Next festival we’re going on a hunt for Belgian DJ and producer, Yves V. But we won’t have to trek too far to find him because he’ll be guaranteed, conjuring his magic on the mainstage, an accomplishment wielded by DJ legends David Guetta, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, Danny Howard, and Pete Tong, before him.
Yves V crafted his own success internationally through his weekly radio show V-Sessions, which was syndicated into 30 stations. Having already played the Tomorrowland mainstage through his own curation in 2012 with V-Sessions, Yves V then went on to stage-host from 2013-2019. When he’s not cranking up the energy at festivals, he’s releasing his creations gaining attention on the dancefloor and the airwaves, easily surpassing 50 million plays like his single ‘Not So Bad.’
We chatted with Yves V about his latest track ‘Forget You’ with Robert Falcon and Jimmy Clash, his growth since 2009, reminiscing about his set at Tomorrowland and how he composes his sets. He also reveals the obstacles he had to overcome with becoming a DJ and producer, how it landed him on the top 100 on DJ Mag’s list, and his plans for the future. Learn all about it in our exclusive interview!
‘Forget You’ is your latest track! Tell us all about how the song came about! What was it like working with Robert Falcon and Jimmy Clash?
It was a lot of fun, those guys are great! I’ve been working a lot on more radio-ready, pop-leaning electronic tracks that work on radio but I really wanted to work on something that was able to get everyone into the party, club, and festival atmosphere once again! Robert, Jimmy, and myself all brought our own styles between house, big-room, and old school to really get audiences moving!
As life starts to revert back to normal and we see festivals coming back, how are you feeling knowing you’ll be back in those environments again?
I’m so excited, there is nothing like being able to bring music to fans in a live experience! Tomorrowland, which I’m a mainstage resident of, is such a big part of my life and to see that be canceled in-person, and go digital these past two years, has been something we have all missed as a team. Touring was such a huge part of my life before the pandemic and to be able to bring my music to fans, and also experience those cultures is something so enriching. We have all missed live music and events, hopefully, we can all dance together soon now the light is (hopefully) at the end of the tunnel.
When you look back to 2009 with your remix of ‘Insane Pressure’ what is the biggest point of growth you can see from then to now?
That was such a long time ago I think I see my whole career as a constant progression. My sound has gone from being very big-room orientated, and in time grew to incorporate electro, house, vocal-led styles, and much more; I don’t like to stick in one box! I think being able to follow my instincts and not be afraid to try new things is an important part of growing as an artist and something I always want to do in my career.
Tomorrowland is one of the biggest showcases for a DJ. What are the first thoughts that come to your mind when you are on stage, looking at the massive audience waiting for you? Is there something you keep from moments like that to remember it?
Although I have been a core part of the team since it began way over a decade ago, stepping out on the main stage to me feels just as electric as it did the first time I did! The feeling never changes and my love for the whole event, the unity it brings, and how many people from all over the world come to enjoy the experience is something unlike any other. The memories will always be with me!
Tomorrowland has played a huge role in your life as you’re the resident DJ, what is your favorite memory from performing at the festival?
I couldn’t choose one but I would say being able to host my own V Sessions party concept at the event. For many years I have curated a line-up of DJs and artists I admire, collaborators, producers I’m a fan of, there is nothing off limits! I want people to step into the world that I love and to host and play next to some of my favorite acts and peers is its own exciting section of the festival that is still a thrill, to me.
How has your experience been preparing and performing on Tomorrowland’s digital stage?
Of course, it is very different than being out there in Boom, Belgium, and playing to tens of thousands of happy faces but what the Tomorrowland team did was really phenomenal. The guys from the bookings, over to the promotions and especially the digital team, really revolutionized how fans could enjoy the festival and the music they love from their own homes. It was a monumental event that felt totally cutting edge and at least we could still bring that joy and festival vibe to people safely. It was really fun to be able to craft a set full of anthems and festival tunes that I haven’t been able to weave together in that style for quite a while! I knew that we would have just as much as a diverse audience as we do in-person and bringing the party felt almost like being back out on stage again.
When choosing your setlist, what factors do you consider? Do you have any favorite tracks or classic artists that you always try to incorporate into your set?
It really depends on a few different factors. Depending on if it’s a club show or a festival set, what location, what new music is in the works and the audience all have an influence. I always like to have a mix of mash-ups, something to include classic tracks that audiences will instantly recognize, previews of upcoming music to get fans excited for what is next, and of course, some certified anthems that hopefully take the roof off!
Despite your global success, what was the biggest obstacle you had to face as a DJ and Producer, and how did you overcome it?
I think the pandemic has taught me it’s learning how to balance work life and home life. I have a family at home including a young son and to actually take a step back and slow down has been one positive of the whole situation. I always spend as much time as I can at home when I am back in Belgium but when I’m not, spending a lot of time in airports, hotels, and cars thousands of miles from home, makes me really understand how important to get that balance is.
We know you earned your rightful place in the DJ Mag Top 100! Take us through the moment you found out you made the list, what was your first reaction to the news?
Thank you! It was a phenomenal feeling and after being in the industry and working so hard on the music I make and the shows I play for so long, it was amazing to be recognized in such a poll alongside so many amazing DJs.
What can fans look forward to in the near future?
I have a brand new production coming via Spinnin’ Records later this month with Dubdogz that I’m excited for everyone to hear! We’re really bringing the Summer vibes and I’ll also be announcing some new shows back on the road very soon! You can keep up to date with everything over on my social media – I hope to catch you on the dancefloor soon!
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Featured Image Source: Courtesy of Urban Rebel PR & Afnan Acharki, THP Graphics Team