Dutch electronic maestro De Hofnar, whose real name is Jeroen Mass, has a love of electronic music that transcends multiple genres, and he sees it as a passion and something to continue to perfect. Deeply motivated, Hofnar debuted on the electronic-dance scene with his single "Oxas" that catapulted him to electronic notability with over 12 million plays on Spotify, according to his biography. His remixes of popular songs like "All Of Me" by John Legend, and other remixes of hit songs by Ed Sheeran and Macklemore, have helped his music gain listeners throughout his country and internationally. We chatted with De Hofnar about his music and remixes, his recently inked deal with Armada, and what's next for the rest of the year into 2018.
AXS: It's noted that your deep love of electronic music was kind of a love/hate relationship when you first started out. How so, and what is about electronic music that keeps you motivated to pursue playing?
De Hofnar: In my opinion real music is something that controls your emotion or gets you thinking. It doesn’t matter if it’s electronic music or an acoustic band, in the end it has to hit you at the right spot. I just love the idea that everyone in the world can download software and can try to achieve this by themselves without playing any instrument. The options with electronic music are endless and that’s what’s makes it so special.
AXS: You hit the scene big with your first single "Oxas," that had over 12 million Spotify plays...what was the response like? Was it overwhelming or something else entirely?
DH: Yeah it was quite overwhelming! It was the very beginning of this whole new “tropical” era and sounded totally different than the old EDM. People were literally searching for new tracks in this genres everyday on SoundCloud. That’s why this sound became so big in the past years. It was a kick start for my career and couldn’t dream about such a success with this debut track. I still play it in my sets!
AXS: Your remixes are just as immensely popular. How do you go about choosing which remixes for songs you'll do?
DH: In the beginning of my career I made a lot of unofficial remixes (bootlegs) of tracks by John Legend, Ed Sheeran and Macklemore. When I heard “All Of Me” I thought it was a very beautiful ballad but instantly heard that it could fit right with my style of music. In the end I have to feel the original and my ears are trained to hear what I can do with the track to remix it. Nowadays I got a lot of official remix requests and have to be very selective to choose the right tracks. It’s still one of my favorite producing things to do, remix a song and change the feeling and meaning of the track.
AXS: Recently, in 2016, you inked an exclusive deal with Armada...what's that been like, and how did it come about?
DH: I met the people of Armada earlier that year to sign my track “Back In The Day”, together with the South African band GOODLUCK. After that, I had a meeting to show them more tracks that I made in the past years. I showed them a lot of different stuff and they were very impressed and asked me if I ever thought of producing an album. Of course it’s a dream for every artist to release their own album. They gave me this opportunity and the freedom to produce music that fits me and supported me with very good A&R feedback. I’m very happy that I got this chance and the result of the album is just awesome!
AXS: You've been constantly touring since 2014...what's next for the rest of the year and into 2018?
DH: This week will be a busy week at Amsterdam Dance Events, for gigs, interviews, business meetings etc. After that, I’ll go for a little holiday to Bali to relax after this hectic summer. When I come back I’m touring again in Europe and will fly to Brazil for a tour over there in December. In 2018 my whole album finally will be released and already got some cool dates in my agenda for gigs!