Unveiling the Beats: An Exclusive Interview with Nicholas Van Orton, the Maestro behind Balkan Connection
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Welcome to this exclusive interview with Nicholas Van Orton, renowned electronic music producer, DJ, and visionary owner of a prominent record label. With a passion for pushing the boundaries of electronic music, Nicholas has captivated audiences worldwide with his unique sound and innovative productions. In this interview, we delve into his creative process, the evolution of his label, and gain insights into the world of electronic music through his expert perspective.
Can you tell us about your journey into the world of electronic music?
What inspired you to become a producer and DJ?
Hello! First of all, thank you very much for this interview :)
I discovered electronics when I was approx. 20/22 years old, back in the 90’s…
A friend took me to one of the first raves that were held here in Buenos Aires, and beyond the music (which I loved, I come from hardcore metal, so you can imagine the change) I was delighted with the diversity, respect and the people’s tolerance. That spirit led me to investigate more in depth and at 23 I was already producing my first beats and playing in a band that allowed me to experiment and take my first steps with machines.
As the owner of a successful record label, could you share with us the vision and philosophy behind your label? How do you curate artists and music that aligns with your label’s identity?
Balkan Connection South America was born in 2008 and from that moment on the objective was always to provide an opportunity for new producers to see their work published.
Thanks to the great progressive house DJs in my country, like Hernan Cattaneo for example, the scene in my region is immense and constantly growing.
Even today, after 15 years of its creation, we continue to maintain the same underground spirit, and although we have several renowned artists on our roster, who have also signed to major labels, we always try to provide space for new talents, trying to give back a little. More than what was offered to me when I started.
Your music productions often possess a distinct and captivating style.
How would you describe your artistic signature, and what elements do you strive to incorporate into your tracks?
I always wanted my tracks to be danceable. Although I stayed within the progressive house genre, I was changing and applying different structures and ways of showing it.
Today I feel the need to make music that is a little stronger, more energetic, more aggressive, more clubber…
My latest release “Double T” is a clear example of where I am focusing my gaze at this moment.
Electronic music is a constantly evolving genre. How do you stay ahead of the curve and maintain your individuality in an industry that is always changing?
When composing a track I try to adapt my work to the current times, without losing sight of what I really like, excites me, or makes me dance.
During these more than 20 years that I have been producing, genres have changed names, merged, or become fashionable at different times.
I think by being honest with yourself and what you like, you can create something really genuine.
Collaboration is an integral part of the music world. How do you approach collaborations with other artists, and how do they contribute to your growth as a producer?
I think that thanks to social networks and the need to (in addition to making music) to show themselves, the time has finally come for many producers to decide to collaborate with others, either to expand both their musical limits and their reach.
I’ve worked with many artists over the years, well-known and not so well-known, even with students of mine, and I had promised to them, that one day we would do it… In 2022 and the remainder of 2023, I am fulfilling each of those promises and from all those jobs I only got positive things, I met beautiful people with whom I would work a thousand times, and I had the luxury of working with artists that I admire like Agustin Pietrocola or the guys from Alto Astral. Each one of them contributed their knowledge and that enriches my experience and they give me good feedback. Collaborating is always a Win-Win !
Many aspiring producers face creative blocks during their careers. How do you overcome creative challenges, and do you have any advice for artists seeking to find their unique sound?
I call it “saturation.” to the creative blockage, I don’t like the word “block”, it seems to me that it contributes more to an artist thinking that they CAN’T really do it.
For me, it’s easier to relax, stop for a while thinking that “YOU HAVE TO MAKE MUSIC YES OR YES”, and do something else fun for a while… I play a lot of video games for example, and also, thanks to one of those ” saturations” moments, I’ve discovered that I have a lot of fun making reels about music production on Instagram. It was very pleasant to see that they were super welcomed by the beautiful community that follows me.
Speaking in music producer terminology, when you let the buffer fill up, or clip the master, it’s unlikely that anything good will come out, it’s always better to leave a little headroom in your mind.
The live performance experience is essential for electronic music artists. Could you share a memorable moment from one of your performances that left a significant impact on you and your audience?
I am one of those who think that the last show was always the best, I think that my presentations at my label’s 15th anniversary party last February, and my last date at La Biblioteca last month in Buenos Aires were epic.
In any case, I carry in my heart each and every one of the shows that I was lucky enough to give around the world, and also those I gave in the interior of my beautiful country.
Writer Jose Cepeda
Photographs by Instagram / Meta Corporation
IG Nicholas Van Orton