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Perry O’ Neil: the next Dutch ‘star’?

How do you know if someone is really talented when there are so many ways to define it? When it comes to making music and playing DJ-sets judging ‘talent’ is personal, like everything that has something to do with creativity. If you are an agent or an A&R manager, it takes a good sense of what may be successful to put faith in a talented person. Armada has found its new star. Meet Dutch DJ/producer Perry O’ Neil,

Perry O’ Neil is a 26 years old Dutch guy. Spontaneous, cheerful and somewhat curious like many people of his age. He is the rising star at Armada, the record company that aims high with Perry. Armada heard O’ Neil’s first productions in the beginning of 2003 and signed the first tunes a couple of months later to the record division. David Lewis, partner in Armada, got caught by the unique sound in both Perry’s productions and DJ sets so he wanted to work with him as a DJ as well. Although Perry has not released a lot so far, several of his tracks already have been played by DJ’s like Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, Markus Schulz, Matt Hardwick and Ben Lost.

Perry O’ Neil is one of those guys who has been spinning for years and years, always dreaming of the day on which he would stand in front of thousands of people that came to see him in particular. There were times that he hesitated about the sense of continuing to pursuit a dream that seemed to hard to realize, but then he was always reminded by himself of his undying love for dancemusic. Then came the interest of Armada in his productions. The style of Perry O’ Neil differed from the most other demo’s they receive daily and under guidance of Armada Perry succeeded in delivering improved tracks. No wonder his first release on St. John vs Locust (A State of Trance) was a success. But what is that unique sound Perry O’ Neil masters? Perry himself describes it as progressive melodic house. Perry: “It is not really trance the way Tiësto and Armin van Buuren play it. My sound is a mixture of different elements of different styles. I like melodic repeating lines, and you can easily hear the tribal influences in my tracks. I always try to put certain energy in the track, like a kicking bassline or a break that is full of tension which builds up to a climax. During the break I like to see the audience with its eyes closed, lifting off from the dancefloor, only to return when the climax is there. In general you could say I am fond of progressive melodic house.”

Perry, modest as he is, knows that there is a long way to go but there is a lot of confidence in himself as well. Perry: “If you really want to achieve something, you have to give everything you have to chase that dream. Now that I have that opportunity to build on my career in music, I will capture it with both hands.” A career both in producing and DJ-ing that is, for Perry likes the both of them equally. “In both I can put al my creativity and to judge on the reactions of the crowd and the people on internet I am getting better in what I do each day. However, I will always keep both feet firmly on the ground.”

Being down-to-earth is a quality of character Maykel Piron of Armada appreciates in Perry. No wonder he likes to work with him. Maykel: “Perry has a good ear for music and he is straight forward. Therefore we have asked him to do A&R work for our Electronic Elements label. Whether a demo is sent by a famous producer or a talent, Perry gives his honest opinion. We are glad to have him with us.” For Perry himself the most important thing in life is to live it in the most joyful way possible. Perry: “That positive approach of life is something you must have if you want to be a good DJ. No one likes a DJ who has obviously no fun in what he is doing.” And Perry certainly shows he is having fun when he is behind the decks. An attitude that, combined with his undeniable talent, may very well make him the next Dutch star.