BMEL FRESH! DEC: RISING STAR AVALAN TALKS NEW MUSIC, WORKING WITH ARMIN VAN BUUREN AND MUSICAL DREAM
Photo Credit to Rave Jungle
Article by Sheila Lim
After the beautiful opening performance on AMF 2020, Avalan is officially ready for the world to see him shine.
Valentijn Hoogwerf, or better known as Avalan, is a 24-year-old DJ, producer and vocalist hailing from Amsterdam. Home to many of the world-renowned DJs, Avalan first entered the limelight in 2018. Music has always been a part of his growing years as a result of his musical family background. He worked on multiple projects with industry leaders and played a memorable live set at AMF 2018, where he started to gain attention from worldwide audiences. His hard-work and dedication paid off as it led to a collaboration with trance legend Armin van Buuren at the end of 2019. The worldwide hit track was ‘Sucker for Love’, which was also featured on Armin’s latest album: 'Balance'. Their collaboration also led to a full United States tour alongside Armin in 2020 for his Balance Tour, right before the pandemic struck and forced almost all live shows to come to a halt.
During the challenging times that followed in 2020, Avalan went back to the studio where he began to work on many projects. As part of that process, he was inspired to create a track that best describes the feeling of being quarantined and the lack of freedom the world was faced to confront. The track is ‘World We Know’ and it was premiered at the opening of 2020’s AMF presents Top 100 DJs show. Avalan gave an astonishing and memorable performance from an empty Johan Cruijff Arena to the 7-million-strong audience that tuned into the live stream from all corners of the world.
“This world might feel lonely sometimes and there's so many people worldwide dealing with loneliness and anxiety. If I could play any role into making their lives a little bit better by letting them know they are not alone, I'm the happiest guy in the world”. That is exactly what our BMEL Fresh! Artist for December, Avalan, has created with his brand-new beautiful track ‘World We Know’. When I get word of this interview with the rising star, his positive and sweet demeanor immediately warms my heart. Here is what the charismatic and easy-going DJ wants to share with his fans:
Hello! Thank you so much for your time to do this interview. Can you tell us where you are right now and how are you doing?
Hi guys, first of all thank you for the opportunity to share a little bit more about myself with you and your readers. I'm currently in the Netherlands which is my home country. I'm doing good even though dealing with the pandemic and lack of freedom has been hard for us all. Music, family, friends and nature is what keeps me inspired nowadays.
How did you come up with the name ‘Avalan’?
I was always into names that start with the letter ‘A’. It just sounds nice! My real name is Valentijn, which is transformed into Valen -> Valan, with an ‘A’ as opening letter makes Avalan haha! I liked the three ‘As’ in my name so kept it as Avalan instead of Avalen.
What do you hope your fans can take away from the song 'World We Know'?
My intention was to make a song people can relate to and find hope in. I wanted it to be something people can hold on to and find support in. This world might feel lonely sometimes and there's so many people worldwide dealing with loneliness and anxiety. If I could play any role into making their lives a little bit better by letting them know they are not alone, I'm the happiest guy in the world.
Can we expect any more new music from you soon?
YES! I'm happy to let you know that this is just the beginning and I have a lot of music waiting to be released. Keep an eye on my socials for insights, releases, music, me and more.
How will you be spending the upcoming holiday season?
It's one of my favorite times of the year! I love how every year I get to be around the people I love the most, and counting blessings for life and the positive things that are given to us. I think that's a really special thing.
Working with Armin Van Buuren, what has been your biggest takeaway and who do you hope to collaborate with in the music scene?
Working with Armin has been amazing, it's just so inspiring to see the way that he works and connects with his fans. I am very grateful to have someone like Armin believe in me. On top of that he is such a down to earth guy who really listens to your input too. That's something I have very deep respect for.
What has always been your musical dream?
To play on the biggest venues with an act that will take people on a musical journey. Having my DJ decks on stage, my piano and guitar next to me and maybe in the future a drummer will be my dream come true. I just wanna mix the electronic dance music with my organic / band /singer songwriter background. For me, that's the perfect combination and something I will try to work towards.
Last but not least, is there anything you hope to say to your fans?
Absolutely! I wanted to say that I feel really blessed that there are people who connect with me and my music. It's something I dreamt of since I'm a little kid and something that I will never take for granted. I wanna make as much time to get to know all of you better so don't hesitate to slide in my DM to have a chat!
To say that ‘World We Know’ is a true reflection of our current situation is an understatement. Penned with emotive lyrics like ‘I know that you need a light, but we will be okay’, Avalan has perfectly captured the distinctive feelings that we have all been through with global lockdowns and the bleak state of the pandemic sweeping through 2020. Releasing two versions of the track, an original soft melodic tune and a festival anthem remix with Alterboyz, the DJ’s powerful vocals remain flawless in all versions. The best part of the song is undoubtedly the build-up of the drums and pulsating bass leading to the adrenaline pumping drop. This sets the tone of the track and ignites the inspiration for an uncertain year that light at the end of the tunnel is near.
The emotional performance at AMF2020 is only the beginning of what we can expect from the Dutch breakout star. Shortly after ‘Word We Know’, he released another special track in collaboration with Armin Van Buuren called ‘Should I Wait’ on 4th December. The wonderful track displays all the qualities of a strong vocal, solid production and beautiful piano chords. Nothing beats a chilly year-end season, getting into all those feels and cathartic cries. I personally have a penchant for melodic EDM tracks, so the music from Avalan has got my ears wide open for more breath-taking progressive tunes from our Borderless Melodies fresh artist in December.
Follow Avalan on:
Youtube: Avalan Music
Recommended songs to get you started if you are not up on Avalan yet:
“World We Know (AMF 2020 Festival Anthem)
“Sucker For Love”
“Should I Wait”