2Dutch Music Group is a collective of several dance companies like 2Dutch, SKINK and Dutch Master Works. Online & Artist Manager Niels Veen talks to us about the industry, talent, VIRPP and what they look for in new artists. “VIRPP is an attractive breeding ground for new artists and producers.”
How did 2Dutch get started?
“It is a collective of several companies that begun with 2Dutch, a label that Wouter Janssen (Showtek) and Marcel Scheffers (DJ Marcel Woods) launched in 2007. From there, it evolved into a music group with several labels and other artist services. One of our biggest names is without a doubt Showtek. Next to label, there is a management branch that is pretty successful. For example, we provide the management for the Dutch DJ and producer Brooks. He’s worked with big names like Martin Garrix and David Guetta, made remixes for ILLENIUM and before COVID played everywhere on the globe.”
How do you search for the new talent that is constantly popping up?
“We have as hands-on approach as possible and have all of our focus on the talent. So, the team is relatively small and there is not a huge roster of artists. That said, off course, we are constantly looking for the new talent out there. Like any company, we get lots and lots of demos. The philosophy here is that everybody at 2Dutch is a scout. If you notice someone cool, you bring it to the table. For example, I am Online and Artist Manager and one of my jobs is to update our playlists every week. For that purpose, I receive lots of new music. Sometimes tracks get on my desk that would be a perfect fit for one of our labels. I forward them to our A&R department.”
You have already told us about the huge number of demos 2-Dutch receives. Can you tell us something about the quality?
“In the past, occasionally you heard demos that were just not that good. From the first moment, you could hear if somebody is just a fan or a potential professional. Nowadays, the production quality of demos is so much higher. One of the reasons behind that is the availability of stems. We are always looking for something original. Years ago, there was an EDM boom and every demo sounded the same. That is also a thing of the past. Nowadays, there are more niches for new artists. I think the next big thing will come from those niches. Making new tracks based on existing music or beats is the foundation of dance music and that is not a bad thing. But I do hope the new batch of artists will get inspired by popular and successful tracks and put their own twist on that and not release something that is already here.”
How have you come across VIRPP?
“The man behind the platform is a friend of a friend and we got introduced at Dancefair. He told me about the launch and I was intrigued. Strangely, nothing came from that. A couple of months later, one of our artists asked us to set up a remix contest with this new platform. That platform was VIRPP. We started the conversation again and within a couple of weeks the calibration started.”
What is the unique selling point of VIRPP in your eyes?
“Yes, the platform is very helpful for labels, but it is also an attractive breeding ground for new artists and producers. A place where you can drop new music and get in touch with likeminded people. For us that community is an incredibly helpful tool. If you sign an unknown talent, you don’t get the guarantee that it will be a success. On VIRPP, the community is a perfect way to test the water on a track’s potential or an artist.”
How does 2Dutch use VIRPP?
“We are a smaller label and working with VIRPP can be a cool introduction to new DJ’s, producers and fans. The ultimate plan is to streamline our demo process with VIRPP. I know other labels have already signed on. As I said before, we understand community is important so we have already started a remix contest with MR. BLACK & Richie Loop. Right now, VIRPP-members can remix their track Feel the Fire. The winner will get an upload on SKINK [the collaborative label by Showtek and 2Dutch], Soundcloud with a repost by the artists and Showtek, a DSP release and a SKINK Bomber Jacket.”