Erik Arbores: "It's all about the drive in dance music."
Born in an era that lives to the beat of EDM, makes it no surprise that a younger generation of dance lovers arises. But to produce a quality track at only 14 years old, is something different. Dutch producer Erik van den Boom, better known as Erik Arbores, released his very first E.P., ‘Take It’, on the ZOUK label last week, to many appraise from dance music professionals and with the Dutch press haunting him down. He’s no average kid, that’s for sure. At 14 years of age, Erik studies the University of Delft and knows all ins and outs of producing an anthem that appeals to a global crowd. This young prodigy, a down-to-earth music fanatic, has something special going on, and we’re lucky to have him on our side. Let’s have a chat with our artist of the week: Erik Arbores!
Hey Erik! welcome to Armada Music, it’s great to have you on board! You’re probably on top of the world?
Erik:”Yes absolutely! I never expected to have a release so soon. It's great to have so many positive comments from all over the world, from Mexico to China, and of course in my own country, the Netherlands.”
Now, we know everyone’s talking about your age and how special it is that at only 14 years old you’ve already released your first E.P., but if we put that aside – what makes the E.P. itself so special?
Erik:”Well, for me the E.P. is special because it is my first E.P. so that is great by itself. But I think what makes it quite original is that the tracks are not in one particular genre. They're all dance music obviously, but they have elements from (progressive) house, electro, trance and pop music too. So I often try to combine various genres. And I don't want to create tracks that are alike. I want to include new elements in each track and experiment a lot. That way I challenge myself each time.”
Is there any of the three tracks that you love most?
Erik:”No, because they're all very different. For instance, ‘Bliss’ is a very melodic, and quite mainstream track, while "Take It" is more of a strong, and a bit darker track. ‘Transit’ is kind of in between the other two. What I find important myself is to make energetic, dynamic music, therefore all of the three have that in common.”
You’ve started playing the piano at the age of four, but it didn’t take long before you made the transition to pop and EDM. What was it about those electronic beats that appealed you so much – and can you still remember how you got into it?
Erik:”Indeed, after I had started to play the piano I didn't take long for me to improvise on the piano pieces I had studied. I also started with playing pop songs on the piano, after hearing them on the radio. Since that was going very well, I quickly got into composing my own songs. After having bought Fruity Loops I started experimenting with electronic sounds and that got me into EDM (although I still produce a lot of pop music too). I already listened to dance music before producing it myself, Alice DeeJay and the Vengaboys for example. It is this drive in dance music, the energy that it contains, that appeals to me.”
Is it true that you taught all the tricks of producing music yourself? How did you do it?
Erik:“Yes that's true, I just experimented a lot with electronic sounds and beats in the computer, I also watched tutorials on the internet. Another main reason is that I listen to a huge amount of music every day, I discover a lot of new songs daily and this gives me my inspiration. These songs are also in various genres, pop music and EDM mainly but also hiphop, R'n'B and sometimes I even get my inspiration from dubstep- and drum and bass-like tracks. I also did unofficial remixes, just for fun, but I learned from the tracks I remixed.”
We can imagine that all attention of the Dutch press, TV shows and studying at university can sometimes make your life a lot heavier than it is for most 14-year olds. Is music your way of relaxing and getting away from it all?
Erik:”I'm indeed really busy with studying, interviews and hanging around with friends. So sometimes it's hard to find some time to produce my music. It's important to have the time when you also have the inspiration; you can't just sit for 10 minutes and hope to come up with something. This is hard right now because I just had holidays for three months, and I had all the time to do things when I wanted to. So I need to get used to the fact that I have a lot to do - especially now, because I have a lot of interviews about the E.P. “
Now, another thing about dance music. The big question is: are you also planning to DJ after a while?
Erik:”I'm going to DJ after a while because it's awesome to see the crowd dancing on my tracks. I've experienced my tracks being dropped in a club a few times and that's just fantastic! So I think it's great to DJ myself, although I don't want to have less time for producing due to DJ'ing. And I also have restrictions because of my age, you are not allowed to perform a lot when you're 14 years old. But I'm really looking forward to it!”
The ‘Take It’ E.P. focuses on prog-house, but also has some influences of trance and electro. Is there any particular sound that you love most, or do you fancy experimenting?
Erik:”The genres I love the most to produce myself are pop music and (prog) house. I really like to mix genres and include different influences. Like I said, I listen to lots of music, so that way I get my inspiration from different genres. That way I automatically mix them. I use a dubstep beat in the break of a pop song for example. I also like to experiment a lot, I use a sound in another way than what it's meant for, for instance. That way my tracks stay different from each other.”
Now, the big question is of course: will we be hearing more Erik Arbores tracks in the future?
Erik:”I hope so! I'm busy already with many new tracks, prog house and also other styles, and I would love to work with vocals on later tracks. I also hope to do official remixes. But you'll definitely be hearing more from me!”
Get ‘Take It’ E.P. and ‘Bliss’ single from iTunes or Beatport!
Don't forget to check out Erik's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ErikArbores