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Saturday 22nd, April 2006
Jonas Steur

Jonas Steur, born in 1982 in Belgium, is already into music since he was very young. Influenced by his father's favorite 70's progressive rock with it's wealth of synthsounds and his mother's classical music Jonas got his taste for both beautifull melodic and rougher electronic music. After a lot of messing arround with cheap Casio keyboards Jonas got his hands on a set of turntables when he was 15 and started discovering the world of vinyl too. The urge for making his own tracks got very strong resulting in a first record deal when he was 17. (Silvertear - So Deep) The next few years he kept improving his production skills and released a number of tracks in different styles ranging from hardhouse to a trance track for the succesfull Ian van dahl album 'Ace' in 2002. End 2003 the alias 'Estuera' emerged when the first Estuera E.P. 'Travels / 7 Clouds ' got signed to Tiësto's Black Hole Recordings. In a quick tempo some other releases followed in 2004 on different Black Hole sublabels like 'In Trance We Trust' and the big trance hit 'Estuera - Tales From The South' on Tiësto's personal 'Magik Muzik' imprint. Jonas also got in contact with Paul Moelands and Menno de Jong who were in the process of setting up their 'Intuition' sublabel under Fundamental Recordings. In 2005 the first intuition release saw the light, 'Jonas Steur - Castamara / Silent Waves' and got massive support by every top DJ in the trance scene! Another big accomplishment was the collaboration between Paul Moelands and Jonas, 'Estuera vs Re:Locate - Palma Solane', wich got featured on the huge 'In Search Of Sunrise 4' Tiësto mix CD and vinyl sampler. A new alias by Jonas Steur has emerged on 'Intuition Recordings': 'Fable', under this name the collab with Fabrice Ernst, a track called 'Above' and Jonas' solo track 'Nightshift' will be released. 'Nightshift' already has been spotted on Tiësto's playlist and 'Above' has been played by Armin van Buuren in his radioshow a couple of times (Tune Of The Week and Future Favorite) and was also featured in his set on Trance Energy. Thanks to all the attention for these tracks Jonas got the chance of doing a number of remixes for projects such as Haylon, Elles de Graaf, Solar Stone, Fabb X, Re:Locate, and more to come... Jonas Steur also started making a name in the DJ business, playing gigs in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Poland in 2005. Including the first edition of Tomorrowland in Belgium and a couple of succesfull Intuition Events in club Asta in The Hague, Netherlands.

Trance.nu: Jonas, how are you doing at the moment?
Jonas Steur: I’m doing fine, thanks!

Trance.nu: When did you exactly start with producing music?
Jonas Steur: Well, in 2000 I actually started with releasing my own productions. But a few years before that, I was already busy with trying some things out etc. It was on January 8 in 2000 when I released my very first record! Around 1,5 year before that release I had bought myself a Roland MC-303 Groovebox. Together with a friend of mine, Kris Poelmans, we made a lot of music on that one! Later we met Pascal Schutters, who was making music with Cubase. He also had some more equipment and he explained us how everything worked. So from that moment it became more serious! I also bought myself a computer and some other equipment as well. Later on I got in contact with the 2 producers behind the Ian van Dahl project, Christophe Chantzis and Erik Vanspauwen. So as you can see everything went step by step and just pretty smoothly to be honest.

Trance.nu: And what was your first release ever?
Jonas Steur: That was ‘Silvertear - So Deep’ on ‘Anaconda’, a sublabel by A&S Recordings, which is the recordcompany where Lasgo, Ian van Dahl etc. released their tracks. Back in 2000 they had some other labels, which were meant more for the music in the clubs. ‘Anaconda’ was the trancy label. So my first release was already a trance track. ‘So Deep’ was nothing very special, but it did pretty well on some Japanese complaitions and even a playstation game for some strange reason, so not bad for a first release!

Trance.nu: You just said it yourself, but a few years ago you did the track ‘Tomorrow’ for the Ian van Dahl album ‘Ace’. How did you came in contact with Christophe and Erik, the producers behind the Ian van Dahl project?
Jonas Steur: A friend of mine,Pascal, who lives in the same city as I do, already released some tracks on the ‘Jumper’ label, known from their commercial stuff like Da Boy Tommy and Da Rick. He already had contacts with recordcompanies like Dance Opera for example. And he also knew Christophe Chantzis before he started producing his own music. Around that time Christophe started with his ‘Absolom’ project. My friend introduced me to Christophe and Erik and later on we made a visit to their studio a few times. Sometimes I gave them my demo’s, so they could listen to them and tell me their opinion about it. Christophe and Erik also started their ‘Ian van Dahl’ project and they were busy with producing the first album. One of my demo’s was the track ‘Tomorrow’. They both really liked that one, so we agreed on using that one for the album. So that just happened!

