Oliver Heldens & Friends
Los Angeles! Oliver Heldens and Friends take over The Hollywood Palladium Saturday, February 18!
with special guest: Chris Lake
Tickets on sale now!
At the mere age of 17, Oliver Heldens was signed to Spinnin’ Records, the most renowned label in dance music. After years of practicing his passion, creating music in his own bedroom studio, his dreams became a reality when his track “Gecko” caught the attention of living legend Tiësto. He immediately fell in love with Oliver’s sound and decided to release it on his very own label, Musical Freedom. Now, several releases, remixes and #1 chart positions later, Oliver has become one of the most desired DJ’s in the world.
Oliver is praised for his innovation – his ability to create original ideas and melodies. His best melodies came to fruition while cycling home from school or while he was bored in the classroom; he always stood out from the rest. With the release of his hit single “Gecko” in 2013, Oliver quickly attracted the biggest names in dance music including Tiësto, Hardwell and Sander van Doorn to name a few. These legends not only became his biggest supporters, but some have grown to be mentors as well. This endless support stimulated the young DJ to work extra hard in the studio and gave him the courage to persevere, to keep doing what he loves the most: creating new music.
“Gecko” reached the #1 spot in the UK chart and remained top 5 for six consecutive weeks. With a #2 spot in Beatport’s top 100, it was one way of making a grand entrance. After six weeks, ‘Gecko’ remained top 5 in Beatport’s Main Chart and it held the #1 spot on the Deep House chart for over a month. And his success story continues. After the success of ‘Gecko’ Oliver hit the top 5 of the UK Chart with the release of ‘Koala’ followed by collaborations with Sander van Doorn on “This” and Zeds Dead on “You Know” that claimed the #1 spot on Beatport’s Top 100 chart. After that he released solo productions, like “Melody” and “Bunnydance”, that have amassed well over 1 million plays on Soundcloud and YouTube. With the release of “Shades of Grey” with Shaun Frank featuring Delaney Jane, he is on his way to achieving similar success as well.
Heldens has an impressive list of venues and festivals he has performed the last few years. The list contains clubs like Amnesia Ibiza and Hakkasan Las Vegas and festivals like EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, Ultra Miami, Coachella, and Creamfields. He has even established residencies at two of the most prestigious nightclubs in the world - Omnia in Las Vegas and Ushuaïa in Ibiza.
Now just a few years after his first record deal, Heldens who was already named ‘Artist to Watch’ by Rolling Stone and is acclaimed for his funny social media accounts is more than just a hit maker. Beside the success of his releases and his charismatic shows he is also responsible for the success of Heldeep Radio. And if that’s not enough, he even added a new chapter to his story. Not only did he launch his own record label Heldeep Records, but he also revealed himself as the mystery producer HI-LO, who released his debut track ‘Crank It Up’ on Mad Decent. HI-LO is also responsible for the first release on Heldeep Records, with his second track ‘Renegade Mastah’. We can reinsure you that this 20-year-old has a long music career ahead of him and he will continue to bring a unique, refreshing sound that bridges the gap between EDM and the underground.
Chris Lake taps into a singular spirit evocative of dance music’s golden age by infusing funked-out grooves and natural instrumentation into decidedly modern house. It’s a sonic aesthetic that instantly incites movement and has established him as a trailblazer in the electronic dance music world. That perspective also set the stage for his forthcoming full-length debut available on Ultra Music in 2014.
At 14 years old, the multi-instrumentalist discovered progressive house music, and his life completely changed with the purchase of a synthesizer. His hobby became a profession shortly thereafter. Lake soon went from releasing much talked-about remixes to dropping dancefloor bangers. “Changes” broke the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Airplay chart in 2006, while “Carry Me Away” (featuring Emma Hewitt) dominated the same chart a year later. He followed those two early successes with the Top 10 singles “Only One” and “If You Knew,” effectively breaking into the North American market.
Performing for packed audiences across the globe, Lake was signed by Ultra Music in 2012, and he went on to collaborate with the likes of Lazy Rich on “Stand Alone” featuring Jareth and Steve Aoki and Tujamo on the 2013 hit “Boneless.” Meanwhile, “Helium,” another collaboration with Jareth and wife Gita Lake, effortlessly transcended aural boundaries with its ethereal electronic hum, guitar twang, and unshakable refrain. After three years, he perfected the track.
