Like many other producers though, progression is as important as ever and the scouse creator has already got some exciting new projects in the pipeline for 2012.
"I started making bootlegs about 5 months ago," Extravagant said. "I just started with Native Instrument’s Traktor and I then focused more on using Ableton. I got so much positive feedback and support from people after my first one, it just motivated me to continue and create more."
"I was always fascinated about DJing - I loved to see them spin the turntables and mix different songs together. When I was 16 one of my friends, who had a reputation in my hometown for being a good DJ, showed me a little bit and I was well and truly hooked.
"I then bought myself a little Denon mixer and started making some short mixes and tried some little tricks,' The German-born DJ and producer said. "After that it started to snowball quite quickly. I got some little gigs at private parties and was getting a lot of good feedback for my sets. A few months later, a friend of mine who has his own label, 'Y&B Entertain', asked me to come along to a party he was holding and warm-up and that's when it started getting real."
Over the last five months, Steffen has had huge backing from respected players in the house music game, including Swanky Tunes, Gregory Trejo, Paul Ahi, Marco Zanfardino and many more. It's this support and constant feedback that has kept him producing the music he is quickly becoming renowned for.
In recent years, the dubstep genre has taken over and exploded into a mainstream phenomenon. As it did, many believed House music would suffer and feel the full effect of this new genre.
But Steffen is quick to reiterate House music hasn't gone anywhere.
And as most 18-year-olds are deciding which University they're going to study at or where they want to work, Steffen is living out his dream.
"At the moment people are aware of me and my music and that feels so good!" The young producer said. "I went back to my home town to do a gig and people were enjoying my bootlegs and loving my set, it was incredible and that just really highlighted how far I had come."
In a world of ever evolving technology, music production is seen as getting easier and, more importantly, cheaper. With the latest hardware and software being widely available, it’s normal behaviour for those looking to get into production to start making tracks from their bedrooms on their laptops.
"Every day, more and more new technology is available that makes producing music that little bit easier," Steffen said. "Whether it's software or tutorial videos, the engineering side of things is being explained in greater detail and that's why there has been an increase in producers and remixers.
"The difference is though that not everyone can make music, even if they think they can. There is a knack to it. You can learn the technique, you can read a book or watch a video on the 'precise' way to make a track but it's about 'feeling it' and knowing from experience what will work and what won't. That's something technology can't teach people."
In terms of DJing as well, there is only so much technology can do, the Wiesbaden based DJ explained. “When I started to DJ I knew I also wanted to produce. One tip that I've learned and would tell anyone who wants to get into the industry is to do what you want and just keep pulling it through. The moment you start trying to change who you are the passion from your music slips and people can see that straight away."
Like many other producers though, progression is as important as ever and Steffen has already got some exciting new projects in the pipeline for 2012.
"I’ve started with my first podcast epidsode called 'Tracks of the month' but without a guest mix. I want to change this in the next episode and then hopefully we will see if it's successful. That's another avenue I've gone down. I've also got collaborates in the pipeline and have had many requests for remixes and bootlegs, so it should be a very exciting year for me. I love to work with other people, it's one part of the job that's really exciting."
And it doesn't stop there. Steffen, is currently on course to win Prysm Radio's Newcomer Contest, something that will take his career to yet another level. But despite his quick assault on the music scene the mature teenager still hasn't forgotten where it all began.
"I've definitely been most influenced by the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Afrojack and that's where I aspire to be. Not because I want to be famous or rich but because when I set out doing this I was willing to do everything and anything because I love the music and that's still the case. It's all about the music and that's how it'll always be with me."
1. La Fuente – Bang Bang ( Extravagant Intro Bootleg)
2. Tujamo - How We Roll (Original Mix)
3. Qulinez - Troll (Original Mix)
4. Dada Life vs Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike & Promise Land - Happy Alarma
(Nick Svenson & Romain G Bootleg)
5. Steve Angello – Be (Original Mix)
6. Afrojack ft.Otto Knows - Can't Stop Million Voices (Extravagant's Singing
Bees South Leeds Vocal Bootleg)
Favourite end of the night anthem - Of course it's got to be my bootleg 'Can't Stop Million Voices'
Must have song in your set - Hard Rock Sofa "Quasar" or Qulinez "Troll"
Song that got you into house music - Don't laugh but Fedde Le Grande "Put your Hands up for detroit"
Favourite song of all time – Nadia Ali "Pressure" the Alesso remix. It's just an amazing song.
The journey for Diavlo hasn’t been easy but after countless underground hits, a Beatport 'must-hear' number one, worldwide gigs and support from huge names it seems a long time since he was mixing records in his friend’s attic.
But unlike others who may have rushed into things, Diavlo’s single ‘Genesis’ came after seven years of hard work and dedication.