Trance.nu: At Black Hole Recordings you’re releasing tracks under the ‘Estuera’ project. On both their labels Magik Muzik and the Black Hole label itself, you released a few tracks like ‘Tales From The South’, ‘Travels’ and ‘Red Shores’. The latest release ‘Flow’ was already on the latest ‘In Trance We Trust’ mixcompilation by Phynn. When can we expect a release of ‘Flow’?
Jonas Steur: ‘Estuera - Flow’ was just released a few weeks ago. It really took a long time before the release, but it’s out now so you should be able to find it in stores now. In the meantime I also did a remake of the ‘Estuera’ track ‘Tales From The South’, but I’m not sure if they will also release this one as a separate record. Of course the track is featured on the Tiësto mixcompilation ‘In Search Of Sunrise 5’ and it will be on the vinyl sampler. For the rest I don’t have any new ‘Estuera’ tracks finished, because other projects are important as well, haha!

Trance.nu: On the ‘In Trance We Trust’ label you released a track under the projectname ‘Propylon’. The track ‘Exile’ was released over there in 2004. Can we expect a follow up for this one in the near future?
Jonas Steur: ‘Propylon’ is a sort of a side project. In the meantime I’ve also started a new project called ‘Fable’, on ‘Intuition Recordings’. I’ve also have my own ‘Jonas Steur’ project with them as well, so for now I’m going to concentrate myself more on those projects. Maybe I’ll do a new ‘Propylon’ track later, but for now there are now plans for that. Sometimes when I’m busy with a new track, I’ll listen to it and then I can choose for what project I’m going to use it. The funny thing is that when I was busy with a follow up for the ‘Propylon’ project,eventually it became a track for the ‘Fable’ project. The track ‘Nightshift’ was first meant to be a ‘Propylon’ track to be honest, haha! So you’ll never now how it goes when you start with a track.

Trance.nu: The track ‘Castamara’ is the first track that was released under your own name ‘Jonas Steur’. It was also the very first release on the ‘Intuition Recordings’ label by Paul Moelands and Menno de Jong. How did you get in contact with them?
Jonas Steur: That was around the time that I’ve made ‘Tales From The South’, a track under my ‘Estuera’ alias. That track was just signed to Tiësto’s label and Tijs started to spin that one a lot in his sets as well. He also played it at the ‘Just Be’ album release party and both Paul and Menno were overthere. The week after they both emailed me if they could have ‘Tales From The South’ on promo, haha! Since that time we started to talk to eachother on MSN and they told me about their plans to set up a label. Their plans sounded very good to me and of course it was interesting for me to start a project on a completely new label. So I was a bit involved with everything from the very first start. It all went very naturally and the first release… well, we all know that that was a great success! Haha!

Trance.nu: Of course we want to know if we can expect a follow up for ‘Castamara’ soon. Do you have any news about that one already?
Jonas Steur: The new Jonas Steur E.P. is already finished and it will be a nice one! One side I have to keep as a secret for now and the track on the other side is called ‘Second Turn’. That one is also featured on the new ‘In Search Of Sunrise 5’ compilation by Tiësto. The style is a bit different if you compare it with the first Jonas Steur release, but the reactions from the audience are great! I played it myself a few times of course and I’ve also heard Menno playing it, so the audience seems to like it, which is the most important thing of course! Tiësto also plays it and he also likes it he said, so I hope that the track will do very well after its release.

Trance.nu: And when can we expect it in stores?
Jonas Steur: That will be somewhere around September 2006.

Trance.nu: You just told about ‘Fable’, the project you’re doing together with Fabrice Ernst. What can you tell us about this one?
Jonas Steur: For the ‘Fable’ project I teamed up with Fabrice Ernst, who’s also a Belgian producer. We did the track ‘Above’ together, while ‘Nightshift’ was done only by myself. I think this is not a one time only project. It’s not that we’re already busy with a follow up, since the first one is just released. But everything looks fine, Armin van Buuren is already playing it and Tiësto, Paul van Dyk, Above & Beyond and some others as well, so I’ll expect that we’re going to do a follow up for this one for sure!

Trance.nu: I also noticed a remix done by Paul Moelands under his ‘Re:Locate’ alias of the track ‘Nightshift’. Will that one see a release as well?
Jonas Steur: Yes, Paul did an awesome remix of ‘Nightshift’ indeed! Unfortunately that one will not be released on the vinyl, but it will see a release as an exclusive digital download. I really hope that a lot of people will download that one as well, since it’s a great remix in my opinion!

Trance.nu: And when can we expect the vinyl release of ‘Fable’ in stores?
Jonas Steur: It's just out now!

