De Hofnar, an alias for Jeroen Maas, started producing electronic music in his early childhood. When he was first confronted with the combination of electronic sounds with classic elements he knew where his future was. This combination of sounds doesn’t only result in unique productions, but also in uniquely melodic DJ sets. With his motto, he always manages to give his audience what they deserve: “You are the king. I’m just here to entertain you.”
In 2013, his debut single “Oxas”, in collaboration with Gamper & Dadoni, was released by MGM Records (DU), with his first official EP “Zonnestraal” released shortly thereafter by Crosswalk (FR). With these numbers, and the famous remixes of Same Love (Macklemore) and All of Me (John Legend), De Hofnar quickly made a name in the deep house scene, and he’s supported by Tiësto, Klingande and Robin Schulz. After this success De Hofnar signed with Spinnin Deep, and the future has never looked brighter.
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SunCity Paradise: Kicking it off with your home of the Netherlands, what really stands out and makes it special to you? Where would you send a first-time visitor to get a real sense of the area?
De Hofnar: I would recommend to go Zeeland, it’s in the southwest of the country and it has beautiful beaches and nature. You can enjoy the famous dikes and smell the fresh salty air. You won’t regret it. I came there a lot as a child in summer and it gives me relaxation. A lot of good memories!
SCP: What was your first real exposure to music? How did you get inspired to create your own and eventually pursue it as a career?
DH: I don’t think I can remember my first exposure to music, but my parents used to listen a lot to different kinds of music. One of my neighbors was a bit older than me and started to DJ at small disco parties. I went to visit him once to see what he actually did, and he was mixing tracks together live. As a kid I always thought they were making music on stage. So, I asked him where the music came from, and he said to me that is was created by someone called a “producer”. I quickly found out that I was more interested in creating something than actually mixing two tracks live. I watched hours and hours of YouTube tutorials, and went to the local PC shop to buy my first DAW: Magix Music Maker. At that point it was only dragging the right samples to the right places, but when you work hard you can learn a lot in a few years!
SCP: To create music, and traveling to promote it, must be such a feeling. What’s the most impactful and meaningful part you cherish about it? Does the travel help inspirationally?
DH: It’s the perfect combination: create music, travel the world and meet new people. I wasn’t a traveler at all before my music career, but I feel blessed now that I can discover the planet by touring. It definitely has a huge impact on my inspiration to create new music. People listen to different kinds of music in every part of the world, and I learn a lot from it. The most meaningful thing is meeting new people, cultures and thoughts every time I’m touring. I love to just go and flow with the locals when I’m in new places.
SCP: Talk about your latest release “Breakup Song” featuring Son of Patricia that just dropped. What was your thought process around this track? Describe your excitement to play it live for your fans.
DH: To be honest, I didn’t produce this track to play it on a big festival and get people to go crazy. It is meant to be a chill track, and it’s a bit more emotional than my other songs. It was written by “Son Of Patricia” a good friend of mine who also co-produced the track. The song has a deep meaning for him, but you have to ask him the same question for that story.
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway? Why?
DH: Let’s go for a serene beach. My life is quite hectic and adventurous enough already. I’m actually just about to fly to Bali with my girlfriend to relax and enjoy the beach!
SCP: One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling, specifically surrounding dance music, have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?
DH: As I said, I wasn’t really a traveller before I started my DJ career. It’s kinda cliché, but I really think music is a very good way to bring people together. Good music is a universal language and hits people at the right spot. I met so many different people with other perspectives, and I can only learn from this. It’s always my task to bring people in a positive state of mind when I play. It feels so good when it works out well!
SCP: Everyone has a list of places that they still have to hit. What are three destinations, either work or pleasure, that you need to see? Why?
DH: I’ve never been to California, and would love to go there for both free time and music. I heard there are a lot of cool writers there and very nice studio sessions. For traveling, I really want to go to New Zealand and explore the nature over there. I once went to Tokyo, but it was just for three days. It would be cool to go back there and find out more about their culture. The people over there were so kind and the city has a real cool vibe!
SCP: What is the most beautiful outdoor location that you’ve played at? How did the beauty add to the music?
DH: This must be on top of a favela called Vidigal in Rio de Janeiro. It was a surreal experience and the view was amazing. It was an underground party and I was the closing act. Behind me you could see the sunrise at then Leblon and Ipanema beaches. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
SCP: When you’re relaxing on a beach or just have some downtime are you listening to dance music? Or do you like to switch up the tunes? If so, to what?
DH: In my free time a listen to a lot of different stuff, but almost never to dance music. It’s more Dutch hip-hop, R&B and sometimes minimal classic music, like Ludovico Einaudi, to chill down. While partying I enjoy melodic techno and tech/deep house a lot. Artists like Worakls and Kolsch are my favorite.
SCP: Lastly, what do the next couple of months have in store for you?
DH: I was jut in Amsterdam during ADE for gigs, interviews, business meetings and parties. I’m about go to Asia to finally relax. I just haven’t had the time this summer for a holiday. When I come back, I’m going on tour here in Europe and Brazil in December and January. I’m also really looking forward to 2018 when my full album “Kings And Queens” will be released!