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Mike Williams: ‘Aspiring Producers Must Put All Their Music Online’

The 19-year Dutch DJ-producer, who made his Tomorrowland debut recently, on how to make it big in the competitive world of electronic dance music

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Aug 06, 2016
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Mike Williams is a 19-year-old Dutch DJ-producer signed to Spinnin’ Records. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Till last year, Mike Williams couldn’t even officially enter the festivals and gigs he played around the world—an instance which is not uncommon with many hugely popular but underage DJs. In the past few years, the world of electronic dance music has witnessed the rise of a slew of young artists for whom age is just a number (Martin Garrix, XXYYXX among others) and it would be safe to say that the 19-year old Williams is just on the brink of a major break. The Dutch DJ-producer, who is now signed to premier Dutch label Spinnin’ Records, played an exciting set on day one at Tomorrowland – his debut at the Belgian festival – and is also out with a collaboration with none other than house legend Tiësto.

In this exclusive interview, Williams talks about making music, artists he  looks up to and more.

This was your first time at Tomorrowland – how the whole experience?
Really cool. I played on the stage and the crowd was amazing. It’s amazing to see how Tomorrowland actually is. I always saw it in the videos and the aftermovies but to be here it’s so different.

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Have you attended the festival before, as a visitor maybe?
No. I am 19 actually!

It’s great that you’re playing here at 19 – are there more festivals and tours lined up for later this year?
I am doing Mysteryland in Holland; there’s shows in China – which is new for me – and some great festivals. Can’t wait!

When you’re playing a festival like this one, there’s also the challenge of presenting an ‘experience’ to your fans apart from music…
It’s difficult because I’m just starting and of course, all the big DJs have nice visuals and a great show, so I have to just build that up. [For now] it’s all about music for me; I love to make music in the studio and I love to see how people react to my music when I play it. It’s the most amazing feeling.

Which renowned artists do you look up to as a budding producer yourself?
There are a lot of great DJs. Tiësto is a great example, he’s been in the scene for so long. We speak with each other a lot, we also have a track together (watch it below). He’s for me, a mentor. He teaches me a lot about music.

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkAPoah5MTI[/youtube]

Being a young artist who is signed to a major label, what is your advice to aspiring producers?
I think it’s really important to put all your music online. Because if you keep your music for yourself, no one will hear it. If record labels see your music online, if it gets a lot of plays, a lot of likes, that’s a good impression on the labels. Then they get interested in artists.

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[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0WDY8Y5q-0[/youtube]

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