The rising tech-house star talks Green Velvet, popularity polls and growing up in Greece
A resident for Paradise's 2017 season in Ibiza, Greek DJ/producer Detlef has recently been riding a wave of popularity helped in no small part by two releases – 'Bassick' and 'Groove Nation' - alongside Green Velvet.
Playing back to back with Latmun at Egg Presents on July 7th, alongside Mihalis Safras, we grilled the rising tech-house star.
Where are you right now and what will be you doing after answering these questions?
I am in Ibiza at the moment and after this interview we have to go to DC10 to do the photo shoot for the Paradise 2017 season.
You recently reached number one Beatport artist on BeatStats (I think). How did it feel to achieve this accolade? Can you describe a typical week to illustrate your work rate?
Yes, indeed, I was number one for the first quarter of 2017 and I have been number two for a whole year. As a producer it's really important because I have always been in the charts, but I never thought I could reach that spot on this chart. It’s definitely a sign that people like and support your music and is the best way to receive recognition for it.
My typical week nowadays is either coming back Mondays from weekend gigs, and then spending most hours of the day in the studio doing remixes and working on music in general; then leaving home on Thursday or Friday for gigs. Now with the Ibiza season, there is actually not a typical week because some times I leave home Tuesday and get back next Monday.
Recently you teamed up with Green Velvet. When, where and how did that collaboration come about?
That was both one of the best and easiest collaborations I have done in my life. Green Velvet is an amazing person and producer so both EPs we did were super fun to record. The last EP we did while I was in Australia and he was in Chicago so we sent some ideas to each other, then chose the tracks we both liked and he added some vocals on them. When you collaborate with someone that knows what they’re doing, you only need to send the track back and forth a couple of times for small tweaks. It makes the process move much quicker and even more enjoyable.
Will you be repeating your back to back set with him?
I really hope so! That night was really crazy and fun, and you can tell by watching the videos that the vibe was out of this world. Green Velvet’s energy is incredible, and we always have so much fun when we are together. We played five hours b2b, but the set seemed so quick that we couldn’t believe when they told us we had to stop and play the final record of the night.
The EP is called 'Groove Nation'. Which nation that you’ve visited has the most groove?
For me, the UK is the best nation to play music to. I have said it many times that the clubbers there are highly educated on house music, so they understand what I am playing. Sometimes I want to test and play different sounds, and I can do it so easily because people are open minded. If they like it, they will dance to it.
We see you've been in the studio with Jesse Perez too. Have you known each other long? What's your favourite thing about collaborating with another artist?
Yes, we went in the studio with Jesse while I was in Miami for MMW. I really love his style of beats and grooves. My favourite thing when I collaborate with people is that if I love their music and style of production it results in making a cohesive mix of both of our sounds.
You're from Greece. What was your musical background like there? Were you inspired by what was going on around you or were you looking further afield?
I started listening to electronic music from a young age. It was called rave back then and it was a true mix of everything electronic. I saw The Prodigy first. The scene was smaller in Greece till around 2000 when it grew into the huge parties that took place at that time. I was lucky to listen to live sets by almost every superstar DJ of that time, and a few years later I was even luckier to be a part of it by becoming the resident at a huge club which gave me the opportunity to play with so many DJs I admired. My inspiration mainly came from the club scene that was taking place in my hometown and the sets I was listening every week. It’s wildly different to hear something on the radio versus when you feel it in a club.
What does this summer hold for you? Do you have many Ibiza or festival gigs?
This summer is really exciting for me. I am a Paradise resident now, so I am doing three dates with Paradise at DC10. I am playing Elrow twice and it's my debut at Amnesia this year, which is very exciting. I’m also playing four times at Do Not Sleep at Sankeys, which I already played for the opening and was a unique vibe. I’ll be playing three times for Cuckoo Land at Ibiza Rocks, which is the best new party on the island, and I am playing for Kaluki at Blue Marlin as well - I love all the Kaluki team. I also play at a few festivals in Germany, Gibraltar and of course in the UK.
Name three tracks that sum up what you're likely to play at Egg.
ZDS - ‘Bang' [Weapons]
Detlef, Green Velvet - ‘Freak It' [Relief]
Detlef feat. Ossey James - ‘Swagon' [Repopulate Mars]
Tell us what you have coming up in terms of new releases?
I have a few releases coming out this year which I am really looking forward to. First in line is my 'Jaydee EP' for Eats Everything's label Edible at the end of June. I have a remix for Wade on Snatch, a Black Saints remix and a Hot Creations release due out later this year. I will do some collaborations as well, but I prefer to announce when the time is right.