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HomeArtistsDon Woezik - Behind every artist's journey lies a hidden struggle

Don Woezik – Behind every artist’s journey lies a hidden struggle

The very first edition of Verknipt Poland is landing in Warsaw soon. On Friday 9th the Dutch promoter will visit the capital’s COS Torwar, accompanied by some of the most intriguing hard techno artists in the industry.

Excited, curious (and ready to dance all night with fans in our hands), we caught up with Don Woezik – one of the most prominent DJs and producers that will play at the vent. The Dutch-born, Sweden-based artist told us about his early beginnings as a professional drummer, how the Verknipt debut in 2022 changed his life and what’s the reality of the Swedish electronic music scene today.

Agata Omelanska: Hello Don, pleasure to meet you! As I know that you’ve just come back from your holidays, let’s start with an easy one: can you please introduce yourself to the Underton readers? Who are you, how did your music path start and what is your vision of electronic music?

Who are you, how did your music path start and what is your vision of electronic music?

Don Woezik: Hello! My name is Donny Van Woezik (Don Woezik). Born in the Netherlands, but moved to south Sweden with my family when I was about 6 years old. I’m 30 years old, and I’ve been playing and producing music for more than a decade now. My musical journey kicked off at a very young age, as I have always been interested in rhythms and sounds. When I was a little kid, I remember always hitting and drumming with my hands on everything I could find. So it was a natural evolution for me. My real passion for music started when I was a drummer at 12 years old, I kept doing this until I was roughly 20 years old. In the end, I realized that I could do everything on my own
on the laptop instead of being dependent on a band. I slowly got familiar with the underground scene in Sweden and also started hosting my own event series, which made me grow as an artist locally. Firstly, I didn’t enjoy DJ-ing, as I
taught myself to make music and produce, before even touching the decks. However, I eventually bought myself a Traktor S2 and also played a lot on CDJ200s, back in 2014, which was the starting point of my passion for DJ-ing.

Industrial hard techno rebel, passionate about drums and the energy coming from this instrument. As a drummer from an early age, you definitely know where the music engine starts, but how did you discover your style?

My musical journey has been quite a ride, filled with diverse experiences. It all began with making basic house beats, but as my passion deepened, so did my musical taste. There were moments when the ‘roughness’ in my creations didn’t feel quite satisfying. Gradually, as I delved into learning more about my music programs, my productions took on a more industrial vibe instinctively.

And how does your experience help you now, in terms of electronic music?

I must admit, synth work has never been my strong suit. Instead, I let the drums and rhythms do the talking for me; they’ve always been my comfort zone.

How long did it take to become a recognizable and well-acclaimed DJ? When did you feel that your music career was getting to another level and really starting to bloom?

It was not until 2-3 years ago that I started to get recognized in the scene in my career.

And which moment of your path do you consider the most important so far?

I think my Verknipt festival debut in 2022 was the most important step in becoming a recognized artist in the scene.

So I thought! Yes, your first gig at Verknipt must have been a really big and breathtaking experience. How did you feel when you were invited by one of the biggest Dutch promoters in the industry?

It was the first time playing for more than 1000 people, so this for me was a very big deal at the time. My family, girlfriend & friends from my hometown were there to support me and this show was just perfect in every way. It was the start of a very exciting journey with the Verknipt family.

Speaking about Verknipt: together with Nico Moreno, DIØN, Sept, DYEN, Raxeller, Shlømo, Vendex, and Umut, you’ll open the very first show in Poland. How do you feel about it?

I love playing in Poland! I’ve had one of the best experiences while playing there. Can’t wait to shake Warsaw to the ground with all these talented friends. It’s going to be a big one!

What makes Verknipt so special, compared to other hard techno events all around the world?

The Verknipt team is ingenious, as they’re always finding new ways to please the visitors. Everything from extremely cool light shows to making events at arenas for 35.000 people. Lately, it has also been showcasing in a lot of new countries, which I am very pleased to be a part of. Everyone who works there is working 100% for their passion for music, which makes it an even better experience. By ravers, for ravers.

Let’s be honest: is it that easy to be successful? From your experience, what was your vision of becoming an artist in the techno industry – and has the reality surprised you?

Many folks say that artists often stumble into the scene by luck or connections, but the reality is quite different. Behind every artist’s journey lies a hidden struggle, making it unfair to judge, especially in a scene that is constantly evolving.

Speaking from my own experience, my adventure has been a wild ride spanning a decade – filled with countless emails that went unanswered, a library holding more than 500 tracks left incomplete or unreleased, years of constant rejection, and moments when I felt like throwing in the towel.

The real keys, I believe, are grit and patience. Holding onto the belief that consistent effort over time will eventually pay off is crucial. It’s important not to be swayed by numbers and social media, as they can paint a misleading picture. There’s always this illusion that someone else is more successful, but everyone has their own struggles. We’re all unique in our musical expressions, and that’s something no one can take away from you.

What or who helped you to get into places you wanted to reach? Is there something specific that you’re looking for or dreaming of achieving as an artist?

It’s the incredible love and support from my devoted D.W. fans, that have made everything possible. Their constant listening, support, and enthusiasm for my passion have been the driving force. I can’t express enough gratitude to my agency and one of my closest friends, who also happens to be my manager. Together, they’ve guided me to places I never dreamt of reaching.

Last but not least: you were born in the Netherlands, but you’re based in Sweden. How would you describe the difference between your local scene and Berlin, Amsterdam, London or Paris?

I’ve been throwing parties in Sweden for as long as I can remember, and our scene here faces some of the strictest resistance from the regressive police force and government. The war on drugs is still very much a reality – even having a joint can land you six months in jail.

The Swedish government thinks that techno raves attract crime and danger to the public. They regularly shut down our events using raids and scare tactics, spreading this false idea that our parties are dangerous, rather than a community-building place that allows a well- needed break from the world at large. I’ve attended Swedish clubs where they even send in groups of 20 police officers to look for people who seem intoxicated. Because of this, the
risks are too great for promoters and the audience stops showing up because they simply
feel unsafe.

This tough situation makes it hard to teach people about our music. Most don’t know much about techno, and we can’t help them understand it, because they’re too scared to come to the events. Despite all this, seeing the global scene grow and evolve makes me extremely happy and excited. I’m proud to be part of a movement that keeps going strong.

Thank you so much for the interview, Don! I keep my fingers crossed for you and Verknipt in Poland!

Socials:

Don Woezik – Instagram

Don Woezik – Facebook

Don Woezik – SoundCloud

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