From: The Netherlands
DJ style: “Eclectic DJ style mixing (future) house and dance with tech-/deep-/bass-/electro-house, techno, progressive/trance, disco and more.”
Best known for: Eclectic sets, his Heldeep label and radio show, and his HI-LO alias.
Fave tune of 2022: Anyma, Chris Avantgarde ‘Consciousness’.”
Rising star DJ/producer of 2022: “Eli Brown.”
Rotterdam-born Oliver Heldens experienced his rise to fame at a very young age; enjoying a UK number 1 single at the tender age of 19 with ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ featuring the vocals of Becky Hill, and it’s been all systems go since then. His music continues to storm the charts, with hits like ‘Deja Vu’ featuring Anabel Englund and a big room version of ‘Another Chance’ alongside Roger Sanchez both released last year, and thanks to his various aliases he’s an artist who successfully bridges the mainstream and the underground.
This year he released a huge collaboration with Nile Rodgers and the House Gospel Choir called ‘I Was Made For Loving You’, a rework of the rock band Kiss’ original from 1979 — once again it’s become a sing-along anthem, just in a different way. Meanwhile, collabs with Reinier Zonneveld and Eli Brown under his HI-LO moniker helped him keep a foot in both dance music worlds.
Back on the road it’s been a busy year for Heldens. He’s toured the whole of the USA and Canada from Miami to Chicago, Denver to Toronto and across Europe including France, Belgium, Spain and Germany. He’s just finished a tour in Asia, and this winter he’ll be playing shows in Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and back out to America in November.
“Of course, touring and the festival season finally returned again in full effect, which has been amazing, but I didn’t want to go too crazy on touring, so I could still keep the high productivity in the studio going that I’ve had especially since the start of the pandemic,” Oli tells us. “I think I’ll end up doing around 95 to 100 shows this year and the rest of the time I’m working on lots of productions for both my Oliver Heldens and HI-LO aliases.”
What else has he been up to? “I have been working a lot on my health, with good results,” he shares. “Thank you all for the ongoing support all these years!”
What’s the best DJ set you’ve seen this year?
“Last day of Miami Music Week seeing Reinier Zonneveld into Adam Beyer into Carl Cox at the Resistance Megastructure at Ultra was definitely one of my favourite times dancing and partying this year.”
Name one great festival you played for the first time this year…
“Festival d’été de Quebec! Just head over to my Instagram and click the first video and you’ll understand why, it was incredible!”
What’s the longest DJ set you’ve ever played?
“Nothing too crazy, four hours at a New Year’s Eve party at Schimanski in Brooklyn, New York.”
What’s one piece of studio hardware you wish you owned?
“I’m considering getting a standing studio desk to keep a healthy spine — ha ha.”
What’s the last tune you bought?
“Sam Paganini ‘Flash (Wehbba remix)’.”
What’s the next big sound?
“A hybrid of melodic techno and more driving peak-time techno. And a hybrid of tech-house and more driving peak-time techno.”