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Fresh On The Scene

MONARCQ

Liège nightclub Le Cadran closes its doors.

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Some have already obtained small successes, spending years in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to shine and others have barely left their bedroom studios. Some aim for headlining festival stages, others aim for nothing in particular – but all of them have developed a sound with the potential to turn heads. With this feature we shine a light on some of the most interesting new musical talents our tiny country has to offer.

\n\n\n\n

When 25-year-old Mathieux Ngoie Kapaj aka MONARCQ released the music video for his first single ‘Bad Kidz’, it wasn’t a quick test to see if it would gain some interest. Quite the contrary, it was the final, conscious step of a long process of self-discovery. For years, this Ghent based young man was developing himself as a complete artist, writing his own lyrics, producing his own tracks and even directing his own videos. And the time has come for the world to see. With the drop of his ‘Human Zoo’ debut album on the way, MONARCQ is an artist to look out for.

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So, take us to the beginning… Which were your first steps in the music biz?

\n\n\n\n

Well, I’ve been making music for a while now. I used to be a part of the hip hop group Gangthelabel, and that’s where it all started for me. Until about 2014 we had a good thing going, but we had to put the project on hold. I felt I needed to get to know myself a little better before I could continue making music. So that’s what I did.

\n\n\n\n

You have a distinct sonic and visual aesthetic, which makes us think you know exactly what you want to put out in the world. How long did it take for you to reach this point?

\n\n\n\n

I virtually locked myself in for 4 years to work on my ideas. I didn’t release music in a hurry, because I wanted to avoid a situation in which I wouldn’t be 100% happy with the results a few years down the line. You have to learn about yourself, think about your abilities and listen to your emotions. It’s a complete learning process that you need to get through as an artist first.

\n\n\n\n

Unlike other artists: you’re immediately releasing an album without many EP’s or singles beforehand…

Singles are valuable assets too of course, but often I miss some context with just a string of different hits. This stage name may be relatively new, but I’ve been creating music for a long time now. I have a lot to say and I just don’t think I would be able to tell my whole story in just one EP. That’s why me and my team around me decided to go straight for the album.

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You may be a multidisciplinary artist who sings, dances, produces and directs; but MONARCQ is a team effort, right?

It’s a blessing to have a team around me who is as crazy as I am. We all share the same vision, energy and patience to create things that we can all proudly stand behind. We never limit ourselves to one certain idea, but instead approach projects with a truly open mind. I believe that is crucial for an effective and successful team effort. This too is a reason why it took me so long to come forward with new material. My team members always suggest new ideas, give feedback, so until a song is truly finished, we go all the way to pick out and apply those best ideas.

When we watched your video for ‘Bad Kidz’, it struck us how professional everything is for a debut single of an independent artist. From the choreography to the camera work: everything looks extremely well-prepared and perfectly executed.

I wanted the first MONARCQ video to be something out of the ordinary. That’s why we thought of this music video as a complete story that could borrow a lot of elements from a feature film. When we made the track we already had the idea to produce this kind of big visual project. I started pitching many ideas with my director of photography and after a long debate we had a clear plan. You can’t show everything in just one video, so I needed to make some hard choices. In hindsight, this was a very important lesson for me.

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Where does the name MONARCQ actually come from?

\n\n\n\n

There’s a very personal story behind it. In my teenage years I’ve never really had my own private space. My family didn’t have a lot of money and I used to sleep on a sofa in a tiny apartment for 4 years. I already then realized that when opportunity comes, I would grab it with both hands. Opportunity doesn’t come in material things, as these can be taken away from you. My ‘arc’ however, is something only I can ‘own’. Hence: ‘mon arc’, which became ‘MONARCQ’. I invite everyone to jump on my arc.

\n\n\n\n

So what’s the plan from here?

\n\n\n\n

If ‘Bad Kidz’ learned me one thing, it’s that I need to continue delivering quality output. I want to keep people on the edge of their seats and surround myself with people who can contribute to big projects with their particular talents. Hopefully, a live show can be ready by next year. As you may expect, I don’t want to do a simple performance of my songs. It needs to be a complete, dynamic live show. Besides my own musical projects, I’m producing music for other artists as well. I want to show the world that my love for music is not only about me.

"},{"type":"interviewfooter","text":"

MONARCQ’s debut album ‘Human Zoo’ is set to release in October. Follow the artist on his fan page to stay up to date.

","key":1555436152,"id":7}],"type":"freshonthescene","locale":"en","categories":[],"id":"5cb5d8e14f18d10520119f0b","isPlaceholder":false},{"owner":"5c344d39d6d4b12a8d144be7","client":"563fa1fd1b73f17f676b8201","author":{"name":"","url":""},"i18n":{"en":"5cb6e9194f18d1052011ba51"},"title":"Liège nightclub Le Cadran closes its doors.","photographer":{"name":"","url":""},"slug":"liege-nightclub-le-cadran-closes-its-doors","i18nSlug":{"en":"liege-nightclub-le-cadran-closes-its-doors"},"excerpt":"Sad news from Liège. Even though the roster stayed remarkably empty over the last few months, the management insisted that the club would remain active. This morning however, the club released a statement in which they explained that it would cease all activities in the near future. For over 7 years, Le Cadran has been Liège’s prime getaway for fans of techno and house. Located near the Liege-Palais train station, this 2700 m² of space was one of the only venues in town that regularly drew in thousands to witness DJ-sets from artists like Nicolas Jaar, Mr. Oizo, Daphni, Amelie Lens and 2manydjs. 2 years ago, we made an in-depth portrait of this remarkable nightclub in our Club Focus series.","updatedAt":"2019-04-17T09:21:12.512Z","createdAt":"2019-04-17T08:51:37.413Z","recordStores":[],"related":[],"publishedAt":"2019-04-17T08:41:00.000Z","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-600x401.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-401x600.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1200x802.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x1200.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x802.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}],"isHome":true,"isVisible":true,"isSticky":false,"tags":[],"body":[{"type":"text","text":"","key":1555541873,"id":0,"description":"

Sad news from Liège. Even though the roster stayed remarkably empty over the last few months, the management insisted that the club would remain active. This morning however, the club released a statement in which they explained that it would cease all activities in the near future. For over 7 years, Le Cadran has been Liège’s prime getaway for fans of techno and house. Located near the Liege-Palais train station, this 2700 m² of space was one of the only venues in town that regularly drew in thousands to witness DJ-sets from artists like Nicolas Jaar, Mr. Oizo, Daphni, Amelie Lens and 2manydjs. 2 years ago, we made an in-depth portrait of this remarkable nightclub in our Club Focus series.

The team behind Le Cadran will continue working under the Swim Agency banner, an event management and strategy bureau. The building will be made available for One Reality, an interactive VR company. On May 3rd, the club will throw one last party, free of admission. All information can be found here.

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Exactly 25 years ago, a certain nightclub would open its doors for the first time. Little did the owners know that a fourth of a century down the line, they would be looking back on a rich history of the most important techno institute this country has ever known. It wasn't always good times however and it certainly wasn't an easy ride. Watch last year's Red Bull Elektropedia documentary on the complete history of Fuse to witness this piece of Belgian heritage.

