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Interview: EDM Brothers Showtek on Rocking Music Festivals and the Power of ‘Booyah’

"When we're in the studio, we go crazy. We want to bring that energy to the crowd."
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By Scott T. Sterling

The massive dance tracks of Showtek (brothers Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen) directly reflect the pair’s gregarious personalities. Making music since 2001, they are currently enjoying the biggest hit of their career, “Booyah,” which is splattered on charts around the world and of the most played EDM anthems since its release last summer.

“We play a lot of our own stuff. I think at Ultra we played eight or nine of our own tracks,” explained Wouter Janssen during a backstage interview at Coachella. “We’ve released a lot of our own stuff over the last year. To us it’s important. When we’re in the studio, we go crazy. We want to bring that energy to the crowd. We make music because we love it and we want to translate it onstage, and it works. People just feel it and we’re zoning out together.”

In respect to the stratospheric success of “Booyah,” Janssen admits the duo knew they had something special the moment it was created in the recording studio.

“We had the melody, and I changed two keys and we were in the studio like [mimics screaming]. If you have that moment, and you play it for the first time and everybody is like [mimics more screaming], you cannot wait to drop it,” he said. “It’s getting bigger every show. You can never predict the future, but we had this gut feeling like, this might be big.”

While any number of the world’s biggest DJs have made “Booyah” a set staple, it was French EDM superstar David Guetta who has the distinction of being the first to support the track after Showtek played an early version for him and “he fell off his chair.” Showtek, Guetta and vocalist Vassy recently collaborated on the dance floor hit, “Bad.”

“For a lot of people he’s this big DJ who’s been there for 20 years, but he’s a guy with character, he’s a guy with knowledge, to work with him was really a pleasure,” said Sjoerd Janssen. “Besides the fact that we’ve become really good friends, to work with him was an honor. What he brings to the industry is really insane. We even speak French together. We have a real connection.”

Eager collaborators, the duo mention Empire of the Sun, Lykke Li, Lana Del Rey and Calvin Harris as artists they’d love to connect with in the studio.

Major Lazer would be cool,” added Sjoerd of the Diplo-led act. “We were already working last year on a track. We never finished it, but I think that would be something for next year to finish.”

Finishing up the interview in Coachella’s backstage area, Showtek were heading towards the main stage to catch Calvin Harris’ set when almost on cue, he dropped “Booyah” on the crowd of 40,000 packing the field in front of him, much to the duo’s delight.

Watch the full video interview above, where Showtek discusses why so many of the world’s top EDM acts hail from the Netherlands, what inspired them to launch the Skink Records label and some of their favorite throwback tracks and artists.

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