The onset of technology has changed the way artists represent nowadays. The baby-faced Ørjan Nilsen is testament to that. Not yet 20, his releases on Intuition, Enhanced and Armada Recordings have established him as a force to be reckoned with in the progressive trance scene. Hailing from Norway, Nilsen is primed for his schedule of festival dates around the country – and equally, is ready to deliver exclusive performances that are sure to open a new chapter in the fan book for the youngster.
In his native Norway, the guy is well known for his ability to get the crowd fired up, with his take on chunky albeit always groovy trance that takes its influence from techno and house. There are all sort of exciting things happening in his world, least of which being the support the industry heavyweights like Armin, Above & Beyond and Ferry Corsten have lent him in supporting his tracks. And likewise, his music videos on YouTube number views in the hundreds of thousands. Yet despite all of this seemingly swift success, the current pinup boy of Norwegian trance remains balanced and down to Earth, explaining he is merely doing what he always wanted to do.
“I was always into music,” chimes Nilsen. “I came from a musical family – my father and brother were drummers, I have been playing music since I was a kid and it has always been in my life. And for me, electronic music was great because I could do everything myself from drums and bass and it ended up being the way I decided to go, because I got great feedback from the DJs I was working and playing with, so basically, I decided to really pursue it.”
And like most of his compatriots, it was the melodic and uplifting nature of trance that inspired and motivated him. “When I was about 13 years old, friends of mine came back from Sweden and trance was pretty big everywhere. I loved the trance sound because the music was all about making you smile. There was nothing unapproachable about it – everything about it appealed to me so that’s why I have chosen trance.”
This isn’t to say through, that Nilsen is a slave to the rhythm. He enjoys music from all genres and likewise finds inspiration for his productions from activities as diverse as sitting at home, to his travels, to merely looking up at the sky. “It needs to touch me in a special way. I know it sounds interesting, but I can look through a door and be inspired to make a melody. When you love making music you don’t need much inspiration to be honest. For me, inspiration has never been a difficulty.”
Indeed, remaining open minded has afforded him the luxury to explore different and unique sounds as well as ensure he doesn’t get tainted with one brush. “I have always been into many different genres. I love house and techno and as a DJ you always try to play a variety of stuff without being too particular about a sound that you are aligned to. I think today as well, with the amount of music out there, the number of bedroom DJs who are able to produce music – and do it really well – there is a real alignment of sound in this respect.
“Genres are closing in on one another – more and more, styles are borrowing elements from each other and this will keep going because it is what the fans want. It also makes the music much more interesting and it keeps it interesting for the artists who aren’t always just making one style of music.”
In the studio, Nilsen has completed two new EPs, which he hopes will be released in the European spring. He also completed a track with Armin, which debuted on his radio show – another highlight. “I’m also working on a few tracks and bits and pieces, but with the amount of touring I’m doing it can be difficult to make music but of course whenever I have the time, I enjoy working in the studio to create new material.”
Finally, he shares a few words on the forthcoming tour and in the process, tries to contain his excitement – albeit rather poorly. “I am really excited about coming down to Australia. I have loaded my USB sticks with a lot of fresh music as well as a few exclusives and new tracks that people haven’t heard before. It’s a huge festival and I can’t wait to see how people are going to react to the music that I want to be playing!” I’m sure the feeling is mutual.
Ørjan Nilsen [NOR] plays Future Music Festival alongside The Rapture [USA], New Order [UK], Fatboy Slim [UK] and many more at Flemington Racecourse on Sunday March 11.