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Fuse is celebrating its 25th birthday with a massive 14-hour rave at Palais 12 on Saturday April 27, inviting industry heavyweights like Len Faki, Charlotte de Witte, Dave Clarke, Adam Beyer, Stephan Bodzin live, Mind Against, Pierre and Downside. All info and tickets can be found here.

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We have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that tickets for Garnizoen have sold out completely. The good news is that we have 5 duotickets left for you to win. Usually, Diest is a simple, quiet town, tucked away in the East of the country. On Sunday April 21 however, that will not be the case. The production team behind Pukkelpop will take over the old military citadel in the center of town for a unique bunker rave with more than a dozen artists across 3 stages. Most notably, one of Belgium’s current prime techno exports, Amelie Lens, tops the bill, alongside industry stalwarts like Rødhåd, David Vunk and San Soda. Belgian breakthrough talents like Cellini, Faisal, Susobrino, Bjeor and Innershades are on the schedule too. Don’t want to miss this? Fill in the form below and you might win your last chance of attending this legendary rave.

","id":0,"key":1555420102,"text":"","type":"text"},{"type":"codeblock","quote":"","key":1555412658,"id":1,"html":"\n \n \n "}],"type":"default","locale":"en","categories":[],"id":"5cb487724f18d10520117d3f","isPlaceholder":false},{"owner":"5c344d39d6d4b12a8d144be7","client":"563fa1fd1b73f17f676b8201","author":{"name":"","url":""},"i18n":{"en":"5cb06b1e4f18d105201113f8"},"title":"Liquicity Antwerp: ticket contest and track premiere","photographer":{"name":"","url":""},"slug":"liquicity-ticket-contest-track-premiere","i18nSlug":{"en":"liquicity-ticket-contest-track-premiere"},"excerpt":"Junglist massive! Drum ‘n’ bass is more alive than ever. From stadium-filling bangers (please watch our latest Rampage video if you want to see what that looks like) to bass-heavy and meditative rollers: every niche has it’s own dedicated event that’s popping at the moment. For the junglists that like their breaks deep, Liquicity is a stalwart international name in the scene. Since 5 years, the organization has struck down in Antwerp’s Trix with a string of sold out events – and this year will be no exception. On Saturday May 4, more than a dozen artists will drop the bass across two packed rooms. Good thing we have 2 duotickets to give away. Just fill out the form below and take your chance to witness one of the hypes of the moment.","updatedAt":"2019-04-12T11:43:10.286Z","createdAt":"2019-04-12T10:40:30.695Z","recordStores":[],"related":[],"publishedAt":"2019-04-12T10:35:00.000Z","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-600x401.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-401x600.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-1200x802.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-802x1200.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-802x802.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"5b731ab3b11719825fab48f431f9e1e0-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}],"isHome":true,"isVisible":true,"isSticky":false,"tags":[],"body":[{"type":"text","text":"","key":1555135881,"id":0,"description":"

Junglist massive! Drum ‘n’ bass is more alive than ever. From stadium-filling bangers (please watch our latest Rampage video if you want to see what that looks like) to bass-heavy and meditative rollers: every niche has it’s own dedicated event that’s popping at the moment. For the junglists that like their breaks deep, Liquicity is a stalwart international name in the scene. Since 5 years, the organization has struck down in Antwerp’s Trix with a string of sold out events – and this year will be no exception. On Saturday May 4, more than a dozen artists will drop the bass across two packed rooms. Good thing we have 2 duotickets to give away. Just fill out the form below and take your chance to witness one of the hypes of the moment.

One of the names on the bill is young, homegrown talent Hiraeth. The Tielt-native is one of Belgium’s most promising drum ‘n’ bass prodigies, a fact that becomes clear when you listen to his track that’s forthcoming on the Liquicity record label. The track officially drops on April 22, but you can check it out right here, right now in all exclusivity.

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The hip hop community is getting ready for the drop of Roméo Elvis’ long-awaited debut solo album ‘Chocolat’ today. If the two singles ‘Malade’ and ‘Normal’ are any indication, this album will prove to be his most diverse work to date. If all goes to plan, it will also be his most successful work, breaking through yet another barrier everyone thought wouldn’t be possible for the native Brusseleir. With streaming numbers through the roof (almost 3 million Spotify listeners a month), a concert at Forest National on April 20 and another string of shows through dozens of locations in France, it might be a good moment to stand still and look back on where it all started for Roméo Van Laeken. He first fell on many people’s radar when he won 2 gold medals at the 2016 Red Bull Elektropedia Awards. This video we made with the man back in then demonstrates just how fast things have gone for him ever since:

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The person to ask about the early days must be Fabien Leclerq aka Le Motel, his long-time producer and close friend with whom he released almost 3 albums worth of material (‘Morale’, ‘Morale 2’ and ‘Morale 2luxe’). “I never predicted the kind of traction he’s getting, not when we released the Morale albums and especially not now”, says Leclerq. (Click here if you want to see how they made ‘Morale 2luxe’). Couleur Café, Brussels’ most celebrated urban festival, booked Roméo for the second consecutive year in 2017. “That’s something we normally never do”, says booker Irene Rossi. “But as he’s such a talented storyteller who’s loyal, committed and brutally honest, we booked him another time and he gave us the most explosive of show of that year”. A few months later, Roméo topped this breakthrough year by conquering 5 gold medals at the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards of that year. An absolute milestone.

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It was only the start. “Roméo is like a diesel engine: he started slow, but once he got going, there was no stopping him”, explains Belgium’s most renowned hip hop DJ Lefto. An extensive tour across France and a few key performances across Belgium marked a new beginning for the homegrown rapper. “Roméo has incredible charisma and self-confidence”. Which accounts for his appeal with so many different kinds of audiences. When he showed a sold out Ancienne Belgique what he got, music fans on the North side of the language border really started to take notice of what we were dealing with.

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On the most recent Red Bull Elektropedia Awards, Roméo didn’t take home as many awards as he did last time (in part because he didn’t release a new album in 2018), but he won’t be grieving that as his sister Angèle claimed most of the titles. Luckily, he still managed to win the award for ‘Best Live’, according to him the most important one of the bunch.

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Roméo is clearly someone who uses his platform to support the younger generation of rappers and the day ones around him. He regularly invites other artists to perform on his shows, collaborates on other tracks or invites friends on his rap specials. “Roméo is like a big brother to me”, says the young and upcoming Brussels-based rapper Lord Gasmique. “Not only was he one of my biggest inspirations, he was also the first one to give me a chance to prove myself, right from the beginning.”

“What I really like about Roméo is that he never does what people tell him to do”, says Le Motel. “He even makes fun of it. He loves to experiment, which is something crucial for the longevity of an artist”. Lefto agrees: “He clearly is someone who wants to try many different sounds, which is why there’s a bright future ahead of him”. Le Motel couldn’t have said it any better: “You never know what to expect – and that will not be any different for Chocolat. Music is his life, so we won’t see the end of him anytime soon”.

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“Roméo Elvis – Chocolat” is available on all streaming platforms. Catch the man at Forest National on April 20. More information and tickets can be found here.

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The first edition of Rampage Open Air takes place on July 26 and 27 in Lommel. Head over to this link for more information and tickets.

