Sam Feldt talks on his own sustainable platform, upcoming collaborations with Conor Maynard and more.
Sam Feldt is known for the remake of Robin S “Show Me Love” released by Spinnin’ Records and Polydor. The track peaked at number 4 on UK Singles Chart and reached 21st position on the Dutch Top 40. Today, Feldt is here to share his success on 100 million-stream track Post Malone, Heartfeldt Records, what to expect in 2020 and more. Read below for the interview!
ASL365: How was 2019 for you musically and personally?
SF: It was a really successful year for me. Looking back on 2019, my absolute highlight was playing on the mainstage of Tomorrowland. As a little boy, I already enjoyed watching the live streams of the biggest DJ names at Tomorrowland. It is such an iconic festival. Equally important was the unexpected success of my track Post Malone. Since it is a bonus track on my EP, I did not expect it to be such a worldwide hit.
ASL365: And what can we expect from you in 2020, and beyond?
SF: I feel like I found my sound even more the last couple of years. I got to collaboration with artists that were on my bucket list and I played the most amazing festivals around the world. I am really thankful I already achieved some of my bucket list, but there are always accomplishments to complete. A lot of new music is coming this year. I worked with MÖWE, Conor Maynard and RANI for my newest uplifting anthem Talk To Me and I have been cooking up some new tunes in the studio with Ella Henderson on another single: Hold Me Close. Further, I will be flying around the world and play a massive amount of shows, from Thailand to Las Vegas. Furthermore, I am happy to announce that I will launch my own record label Heartfeldt Records this year! In my continued passion to discover and mentor emerging talent, Heartfeldt Records will feature new sounds and artists.
ASL365: Are you working on any new material or projects?
SF: It took some time to get where I am right now, but I never stopped working on other projects. I attach great importance to the care for the environment and I try my best to make my fanbase aware of the environmental problems. On my own platform The Heartfeldt Foundation I am working towards a more social and sustainable dance music industry. This foundation is a new platform that aims to combine the reach of a lot of different influencers to create awareness around sustainability issues. For example, if I post to Facebook or Instagram, “Let’s not use plastic straws this weekend”, maybe a couple of hundred-thousand people would see it and of those people, maybe ten thousand people would not do it. But what if I reach 100 people that will actively join in the challenge? If they all do it at the same time, you can really make an impact.
ASL365: What’s your ultimate goal as a global DJ?
SF: It’s pretty much in line with what I am doing today. It’s great to make a difference on e.g. the sustainability front by reaching so many people online and in real life through my shows. I think quite a lot of companies in the music industry are already looking into sustainability and I am happy to see more and more artists are involved as well. Being an artist like I am and therefore being (in my opinion) one of the most polluting people in the world with all the touring, I think it’s good to create a platform where it’s easy for people to get on board, find tips and help make the world a better place. So, we give them a list of ten easy things you can do right now to reduce your impact by 80%. This way, we provide bite-sized education and facts. I think that works for both fans and the artists to get everybody on the same page.
ASL365: What’s seems to be the most common distraction being a DJ’s and how do you control that?
SF: Sometimes the music business is a difficult world to be in, with the 24/7 distraction of partying and alcohol. It is always there. I had to find my way in the first few years as a DJ. Nowadays I barely drink actually. Most of the time I have to get on the plane quite quickly after a show, so I prefer to go to sleep instead of partying all night long. I have to admit you it gets pretty boring, but the party lifestyle that people would expect from a DJ doesn’t exist when you have a tight work schedule like me.
ASL365: Let’s talk about Asia, with 600 million in Southeast Asia and more than 2 billions people in China and India, how is Asia different in term of music taste compared to Europe?
SF: In my experience, music transcends all cultures and countries. I am extremely grateful that I have so many fans in Asia. Even in my wildest dreams I never expected that. Despite that, in my hometown Amsterdam (Netherlands) I can still do my shopping without people recognizing me. I have the most dedicated fans in Japan. Everyone sings along to my tracks and in a lot of Asian countries, fans are waiting with drawings and banners for me at the airport. Sometimes I am surprised how much effort people make to see me playing at my shows.
ASL365: With tons of different language in Asia and different social media platform, how difficult is it for DJ to penetrate the market and how are you working on it.
SF: I am happy to get so many chances to come to Asia and play there. During my tours, I met a lot of amazing people and so many of them are now helping me as well. For example, there is a company in China that helps me with my Chinese social media. In the past, I also released tracks with well-known artists from China and Korea. I worked together with Trouze and Derrick Hoh on ‘Qing Fei De Yi’ and I made an edit of Shaun’s ‘Way Back Home’ together with Shaun himself and Conor Maynard.
ASL365: Favorite BPM?
SF: Danceable tropical house. In my sets, I play anything that makes people want to dance too.
SF: My all-time favorite band is The Beatles and my favorite throwback track is – without a doubt – Here Comes The Sun. Someday I hope to create a track with Paul McCartney that would be so awesome. He is an artist whom I respect greatly.
ASL365: Industry prediction for this year?
SF: I think 2020 will be focussed on two big trends: live music and sustainability. I think more and more DJ’s will jump on the opportunity to develop an electronic live act, as I have done over the past couple of years. I think crowds will start to expect more than a guy behind a couple of CD players at the major festivals, which will force electronic acts to become more creative when it comes to their performances. On the other side, and you can already see this happening at all the major festivals, sustainability will become an even more important topic in the industry.
ASL365: Any unique experience you’ve had backstage?
SF: Last year at World Club Dome, they invited me to eat at a Michelin starred pop-up restaurant backstage! As a big foodie, I was obviously in heaven.
ASL365: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of music?
SF: I play around the world four times a week and the other days I am working on new music and The Heartfeldt Foundation, so I don’t have much free time. Sometimes I have some time off between shows and the time to see something of the country. Me and my crew love to taste local food and try cool restaurants in the countries we get to visit. Each one of us tries to come up with the best places: a fun way to explore a city. At home I love to cook, play games on my Playstation and listen to music.
ASL365: Being a touring DJ is something that drains a lot of energy, how do you stay energies or avoid the burnout when touring
SF: It is always tempting to stay at the after-party but usually I leave right after a gig and I try to get as much sleep as possible. Above all I am beyond grateful for my hardworking team around me, they take so much work off my hands.
ASL365: Name 3 most important things you always packed in your touring bag?
SF: My headphones, SD card and laptop.
ASL365: How would you describe the relationship between your choices and goals as a DJ and the expectations, desires, and feedback of the audience?
SF: My music is and will always be uplifting. After all these years I still love to create cheerful tunes with a summery vibe. Think of the summer and a swimming pool and my music won’t be far away ;).