Showtek discusses their sound, pushing musical boundaries

03 October 2017 - - - The DJ List


Showtek are DJs and producers Sjoerd and Wouter. They have been one of those duos that have just kept growing bigger and better. If you have followed or listened to their music for awhile now you can definitely tell their sound is constantly evolving. Music for them is not a destination, it's a journey. In the cusp of electronic music becoming continually saturated and sounding all too familiar, SHOWTEK uniquely pushes their production to the next level. We got a chance to meet the brothers at their performance at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California this past weekend.

How did you get started in music from the beginning?

Sjoerd: I was a piano player and started playing when I was 9 or 10. I wanted to compose my own stuff but I wasn't into electronic so I started making some beats,

Wouter: I had magic music maker - did you remember that? I discovered it and was like oh, I can put samples together and build a track.

Sjoerd: I knew we needed melody.

Wouter: I collected my own beats. Every record we had I assembled the hi hats, kicks, claps. We started from there and then we started making our own music as a hobby and it turned out pretty well.

Who or what would you say is your biggest musical inspiration?

Sjoerd: A lot of things. I was at a show and saw Kardinal Offishall who is a Canadian/Jamaican artist. He's always throwing parties in Toronto. It inspired me and I went back into the studio and made some stuff. To me it can be anything - when you feel inspired you want to transform that into your own kind of style.

Wouter: I get kind of itchy if I don't start making music for too long. There's always something in my head. Sometimes you're just trying something out or you go in with an idea in your head but there's always a purpose.

How did you two meet each other?

Sjoerd: We're brothers so my mom and dad set it up and here we are.

What’s the story behind your name?

Sjoerd: We wanted to have our initials in it. We just combined our names Sjoerd and Wouter and it turned out to be 'Sjowtek'. Officially it was written with 'teck'. When we pressed it on the vinyl it was missing the 'c' but it actually looked great. So we changed the name without the 'c'.

Talk to us about your collaboration with GC on “Don’t Shoot” and “Moshpit”.

Wouter: GC we met in Los Angeles a couple years ago. Sonny Wilson is here with us right now and we did a reggae song together. We love reggae and dance hall - it's very popular in Holland actually. We always wanted to fuse that with electronic music. So we had a session with GC, worked on a bunch of records, and had 20 other ideas still on our desktops but those two are the first songs that we finished. Andre or GC, is very talented. He also vibes with Sonny. We didn't want to do just a banger like "Moshpit" is fun and crazy and "Don't Shoot" has more a message to it.

How’s your touring been so far?

Sjoerd: We live in the US now so it's much easier to tour here than ever.

Wouter: We have about 20 shows lined up from now to October, November. We have a good mixture of festivals and venues like smaller 2,500 capacity clubs. I think the show here is 8,000 people. Especially California, I think we have a really strong following here on the West Coast. There's more to come and we are very excited.

What’s been one festival that was incredible for you?

Sjoerd: Parookaville was a big festival in Germany. We played a tune to tribute to Chester in Linkin Park. Sonny sang and it was a very tragic moment but at the same time very beautiful moment. We didn't want to get too much attention out of it but definitely memorable.

Wouter: EDC was always crazy.

What is one thing you are currently obsessed with?

Sjoerd: Mexican food.

Wouter: Guac.

Sjoerd: Music. We have a lot of cool stuff coming next year. We've been working very hard on it. A lot of different songs. We need like half a year.

Wouter: We're in the zone where we are discovering different genres and crossing boundaries. It's pretty hard because we did it once or twice almost. Now we want to always reinvent ourselves. It's a challenge but we made the decision already. It's just a matter of time.

Follow Showtek online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

About the Author

Caleb Lau

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