Yves V is a Belgian DJ and producer who has risen to international standing in recent years. Having placed in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs for the past three years, it is no surprise that Yves V has gained support from heavyweights including David Guetta, Martin Garris, Radio 1’s Danny Howard and Pete Tong.
The DJ has created a name for himself through a number of smash hits which can be heard on dancefloors across the world. He has also lit up stages with his energetic sets at iconic events. This includes a main stage residency at Tomorrowland, where he hosts his own V Sessions parties. Additionally, Yves V has performed all over the world, touring in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brasil, Spain, France, Italy, India, Belgium and Beijing to name but a few locations.
We recently caught up with Yves V to chat about his creative process, picking the perfect setlist, being a regular at Tomorrowland, what 2017 has in store and much more.
How did you first get into DJing/producing, and who were your early passions and influences?
Music has always been a big part of my life from an early age but it took me a while to realise I could do this as a career. That was a big step for me, moving on from teaching and taking the leap to DJing and producing. I first started experimenting with what direction and sound I wanted to take before I started producing. It took patience but the decision was one of the best I’ve ever made.
How do you go about producing a track?
It really depends on who I’m working with. Sometimes I’ll enter the studio with my engineer and I’ll have a clear vision of what I want to achieve, what direction I want to go in. Other times I might get into the studio with a collaborator and we will put some ideas out there, it could be a strong melody first, or an idea for a top line that we want to bring a vocalist in on. It really depends but I always have some building blocks to begin.
You’ve also remixed a lot of other artists’ music in the past. How do you go about choosing songs to remix?
Sometimes labels or artists will approach me, like with my remix of Ginuwine, Missy Elliot & Timbaland, that was a release via Warner Bros/ Smash The House. I really liked getting my teeth into something that wasn’t electronic so that I could really do something different.
What are some of your favourite songs to incorporate into your set?
I always add some classic mash-ups – taking vocals from Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Coldplay for example – and adding an edit underneath to make a really unique sound that people will know but still dance to. It makes people more comfortable when they feel like they’re connecting with something more familiar which is important. Recently, Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman’s ’s mashup of my track ‘Daylight’ with Alesso’s ‘Lose My Mind’ has been sounding huge, haha, great response with that one!
What do you enjoy most about playing festivals?
That people may not be there to see me, sometimes people can just be passing in the crowds and then get drawn in, it’s an amazing feeling to connect with people on a new level. Festivals are always fun because I get to see other DJs and producers on the road, have a few beers and experience new locations which is something I always enjoy.
You’re a regular at Tomorrowland, performing on the main stage over 10 times. What is it about this festival in particular that you love so much?
Tomorrowland are my family. I have been a close part of the festival since the beginning and to watch it grow and transform to what it is today feels so special. Tomorrowland has always been about uniting people in an beautiful setting and I think that is why it is so close to my heart.
Can you tell us more about V Sessions?
V Sessions is my concept that includes parties, my radio show and we also have our own stage at Tomorrowland that is coming back for its 6th year for 2017! V Sessions is like the umbrella for my projects, excited to host some more V Sessions events this year!
How do you go about choosing your set list?
It can change depending on the venue if this is big, small or a festival crowd but I could have just been sent a hot new track that I have to play out. There is no set way, I let the music talk to me and decide.
What are the biggest changes/challenges that you’ve faced in the DJ world?
I think that would be when I was first starting out, making the jump to this as my career and finally deciding that this was something I wanted to do. I felt like it was my destiny and to ignore that would be crazy, but it was a challenge, for sure.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a DJ/Producer?
Practice super hard, figure out what sounds you want to play and what music you want to make. If you have a vision that is the most important thing.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
It would be cool to collaborate with a great vocalist like Tove Lo, I really like her sound.
What does 2017 have in store for Yves V?
I have a new release coming in March but I can’t say much more yet! Some new solo tracks and we’ve also just announced the return of V Sessions to Tomorrowland for a 6th year – I’m excited! I’ll also be returning to the mainstage, hope to see you all there!