Oliver Heldens: From High School to Mansion

Browse By

In the sea of EDM similarity, Oliver Heldens breaks through the surface and shuffles into your heart with his own brand of Deep/Tech-House.

oliverheldens3

His original musical-style comes at the perfect time for House-heads who have bored of the Big Room Hardstyle kicks, B2B2B2B2B DJ sets, and “hands in the air” performances. And at 19 years young, Heldens has just begun his journey to stardom.

Starting his personal production at 13, Heldens describes his first primitive studio and his strict, parental, computer restrictions:

“My early studio equipment was almost nothing. I had a computer with a FL Studio demo, without sample packs. I also didn’t had any VSTi’s like Massive, Sylenth1 or Nexus. As speakers I had 2 crappy computer speakers. The first 2 years I didn’t spend much time in producing, I was a gamer back then and also a factor was that I had software on my computer (installed by my parents) which didn’t allow me to spend more than 1.5 hours (weekdays) or 2.5 hours (weekend) per day on my computer.”

Though he did not have much interest as a young teen in furthering his production abilities, it was not long before the teenager was bit by the EDM bug.

“Hardwell sometimes played at our school discos back then. And he wasn’t even the headliner. We’ve had Erick E, Fedde Le Grand as headliners, but that was after 12PM, so I wasn’t able to check the headliner,” reminisces Heldens. “For me Hardwell was the headliner and I really enjoyed his music. His ‘crazy Dutch house’ stuff from then, but also his deeper/minimal stuff, I really loved it both.”

Fast forward to December 2013 and while scrolling through my Soundcloud stream for new music, I came across ‘Heldeep Mixtape 1’. After listening for 30 seconds and hearing a unique remix of Martin Garrix‘s global-hit “Animals” by none other than Oliver Heldens, I was addicted.

According to Heldens, his foray into the music industry at such a young age is much fueled by the internet, and he credits Soundcloud and Twitter for his being discovered.

“Spinnin’ Records found me online on Soundcloud, and the first tracks I released on Spinnin’ were supported by Tiesto,” said Heldens. “Tiesto started to follow me on Twitter, so I could ‘direct message’ him my new tracks. I sent him ‘Gecko’ and he replied within 15 minutes saying he wanted to sign it.”

Like any good fan, after discovering Heldens for the first time, I immediately searched for upcoming shows enlisting the ‘Gecko’ himself. Luckily, I reside a hop, skip, and jump from Miami so when Winter Music Conference came around at the end of March, I was able to see Heldens perform a DJ set at the annual All Gone Pete Tong pool party hosted at the Surfcomber Hotel.

 

I arrived early as his set was scheduled to be from 3:15 p.m.-4:00 p.m., just the fourth of 14 artists to perform that day. As Heldens took to the stage, the crowd slowly moved onto the sandy dance-floor as the Dutch DJ/Producer dropped his own catalog of exclusive original and remix productions.

Heldens was everything I expected (and more), and despite being an early performance and opening for headliners such as Nervo, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and MK, he was my favorite act.

The summer months have continued to be nothing but spectacular for Heldens. His now EDM anthem “Gecko (Overdrive)”, with added vocals provided by 20 year old, english singer-songwriter Becky Hill, claimed the UK’s #1 single spot around the same time the youngster graduated from high school.

His ‘Heldeep Mixtape 5 (Summer Edition)’ was released just a week ago and already has 160,000 plays, while the full mixtape series boasts over 1.25 million plays. The popularity of the mixtape series even spawned a weekly, radio podcast appropriately titled ‘Heldeep Radio’, which is going eight weeks strong and includes tons of new music.

Heldens has also already had the opportunity to perform at multiple, world-renowned venues and festivals which you can view the complete list of here.

I am most excited to be able to see Heldens August 2, in Miami Beach at Mansion Nightclub, where he will be the main headliner and hopefully play until the lights come on at 5 a.m.

Photo Cred: Kengo Allnight / @OliverHeldens