Best of 2011 interview with DJ and producer Dirkie Coetzee
Name: Dirkie Coetzee Location: South Africa
Dirkie Coetzee started his career in the EDM scene as a bedroom DJ way back at the tender age of 16. After spending numerous years perfecting his mixing skills he quickly started to feature in night clubs, events and radio stations around Southern Africa. It was in this time that Dirkie started to gain interest in the art of music production. “I used to be a DJ, but thanks to the wonderful world of music production I can now create the music I want to play.”
Without any formal training in music theory, rhythms, chord progressions, sound synthesis or music production in general, Dirkie set out to learn this fine art by scouring any available articles and tutorials available on the internet. With many years of trial and error Dirkie, slowly refined his skills as a music producer, to create the sounds you hear in his music today.
“It’s hard to stay motivated when you feel like you are not achieving anything with your music, but passion for music always dies a slow death, and quitting is never an option for me.”
It’s this passion for music and trance music production in particular that has helped Dirkie to get his music signed to some of the best labels in the business.
2011 is the year Dirkie Coetzee focused all his energy and time on producing Vocal Trance. His debut Vocal Trance production “Never Looking Back” with world renowned singer and songwriter Emma Lock, has given Dirkie a solid platform to showcase his ability to craft this powerful genre of music. American artist Marcia Juell, is another one of the world’s leading Trance Vocalists who has worked on collaborations with the rapidly rising producer from South Africa. Dimitri: Do you consider 2011 as a positive, negative or neutral year for the progress of the Electronic Dance Music scene?
Dirkie Coetzee: Speaking from experience particularly pertaining to my country, I would have to say it’s been a very positive year, especially for the trance scene. Many big events like ASOT500 graced our shore, as well as a lot of the big names in the business like Gareth Emery, Dash Berlin, David Guetta, deadmau5 to name but a few. This tells me the scene is growing in our country. Dimitri: Do you believe that 2011 was a good, indifferent or bad year for the development of your personal career?
Dirkie Coetzee: Thanks to the great record labels I have the privilege of working with, my career took off with big success in 2011. This helped me to get a lot of good exposure in the market, which now helps grow my brand. It has been an awesome year to say the least!
THE A to Z of the Best of the Year 2011.
a) Best Full Release of the year (original & remixes) Dirkie Coetzee: Aly & Fila Feat. Jwaydan – We Control The Sunlight which was released on FSOE. The release included the Original Mix and the Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix. This is a really big uplifting Trancer and one that will go down in history. Great release!
b) Your personal Full release of the year Dirkie Coetzee: My personal best release for the year was; ‘Dirkie Coetzee ft. Emma Lock – Never Looking Back’, which was released by Subtraxx Recordings. It gained a lot of support throughout the industry. Big remixes is what made this release so successful.
c) Best Single track of the year (only original versions) Dirkie Coetzee: ‘Orjan Nilsen – Between The Rays’, which was released on Armind. Really great vibe to the track and I simply love the melody.
d) Your personal Best Single track of the year Dirkie Coetzee: My best single release was; ‘Dirkie Coetzee – Dreaming of Ibiza’ which was released by Nukleuz Records. This track reached the no.1 spot on the October TOP10 Chart for Nukleuz Records.
e) Best Remix of the year Dirkie Coetzee: Tripple A – Winter Stayed (Armin van Buuren Remix) – This is one of the best trance tracks I have ever heard. The production and overall sound simple but so powerful!
f) Best Remix of personal production that you released in 2011 Dirkie Coetzee: My best remix release was; ‘Vincent de Jager ft. Emma Lock – Dive’, which was released by Nukleuz Records. This track received wide support from many DJ’s around the globe.
g) Best Producer of the year in the style that you play or any other that you may like Dirkie Coetzee: My favourite would be South African producer Protoculture. He makes unbelievably good music, and I simply love everything he is doing. He is one of the South Africans that has really made it big in the international trance scene, with releases on all of the major labels.
h) Best New Talent/Big hope for the coming years Dirkie Coetzee: Best “Hope for the Future” I would have to say South African producer Jason van Wyk – He is not really a “new talent” because he has been around for some time, but only being 21 he definitely is the best hope for the future in my opinion.
i) Best Remixer of the year of personal or others peoples tracks Dirkie Coetzee: Best remixers of the year for me would be Neo Kekkonen and Tommy Baynen who have both remixed some of my music. They both are great producers with really clear and solid sounds in their productions. Love their work very much! j) Best Established Label of the year (not started in 2011) Dirkie Coetzee: Best established label for me is my home label Subtraxx Recordings. This label really puts out great releases from really amazing artists. Definitely one to watch out for in the future.
k) Best Newborn in 2011 label of the year Dirkie Coetzee: Best newborn label for me is ‘I Hate You records’. I think they have been around for a bit long to be called newborn really, but they definitely are one of the newer labels I found that releases great music!
l) Best dance album and mix compilation of the year in the style of music that you work with… Dirkie Coetzee: Best mixed compilation this year for me would be ‘Truth Trance Room’ mixed by South African DJ Speedy, and then the best Artist Album for me would be; ‘tyDi – Shooting Stars’.
