Laidback Luke might have had the biggest year in his life in 2014. He recently relaunched his Mixmash Radio show as a monthly podcast. His influential Mixmash Records celebrated a milestone 10 years. His superhero-themed Super You&Me stage traveled across the world at some of the biggest music festivals around. His highlight of the year, though, was the birth of his baby daughter EvaLina with wife, and fellow DJ, Gina Turner.
Yes, it’s been a whirlwind year for Laidback Luke, and he’s about to close out 2014 with major New Year’s Eve double duty at Countdown and White Wonderland. As he prepares to finish an epic year in a most epic fashion, Laidback Luke looks back at 2014, while keeping expectations high for the New Year.
Do you have a time machine? How are you going to play both White Wonderland and Countdown in one night?
Luckily, both shows aren’t that far apart. And although I’d happily like to say I’m getting a helicopter, I’ll just get driven in between the shows. It’s about a 40-minute drive, so I’ll play early at White Wonderland and close off at Countdown.
How will your sets at both shows compare and contrast? Do you think the audiences will be much different?
I have no clue. I always come unprepared anyway. It’s usually only on the spot that I can see what kind of audience it is and what the party needs to keep fun and to keep going. In my mind right now, because it’s in California, I do feel it’s pretty much a similar audience, but you never know. I’ll see when I get there; both sets might just turn out completely different.
Congrats on launching the new Mixmash Radio.
We’ve had the show for over a year now, but we just relaunched it to a monthly podcast. At the moment, we feel the podcast broadcasts are very saturated with every DJ doing a weekly show. Doing it monthly will build a little more anticipation, and we get to do more promotion for the show as well. We included new features like my Future Top 5 and the Mashup of the Month amongst others.
How has becoming a recent parent affected your work and touring schedule, individually and with your wife Gina Turner?
Apart from that it’s become harder to leave the house to go on tour, not much. Gina truly understands the business and my career and she fully supports it. I try to do most of my music-related stuff on the road nowadays. Home time has become more strictly home time. And although my home time is very limited, I often catch myself playing with my baby daughter for an hour.
Will there ever be a Laidback Luke + Gina Turner tour? The Bae Tour, perhaps?
That would be cool! Funny thing is though, when Gina and I play together, we play really underground. We get truly dark and gritty, even so that a track like “Bae” wouldn’t even make sense to play in there.
Will you encourage your children to go down the traditional college/job route? Or will you encourage them to be creative artists/DJs like their parents?
I’ve been trying to motivate my kids to go try and do something they really like, something that makes them happy and they have true passion for. Ninety percent of the people I know—maybe it’s a Dutch thing—aren’t doing what they have a degree for, which is very crooked. Most of them got their job through people they knew. I do feel we’d get incredible results if we’d have the right people with the right passion on the right job instead of just getting a degree in whatever for the sake of a degree.
What were some of your highlights of 2014?
First of all, my baby daughter being born on the day I was supposed to perform at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. That was an epic moment, and I dropped everything straight away to travel back home and watch her being born. We celebrated 10 years of Mixmash Records in 2014, and we gave my label a brand new look. This was very much a festival year, where I’m proud to say I hosted some Super You&Me areas at the biggest ones.
What would you like to see more of in electronic music in 2015? Likewise, what would you like to see less of?
Less Pryda snares and more creativity; you even see it with future house right now. Somehow, everyone is trying to sound like “Gecko,” everyone is sounding the same again. I think future house is much, much more than that. To me, 2014 brought me back to my house-ier roots, a realm where everything is possible and accepted again. Room to experiment. Room to go deeper. What I’ll try to do for 2015 is show what variation can do for a DJ set. To give you an example: In one set, if you come out from a techno section into a heavier house section into a straight up EDM rage section, this will make so much more impact than just playing a straight up EDM rage set as this will become stale after a while. Variation is key!
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Focus more on positive thoughts. Although I’m very much a positive person by nature, people tend to dwell in what they don’t like. I catch myself doing that, too. Focusing on what you like and what you’d like to see happen is a way more productive and beneficial type of energy.
What can we expect from you, Mixmash, and Super You&Me in 2015?
We’ll definitely continue what we’ve been doing this year. My labels are an outlet to push new and up-and-coming talent, who will become the household names of the future. We’ve always done so, and I can tell you we have a lot of new talent lined up to take over. In 2015, we’ll do even more festivals and parties with Super You&Me. We’re currently reworking the stage design and upping the artwork and graphics for it. It’s very important for us to get the crowd involved in Super You&Me, so we handpicked 8 people who are big fans to form a Super You&Me council and help us get our parties to a next level.
What are you personally going to do in 2015 to help expand and progress electronic music culture?
I’ve always been very involved in pushing electronic music to a next level, and in a way I do feel very responsible for how the EDM culture is right now. I will try and bring the passion back. It has to go back to a club feel as well, instead of a festival feel. The crowd is getting older now, too, and I feel in the near future the club is where it’s at. And although I’m very tempted to say the next step will be a deeper one, I’m already one step ahead and calling it. I think we’ll get a division in the overground sound. On the one hand, the Tom Staar/Kryder progressive, techy, big room sound will take over, but on the other hand Wiwek’s jungle terror sound is going to rule.