As a generation-defining artist that reshapes our perception of what dance music can be, Sander van Doorn is without a doubt one of the world’s most essential, influential and popular DJ/producers in dance music today. Sander van Doorn entered the musical scene in 1995, aged just sixteen. His brother’s latest gadget at the time, a Roland Groovebox 303, caught his attention. He was astounded when he first experienced the amount of creativity that could be put into making electronic music. Time and time again, Sander would borrow his brother’s Groovebox and his nephew’s vinyl records and he played the life out of those records. Since then, Sander’s heart belonged to music and it still does today. Be sure to listen to his latest single “No Words” featuring Belle Humble embedded below.
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SunCity Paradise: Kicking it off with your hometown of Eindhoven, Netherlands what really stands out about the city itself and the rest of the Southern Netherlands? Where would you send a first-time visitor to get a real sense of the country?
Sander van Doorn: Eindhoven has a nickname, namely “The Light City.” This is because the world-known brand Philips has their roots here. Every year they also have a light festival, which is really cool. If you’re talking about the Netherlands in general, I would recommend going to Amsterdam. Amsterdam has a lot of culture, good restaurants and, of course, good music!
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?
SVD: I just turned 16 when my brother got a Roland Groovebox 303. This thing caught my attention, and I was blown away by the amount of creativity I could put in making electronic music. After a while I was addicted and I took my brother’s Groovebox, my cousin’s vinyls and I played those records until they wouldn’t play anymore. I then already knew I didn’t want to do anything else in life, and I still love it today.
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?
SVD: Traveling inspires me a lot! I get to go to so many different places around the world and I get to meet so many new people. This is really good for the atmosphere in the studio and creating new material. And, besides all the traveling, it’s always really special to be able to do what I love most, which is making music and performing it for an audience.
SCP: Your latest single, “No Words” featuring Belle Humble, dropped in February. What was your thought process behind this release? What’s been the reaction since it’s been out?
SVD: “No Words” is a very melodic song that comes with a lot of feelings, something I really wanted to come forward with this track. The responses, also, have been huge. The track is doing very well on all the streaming portals, and the responses by the fans and the critics have been great!
SCP: What’s one stark difference between traveling as an artist versus personal travel?
SVD: When you just travel for work, you’re working all the time and this comes with a certain routine. Mine involves going straight to bed after I arrive, having early dinners, etcetera. When I travel for my own holidays, it’s more about being out and about, going into the cities, go sightseeing and stuff. And, I also have to do my own check-in!
SCP: When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach or after a more active, adventurous getaway? Why?
SVD: This depends. Thailand, for example, is one of my favorite countries and here you can do whatever you want. You can relax on the beach, but also be more active and go rock climbing, snorkeling or something. There’s so much to do, and that’s why I like to come back every year for my holiday.
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?
SVD:Greenland — I think it has very impressive scenery. I would love to see all the landscape and the glaciers. Fiji — I would like to go here, because of the bounty of beaches. I heard so many good stories about Fiji. I would love to go there. The north of Scandinavia — I love nature! I think it also has great scenery, and I would love to see the Northern Lights!
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?
SVD: Looking at all the big festivals all over the world, you clearly see a sence of unity. Music is its own language and brings people together regardless of what religion they have or their sexuality. Being on the road now for over 18 years has brought me to so many people, with so many different backgrounds, and they’re all celebrating the same thing: life. That’s why I love doing what I love.
SCP: When you’re relaxing on a beach or just have some downtime are you listening to music? Do you like to switch up the genre you listen to? If so, to what?
SVD: Of course! I love listening to music wherever I am. I like listening to a lot of different genres. One of my favourite bands is Sigur Ross. This music always makes me really relaxed. But, if I’m in a party mood I prefer listening to Chris Liebing. He has a fixed spot on my playlist.
SCP: Lastly, as festival season approaches, what else do the next couple of months have in store for you?
SVD: So much! I’ll be performing a lot in Eastern Europe this Summer. Of course, I’ll also some Ibiza shows, and I cannot to forget the big ones like Tomorrowland, Mysteryland and Creamfields. I’m also performing for the first time at Balaton Sound in Hungary. I’m really looking forward to that one, as well.