We had the chance to catch up with the minds behind the underground party, Kontrast out of Belgium recently. We’re grateful to them for not only providing us with more insight into what has made them one of Europe’s best nights around, but also an exclusive podcast/mix to share with our listeners put together by Kontrast’s Pjay. Have fun reading and listening!
Questions & Answers with Kontrast:
After reviewing the lineup of such quality DJs you’ve had since the Kontrast party began two years ago, can you tell us how this all got started?
Kontrast started as a really small party by five friends who share the love for house music. We did not have a big budget or a big venue, we just gave a party in our small local club ‘Chaoz’ with our resident deejays and some local talents. The first party, I think only 40 people showed up. But it seemed that they had a really good time because next time they brought more and more friends. In one year we went from 40 to 500 visitors. After the first year we decided it was time to go to a bigger venue because Chaoz could not handle the many visitors. So we went to Foryfive club and we booked Rhadoo as headliner. This was the start of the Kontrast parties as they are now, completely sold-out club full of party people.
I mentioned quaility DJ’s, with the likes of Raresh, Thomas Melchior & Maayan Nidam, what’s the motivation that’s driven you to book the artists you do?
The big motivation is giving our guests the best time and giving them the chance to see these quality deejays. When you see a room full of people dancing their ass off at your party it gives you the best motivation to keep giving parties and booking these quality deejays.
What do you look for in a DJ when looking to book for an event?
There is no big marketing idea behind the deejays we book, we just book the artists we love. When we have a meeting and we are creating the line-ups, we just think about the deejays we and our crowd would like to dance to.
Are there any up and coming DJs that you’ve had your eye on and how do you feel about giving emerging talent a chance to play at one of your parties?
We have some really nice deejays coming to Kontrast in the next few months. Next to the bigger names we try to put some new and upcoming talents. We really love to give young new deejays a chance to show their skills and surprise the crowd. For our last party we booked Alexandra and Miss I, next to the experienced Maayan Nidam.
What is the techhouse music scene like in Belgium and where do you think it’s main influences originate from?
Belgium has a long history in dance music and notorious clubs. We have lots of parties and clubs. As for tech house, the scene is growing at the moment. There are some nice clubs who are booking good deejays. But it is still relatively small if you compare it to the good party spots in Europe.
What kind of audiences is there in Belgium for this kind of sound, how does the city respond to what you are doing?
For the biggest party of our audience the sound we bring is really new. They are used to more commercial stuff but when they hear these underground deejays it gets to them really fast.
It’s not easy to build something from nothing and invest all your energy into an unknown outcome, can you tell us about any experiences throwing parties where you’ve hit some road-blocks along the way?
When you try to build up something you have to take some risks. And sometimes you find a road-block along the way. But we always managed to avoid these blocks for now. You always have to think good about the decisions you make.
What has been one of the more memorable parties you’ve had in the passed?
We had so many it is really difficult to pick one. But for example, we did two parties with Romanian deejays in Chaoz club the first year, one with Dan Andrei and one with Kozo. These were so much fun, the club was completely packed and we kept on going till the next day. At Forty Five every party was a big succes, our 2 year anniversary party with Praslesh was the first time we had to put the sold out sign on the door.
What are some future events that you are excited about?
The first of March we will host a party in Wood club with Priku, Charlie, Pjay, Koen & Bruni. This will be the first time we host a party in Brussels so I’m very excited about this. Two weeks later we will have the next Kontrast party in Hasselt with our friend Petre Inspirescu. He played a massive set for us last year and I’m sure he will do this again this time. Also we have Francesco Del Garda- he will play for the first time in Belgium so that’s also something to be excited about. For this we are working together with Yay, a very cool party concept from Italy. And we have some really cool stuff coming up in the summertime!
If you could describe the philosophy of Kontrast in five words, what would they be?
For the love of music!