Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is a busy time every year in Amsterdam. For many it's a simple week-long indoor music festival with some of the music industry's largest names, but during the day it claims the spot of the world's leading electronic music conference. Industry people networking, discussing the future as well as current trends, it landmarks every aspect of the global music industry coming together. We don't blame you for thinking it's only about EDM, but let us assure you that for the Bass, Beats and Hip Hop lovers out there, there is a more relevant ADE conference that you can attend - namely, ADE BEATS. Focusing on the aforementioned genres, they've grown quickly from their early years in Rotterdam to booking names like Hudson Mohwake, DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Soulection family and Kurtis Blow, amongst others to speak at their conference.
We decided to have a a quick chat with two of three organizers (Aldo Bruining and Saul van Stapele) to discuss their future vision, current status and opinions on the successful platform. They were nice enough to play ball..
ADE Beats sold out for the first time this year, congratulations! How does it feel?
For us, it felt like a logical next step. It always feels like there is so much going on at the same time, on different stages but also in the hallways, between the delegates, the excitement has always been there. This just feels like the next phase - a growth in numbers that will help us develop ADE Beats into the solid platform in Europe we feel these genres deserve.
At whatsgood. we feel that more people should know about ADE Beats. What are the goals with ADE Beats and where do you hope that the organization is in 5 years? What are the ambitions?
We are aiming to grow into the number one international platform for our music in Europe, being able to connect more people with each other and creating a stronger scene as a result. It is very thrilling to see representatives from the U.S. hip-hop scene getting excited about UK grime, for example; or about a local but extremely influential phenomenon like bubbling, or the amazing quality of Dutch producers, for example. The music industry is more international than ever, we think we can help make the European hip-hop, bass and beats scene a strong force. There is so much interest in our sounds, our artists, our festivals, let’s work together to build upon that interest.
You guys had a crazy line-up of speakers this year (incld. Hudson Mohwake, Soulection, Jazzy Jeff, SEVN Alias, and Kurtis Blow, amongst others). Which names were you most proud of booking, and why?
We obviously loved booking them all, since we have requested them all to come. Sometimes it nice to create a longer relation with people, like we have been very active in promoting DJ Moortje’s story over the past years, as legendary pioneer of bubbling, and this ADE there was a documentary on his legacy. It is beautiful to see stories you are pushing for many years becoming standalone products. It was amazing to have someone like Hudson Mohawke over, who does not like to talk on a stage that much but was very open and honest with our beats loving audience. And DJ Chuckie and DJ Jazzy Jeff had an amazing, passionate, unique conversation that felt right in place at ADE Beats.
ADE Beats had a total of 18 panels and discussions this year, which ones were your favorite, and why?
Since we came up with all the panels, this is a bit hard. Akwasi moderated our extensive grime panel very strongly, and that was one of the high-lights, because he knows a lot about the subject and is very good in pushing a conversation forward. Loved having Wayne Marshall from Harvard University over for the second time, his ‘Respect The Architects – The Caribbean Roots of Modern Day Pop Music’ is a story that should be shared with and by all. And we loved the interview between MC’s Hef and Sevn Alias, two of the most interesting characters in our scene at the moment.
Who’s on your wishlist for 2017? If no resources (money, time, etc) were a problem – who would you most like to have speak at ADE Beats, why? And about what?
Haha, in what parallel universe are you going to do this? Of course I would say Kanye (and it is Kanye, actually) but allow me to be proud the other way around first. Money and time ARE of course issues and we had an amazing line-up anyhow, inspiring talks, people that connected over international business and much more. But well, let's naturally go with Kanye. Together with Mike Dean and No I.D. And then dive deeeeeeep into the music. So deep we might not come up anymore, but who cares.
One of the most interesting panel topics that we saw was “what can hip hop learn from dance?” Well, what do you think that is?
Good to hear that, thanks! It was actually: what can the industries learn from each other, an important nuance. There is more and more crossover and overlap but these genres have their own distinguished histories. Hip-hop has a great reputation in reaching their audiences and guerrilla marketing for example. Dance labels are part of their own booming business. ADE Beats is the right place for them to meet and learn from each other. How do you reach your fans? Promote? Distribute? How do you successfully deal with the latest disruptions? At ADE Beats we bring these electronic music communities together to learn from each other and build together to create a stronger future.