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Wednesday 14th, April 2004
Perry O Neil

How do you know if someone is really talented when there are so many ways to define it? When it comes to making music and playing DJ-sets judging 'talent' is personal, like everything that has something to do with creativity. If you are an agent or an A&R manager, it takes a good sense of what may be successful to put faith in a talented person. Armada has found its new star. Meet Dutch DJ/producer Perry O' Neil. Perry O' Neil is a 27 years old Dutch guy. Spontaneous, cheerful and somewhat curious like many people of his age. He is the rising star at Armada, the record company that aims high with Perry. Armada heard O' Neil's first productions in the beginning of 2003 and signed the first tunes a couple of months later to the record division. David Lewis, partner in Armada, got caught by the unique sound in both Perry's productions and DJ sets so he wanted to work with him as a DJ as well. Although Perry has not released a lot so far, several of his tracks already have been played by DJ's like Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Markus Schulz, Matt Hardwick and Ben Lost. Perry O' Neil is one of those guys who has been spinning for years and years, always dreaming of the day on which he would stand in front of thousands of people that came to see him in particular. There were times that he hesitated about the sense of continuing to pursuit a dream that seemed to hard to realize, but then he was always reminded by himself of his undying love for dancemusic. Then came the interest of Armada in his productions. The style of Perry O' Neil differed from the most other demo's they receive daily and under guidance of Armada Perry succeeded in delivering improved tracks. No wonder his first release on St. John vs Locust (A State of Trance) was a success. But what is that unique sound Perry O' Neil masters? Perry himself describes it as progressive melodic house. Perry: "It is not really trance the way Tisto and Armin van Buuren play it. My sound is a mixture of different elements of different styles. I like melodic repeating lines, and you can easily hear the tribal influences in my tracks. I always try to put a certain energy in the track, like a kicking bassline or a break that is full of tension which builds up to a climax. During the break I like to see the audience with its eyes closed, lifting off from the dancefloor, only to return when the climax is there. In general you could say I am fond of progressive melodic house." Perry, modest as he is, knows that there is a long way to go but there is a lot of confidence in himself as well. Perry: "If you really want to achieve something, you have to give everything you have to chase that dream. Now that I have that opportunity to build on my career in music, I will capture it with both hands." A career both in producing and DJ-ing that is, for Perry likes the both of them equally. "In both I can put al my creativity and to judge on the reactions of the crowd and the people on internet I am getting better in what I do each day. However, I will always keep both feet firmly on the ground." Being down-to-earth is a quality of character Maykel Piron of Armada appreciates in Perry. No wonder he likes to work with him. Maykel: "Perry has a good ear for music and he is straight forward. Therefore we have asked him to do A&R work for our Electronic Elements label. Whether a demo is sent by a famous producer or a talent, Perry gives his honest opinion. We are glad to have him with us." For Perry himself the most important thing in life is to live it in the most joyful way possible. Perry: "That positive approach of life is something you must have if you want to be a good DJ. No one likes a DJ who has obviously no fun in what he is doing." And Perry certainly shows he is having fun when he is behind the decks. An attitude that, combined with his undeniable talent, may very well make him the next Dutch star.

Name: Perry O'Neil
Aliases: Locust, True Form
Age: 27
Website: http://www.perryoneil.com
Nationality: Dutch
Favorite DJ(s): Sander Kleinenberg, Markus Schulz, Remy, Harry Lemon, John Digweed, Sasha..
Favorite Producer(s): Infusion, Harry Lemon, Markus Schulz, Roland Klinkenberg, Gabriel & Dresden, Remy, Lexicon Avenue, zgr Can, Bart van Wissen..
Favorite Tune(s): LSG - Netherworld, Metro Dade - The Andor Voyage, R-Factors - G Explorer
Favorite Label(s): Electronic Elements, SAW, Choo Choo, Bedrock..

Hoi Perry! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Hows life in Holland treating you ?
Heej Stian! Your welcome, Im happy to do this! Life in Holland is treating me very nice, apart from the bad weather occasionally, but besides that Ive got nothing to complain at this moment!

