Interview: Showtek Talks Miami Music Week, Working With Tiësto, and Touring in the US

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If you consider yourself a house head and you don’t know the name Showtek, you’re fooling yourself.  After dominating the hard dance scene, Showtek changed directions moving towards the house scene, bringing with them their serious party-starter banger attitude.  They’ve had massive collaborations with Tiësto, Hardwell, Bassjackers, and their most recent releases, “Cannonball” and “Slow Down,” were massive Miami anthems.  The duo had a few things to say as we talked about their change to house, their Miami dominance (despite not playing Ultra?!), and what they might have for us next.

So you guys we’re just in Miami for and you played a bunch of different events and showcases; what was that like?
The best thing to experience was all kinds of parties.  Whether it was a pool party, or some inside shows, and we did about eight shows.  We also did our own party, “Showtek and Friends,” which sold in out in like two or three weeks, so we were really looking towards that.  We had a great time, everyone was going crazy, we played a lot of new tracks. That whole Miami week has been amazing.  Like with Ultra, like all of our tracks we’re being played multiple times and all day, so the whole Miami week was just one big high for us.

And although you didn’t play at Ultra yourself, a bunch of your tunes we’re heard all over.  “Slow Down,” “Crunk” – how did it make you feel to know that your tunes were bonafide anthems in Miami?
Great! We had “Slow Down,” “Crunk,” “Get Loose” [forthcoming on OWSLA], “Cannonball,” and those were played everywhere. It’s an honor to have those new tracks being played, but it’d be great to play them ourselves next year.

Definitely and that shouldn’t be a problem with the way you guys are going now.  You just mentioned “Cannonball” and “Get Loose,” two big anthems and also two big collaborations.  You’ve made collaborations with Justin Prime and Noisecontrollers obviously, but also Hardwell, Bassjackers, and Tiësto. With Tiësto you most recently released “Hell Yeah!,” but you also co-produced arguably Tiësto’s biggest hit in recent memory with “Maximal Crazy.”  How did that come about?
Well, we met an Ibiza a few year years ago and we did a few other things as well before “Maximal Crazy.”  When we met we just tried a few things and had this really cool connection, so one day we’re just working together in the studio as co-producers; not as Showtek but as Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen.  We started and after it came out, we started to work again in the future, so we asked Tiësto to do “Hell Yeah!” with us and after the success of “Maximal Crazy” of course, we felt now it might be time to put our name on it since we had changed genres a little bit as well and we thought it was right do a track like “Hell Yeah!” So we’ve been working a lot the last two years, and it’s cool to do, but now as Showtek, we’re going very strong.  I think “Cannonball” was the biggest collaboration thus far, and the feedback has been crazy worldwide. It’s been top 10 in the Netherlands for 17 weeks, it’s been top 10 in Beligum, top 50 in France at the moment; it’s been quite mental.

Definitely and you just rattled off a bunch of stats about “Cannonball,” so I have to ask how often do you keep up with this info?  That was pretty impressive right there.  Do you read that daily?
Nah, just working with the label and they keep you informed about what’s happening. We’re actually working on a re-release for other European countries, because, you know, it’s a club track?  It was in the Beatport top 10, the iTunes top 10, but then if it becomes a big hit on the commercial charts, and in the Netherlands, it plays about three times a day on the radio. If that happens in the Netherlands, you know it’s going to be a bigger banger for all the clubs.  Then the label knows that they can do more with the track, and then it becomes big in Belgium, and then Spain, and the label is known for pushing the tunes to the max.  It can be heard anywhere in the world and it can be a hit anywhere in the world.  And so you know after the club success of “Cannonball,” we’re focused on new club bangers and in the meanwhile, making more mainstream, airplay, commercial tracks.  I think it can be a lot bigger in the States and it’s been picked up a lot but, it’s not over yet.

And with “Cannonball,” “Slow Down” you could say that Showtek has also led the way for a hardstyle-inspired type of house and now Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella recently said he planned to put a hardstyle act on the mainstage and Headhunterz also recently signed to Ultra Music.  What do you guys make of that?  Where do you see the hardstyle sound fitting in the American EDM landscape?
I don’t know because although we came from that harder genre, we’ve totally focused on something new because we were bored with the scene.  There was no more to do, we did everything.  We had all the big hits, big festivals, and and we did it for a couple years, partying and all that, but we thought there must be a way of growing bigger. If the sound breaks through and it’s big, that’s awesome for those guys, but we honestly don’t really give a fuck because we’re focused on Showtek.  Showtek is the main priority.  Be it electro, dubstep, or hardstyle, it doesn’t really matter, it’ll be Showtek.  So I hope for those guys it’s great, but I think it’s going to be a tough job.  But who knows?

And you guys toured the US last summer as part of the IDentity Festival.  What was that like touring all over the US with other DJs and on the bus?
Yeah, it was a fun experience, bonding.  It was a seven-week bus drive, going from city to city.  I think we did like 12,500 miles in seven weeks? Cool thing was we had our girlfriends with us and the shows were amazing, crazy.  It was a great new experience, and it was very rock and roll with the bus and the crazy driver and it was amazing.  We got to share it with our girlfriends and we hope to do it again some day, maybe next year.

If you did it next year, who would you be bring on support?
Ooh well, that’s a good question.  We’re building up a really cool crew right now, like Jordy Dazz and we work with him a lot.  Dazz is one of those guys and other guys we support on Spinnin’ like TV Noise, but I think Dazz is the biggest name right now we want to work with.

What did you learn about the American scene from that tour?
It’s funny because if you compare the States to Europe for example, then the Netherlands, a really big music country, with Italy and you get a big name in Milan or like Madrid and Barca in Spain but it’s tough, it’s spread out.  France is tough, too, it’s very spread out.  I think in Europe, in the big, big cities it’s great, and the rest is like America and Asia.

Favorite stop on the tour?
Miami and New York!

Definitely, two of the biggest markets in the country!  And unfortunately I know you guys have to go, but thank you for taking the time with us!
No problem!