Jeffrey Sutorius (born 8 November 1979 in The Hague, The Netherlands) The invigorating, award-winning DJ has the remarkable skills to take his crowd on an energetic journey that has all the feels. Jeffrey was the DJ and frontman for Dash Berlin. He is highly aware that his success comes hand in hand with the love of his fans who have always supported him and remained loyal throughout his career. This heartwarming and lasting support is one of the key drivers of his journey. The DJ has a preference for emotional, energizing quality dance music and loves to bring that across on stage.
So we want to start off with the question that everyone has been wondering. Why did you decide to move away from Dash Berlin?
It’s a fairly complex story. I just recently did a DJ Mag interview and in it, the core of the situation is explained. A part of my decision is that I had a burnout and I’ve been touring so much since middle 2017, that it is really hard to keep up. And this is something which is lurking in the industry and it’s something that not a lot of people are speaking about openly but sometimes it comes up as part of discussions with other artists, “ok so what actually are you doing like mentally, physically”.
And there are a lot of artists who actually respond with, “what I am doing besides playing music, is having fun you know. Traveling the world, enjoying new experiences, making new friends.”
I also touch upon it and what I tell a lot of people is that if you take the example of the UEFA Champions League if the teams in the world have to play Champions League twice a week and have to travel for it, then the world would be too small. Then it would be in every newspaper. It would be on every internet page. And it would be a massively discussed topic because you just cannot play soccer on this high level twice a week.
But, what today’s DJs are doing is way more than that. Travelling, doing shows at the same time. International flights in between. And as we saw this year unfortunately also due to the pressure of a schedule, someone had to die for that, who we all know.
And this is something that I wanted to prevent. And my agent at that time was thinking otherwise and therefore there was a conflict and I had to resign from that corporation, that collaboration. And when I ended it, I got an email back where it said directly that I could choose the shows that I wanted to do but the management would decide who the promoter was? And, to me, that sounds like modern day slavery and I’m not a slave.
And not a lot of them actually choose to speak about it. What do you think can be done to actually address that situation in the electronic music industry?
Very good question. So I always think that there’s a very big parallel with professional soccer players and what is lacking in the industry right now towards artists is an overhaul. An organization who says gives an ok to travel and do shows in terms of mental, physical health. There needs to be some kind of research, or study to analyse what is the capacity which can be healthy, for DJs and management to follow. The capacity limit will differ with each age group or to what you can do. And this kind of study or research also needs to take into consideration information like – How you act on stage? Are you physically active – yes or no? Do you drink – yes or no? Do you smoke – yes or no? Do you have a sporting background yes or no so that it will accumulate some kind of algorithm which will place you in a certain stack? And this stack should be pieces advice for an organization that actually cares for artists instead of management that want to push artists to do so many shows as possible.
And now going forward, what are your plans? Do you intend to stick to the same sound?
Good question. I really still believe in emotional dance music. Everyone sees EDM as a generic type of music, typical mainstream. I see EDM as emotional dance music, it is where I relate to it and it is where I have a connection with my fans and people who support Jeffrey Sutorius. And have been supporting Dash Berlin in the past and I still feel a very strong connection to this. If you would like to, then I can let you listen to one of the new songs. I’ve been making new music for some weeks now and have some tracks ready. And if you’re interested, I would let you hear something.
Since you’ll be branding yourself in a very different way now, going solo as Jeffrey. Do you think people would sort of relate to Dash Berlin more than the fact that you are trying to build a new brand?
That won’t happen for a long period. Depends on what kind of mark I can make with my own music, with the new shows and how will people react to that. But Dash Berlin has made a very beautiful mark within electronic music landscape and that does not have to be forgotten at all, you know. I will continue to play Dash Berlin music. It’s a part of who I am.
What plans have you for the near future?
I want to achieve things as Jeffrey Sutorius that Dash Berlin never accomplished. The world is my oyster. And I like oysters! I am making new music, and I am beyond thrilled to share this with the world, with the fans. To tell my story and to share it. And to make everyone understand, I am EDM: Emotional Dance Music. Keep an eye out on my socials for where my tour schedule will take me and for release information about my new music.
You mentioned that you did a lot of soul searching during the break, right? What prompted you to get back into music, were there any artists or people close to you that inspired you to get back to what you do best?
No, people didn’t really need to inspire me to continue to do what I really like because I know what I really like. But the fact for everything that you do in your life is you have to stop sometimes… Think and ask yourself a question like am I responsible towards myself. And this is the main question for me. I wasn’t responsible for myself and I had to take action to be responsible for myself.
Will only your tracks be released on the label?
No, that’s a good question actually. It’s just not going to be only Jeffrey Sutorius.
Having toured across the world as Dash Berlin, I’ve seen many great talents and also a lot of talent, who never get a shot. I’m not going to say that I will be the one to help them make it big, but I’m open to listening to it. I know there is a lot of incredible talent out there and there’s also a lot of talent who don’t get a shot. Maybe it’s something for the record label, as I want to start. And actually like we did with Dash Berlin in the beginning. We had AROPA Records, where we also pushed new talent and over time, it kind of slowed down, which was beyond my control. Starting up a new label, it’s actually in my control. And I do see it as my obligation to help new talent.
Which artists are doing really well according to you at the moment?
At this point, if I had to take some names then I would say Bassanova. I would say Tomas Heredia from Argentina. I would say Estiva.