He's only 22 years old, but this Amsterdam native is making some serious waves already
Hot Creations, Gruuv, Roush, Lost Records, VIVa Music, Circus Recordings, 90watts... any house producer whose discography features labels of that calibre deserves to be proud of themselves, we reckon. Doubly so, if the producer in question is a tender 22 years of age.
Admittedly, Amsterdam native Luuk van Dijk had a little bit of a head start: the son of two music teachers, he was making music pretty much as soon as he could walk and talk, with the result that his first 'proper' release dropped when he was just 15 years old - too young to get into the clubs where the record would be played!
But that's an impressive release CV all the same, and we were equally impressed when we heard his latest offering, the three-track The Pusher EP, which dropped on Gruuv a couple of weeks ago. Acid Trip channels vintage Chicago and Detroit, On Your Mind is a heads-down 3am kinda thing topped with soulful vocal wails, while the title track is dark, strutty and funky all at once. And all three are proof that despite the continuing backlash against formulaic, cookie-cutter tracks, there's still life - and invention - in the tech-house dog yet.
Time to find out more...
Can you tell us a bit about how you got into DJing and making electronic music in the first place? I read that you come from a musical family...
"Yeah, my parents are both musically active. My mother is an professional opera singer and teaches different music lessons - piano, guitar, singing etc - and my father has been a music teacher at a high school in my home town for 35 years now. So music was always around in my childhood. After playing the piano for several years when I was young, I started making my own songs on the computer and then the whole process in producing music and DJing started."
Your work has appeared on some of the most respected labels around, including Gruuv, Hot Creations, Roush, Lost, VIVa Music and more. That's a pretty impressive CV for someone who's still only 22…
"I couldn’t have asked for more - I only started producing tech-house seriously four or five years ago! I’m so happy these labels give me the chance to work with them."
What would you say have been the highlights of your career so far?
"I’m super grateful for everything that happened in the past couple of years, but there are some things that I didn’t expect to happen so fast in my career. For instance my EP on Hot Creations, and bookings at Awakenings, elrow, Paradise, Cocoon, Hyte, just to name a few. I’m happy every time I think about all of this."
You also have a monthly radio show, don't you?
"Yes, every second Friday of the month I host my own show at Radio Nachtlab. Nachtlab had guests like Vince Watson, FJAAK, Gene Hunt, Fouk, Nachtbraker, 2000AndOne, Shinedoe, Slapfunk Records with a monthly show and a lot more. So that’s an interesting line-up of DJs that played there.
"The reason I love having my own show is not only because I really like playing tunes, but I also like to invite new talent over to give them a platform to do their thing. There are so many DJs out there, just like me, who can use some support and are just marvellous. Why not help each other a bit?"
And I also gather you did a guest mix for Digweed's Transitions show recently? Tell us about that...
"After my EPs on Hot Creations and Gruuv, I got a lot of support and attention from other DJs, but I never expected being asked by the legendary John Digweed to make a guest mix for his super successful radio show! It was such an honour to do that mix, and I really liked showing my deeper side, too."
So far we've had a long string of EPs and singles from you... any plans to make an album at any point soon?
"There isn’t a plan, but I love making different tracks based upon different musical angles. So I have a lot of material that isn’t coming out, but I do want everyone to hear it eventually. So this isn’t a crazy thing you’re asking. I’ll think about it!"
ADE is coming up soon... as an Amsterdam native, what does ADE mean to you?
"Oh, it’s like Christmas! The thing that’s so great about ADE is that I don’t have to go to Ibiza or other countries to see big DJs playing. Everyone from the scene is here, we party together and I can just take my bicycle and within 10 minutes I’m home. And I’m playing this year at DGTL X Paradise on Friday 19 October and Sunday 21 October for elrow, so yeah, I can’t wait!"
Finally, what else is going on in LVD's world right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"Just keep an eye on my socials, there’s some more really cool things coming soon!"
Words: Russell Deeks
The Pusher EP is out now on Gruuv. Hear/buy it here.