Trance.nu: Are you going to do more projects on ‘Intuition Recordings’?
Jonas Steur: Well, I already have 2 projects there now; the ‘Fable’ project together with Fabrice Ernst and my own ‘Jonas Steur’ project. ‘Intuition Recorings’ is a pretty small label for now, so I think 2 projects should be enough for now. But you never now what the future brings! Maybe I’m going to produce some techno music as well. We’ll see!

Trance.nu: And other labels?
Jonas Steur: To be honest I don’t have plans for that at all. I’m on Black Hole Recordings and Intuition Recordings with a few projects now. With only 2 labels it’s already a bit hard sometimes to keep everybody satisfied! I don’t see any reason to go for another trance label to be honest, but I can imagine that I’ll might try to release a techno track on a techno label like Intec for example. That would be the only reason for me to search for a different label. I have this idea in my head for a while now, but first I’ve got to find myself some time to do that of course!

Trance.nu: Will there be any collaborations of you with other producers?
Jonas Steur: Recently Fabrice and I did the ‘Fable’ project together. For the rest I’ve did a track together with Paul Moelands for his new artist album. Paul and I also did a remix together, but I can’t really tell you something about that yet, since it’s still a bit of a secret. I can only say that it’s for a new artist on ‘Fundamental Recordings’ and that it will be a ‘Estuera vs Re:Locate’ remix. I’m really happy myself with the result to be honest! For the rest I don’t have any collaborations scheduled. I’m seeing Paul Moelands a lot and recently we’re doing a lot of things together, but that’s not planned. We’re just in the studio and there we will see what happens.

Trance.nu: And when you’re doing a track or a remix together with Paul, how do you guys doing that? Is he always coming to your studio, or are you going to his studio? Or do you both work a lot with internet?
Jonas Steur: Sometimes we’re starting with a track on the internet, but now we’re just visiting each other. So sometimes I’m going to his studio and sometimes Paul is here. Working together with the help of internet does work, but I have to admit that it works better if you’re together in the studio. When a track is almost finished, it’s okay for me if we’re sending it to each other by internet, since the structure etc. is already set. But when you’re working together, everything goes faster, better and smoother, so I’ll prefer that myself.

Trance.nu: Besides producing, you’re also did some remixes for ‘Re:Locate’, ‘Solar Stone’, ‘Elles de Graaf’ and some others. Can we expect other remixes done by you soon?
Jonas Steur: I recently finished a remix for the Mr. Sam track ‘Split’. The vocals on this track are done by Kirsty Hawkshaw. The original version is a breakbeat track which is also on the Mr. Sam artist album. When Sam let me listen to the track, I was like “There really has got to be made a nice trance remix of this one!”. So I did one, haha! I don’t have an idea when it will be released to be honest.
For the Niklas Harding project ‘Arcane’ I’ve did a remix for his track ‘Ice Beach’. That one should see a release very soon. And for now I also have a new remix scheduled, but I was told to keep this one as a secret, so I can’t tell you anything about that yet.
The remix I did for the ‘Solar Stone’ classic ‘The Calling’ will see a release around August / September on the Lost Language label. ‘The Calling’ is one of the first (or even the first!) track that was released by ‘Solar Stone’ back in 1997.

Trance.nu: Are there any tracks that you would like to remix and why?
Jonas Steur: I always have a very sentimental feeling when I’m listening to ‘Chicane - Offshore’. I don’t know why that is, but that track always reminds me of summer and the good times of trance music. I already have done a mash up bootleg remix of it, combined with my ‘Estuera’ track ‘Flow’. But I would love to do an official remix of ‘Offshore’. Or just something else by ‘Chicane’. I just love his productions! He produced some tracks in 1997 and those tracks can still be played nowadays in DJ sets and I’m sure that a lot of people won’t even recognize that it’s an old production! I mean, the style and the production quality of Chicane’s older tracks are absolutely amazing! With most older tracks compared with new tracks, you’ll definitely hear the difference, but Chicane’s tracks already had that quality! He’s just a top producer!

Trance.nu: We’re in your studio now. Can you tell us what kind of equipment you’re using?
Jonas Steur: Almost everything is PC based. So I’m using a big PC with Cubase on it. A lot of VST instruments and plug ins. I’m using an old Yamaha CS1X keyboard as well and 2 Behringer Truth monitors. I think that’s all, maybe it sounds a bit boring, but for me it works perfect, hahaha!

