Laidback Luke has always been a leading light in the music of present day as well as the future. His A&R scouting skills have served up an impressive array of big hitters on their way up including Avicii, A-Trak, Bingo Players, Knife Party, Afrojack and Steve Angello to name just a few. Being a firm believer in ‘real djing’, Luke is a mainstay at festivals like Ultra Miami, Tomorrowland, EDC Las Vegas, and more. Through iconic collaborations such as “Show Me Love” (w/ Steve Angello feat. Robin S), “Leave The World Behind” and “Get Dumb” (w/ Swedish House Mafia’s Axwell, Ingrosso, and Angello), “Turbulence” (w/ Steve Aoki feat. Lil Jon), “Hey” (w/ Diplo), and recent releases like “It’s Time” (w/ Steve Aoki) and “Milkshake” (w/ Ale Mora & Shermanology), Luke is always on top of the industry’s latest musical developments and will contain to play a vital part in it for years to come.
After Your breakthrough into the music industry, do you remember the moment you realized you were a rising star in the field?
I’ve had several breakthroughs in my career. My first one in 1997, then one in 1999, then in 2001. They were smaller ones, never a giant one! But one of the moments I remember so well is that I’ve had been working on an international breakthrough since 2004. One of my first international festival slots, I owe to Roger Sanchez, who managed to get me on the Global Gathering UK line up. But my slot was very early, even before the winner of the local DJ contest. Mind you, by this time, I already had a great career in the Netherlands. I was DJing every weekend and I had amazing commercial support on my tracks. I was already on TV with a few videos, but never internationally. So in this early slot in 2004, I played for two people in a tent that fits ten thousand people! And those two people were just walking through the tent as it was still very early in the morning. I was devastated. But I still held on to my dream and never gave up. 2008 came around and I had started to collaborate with the Swedish House Mafia. I remember getting an 8PM slot at Global Gathering now, right after Pete Tong and before Steve Angello & Sebastian Ingrosso. The tent was packed and the crowd went wild. It was then I realized I had made my dream come true.
Could you tell us more about your new project Late Night Luke and what is the story behind it?
I’ve been doing personal interviews with DJ’s on my VLOG on Youtube once in a while and I was planning on doing a new one, this time on Zoom because of the COVID situation.
My wife suggested that I could have multiple DJs this time because of Zoom and I loved that idea. My management heard about this and we decided to shape
it into a sort of Late Night Talkshow Podcast format. It’s been such a fun process and apparently I’m a natural at being a talk show host. The new one will be up on my Youtube channel soon and in that show, I’ll try to find out the pro’s and con’s of being a DJ Duo. I’ll be interviewing Nervo, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, and Bassjackers in this episode.
It’s a lot of laughs and through the Ranking The DJ’s poll we do a few days before the recording, there’s quite the intimate questions and answers we find out as well.
Who is the next artist you would like to collaborate with?
I currently have a collaboration out with Gattüso! It’s called ‘Heart On My Sleeve‘ featuring Sarah Reeves. Gattüso is from Israel and he’s living in NYC now. He’s been killing it and I love all his Progressive Bigroom type of tracks.
We’ve already been working on a follow up too!
From all the tracks you’ve produced so far, which one still makes you excited every time?
I’m still amazed that tracks like “Rise” with Mark Villa and “We’re Forever” with Marc Benjamin didn’t do more than they have. I still love listening to my 2015 Focus album. It sounds timeless for me!
Favorite moment from your career?
There has been incredible moments from discovering Avicii and Afrojack to meeting Quincy Jones, Bono, Madonna, and Cyndi Lauper. Officially remixing Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, and Donna Summer. Working with David Guetta in my home studio. Seeing the “EDM” rise in Amerika. Welcoming people like Calvin Harris to my Mixmash Pool Party. Pushing the young and unknown talent Skrillex to play Liv in Miami in 2010. Man, there have been such epic moments!
Who were the people who influenced you the most and from whom you were inspired?
Daft Punk before the Discovery era, Timbaland and N.E.R.D. all in the late nineteen. I have a big love for Eighties music too. In terms of DJing these were Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke, Bad Boy Bill and Frankie Bones. If you don’t know them, look them up! I’ve had the opportunity to play back to back with Dave Clark and Bad Boy Bill, such dreams come true!
What excites you most about being a DJ and performing around the world
Seeing the instant effect music has on people. The privilege of being a DJ pushing your own sound is that you get to play your favorite music! To be in control of a crowd and to lift the vibe up together, is amazing.
You’re a Kung Fu athlete as you say yourself in your vlogs, can you tell us more about Kung Fu?
My Kung Fu is my second life besides DJing. I’m a certified Kung Fu teacher and a former World Champion. I’ve been doing Kung Fu for over 20 years now
and it keeps me healthy, both mentally and physically. Through Kung Fu, I can deal with a lot of stress and I’m still very healthy and flexible at my age.
It’s been amazing to have been able to pass on my knowledge to my Kung Fu to my personal students, in a similar way that I do with DJing.
But good news, I’m rolling out an Online Kung Fu Course soon! For me, it’s important for people to experience the benefits from Kung Fu,
the way that I’ve experienced it.
You are an inspiration for lots of people around the world, including DJs, music producers, and music fans from around the world. What message would you like to send them during this time?
Now is the time to do what you love. To push your passion, whatever that may be. Most of all, enjoy what you are doing, and may you ignite positivity and passion in everyone you come across.