We interviewed Freestyle DJ Orphan just after his set at the Discotrip stage that was hosted by Ruthless at Dream Village! Orphan has a collab with Ruthless called ‘Bass Droppin’’ on Pussy Lounge Records which is doing well so we were curious about his future plans!
Hi Orphan! Thanks for making this interview happen. You’ve just finished your set at the Discotrip stage of Dream Village, how did it go?
No problem! It was great! The tent was definitely busier than I had expected. Of course I played B2B with my buddy Ransom but also the guys before us (GJ Warez & Dave S) joined in because their set got cut short because of the weather-conditions. I’ve played some of my own productions and the response was good so I’m happy about it. Of course we always adapt to our audience but we played a lot of the tracks that we wanted to play.
Cool! So was this your first time playing at Dream Village? What do you think of the concept of this Festival?
It’s my fourth time here actually! In 2012 I played here for the first time and back then the freestyle stage was an outdoor-stage. I like the concept because it’s kind of intimate which makes it magical for me. It’s special to have played here since then.
Nice, so you have really seen the Festival grow to what it is today. About your roots; we did some research & found out that you first were a singer in your childhood. How did you come up with the idea to start DJ’ing?
Haha you’ve done your homework! Yeah I come from a musical family, my uncle was a known singer and my dad was always on tour with him. When I was around five years old i guess they let me sing a song in the studio, they were so impressed that a few years later when I was around 10 years old my dad, my uncle and close friend of them who was also a singer let me record an album. My family went door to door in the neighborhood promoting this album so yeah I got a lot of support from my family & friends. Later on I was spotted by a talent-scout of Joop van den Ende (RTL Television) at the Telekids-Roadshow I was singing at in a big park in my hometown. They were searching for a little boy to preform later on with Dutch singer/actress Simone Kleinsma on a charity event for Rwanda in 1994, live at the Museumplein in Amsterdam for 55.000 people and streamed also live on television on 15 channels worldwide. It has been a crazy ride since then. I’ve sang in Ahoy Rotterdam 2 times, performed at a lot of tv shows and toured through Holland every weekend to perform on many stages. My voice broke when I was 14 years old so I paused my singing career to build up my new voice by taking singing lessons.
During my singing career I also had a passion for hardcore music (basically the genre that’s now called ‘Early Hardcore/rave’). I was really hooked on Thunderdome. I was inspired by guys like DJ Vince, Darkraver, 3 Steps Ahead etc etc.. My parents gave me 2 turntables and a mixer at the age of 14 and I started buying a lot of vinyl. I’ve watched Thunderdome VHS tapes to find out how they were mixing over and over again and basicly that’s how i teached myself to spin vinyl records. When I was 17 years old my live radically changed because within a period of 5 months I lost my mother and father. First I lost my mother suddenly because of a brain haemorrhage and 5 months later I lost my father because of cancer. That was obviously an extremely difficult time for me and my sister. Just before my father passed away he told me: ‘Demis, make sure you continue making music, no matter what genre, because that’s where your talent lies’. So I did; first as a DJ/producer under the alias Demis H and several projects, a residency in Zino Tilburg and since January 2014 as a dj/producer under my new name: Orphan.
Wow.. we are speechless. It’s great that you have been supported so well by your family and that your dad basically gave you a permanent motivation to keep making music. Let’s talk about the style you’re playing which is ‘Freestyle’. How would you describe your style?
Well I think my type of Freestyle is kinda pumping but blended with euphoric happiness, meaning that I like to use pumping kicks but also love euphoric melody’s. Freestyle for me means being able to play everything that I like which varies from trap to jump to Hardstyle to early hardcore. For me the genre Jump is essential in most of my productions.
Alright that’s clear. As for tracks, you’ve done the collab ‘Bass Droppin’’ with Ruthless who’s considered a legend in the Freestyle scene, how did you get in touch with him & the Pussy Lounge label and how do people like the track?
Well to explain that I have to go a bit back in time. As Demis H I’ve had quite a lot of vinyl releases. It was one of my goals to get in the picture of B2S so I sent them loads of bootlegs but I never got a reply. When I finally managed to get in touch with them they explained that they listened to every bootleg i sent in but that they would like to hear some of my own productions instead of bootlegs. Later on I produced a demo and sent it to B2S. Ruthless and the guys from B2S picked up my demo and they liked it! Ruthless got inspired and had a great idea to add to the track when he heard it. We re-created the track at his studio and it became a collab which turned out great. It has actually been no. 1 at Hardstyle.com in the Freestyle section so I can say the people liked it!
Cool! We can imagine you were happy Ruthless liked your track! To continue a bit about events. Since your name-change to Orphan you’ve already played at a big amount of huge events. Could you tell which were your personal highlights?
Sure! First of all ‘Up’ from B2S at 013 in Tilburg was really cool. Supersized Freestyle Special also in 013 Tilburg was very cool, played a set with my buddy Hyperactivo. Next of course I have to mention both Intents Festival and Decibel Outdoor Festival. Intents was amazing, I just came off stage and asked the organization about the amount of people in the crowd. When he said it was about a few thousand I got pretty emotional and felt extremely grateful for my job as a DJ. Decibel Outdoor has been a big dream for years so the chance B2S gave me this year to perform there at the UP stage was a dream coming true! Besides of the big events i also play at a lot of smaller events & clubs. I’ve had a residency in Club Epic Tilburg which gave me a big step up in the scene and these days I still am a resident of the Freaks freestyle parties, a concept owned by my buddy DJ Francois (who meant a lot for my DJ career for which I’m still thankful!)
As Orphan you now have 2 own productions being the collab with Ruthless on Pussy Lounge Records and the track ‘Swearing’ at DJ Potato’s label Basic Movements Records. For sure you’ve got more planned & maybe collabs coming up, could you reveal a bit about that?
A collab with Ransom is coming in the future, I also played a new solo track during our set at Dream Village today to test it, but I’m looking for an MC to add some vocals to it. Lastly in the past I made a track called ‘Trompetia’ with my cousin, the plan is to revise this track with Pat B!
As for what my goals are in the future; it would be amazing to collab with a euphoric Hardstyle act like for example Atmozfears or work with more Pussy Lounge artists like MC Alee or Darkraver. I would really love to play at a Pussy Lounge event or Defqon. 1 in the future. That’s one of the few goals I have now hehe.
Sounds good! We’re looking forward to hearing those tracks! Next to Dream Village you’ve got of course quite a lot of gigs coming up. Which ones are you especially looking forward to?
Outrageous which is organized by the guys who also organize Intents Festival. It will be my 3rd booking there and I’m looking forward to that. Soon there will be Ruthless’s B’day bash which definitely be a lot of fun!
Alright thanks very much for this interview!
No problem it was a pleasure!
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Interviewer: Alexander Bouten