NETSKY Talks Tomorrowland, “STAY UP WITH ME” US LIVE Tour & #CookingwithNetsky

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

Fresh off his performance on the Tomorrowland mainstage this past summer and the recent release of his latest track “Running Low”,  Boris Daenen a.k.a. Netsky has been creating quite the buzz recently. With his ability to rock a crowd alone with head bopping drum & bass bangers, or in a full fledged soulful performance along with his NETSKY LIVE! band, it’s no secret as to why Netsky has achieved skyrocketing success.

This past weekend I had the chance to catch up with the Belgian DJ, musician and producer at Nocturnal Wonderland before his set on the Bassrush Stage. We discussed everything from his debut mainstage set at Tomorrowland, the new tour & single, and his sudden fame as DJ gourmet chef.
Crystal Garcia – First off, let’s talk TOMORROWLAND 2014. If I’m not mistaken, this was was your 5th year performing at Tomorrowland in Belgium correct?

Netsky – Not in a row, but yes I’ve played Tomorrowland five times.

Crystal Garcia – I was there for weekend 2, and I must say that your set was one of my favorite performances of the weekend. I can only imagine how Incredible it must feel to perform on that massive mainstage for hundreds of thousands of people.What was your personal experience performing on the Tomorrowland mainstage for the first time?

Netsky – It was great, there’s actually a lot of great festivals in Belgium and people don’t really know that Belgium is a big festival nation. This was my first time performing without the band on a mainstage in Belgium and doing a DJ set instead. Tomorrowland has become such an international festival and the fact that we’re on the other side of the world and you went, show’s that already. It was a really great experience, and it was very cool to see the festival take a different approach with drum & bass on the mainstage this year. It’s not easy to promote a drum & bass set on the mainstage, I’ll just put it that way. So I really respect them for it.

Crystal Garcia – Have you always performed at Tomorrowland with the band? Was that your first time performing alone?

Netsky – Not the first time. We’ve been playing as a band for 2 years, but that was the first I played mainstage in Belgium without the band.

Crystal Garcia – Considering that you’re from Belgium, growing up did you have dreams of one day performing on the Tomorrowland mainstage?

Netsky – Ya, I think playing mainstage with the band was the first dream. Performing a DJ set on the mainstage is weird for me because especially in Belgium, we’re known for playing as a band. It was definitely a challenge, and I like that about it. A challenge to play a set and genre that a lot of people at the mainstage probably haven’t heard much of before.

Crystal Garcia – Are there any artist that inspired you to produce more melodic drum & bass?

Netsky – It’s not really an artist that inspired me, I grew up listening to funk & soul. My dad had a massive 70’s funk & soul collection so I’ve always really liked soulful melodies and I like the energy in music so I try to combine that into drum & bass.

Crystal Garcia – What can we expect as far as the new album goes?

Netsky – There’s not much drum & bass on the new album, I really tried to push different genres and try different stuff. I just did a collaboration with a really cool band from New York the other day. It’s so far away from drum & bass, but I really enjoy trying to make other type of music. Every song on the new album, I wrote on piano first instead of making a drum & bass banger and then looking for a vocal. So in that sense,  it’s a completely different way of working for me. So you can expect a lot of songs instead of dance floor bangers. That’s really the direction I want to go now.

Crystal Garcia – Your new track w/ Beth Ditto “Running Low”, was the 6th most shazamed track at Tomorrowland, how did it make you feel knowing that “Running Low” was so well received at the festival?

Netsky – I couldn’t really believe it, It was crazy news for me to hear. At a festival like Tomorrowland, it’s all proper top 10 EDM tracks, and then there’s my weird drum & bass song so I was really surprised and happy with it. I think because there’s always so much house and electro on the mainstage, when there’s something different people open their eyes and think wtf is that and want to try to know what it is. So in that way it’s a mission accomplished for me, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

Crystal Garcia – What has the overall crowd reaction been when you play “Running Low” at shows?

Netsky – It’s been really sick. When we play it as a band it’s the last song of the set, so it’s been really incredible. It’s like a rock song to play and we can really get into it. I think the vocals really contribute to that rock atmosphere we can accomplish as a band. I love it, it’s really cool to play. It’s more of a live song than a radio song, and that’s what we were hoping to accomplish.

Crystal Garcia – What was the decision to begin performing your live shows with a full band, and do you prefer performing alone or with the band?

Netsky – I couldn’t choose between the two. I love performing with the band and I love DJ’ing, I want to continue doing both. I think it’s much more of a challenge to play with the band because I’m not a classically trained musician. It’s more of a challenge because I learn to perform as musician, and not just as a DJ turning knobs and putting my hands up like a DJ. There’s so much more to performing as a band, and trying to translate the songs for the crowd. I’m learning so much, it’s been a really great experience.

Crystal Garcia – How will this upcoming “Stay Up With Me” LIVE tour differ from tours in the past?

Netsky – It’s the first tour we’ve got a name for and I know American’s love tour names because we’ve never done it in Europe. I really like the idea of it because you really focus around the theme and you view different tours as different projects. “Stay Up With Me” is the next single to be released from the album so that’s why it’s the tour name.

Crystal Garcia – Can we expect to hear new tracks from the album on this tour?

Netsky – Ya, we’ll be playing a lot of new tracks on the tour and it’s probably going to be one of the first times we’ll introduce the new tracks on the tour since in Europe everyone’s trying to bootleg and record it. The US tour will take place right around the album release date, so it’s the perfect opportunity to play new tracks. We’ve been playing the same tracks for the past two years, so I’m really excited for this. We can finally start playing some new music, it’s definitely what I needed.

Crystal Garcia – Well #cookingwithnetsky seems to be quite the hit on Instagram. Where does your inspiration to cook gourmet meals stem from?

Netsky – It initially started as a joke. I was cooking and just thought I’d post a few pictures on Instagram and two minutes later I got a phone call from a Belgian magazine that wanted to make a cooking book with me. I was like whoa guys, hold your horses..haha. I’m not really that good at it, I just enjoy being in the kitchen and not thinking about music or anything related for that one hour a day. That’s why I got addicted to it, but I’m not even that much of a fan of cooking. I feel like I need to step it up a bit more though because all these fans are like “ that dish looks good, but the last one looked better.” So I’m trying to get a little more competitive, but it’s fun. We’re thinking about trying to incorporate something with #cookingwithnetsky on tour, where I cook with the fans or something.

Crystal Garcia – What are your favorite dishes to cook?

Netsky – Nothing specific, but I’m really into meat. I love a good steak, but that’s so easy to make. I love barbecuing and making fish burgers and fajitas. I also try to cook healthy, because it’s so easy to eat unhealthy on tour.

Crystal Garcia – Do you have any plans to start a cooking show?

Netsky – Ya, we’ve been thinking possibly something on Youtube. I’m not too sure right now because I’m not that comfortable with it yet.

Crystal Garcia – Well that last question was somewhat of a joke, but maybe not so much anymore..haha. It’s cool to see that this is definitely a possibility.

Netsky – Haha yup. We’ll just have to see what comes of it!

Crystal Garcia’s final words…

Interviewing Netsky was a breath of fresh air as he was one of the most welcoming and humble artists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. At such a young age, Netsky has more than proven himself as the talented triple threat that he is. I can’t wait for the new tour and it is my hope that you do yourself a favor and catch Netsky at one of his many upcoming tour dates!

Purchase “STAY UP WITH ME” US LIVE TOUR Tickets Here