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Raving always feels a little better when it’s done under clear skies, right? That’s why Bunktek and Materia take their warehouse concept outdoors for a yearly techno celebration. The experienced rave night and the record label spearheaded by the legendary Marco Bailey will host their fourth open air edition in the quiet town of Glabbeek on Friday August 2. After having invited names like Amelie Lens, Dixon and Sven Väth in the past, it looks like this year is going to be another banger:

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Can't wait? Bunktek and Materia throw a massive warehouse rave at Kompass this Friday with The Advent amongst many others. Click here for more information and tickets.

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Don’t call Listen! Festival just a festival. In just 4 years, it has become one of the most renowed electronic music events in the country. Between April 17 and 21, visitors will be able to indulge themselves in an incredibly wide array of different activities (think parties, concerts, vinyl markets, networking, panel discussions, live radio, a few Boiler Rooms and a whole lot more). Most of the daytime action takes place around the Listen! Sound District at Les Halles St Géry, while the weekend’s impressive nightlife program is scattered around multiple locations in Brussels.

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That said, we have some good news for those of you who want to be a part of this. We have a whole bunch of tickets to give away:

For a chance to win one of these duo tickets, please fill in the form below and choose which event you would like to attend. Please check out the detailed program and additional information on the Listen! Festival website. Good luck and see you on the dancefloor! 

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Next Saturday April 27, it’s all about Fuse’s 25th birthday celebration (watch our documentary on the history of this legendary nightclub here). In true Fuse fashion, they have invited a small army of the world’s most renowned techno artists in a venue that usually only reserved for big pop concerts: Palais 12. With Len Faki, Charlotte de Witte, Dave Clarke, Adam Beyer, Stephan Bodzin live, Mind Against and Pierre on the bill. All is ready for a proper 14-hour rave. Wanna join the fun and take a chance to win one of 5 duotickets? Take part in our contest below:

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Some have already obtained small successes, spending years in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to shine and others have barely left their bedroom studios. Some aim for headlining festival stages, others aim for nothing in particular – but all of them have developed a sound with the potential to turn heads. With this feature we shine a light on some of the most interesting new musical talents our tiny country has to offer.

\n\n\n\n

When 25-year-old Mathieux Ngoie Kapaj aka MONARCQ released the music video for his first single ‘Bad Kidz’, it wasn’t a quick test to see if it would gain some interest. Quite the contrary, it was the final, conscious step of a long process of self-discovery. For years, this Ghent based young man was developing himself as a complete artist, writing his own lyrics, producing his own tracks and even directing his own videos. And the time has come for the world to see. With the drop of his ‘Human Zoo’ debut album on the way, MONARCQ is an artist to look out for.

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So, take us to the beginning… Which were your first steps in the music biz?

\n\n\n\n

Well, I’ve been making music for a while now. I used to be a part of the hip hop group Gangthelabel, and that’s where it all started for me. Until about 2014 we had a good thing going, but we had to put the project on hold. I felt I needed to get to know myself a little better before I could continue making music. So that’s what I did.

\n\n\n\n

You have a distinct sonic and visual aesthetic, which makes us think you know exactly what you want to put out in the world. How long did it take for you to reach this point?

\n\n\n\n

I virtually locked myself in for 4 years to work on my ideas. I didn’t release music in a hurry, because I wanted to avoid a situation in which I wouldn’t be 100% happy with the results a few years down the line. You have to learn about yourself, think about your abilities and listen to your emotions. It’s a complete learning process that you need to get through as an artist first.

\n\n\n\n

Unlike other artists: you’re immediately releasing an album without many EP’s or singles beforehand…

Singles are valuable assets too of course, but often I miss some context with just a string of different hits. This stage name may be relatively new, but I’ve been creating music for a long time now. I have a lot to say and I just don’t think I would be able to tell my whole story in just one EP. That’s why me and my team around me decided to go straight for the album.

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You may be a multidisciplinary artist who sings, dances, produces and directs; but MONARCQ is a team effort, right?

It’s a blessing to have a team around me who is as crazy as I am. We all share the same vision, energy and patience to create things that we can all proudly stand behind. We never limit ourselves to one certain idea, but instead approach projects with a truly open mind. I believe that is crucial for an effective and successful team effort. This too is a reason why it took me so long to come forward with new material. My team members always suggest new ideas, give feedback, so until a song is truly finished, we go all the way to pick out and apply those best ideas.

When we watched your video for ‘Bad Kidz’, it struck us how professional everything is for a debut single of an independent artist. From the choreography to the camera work: everything looks extremely well-prepared and perfectly executed.

I wanted the first MONARCQ video to be something out of the ordinary. That’s why we thought of this music video as a complete story that could borrow a lot of elements from a feature film. When we made the track we already had the idea to produce this kind of big visual project. I started pitching many ideas with my director of photography and after a long debate we had a clear plan. You can’t show everything in just one video, so I needed to make some hard choices. In hindsight, this was a very important lesson for me.

","id":4,"key":1555501480,"text":"","type":"text"},{"id":5,"key":1555475917,"quote":"","type":"video","html":""},{"type":"text","text":"","key":1555511833,"id":6,"description":"

Where does the name MONARCQ actually come from?

\n\n\n\n

There’s a very personal story behind it. In my teenage years I’ve never really had my own private space. My family didn’t have a lot of money and I used to sleep on a sofa in a tiny apartment for 4 years. I already then realized that when opportunity comes, I would grab it with both hands. Opportunity doesn’t come in material things, as these can be taken away from you. My ‘arc’ however, is something only I can ‘own’. Hence: ‘mon arc’, which became ‘MONARCQ’. I invite everyone to jump on my arc.

\n\n\n\n

So what’s the plan from here?

\n\n\n\n

If ‘Bad Kidz’ learned me one thing, it’s that I need to continue delivering quality output. I want to keep people on the edge of their seats and surround myself with people who can contribute to big projects with their particular talents. Hopefully, a live show can be ready by next year. As you may expect, I don’t want to do a simple performance of my songs. It needs to be a complete, dynamic live show. Besides my own musical projects, I’m producing music for other artists as well. I want to show the world that my love for music is not only about me.

"},{"type":"interviewfooter","text":"

MONARCQ’s debut album ‘Human Zoo’ is set to release in October. Follow the artist on his fan page to stay up to date.

","key":1555436152,"id":7}],"type":"freshonthescene","locale":"en","categories":[],"id":"5cb5d8e14f18d10520119f0b"},{"owner":"5c344d39d6d4b12a8d144be7","client":"563fa1fd1b73f17f676b8201","author":{"name":"","url":""},"i18n":{"en":"5cb6e9194f18d1052011ba51"},"title":"Liège nightclub Le Cadran closes its doors.","photographer":{"name":"","url":""},"slug":"liege-nightclub-le-cadran-closes-its-doors","i18nSlug":{"en":"liege-nightclub-le-cadran-closes-its-doors"},"excerpt":"Sad news from Liège. Even though the roster stayed remarkably empty over the last few months, the management insisted that the club would remain active. This morning however, the club released a statement in which they explained that it would cease all activities in the near future. For over 7 years, Le Cadran has been Liège’s prime getaway for fans of techno and house. Located near the Liege-Palais train station, this 2700 m² of space was one of the only venues in town that regularly drew in thousands to witness DJ-sets from artists like Nicolas Jaar, Mr. Oizo, Daphni, Amelie Lens and 2manydjs. 2 years ago, we made an in-depth portrait of this remarkable nightclub in our Club Focus series.","updatedAt":"2019-04-17T09:21:12.512Z","createdAt":"2019-04-17T08:51:37.413Z","recordStores":[],"related":[],"publishedAt":"2019-04-17T08:41:00.000Z","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-600x401.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-401x600.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1200x802.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x1200.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x802.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"b6b779961ef5f27045c197cde0d40f59-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}],"isHome":true,"isVisible":true,"isSticky":false,"tags":[],"body":[{"type":"text","text":"","key":1555541873,"id":0,"description":"