m) Best Music Video of the year Dirkie Coetzee: Way off from my genre of music, but I simply got hooked on ‘Eminem - Love The Way You Lie ft. Rihanna’. Really powerful track and the visuals contribute to the emotion in this track.
n) Best social network of the year that has been aessential for the promotion of your work Dirkie Coetzee: Facebook has always been my favourite place to promote my own releases. Can’t see myself using any other platform soon.
o) Best new software or hardware that was introduced during this year and you would recommended it to others. Dirkie Coetzee: Best new hardware I found this year would definitely be Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S4, that works with Traktor DJ software.
p) Best and worst DJ’ing or production experience that happened in 2011 Dirkie Coetzee: Worst producer experience would be when I had a house robbery this year and they stole all my DJ and Studio gear. This happened right in the middle of my work on the track ‘Never Looking Back’ with Emma Lock. So all the original data was lost but the second version came out better anyway so not an all lost situation.
q) Best country that you performed in this year Dirkie Coetzee: I have not been fortunate enough to perform abroad. I hope to do so in the near future.
r) Best club or open air festival that you attended or performed at this year Dirkie Coetzee: Best open air festival in South Africa that I attended is H2O. This event brings across all the big names I mentioned earlier and is one of the best open air festivals in the world. Best club in South Africa would be TRUTH in Johannesburg, because they also bring over some of the biggest names in the business.
s) Best hobby or other activity for 2011 Dirkie Coetzee: My hobby, besides music, is most definitely Carp Angling. It’s the one thing I almost enjoy as much as do music production, but then again some days beside the water beat many days in the studio.
t) Best radio show of the year and Best radio station that you always check out (fm or online) preferably that plays the kind of your music Dirkie Coetzee: Best local radio show for would be South African 93.8 Mix Fm which hosts a Saturday night dance show called Sunset Dance hosted by Al Gray. They frequently play my music and also host all the best DJ’s in Johannesburg.
u) Best online or ordinary record shop that you use to get your music of the year Dirkie Coetzee: The place I generally buy music from is Beatport and Audiojelly. Really can’t see the need for searching any further than these stores.
v) Best CD player or any other equipment that you use for DJ’ing Dirkie Coetzee: Best DJ software for me at the moment is Ableton. I use it to do all my guest mixes for radio shows and other online mixes. Haven’t yet used it as a live performance tool but I can see myself doing so in the future.
w) Best vocalist in a dance track of the year Dirkie Coetzee: Best vocalist for me would be Emma Lock because I find something mesmerizing in her voice and lyrics, and I always love listening to her music. Another one of the Vocal heavyweights is Emma Hewitt – Would love to do a track with this women. The best upcoming singer for me is Litsa from South Africa – she’s got a powerful voice and unbelievable song writing capability. I can see a bright future for her in the EDM scene.
x) Best magazine or web site that you always check out for music related stuff Dirkie Coetzee: Best magazine for me will always be Computer music. They have really informative articles on music production, new software and hardware coming out. Best website for me is the Electrohavoc Blog that is run by people here in South Africa. They frequently do interviews with the big names and I really enjoy reading their interviews and reviews.
y) Best fan of your music of the year or best crowd in your performance Dirkie Coetzee: Best fan of my music would be Mark McCulloch who runs the SaTranceFamily page on Facebook. He always comments positive things about my releases and always helps promote my music.
z) Best thing you have done this year in order to support any social movement, charities, or other people that may need your help. Dirkie Coetzee: Social movement I have been involved in is the growth of trance in South Africa. I and many other DJs and producers are really trying to make the trance scene bigger in our country. My contribution is not nearly as big as what other people are doing, but I pride myself in trying to put out quality music as a South African trance producer. Dimitri: Can you please let us know your plans for 2012 for your DJ’ing, productions or label? Dirkie Coetzee: My plans for 2012 are to get more time in the DJ booth to play my music out to the crowds. As for music production I will push my capabilities harder to perfect my sound even more. Dimitri: On the other side is it possible to tell us the track, album, artist/DJ that you believe were the worst of the year and why? Dirkie Coetzee: it’s not in my nature to publicly criticize other artists in their work so I really can’t say. I believe we all have someone out there that will think our work is bad but for me it’s better not to negatively judge other artists publicly. Dimitri: Please give us your wishes for 2012 and your small piece of advice for anyone that reads this interview, and aspires to get into music production, DJ’ing, or music promotion in general. Dirkie Coetzee: My wish for 2012 would be to get an opportunity to travel abroad to perform my music. I think that will be the biggest reward to all the hard work I put in at the studio. As for advice to others: Work hard at what you want to achieve and stay true to who you are. Surround yourself with people who will help you build on your dreams and remember that if you have to suck up to make it then you’re better off without the people you trying to suck up to!! Additional info: www.dirkiecoetzeemusic.co.za www.subtraxx.com/dirkiecoetzee www.soundcloud.com/dirkiecoetzee Facebook