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Artists to Watch 2013

Tiesto-approved young buck Jordy Dazz climbs the Beatport charts with "Claymore"

By Dan Carter
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Far from your everyday overnight success, college drop-out turned hard-hitting producer/DJ Jordy Dazz has taken a first-in-class approach to the ranks of Dutch house of late. With his early years spent balancing his job serving Fedde Le Grand and Marco V their vinyl records and catering for the eclectic crowds of his native Holland, the past two years have seen a subtle name change and some concentrated energy transform his global appeal significantly.

Hailed by Tiesto, Knife Party, and Funkagenda alike for his versatile mixing and productions, Dazz recently climbed Beatport’s Top 10 with “Claymore,” showing the fast-rising Dutch artist in top form en route to 2013 and suggesting that old-school DJ ethics and new-age energy remain winning bedfellows in his ascent of global club land.

2012 seemed to end on a real high for you. Talk us through some of the highlights and how you are feeling now that we are nearly one month into the new year.

It was a great year for me indeed. My releases picked up a lot of attention and I did a lot of cool gigs along the way. The night I played Hardwell at Starbeach in Crete was legendary, not to mention playing one of the biggest venues in my home country, the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, with Tiesto, which was incredible. As far as 2013 is concerned, I already have a really good feeling about the way I am headed.

Word on the street is that you sold vinyl to Fedde Le Grand and Marco V in another life. Tell us a bit about this.

You are well informed! When I was 18 I started working at one of the most popular vinyl record stores in Holland. Back at that time, Fedde Le Grand, Marco V, Sander van Doorn, and a lot of others were visiting the store on a frequent basis to stock up on records for their sets. This was before the fame, before the anthems, hell—way before Fedde broke through with “Detroit”—so it is crazy to have seen them from their humble origins. Marco would always call me up and ask me to make him a pile of the best and newest tracks that I thought would fit his style, as I was a major fan of his music. It makes me feel pretty old reflecting upon it, but I was lucky to know these guys back in the day.

Was the Dutch scene a particularly positive one to cut your teeth in, and did you learn any particularly valuable lessons from it before you first peaked within the wider industry?

I started DJing at the age of 15 in bars and clubs in my hometown and those days taught me a hell of a lot. Playing ’80s rock, pop, R&B, and dance music all together at up to six hours at a time really widened my view on music in general. It’s something I have definitely benefited from and that I have tried to transfer into my own (considerably shorter) sets ever since. The Dutch scene is notoriously picky, so I quickly learned to keep a close eye on the dancefloor at all times. If I see something doesn’t work out as planned, I can switch to something that does.

For all the positive movements within dance music, it seems to have become an industry rife with politics and controversy. Is this for better or for worse?

I really believe it’s a good thing that dance music has gained so much popularity. That automatically brings us more individual thoughts and opinions, and thus we get more criticism and scrutiny. While sometimes it can get a bit negative, criticism is essential for keeping things progressing. It keeps everyone sharp, focused, and willing to up their game wherever they can. This will allow things to stay fresh and for people to keep upping the ante within the scene, which will lead people to discover new areas and developments within the industry. There is a right and wrong way to do it, but it is nonetheless essential that people comment and show interest in the development of the scene.

What can we expect from you for 2013 in terms of releases, and what else is there for you to be looking forward to?

I am working my ass off in the studio at the moment, and as the year unfolds you will be seeing a whole load of nice collaborations and new original releases from me. On top of that I have a remix for Chris Lake on Ultra Records and one for Flo Rida and Jennifer Lopez coming up for Big Beat. I am really excited to visit the US and do a little tour over there, and Miami is sure to be sweet in March. As we speak, the summer festival slots are steadily filling up my agenda, so there is plenty to come from me as the year progresses.