After recently wrapping up his second North American headlining tour, it’s back to the production grind for Oliver Twizt. Electro-house’s rising star is all about business and his hard work is certainly paying off as 2013 shapes up as the Dutch producer’s busiest year yet. Joonbug had a chance to chat with Oliver Twizt at The W Hotel on South Beach before his slew of Miami Music Week performances, so read on as the production ace dishes on his road to stardom, remixing methodology, and newest production projects.
You’ve spent the month of march headlining your second North American tour, how’s it going so far?
It’s good! I had a couple of stops on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which are always tricky but I still had a full house. We’ve done seven shows and I have six more to do. I’m really happy about it so far. I was excited but touring for a month by yourself is pretty hard, but so far it’s been great.
So how does headlining your own tour compare to last spring’s Laidback Luke tour which you joined as an opener?
When I’m touring with Luke I’m with a bunch of people, different tour managers, and my focus is really different. I’m really focused on warming up the crowd, not playing too hard, so headlining is a whole different level. Sometimes I stay stuck in the warmup mindset, but headlining is pretty dope too. I learned so much from Laidback, and now that I’m headlining it’s super fun. I love it.
Let’s rewind to 2008 when you made the move to split apart from Skitzfrenix and go solo. Why did you make that decision?
It started out as a hobby and when I was with Skitzfrenix, I was the guy in the bedroom producing while he was on the road. I missed getting the appreciation and recognition for what I was doing, so that’s the main reason we split up because I wanted to DJ as well.
So you first learned to produce and then taught yourself to DJ? In today’s world, almost all producers have to tour as a DJ to make money, while almost all DJs have to produce to make a name for themselves. As someone who’s mastered both arts, would you say you prefer one over the other or that they’re both pretty intertwined at this point?
I used to have a preference for producing because I was really shy. But after I started touring and feeling the crowd’s energy, I think I like DJing better now. I’m honest, producing is fun but doing DJ gigs and seeing all of those hands up definitely wins.
Well as a producer you’re certainly excelling! You’ve remixed everyone from Pitbull to Madonna and I was curious to see what your approach is when reworking someone else’s music. Do you have certain elements of the original track which you strive to maintain? Or do you just takes bits and pieces of the track and blanket them with your own sounds?
I always start making the chorus of the original track sound really big. I’ve been in the studio with a bunch of guys, like the guy who does Lady Gaga’s production, and he said to me “Always when you have a big remix job, focus on the chorus of the track because the rest is not as important.” That’s the way I was taught.
Since your name may be fairly new to some of our readers, how would you describe your sound? What could fans expect from you when they attend your shows?
I always say expect the unexpected because I like hip-hop, I like trap, I like hardstyle, I like electro-house, I like tech-house. But with these coming shows, I’m focused on electro-house and trap mainly.
So you’ve got this absolutely massive collaboration out now with Angger Dimas called XXX. I love that the two of you teamed up, you both have that gritty electro sound in your production and this track is just mammoth. Tell me about how the collaboration came together.
We were working together online, so I started with the track and was like, “Yo, do you wanna work on this?” And he was like, “Yes, awesome dude!” So I did the drop mainly and he made the breaks sound bigger. It was a really quick track to make. Angger Dimas is one of my best DJ homies, I’ve known him for two or three years and we hang out so much that working together was just fun for us.
What’s next on the horizon for 2013?
I’m releasing a pretty dope trap remix of Bloody Beetroots’ “Spank” and also a trap remix for Steve Aoki. I’m also working on a more progressive single, a big room song, it’s a really romantic, love-in-the-air type. That’s going to be my first progressive single after the track I did with Sandro Silva and Elleah called “Pull the Trigger.” I’m pretty excited about my track with Laidback Luke, it’s also progressive, big-room house.
Wow, so lots of production going down. How do you find time to do all of this while on tour?
I try to keep touring and producing separate. When I’m not touring, I’m constantly in the studio working on new tracks. When I’m home, I’m only writing tracks and when I’m touring I’m only DJing. That’s how it works for me.