“I first got into DJing when I was 17 with my very good friend, DJ & producer Ant Brooks. We started playing hard house in his attic believe it or not, which use to be a great laugh. Soon after that I found that I really enjoyed it and wasn't bad at it either,” he laughed to himself.
“Ant, the other half of H Unit, and I decided after DJing together it was time that we got into the studio. It was then that I realised not only did I want to be a DJ, I also wanted to produce tracks so I could play my music to others.”
The bonus for Diavlo wasn’t having just a number one on the Beatport must-hear house tunes chart, but that he had made an impression on non-other than Michael Woods and was instantly signed to his record label Diffused Music. With huge backing from the likes of David Jones, Gary Beck, Sonny Wharton and Andi Durrant, he was definitely making an impression.
“It really was a great feeling to have huge support from the very beginning, there are many great music producers on the scene and so this was a fantastic achievement. It is amazing when you get the final product out of the studio then see it getting enjoyed and played by some of the head honchos in the industry.”
In recent years, the dubstep genre has taken over and exploded into mainstream phenomenon. As it did, many believed House music would suffer and feel the full effect of this new genre. But Diavlo didn’t take long to quash those rumours.
“Music is always changing with new sub-genres coming out and a new flavour of the month but house music always comes back no matter what,” he said. “If you take a look in the Top 40 now there are more and more 4/4 style tracks creeping in from the likes of David Guetta, Example and Calvin Harris, all doing the damage.”
Obviously the perceived set back failed to stop Diavlo in his quest for House music fame, as world renowned record label Cr2 Records were next to sign the talented producer for his latest release, Changes. Since those days in the attic Diavlo has seen Cr2 as his label of choice.
“They put out some really great music and have great respect in the music industry,” he told me. “It is always important to choose the labels that portrays the right image of you as an artist. You need to establish your identity so that people know what to expect from you when both DJing and producing.”
No one can say the Coventry born producer hasn’t 'been there, done it'. But after years of experience and hardship, he still can’t quite believe what’s happened and is happening.
“The best thing is travelling the world playing my own music to crowds and seeing their reaction. It is such an amazing thing, meeting great people, doing something that you love and the best part is getting paid for it.”
In a world of ever evolving technology, the barriers between musical genres are constantly being eroded by the relentless rise of the digital age. With the latest hardware and software being widely available, it’s normal behaviour for producers to follow the latest trends.
“With the technology available to people I think it is easier to make music,” he said before quickly offering some words of advice for the budding producers out there.
“You can't teach someone to be a producer but you can teach someone how to be an engineer. As a producer you need to have the creativity and the ideas along with the skills to create those ideas and turn it into music.
“Don't set out straight away to make a certain style of music, experiment you might find you are really cut out for something that you didn't intend, which isn't a bad thing. Go with what comes natural to you when making music. Whether that’s a groovy bass-line or a new twist on a genre or style” he said, before revealing one main tip to those already in the process of making music.
“One trick for giving more bounce to your tracks is side-chaining elements, like your bass-lines. Also adding slight delays and reverbs on vocal parts and percussion elements can take a track to the next level.”
In terms of DJing though every gig is different, the Coventry based DJ explained. “You need to be able to read a crowd. I mean the last thing you want to do is turn up to a gig and clear the dance floor, which I have seen done on more than one occasion. Knowing your audience in the club is the biggest advice I can give for aspiring DJs.”
Like many other producers though, progression is as important as ever and the 28-year-old creator has already got some exciting new projects in the pipeline for 2012.
“I am currently working on several new EP's one for MAR186, Matteo DiMarr's Label, a single for Factomania,Wally Lopez's label and the rest are for ammunition for next year’s take over,” he chuckled. “I am also working on an EP with Ant Brooks, which is going to be massive and I’m in the mist of working with Ralph Berr.”
But as he continues to make waves in the House music world, Diavlo still remembers the days spent with Ant at the very beginning of the journey.
“My main influence I would say has got to be Steve Lawler, David Hererro, Wally Lopez and of cause Ant. We are close friends and have worked together several times, with hopefully many more successful tracks to come.”
Exclusive mix for House Bandits by Diavlo
One last track
Favourite end of the night anthem - Tori Amos ‘Professional Widow (Armand Van Helden Remix)'
Must have song in your set - Four4 a track from my latest EP on Muzik Xpress
Song that got you into house music - Happy Clappers ‘I Believe’
Favourite song of all time – BK ‘Revolution’. I heard at it Global Gathering in 2002 and it was amazing.
Diavlo's music is available on Beatport now
Tokyo Express - Kerr's Rewire
DJ Dave Crane graced the House Bandits' studio on Friday 25th April and as a present he's giving you the chance to download some of his own production.