Ian Van Dahl

Ian Van Dahl:
No Letting Go

An interview with vocalist Annemie Coenen and the co-producers (Peter Luts & David Vervoort) of one of Belgium’s biggest dance acts, Ian Van Dahl. In this interview, Annemie talks about her first gig, Chris Martin and flashing.

(Annemie Coenen) What inspired your lyrics on “I Can’t Let You Go?”
The song is about not being able to let go the person you hold dear and all the emotions that you go through after a break up. The lyrics are very personal and I wrote them to help me to get over my last relationship.

Do you have a favorite topic to write about?
Most of my lyrics are about love and things that happened in my life because writing is like therapy for me.

Do you have a favorite place to perform? 
No, not really. I like performing in clubs and festivals and every country is in it’s own way special. The most important thing is that you have a good crowd, some nice people who are willing to have a good time!

Do you have any questions that you wish the press would ask you more about?

What is the hardest part about performing?
The fact that I have to combine my dance routines and singing live, it’s not that easy as people think! I have to be in good shape so I don’t get out of breath! Also the fact that we don’t get a lot of sleep is sometimes very hard. In Spain we always have to perform at 6 o’clock in the morning, can you believe this?

Do you remember your first gig as Ian Van Dahl?
Yes, in fact my first gig was in New York in Vanderbilt club and I was so nervous! I almost tripped on stage, it was horrible! Luckily for me I learned a lot since then.

Are there any vocalists that you admire?
I really admire Chris Martin from Coldplay, he’s the best live vocalist ever!!!

Do you have any tips for people wanting to become professional vocalists?
Yes, you need a lot of discipline to do this job, you can’t smoke or drink to much and you have to take good care of your voice! But most important keep your feet on the ground because in this business people come and go!

Do you have any rituals that you perform before you go onstage?
Yes, I have a ritual with my dancers every time before we go on stage ; first we clap each others hand then they turn around so I can pinch their bumps and then we make a little cross. That’s all!

How are the crowds in America reacting to your new material?
I was very surprised last time when we did our new songs in the USA because the crowd was jumping and responding very well although they heard it for the first time. But I most be honest we had a really exciting crowd then!

Do you remember your worst gig?
Yes, about a year ago in the UK when my top came down and all the boys in the crowd started taking pictures!

Are there any artists or producers you would like to work with?
I really like the work of William Orbit and the Neptunes but they are probably very busy! But a girl can dream, can’t I!

(Peter Luts & David Vervoort) Who are some of your favorite producers/DJs?
For me one of the best producers are BT, Rollo….. They all developed their own sound, which is in my opinion fantastic!!!!

Do you have any tips for creating a great trance beat?
Never, I’m totally against drugs !!!! It’s so sad the people who takes them can’t amuse themselves without it !!!

What are the biggest misconception people have about Belgian dance music?
That is situated in Germany or Holland !!! Belgium is a country on it’s own J

Do you have any vocalists that you would like to work with?
I really like the voice of Jan Johnston, it’s the best I’ve heard for ages !!!

Who is your favorite artist to remix?
We are both fans of U2 and Depeche Mode. It’s a dream to remix them !!!! Who knows J

How long did it take you to complete “I Can’t Let You Go?”
I think we did the job in about 3 or 4 weeks including our remixes. Sometimes we make songs in a couple of days and sometimes we do it in a month. It depends on the inspiration I think.

Did you know you were going to have a hit with “I Can’t Let You Go?”
I’m very good in predicting a hit, but not with my own songs J

What has been your wildest gig?
Oh, there were so many, the last years were one big Gig !!

How are the crowds in America reacting to your new material?
Dance music is growing more and more in the States at the moment. The people go crazy on it, which is fantastic !!

Are there certain qualities that you look for in a vocalist?
The most important thing is that she can sing really well !!

Ian Van Dahl’s new single “I Can’t Let You Go” is out now on Nulife Records.




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