EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Dutch DJ De Hofnar

We have only a little while to go until Dutch DJ De Hofnar releases his debut album. Titled “Kings And Queens” – which is also the title of his first single from the album – this is one album that is set to surprise us all.

His two most-recent singles are expected to appear on the album. “Kings And Queens” features Bodhi Jones, whereas “Little Love” features Elior & Joe Killington. The former is rhythmically catchy, the audience expects a drop that never comes; a sweet track that we can’t help but adore. Differently, “Little Love” is a lot more groovy with Joe Killington bringing an old soul voice to the table; whilst De Hofnar and Elior launches the song into the future.

These two songs alone easily set up this album and excites us for the upcoming release. Lucky for us, De Hofnar found the time for an interview with CelebMix. He talks about the release of his debut album, his career to date, his most popular songs, and what the future brings.

Hi, De Hofnar, how are you doing today? What have you been up to lately?

I’m doing very well, thanks! Last year has been hectic with a lot of cool gigs and producing in the studio to finish up my upcoming album. In the meanwhile, I’m working on remixes for different kinds of artists like NoMBE, Y.V.E 48, and Pontifexx.

How would you describe your sound?

I always find it hard to put a name on my sound but it’s definitely a crossover between (deep) house, tropical house, and disco. Lately, I’m also combining these sounds with more R&B influences to create a unique sound. I really love the sound of acoustic instruments like piano, guitar, flutes, and saxophones so you will find this back in my productions a lot.

You’re gearing up to release your new album “Kings And Queens” tell us more about it.

After being around in the scene for almost 5 years now this is a big next step for me. I transformed myself from bedroom producer with some SoundCloud hits to a respected artist in the scene and that’s what I want to show to the world throughout this album. It took me almost 2 years to finish up the whole project but it was all worth it. The album will contain 12 unique tracks with each a different tempo, genre, and feeling. I developed my sound and you can expect songs to listen to in your car, at the beach, or in the club. It’s straight from my heart and I’m really proud of the result.

Which song on the album do you treasure the most?

I can’t tell a lot about because this one will be released as an ID track first. But I can tell you it isn’t something you would expect from me. It’s a song with an upbeat tempo and a real band feeling on it, merged with the happiness of tropical house. It will be released in a few months, so keep your eyes open for this one!

“Kings And Queens” was the lead single from the album, what has the reaction been like?

The reactions were very cool! I tried something new and it’s always a bit scary to find out what your following thinks about this. But as I said, the reactions were very nice and I’m really happy about it.

It was released on 21 July and has racked up over 150,000 Spotify plays since its release, how does that make you feel?

On the release day, it was used in a lot of Spotify playlists so I had a really nice kick-off. Every release is exciting but this one meant a lot to me, so I was, of course, very happy with this. More and more people are getting to know the track and it’s growing properly!

What else can we expect from the album?

I just released my second single “Little Love” together with the talented Elior. It’s an uplifting house track that’s perfect for festivals or to listen at a pre-party at home. It has been remixed by the duo of Redondo, that one will be released in two weeks and it’s perfect for in the clubs! Next month I will release a track called “Breakup Song”, an emotional slow jam.

You signed an exclusive deal with Armada Music in 2016, what is it like working with this record label?

I met the guys from Armada about three years ago and showed them a lot of music I had produced over the years. It was a perfect match from the start and they gave me the freedom to produce my own sound. Over the years I developed myself with a lot of good help of my A&R, Kevin De Roos. They gave me the opportunity to release an album and that was always a dream of me. We have very close contact and visit the office at least two times a month.

Your biggest release was with Gamper & Dadoni on “Oxas”, which was your debut single, what was it like working with them? And what do you make of the reaction to this song? It currently has over 19 million Spotify streams.

It was a dream start. Without any knowledge about the music industry we did a very cool release and it’s still in a lot of people’s playlists. It was a long time ago now, but I can remember that I made a demo and sent the track over to Max and Daniel (Gamper & Dadoni) for some feedback. They wrote me back that they loved the track and asked for a collab. We finished the track together and I am still in love with this one, haha.

You also collaborated with one of our favourite DJs, Sam Feldt on “Bloesem”, how was that for you?

This time it was the other way around! Sam called me and asked me what I thought about his demo. I thought it was cool and he asked me if I wanted to collab on the track. A week later, I met him in the studio and had lot of fun. It was my first track on a big label (Spinnin’ Records) and it was a huge success. It was one of the first Tropical House tracks for the commercial listener.

And your solo EP “Zonnestraal” has over seven million plays, how incredible is that?

It’s very cool to see the EP is still going strong! I can remember the days that the track went viral on SoundCloud and YouTube. A few weeks later, the label, Crosswalk (FR), got in touch with me to make it an official release, I couldn’t be any happier. It was the very beginning of my music career.

You were also asked to do remixes of songs from Tiësto and Armin van Buuren, how did that make you feel?

Dutch dance music started with these two guys so it was a real true honour for me! Sometimes I make the joke that I can quit my career, because I remixed the two biggest dance producers of all time, already, haha.

Your career has definitely made a big impact from the start, what has been your highlights?

As a producer, my biggest highlights are working together with Sam Feldt, a number one hit in South Africa with the track “Back In The Day” and my very first release “Oxas”. And, of course, working on my solo debut album “Kings and Queens” is my biggest highlight so far. I got the opportunity to work with the best singer songwriters and producers all over the globe. As a DJ I will always remember my first gig in Social Club Paris, my successful tours in Brazil, and closing for 10K+ people in Lyon.

Who would be your dream collaborator be? And who would you love to feature on one of your tracks? And why?

I always loved the artists Kölsch and Worakls. It’s way deeper than my music, but if I can choose, I would work with them. It would be hard to chose which one of the two, but it’s always good to bet on two horses right? Haha. A track with Justin Bieber would be awesome! He’s the icon of pop music nowadays and we, and our kids, will all remember him later.

Is there anything you want to say to your fans who have supported you through every new release?

Thanks for supporting me all those years! I couldn’t do this without you and I will not disappoint you guys. Expect the unexpected and I’m very curious what you all will think about my new music. Don’t be scared, deep house and tropical house will always stay my true love.

And, finally, why should our readers listen to your new album upon release?

As I mentioned earlier in this interview, it will contain a lot of different kind of music. It will be a unique combination between deep, tropical, disco, and R&B as you’ve never heard before. Every month I will release a new single so you don’t have to wait any longer.

Thank you so much, De Hofnar for taking time out for this interview. We cannot wait for the release of your album “Kings And Queens”.

As you wait for his debut album, why not check out more De Hofnar music here:

What do you make of De Hofnar’s recent releases? Tell us all your thoughts on the songs and this interview on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

26-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni