A Sit Down With DJ Zany

Zany no longer needs an introduction as an artist. This living legend has experienced almost every evolution in Hard Dance and has been in the scene for more than 20 years. After appearing on almost every stage around the world and several albums, he thought it was time to do something new.

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How do you view the development in the Hardstyle scene in recent years?
 
Development is good and important. Of course, people are now discussing more than they are enjoying. I’m just doing my own thing. Not only the raw, but also the Freestyle has evolved in recent years. I picked this up and I host several internships with my inZanity concept. So I can completely lose my egg! 

Hardstyle seems to be becoming more and more accepted as an adult dance movement. For example, last year there was hardstyle on the ADE for the first time. Do you have the idea that hardstyle is getting more and more embraced in circles where you might not immediately expect it? 

I think the Hardstyle of today is becoming more and more accepted because the style becomes more accessible. It is becoming more and more a thing for a wider audience. 

Does this mean that you are still playing Hardstyle, or are you going to broaden Zany as an artist? 

My sets will mainly consist of Hardstyle, but in the broadest sense of the word. Freestyle is seen by the audience as narrow-minded as a ‘jump / tekstyle’ genre. But freestyle is more than that. Freestyle is simply an all-encompassing term for (in my opinion) fun music. Tapping into the stage, watching what the audience responds to and indenting to it, instead of running pre-sent sets, or just running your 15-month-old album over and over again. It just has to go loose again, because that’s what it’s all about. I became a DJ because I want to entertain people and I do that in my own ‘Zany’ way.

You did a lot of b2b performances, is this because of the Brabant cosiness or is running together just more fun than alone?
 
The organization really wanted me to run all night and I like to do that. Lately I have been playing longer sets, but mostly Freestyle. Spinning the whole evening on your own is cool, but it is even better to do this together with others. So I have invited many Fusion-related artists to come along like Noisecontrollers, Slim Shore and 2 Sidez. 

Fusion Records is one of the most important labels in the Hardstyle genre. What else would you like to achieve with the label? 

We want to remain emphatically present in the scene and we do so through our artists, who all work hard on the road. We are also very busy with social media and all the things that come with it. Through YouTube, Twitter and Facebook we keep Hardstyle-land informed of everything that happens at the label.

Recently, I read that you’re releasing a fresh new podcast, called inZanity. Could you explain what the podcast is all about?

On the 10th of September I launched my new podcast inZanity together with Fusion. It helps to broaden musical perspectives and I want to take the listeners on an insane journey across all of hard dance music. Freestyle allows me to play a lot of genres like Hardstyle, early rave, trap, jump, rawstyle and hardcore. The freestyle scene is evolving and I want to be important for this development. The launch of the first episode was a big success already!

 

 “Podcast is an ideal mix to use in the gym, whether or not for an hour of cardio, but also to hang on the irons for a while. You know for sure that you get extra energy with this kind of music!”

 

Who came up with the idea and what was the response of the Q-dance crew?

I have been active in the freestyle scene for a while now. At the end of 2014 I made the decision that my future is in this scene. It makes me enthusiastic about the music again, because I can play whatever I want. I have always been a PARTY DJ. I want to entertain the audience. So why inZanity? I discussed my future plans with my management and together we came up with this idea. There are so many podcast in hard dance music, but not one is about freestyle. Isn’t that crazy!? Well, now there is. I just love the music and it’s a way to gain more popularity for the freestyle scene. With this podcast my colleagues and I can support each other and we can reach our audience in another way than the freestyle events/stages. Q-dance is the exclusive partner at this moment. They really liked the concept and I am sure that they can play an important role in the success of this podcast. Besides Q-dance radio you can also find InZanity on YouTube, Soundcloud and iTunes.

How do you think inZanity distinguishes itself from other podcasts? 

Wide choice in terms of genres, not just raw or euphoric, but just Hardstyle-minded and here and there some music that I find fat. And that can be from stairs to drum & bass to tek. If it pops!

inZanity is a freestyle podcast. We noticed your last few releases that you are going to go this way. Is this also where your heart is at the moment? 

The standard banging started to stop me. I have been producing for about 20 years now, I have made music in many different genres, but the essence was always that I enjoyed doing it. What happens now in hardstyle is no longer a challenge for me in the studio. So I go looking for something else, which I enjoy and can put my passion into. It will always be hardstyle, but with some other influences here and there.

How does Hardstyle develop at this moment in a musical sense? 

It is actually a bit different directions. On the one hand a lot rougher than before, but on the other hand a lot quieter. The flow of Hardstyle is thus becoming very broad.

 

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