Sad news from Liège. Even though the roster stayed remarkably empty over the last few months, the management insisted that the club would remain active. This morning however, the club released a statement in which they explained that it would cease all activities in the near future. For over 7 years, Le Cadran has been Liège’s prime getaway for fans of techno and house. Located near the Liege-Palais train station, this 2700 m² of space was one of the only venues in town that regularly drew in thousands to witness DJ-sets from artists like Nicolas Jaar, Mr. Oizo, Daphni, Amelie Lens and 2manydjs. 2 years ago, we made an in-depth portrait of this remarkable nightclub in our Club Focus series.

The team behind Le Cadran will continue working under the Swim Agency banner, an event management and strategy bureau. The building will be made available for One Reality, an interactive VR company. On May 3rd, the club will throw one last party, free of admission. All information can be found here.

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Exactly 25 years ago, a certain nightclub would open its doors for the first time. Little did the owners know that a fourth of a century down the line, they would be looking back on a rich history of the most important techno institute this country has ever known. It wasn't always good times however and it certainly wasn't an easy ride. Watch last year's Red Bull Elektropedia documentary on the complete history of Fuse to witness this piece of Belgian heritage.

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Fuse is celebrating its 25th birthday with a massive 14-hour rave at Palais 12 on Saturday April 27, inviting industry heavyweights like Len Faki, Charlotte de Witte, Dave Clarke, Adam Beyer, Stephan Bodzin live, Mind Against, Pierre and Downside. All info and tickets can be found here.

","type":"interviewfooter"}],"type":"video","locale":"en","categories":[],"id":"5cb59bc74f18d105201198e9"},{"owner":"5aa66a8236af8a647e559234","client":"563fa1fd1b73f17f676b8201","author":{"name":"","url":""},"i18n":{"en":"5cb487724f18d10520117d3f"},"title":"Win tickets for a sold out Garnizoen with Amelie Lens","photographer":{"name":"","url":""},"slug":"win-tickets-for-a-sold-out-garnizoen-with-amelie-lens","excerpt":"We have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that tickets for Garnizoen have sold out completely. The good news is that we have 5 duotickets left for you to win. Usually, Diest is a simple, quiet town, tucked away in the East of the country. On Sunday however, that will not be the case. The production team behind Pukkelpop will take over the old military citadel in the center of town for a unique bunker rave with more than a dozen artists across 3 stages. Most notably, one of Belgium’s current prime techno exports, Amelie Lens, tops the bill, alongside industry stalwarts like Rødhåd, David Vunk and San Soda. Belgian breakthrough talents like Cellini, Faisal, Susobrino, Bjeor and Innershades are on the schedule too. Don’t want to miss this? Fill in the form below and you might win your last chance of attending this legendary rave.","i18nSlug":{"en":"win-tickets-for-a-sold-out-garnizoen-with-amelie-lens"},"updatedAt":"2019-04-15T13:55:45.415Z","createdAt":"2019-04-15T13:30:26.702Z","recordStores":[],"related":[],"publishedAt":"2019-04-15T13:29:00.000Z","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-600x401.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-401x600.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-1200x802.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-802x1200.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-802x802.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"54c4778bad3239d83657a5c56a7cb067-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}],"isHome":true,"isVisible":true,"isSticky":false,"tags":[],"body":[{"description":"

We have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that tickets for Garnizoen have sold out completely. The good news is that we have 5 duotickets left for you to win. Usually, Diest is a simple, quiet town, tucked away in the East of the country. On Sunday April 21 however, that will not be the case. The production team behind Pukkelpop will take over the old military citadel in the center of town for a unique bunker rave with more than a dozen artists across 3 stages. Most notably, one of Belgium’s current prime techno exports, Amelie Lens, tops the bill, alongside industry stalwarts like Rødhåd, David Vunk and San Soda. Belgian breakthrough talents like Cellini, Faisal, Susobrino, Bjeor and Innershades are on the schedule too. Don’t want to miss this? Fill in the form below and you might win your last chance of attending this legendary rave.

","id":0,"key":1555420102,"text":"","type":"text"},{"type":"codeblock","quote":"","key":1555412658,"id":1,"html":"\n \n \n "}],"type":"default","locale":"en","categories":[],"id":"5cb487724f18d10520117d3f"},{"owner":"57c7d95a6e7405442d6db136","client":"563fa1fd1b73f17f676b8201","author":{"name":"Jonas Lion","url":""},"i18n":{"en":"5c8783554f18d105200cfb94"},"title":"Prepare The Flash: Daniil Lavrovski","photographer":{"name":"Daniil Lavrovski","url":""},"slug":"prepare-the-flash-prepare-the-flash-daniil-lavrovski","i18nSlug":{"en":"prepare-the-flash-prepare-the-flash-daniil-lavrovski"},"excerpt":"Prepare The Flash shines a light on folks that shine a light themselves. The people behind the camera, taking pictures of the artists we all love. Let's take a look behind the scenes of some of Belgium’s most infamous clickers. This has to be one of the most special articles in this series. For this time, we’re interviewing one of Red Bull Elektropedia’s most iconic photographers, Daniil Lavrovski. The Bruges-based 25-year-old started out by taking pictures of the local skate scene and slowly shifted towards nightlife photography, a domain in which he quickly became one of the best in the field. By 2016, he was crowned Belgium’s best nightlife photographer on the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards and people saw the grim-faced Lavrovski on parties across the country every weekend. Now, he told us he wanted to take things into a new direction. That means it was the perfect timing to dedicate an in-depth interview to one of the most influential players in this game.","titleExcerpt":"Daniil Lavrovski","titleShort":"","titleSocial":"","updatedAt":"2019-04-04T08:25:49.635Z","createdAt":"2019-03-12T10:00:53.709Z","recordStores":[],"related":[],"publishedAt":"2019-03-12T10:00:00.000Z","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-600x401.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-401x600.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-1200x802.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-802x1200.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-802x802.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"24f66a143c0cad4c83acaae5ca282723-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}],"isHome":true,"isVisible":true,"isSticky":true,"tags":[],"body":[{"description":"

Prepare The Flash shines a light on folks that shine a light themselves. The people behind the camera, taking pictures of the artists we all love. Let's take a look behind the scenes of some of Belgium’s most infamous clickers. This has to be one of the most special articles in this series. For this time, we’re interviewing one of Red Bull Elektropedia’s most iconic photographers, Daniil Lavrovski. The Bruges-based 25-year-old started out by taking pictures of the local skate scene and slowly shifted towards nightlife photography, a domain in which he quickly became one of the best in the field. By 2016, he was crowned Belgium’s best nightlife photographer on the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards and people saw the grim-faced Lavrovski on parties across the country every weekend. Now, he told us he wanted to take things into a new direction. That means it was the perfect timing to dedicate an in-depth interview to one of the most influential players in this game.

