Every once in a while you come across a rare trailblazer like the young Dutch DJ/producer Oliver Heldens who stands out from the crowd with his own distinctive sound. A genuine superstar counting No. 1 hits and hundreds of millions of streams to his name, he is at the vanguard of the new generation of house music stars.
Heldens’ 2016 kicked off in perfect fashion with his rampant collaboration with Throttle, Waiting, hitting No. 1 on Beatport via his own Heldeep Records label and again demonstrating the continued hunger for his so-called ‘future house’ sound. It’s another cut that shows his skill in working with powerful vocals, and followed on from the immense success of Tiësto collaboration, Wombass, which was subsequently reissued in a vocal form as The Right Song with a little help from Natalie La Rose. Along with the massive Shaun Frank and Delaney Jane collab Shades Of Grey, it all sets the tone for his much-anticipated debut album which is set to stun when it finally sees the light of day.
Don’t hold your breath for his LP, though; as much as he is one of the most prolific and successful producers around, he is also a resolute perfectionist. Working tirelessly in his studio to craft new sounds and directions at every available opportunity, he’s a truly dedicated artist who refuses to cut corners. It’s this attitude to innovation that also saw him launch his spectacular HI-LO side project, which pushes his intricate and forward-thinking production aesthetic to its limits through the filter of hyperactive bass music.
His career has been a whirlwind of mind-boggling success since he signed to Spinnin’ Records in 2013 aged just 18. After a run of successful singles with the Dutch powerhouse, Tiësto picked up his massive Gecko, which became his major breakthrough track. Pete Tong’s FFRR imprint snapped it up and took it to the UK No. 1 spot with a vocal from Rudimental collaborator Becky Hill, with the record eventually receiving Platinum sales status. It also hit No. 2 on Beatport and stayed at No. 1 in their Deep House chart for a month, while follow-up Koala (Last All Night) hit No. 5 in the UK chart and achieved Silver sales certification. Remixes for Coldplay, Martin Garrix, Robin Thicke, Disclosure and Calvin Harris followed, and his tour diary continued to get busier and busier – with EDC, Tomorrowland, Glastonbury, Stereosonic and Coachella just a few of the world-leading events to receive the Heldens treatment including his famous shuffle over the last few years.
As well as his globally broadcast Heldeep Radio sessions, he currently holds down one of the rotation slots on BBC Radio 1’s prestigious Residency show. His residencies at Omnia Las Vegas and Ushuaïa Ibiza also continue, placing him at the epicentres of the global DJ circuit and spreading the eclectic, high-octane sound of his style behind the decks to hundreds of thousands of clubbers throughout the year. With his hilarious social media high jinx and antics to add to all this, he ensures that he’s at the forefront of his loyal and burgeoning fanbase’s minds at all times.
He may only be 21, but he’s already achieved more in three years than he could ever hope for. Humble, hard-working and exceptionally talented, it’s clear that he’s just getting started.