Eelke Kleijn

The Dutch DJ talks great gigs and his degree studies...


What can we expect from you?
Well, what I heard from my friends is that people [in Dubai] really like tech and deep house, and the warmer vibes. So I’m looking forward to that – in many places I can’t usually play that kind of music when I’m headlining a night, just when I’m warming up.

You’re also doing a degree…
Yeah, it’s a bachelor’s degree in biological psychology. It’s going well, but it’s not going fast, you know. You should be able to get it in three years and I’m going into my sixth year now. But hopefully I’ll have it by June. I’ve put a lot of effort and money into it and it would be stupid to throw it all away now. I was going to stop at that, but I might do a master’s as well.

You also run your own label, Outside the Box. Is it hard to manage your time?
It is hard – as an artist you want to spend as much time making music as possible, but with the label and mastering people’s music, it’s sometimes hard to do your own thing. Especially because some people get inspiration all the time, but there are times when I’m in the studio and nothing comes out. If you only have two days in a week where you can work on music and those days are not so inspirational… yeah, it’s hard to keep on doing it.

What’s been your best gig ever?
The best one? That’s hard… Probably The Moonpark, a really big event in Buenos Aires. Hernan Cattaneo asked me to play warm-up for him so it was just us two for the entire night. Normally when you warm up, people come in pretty late and when you get to the end of your set the crowd will be full, but for this event the place was packed after 20 or 30 minutes. It was like I was warming up for two hours for 8,000 people, and it was really cool.

You’ve also produced music for a few Nike ads. Is that something you’ll do more of?
Yeah. I would love to – you can do a lot of sounds and different influences for adverts and TV series; you have more scope than just electronic music. I’ve done hip-hop-style work and stuff like that. And to be realistic, it is good money. With the music scene being pretty bad right now, and with sales going down and everything, it’s just a good way of making a living.

What’s the most exotic location you’ve played?
Probably Aruba, I think. It’s a very small island [in the Caribbean] – it’s only like 30km long or something. I was there in mid-summer and they put me in this really big resort with palm trees and a blue sea. I just spent three days lying in the sun.

And the least exotic?
That would probably be Russia in the middle of winter. [Laughs.] There was so much snow that the plane couldn’t even take off.
Eelke Kleijn plays 360°, Oct 30, free.

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