The Prophet is easily one of the most well known hardstyle artists in the world. A true veteran, he emerged into the earlier stages of the DJ scene in 1988. Since then he has risen to the pinnacle of the genre and remains a primary influence in contemporary hard dance. This year he reached his most significant milestone- the release of his FIRST album called LOUDER. UGS had the amazing opportunity to sit down and chat with this legend about his new record, the evolution of his genre and the beginnings of his career. Check out what went down:
Voices from the Undrgrnd:
UGS: As a godfather of hardstyle, you’ve been in the scene for quite some time- what made you decide that 2014 would be the year that you release your FIRST album?
The Prophet: It’s actually very simple, it took too long in fact. It was about time for me to show what I got, what I’ve experienced the past 25 years. What’s in my heart, mind, veins, everything!
What were the main inspirations for LOUDER? Any particular moments that contributed to its conception?
I think everyone has those moments; you have your ups and downs, good and bad. Also, when you make an album, it also has ups and downs. You create something with your mind to make it right or worse, but I didn’t do that – I just let me creativity flow, unadulterated. It was very nice.
What made you decide to become a DJ?
Grand Master Flash, 1981! He was one of the first people- he may have even invented it- to scratch. I became so obsessed with it and was just in awe of what the hell he was doing. I wanted to know how he did it so, me and my friend bought some turntables and we gave it shot. We started listening to hip-hop and became fascinated with the phenomenon. We also liked to breakdance! That was how it all started for me.
Had you considered other careers before deciding to become a DJ or did you always know this is what you wanted to do?
No, I didn’t know I wanted to become a DJ. In my days, there were no DJs, just radio jockeys. I think I started playing for free and if you were really lucky you got to play on Saturdays and you would make $20 but, that would get spent on records. Because it was my hobby and passion, I didn’t mind playing for free or for little money. The passion is sort of gone now since it’s a real profession these days. Everything has changed- it’s good but, it was so different back then. I always wanted to be a heart surgeon or a cancer surgeon but, look at me now!
What made you fall in love and want to spin/produce hardcore and gabber?
Our perspectives are different because when you fell in love with it, it was already there. When I decided to spin it, it did not exist. Everyone in my day pretty much invented it. So there was no “falling in love” for me. In ’88 we always played on a certain mixer and all the records were normal and not distorted. It was the drum machine era, so distortion was not there and if it was, it wasn’t supposed to be. Eventually we started messing around with the gain and volume and distorted our music. Then I started experimenting with other techniques- cutting certain sounds and eventually distorting the drum kick. At that moment, hardcore was born. Of course, I wasn’t the only one doing this, there was a handful of us trying out this distorted kick drum. For me, when I played that sound it evoked a certain feeling that made me addicted!
So, on LOUDER, which were your favorite tracks to work on?
“HOO-EY.” Rob Gee, from New York, helped me with the vocals, as well as another track on the album. I asked him what the hell he was saying and he said “nothing! It’s all nonsense…just bullshit.” I’m a big fan of Married With Children and Al Bundy says in one episode “that’s all HOO-EY!” So I stopped the episode and realized that “hoo-ey” means nonsense- I used that as a sample and it became the title of the track.
Which one was the hardest?
“Make Me Stay.” I had the vocal recorded two years ago, by a famous Dutch artist and it was called “Neverending Story” at the time. I made 8-10 different versions of it but, was never happy. I knew I wanted it on the album so, I asked Noisecontrollers to help me out. So he made the melody in two days! We finished it together and changed the name to “Make Me Stay.”
What are your expectations for tonight?
I know the crowd, at least I think I know them, and they love music. So I expect that I can play every track off my album and they will love every second of it and go nuts.
What did you do in NYC today? Did you do anything interesting?
I went shopping! I went everywhere today actually – I love to walk around. I went to Times Square and saw Batman! I did a lot of touristy stuff like the Empire State Building. I walked from 8am to no [7pm] – my legs hurt!
What’s a random fact about you that your fans may not know?
I think most fans know that I stutter. 9/10 times when I have an interview it doesn’t happen though. Also, all the naked cats that I post on my social media are mine! All those photos you see are of my sphinxes. I post at least one funny pic of them a week. I used to have two but, one of them had kittens so now I have 5!
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists so that they can become a godfather like you?
Very simple – it’s heavy and maybe the toughest of all. The generation now may say “I can’t do anything with those words,” but one day you will. Follow your heart, that’s it. When your brain gets involved, it tells you all sorts of BS to throw you off but, ultimately follow what’s in your heart because that’s what you truly want.
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