By Katie Hawthorne
Bass house prodigy Julian Jordan just keeps rising. The Netherlands DJ and producer broke into the scene as a teenager with 2012’s Kangaroo, years before he was old enough to step foot in a nightclub. Now he’s a mainstay of the festival circuit, a former Omnia resident, and the craftsman behind a rapid succession of delirious crowd-pleasers. Catching a breather in the middle of ADE, Jordan sat down with Ticketswap to drop tips for the next generation of young producers.
For any upstart new producer or DJ, he’s convinced that confidence is the key. Recalling his first ever paid set at a school party, Jordan admits: “It sucked, everyone left, I cleared the dancefloor! But I was still proud of what I played. And even though my first productions sounded like crap, I was happy that I’d made my own tracks. I was always confident enough to keep going.
Refusal to quit
“It’s a super easy thing to say but it’s so hard: a lot of people [at school] had the same software as me, but they quit. I kept going because of that confidence – and when you love what you do, that’s really important. So keep going! Be proud of what you do! No matter what people are saying, believe in your own stuff.”
It's never been easier to learn the tricks of the trade, he adds. From YouTube to Discord, there are countless ways to find info. “Go and ask for help, see other people work,” Jordan urges. “I’m still learning every day, on all those platforms, to master my craft even more.”
Reaping the rewards of a decade of confidence, Jordan dropped his milestone EP Hyper House in May. Compressing his free-wheeling festival feel into just six tracks, including the Martin Garrix and Tinie Tempah link-up Diamonds, the record locks down Jordan’s trademark sound: huge energy, huge bass, and plenty of curveballs.
Jordan on his “joke” next single
But predicting the next banger is never easy – even when you’re Julian Jordan. Laughing, he says, “I’ve made a lot of music like, ‘this is going to be huge!’, but in the end the results were a little disappointing. Then I make a track and it’s okay, and it’s streamed millions of times! Sometimes you start thinking, maybe my taste is a little different – but that’s not a problem!”
Take his next single: 100% crowd approved, yet it came as a total surprise. Title still TBA, although lucky fans may have already heard it in the club, Jordan confesses, “I made it sort of as a joke! I wanted a track that’s like a live tool, that when I play it out people have to go crazy.” He packed it with every single trick that sets a club on fire, and was overwhelmed by the response. “I’m like, okay, I have to release it now!”
Just as Jordan’s sets take listeners on a journey, learning from the crowd is still essential to his craft. Raw energy can push a track into totally new territory and when that happens, he says, “it’s the most beautiful feeling in the world”.
Catch Jordan this ADE:
STMPD RCRDS Label Night, Friday 21 October, AIR, 22:00 – 06:00
Katie Hawthorne writes about music, art and culture for the Guardian, CRACK, the Scotsman and more. Edited by Kate Pasola, Content Editor at TicketSwap.