Jul 12, 2021
Nick Havsen Brings Out The IDs For Breathtaking Live Set In Romania
Get ready for loads of new unreleased music as Nick Havsen brings the IDs out to play in his Spotlight Mix! Recorded live from the rooftop of the Balvanyos Resort with the breathtaking Romanian landscape all around, it’s one hour of 100% pure big room bliss! Havsen, who has become a stand out on Smash The House after seven releases on the label, also has loads of exciting collabs coming including music with Futuristic Polar Bears, and it was all on full display in his live set! Turn it up and get ready to be transported to a festival mainstage!
Nick, thanks so much for joining us today! We’re so excited to share your Spotlight Mix and take a closer look at your bright future! Could you start out by talking a bit about your background in DJing and music production?
Well first of all, thanks for the opportunity! Let's start at the beginning – music has always been a part of me since I was born. When I was a kid, I got my start playing around on my mini toy keyboard, recreating melodies I had heard. My father was part of a band and could play the guitar and piano so he was able to teach me some basic chords and such.
Around 2006-2007, I started listening to a lot of hip hop and this made me want to start producing my own beats and instrumentals. I went about looking up which programs I would need to download to make something and decided that Reason 3.0 was the best option at the time. Turns out, I didn't stick with it for long.
Around 2012, I started to watch some DJ sets on YouTube because I was interested in DJing myself. The Tomorrowland sets and the ones from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were my favorite – DVLM was actually my biggest inspiration at the time and motivated me to get into the game. I knew that I wanted to become a DJ, but to do that I would need to make my own tracks which I could play out so that people could really recognize my name. This time, I downloaded FL Studio and started learning the ropes.
What are the sounds that Nick Havsen stands for today as both a producer and DJ?
All of my music is energetic! As my deep love is for big room, I really like those old school generic sounds, and I like to use mostly plucks in my tracks, as well as supersaw big room leads. When I produce, I’m always imagining how would the track would sound in a club or at a festival.
With DJing I stay energetic as well. I really like to play harder styles too, and also some mashups between rock and hip hop vocals, but mainly I’m sticking to my big room festival style! I always try and bring new music and IDs to every set to keep things fresh too! Ultimately my goal is to perform a full hour long set playing only my own originals in front of a big crowd.
Turning our focus to your incredible live set, where did the idea to record on top of the hotel come from?
It came really randomly while I was exporting one of my tracks actually. I was thinking about how nice it would be to play the track live and so I wanted somewhere special. Something elevated, so I could show a bit of the landscape here in my home country of Romania. We have a lot nice places here including this amazing hotel, Balvanyos Resort, which is just a few kilometers from my home.
Talk us through the process of turning the idea into reality and some of the challenges of getting set up.
I thought it was going to be hard to get a permission, but the hotel crew was super nice and kind. They loved my idea and everything was fixed! We definitely had some difficulties getting everything to the roof, we tried many times to climb up to the 5th floor with a 40kg desk… that ended up not working out, so a good friend of mine helped us with his own "mobile desk" haha.
Besides this everything went great, special thanks for my sponsors for giving me all the good stuff – Pikowatt, Sound Studio, DRK.
Take us inside your head for the Spotlight Mix. How did the vibe outside play into the track selection and how does recording an atmospheric set like this compare to a live set in a club?
The main focus for the track selection was to include as much unreleased music as possible! I wanted to give everyone a sense of what I’ve been working on in the studio as well as some of my current favorites.
It was very different for me selection wise, since I really wanted to showcase exclusive tracks, mix harmonically and also fit in a lot of music! I played 35 tracks so I kept the transitions quick, and it did give me a bit of the feeling as if I was playing for a big crowd again. Hope we can rave together soon at a festival to a set like this – one hour of 100% pure big room!
What were three stand out tracks included in your set, and why?
I don’t want to give too much away since there are so many IDs, but I can say that there will be two big tracks with my brothers Futuristic Polar Bears. Our new EP will drop in the middle of July, and I’m super proud about these tracks. A great follow up for "Lord of the Rave."
I have a sick collab coming with my Argentinian brother Buiatti. It’s a pure big room, but I can't tell any more about it, hope the listeners will spot which one it is!
I also want to mention one with RAYVEN, this track is going be out in August. It’s a killer and it’s dedicated to all big room soldiers!
See if you can ID some of the other collabs included with talented artists like TBR, G-Sus, CODEX (SE), Gaspar, L3N, David White, Marc Blou and many many more!
For those that may not know, you’ve toured extensively in Asia prior to COVID and have also played Ultra Europe in the past. What are a few of your favorite places to play?
Yes, I’m missing touring so much. I love Asia, and I can't wait to be back there – China, Japan, and Thailand are my favorites. Chinese clubs are really killing the game, and the crowds are insane there, hope I can go back soon! I would also like to explore more and reach new countries around the world. And as you mentioned, Ultra was a big achievement and milestone for me. I really hope I can play there again in the future, because the vibe was simply amazing!
You’ve become really ingrained as a key member on Smash The House. Can you detail your work together with DVLM’s label? What does being a part of that family mean to you?
It’s truly a big honor and I’m so proud. Working with the STH team was my dream, since Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were my biggest inspiration back in the years when I started producing. From 2015 I had the goal to see them play a track of mine on the Tomorrowland mainstage and in 2020 I nailed and released my first track on Smash. Now I can say I’ve released my 7th track there, and the new ones are coming!
I’m really proud of my release there titled "Lord of the Rave" together with Wolfpack and Futuristic Polar Bears. The hype was sick around that track after Wolfpack premiered it in 2019 at Tomorrowland! It was unbelievable when I saw how people reacted and asked for the release date. It was really my dreams coming true. Big shout out to the team there for believing in my music!
Talk us through a day in your life at the moment. How have you been maintaining inspiration and creativity? Have you changed your routine at all compared to pre-pandemic?
I made a plan last year to be more open and make more connections with artists. I started to collab with many talented artists, met a lot of good people online and made some really good friends! I wasn’t like this pre-pandemic, so definitely that was a silver lining for me.
Last year when we were in quarantine and not allowed to go outside, I just sat and everyday wanted to make something new. A lot of cool ideas were born and I’m grateful that so many of those have become releases already this year.
And as we look ahead, what has you most excited for this summer?
I’m still holding out hope for festivals to come back! I really hope there is the potential to get back on tour, travel, and maybe spend some time on holiday in another country.
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