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Sander van Doorn

spill - VAN DOORN-1-HiResDutch superstar DJ and producer, Sander van Doorn is about to follow up his acclaimed Stereosonic set of last year with a string of Australian club dates. He takes a quick break from a rare and intense week in the studio to speak with JOSHUA HAYES about his upcoming tour and other projects on his plate.

Since initially emerging as a trance music star – his management requesting we not ask about trance during the interview – Sander van Doorn, born Sander Ketelaars, has gone from success to success. He’s a regular fixture near the top of the Beatport charts and DJMag’s Top 100 DJs list (he flirted with the top 10 for several years before dropping to #18 last year) and his track Nothing Inside with Detroit vocalist Mayaeni, was signed by Jay-Z’s entertainment company, Roc Nation.

Success has been achieved through a relentless schedule of touring and production – all while running his own label, Doorn Records, and hosting his weekly radio show, Identity. The first difficulty, Ketelaars says, is finding the balance between the road and the studio.

“Sometimes it is a bit of a challenge, actually, to get the two things combined, but what we are trying to do is to find a few weekends a year where I can just have a pretty ongoing session,” he says. “Like last week, I had one weekend off just to be locked up in the studio. And besides that, it’s all about producing on small setups and laptops while I’m on the road.”

He has just been in the studio working on a collaboration with DVBBS, who were recently confirmed as the producers of Doorn Records’ monster hit Tsunami. “My release schedule, it’s pretty much locked down for the next couple of months, so (the DVBBS collaboration) won’t be released until next year… besides that I’m working on a few projects which I can’t tell too much about yet,” he laughs. “There’s a lot actually in the studio right now, which I need to figure out. I’ve got like two days left, so it’s going to be pretty busy.”

One release he was recently able to cross of his schedule was the Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike collaboration, Project T, which he just got issued on Beatport. “It’s pretty much going through the roof at the moment, so I think that release is going to hold for quite some time,” Ketelaars says.

And in between all his singles, another solo album may be in the works following on from 2008’s Supernaturalistic and 2011’s Eleve11. “I don’t know if it’s going to happen next year; (although) that could actually be the case since I’ve been working on so many tracks that it would be possible,” he elaborates.

After splitting his time between the road and the studio, Ketelaars’ studio time is then divided between his production, his label and his radio show, which just celebrated a major milestone with its 200th show a few weeks ago. “We decided to give the whole directing of the show to the fans, so we’ve had a lot of requests coming in” Ketelaars says. “People wanted to hear things from years ago, older tracks on Doorn Records, newer tracks, and so the whole show is compiled from requests from our fans.” But lately he’s been dedicating more time to Doorn Records.

“I’m doing a lot of A&R for the label, so I’m pretty much working together with the artists to perfect their tracks and give some tips on how to produce certain things,” he says. “I work together with a brilliant label manager who has pretty much filled the Doorn Records schedule now, I think, until the start of next year, so there’s gonna be a lot of releases and the great thing is, every single release on there is going to be pretty insane.”

Ketelaars says he’s particularly excited about having DVBBS on board as well as Put Em Up producers Mightyfools and 17-year-old Dutch producer Julian Jordan. “They all have a lot of potential, so it’s actually really inspiring for me as well.”

With his production, radio and record label commitments bedded down for the short term, Ketelaars can get back on the road. He’s had a busy northern summer festival season, where he thinks he’s done more festivals than in any other year – in fact; he’s flying into Australia from a high profile slot at the American TomorrowWorld electronic music festival.

“I’m really looking forward to the Australian shows. I’m going to be playing a lot of new tracks from myself and from other people signed to Doorn records, so it’s going to be an extension of my sound as it is,” Ketelaars says. “I like club shows for being a lot more intimate. I’m a lot closer to the fans and also I play longer sets, so I get to play out a lot more new tracks and educate people about the new music on my label… it’s a better platform actually to showcase myself.”

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