Then, there’s the single “Squeak,” which encapsulates his enigmatic style and embraces that classic spirit tighter. It fuses funk, electro, melodies and breakdowns into a “groovy” hybrid evocative of Lake’s singular sound.
As a result, the best way to meet Lake is to fall into his body of work. Like all timeless music, it’s meant to be an escape, transcending eras, scenes and ages.
Since 2009 Tony Fresch has made a name for himself as one of the most distinguished up and coming DJs and producers in the LA edm scene. He has played at some of the most well known clubs in California including The Avalon, Club Nokia, The Key Club and Dim Mak Studios. He has opened for the likes of Steve Aoki, Diplo, Rusko, and Dillon Francis, among others. In 2011 his remix of Chromeo's "Hot Mess" under the alias Rolex was chosen as a winner in Turbo Recordings' official remix contest and was released on Turbo Recordings' Hot Mess Remix EP. In 2011 and 2012 Tony won the title of "Best College DJ in LA" in a live contest vote. Tony has recently developed the deeper alias "Dr. Fresch" and has released two acclaimed remixes for indie rock bands Y LUV and Kiven. The debut Dr. Fresch EP, "Fantasy / Ecstasy," was released on Prep School Recordings in June.
Music has been my biggest passion and served as my primary extracurricular since I was seven. Music has also always been an outlet for me to express myself when I couldn't verbally. I have created this outlet both in the studio and on stage. The primary reason I have pursued music so greatly has been for personal happiness, but I also strive to make others happy through my music. From playing Debussy and George Gershwin pieces at classic piano recitals to DJing Nocturnal, my end goal is to make others as happy as I am when I'm writing music.
Home Town: Tiburon, CA
Currently Living: Los Angeles, CA
Origin Of Name: My last name is Fresch, and I felt that I had to use that in my artist name. I chose to go by “Dr. Fresch” instead of Tony Fresch because I felt that it better represented the deep and groovy style of music that I make.
Weapon of Choice: For DJing: I will go through different phases where I have a specific “weapon on choice” track for the dancefloor. Right now that track is “Wonderland” by Denis Naidanow featuring Tyree Cooper. In the studio: My favorite virtual synthesizer right now is Togu Audio Line’s “U-NO-LX” plugin. It’s an emulation of Roland’s classic Juno synthesizer.
Source of Power: My friends, family and every music teacher I’ve ever had. I also look up to a lot of producers and DJs—right now MK (Mark Kinchen) especially. I love how he has produced both pop and underground music and has maintained a position as one of the leading forces in house music for the last 20 years.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
When I finished recording my mix for the Discovery Project I realized that this collection of work was completely my own, and was entirely a representation of my personality and artist brand. Being able to look at the way I combined all of my original productions into one cohesive mix made me to realize that I had successfully created an artist brand.
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
My mom forced me to take classical piano lessons starting at age seven. I hated it at first, but as I grew older I realized that this knowledge would allow me to explore other genres. I joined a rock band in middle school, joined the jazz band in high school, and starting DJing at producing electronic music when I was 17, in 2008. Having an education and practice in several musical genres has given me the platform necessary to make the music I produce unique.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
My mom is incredibly supportive of my career. I chose to pursue music full time after graduating college in May 2013, and she hasn’t questioned my decision once. She is excited by the strides I’m making as an artist and is willing to support me in all of my musical endeavors. There is no greater validation for my lifestyle choice than knowing that your family is 100% behind you.
What’s the strangest part of your job?
Being able to control and change people’s emotions with the music you release and the music you play live. It’s amazing to think that you are creating a different experience for people every time you play.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ?
No one “blows up” overnight. Every artist and performer in the EDM community, and in the music industry at large, has put an enormous amount of effort into their career to get where they are now. It took me four years of producing electronic music to feel confident in my productions and share them with the public, and I recognize that I still have a long way to go. But, if it wasn’t this hard to establish yourself as an artist/DJ then it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or rewarding.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis?
Being an artist/DJ is a completely unstable career path, but the rewards are much more satisfying. I am constantly sacrificing spending time with family and friends to work on music, but all of my family and friends recognize that I have to pursue this lifestyle in order to succeed as an artist.
