A Sit Down With DJ Airwave
Airwave a.k.a. Laurent Veronnez hails from Brussels, Belgium and is one of the most gifted artists of our time. He possesses a passion for his craft which drips from every track he has produced since his musical inception 20 years ago. He is well-respected amongst his peers for his opinions on, and vision for, the trance music industry and he speaks honestly about how he feels and where he sees his musical vision taking him. Versatility and great skill in the studio has led him to collaborations with: Jurgen Leyers with Fire & Ice and E.N.E.R.G.Y., Marnik Braeckevelt with Antidote, Yves Deruyter, M.I.K.E., Armin Van Buuren, Marcus Schulz, JES and producer John 00 Fleming.
"In times of instant gratification, we tend to forget that great things get done with patience, courage and also failure."
It is said you received the gift of music at the tender age of seven. What do you recall being so intriguing about music at such a young age?
I just got lucky that I was born and raised within that period, and that I could develop my sensitivity for art in general, and specifically music, over the years. Electronic music, back then, had no specific format. You had electronic music everywhere, and nowhere, unlike now where you have this giant EDM culture thing, which somehow explains why I (love) it so much today; fantastic times, great records high in the charts and still ahead of their time. This is what happens when you put great tech into the right hands.
What is the single most important element or factor a track should have for it to be included on a compilation youre mixing?
I dont want a track to be perfect, I want it to feel perfect. That means to me that its imperfections need to be put into evidence so that they become a natural part of the record. This is something thats getting lost over the years, and the cause of it is that the way electronic music gets made today has too many guidelines, how do you want kids and upcoming musicians to think outside the box when everything is at their disposal, presets, samples, plugins.
Were there any tracks that you were particularly pleased (exclusives, etc) to be able to incorporate?
That new Art of Trance Before The Storm. Ive always been a fan of Platipus. This new release is absolutely mind-blowing. Dactylion Part 2 by Matt Holliday is the kind of track I could eat, drink, sleep and repeat on. That new track from Dark Soul Project and Mathov is also incredible.
What has been your most shocking moment during your career thus far playing a gig?
The mental atmosphere when playing Luminosity Beach Festival last year; I had never felt anything like that before, the connection with the crowd unforgettable! Lately I had a great time in Sofia, Bulgaria, too. People were there for the music, nothing else. Fantastic people.
What is LCD Sessions?
LCD Sessions is my monthly radio show. LCD Sessions is the true representation of my everyday life as a DJ. I like the smooth intro and start and the peak moments, towards the end. A perfect blend between progressive house and psy trance. Because where Im coming from theres no line, no gap between those genres I play in LCD Sessions and In The Mix.
Do you have any of your own productions on there?
"A Touch of Grace" is on there and its more than obvious as its getting tons of love from the likes of Solarstone and JOOF, but also from tons of other people who dont necessarily support my music by course. One way or another, tt had to be on there of course.
What do you want to put across through the music you feature?
I want the genres covered to be the broadest ever for a radioshow of that kind, without compromising my integrity as a musician. What I play gets my full support. No politics, no records chosen because of the name or the cover. Im getting thousands of tracks in my mailbox every single month. The 20-25 I play every month are the best in there for me.
Outside of music what are your interests, what do you like to do in your downtime?
Back in the old years I would have had a ton of hobbies and things outside music. Today Id say I keep watching movies, I still play games a tiny bit, and most of the time gets spent with the kids as theyre what matters most after all! Teaching my daughters a lot of things about life is the most enjoyable experience in life.
What was your process in developing your production skills?
Ive never felt really talented or skilled. I simply adapted myself by listening obsessively to anything the people mentioned above did release. Due to the circumstances their age too these records have something magical, completely unforced. Some of their records are still invaluable today. Theyre still a big part of my learning curve. Im still developing my skills, and I guess Ill never stop learning; this is how fascinating music making is for me.
You have worked with a ton of record labels including JOOF Recordings, Mistique Music and Bonzai Progressive. How do record companies differ and as an artist, how do you decide who to work with?
While Bonzai Progressive is heading towards progressive house and trance at a slower tempo, JOOF isnt afraid of some uptempo escapades as John has the exact same profile as mine as a DJ, but I have this huge story with Bonzai. We all play the same styles of music and we have this common vision after all. So depending on the sound I either go for Bonzai Progressive or JOOF, basically. Slower or darker regularly means it goes to Bonzai Progressive first, but there are exceptions though, look at my latest single, A Touch Of Grace. Its very trancy and melodic, yet its on Bonzai Progressive. Uptempo and more melodic definitely goes to JOOF first, although the guys have a strong relationship with each other so we discuss who releases what all the time. Thats the 2015 way to do business I think, where labels arent competitors anymore and just decide everything together with only the artists exposure for sole purpose.
Do you prefer DJing or producing?
I prefer simply making and performing music. The way I see things evolve is that DJing will remain a matter for Music Lovers and respect to that, while True creation will happen much more often on the fly. The Technology is here with us, only a question of months. The superstar DJ days are completely gone, although you still have a few exceptions, meanwhile EDM Musicians still make it on every level.
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