","id":0,"key":1552470738,"text":"","type":"text"},{"image":{"orientation":"landscape","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-600x401.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-401x600.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-1200x802.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-802x1200.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-802x802.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"366311d415d0d3b93956554ede900d1b-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}]},"id":1,"key":1552396447,"url":"","type":"image"},{"type":"text","text":"","key":1552395907,"id":2,"description":"

Hi Daniil, it’s great to feature a photographer we’ve been working with since a very long time. You’ve covered countless events for us, but you told us you’re going in different directions from now on. What does that mean exactly?

\n\n\n\n

Well, although I really enjoyed working in nightlife, I have to admit that it has started to take its toll after 4 years. The funny thing is that I never really took nightlife all that seriously. It always felt like I was just going out with a camera by my side. Before I knew, nightlife photography became one of my main occupations and it accounted for the majority of my energy and focus. It's all fun and games until you realize you’ve become a slave of your own lifestyle, you know? I started to notice I didn’t enjoy those long nights anymore. That kind of lifestyle was starting to drown my creativity and productivity. In the end, I've had a pretty good run, I’ve been to so many places, I’ve met incredible people and most important of all, I’ve had so much fun along the way.

\n\n\n\n

So where are you going now?

\n\n\n\n

I’ve decided to recalibrate my focus and work my way back on track towards a new goal. After a much needed hiatus from nightlife photography I want to put my energy on portraits, press, fashion and brand photography. Making this shift is hard though. It’s not that I wanted to quit nightlife but it was more of a rational decision, choosing for a healthier lifestyle. I won’t quit entirely of course. Sometimes my fingers still itch, but you won't find me shooting in clubs that often anymore.

"},{"type":"quote","quote":"The funny thing is that I never really took nightlife all that seriously. It always felt like was I just going out with a camera by my side","key":1552477890,"id":3},{"image":{"orientation":"landscape","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-600x401.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-401x600.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-1200x802.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-802x1200.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-802x802.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"317b10cf7239d8a91a0d8e449070559a-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}]},"id":4,"key":1552483441,"url":"","type":"image"},{"description":"

From all the events you visited taking pictures, which have been some of the most memorable?

\n\n\n\n

If I would have to pick out a few, I would go with HORST and Dour Festival. I've covered the former 3 times now and it's always adventurous. The scenery is beautiful, the music is great and the crowd is amazing. For me, it’s just picture perfect. Each year, I get to meet amazing people, discover a bunch of artists I have never heard and just have an absolute blast. That last edition sticks out even more. It's been ages since a festival sparked that desire to relive a moment that hard. And HORST succeeded in doing so. My second choice is Dour Festival, which always feels like coming home. It’s the first festival I ever went to. By now, I’ve already witnessed eight editions and only missed out on one. Shooting Dour is always something special.

\n\n\n\n

How did you end up doing that amazing cover shoot for Amelie Lens on Mixmag?

\n\n\n\n

Well, Amelie and I got to know each other throughout the years when I worked as a nightlife photographer. I've shot multiple events where she played and I also covered the launch event of her CKS clothing collection somewhere last year. One day, I received a message from her saying she will get the cover story of Mixmag and would like me to shoot it. The magazine approved and I was beyond stoked! Just as it was a big deal for Amelie, it was a big deal for me too. I can’t say I wasn’t stressed. The results were good. The shoot itself was very organic. Amelie knows how to behave in front of a camera and it felt like we were just hanging out for the day while I was taking pictures here and there. I'm super grateful towards everyone involved for the amazing opportunity.

","id":5,"key":1552434297,"text":"","type":"text"},{"image":{"orientation":"landscape","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-600x401.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-401x600.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-1200x802.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-802x1200.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-802x802.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"16c5bad331b5fd984ed7516152228e6e-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}]},"type":"image","url":"","key":1552445374,"id":6},{"type":"text","text":"","key":1552466378,"id":7,"description":"

Let’s do a little throwback now. Your bio says you were born in Russia and only moved to Belgium when you were 5 years old. Please do tell us your story…

\n\n\n\n

Yeah! I was Born in Kaliningrad, a small Russian enclave by the Baltic Sea, tucked between Poland and Lithuania. I come from a family of musicians: my mom is a pianist, my grandfather was a saxophone and clarinet teacher and my grandmother was a choirmaster. They all taught at the Music Conservatory of Kaliningrad. So I was surrounded by music since I was a baby (which maybe explains why I ended up in nightlife at one point). But life as a classical musician in Kaliningrad was tough. The wages were ridiculously low and most of the musicians lived in poverty. My mom dreamt of moving to Europe to seek for a better life and provide a better future for me, since my biological father wasn't the best person to be around. Around the year 2000 my mom had the opportunity to move to Belgium and she took it with both hands. We ended up in living in De Panne for several years, where I went to primary school. After that, we moved to Oostduinkerke followed by Bruges, where I still live today.

\n\n\n\n

Do you remember the moment you fell in love with photography?

\n\n\n\n

My love for photography emerged through skateboarding. My mom always used to buy me skate magazines like Thrasher, Transworld Skateboarding and Sugar Skate Mag. Seeing all those skateboarding pictures really sparked my interest for photography. I wanted to capture my skater friends in the same way as those shots in the magazines. By the time I was 14, I used my mom’s camera so often that she bought me a snapshot camera so I would stop using hers. By the age of 16, I bought my first digital single-lens reflex camera. From that moment onwards, photography took over my life.

\n\n\n\n

Do you still skate often?

\n\n\n\n

I still try to skate as often as I can. Even though I don't have that much time anymore, it's still very important to me.

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How many lenses have been broken or stolen over your lifetime? :)

\n\n\n\n

The funny thing is that I've never broken a lens before, nor have I got one stolen. I just hope it stays that way! The only thing I break are flashes. I think I've already went through 7 by now. That’s an expensive joke.

\n\n\n\n

Comparing the past with the present, how would you describe your evolution as a photographer?

\n\n\n\n

In the beginning, I mostly did black and white snapshot photography with my friends as models. Now I work in colour, my images are more calculated and I handle my lighting with care. I've learned how to work with people, how to deal with clients and how to make someone feel at ease in front of the lens. That might actually be the biggest difference. When I was younger, I was really shy. I was so scared to ask people if I could take their photograph and I had no idea how to handle a shoot. Through experience, I learned how to get over that insecurity and how to be more confident. One of the red lines in my work is that I don't use photography as a tool to reflect reality, but I use it to romanticize a moment.

\n\n\n\n

We know it’s hard to say about yourself, but what sets you apart from other photographers?

\n\n\n\n

That’s hard indeed (laughs). It might be in the way of handling things. I always try to keep it fun and spontaneous. I'm not the guy who is extremely serious about his work ethics. I'm a pretty positive person, so it's important that this is reflected in my way of working. Additionally, it's crucial not to force anything. I'm also kind of a nerd when it comes to lighting. I pay a lot of attention on how I use light in my images. I could say I'm pretty technical, but not in the right way (laughs).

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As someone who has always been the middle man between brands and culture (be it skateboarding or nightlife), how do you perceive that fragile relation between both sides?

