Sied Van Riel: Joining the “Van Clan”

Next in line to the throne of global trance superstars, Dutchman Sied Van Riel is preparing to head to Australia in April for his first antipodean tour. The past few years have been action packed for Van Riel, scoring himself coveted spots alongside some of the scene’s biggest names at events like Trance Energy in Holland, Love Parade and Trance Land.

He was recently selected by Armin to support him on the ASOT 400 anniversary tour, and he’s also hard at work putting together his debut artist album. Getting his start in dance music when his grandmother bought him a set of turntables (coolest grannie ever?!), we find out about Sied’s journey.

Following ID&T’s successful launch of Sensation in Australia, punters are pumped for the first Trance Energy experience in April. Are you excited to be in the lineup for Trance Energy’s debut in Australia?

Yeah, I am really excited. This will be my first visit to Australia and from what I’ve heard it’s a madhouse over there, so I’m defiantly excited… especially as I’m doing a Trance Energy tour. It’s huge, it’s cool, it’s awesomeness! What else could I ask for? Well a BBQ down there would be nice!

You were recently voted in by fans on Armin Van Buuren’s forum to play his ASOT 400 tour in April. You must be psyched for that as well – three countries in three days!

That was totally out of the blue. People started calling me and telling me I was in the top list of votes. It’s massive for sure! Not long after that my management got an email asking if I wanted to play… I didn’t need to think twice, but the thing was I wanted to stay a bit longer in Australia to see a bit of Melbourne and Sydney. Now I’m leaving after my last gig in Perth, but I’ll just have to come back to Australia later this year instead! Doing three countries in three days for ASOT is something I do not want to miss out on!

On your Australian tour you’ll be playing alongside the likes of Sander Van Doorn, Marco V and Judge Jules. How does that make you feel?

It’s cool to spin with those guys in the same lineups. I’ve known most of them for a while now, and some I’ve never met personally so it will be cool to hook up and have a chat and a drink – or eight – with them. I don’t do one or two drinks… to little time.

The last few years have been epic for you, ever since dropping your first track Fearless. While you’ve been DJing for a few years, you’ve only been producing for a short time and already you’re being referred to as a member of the “Van Clan”. How’s the journey been?

So far I have nothing to complain about, seriously! Things couldn’t have gone any better for me. I don’t take anything for granted, so I’ll try to enjoy it all for as long as it lasts. I am putting in 200% effort to make it all work out for the best, and being a part of the “Van Clan” is cool. But I want to make my own “Riel Clan”… How does that sound for a change?

Did your grandmother really give you your first set of turntables and mixer? If that’s true, what a cool lady!

Yeah it’s true, and she is so cool … even now at 83-years-old she’s still rockin’ to EDM. I want to take her to a gig of mine to show her it in real life, because all she sees is the parties on TV or YouTube. She wants it and I want it, so we will try to make it work. Back when she gave me my first turntables I played hardcore and she would come in to my bedroom – she raised me – and start dancing! It was awesome. She’s proud of what I’ve achieved, and last time she was taken to the hospital I visited her everyday. She was telling all the doctors and nurses there, “my grandson plays with Tiesto and Van Buuren,” so I walked in and everybody was like, “what’s it like? Gimme tickets!”

You won ‘Best New Face’ at the Trance Awards last year. What does that mean to you?

It’s not like I was waiting for an award, but it is awesome to win one! You know it’s recognition for the stuff you do. People vote, and then at the end of it all you get to win a glass thing with letters on it. Thankfully it has much more meaning behind it though!

You’ve already performed at the Love Parade as part of Tiësto’s worldwide ISOS tour and at Trance Energy 2008. Tell us about some of your best experiences to date?

Well one of my best experiences was the tour with Tijs (Tiesto)… it was my first gig in Trance Land. I just had one release and there I was playing in front of 15,000 people next to him. I was like, “what the hell!” I must say that Trance Energy was a highlight of 2008. A few months before that I was dreaming of playing there… and then, there I was, actually part of it. The same goes for the Love Parade. When I got the call that I was about to play there I couldn’t believe it. And now Trance Energy in Australia, on the mainstage, I can’t freakin’ wait to rock it over there. When I think of it I get an adrenalin rush already. This is what it is all about. For me this is living “the life”. All I want to do is play music and go nuts with the crowd.

You’re working on an artist album for release later this year. How’s that going? Can you let us in on any secrets?

I’m doing overtime in the studio at the moment. It’s going quit well and it will be a very diverse album. I want to show people what I’ve got and what I’m capable of at this stage in my career. I bought a lot of new gear for it, to create new sounds and stuff. Tracks will range from prog and vocal to tech, trance and even a bit of real uplifting stuff, but not the typical uplifting stuff peeps are used to. I wanna do my own thing. I’m also doing a track with an Australian vocalist, Emma Hewitt. I recently remixed a track of hers with Cosmic Gate, so we decided to do something together for my album. She is massive! Some exciting collaborations will be featured on it as well… it will surprise people I think, I hope.

You released your EP Dedication in early January. Have you been pleased with the reaction?

Yeah, this EP got the best feedback and support so far. It’s doing really great and has been in the dance charts for a long time. I always try to push out a better release after the latest one, and so far it has been just like that. This EP was supported by every DJ I can think of. Now I’m working on the follow up. There will also be a second Van Riel & Cazacu track soon… as the follow up to Contrasts.

How is it having the support of Spinnin’ Records? Has your success and career progression, especially in recent years, come as a surprise to you?

It did, I mean you never know what is going to happen. All I do is be the best I can, and the team around helps to support me 100%. Spinnin’, Black Hole and Armada have been a major part of my career this far. Spinnin’ now takes care of all my music management, which is cool. We communicate really well and they are always honest with me and that is something I need. I need to hear criticism and feedback, that way I can learn and grow. I still release on Black Hole as well, I recently released Sunrise there, and I also remixed Armin van Buuren for Armada.

You’ve got your own monthly radio show, Rielistic, on ah.fm. How’s that going?

Very well. It’s something I’d wanted to do from the get go. When I didn’t have gigs I still wanted to spin, so I decided to do a radio show to keep myself in the loop. I only do it once a month so people won’t get bored of it. Every week is too much for me, and this way I think it stays exciting for both the listener and myself. It’s a 2 hour show and it takes me a full day to create it. I’m picky when it comes to track choice, that part always takes a lot of time, and then doing the voice overs, editing. It’s currently being synchronised to FM stations worldwide, which is also cool!

What can the Trance Energy Australia punters expect from your set?

Prepare to dance for real! I never know what I’m going to play before I go on, as I always have to taste the vibe first, but expect that I’m going to bang on all cylinders over there… one way or the other. And I shall be part of the crowd myself as well once I’m done and prior to my sets. I’m gonna enjoy every single minute I am down under!

Sied Van Riel tours Australia with Trance Energy in April:

Thu 9 Apr – Sydney, Hordern Pavilion & Surrounds

Fri 10 Apr – Melbourne, Calder Park Thunderdome

Sat 11 Apr – Brisbane, Riverstage.

Sun 12 Apr – Perth, Belvoir Amphitheatre