What is your ultimate career dream?
It’s cliché, but: to inspire young producers to follow their dreams. I work hard to support myself, however it’s far more rewarding to know that your music has inspired people to do what they love for a living.
Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
For every song that I’ve written, I’ve come up with a basic concept before I sat down in the studio. I usually get a kick of inspiration, sit down to develop an idea and spend the rest of the day in the studio.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process?
I take inspiration from listening to new music every single day. This not only goes for music similar to my brand, but for all genres. I could be just as inspired by a vocal hook from a 90’s pop song as I could by a bassline from a contemporary garage tune. The last song I heard that made me get to the studio right away to produce was probably something by Hot Since 82.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
I don’t use too much analog gear, but I love my Korg Triton LE workstation for how juicy the pads are. I love Rob Papen’s Subboom Bass VST for creating pretty much any bass sound under the sun.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Essential. There is a clear niche in EDM for deep, tech, and nu-disco, but I make a deliberate effort to create music different than the norm in an effort to brand myself as something new. I am always willing to risk my artist career by stepping out of the box.
If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
Britney Spears “Lucky.”
What sound or noise do you love?
An 808 cowbell with a ton of reverb.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Sub-genre classification in “EDM.” I understand that it’s important to be able to classify music under genres on platforms like Beatport, but I absolutely hate putting a label on my music.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
That dance music has reached a level of global popularity that has allowed more niche styles of music to become relevant.
What are your weaknesses?
I like too many different styles of dance music. This has made it hard for me to hone in on a specific sound.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
As a fan, I went out in Berlin a few months back on a Wednesday from dusk past dawn. My best friends and I started at an A$AP Rocky show and ended up at Watergate club watching Italo Johnson spin an all vinyl set until mid morning. It was amazing to be able to see so many different styles of music performed in their purest forms. As a DJ, playing Nocturnal was amazing. Winning best college DJ in LA in 2011 opening for Steve Aoki, and winning best college DJ in LA in 2012 opening up for Rusko was amazing as well.
Do you have any memorable moments from past EDC's or any other Insomniac party?
EDC 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 were amazing. EDC 2011 was especially memorable because my long time friend and colleague Clinton VanSciver and I decided that we wanted to start a record label together, Prep School Recordings.
Do you have a favorite all-time mixed CD or series?
Jamie Jones Fabric 59 Mix. It’s an amazing mix of styles and artists. I bought the CD at Amoeba and have been listening to it in my car for the last two years. Fabric London’s mix series is amazing in its entirety as well. Fabric London is one of my favorite nightclubs in the world because they maintain such diversity in their bookings; this is evident in their mix series.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Focus on showcasing your original productions. My Discovery Project mix included five original productions and one of my remixes. Convey that you not only write and produce good music, but that you also have an artist brand and a clear vision for your artist career.
In an era where the song-writer/producer has all but become king, LA-based artist AFSHeeN finds himself well on his way to holding court.
With credits for such icons as Madonna, Chris Brown, Take That, Selene Gomez, remixes for Janet Jackson, Sia and Fergie, a producer Latin Grammy nod and much more already under his belt, he is becoming one of the most in-demand creators in the American music industry’s A-list elite.
In 2016, AFSHeeN began to tell his own story, finally launching under his own moniker. His single ‘Let Me Down Slow’ is just the tip of a beautiful iceberg, a sultry collection of what he likes to call ‘upbeat emo’, an eclectic style of synth-pop accompanied songs, so sublimely produced it carries a touch beyond his years. This single as well as ‘Secrets’ received heavy rotation from Sirius XM, and were applauded by musician peers, fans and the press alike, even being named one of 2016’s breakout artists by Nocturnal Magazine.
To end 2016 with a bang, AFSHeeN was invited by KYGO to perform his debut show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl.
As all the industry insider hype swirls around him, AFSHeeN remains firmly rooted in the shadows of the studio, content for the moment to let the music do the talking. Yet with this much buzz, obvious talent and A-list backing, it’s surely only a matter of time before the mysterious young producer takes his place in the spotlight.
Stephen "Steve James" Philibin is an 18 year old producer, songwriter, and DJ located in Los Angeles, CA.