\n\n\n\n

I try to stay true to what I love and like. If something doesn't feel right, I won't do it. As far as I can, I try to work with brands that stand for those cultures. It’s the only way to keep the overall vibe and credibility of a project. There's a thin line between staying true to a culture and capitalizing from it. There are too many culture vultures these days. Even I cross that line sometimes, but it doesn't make it less important to pay attention to.

\n\n\n\n

You’re one half of Studio DaDa. Tell us a little more about that project.

\n\n\n\n

Well, Studio DaDa is a collective of two that I formed with Davy Denduyver. Davy is a graphic designer I've known for several years now. About a year ago, he started renting a workspace in the same building where I was renting mine, so we passed each other almost every day. We got along pretty well and it became clear we understood each other’s creative visions, which were pretty complementary. That’s why we decided to join forces. My studio was a bit too big for me at the time and his was a bit smaller, so he moved all his stuff to my mines. And that's how Studio Dada was born. We still work on our own projects, but with this joint project we deliver the ‘total package’: I do the photography, while he does the art direction and graphic design. We're only just starting out, but it's going pretty good already. Hopefully it could become a real ‘studio’ or ‘creative agency’ one day.

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If there’s one tip you could give to beginning photographers, what would it be?

\n\n\n\n

My tip for any beginning photographer is that hard work is key. Follow your passion. There will be obstacles, long days, unpaid work, hard times. But it's all worth it. Look for the things that spark your interest, reflect on yourself, reinvent yourself. Take as many pictures as possible, because the more you shoot, the better you will become. As soon as you find yourself having a lot of commissioned work, make sure you don't lose yourself. Keep the balance between paid and autonomous work. Those are the things I always have to remind to myself as well.

\n\n\n\n

Any big projects coming up that you can share with us?

\n\n\n\n

Recently I’ve been working on some bigger projects with Studio Brussel and Bounce Rocks, my agency. But for now, my biggest project coming up is a completely autonomous project. I won't spill the beans yet I’m afraid, but it might be something involving a new photobook (winks).

","id":14,"key":1552458179,"text":"","type":"text"},{"type":"interviewfooter","text":"

Follow Daniil Lavrovski  and Studio DaDa on Instagram to keep track of the latest and greatest.

","key":1552458602,"id":15}],"type":"preparetheflash","locale":"en","categories":[],"id":"5c8783554f18d105200cfb94"},{"owner":"5aa66a8236af8a647e559234","client":"563fa1fd1b73f17f676b8201","author":{"name":"Jonas Lion","url":""},"i18n":{"en":"5c7d566d531b3c5463b573c9"},"title":"Tsar B: finding her own way to Belgium's pop throne","photographer":{"name":"Guillaume Kayacan","url":""},"slug":"tsar-b-finding-her-own-way-to-belgiums-pop-throne","i18nSlug":{"en":"tsar-b-finding-her-own-way-to-belgiums-pop-throne"},"excerpt":"Tsar B’s debut album ‘The Games I Played’ was one of the most exciting projects to drop in Belgium this year. The Ghent-born 24-year-old Justine Bourgeus effortlessly stirs up a cocktail of infectious broken beats, singalong pop melodies and mystic soundscapes, balancing on the fine line between daytime radio material and a passionate dancefloor or bedroom soundtrack. ","updatedAt":"2019-04-04T08:26:07.080Z","createdAt":"2019-03-04T16:46:37.823Z","recordStores":[],"related":[],"publishedAt":"2019-03-04T16:45:00.000Z","images":[{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-600x401.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-600x401.jpg","type":"thumb"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-401x600.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-401x600.jpg","type":"thumb-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-1200x802.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-1200x802.jpg","type":"normal"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-802x1200.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-802x1200.jpg","type":"normal-portrait"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-802x802.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-802x802.jpg","type":"cover"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-2000x1336.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-2000x1336.jpg","type":"big"},{"url":"https://i.redbullelektropedia.be/e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-1336x2000.jpg","filename":"e4e80c35f89c62d6ad8208ee11be245c-1336x2000.jpg","type":"big-portrait"}],"isHome":true,"isVisible":true,"isSticky":true,"tags":[],"body":[{"description":"

Tsar B’s debut album ‘The Games I Played’ was one of the most exciting projects to drop in Belgium this year. The Ghent-born 24-year-old Justine Bourgeus effortlessly stirs up a cocktail of infectious broken beats, singalong pop melodies and mystic soundscapes, balancing on the fine line between daytime radio material and a passionate dancefloor or bedroom soundtrack. “For some reason, I’m frequently charted in sex playlists”, says Bourgeus, who definitely has a knack for humour. “Even though I don’t make my music with this in mind, I play into this fad by handing out branded condoms on my latest shows”. From articles in famous magazines like Billboard, The Fader or i-D to big gigs in L.A., Istanbul or Budapest: 2018 has been an impressive year for this enthusiastic multi talent (she’s a violinist, a singer and a producer). However, all signs point to an even bigger year to come. We invited the tsarina for a photoshoot and an interview about her beginning, her present success and her future.

","id":0,"key":1551755539,"text":"","type":"text"},{"html":"","id":1,"key":1551810926,"quote":"","type":"video"},{"description":"

What has been your favourite reaction to the release of your debut album?

There have been countless lovely reactions from everybody, like people telling me my music meant a lot to them. Other than that, it struck me how far my music had gained fans. I don’t know why, but the album did really good in Brazil for example.

What’s your earliest musical memory?

It may sound cliché, but my mom used to listen to Mozart when she was pregnant. That may have had an influence. I started playing violin at the young age of 3, although you can’t really call that a violin. It’s like a piece of wood that teaches you the basic movements before you actually move on to the real thing!

When did you realize ‘I can really do this music thing’?

By the time I was 14 years old, I got really into Radiohead. I wanted to be a female version of them, but with a dark twist. And so I got looking for the right people who could help me with that. I ended up playing for a variety of different bands (most notably ‘School Is Cool’, red.), each of which taught me a lot about the music business and touring. Eventually, I realized this was something I wanted to do as a part of a group, rather than individually. That said, I was always quietly working on my own stuff on the side, so after a few years, I started Tsar B without a real plan in mind. I just kept on making music and before I knew I was performing on stage.

How did the band react when you told them you wanted to go solo?

Without many expectations, I showed the other band members I could do some producing of my own. They loved it. This made me realize I can do it on my own too; I don’t need anyone. So by the time I turned 20, I left School Is Cool and I got plenty of time to work on my own music.

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It’s clear that you have a distinct idea of how you want your music, artwork and shows to look like. Do you like to keep in control of everything?

I would never describe myself as a control freak, but deep down I know I am, despite the fact I’m quite the laissez faire type of person who does everything at the last possible moment. Throughout the years I have learned to let go when you’re working with people you trust, letting everything flow naturally. In the beginning, all of the Tsar B shows were very meticulously planned into detail, but now it’s so much more unrestricted. Every band member has a certain space in which they can do their own thing without rules. This approach has influenced me in many other ways. For example, I would never allow someone else to direct a music video for me when I was younger, but now I realized it’s better to let go and create a synergy with different people. Now, I want to include as many people as possible because it will spice things up.

Which track of the album are you most proud of?

I think ‘Velvet Green’, because it’s a track that shows what Tsar B is all about. There are beats, but there are classical elements too. It’s something different, a ballad, but then again it’s 100% ‘me’.

