Check our exclusive interview with talented DJ and Producer Sander van Doorn.
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
2017 saw him launch his exciting alias Purple Haze, dedicated to a “sharper, darker, rougher” sound. The project was unveiled at Ultra Music Festival with a spectacular audio-visual live show that vividly brought to life his new concept. Later in the year he released the debut Purple Haze album, SPECTRVM: a riot of dark trance and tough techno with some standout vocals to boot. Rather than taking shine away from his usual SvD sounds, the new project has created a positive, synergised feedback loop in his studio, bringing a yin to his existing yang. “Too often I’ve seen artists lose their focus when they try to combine too many different sounds” he says.
Today, Sander has performed thousands of shows in every corner of the world and released numerous solo records, yet he is still part of a group of innovative and progressive artists. Sander’s creative process exists of re-inventing musical styles, taking risks in regards to the sound he creates and most importantly staying ahead of the masses. Regular appearances at world-beating clubs and festivals like Creamfields, Tomorrowland, UNTOLD Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival pepper his hectic diary which sees him plays to tens of thousands across the globe every month.
With three full-length albums, numerous hit-singles, remixes of the world’s biggest artists, sold-out gigs in all major venues and festivals worldwide, his own successful record label and a weekly radio show named Identity, Sander van Doorn continues his musical journey into the heart of fans around the world.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Music lover, Tech Nerd 😉 and easy going
Name one your strengths?
Persistence, control freak, is that a strength? Haha 😉
How’s a typical day in your life?
Wake up around 9am, take a shower, and in the new days waking up my baby to play, feed etc. after that I have breakfast myself, go in to the studio, which I have at home so won’t have to go out for that. Usually come out of the studio around 7pm, forgot to have lunch 😉 so I’m very hungry at this time, have some dinner and watch a movie on Netflix and of course make sure to have lots of time with my baby!
Who is your biggest supporter?
My wife for sure!
How did you get started in the industry?
Well I started with only producing music and after sending a few demos to Spinnin’ Records they noticed my music and wanted me to work on a few remixes. After my first big release, ‘Message In A Bottle’ (which was also a remix) I was asked to play in a club in Switzerland and this was actually my very first performance ever. I did play in a local bar when I was in college, but my actual first real show was outside my own country and I was really flabbergasted when I received this booking request. I wasn’t aware people knew me haha. From then on the ball started rolling and I started to work with a booking agent. Things went up and up and pretty much ended up with me being where I am today!
What are currently your main challenges as a DJ?
It’s always a challenge for every DJ to stay on top of new trends and the general sound of a genre. Every day is about re-inventing yourself.
Which artists and styles inspired and influenced you?
Chris Liebing is a huge inspiration. It’s totally different to what I’m doing but he’s definitely one of my all time heros. Bands such as Sigur ros and M83 are a huge inspiration as well – especially for my Purple Haze project.
When all the partying is over how do you like to chill out?
I love to go to the sea side of the Netherlands, rent a beach house and relax for a couple of days.
Best stage you have ever play?
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. You def need to look it up and then you know why 😉
Describe your sound in 3 words?
It’s very diverse, for Purple Haze I would say emotional and sometimes moody. For my SvD sound it can go anywhere between House- Techno and Progressive.
Now tell us about your new track “Surrender?”
Came across a library of really cool vocals which I wanted to use for the intro of Transmission Sydney. Then the intro started producing itself and this whole track came out with all the vocal snippets starting to tell a bit of a story.
Why the alias Purple Haze?
Well I actually started Purple Haze around 11 years back and produced tracks like “Hymn 2.0’ , ‘Bliksem’ etc. and for me Purple Haze has always felt like an escape where I could do whatever I wanted. Since 2017 I brought it back because I was working on a track ‘Neiloj’ and this definitely felt as a Purple Haze track. So we came up with the idea to do more with it and 6 months later I finished a whole new album. We then decided to do shows with it and for me it was definitely one of the best choices I have made. Purple Haze for me is an escape from reality. It’s not specific one genre, it could be trance, sometimes a bit techno, it’s everything I feel in the studio.
Can you tell us any differences between other places in the world and the US scenes?
Well I play a lot in the US and it’s for sure one of the best crowds you have! But playing in South America, India and Asia a lot as well and especially Asia has been blowing up the last couple of years. The energy in every single country differs but in general all the crowds these days are quite educated with their music and know which artist to pick.
Sigur Ros – Untitled 8