Trance.nu: Do you prefer software or hardware to produce with?
Jonas Steur: I started in 1999 with hardware because there was almost only hardware back then. Well, there were some VSTi’s, but that was all really new and very limited. Things like ‘Reason’ weren’t even there then, so I started myself with a synthesizer, a sampler and stuff like that. In the time I started, I had to do everything with those few pieces of equipment, while there were other producers who already had a modern and professional studio full of nice equipment. So when the software packages became better, I decided to invest some money in software instead of hardware. I bought myself a good computer and Cubase vst. So I was pretty early with software and I have to say that I don’t regret that choice at all!

Trance.nu: How long does it take you to finish a production or a remix?
Jonas Steur: If I have the right idea it can be fixed very quickly. So sometimes I finish a production or a remix even in one or two days. But sometimes it can be that I’m already busy for a week with searching for idea’s for a production or a remix. I don’t count that as production time myself to be honest. But when I have the right idea, I normally finish a production or a remix within a week.

Trance.nu: You’re also busy with your DJ-career. What was the best party that you have performed at so far?
Jonas Steur: I always like the ‘Intuition Recordings’ events a lot! But I’ve also been to Poland in 2005 to club Protector in Ostrow. The promoter already told me that it was a really big club, but when I entered the club there were around 6000 people! For me it was the first time that I played for such a big audience. The event was great, so I’ll remember that one a long time for sure!

Trance.nu: Where can people expect you in the next couple of months?
Jonas Steur: At the end of April I will perform in Helsinki on one of the “I Love Kiksu” events. It’s a pretty well known organisation in Finland and it seems that they always have wicked parties, so I’m really looking forward to play there. In May I will perform on a small party in Leuven, here in Belgium and during summer I will be in Hungary a bit later Tomorrowland and hopefully on the Loveparade in Berlin, Germany as well! And there are some other booking requests as well, but those aren’t confirmed yet.

Trance.nu: Are you already busy with producing music fulltime or are you still going to school as well?
Jonas Steur: Since the beginning of 2006 I’m busy with making music fulltime. Before that I also did it, but then it wasn’t really ‘official’. But a few months ago I decided to take the step and see how it would go. So far 2006 is a very good year for me, so I don’t regret it at all! I hope that my success will evolve in the future, but for now it all looks good. I think that it should be possible to make a good living in the music industry. I’ll try to combine my producing, DJ-ing and I’ll hope to be active in the music scene. The ‘golden years’ are over, if I have to believe stories that ‘veterans’ are telling me. But you can still make a living in the music industry and besides that, producing the music you like is just awesome! I’m going to sleep every night with a big smile on my face! When I was 16 years old, I always said “this would be my perfect job”, so you can understand that I’m really happy that I’m actually doing it right now!

Trance.nu: So you have made a job out of your hobby!
Jonas Steur: That’s right! And hey, that’s what everybody wants, isn’t it?

Trance.nu: Do you have other hobbies besides music?
Jonas Steur: I like to go to the movies together with friends, or just going out or some other things all together. From time to time I like gaming as well.

Trance.nu: What is your personal highlight in your music career so far?
Jonas Steur: I’m really proud of the fact that I got myself some tracks on Tiësto’s ‘In Search Of Sunrise’ compilation. Those compilations were always very special for me, so when I had a track on edition 4 I was like ‘Wow!’. And now I’m on edition 5 with 2 tracks! Haha! I was like “What’s going on?”, so production wise that’s really the highlight for me! And with DJ-ing… well, I just started with that, but I can remember that I really liked it when I had my first gig abroad. If you really think about it, it sounds so strange: Somebody is paying me to have a short holiday and I have to play music and have fun myself as well! Hahaha! Of course it’s heavy as well, since you don’t sleep a lot and you have to travel much as well. Like a few weeks ago, when I had to play in Milan, Italy. I arrived at midnight and on 7:30 in the morning I already flew back, so that’s pretty tough sometimes!

Trance.nu: What can we expect of Jonas Steur in the near future?
Jonas Steur: A lot of new productions of course. It all just started for me, so I hope I can deliver some nice tracks in the future as well! I’m also going to try to produce some other styles, like some techno tracks for example, since that’s one of the other styles that I like a lot. And I hope I can make some soundtracks for games and such as well, because I personally think that that’s really an interesting challenge! As I DJ I’m trying to play at a lot of different and nice places in the future. I’m only 23 years old now, so I think I can keep on doing this for a while, haha! I’m just going to try to make the best of it and I like to see what I can reach in my musical career. And for the near future… well, I can imagine that there will be an album for one of my projects. There are already a few plans for it to be honest, but that’s in a very early stadium, so there’s nothing yet confirmed. And maybe there will be a Jonas Steur mix compilation as well, but also for that, there is nothing confirmed yet really. Just some vague plans, but I think that both things will happen eventually. So you’re not going to get rid of me soon.

Trance.nu: Thank you for your time and good luck in the future!
Jonas Steur: Thank you too for your interest as well!

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