences and who inspired you to become producers/DJs.
About ten years ago, we studied at the School of Arts’ Rock Academy in Tilburg, the Netherlands. Our instructor assigned us a project: create a track together. So we made a track together and it turned out to be a success, the track even got released! We were like, ‘Well, we should do something with this!’, and that’s how Firebeatz started.
We used to listen a lot to Daft Punk, Prodigy and later we got into the Sneakerz era with releasing artists such as Gregor Salto, Fedde Le Grand, HouseQuake, Erick E and Funkerman. They inspired us to create and play music ourselves. We also learned a lot by collaborating with artists such as Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Sander van Doorn, Martin Garrix and Chocolate Puma as they all have their own take on (making) music which inspired us as well.
Can you remember your first dance event?
Tim: My First dance event was probably a new years eve party somewhere in Rotterdam, people like Sidney Samson and Gregor Salto were playing and I absolutely loved the sounds, which made me decide to make dance music.
2017 was a MONSTEROUS year, Keep Your Head Up was huge, and of course, Till The Sun Comes Up was heavily played in the trance scene; what’s next for 2018; is there an album looming or are you sticking with putting out smashing singles?
Haha! Thanks, it was a monstrous year. And we hope for 2018 to even get crazier! We have a lot of new music coming up. Such as our new track Everything, and many more tracks to come. You will hear more about our new stuff in the upcoming months, maybe even an album, who knows ;).
Your newest release Everything, talk to me about your collaboration with Peppermint and Aidan; how did the creative process come about in this formation?
We met Peppermint at an airport in the USA, this dude was having trouble getting peppermints out of a vending machine so we decided to help him out. We started talking and we found out he made amazing music that’s out of this world!!
After that, we stayed in touch and made the track Everything.
You are a DJ duo, tell me the pros and cons of working with each other, some real insight into the process and sharing the journey and workload with a partner?
We have always worked hard to pursue our dreams, and it has worked out well for most of the time. It can get challenging when you work with parties that have a different take on the future, but we have known each other for so long now, we always have each other’s back and make sure we stay positive all the way through. I guess that’s the power of Firebeatz!
Talk to me about playing at Ultra Miami last year; it’s a heck of a city; and now you’re having Firebeatz and Friends upcoming; what the experience of playing for that city and crowd?
Yes, it’s really a heck of a city. That’s what makes it so cool to play there every year. The whole dance industry is there and there are thousands of people traveling to Miami to party. The energy is insane! Also a lot of our Dutch DJ scene and friends are there, which makes the party complete. The event Firebeatz & Friends has grown into some sort of kick-off of the Music Week in the last couple of years. Everyone stops by and takes a turn behind the decks.
Now, I know you are both Dutch, so could you tell me the sensation you experience when playing for the hometown crowds during The Flying Dutch three-part concert series?
It is always very special to play in front of a Dutch audience, it feels like home-coming. We started here someday and now we’ve gotten big and then to return here and play the Dutch events, it really feels amazing.
What is something unique that people may not know about you two, could be a pre-performance ritual, or quirky habits.
Tim: A quick pre-performance toilet run for a pee always occurs before every show.. haha
Last question, who is an upcoming producer who intrigues you because of their talent and/or sound?
We have a few up-and-coming producers on our label IGNITE RECORDINGS and their names are SCHELLA & PEXEM. They are just bringing in bangers after bangers so deff watch out for these boys!