We had a long and candid chat with Belgian DJ and producer, Yves V about his journey, his V Sessions brand, his recent charting hit ‘Not So Bad’ and lots more.
With big releases year in, year out and one of the mainstays of the DJ Mag Top 100, Belgian producer Yves V is in a league of his own. Bridging his roots of underground trance with modern electro and progressive house, Yves V has amassed a loyal following through his unique blend of influences and sounds.
Breaking into the scene with his ‘Insane Pressure’ remix in 2009, he has now racked up collaborations with the mammoths of the game like Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Angger Dimas, Basto!, Regi, Don Diablo, Chuckie and Sander Van Doorn, to name few. His infectious and high energy DJ sets have taken him to the biggest arenas in the world; and Yves is the only DJ to take over Tomorrowland’s famous stage 11 times – a feat no DJ has been able to achieve yet.
Yves V is also the proud owner of Tomorrowland’s V Sessions, who assumed stage duties in 2012 ;and in under 10 years, V Sessions has turned into a brand that has hosted legends like Eric Prydz, while also extending to a global radio station network. V Sessions has notched up over 2300 episodes so far, and has its presence in over 30 globally known radio stations.
After being the man behind producing one of the biggest dance anthems of 2020 with ‘Not So Bad’, and his recent single with Bhaskar, we were keen to know his thoughts on his journey so far, his V Sessions brand and lots more. Here is what he had to say:
From your debut in 2009, to becoming known as a Belgian powerhouse 13 years later, how would you like to describe the Yves V journey?
Yves V: Thanks for the kind words guys! My journey has been one that I never expected to be a fast one, the importance for me was to take my time, especially with leaving a “stable” career (I was a teacher before I went into music) and to ensure this was something that was viable, I really had to plan for the future and work on my craft and believe in myself.
To be able to have so many amazing fans, peers, label and a team that I have been with since the beginning means the world to me and I wouldn’t be where I am without all the support of those who helped me get to where I am today!
How do you think your sound has evolved over the years?
Yves V: I have always had a keen and broad interest in so many different genres, not just in dance music – I’m a big fan or pop, rock and so much more – but to figure out what I wanted to do with my sound was important to me in the beginning.
I think, as the years have gone on, I’ve got more experimental with my sound and I’ve gained the freedom to not just release big-room but also dive into deeper and more melodic styles, as well as sometimes bringing tracks that are more pop-leaning or funky to the forefront.
Who were your biggest influences when you started making music?
Yves V: I was inspired by a range of artists from Eric Prydz to David Guetta, Nicky Romero to Carl Cox, but I always found it important to not imitate those I looked up to or who came before me, but to find my own voice and style within the scene.
With over 2300 episodes and with its stage at Tomorrowland, you’ve hosted some mammoth names at the V Sessions. How has the experience been like since the brand’s inception?
Yves V: The experience to grow the brand has been amazing, from the radio show that allows fans to access my style of sets if they can’t attend a show in person, over to curating my stages at Tomorrowland, I like to always adapt and move the brand into new spaces to reach new audiences as my career continues on.
‘Not So Bad’ was a massive hit but can describe your favourite moment when you dropped the tune in a club or at a festival?
Yves V: Thanks! The release received so much love across the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Spinnin’ Record’s end of year mix, as well as artists like Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Dub Dogz and lots more. Being able to play this track at Tomorrowland also gave me goosebumps because playing there is always like a homecoming for me!
We’d like to pay special attention to your 2018 track, ‘Durga’. You along with Mariana BO’s Mexican influence with the vocal samples emerging from Indian folk music; It’s a confluence of three different cultures. How did the tune come about?
Yves V: Mariana and I have shared the same line-ups many times and I’ve always digged her productions and unique take with live instrumentals also within the music she makes. I love the sound she brings from her home of Mexico to the international scene and knew she’d be brilliant to work with – so it felt like a natural progression to connect with our sounds!
You’ve also just released a brand new track on ALOK’s Controversia, ‘Round My Head’, tell us a little about the release?
Yves V: I’ve released several tracks on Controversia now and they’re a great team to work with as the imprint allow me to explore deeper and darker sounds of my music. With ‘Round My Head’ I wanted to make a track that was emotional in its lyrical message but also had one foot in the club-ready space, to take the direction of the track into a fresh direction.
You also collaborate with Brazilian producer Bhaskar on this track, and you’ve also worked with names including Bassjackers, Don Diablo, Sam Feldt, Afrojack and so many more! What do you enjoy about collaborating and how does this differ from being in the studio solo?
Yves V: I like collaborating with artists because it can be great, creatively, to not only bounce ideas around but experiment or lean into different genres or styles. Some artists may prefer a huge hook or vocal to lead into the production, others may prefer to take the route of a big bombastic and complex range of methods for instrumentals in the studio, other times it could be stripped back!
I’m always open to the power of collaboration if I feel like I’m on the same vibe with a fellow producer and can always be growing through this myself.
How does your studio downtime look like?
Yves V: Spending lots of time with my family and young son, being appreciative for what I have, enjoying a good workout and maybe a glass of red wine or two – the simple things in life are all I appreciate when I come home from tour.
What’s coming next for Yves V?
Yves V: I have a busy Summer of live shows and festivals and lots of new music coming soon – as you guys mentioned my new single with Bhaskar on Controversia ‘Round My Head’ is out now and I hope you are all having fun with it soundtracking your Summer! You can follow me on my social media where you can be the first to find out about all my releases and latest projects, thanks for your love and support ?
Listen to Yves V’s latest single on ‘Round My Head’ here: