Nov 13, 2017
Holly's Exclusive Mix
Portuguese DJ/Producer Holly has enjoyed a massive 2017 with releases on labels like Monstercat, WOLV, and Mixmash, and major club shows and festival appearances including Shambhala. He’s now three dates into his first ever world tour, just released on Musical Freedom, and is sitting on a stack of releases upcoming on labels such as Buygore and Revealed. In celebration, Holly has prepared a huge Exclusive Mix featuring those tracks and his DJ set staples as we commemorate his big year and look forward to 2018!
How did you approach your Exclusive Mix and how does your track selection compare to your DJ sets currently?
For this Exclusive Mix I included all of my favorite tracks that I've been playing in my DJ sets for the last several weeks. My track selection is usually very similar in my live sets and I always love to play a little bit of everything.
Can you highlight three tracks included in your mix and why they stand out to you?
First, Roy Ayers – “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” (Machinedrum Remix) because I always pay close attention to the song that I finish my sets with and this one is one of my favorite songs for that. After playing for, say, one hour, it’s always important to me to put something to clean my ear and reset the vibe properly and this track is perfect for that.
Second, is CHIBS – “SHARINGAN” because it’s one of the most refreshing tracks I've heard in the last few months. Such a beautiful sound design and I love the groove. It’s always a secret weapon in my sets.
Third, Gesaffelstein – “Pursuit” because it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. Never gets old and everytime I listen to this track I kind of get this really personal trance feeling which I love!
Backtracking a little first, can you introduce yourself to our readers, and describe your musical background?
My name is Miguel, I'm 22 years old and I’ve been making music as Holly since I was 18. I come from a small town in the west side of Portugal called Caldas da Rainha which is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I love what I do. I started listening to The Prodigy when I was four or five years old and that was my first introduction to everything that I call music today. Besides the music that I make nowadays (which I can't define), I am very into punk hardcore, jazz music, soul, funk, hip-hop and even more music styles beyond those.
So far in your career what do you feel have been two key realizations?
To not give a fuck and to listen to no one.
You’ve just released on Musical Freedom and are sitting on a ton of massive tracks to be released on major labels such as Revealed and Buygore – what do you feel has been key to your production success in this series of tracks?
To be honest, I don't know. I just sit in front on my computer and make whatever comes to my mind. I just want to have fun making music. If I'm challenging myself in my production process I'll continue to evolve and add something new for everyone who is listening to my music.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations and influences?
My family, Burial, Jake Duncombe, Ali Boulala, The XX, Banksy Mike Mo, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Hudson Mohawke, Diplo, Liam Howlett, Flying Lotus, Bjork, DJ Snake, Dan Brown, Aphex Twin, Black Flag, Arca, Evian Christ, life, death, waking up, being alive, scared to fail, scared to win, Lil Uzi Vert, Brodinski, The Weeknd, Floorpunch, Challenge, Arcade Fire, Basquiat, my Portuguese rapper friend... everything honestly. Being alive is inspiring as hell.
What are two career goals that you hope to achieve still?
I keep my goals and dreams just for me – too personal to share!
Was there ever a DJ set you attended, heard, or saw where afterwards you knew you wanted to produce and DJ for a living?
Not in that way. I decided to make music and to perform live because it makes me feel like my life has a meaning and that I'm here for a reason, not just because I saw someone doing this and looked cool. Although, I remember watching Skrillex at a festival in Portugal called Super Bock back in 2012 and by that time it was a mind blowing experience to me, not just because it was my first time attending a major festival and watching a big DJ act, but because of all the futuristic and incomprehensible energy around that show.
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