Since this is your first written interview, can you give us a bit of backstory on what led you to get into EDM?
Well first of all thanks for the opportunity! Let's start at the beginning: music has always been a part of me since I was born. When I was a kid, I got my start playing around on my mini toy keyboard, recreating melodies I had heard around. My father was part of a band and could play the guitar and piano so he was able to teach me some basic chords and such.
Around 2006-2007, I started listening to a lot of hip-hop and this made me want to start producing my own beats and instrumentals. I went about looking up which programs I would need to download to make something and decided that Reason 3.0 was the best option at the time - but I didn't stick with it for long.
Around 2012, I started to watch some DJ sets on YouTube because I was interested in DJing myself. The Tomorrowland sets and the ones from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were my favorite - DVLM was actually my biggest inspiration at the time and motivated me to get back into the game. I knew that I wanted to become a DJ, but to do so that I would need to make my own tracks which I could play out at Festivals so that people could recognize my name. This time, I downloaded FL Studio and got back to learning the ropes. I gave Ableton an honest shot but quickly found that FL was the one for me.
Later in July of that year, I was randomly listening to some mixes and came across my track in BOOSTEDKIDS' live set! I was so taken aback and could hardly process what I was hearing and seeing! It was just such an insane moment and I couldnt even begin to describe what it all felt like. From there, I got the motivation and the energy to never give up, and what I dreamed and what I want I can reach, I know it will be a long time but I was motivated and I wanted to do and work hard to reach my dreams!
From there, the supports kept rolling in and was signed to bigger labels like Armada Deep and VINAI's imprint, ZEROTHIRTY. More gigs came my way as well, performing in clubs and festivals at increasingly better venues. One of the milestones I'm most proud of is being the first Romanian DJ to play at Ultra Europe back in 2019. And this is just the start!
Big Room bootlegs played a large role in the rise of the genre back in 2013-2015 and we're seeing a resurgence in them again in 2020. You've made some significant contributions with your well-received festival mixes of Thunderstruck, Wake Me Up, and Loco Contigo to name a few. Can you go into how you've seen these releases grow your platform as a producer?
Yes exactly! I wanted to release a bunch of bootlegs for tracks thatI really like with the style I enjoy so that I can play them during my sets. My plan was to release these bootlegs for my fans as well and try to grow a bit and reach new people. This is definitely one of the best ways to grow your following. Olly James mentioned that and it's very true that many people knew him from his bootlegs and club edits so I took that advice to heart.
Going forward, there are still so many songs I want to put my spin on and of course team up with TBR for a few more as well! I've gotten so much positive feedback and support on the ones that have been released as well as new fans that motivate me to continue pushing forward with these!
With some of the world reopening and others going into a second round of lockdowns, let's take a moment to reminisce over a time where everything was normal. Can you describe some of your best memories while you were on tour?
There are so many moments that stand out! This answer might get a bit long but I these moments stood out to me the most when I was looking back over my memories.
The first one that sticks out is early in 2019 back in January when my biggest tour was underway. I got the chance to play at BONE in Thailand which was also my first time in Asia. When I was younger, I always dreamed about going to Thailand for vacation and then after five years, my music brought me there! I was so scared the night before the flight because it was the first time that I got onto a plane and it was for a 14 hour flight!
There are a few smaller festivals where I consistently play at like VIBE & SIC that I've performed four years in a row. Every time I'm up there, I can't describe the feeling I get when the crowd is all raving and it truly feels like they're loving me and the music I'm playing. All of these memories of seeing the faces of the ravers and their happiness is what it's all about for me. It's an unbeatable feeling! I can't wait to go back on tour, play all the new music live, and see all my friends, fans and family out there!
Speaking of Covid, how has the pandemic affected your career in the entertainment industry?
For me, 2020 was going to be a big year with a lot of touring scheduled. I had planned my second big China tour with fifteen stops but was cancelled due to the virus. Not to mention the other cancelled bookings in Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Vietnam, India, Hungary, Czech, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, and of course my home country. Hopefully those opportunities are just postponed till next year, or so!
To other producers reading this, I would say try not to be negative about the times, try to motivate yourself to learn and improve your skills since we're forced to stay indoors most of the time. It's a great time to spend with your family, loved ones when you're quarantines together and I've been doing just that. There is always something good to be made out of a bad situation. I really want to be everything like it was before, but don't worry keep up the good work and everything will be fine, take care, stay positive
What can we expect from the Nick Havsen project going into the rest of 2020?
Definitely planning on releasing a lot of new originals and bootlegs in 2020! I can't say too much but there's a big collaboration coming later this year alongside Wolfpack and Futuristic Polar Bears on a major label! Next month there will be some new music coming on Smash the House and Revealed as well and some killer collaborations with TBR and other talented producers!
This is really the year for me to focus on music and releasing as much as possible on the aforementioned labels and ones like Intensity Recordings with some of their artists!
There's a few other things in the works like a production tutorial for one of my upcoming songs and something a bit more secretive. All I can say is that I am working on making something to give back to my fans and upcoming producers who have all supported my tracks. Building a small community in a Discord server around August which will have rooms to produce and share your screen in to learn some new techniques or just play around with fans and producers online. There have been some pretty big names invited to be a part of it to give feedback on tracks and hang out as well!
I also have a few bookings for the summer but it all depends on how the virus goes. Regardless I'll still be releasing a lot of new music on my favorite labels and keep pushing forward!
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