Discovered at age 14 by Armin van Buuren and signed to Armada records, Erik Arbores (born Erik van den Boom) is the youngest DJ to ever spin during the Amsterdam Dance Event. His debut Bliss EP created a lot of buzz and garnered a lot of club support. He has gone on to collaborate with Esmee Denters and has recently signed to Universal and Spinnin’ records. Together with Martin Garrix, TV Noize, and Julian Jordan, he is part of a group of teenage up-and-coming producers who are changing the EDM world.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: How old were you when you first discovered EDM?
Erik Arbores: I have been listening to it my whole life, but I started producing when I was 11 or 12 years old.
RS: What software were you working with?
Erik Arbores: I worked with Fruity Loops, FL Studio.
RS: Are you still working with that?
Erik Arbores: Yes. I still work with it.
RS: What inspired you to start making your own tracks?
Erik Arbores: I have played the piano my whole life so I have always been involved with music. I started making my own melodies on the piano and then started putting them into the computer and making tracks out of them.
RS: Very cool! How did Armin discover you?
Erik Arbores: I finished school very young, so I was in the news and on a Dutch TV show because of that. I put my track on the TV show and Armin saw it and liked it, and from there I was signed to his label. I am currently signed to Spinnin’ records now, though.
RS: Why did you move from Armin’s label to Spinnin’?
Erik Arbores: Armada does some house but mostly trance, whereas Spinnin’ is really focused on house music, which fits my style more.
RS: Your first track was “Bliss,” how did your life change after that track came out?
Erik Arbores: Prior to that track music wasn’t a serious thing to me because I was in school. I loved making music but wasn’t thinking about making a career out of it. When I released “Bliss” it became #1 in the Netherlands, and from there I started producing and eventually quit school to focus full time on my music.
RS: How do your parents feel about your career?
Erik Arbores: They are very supportive, and my mom goes along with me to my gigs.
RS: Have you played in the United States yet?
Erik Arbores: No, not yet but I would love to.
RS: What was it like working with Esmee Denters on the “Dance 4 Life” track?
Erik Arbores: It was great; she is a Dutch girl and is well-known internationally. I asked her to be on the track because her voice is great and she is amazing. We started working on the track for a charity event and she flew from London to the Netherlands to make the track with me.
RS: So when that happens do you make the track and then she sings and writes to it?
Erik Arbores: Yes, I had already made the instrumental track and we wrote to it and she sang it in the studio and then we recorded it.
RS: Had you recorded vocals before?
Erik Arbores: No, it is my only vocal track. I’d love to do another vocal track, though, because it really adds to a song.
RS: There are a lot of producers like Martin, TV Noise, Julian Jordan, and you that are all about the same age. Do y’all have a little community together and support each other?
Erik Arbores: Yes, it’s great. This doesn’t happen very often, where there are a lot of young producers. We keep in touch a lot and send tracks back and forth, it’s great. We aren’t competing and we are all friends that talk about music and are on the same path.
RS: In the breakdown on the “Get Ready” track there is an instrument in there, what did you use to make that sound?
Erik Arbores: It is a trumpet and I think that it is a recorded one. I just put it in there because I thought it sounded great.
RS: It does sound great. Do you have any collaborations coming up?
Erik Arbores: I just did a track with Vida, who is also a young guy from Holland. I am also working with the British singer Example, but I don’t know how much I can say about it because we are still working on it. It is very exciting.
RS: Miley Cyrus has a big pop song where she sings about doing Molly and doing lines in the bathroom. The band Disclosure has a song that has a reference to drug use and the label pulled that offline. As a house music act, what do you think about it being okay for Miley to talk about drugs in a pop act, but when it is in a dance act it is bad?
Erik Arbores: That’s strange. When her song came out everyone thought that she was saying “dancing with Miley,” but afterwards she said that it was “dancing with molly,” which is ecstasy. It is not right that it is allowed in pop music and not in dance music. It could be because there is so much buzz around Miley Cyrus that people forget it.
RS: As someone of the age that Miley’s music is targeting, do you think that she is setting a good example for the kids that are following her?
Erik Arbores: I wouldn’t call it a good example, but on the other hand, she is an artist and I think that she is very smart because she is #1 all over the world because of the buzz that she created. It is a double-edged sword because it’s not a great example to talk about drugs, but it’s also very smart because everyone talks about them.
RS: How do you balance your production, touring, and everything else?
Erik Arbores: Sometimes it is hard because I am doing a lot more gigs these days. When I was 15, I could only play until 11pm and most parties don’t start till then. Now that I get to play at night and abroad, it’s getting busier. I just spend time at home to produce and when I get inspiration I run upstairs and make music. My main goal is to produce.
RS: What kind of reaction have all of your friends had to your career?
Erik Arbores: They think it’s great! Since my story about school was in the media they all watch and look out for me. They listen to my music too and it’s great to have their support.
RS: What do you have coming next?
Erik Arbores: My new single is “Get Ready,” and we will be making a video for it. I have had so many great responses to “Get Ready” from DJs like David Guetta and Afrojack. It was such a surprise to see all the great reactions to the track.
RS: Which DJ were you the most surprised to hear playing your track?
Erik Arbores: I sent a track to a couple of DJs and I got all of these great responses from David Guetta, Afrojack, Nervo, and a lot of other DJs. David Guetta and Afrojack are legends so they were the most exciting for me.
RS: Congratulations. If people want to follow you online what is the best way to do that?
Erik Arbores: I post the most on Twitter and Facebook, but I have YouTube and Instagram as well.
RS: How about Hyves, is that still active?
Erik Arbores: It was very strange, everyone used to be on Hyves but suddenly everyone moved to Facebook so I am not into Hyves anymore.
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Erik Arbores: I think that it is great that they like my music and support it. Keep listening to my music and thank you for all of the support!