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Jun 02, 2016

This Is Sick 100

In anticipation of SICK INDIVIDUALS milestone radio show episode, we had the chance to talk with Ray and Jim about their show, how it has changed over time, and some of what makes this 100th episode so special! Enjoy the mix as you read the story and celebrate with SICK INDIVIDUALS!

Goals and Objectives
We always want to get some new music in the show. The most important thing is that the music is quality and we actually really like it. I think it’s a pretty hard job to go through all the music and find the right music every week. Our management helps us with that, selecting and sending us a lot of tracks, so we don’t have to go through everything. Still it’s a lot of work for us because they don’t have the same set of ears and know what we want every week.

Changing To a Weekly Show
I remember in the beginning when we started our first radio show, we always did one hour of SICK INDIVIDUALS in the Mix. Maybe we did it once every three months because we just wanted to put out a DJ mix for people to listen to. Eventually we thought, “Why don’t we do this every month?” We got such great responses to our monthly show and saw so many radio shows going weekly that as soon as we got the request from the radio stations to do a weekly show we thought that we should definitely do it!

Discovering and Selecting Music
In the beginning we were very focused on the promos. Now it’s getting harder to find music for the show through promos because as we get more popular, more people are sending us music. The level of the music that we want to put in the radio show is quite high. It’s a lot of listening. I think we should focus again on putting in more promos, but lately we are putting in more music from DJs we know or DJs that have a little bit of a following instead of random people that are just making awesome music. We’ve gotten a lot quicker now with the music selection and we know what kind of music we want. The pace is getting faster in terms of making the show and the show is getting better I think.  

Changes in Music Selection and Creating a Flow
The whole deep house music scene has made a huge comeback. Previously everything in the show was always 128 BPM and we were very against changing to a different tempo of track. It became so hard to fight that change. We want to have quality, good music in our show and it has to be diverse, so eventually we thought it would be cool to start with some tracks that are less energy. Also, the scene has also started to make all these crazy hard EDM bangers that we don’t necessarily like either. When you are on the radio, you want to enjoy listening instead of raving hard for one hour. It’s not rave radio. So now in the beginning we like to start off with maybe some 124 or 125 BPM stuff and then eventually you should just party hard. We also like to keep things tonal. If we start with a track in G, then the next one would be another track that is also in G. It’s better to listen to.

Playing Music from the Show in our Live Sets
We don’t play a lot of tracks that we include in the radio show in our sets, but they are still good tracks. We are so picky with the tracks that we play live that we often like playing a track that we’ve been playing for three years more than a new track. We just want the best tracks that we can possibly have in our live show. The good thing is that when you have a good new track or promo in your radio show, it gives you the opportunity to listen to it some more and think about ways you can use that track live. I always listen to a track and think things like, “Hey! What if we put something different on this bridge?” Sometimes a track has a great drop, but we don’t like the break. That often leads to the inspiration for new mashups.

We’ve tried a couple of times to play slower at the start of shows and people get disappointed. I think we finally have gotten to a level that when we start to play, people really expect something from us and they want to party. So as soon as we go down a little bit in energy, you feel the crowd just wants more.

I think the mix between club banger and progressive is just us. That’s what we love. What we’ve done with the remix of Icona Pop’s I Love It - it’s a track that we still play. And we still play I Am. Those are different tracks, but they still have the party vibe. We actually always try to take our set up to the same tempo and we’ve been experimenting more with trap in our live shows.

Tips for Submitting Promos
Make it very easy to listen to your track. No passwords. No YouTube clips with 15 seconds of advertisements. Just make it fast. Don’t put a lot of text in there. As soon as we like a promo, we will send you an email and the conversation starts. Make it very quick and simple so we can just download it and “Bam!”

The 100th Episode
We selected some tracks that we started listening to seven years ago and included music that has inspired us through the seven years of SICK INDIVIDUALS.
Veron ft. MC Dan Stezo - Get Up
Ray: Seven years ago, when I was making hip hop, my cousin told me I should start listening to dance music and I was like, “Hell no! I don’t like that stuff.” Then I heard this one track, Get Up by Veron. When I listened to it, I wanted to play it over and over and over. It’s very simple, but the vibe was awesome. I really felt the party vibe.
The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition (Axwell & Dirty South Remix)
Jim: I'm highlighting the Axwell & Dirty South remix of Sweet Disposition - the song speaks for itself and it just explains a lot for me :)
Melvin Reese - Lois 2010 (Rob Rolefes Remix)
Jim: I also want to highlight this track. This one reminds me of the good old days, being young without responsibilites. Just dreaming away with good music and vibes at an afterparty somewhere in Amsterdam deep into the morning.
Our track Made For This which we included in the mix is a big hit live. We frequently mash up this track live and we always receive great feedback from the audience.

We definitely want to highlight our brand new track Take It On. This song is the first of many originals we will be releasing this summer representing some different material from us.
We actually started this track three years ago. We got a really cool vocal clip from jACQ. We loved the vocals so much and we started writing with her to complete the track. It took us a long time because we really loved the break, but the drop was never just right. I think we tried 15 or 20 different versions. Before it was a radio song with less energy, but we felt her vocal was just too powerful. Eventually we made this latest drop and now we have the release on Armada!

The lyrics themselves explain the title. In life you can take on everything that you want. Eventually you hope to have a partner or someone that can help you take things on and point you in the right direction, so that’s what the track is about.

The video is maybe even more important. In the video we show how we started and how we grew up into this music. The video shows us seven years ago when we were just starting to fool around and throughout our whole career until now.

Sometimes it takes a while for your fans to learn a vocal. I remember when we did I Am with Axwell, it took maybe half a year before people started to sing along. We’ve made some mashups of Take It On to use in our live shows and have a big one with Coldplay. Sometimes it’s very cool to bring a new track into something known. When you play somewhere like Ultra, you want to play new music, but you also want something to be recognized. When you have a break where everyone is singing along and then a new buildup and drop comes on, you can see everyone going, “Wow!” The energy that comes off the thing you know can be put into this new energy when you start dancing. That’s why we like making mashups as well, especially with new tracks.

Future Plans
We are working on a lot of new music that is a lot slower and more like a song. It’s more listenable and the guitars and piano that we have in our tracks are more spread out throughout the whole song. We have a new track signed and we will put out some news very soon on it! We get very bored as soon as we do the same thing over and over which is why we try and make something different every time. We’ve now made some music that sounds like a band more than an electronic dance track and it represents a new direction from us. Besides that we are working on two very big and special remixes!

We also have a new live show called This Is Sick where I control the visuals and do the MCing and Jim is on the decks. We’ve been testing it out and it has been trial and error for a while now. In June we are going to play Ushuaia in Ibiza and that’s where we are going to do our first new This Is Sick show. We won’t bring any guys with us. We will just control everything from the DJ booth ourselves.
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