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To say that the past 12 months have been eventful for Zak Moya – better by known by his pseudonym VillaNaranjos – would be a rather large understatement. After all, how many 18 year olds go from local gigs and complete obscurity, to one of the hottest young dance producers in the world, in just 12 months?

Zak first started producing as early as 2002, at just age 9, on a basic copy of Cubasis VST. However it was in 2008 when he started taking it more seriously, assuming the alias ‘VillaNaranjos’, after a hotel in the seaside town of Javea, Spain. Indeed, many of his tracks are named after beaches, bars and places in the area, reflecting the large influence that the sunshine and laid-back vibe of the Costa Blanca have had on his productions.

After 3 years of producing in deepest, darkest suburbia – High Wycombe, England, to be exact – Zak’s big break came after his remix of dance legend Chicanes ‘Going Deep’, a 10 minute progressive explosion of pure Balearic trance, became a YouTube hit in April 2011. This drew the attention of Chicane (Nick Bracegirdle) himself, who promptly signed it to his personal label Modena, releasing it as one of the official remixes of the original song. Hype around the track snowballed when Armin Van Buuren played the remix on A State of Trance episode 510, personally remarking to Chicane that he ‘really enjoyed’ the track. Spurred on, Zak continued to fire out music at an astonishing rate, culminating in his first 5 track-EP by August 2011. Sounds great, but Zak then faced the same problem that 99.99% of all unsigned musicians face; how do I get this music out there to the wider masses?

The answer lay in one of the terms of the Chicane deal; a free VIP ticket to Creamfields. So, in August 2011, armed with a stack of promotional CDs and an older sibling, Zak made the voyage up north to a rain-soaked and mud-splattered Daresbury in Cheshire for the UK’s biggest dance music festival, hoping that his tracks would find their way into the paws of EDM’s finest and most famous. And it did not disappoint; the likes of Markus Schulz, Chris Lake, Chicane and Swedish House Mafia all picked up a copy (as did David Guetta, or we assume he did after a monumentally good throw of the disc into the back of his car). But the fairy-tale breakthrough was about to come courtesy of Mr. Trance himself; the aforementioned Armin van Buuren, who nabbed himself a copy of the EP before his headlining set on the North Stage.

3 weeks after Creamfields came the announcement; after listening to the EP, Armin impressed enough to sign all 5 tracks to his label Armada Music (indeed, the head A&R of Armada later confirmed that Armin had personally made all of his A&R’s listen to it together). Further still, Armin was so impressed by track 3, ‘Granadella’ (described by Armin himself as ‘epic’ and by popular EDM blog ‘Drop Beats Not Bombs’ as ‘one of the hidden gems’ on the album), that he promptly mixed it onto his seminal trance compilation ‘A State of Trance 2012’.

Dreamy guitar riffs, jittery pianos and pounding, climactic synths combine to create VillaNaranjos’s signature Balearic sound, spanning numerous sub-genres of EDM. From the ambient breakbeat sound of ‘Achill’, to the anthemic eruption of ‘Extremadura’, as the cliché goes; there’s something for almost everyone amongst the VillaNaranjos discography. With one EP already released, another 2 in the pipeline, a support slot for Chicane at prestigious London super-club KOKO and a plethora of unheard foot-stomping jaw dropping anthems ready for take-off, the next 12 months are sure to be even more exciting than the last for VillaNaranjos. And that’s saying something.