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Quintino: ‘When You’re in India, You Feel Loved as an Artist’

The Dutch DJ-producer on why Indian audiences are special, his experience at playing Tomorrowland and how he ensures his music appeals to everyone

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Aug 07, 2016
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Dutch DJ-producer Quintino made his India debut in May this year. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

One of the great things about the global electronic music scene right now is perhaps its ability to catapult a deserving artist to phenomenal success in record time. The Dutch house DJ-producer Quintino first came to the limelight in 2009 when his remix of the popular Portuguese song “Rap Das Armas” topped charts in the Netherlands. Soon other hits started following–from the 2011 tracks “Epic” and “Selecta” (with Afrojack) to “Go Hard” and “Fatality” more recently. He is also noted for some of his big collaborations such as this year’s “Freak” with R3hab and 2015’s “Unbroken,” featuring Yves V, with whom he also performed a B2B set at Tomorrowland last week. In this interview, Quintino, who is signed to Spinnin’ Records, talks to us about playing at the Belgian EDM mecca, keeping his music “flavorful” and the loving Indian audiences.

The scale of this festival keeps growing every year and the fans love it for that. How is it to witness it from the stage?
It’s insane! I was at the main stage with R3hab today and it’s amazing to see so many people having fun; people from so many countries come together here for music. For me, that’s life! I’m happy.

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Is there a stress for you to present your music visually as well, since most DJs are working on offering a complete experience to the crowds?
Actually it’s not stress, it’s quite the opposite. It’s about creating new stuff besides your music. To get the visuals, the lights, the production together–it makes me happy to do all of that; it’s a creative process. And I am always working on making it better.

Is it also competitive in a way–in artists vying to give a whole sensory experience to the listener. Where do you think the scene is heading from here?
Well, these days DJs are not only playing the records but also making the records; they’re making the hits. And besides that, it’s different being a DJ today than, say, being in a band. If you want to loosen up after a week of work in the studio, you can go to a rave or a party!

How do you ensure that the music you put out appeals to a majority of people, that it cuts across age?
For me, it’s about the kind of music I am releasing. Sometimes I make a very loud record—for the ravers. Other times I make a record that is suitable to listen to on Spotify or the radio. The last record I made was with R3hab, it’s called “Freak” and it’s more for the radio; it got over 10 million views on Spotify. And the record I did with Hardwell is more for clubs. So I try to mix it up and then I can play it all together in a set, so people can move and jump like crazy and also sing along to. So I try to get different flavors into it.

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[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFywYvqhd0[/youtube]

How was your experience of performing in India in May?
The funny thing is that the very first time that I came to India, there were die-hard people in the front and they knew everything about me. Indian audience–they have so much passion for artists. When you’re in India, you feel loved.

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