Tell us a bit about yourself, who is Perry ONeil ? For people not knowing your sound, how would you portray a characteristic DJ set and production of yours ? What genres can one expect to hear ?
Well Im one of those guys whos been playing house music for a long time. Played various genres but in the end I got hooked on progressive house. Nowadays I think it has become harder to put a tag on music. There are so many styles and substyles (cross genres), but on the other hand you can easily select tunes which go towards another direction but still relate to your own sound. I describe my own sound as melodic progressive house. I believe my records reflect this sound. In my dj sets I like to warm up with more deeper stuff and then build it towards more energetic tracks.

What triggered your interest for electronic dance music ? Which artists were your inspirational source, or should I say: idols ?
When I was becoming a teenager I used to listen that typical Dutch thing called Gabber (Hardcore). All my friends and I were into that from the first time we got our hands on a tape from a club it. It was simply new and cool. It soon became a rage to collect tapes and flyers from all sorts of similar events. My musical interest evolved and I became a real trance addict, especially after hearing Paul van Dyks Emergency 911. Shortly after I sold all my hardcore stuff and got into trance. At that time I also spend a lot of hours in Belgian clubs where they played a lot of stuff from M.I.K.E. which I allways loved to hear.

In regards to producing, do you prefer hardware or software ? Which sequencer do you use, and what does your precious setup consist of ?
When I first started producing I used hardware and Cubase as a sequencer. Nowadays I use only software to create my tracks, I really enjoy this software environment. It allows me to work quite fast. On the otherhand I would like to get my hands on some hardware in addition, it delivers a different sound. But for the moment Im really comfortable with my current setup.

Last year your career really sky-rocketed, earning support from majors such as Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Ben Lost, Jon OBir and Markus Schulz. Has it been a long road waiting, and what did you think when people first started noticing your work ?
Well, in some ways it was a long road waiting. From around 1995 I occasionally djed locally, which was allways good fun but very competitive, besides that nothing really worthwhile mentioning happened before 2003. Like you described above, at some point I my productions were picked up by some known djs and thats how I gained interest from some labels. I submitted a few new tunes to Armada and as it turned out, they really liked that angle I have in my productions. This inpspired me so much that I almost spend my whole summer in my small and hot little studio to produce even more. I spent hours and hours in my room, while my friends were on the beach having fun in the sun. But I did not care about that at all right then. I felt like I was presented this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I really went for it and kept going up into my room practically everyday to achieve that one thing that I would have never thought to be possible... ...one of my own tracks being released on a respected label and being played by a famous dj. I will never forget when I saw a chart of Markus Schulz for the first time with one of my tracks in it, I could not stop mentioning it to my friends. Shortly after I was listening to Armin van Buurens A State Of Trance on ID&T Radio and I almost felt from my chair when I heard my very own tune being mixed in. I think I must have called everybody in my cellphone when I looked at my telephone bill afterwards, but what the heck, I was so excited, that was like the coolest thing ever!!!

Over the last couple of months youve remixed renowned acts such as Motorcycle, Katana, Ronski Speed, Gavyn Mitchel, Hemstock & Jennings and more. How did these come about, and do you have any other remixes lined up ? Youve also done collabs with Robert Nickson, St.John and Jon OBir, any additional treats in the making ?
Im very pleased with how those remixes turned out. I was very excited to remix the biggest anthem of 2003! I my remixes I allways try to approach them from a different angle. Best way to explain it is to look at my As The Rush Comes Instrumental Mix. If the vocals were not in it most people would say it has nothing to do with Motorcycle. The original version has so much energy and thats what inspired me. There were various remixes available already so I decided to start my remix from another angle then the other remixes. My Katana remix was actually not an official remix, I just really liked the driving beat in that track and one day I woke up with this idea for a melody so I sampled various elements and created my own version. I did some Tracks with Robert Nickson and a few of them have seen support from a few djs already. One track called Forbidden Colours will be released on one of the Armada imprints in a short period. Another one with Robert is called Mind which is a deeper progressive tune and is featured on Coldharbour Sessions by Markus Schulz. I recently finished remixes for Gavyn Mitchel and Ronski Speed. Currently Im working on a remix for zgr Can. While Im answering your questions I realize that Ive been been quite a busy bee, but that simply is because of the things that have happened in the past few month I got loads of inspiration from that!

