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Oliver Heldens goes Blue at Ushuaïa Ibiza

Blue is the warmest colour thanks to Oliver Heldens

If it is summery sounds and housey beats you're after, then Blue at Ushuaïa on Thursday nights is probably a safe bet. I've been to the Playa d'en Bossa venue myriad times already this season, but the party's opening last week was one of the busiest and best I've experienced so far. At least, it was once I'd got through the world's longest disco bus journey and the anxiety of interviewing Blue's main man, Oliver Heldens, the following day - there's no escaping the fact that meeting your idols can be a jittery experience.

I was given a short but sweet 10 minutes to catch up with the Dutch electronic music producer, who's down to headline the Thursday night party for five additional dates across the rest of this summer (7 July, 4 August, 11 August, 18 August and 1 September). He'll be joined by the likes of Robin Schulz, Lost Frequencies, Felix Jaehn, Fader, Klingande, Michael Calfan, Sam Feldt, Alex Adair and Bakermat, who'll collectively be on a mission to fill the stage with fireworks, smoke and smiles.

Headlining the Ushuaïa stage is no mean feat for any DJ, and the talented 21-year old is well aware that it's a platform to showcase the very best of his sound: "It's great for my music and the way that I play my sets because Blue goes from day to night. It starts with summery, tropical, house sort of stuff. In a two-hour set I take people on a journey. Last night, for example, I played a lot of different kind of house, including disco house, tech house, future house, deep house and techno. It was a real party.” Heldens admits he's inspired a whole range of sounds: "My biggest inspiration lies in the period between 2006 and 2009, with people like Bingo Players and Chocolate Puma, but I'm also into harder styles of dance music. In 2012 I was really inspired by the UK deep house scene - people like Julio Bashmore, Dusky and Disclosure."

This genre-brushing approach to music is something that's obvious in Helden's sets, but it's his own tunes that always get the biggest reaction. “The best moment for me last night was the last track. I played my own track, 'Space Sheep', which I mashed up with The Prodigy's 'Omen' - it was crazy. I knew what I was going to open and end with, so everything else in between was on the fly and it worked so well.”

It's been a fast and furious ascent for the DJ since he started in music at the age of 12, although it was only a few years later that he set his sights on DJing as a proper career: "It was when I was 15 that I decided what I really wanted to do, and after that I just got better and better. When I was 17 I was signed to Spinnin' Records and a year later I released 'Gecko'".

The young DJ has risen in fame thanks to the popularity of that particular track, and he explained there's still a lot more in store for his fans as his journey as a DJ continues. “DJing will never get boring because I have so much fun. In 10 or 20 years I can see myself writing and producing for other people, but for now I'm focused on what I'm doing. My main challenge is always to make new music that excites me."

With 200 shows under his belt last year, and now a star-studded residency at one of Ibiza's biggest clubs, the Dutch DJ inarguably has a lot to contend with, but there's still time for the occasional treat while he's here in the Balearics, “Yesterday, before the show, my friends and manager and I all went to Formentera and had the best paella ever,” a feast that obviously set him up well for a Blue at Ushuaïa extravaganza. An amazing opening party and an all-round nice guy, we hope Heldens perks up the Playa d'en Bossa block for a long time to come. Next time you're in town, let's all go for tapas, yeah?

WORDS | Caoimhe Harkin

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