Meet Spark & Shade, a very innovative Dutch Trance duo, made up of Gert van Wout and Matthijs Duijm. When I heard the first few notes of their upcoming single “Sinners And Saints”, I had to explore their other tunes, and why not their music career as well… It turns out they have been pumping out melodic Trance jams for a couple years now. These guys graciously agreed to answer a few of our questions. You will be able to find out why they’re so talented below!
1 – Hey thanks for accepting this interview. First up, can you describe your music?
Thanks for having us ☺ Well the name Spark & Shade is no coincidence if you hear our music I think. We like melodic, we like edgy clubby beats and we try to combine it into a sound that shows a spark as well as a shaded side, sometimes in one and the same track, but I think it is more about our overall sound we want to make: sometimes more melodic and emotional, sometimes just for the clubs.
2 – Who is your biggest electronic music influence?
Maybe trance, but it differs from time to time which artist we’re really liking, but the melodic and emotional music from Above & Beyond is something we love at the moment, so almost automatically artists that belong to the Anjuna label like Arty, Ilan Bluestone, and Andrew Bayer. We also like Cosmic Gate, Andy Duguid, and Super8&Tab.
3 – As a music duo, how do you craft more individuality in the music you create?
Though we both are DJ/Producers we have a bit of a different background. Gert really is the studio guy and has a great feel for the arrangement of our tracks. Matthijs is the label manager for ‘Above All’ and more of a DJ, so he looks from a different angle to tracks and the combination of this is our strength. We both know how to DJ and how to produce but have different strengths and specializations.
4 – What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
The basics of the track go back to maybe even 2008/9, one of the first times we worked on a collab. The piano part in the break was one of the leading parts in that track, which was never released. We found it and dusted it off and at the moment we were working on it, we also had 2 tracks that Goshen Sai was writing for and thought it would be nice to see what he would come up with and he did an awesome job at that!
5 – Out of all the clubs, concerts and locations you have performed, what place had the best energy for the development of your sound?
Amsterdam Dance Event 2014 was a great one. (Trance Academy). The international crowd from all over the world really was there because of their passion for Trance and you really felt it during the set.
6 – What music do you have in the works now?
Too much to mention actually! We are still working on finding the best way to finish things up a bit faster, and we have several vocal tracks we’re working on and some other concepts… it is time to lock ourselves into the studio ☺
7 – How do your parents feel about your music?
Matthijs: Unfortunately my father passed away a few years ago, but he was a big music lover. The big beats where not really for him, but he liked the classical influences in a lot of Trance tracks. I don’t think he would have listened to it unless he had to because I put up the speakers so loud. Same for my mom I guess, but I think our music tastes differ more.
Gert: I come from a family where music plays a big role. My father, as an audio engineer, recorded several rock bands and musicals. My mother likes to play several instruments like acoustic guitar. When I was young they didn’t see any future for me in music. Right now they’re supporting me in everything I do and they actually like the music that we make on a good day. Especially the breaks.
8 –What is the one pinnacle highlight of your career?
So far, our remix of Divinity on ASOT was a great start for Spark & Shade, but the highlight was that it was also used on Armin’s A State of Trance Yearmix 2015!
9 – Speaking on live shows, what’s your favourite part?
The moment you feel the crowd is going with you! We always carefully pick tracks to build a set and create a dynamic flow that takes you away, when after a few tracks the crowd gets that, and goes “all-in”, you know it is a good set ☺
10 – Finally, what’s the future for Spark & Shade?
Sparkling hopefully ! But as we mentioned earlier.. We have a lot of concepts at the moment that we really love and expecting to do well, so when we finish this and can share this with you that will be great. We also have upcoming gigs in Prague, Finland and the Netherlands, so we’ll be staying busy for the coming months!