Thom Jongkind and Idir Makhlaf, better known as producer/deejay duo Blasterjaxx in the music industry, are anything but the same. While one is often prominent and empowering, the other prefers staying quietly in the background – a fairly high contrast in character. However, there is one significant reason for the phenomenal connection between these two personalities: their passion and love of music. Blasterjaxx experienced one of the highlights in their relatively young career in early 2013, as they produced their newest production Loud & Proud together with Billy The Kit. None other than Tiësto approached the guys personally to sign the track at his own record label Musical Freedom. Many successes and milestones followed which resulted in the fact that Blasterjaxx are now seen as one of the most promising EDM artists in the world. Something Thom & Idir are very down-to-earth with, but the facts don’t lie. For example Tiësto asked them in person to remix his worldwide hitsingels ‘Adagio For Strings’ & ‘Love Comes Again’.
What is the best part about being a producer?
You can let go your creativity to create something which you feel is cool, its limitless!
How did it all start for you?
We both started producing like 12 years ago. Thom started with Magix Music Maker and learned a lot about sampling and rhythms. Idir had piano lessons for some years and played in a band while he was in high school. They both started working with FL studio because of the endless possibilities with the software. Back then it was one of the easiest DAW’s to start with. Still after all those years we learn every day and try to keep up to date by watching loads of tutorials.
What would you be doing now if it wasn’t for music?
Hmmmm hard to say, Idir would probably be a car mechanic and Thom would be working as an communication manager (or back as high school teacher).
Is talent, hard work, or the connections you make the most important factor for being successful?
Talent is something that should already be inside of you, some people have more talent by reading music than others, like how that works for everything in our life, but talent is also trainable. It’s motivation and so much dedication to achieve where you want to be. Besides these two factors is it also networking and are connections important to get in touch with people who can bring you further.
When do you usually make music?
Almost every day! Since Idir isn’t touring he have more time to be in the studio while Thom is on tour. Sometimes we work on distance by using the internet but most times we’re together in the studio to create the Blasterjaxx tunes.
What is your favorite synthesizer? Which one do you use most in your productions?
We switch a lot between Nexus and Sylenth1. The quality of the Nexus sounds are so good, and way more diverse than most other VST’s we use. Sylenth is really good when it comes to layering and tweaking sounds.
Do you work on mastering/mixing by yourself? Favorite Compressor/Limiter/Maximizer?
We do everything ourselves! Using Ozone Izotope on our master channel, this really gives the project the warmth and compression it needs. In the past we used FL Soundgoodizer haha, you can still hear this back in our first productions like Koala, Mystica and Snake. Like i mentioned earlier, we still learn every day and so also about mixing and mastering.
What was the best reaction you’ve gotten when a fan got to meet you?
Pwieeeeew hard question, we meet so many people and so many fans… to be honest every reaction means the world to us, no mather if they cry, just smile or be completely mind blown by a meet and greet, picture or something alike. We are super thankful to all our fans, we wouldn’t be where we are without them.
How did you discover Vandalism?
I think that every producer is familiar with Vandalism haha, it’s their diversity of sounds and samples. Sometimes one shots sound so much better as a WAV file than it does coming out of a VST. All our beats are made with samples and one shots!
What makes you choose Vandalism over other competitors?
With Vandalism you know you choose for quality and diversity. They are following the trends in music so by buying their packs we always know that there’s material in there which we can use in our productions.
Your EP ‘XX Files’ is out now. What can you tell us about this?
We had so many tracks laying around that it would probably take two years to release everything seperately haha! Some of the tracks on the EP were made over a year ago and have been gaining quite some traction online. We really wanted to bundle those together with some brand-new tracks on an EP and provide our fans with a collection of the Blasterjaxx sound.
What does this new record say about your musical evolution as an artist?
We always try to evolve the big room sound as well as our own signature sound; great melodic break downs and energetic drops. This EP is a combination of just that!
What do you think is the most interesting development in dance music these days?
Not that it’s a good thing, but these days there are a lot of licensing/copyright problems with Soundcloud. That makes it really difficult for new talent to develop their skills and create their own sound as it makes it impossible to upload bootlegs/remixes of other DJs. Especially in the beginning that’s the way you get noticed by other DJs.
And finally, what would you advise the upcoming stars on our Talent Pool?
Never give up your dreams. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true! It takes a lot of time and effort, you have to keep your head up.