You might know him as Abstract for President (a.k.a. President), if you live in Amsterdam. You might've seen his notoriously famous DJ'ing skills from a video-gone-viral on Facebook (see below). Regardless, Deejay Abstract is a name that is received with respect, and we've recently been caught off-guard with his latest release as a producer - together with Dutch rapper Digitzz (DooDoo EP). That all being said, he needs little introduction. After he showed us a lot of love for reviewing his DooDoo EP, we figured he'd be just as excited to do a full-on interview with us - and we weren't mistaken.
Favourite Track: Jibber Jabber ft. Digitzz
Introduce yourself, tell us something we didn't already know about you?
My name is Gestow Power (real talk haha) I am 30 years old. I am a DJ and producer. I am the 2016 national champion of the Red Bull Thre3style Netherlands. I DJ for Pattasoundsystem as well as a Puma brand ambassador.
How would you describe your taste in music? Not your sound, but your personal taste(s) in music?
I like warm music with lots of pretty chords and progressions. For example, take Lido (a sick producer from Norway). That is the perfect way to describe my taste: Nice warm synths with programmed drums that almost sound live.
Do you still remember the first time that you realized that you "made it" or were discovered? (first paid and busy gig for example?) What did it feel like? What emotions ran through you and how did you feel?
My first gig was in Paradiso (Amsterdam), which is known as the pop-temple! I had a gig at one of the longest existing hip-hop parties of the Netherlands, called Bassline. I had to do a warm up set.
I remember preparing my vinyl in the afternoon as well as nervously going to the club. The first ten minutes I was shaky, but I eventually got into the vibe. After my set, I got so much love and even a residency at Bassline.
I was one of the happiest kids, alive that moment!!
‘Weegschaal’ is your most streamed track on Spotify. How does that make you feel? Is it deserved? More importantly though, do you reflect on what you did "right" with that track? If so - what did you do "right" with this track? Would you try to replicate it?
I am thrilled that so many people listen to my music. It is deserved because me and Hef (who is rapping on the track) put the work in, to get the song to that level. Hef is a well-known artist in the Netherlands. He has a loyal fan-base that listens to all his releases including this one. I also did an EP with a rapper called Digitzz. These two projects represent what I want to do as a producer
Many people know you as a DJ, and it’s only as of recently you’ve started dropping full productions with rappers. How does it feel to chase after something and realize it? What was the most difficult part of it all (on your journey to becoming a producer)?
To become a producer, I had to let go of some insecurities. I always was (still am a little bit) a shy guy when it comes to sharing my music with people. I also had a writer’s block for a couple of years. It was so hard to get out of it. When you are too much of a perfectionist and you can’t find the right snare – you rather delete the whole project. That’s what I did.
Also figuring out your sound is hard. I am still working on it, but it’s heading in the right direction! It makes you feel like a more complete artist – instead of just a DJ.
When do you know a project / EP is complete? At what point are you able to say to yourself: "it's done. Let's sharpen the edges a little, but I'm happy with it"?
I think, that it’s a feeling you just have. It’s never done. But the moment you can take your hands off it and give it to the mixing-engineer – you should do just that; it’s done at that point. I think there is always something you could change to a project. But the important thing is, that you can listen to your song over and over again while keeping that same feeling.
If there is one piece of advice you could give to someone that was pursuing something other than music, what would it be? And why?
Hmm… I would say: put in the hours. Create your own lane. I think most businesses do the same thing. If you got your own thing going on and your heart is in it, you can reach a lot of people. By just doing you and not jumping onto someone else’s train.
What's your opinion on the current state of Hip Hop? What really needs to change, according to you? Alternatively, what's a change you've seen, that (for all that it's worth) you think should stay?
A lot of it sounds the same. I think it’s important to do what works, but you don’t have to copy it one-on-one. I really like that artists like Travi$ Scott sing and rap. He really has a unique sound. When you hear a song, you just know it’s him. We need more of that. Young Thug is also a good example. The way he uses his voice. It’s like an extra instrument on the beat, with here-and-there some nice punchlines.
We have to grow into the changes, and not be scared to apply it in your own way, to your own music.
What’s the biggest misconception people have of the music industry?
That success comes overnight. People don’t count the years you worked on it off-screen. They also think it’s a full-on party lifestyle. YES, we party! But we are also in the studio every week. We have meetings and other things to do, so we can do the shows and business as well.
What can we expect from Deejay Abstract in the coming months/year?
I am building on my catalogue! I want to release a lot of music. I am producing a lot these days - so I hope I can find good collabs!!
I am also one of the world finalists of the Red Bull Thre3style (2016), which will be held in Chili this December! Keep an eye out!