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Showtek Return to Their Hardstyle Roots with ‘360 Blue’ [Interview]



Veteran Dutch DJ/producer-duo Showtek unveils their massive new album 360 Blue, which continues their “360” concept, started in late 2023, and sees the duo returning to their hardstyle roots with the 15-track body of work. Throughout their 20-year career, the brothers have become sonic maestros who have shown passion, dedication, and appreciation for many genres of music, including house and big room, pop, indie, and, of course – hardstyle, which has skyrocketed them to worldwide fame over 2 decades ago.

“This is pure hardstyle music. We built a legacy in this genre, and have a huge amount of fans worldwide that have been listening to us since day 1. After taking a 12 year break from the genre, we have reignited it with new gained experience, a fresh approach, more mature but still Showtek. Melodic, anthemic, and with a message. This is high energy.” – Showtek

The genre that started it all for them takes center stage on 360 Blue, which begins with “Dear Hardstyle” with Earl St. Clair, an ode that thoughtfully mixes an emotive spoken manifesto with upbeat, hard-hitting production that makes for an epic anthem. Each next record embraces a unique variation of the theme, from the festival-friendly heaters “Spaceman” with DJ Isaac and “Mirror Mirror” with Steve Aoki and Jem Cooke to the slightly ethereal “Dream (Adrenalize Remix),” and more. Showtek finally rounds out the heart-pounding rhythms with the memorable, haunting notes of “Heaven or Hell.”

Showtek premiered the 360 Blue album at their sold-out show at the Sydney Showground Stadium earlier this month. With almost 10,000 Australian partygoers, the legendary duo took their new and old fans on a musical sinister journey, performing for almost 2,5 hours, serving as a prologue to more hardstyle events in 2024 where the duo will be showcasing their new LP. Their first “360” concept came in the form of “360 Yellow” last winter, which showcased their house/big room sound, and the following “360 Red” is set to be released later this year. Their ability to bring together fans through a shared love for music, excitement, artistic freedom, and adventure has turned Showtek into more than just an act. It’s a movement.

Nocturnal Times: Hi Sjoerd and Wouter (Showtek), thank you for taking your time for this interview. Big gratz on your new album release. You must be pretty excited releasing this beast finally to your fans. What does this album/release mean for you? And what can fans expect from this album?

Showtek: Thank you. It means so much to us. We worked really hard and it all started 9 months ago only. We had only one or two edits and remixes. And felt so inspired after preparing some music for our performance at Qlimax and Knock-out . We were like, let’s make some new hardstyle it feels good. And then now , 9 months later we have an album. Fans can expect our signature and maybe the vocals are bit more pop then our older stuff, but you can hear that we have been traveling the world and meeting people from different cultures. We feel we really put in something new. 

Nocturnal Times: Why the Title “360 Blue” and what meaning holds this title?

Showtek: 360 is a series of albums we are putting out. With each genre we are representing on each album, with its own primary color. Yellow is our edm and bigroom sound, mainstage and club music. Blue represents our roots, hardstyle.

Nocturnal Times: This album is jam packed with some amazing tracks (collaborations). One might wonder what your personal favorite track is? And who was was the most fun collaborator to work with (any cool story to share)?

Showtek: That’s really hard to say, every song we hahe a connection with that’s why it’s on the album. Come back home with Zany and DV 8 is specials because we have been friends and working partners for so long all from the south ( * Eindhoven ). The collab with Radical Redemption and the 27’s or with Sub Zero Project , and Dj Isaac all were unique experiences. 

Nocturnal Times: You both are traveling a lot for some years now. How is it traveling constantly with your brother? And how do you work on such an album if you are always on the road? 

Showtek: What we have learned is that you don’t have to be in the studio to get creative or have ideas. I ( Wouter ) usually sing my Melodies before I play them , or play them in the piano first. We always have our laptops with us on the road and can literally work anywhere. Most demos start in the hotel rooms or on the plane even sometimes. 

Nocturnal Times: With this Album it feels like you keep re-inventing yourself. Tell us the process making this album? How do you guys keep being so original yet so innovative?

Showtek: It’s always been a journey for us , following our heart and passion. We always want to be and feel free to express ourselves and explore new sounds and genres. If it gets too repetitive it gets boring and hard to enthuse yourself and the fans. So being in the studio without any expectations and or barriers creates the most unique music. Producing wise we keep coming back to either hardstyle , edm and big room or more pop driven and reggae inspired music. We have always been blending sounds and will just keep doing that more and more. It’s refreshing for us and hopefully the listeners. 

We feel we keep it interesting if we constantly explore and try out things, that’s how you learn and get to innovative ideas and approaches.  We keep putting everything we have learned, heard and seen  back into the music, to constantly evolve  and keeping moving it forward.

Nocturnal Times: how was it to be back at climax at being your first public appearance?

Showtek: A euphoric and sort of emotional homecoming. Better then expected even ! Playing dears hardstyle and legends at Qlimax along ‘ xtc’ and ‘ spaceman’ was great on stage but the feedback afterwards even more amazing.

Nocturnal Times: Do we dare to ask. But what can fans expect from you at PAROOKAVILLE this year?

Showtek: A showcase of our new music off course! And some unreleased music if we get to finish it.

Nocturnal Times: For those people that do not know you. What three of your tracks would you recommend to people to get to know Showtek better?

Showtek: “fts”, “bad” and “booyah” are our staple tracks. So people probably already know these tracks. We would say “Electronic Stereophonic”, “on our own” and “burn” are our hidden gems . 

Nocturnal Times: This year we saw you traveling all over the world. What would you say was your most memorable moment that will stick with you?

Showtek: We just did a Showtek 360 blue premier in Sydney for 9500 showtek fans . It was incredible. A huge venue packed with fans from all ages. New and old, such an amazing experience. 

Nocturnal Times: We appreciate taking time for this interview and we know you are busy! Let’s wrap this up with a question. What artist you haven’t worked with yet would you like to work with and why?

Showtek: We would love to work with Coldplay on a collaboration. Huge fans !!