Armadas Electronic Elements, whom you do A&R work for, has snapped up a lot of your own material, tracks like Kubik and Breaking Away early found there home. Are you working on any new material at the moment, or focusing more on your DJ career ?
Im taking it all step by step. Currently Im focussing on new productions. Coming up on Electronic Elements is Peter Martin Perfect Wave and after that I will release 2 new tracks called Fuel and Cold Fusion, both on the same vinyl (ELEL004). My dj career is also going uphill at the moment, more bookings are starting to get in. Im not djing every weekend but this allows me to spend much time in the studio and make mixes for online radio guest mixes. I have two internetradio residencies, one is on Basisbeats.net (every 4th Sunday of the month) and the other is on Rotationz (every 2nd Sunday of the month).

As a DJ, youve played alongside Armin van Buuren, M.I.K.E., Markus Schulz and several more. Whats it like playing alongside such talented DJs and producers ? Whats your most memorable gig, both good and bad ? Do you have any favourite club/venue ?
Im very, very fortunate to have played besides such renowned djs. My coolest experience was the first Armada night last year in Amsterdam, it was a large club and it was my first big event and I was on the lineup amongst Armin, M.I.K.E. Lange, Pulser and Signum, what a night that was!!! Secondly I joined the Armada crew this year to the WMC in Miami where I played with Harry Lemon and Remy. It was my first time in America whatsoever, so I was very excited. My friends were having bad weather at home and I was walking in my t-shirt on Ocean Drive thinking Can it get any better? ...I really felt like a lucky b*stard! Definately a milestone for me!

In terms of DJing and producing, who do you predict (besides yourself) will rise and make a name for themselves this year ? Any talents out there that deserves some extra attention ?
In the past year Ive heard some really nice stuff around. Im allmost afraid to say some names, cause I might forget a few people here. But to give some examples of some really talented guys: zgr Can, Robert Nickson, Mark Otten, Haak, Subsphere, Alucard, Bart van Wissen, Eelke Kleijn, Elevation, Marris (Cor), Progresia, Filo & Peri, Galen, Serge Devant, St John (sorry if I left someone out)...

There are a lot of online radio shows at the moment. You just appeared on popular shows as ASOT, Global DJ Broadcast, Oslo Nights, Tranceaddict, Basicbeats. Whats your favourite show, and where would you like to spin one day, the ultimate challenge ?
The guestmixes at Armins show ASOT on ID&T were of course a milestone for me. Im doing a guestmix for Blank & Jones on N-joy radio this month, which Im looking forward to as well. And the set for Oslo Nights was one I enjoyed much also. So many challenges left I think, lets see what the future might bring, Im quite satisfied already!

Every DJ has some secret weapons in his bag, which ones are yours ? Whats your top 10 records at the moment ? Which records/classic never leaves your bag ?

My top current top 10 is:

01. Bart van Wissen - One Reason/A Better Way [Lowriders]
02. Pinkbox Special - Simple [cdr]
03. zgr Can - Over Nothing At All [cdr]
04. Intelligence Syndicated - After Universe (Original Mix) [Vapour]
05. Peter Martin - Perfect Wave [Electronic Elements]
06. Alucard - Lighthouse [cdr]
07. Perry ONeil - Fuel [Electronic Elements]
08. Audioholics - External Key [cdr]
09. Subsky - Albino (Benz & MD's Aurium Rmx) [Nascent]
10. Gavyn Mitchell Insurrection (Perry ONeil Remix) [Armada]

Never leaves the bag:

LSG - Netherwold
Pete Lazonby - Sacred Circles
Bedrock - Heaven Scent

Whats your all time top five albums/compilations, and why ?
01. Inner Sanctuary Sessions by Lemon8 Why? Pure quality, outstanding performance!
02. Coldharbour Sessions by Markus Schulz Why? Its the very first cd I am featured on happy
03. Global Underground 16 by Dave Seaman Why? Just rocking!
04. Nubreed 004 by Sander Kleinenberg Why? Awesomeness!
05. Nocturnal Fequencies 03 by Danny Howells Why? Again a piece of quality!

Summer 2004 is approaching rapidly, what are your plans/goals for this year ?
Actually Ive not planned anything in particular. I just keep on doing what I love, making music and playing tunes.

Alright mate, that wraps it up, do you have any final words for all your fans out there ?
As a matter of fact I do want to say THANK YOU to everybody who has supported me so far!

Related links:
http://www.perryoneil.com
http://www.armadamusic.nl


Written by:
LikWit

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