On the 4th July, we visited RAW Beats Festival. RAW Beats is a smaller Festival in Groningen where big names such as Deetox, Adaro, Crypsis and the Prophet play, but where upcoming artists (such as Twin Towers) also get a chance to showcase their talents. The opening artist for this Festival was DJ Xerenetox, who played an amazing set which featured a lot of early Hardstyle tracks in the first half hour, after which it built up to a set filled with surprising tracks and exactly what RAW beats stands for: Raw beats, amazing kicks and amazing energy . We had the chance to accompany Xerentox to Raw Beats and get to know this local talent a little bit. So of course we had to give you the chance to do the same and have an interview with this great guy! Here it is..
Hey! First of all, thanks for doing this interview with us! We appreciate you taking the time for this.
Hey guys! Thank you for giving me the chance to do this interview, I really appreciate it!
Not a problem! Before we start with the actual questions, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who’s the man behind Xerenetox?
Sure! Well, I’m Michel Reinders. I’m 31 years old and I live in Groningen. I started DJ’ing for bookings in the year 2007 and before that I was a resident DJ at a radio show. Besides being behind the decks, I enjoy playing all kinds of sports (tennis for instance), but most of my time is spent with music, whether it’s listening to it or mixing. . Yeah, that’s about it, haha!
Ah cool! And when did you decide that DJ’ing really was something you wanted to do?
When I was 18! In 2005 I visited Qlimax where I thought to myself: wow this music is sick! I also really enjoyed seeing the DJ’s get loose behind the decks! After which I bought some cheap CD –players etc., practically locked myself up in the attic and practiced 24/7, haha. After a while I sent my demo to a local radiostation where I played for a while. Some time later I started seeing my current girlfriend and moved to Groningen, where she had some friends and connections who she thought might be a way in for me. And the hard work paid off; since the year 2010 I’ve had over 100 bookings!
Amazing to see what some connections can do for you! So, of course, your girlfriend was very supportive of your music career! How did your friends and family respond to your decision to become a DJ?
Even though my parents don’t really appreciate the music, they’ve always supported me greatly and allowed me the freedom I needed to improve in this field. As long as it makes me happy, they’re happy, which I really appreciate. My friends thought it was really cool, tell me I’m doing a bit better every time and visit a lot of my bookings, which I think is so great!
Sounds like you’ve gotten some amazing support! Like you said, this music makes you happy. Could you tell us some more about what Hardstyle means to you?
It means everything to me! It’s my passion. My great love, next to my girlfriend of course, haha! I can put all my energy into this music. When I’m behind the decks, the calmer, quiet Michel disappears and I’m a whole different person. It’s almost like some sort of rush.
How would you describe your own musical style as a DJ?
Allround! I play mainstream, early, raw. It depends on the event and who’s playing before and after me. I always like to put some older tracks in my sets though. I haven’t produced my own tracks yet, but producing really is something I want to pursue in the near future. I have a lot of friends who have already offered me to get into the studio together and teach me a thing or two, and of course some guys from the Wicked Wild agency are willing to help me out as well.
Cool! Keep us posted! Next, we’re curious, who inspires you or who do you really admire?
B-front! He creates amazing atmospheres and manages to put emotion in his tracks, which is something not everyone can do. It’s not just kicks and screeches. And on top of that, he’s also a genuinely great guy who tells it like it is and stays himself . If I could do a collab with anyone, it would definitely be with him. Or Noisecontrollers! But that’s far far away from where I am right now haha.
Great artists indeed, we’d love to see that happen for you! Back to present day.. Today we’re at RAW Beats where you’re in the line-up with DJ’s such as Adaro, Deetox, Crypsis and The Prophet. What’s that like for you?
Hot! Haha. No, it’s really great to be here, so cool! I really love to play at outdoor events, it adds so greatly to the atmosphere to play outside, with the sun shining, and in Groningen which is always special for me and to be playing next to these headliners, it’s amazing!
Awesome. Are there any other great things like these coming up for you in the near future?
Hmm not really, I have some cool stuff coming up but I can’t say much about that yet..
We’ll just have to wait and see then! And in the further future, what’s something you really wish to accomplish in your career as a DJ?
Like I said, a collab with B-Front or Noisecontrollers would be amazing. Or even just to be able to watch them work their magic in the studio would be so cool! And also to be able to play at Defqon.1 someday, but that’s all so far in the future. I’d first have to start producing my own tracks and really develop my own sound, I’m not sure what that would be yet, but I think I’d figure it out along the way. I do know I would try to create a story within my tracks, with emotions in it and really create an atmosphere within them.
Sounds cool! We’d love to hear those words translated into music! Last question: What advice would you give other upcoming DJ’s?
Try to give your own twist to your music and your sets. Don’t just think ‘the harder the better’, music is so much more than that! Teasing, vocals, melodies.. Try to stand out from all the others and do your own thing. For me that’s something I do with, for instance, the older tracks I play in my sets and my energy on stage. But also, be respectful to your colleagues and don’t just play a set that’s good for you, but take in account who’s playing before and after you. Not everyone does that these days.
Great advice! Well, that’s it. Thank you for having this interview with us.
Thanks so much for this opportunity guys! I really appreciate having the chance to put myself out there some more and showcasing who I am and what I stand for!