17 July 2013
Chances are if you live in Sydney and love your rough and raw hardstyle, you’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Hansel Almeida and Chris Hughes, better known as The Strangerz, in action. These two definitely don’t shy away from the heavy beats, and it shows in both their DJ sets and their productions. It’s seen them getting support from some of the biggest names in the scene, and also saw them play at this year’s Defqon.1 Festival in June. Time to find out what they’re about!
After attending Defqon.1 in the Netherlands last June, this year you were back again – but this time as artists! You played on the UV stage on the Sunday, how was it?
It was such an amazing experience playing to a Dutch crowd at a massive festival like Defqon.1. Even though we had the opening set, it was awesome to see people come running straight from the campsite and start dancing to rawstyle so early in the day, and people who also knew our tracks so well!
You’re not only growing your fanbase rapidly, but are also gaining a real following from other acts, with artists like Sasha F, Luna and Adaro (all from Holland) playing your tracks on a regular base. What is it like to be getting noticed by artists like these?
We can’t describe how we felt when we first saw these artists had played our tracks. We have been following Luna and Sasha F since we both first got into hardstyle, and had their vinyl releases. So it was completely surreal when we saw they were playing our tracks in their sets and podcasts. Also, Adaro is one of our favourite artists and we find so much inspiration from him and his productions, and our sets always have at least one Adaro track in there. When we found out Thijs was supporting one of our tracks, we couldn’t believe it!! It was truly a dream come true!
Delete – Advanced Technology (The Strangerz Remix)
You’ve also recently worked on a collaboration with Sasha F, how does that work when you’re 15,000kms apart?
We have both always loved the idea of collaborating with other artists and seeing what fellow producers can bring to a project. When we were asked by Sami (Sasha F) if we would be interested in doing a collab we couldn’t jump any quicker at the chance! To get the track started we each compiled our own distinct elements on how we wanted the track to go from a great vocal, some kicks, various melodies, screeches and sounds, and we then structured it together online and with a few tweaks “Suffocate” was born and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
What are your goals as artists? Where would you like to be in 1 year, 2 years, 10 years?
Our goals as artists are quite simple. We want to make quality tracks that appeal to us and the audience for as long as we both are passionate to do so. In the future, we would love to play at more parties around the world. We love what we do and want to share it with others that have the same passion for hardstyle as we do.
Your musical style and your sets are renowned for being pretty damn rough, what are some of the must play tunes for you?
01. Ran-D & Adaro – Under Attack: This track is a few years old now but still so damn rough and one of our all-time favourites!
02. Artic – F*ck The Fake Shit (Adaro Remix): This track has so much energy and always works the crowd hard.
03. B-Front – Mysterias: The atmosphere in this track is absolutely enigmatic!
04. Frequencerz - Bitch: Simply phat! Anyone who has heard this track will know what we mean haha.
And maybe a few The Strangerz tracks and edits in the mix also for good measure!
The Strangerz – Child’s Play
Given the size of the raw hardstyle scene as opposed to the more commercial hardstyle, what made you decide to start producing the more niche sub-genre?
The rawer side of hardstyle has always been our taste. We like the energy it brings, and also the dark mood it creates. Also screeches. We love screeches!
How was The Strangerz born? Have you guys known each other a while?
We have been friends for around seven years after meeting at a few parties in Sydney and been producing together for just over three years now. The Strangerz was born after we were both booked back-to-back for a few sets at our local club and felt that our musical tastes both leant to the harder side of hardstyle and decided to one night to try and make a track together, and here we are three years later.
It's seems to be quite a common thing for successfull Australian artists to move over to The Netherlands to pursue their career in hardstyle, is this something you'd like to do? Or keep your Aussie base and just travel over?
Up to this point in time, we haven’t given it much consideration to be honest as we have been simply focusing on pushing out the best productions we can and building our name here on home soil. We absolutely love playing to our home crowd, as it is the scene we grew in and are very proud to still have a part in, but in saying that, there is no telling what the future may hold… the world is only a plane ride away!
In preparation for their performance at Defqon.1 Australia, you can get warmed-up with a special promo mix from The Strangerz. Have a listen below.