Him Self Her - Eelke Kleijn

Eelke Kleijn is a Dutch producer of uplifting and melodic house music who has worked with some of the biggest labels within his chosen genre including Parquet Recordings, Anjunadeep, Global Underground and his own DAYS like NIGHTS.

Recently Eelke Kleijn was asked to remix Rüfüs Du Sol and following the success of that release, we caught up with him to talk about the remix process plus his other forthcoming projects…

> For the people reading this who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your style, and the key elements that define it?

Well I originally come from a progressive house background, but my sound has definitely evolved since the early years. Structure wise, my music is quite different nowadays, and there’s always a melodic element present that doesn’t necessarily mean a straightforward melody, but it’s always something that sets a mood or vibe. I really like a generally warm sound, no cold or harsh elements; I’m always looking for something you can lose yourself in.

> Your most recent release is a remix of Rüfüs Du Sol, could you tell us about your rework?

First of all let me say I’m really a big fan of the band in general, I play quite a few of their originals during my sets. So being asked to remix “No Place” was really amazing. The original has quite a bit of a pop element in it, and I wanted to try and see if I could take that, especially the vocal, and give it a more organic feel. So I started this remix on guitar, and recorded a few lines first. That’s what you hear in the first 1-2 minutes. I worked on the drums next and the bassline and I sort of worked my way up from there. I really like how it turned out, you instantly recognize the original but it’s a different song altogether as well. And that’s how I want remixes to be – they have to stand on their own, there’s no point in doing one if you do it in such a way that it either sounds the same or the original is almost not recognizable anymore.

> Could you talk us through the creative process of putting a remix together, and any production techniques you commonly use?

In this case my process was a little bit different because I started from guitar, where I would normally start from synths. But the first thing I’ll usually do is decide on a tempo and get a basic groove going with a kick and hi hat or some shakers. I recorded the guitar parts next, all through the Kemper Profiler amp, and thought about adding a bassline. But I wanted to have the groove going for a while before I introduced that. I like to do that sometimes because it will only give you the chords and harmonics when the bassline finally hits. I also made sure to have the lead vocals in there long before, so that strengthens that effect. From then on it’s just coloring in all the bits and pieces. The last thing I came up with was the melody after the second breakdown, I felt it needed something extra so I spent a few hours tweaking my modular and trying to get a nice sequence going. I do think I spent quite some time on this remix, I think 2-3 weeks if I remember correctly.

> How did you first make contact with Rüfüs Du Sol, is there a story behind them asking you to do a remix?

Rüfüs Du Sol made an own edit of my song “The Calling” and used it in their Mixmag Cover Mix. My manager reached out to them to see if we could officially release it and it turned out they used a vocal of one of the songs on their own album. So it is an edit they play and won’t be released. While in contact they asked if I was interested in doing a remix, which I did with “No Place.” So quite funny that at the end of the day it wasn’t them remixing my song but the other way around!

> Moving away from your recent remix, how are things going with your label DAYS like NIGHTS?

The label is doing well! This last year was mostly about the release of my artist album Moments Of Clarity, and throughout 2019 we’ve been releasing remixes of that, Nora En Pure (September 12), Erick Morillo, Nakadia, Brassica, Animal Trainer, Valeron, Yulia Niko and VNTM, they’ve all done remixes of one of the tracks. In between we also had some new singles by Nico Morano and Danito & Athina among others. This next year we will focus more on originals, there’s a few more album remixes coming up and then that whole project is really finished. We don’t release that much music because we choose to focus on a single track at a time. So in a month it could be 2 tracks max. But that does give us the opportunity to put a lot more energy into those.

> What’s coming up next in your schedule, do you have any exciting gigs or big releases in the pipeline?

Well music wise I’ve been working on a lot of new songs recently. I’m currently trying out some new tracks during my sets and then going back into the studio for some minor changes and tweaks. This year it’s been mostly about my live show. I launched it this year at DGTL and I’ve done 3 shows since. It’s me remixing my own tunes live on stage and then playing the synths live on top. I have a live show coming up at Into The Woods festival next week in The Netherlands, and 2 weeks after that also in Berlin and Paris. We also have DAYS like NIGHTS during ADE coming up again. We’ve teamed up with Guy J and his Lost & Found this year, and the lineup is amazing, with guests including Guy Mantzur, Rodriguez Jr, Tensnake and many others.

> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who might look to your music for inspiration?

I’ve learned throughout the years that it is always about quality above quantity. It doesn’t really matter if it takes you a really long time to finish a tune or if you have periods where you’re just not so productive, it’s the things you do when you do get inspired that count. I work really long on my tunes, weeks easily. But the feeling you get when you do something that really makes a fantastic tune is worth all of it!

>Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, we like to finish our interviews with a couple of questions that are a little bit light hearted… without getting too personal, could you tell us something many don’t know about you?

I’m a game freak. I don’t have too much time anymore nowadays, but I used to play World of Warcraft all the time. Before that Command & Conquer, all the classic RPGs, Fallout, Mario, Zelda etc. Nowadays I just play my switch every now and then 😉

> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you have ever seen happen in a club… was it something outrageously brilliant, like a blindfolded DJ mixing seamlessly and scratching with their elbows, or something outrageously cringe-worthy, like some embarrassing drunk person urinating on the dancefloor?

I’ve had a bomb threat once, years ago! I think it was 2005 or 2006. The best thing was, the promoter owned another club down the street, so the whole place evacuated, moved in a straight line to the other venue, and 20 mins later we were up and running again!

> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, is there anything extra you want to add before we wrap up the conversation?

My pleasure. Yeah definitely, a bit of shameless self promotion. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into my Spotify playlist lately. Be sure to check it out, it’s called DAYS like NIGHTS on Spotify. I add lots of music I play on the radio show, and also my own favorites as well as some classics every now and then.

> You can pick up a copy of Eelke Kleijn’s new remix of Rüfüs Du Sol from … HERE…