On stage, a whole lot has changed since your first solo performances about 4 years ago. You have become incredibly confident for example. How do you prepare for your shows?

I used to see live shows as a necessary part of music, so I was very cautious when I didn’t get the desired reaction from the audience. I always thought: ‘why should I do my best if you guys aren’t even trying? But now I just go all out. I will give the best version of myself on any stage, regardless of the fact if there are many people or not. When the crowd really gets in the mood, I’ll become even more enthusiastic – much more than I ever would a few years ago. Performing live is an effective way to channel some aggression. Sometimes I wish I could smash my violin on stage! Maybe I should bring a really cheap one with me next time? If I ever get invited for Jools Holland’s show, I’ll bring a violin with the sole purpose of slamming it into pieces.

Smashing aside, would you also consider doing just violin performances?

If I’m honest, I would love to start a classical project next year, writing pieces for an orchestra or something. That’s my next goal. Making music for completely different projects: movie scores, opera, etc. I become so happy just thinking about it.

So what has been the last show where you went all out?

Definitely Istanbul! Everyone was singing along to every tune and in the end, dozens of people joined me on stage. It was wild. I already had a feeling that was going to be a good show, because Turkey – after Brazil – has a lot of dedicated Tsar B fans. That’s something we have learned from checking our Spotify plays.

That’s actually quite interesting. Why Turkey?

I don’t know. A lot of Belgian things are doing really good over there, like Oscar and the Wolf for example. I think ‘Belgian music’ is a thing over there, so as soon as they know it’s from here, they are more open to it.

Which Belgian artists would you love to collaborate with?

If I’m honest: Mauro Pawlowski (renowned singer and guitarist from countless bands like dEUS and Evil Superstars, red). He really is one of the most inspiring Belgian musicians out there. He’s so clever and versatile, whatever project he takes on. He is a massive source of inspiration for me.

Ever since Alexander Chung made a choreography for you, your music has been inspiring dancers around the world. You regularly repost videos of people pole dancing and twerking to your music every week. How does that feel?

I’m so grateful for that! It feels so absurd when people make art from something you created, especially because these are not tracks that you would label as ‘twerk music’. I rarely make music with ‘the club’ in mind. But in the end that doesn’t matter. Nothing keeps your music more alive than people making choreographies to your music. It just makes me so happy.

"},{"type":"video","quote":"","key":1551811721,"id":5,"html":""},{"type":"text","text":"","key":1551798977,"id":6,"description":"

Ok, but take the drums and rhythm of ‘Brazil’ for example. I’m sure you knew it had a high club potential when you pieced that track together…

Well, yeah, kind of. I’m really into the baile funk wave that’s coming from Brazil right now. I’m a massive MC Bin Laden fan for example. I got a lot of inspiration from that movement because it uses a highly infective broken beat, which makes it feel really connected to my own music. Some people say it sounds ‘Eastern’ or ‘exotic’, but it’s not. I just don’t want to use things that sound different from an usual snare and kick. Instead I prefer to use rhythms from Brazil, sitars from India or drums from Africa.

Is that the direction you will be going from here?

Actually, no. My forthcoming music will be quite calm and introvert to be honest. But you can be sure there will be a reaction after that. I can already feel the dancefloor itch that will inevitably come afterwards!

What’s your biggest wish for the coming year?

I wish I can make a wide variety of different music and that I can be able to travel because of that. It feels so good to soak up the vibes in new places and being able to translate those into new music. That’s just such a good source of inspiration. Currently, I’m in a good flow and I want to make the most of it.

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Follow Tsar B on Spotify or Facebook to stay in the loop about her latest adventures, releases and shows.

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A fully packed Sportpaleis and Lotto Arena. Pounding beats. Dazzling lasers. 20.000 people going nuts. Sets by acts as Da Tweekaz, Coone, MANDY and Mark With A K. This is Reverze, the perfect example of why hardstyle can’t be ignored.

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“Reverze is one of our all-time favorite events,” say Kenth Kvien and Marcus Nordli of Norwegian hardstyle duo Da Tweekaz. “You start the new year and just know that it’s coming up. It makes you all excited. You want to make new music, you want to make special edits. You want to do so much cool stuff because you know that the Belgian people are anxiously waiting for this event. I mean, it’s sold out. If you check TicketSwap you’ll see there’s like two tickets available out of 20.000. People just don’t want to miss this.”

Roots

“Reverze was born in 2005 at Sotto’s, a big club in Zottegem,” remembers Reverze founder and Bass Events co-owner Marijn Venmans. “It had a capacity of 3000 people and the party was sold out immediately, which was pretty unique in the club scene at the time. The first slogan of Reverze was Switch to Difference. That was a statement: we wanted to bring this hard dance, a new upcoming genre - a sound coming from The Netherlands - to the crowds, to compete with trance and other genres that were popular at that time.”

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“Jump was very popular, so I wanted to organize a night with a mix of the Belgian jump sound and Dutch hardstyle. It was initially planned in a much smaller club but there was an urban promotor who threw R&B parties there weekly and said to the owner that “if this party will take place here, I’ll quit with my urban nights”. That’s when the owner backed out. I was insulted and worse: I had my DJ’s booked already. Cosmic Gate, Marcel Woods, all pretty big names. We had to move to somewhere else. It was a very exciting undertaking to move into unknown territory. We promoted the event as if our life depended on it. 3000 people, it was insane. We even had to round up family members to help at the bar because we didn’t anticipate this big of a crowd at all.”

“What I will never forget is that the floor of Sotto’s was pretty flexible - they had stages that could come out of the floor - so it was trembling when you jumped on it. With 3000 people starting to pound, you get a small earthquake. The vibrations. The goosebumps. The whole club shaking. It intensified everything that came next.”

Coming up

“There was a time when Jim TV was very popular and Reverze was making waves in the party scene,” says Koen Bauweraerts, better known by his hardstyle alias Coone. “I rode those waves. Reverze played a big part in me getting my name out there. No other genre can touch me in the same way as hardstyle does. It’s cool, the melodies have a certain content and feeling, an us-against-the-world feeling. I really love the rebellious side of it. It’s my mission to make hardstyle big all over the world. Luckily, I’m not the only one. I hope the genre keeps evolving. There is still room for improving the sound.”

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“The creator of Reverze himself came over to Norway to recruit us in 2009,” say Da Tweekaz. “He brought DVD’s of Reverze. We saw the footage and thought: holy crap, what is this and why have we not been here before? We played live in Belgium for the first time in 2011 at Lotto Arena. It was so cool, and we’ve been here every year since.”

Power

“Hardstyle is electronic dance music with a lot of kick and bass,” says MC Villain, named Michael Brons in real life. “Millions of people listen to it. It has become a way of living. I always describe it as hard on the outside and very soft on the inside.”

“Hardstyle is a way of letting go,” states Venmans. “I would define ‘hard’ as ‘intense’, a lot of energy. It’s all about connecting. It’s a scene and a community for people who want to go nuts. Hardstyle keeps evolving. Every generation attracts a new kind of crowd. It’s our and the producer’s task to adapt. The quality of the music also improved. You don’t need to buy hardware anymore to make electronic music. You can make a track just with some software on your computer. That also means a lot more DJs and producers, challenging themselves to get ahead.”

