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WRITTEN BY DAN CARTERDan Carter is a British journalist and professional writer to the Dance music industry.
Had you told Quinten Van De Berg that his studio output would be as familiar on the airwaves as it was in the clubs some three years ago, you’d have probably been met with ecstatic laughter. But since bagging his first gold record and Dutch number one spot with the aptly named ‘Epic’, Quintino has joined a handful of Holland’s elite House assets truly representing the positive resurgence surrounding European Electronic Dance Music and its universal heyday.
Having fuelled his fancy for club land’s untimely influence from the age of ten and been taken under the wing of Laidback Luke at the age of 18, Quinten had little excuse not to soar alongside the winds of change. Induced into the Benelux club scene by his father, a fateful visit to a crowded Dutch nightclub saw the young man become impassioned by the uncompromised energy to which he now orchestrates. ‘I saw the lights and heard the climaxes and rises that the DJ was making and I truly fell in love, I just knew I wanted to do that for the rest of my life,’ he explained.
From the day of the original Dutch legends to their invasion of the global airwaves, something in the air has screamed widespread positivity for Europe and its hopeful Electronic contenders. Amid the universal House explosion that has brought together some unsuspecting musical entities has been an opportunity not only for Quinten to take an elevated platform alongside his peers, but do it with the same sharp integrity that made his name on the Dutch underground. ‘Holland used to be so wrapped up in itself, but now our DJs are all going global,’ explained Quinten. ‘That has been such a positive part of the scene and for me the opportunity to do so without becoming inseparable from the crowd has been crucial.’
Alongside hometown peer turned Wall Recordings don Nick Van De Wall, a handful of the original Dutch House contenders can be found pushing the sound at a truly universal level despite their origins as the movement that rocked Holland to its core, but little other territory. ‘Less than three-years-ago a handful of us were pushing that edgy “Wall” sound alongside Nick and suddenly there is a worldwide appeal and market for the tracks, both old and new,’ he explained.
The music may be old, but the sensation has been new and intrinsically overwhelming for those graced with a second wind of attention and excitement for a sound that many have imitated with little success, leaving players like Quinten and his peers to shine the light for the masses at blistering residencies in Las Vegas and further international offerings for the initiated Dutch player. ‘It is a funny feeling because the music is old but the hype is so new and because we have all done our time on the scene, the world see’s us as specialists,’ he explained. ‘The world may have been slow to pick up on it, but now that they are paying attention it is our job to just keep making it bigger and better.
But amid that hype, Quinten and likeminded peer Sandro Silva did something few other rising assets could boast of. Now on their way to platinum status and celebrating the positive wake of their chart-topping anthem ‘Epic’, Quintino and his hometown peer built a bridge that few could have previously comprehended – a chart topper without the heartless mainstream accolades.
Quinten explained: ‘Words cannot describe how happy I was when ‘Epic’ became a gold record and now it is still jumping back up into the charts the feeling is completely overwhelming. When we made the track I had no concept of it being so popular, there was a one in a million chance and the globe just went for it. Seeing it send people crazy in the clubs was incredible, but to then have it in high demand on the radio was unconceivable.’
Now living a reality that producers a decade ago would have killed to attain, the bigger picture has made for the perfect platform for Quinten’s continuous studio efforts. With mighty Musical Freedom follow-up ‘We Gonna Rock’ hammering the Beatport charts, there was no sign of Quintino selling his soul so much as joining the ranks of those balancing the commercial entities of Dance music with its underlying integrity.
He explained: ‘I always want to change my sound when I return to a label just to show there is more than one dimension to my productions. ‘We Gonna Rock’ still sounded like me, but it wasn’t a repetition of ‘Epic’, it always has to move forward rather than backwards.’
Having already proven 2012 as a whole new arena for his output, the rising Dutchman believes that he has stumbled seamlessly into what can only be described as this century’s most crucial musical insurgence to date. Quinten explained: ‘People are now hearing these tracks in their cars or on the radio at home and drawing the same energy and enthusiasm from it. The fact that people are now combining that urban style with House music means that anything is possible as far as the genre is concerned. It is a musical revolution.’
Outside of the multitude of celebrity support and intervention that has ultimately passed-over the young Dutch producer, Quinten is keen to see his music scored on the merits of universal energy rather than being reduced to the genre-killing ranks of ‘mainstream’ or ‘Underground’ that have proven a double-edged sword to so many of his European peers. He explained: ‘It is important people stay focused on enjoying whatever music they want to. There is this habit for people to really support a new track when it hits the floors, but then hate on it once it goes national.
‘People should just enjoy music, however big or underground. Producers can be just as keen to think in these terms but you just need to make music that is honest to your crowd and mindset.’
With next banger alongside Afrojack ‘Circuits’ on the cards and further impressive remix duties for Spencer and Hill set for the stars, Quintino aspires to make 2012 his own in the wake of the positive hysteria that has surrounded his rise to international infamy. ‘For me, it is about taking things to the next level. I got off to a very good start, but from here onwards I intend to work even harder and keep the positive karma surrounding my work going.
For the multitude of Dutch House assets, Quintino has certainly set the standard for its aspiring followers to an all-time-high and with epic landmarks already surrounding his career, his future at the forefront of European Dance music appears imminent.