Beatport Next: Kevin De Vries is Ready for 2022
Beatport Next: Kevin De Vries is Ready for 2022December 9, 2021
Beatport Next artist Kevin De Vries first emerged in 2015 with a series of climactic EPs that quickly caught the attention of the international techno scene. Over the past six years, he has gone from strength to strength, releasing via labels like Sven Väth’s Cocoon, Adam Beyer’s Drumcode, and Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave while earning coveted slots at festivals Tomorrowland, Awakenings, and ADE.
Hailing from a rural town outside of Cologne but currently based in Berlin, the German artist’s trance-tinged melodic house and techno has made him a favorite amongst melodic house & techno fans. He’s released numerous hit tracks like “Das Licht” and “Polar Peak” via the imprint and continues to make many event appearances and contributions to the label.
With new music on the horizon along with a striking remix of Kölsch and Dubfire’s track “Louisiana” on the way, we caught up with Kevin De Vries to learn more about his slew of recent remixes, his explosive return to the stage this year, and his plans for 2022.
Hey Kevin! Thanks so much for joining us. Now that 2021 is coming to a close, what would you say was the best part of your year? Any highlights?
Hey guys, thank you so much for the invite. 2021 was a year with up’s and down’s for all of us, and it still is. Luckily we were able to enjoy some unique moments together. One of my highlights was for sure our first big event in Brussels in front of the Atomium with several thousand people. This was my first big event after the lockdowns. The energy, vibe, and crowd that day was something I never felt before. It started raining like hell at some point during my set but people stayed and danced. It was a really special day.
You’ve played some shows this year all over the globe. What was it like first stepping back out in front of a crowd once lockdown restrictions were lifted?
I’m always nervous before every show. Having not played in front of a crowd for such a long period made it of course worse. It’s a good thing though. The excitement and rush you get before going on stage was even higher than before the long break. Luckily, due to the amazing energy from the people during these first shows, it was easy to get back into it and enjoy it to the fullest.
You’ve always been a huge fan of trance music, and the appreciation you have for the genre certainly shines through in your productions. Can you tell us your thoughts on the relationship between trance and techno in 2021?
Indeed, I love the genre and got many inspirations from the music of the early ’90s. The emotions and drama of some tracks are hard to find these days. Nowadays, we have many remakes or remixes from classic trance tracks — like a trance revival over the past two years. It’s a matter of personal taste. I really enjoyed some nice tracks which got reworked.
Aside from this year’s Afterlife single “Polar Peak,” you haven’t released many original tracks this year but have served up tons of great remixes. Can you give us some insight into the thinking and plan behind your release schedule this year and what your fans can expect from you next year?
That’s true. This year was a little less due to Covid. I made a lot of new music and have already finished my next EP (coming in early 2022), which I’m really looking forward to releasing. It was hard to plan for 2021 as we couldn’t play any shows. My music is focused on the dance floor so I had to hold it back a bit but don’t worry — next year there is a lot to come.
Moving onto the remixes, which you did for artists like Trance Wax, KA:AST, and more, would you say there is one that stands out amongst them or gets a more significant reaction from your audiences?
Earlier this year I released the remix for Trance Wax. It was a great challenge as I’m a big fan since the early days of Ejeca’s project. Being asked to remix a track of his debut album was a fantastic moment. We have a great relationship and I’m happy how the remix turned out. My personal highlight was the remix for KAS:ST, which I did in collaboration with Anyma, Matteo Milleri’s new solo project. KAS:ST productions have always been incredible and especially their album on Afterlife showed their ability to produce in different genres on the highest level. It was a lot of fun to work with Anyma in the studio and our remix became a highlight in my sets.
Tell us about your forthcoming remix for Dubfire and Kölsch. How did this track come about, and what are some of its elements that you’re most proud of?
I was lucky to meet Dubfire last year and since then we have kept in touch. He delivered a remix for my EP on Ilario Alicante’s label Virgo in 2020 and we were exchanging music over the past months. As a big Kölsch fan, I was super happy when they asked me to remix their first-ever collaboration on IPSO. The original is quite a special track, very unexpectedly forward punching techno so I tried to make my own version of it and gave it some twists. I tested it during the past weeks and the reactions were awesome. I can’t wait to have this one out very soon.
What are your personal and professional hopes and goals for 2022?
My biggest wish for 2022 and our entire world is that we survive this horrible pandemic — I guess I speak for all of us. More positivity and less selfishness on all levels. We all faced horrible months the past year so I really hope we come out of this with a better mindset. My goal is to release more music next year and of course to be able to perform all around the globe again and meet new people. Thank you for having me guys!
Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s North American editor. Find him on Twitter.