“The power of hardstyle is that it doesn’t get commercialized,” says Mark Carpentier, better known as Mark With a K. “The radio does not play us. It kind of stays in a niche. The people say it as well: “this is our music, our style, stay away from it, because it’s our community and if you don’t touch it, it will stay strong.” Hardstyle has grown more popular, but it’s true power lies in its dedicated fanbase. Music goes in flows, in movements. People always go looking for the extreme in every style. I see it evolve in a positive way, as long as there are enough young DJs and producers eager to make a name for themselves.”

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Image

“We don’t fuss about not being included by the mainstream media or that when it happens, we get marginalized and caricaturized,” knows Venmans. “We have a no media policy, as we have our fans and don’t need the attention. Our fans are dedicated, and we want to keep it like this. I remember allowing a journalist once, and for his article he went looking for what he thought a typical visitor was instead of doing a decent interview with us or the DJs. After that, we decided not to get involved with the press anymore. I think it happens in every genre, that it gets ridiculed. We don’t worry about that anymore.”

All around the globe

“Reverze is one of the biggest hardstyle parties in the world. In Holland you have two comparable parties: they are in a bigger venue but regarding show and experience we are at the same level. In Australia, Mexico, Chili and Germany there’s also a big scene. At festivals, hardstyle is getting its own stages now. Last year Coone got the chance to bring hardstyle to the Main Stage of Tomorrowland, and this year it will be Da Tweekaz. It’s not as underground as it used to be, but still credible.”

“It was always my dream to be on stage at Reverze,” says Mandy Praet/MANDY. “Dreams come true! Last year I was here with Lowriderz. Everyone was really into it and it was also a bit busy, even though I played at 21:00. This year I play solo on a primetime slot at the Lotto Arena stage. I feel like everyone at Reverze is very dedicated, more than at all the other events. Personally, I feel like hardstyle is growing a lot. Coone playing Tomorrowland is a great example. A few years ago, people didn’t even know about hardstyle!”

“Reverze has reached its peak capacity in Belgium, because we choose consciously for Sportpaleis and Lotto Arena,” says Venmans. “It’s a unique venue, and Reverze has its roots there. Hopefully we can stay and throw parties for years to come. It’s fine. We don’t need to go bigger and we’re not going to add a day. But we do throw other hardstyle parties with Bass Events, like Flashback and The Qontinent. We also get requests from promotors abroad to organize Reverze in their country. But we are very careful. If we were to grow, it won’t be in Belgium.”

“I think Reverze has grown especially in terms of quality,” says Coone. “If you look at Tomorrowland’s first stage in comparison to now for example, it’s kind of the same story. Reverze has always been the biggest indoor hardstyle party in Belgium. The shows you get to see here, production wise it’s just insane. I call it the Cirque du Soleil of hardstyle.”

“It’s not only a Belgian crowd anymore,” knows Mark With a K. “People come to Antwerp from all over the world. It’s great to see so many people looking forward to it every year, myself included.”

“How Reverze has evolved show wise, stage wise, music wise… It’s really insane!” say Da Tweekaz. “The thing with Bass Events is they always want to take their productions to the next level. Remember the box that came out of the wall? That kind of stuff. You’re on the VIP deck and you’re like: holy shit, what is going on? It’s absolutely amazing and it’s so cool to be a part of that progress.”

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You can put whatever you want in there

“We think hardstyle has always been a very open minded scene,” say Da Tweekaz. “We always try to implement whatever is fun to make and whatever is popular. It will evolve as music evolves. Sometimes we go with dubstep, psytrance, drum and bass or even Disney music. It doesn’t really matter because hardstyle is such a versatile genre. You can put whatever you want in there.”

“If I wasn’t a hardstyle DJ I would have been a hip hop artist,” says Coone. “I use a lot of urban influences. I have a few tracks where I found the perfect match. ‘Sniper’ with Dirtcaps. Or ‘Riot’, a record with E-life, who is a legend in Dutch hip hop. I also made a remix for Linkin Park. Mike Shinoda was a hero of mine. This all results in unique combinations. I would love to do a track with Eminem some day. (laughs)”

“I used to be a commercial DJ, so I played all-round music,” remembers Mark With A K. “I even produced all-round music under other aliases, but I always loved the harder styles. I used to play in Highstreet, a club in Hoogstraten, and even there I played rougher, a bit of German hard trance. I’ve always loved music with some punch. Then little by little I started to produce that kind of music, always going harder. Once you fall in love with it, it never goes away I guess.”

“Of course, the music needs to strike,” concludes Venmans. “But these days there’s a lot more to it: social media, image. You need to show charisma. If you can combine that with awesome music, you can go very far. D-Block & S-te-Fan, Headhunterz, Brennan Heart, Wildstylez, Da Tweekaz and Coone are still the guys who set the tone. But with DJs like Sub Zero Project, Sound Rush, Devin Wild, Sephyx, Sefa, the new generation came knocking on the door.”

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“I think a lot of people were thinking ‘what the hell is Zwangere Guy going to do in Japan’”, explains Gorik van Oudheusden aka Zet Gee aka Zwangere Guy. He’s always been one of the most eccentric figures within STIKSTOF, the Brussels-based rap formation of five that released their highly acclaimed debut album ‘Overlast’ back in March. Gorik has always kept his solo business on the low, releasing his well-received Zwangerschapsverlof mixtapes on the side. Now that he has found a bigger platform, he’s ready to show the world what he has to say. A debut solo album is currently in the pipeline and if the first single, ‘Gorik Pt. 1’, is anything to go by, it promises to be an extremely personal testament of his troubled childhood and his relation with the people and the city around him. Before we can hear more, Red Bull Elektropedia and Lefto took Zwangere Guy on a quest to the other side of the world.

As any first-time traveller to Japan, Gorik’s first experiences with the local culture over there were overwhelming to say the least. Luckily, he had the well-experienced globetrotter DJ Lefto and close friend slash producer UM! (who has roots here) with him to show him the ropes. First up was a guest appearance to one of the premier local radio stations, InterFM (“It’s like a larger sized Studio Brussel, but with 10 million listeners”, dixit Lefto), followed by a recording session with UM! and two local rappers, Kikumaru and KGE, at the Red Bull Studios in Tokyo. “It all depends on the beat”, said Gorik. “If that catches on, then I can let go and I see what comes out”. The result was a refreshing combination of different approaches to writing verses and rapping styles.

Luckily, the guys had a pair of gigs planned too. The first one was at Solfa Club - a small but bass-heavy basement club in Tokyo had booked all 3 on their bill for the night. “Two seconds before the show, I decided to go all out”, says Gorik. The second gig was scheduled in Kagoshima, located in Japan’s southernmost tip – a smaller city where people are a little warmer and the beer tastes a little sweeter, or, at least that’s how Guy experienced it. “I decided I shouldn’t care about the fact they wouldn’t understand me and it totally worked out fine. They really enjoyed it, the beat made them go crazy. I love to see that, that’s what hip hop is all about for me”.

Letting go and getting lost in translation works both ways. “It was really interesting to be in a place where you don’t understand anything”, admits Gorik. “Just getting away from it all for a while, indulging yourself in a temporary feeling of ambiguity and discomfort”.

Watch ‘Zwanger In Japan’ in full above.

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