Interview: Dutch artist Cesqeaux on Growing Up in Amsterdam, Balancing DJ-Student Life & Drinking Hennessy

Photo by All Is Amazing (www.allisamazing.com)

Cesqeaux’s ability to put his own unique stamp on any production has led him to craft hit records with the elite of the music industry and carve a solid name at many big festivals. Besides having his trademark hairstyle and bold fashion sense, he is a producer, performer, songwriter and is recognised as an imposing figure even beyond the electronic music scene.

Known for utilising every beat of each track to create the unique Cesqeaux sound, the Dutch producer’s attention to detail is what really sets him apart. Cesqeaux latest EP XXX is out now on Martin Garrix’s label STMPD RCRDS, and is destined to leave a mark on the dance scene.

JUICE checked out the recent Hennessy Night on 7 December and got to hang-out with Cesqeaux himself. Here’s what he had to say… 

XXX EP had a track named ‘Amsterdam’. Is this track a homage or representation of some kind?
Most definitely! I’ve lived in Amsterdam for a while now. It really shaped my sound – it’s hard, fast, energetic and that’s kind of what happens in Amsterdam. It has a lot of energy and good music. There’s even a line in the record that says, “+31” – that is the country’s code. At least you’ll know the code when you want to call us!

That’s cool! Our’s would be +60… 
PLUS SIXTY-ZERO I’M IN KEY-YELL! *laughs*

As a renowned DJ, you’ve played at many amazing festivals. What is the best and worst thing about performing for a huge event?
The worst thing that might happen is you might get a little too excited sometimes. Things like… “Oh, what am I going to play?” or “Are they going to like what I do?”… You don’t want to make your mistakes, so, I think that nerves might be the worst thing – imagine messing up.

One of the greatest things for sure is being able to cater to your fans. Actually, I think one of my first shows outside of Europe was in Kuala Lumpur. It was really funny, we [Cesqeaux and his team] were just talking about that! It was in 2013 and it was interesting enough to show up in school after and be like, “Yo, look what happened”.

2013? I was still in school… 
That’s why! Even I was still in school. I’m actually still graduating college right now – which is crazy. I’ve been trying to “switch it” because I was doing my studies but then my career took off. I’ve taken some time for my career and now I’m going back to school. All I have to do now is graduate – it’s the last thing but it’s also the most complicated thing.

Photo by All Is Amazing (www.allisamazing.com)

What are you studying now in college?
I’m doing ‘Academy of Pop and Culture’. It’s amazing and once again, that’s why I love where I’m from because we have those things – having a school where we can become an artist.

You’ve had several collabs with other artists in your career like Martin Garrix and David Guetta. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from collaborating with others?
It’s definitely understanding other people’s journey as well. I might be somewhere in my career but this artist is somewhere else. I’ve worked with artists that have not had a career but I also have songs with Justin Bieber, David Guetta, Afrojack and Martin Garrix. When people talk about those artists, they always say, “That’s big as it gets” but for me – I need to understand that those are my colleagues.

If I want to work with them, we need to be on the same level. I can appreciate someone but I can’t put them up too high, ’cause then they’ll look down on me. You know, levelling. It’s con-colleagues as in concurrence a little *laughs*. You want to be the best a lil’ bit but you got to make it work together.

What was your reaction when Hennessy, who plays a big part in pop culture, reached out to you and wanted to work with you?
First of all – I was like, “Yo, how much am I going to drink?” *laughs*

Hennessy’s been a huge part – whether in hip hop culture, dance culture or pop culture in general. So, I think it’s great to be picked to do something like this, in a country like this and at a show like this. I’m super excited, for sure.

If you could describe Hennessy in one word – what would it be? 
Wow.. in one word? I would say “amazing” just because it sets a tone. When I drink vodka – it’s like super casual but when I drink cognac it’s like.. *serious tone* “We’re drinking COGNAC, we’re drinking HENNESSY”. You know what’s going to happen. You take a sip and you’re like “Woahh… Brrrrr”.

Photo by All Is Amazing (www.allisamazing.com)

The end of a decade is just a few weeks away, what are your music career goals that you hope to achieve in 2020?
What I’ve always had in my mind is to become real. All this time I’ve always been a part of a group and a movement. Now, I want to BE the movement. I don’t want to ride the wave, I want to be the wave. I have a whole merchandise line coming out – which is not only merchandise actually but I’m trying to make a proper clothing line. It’s not like I’m making a fashion move per se, I just want to identify myself more with what I’m doing.

Musically, I’m focusing more on me. I just want to make a move in music where I can step to a bigger pop artist and be like, “This is good for the both of us, you know?” Growing that and coming up with cool music videos too. ‘Cause every time I hang out somewhere, people are like, “Oh dang, you’re so funny.. your clothes are so nice blah blah” – but I need to turn those compliments into something physical. When I have those music videos and when I have my merch – it becomes a bigger project. That’s definitely the end goal.

All the best! Are there any upcoming projects in particular we should look out for?
I’m working on more EPs right now and it’s always my go-to project in a way because an album would be too big for me. Especially with how the youth consumes their music with Spotify and iTunes – they have so many music to pick from. I think as a musician, it’s very important to have a shit load of music so they can’t get around you.

Most of the songs – even like tonight, contains my own vocal. I’m singing, I’m rapping, I’m doing all this stuff. I can’t really tell too much about it but it’s amazing stuff.

Photo by All Is Amazing (www.allisamazing.com)

If there’s one thing you could say to an aspiring DJ/producer who looks up to you, what would you tell them?
I would say – stay true to yourself, trust the process and don’t give up. That sounds super cliché *laughs* but it’s very true because people always skip to step #10 and they forget they have to have music. People want to have great shows and I’m like yeah… but you need music. It’s almost like you’re a cook and you need the ingredients.

As a person, I don’t want to say you need an X-factor but I’ve learned from my career that you’ve got to be your own biggest star and your own biggest inspiration – put yourself first.

For more Cesqeaux, visit his website, here

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Stream Cesqeaux music on Spotify, here