Hard dance artist Vertile dives into his recent performance at Defqon.1, his recent studio works, collaborating with legends, and more!
As one of the fastest-rising artists in the scene, Vertile has garnered the support of an exponentially growing audience through his undeniable talent as a vocalist and producer. Upon receiving the shared award for the #1 voted track in the Q-Dance Top 100 last year, he even received praise from hardstyle legend Headhunterz. In addition to leaving his mark on iconic festivals like Electric Love Festival, Drop Zone, Dominator, Intents Festival, and Wish Outdoor, Vertile has taken his project to the next level with his live Dimension sets at large-scale events, including Reverze and Supremacy.
Before his rise as a hard dance producer and DJ, Mees van den Berg was featured as a vocalist in many records. Eventually, he learned to incorporate his vocals into his track production to preserve his passion for singing. His online presence also reveals his enthusiasm for rock music through his proficiency in playing guitar and singing rock-style covers of different songs.
Last month, Vertile provided two jaw-dropping performances at the mecca of hard dance, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival. Throughout the weekend, he played lots of unreleased heat, including epic collaborations with Sub Zero Project and Headhunterz. This double heading came just a couple of months after he debuted Dimension X at REBiRTH Festival, where his live vocal talents captivated the hearts of artists and fans alike.
Following this incredible hot streak, we sat down with the young star for a deeper dive into his Defqon.1 performances, his recent work as a producer and vocalist, and so much more. Get a taste of Vertile’s dual power as a vocalist and producer by streaming “Ready For Lift Off (Official REBiRTH Festival 2023 Anthem)” on Spotify, and read on for our in-depth chat with the standout talent!
Hi Vertile, you recently made your RED stage debut at Defqon.1 in addition to your second time at the BLUE. What are your thoughts after playing one of the most coveted stages in the scene?
Honestly, I think it was one of the greatest gig experiences I’ve had so far. The set time was great because it was golden hour, which has delivered some great graphical memories for me [in the past]. Just insane!
Your follow-up collaboration with Headhunterz, “Lost Without You,” premiered at the Closing Ritual paired with a jaw-dropping set of fireworks and pyrotechnics. What was it like working on this track with Headhunterz and the incredible vocalist Sian Evans?
We worked quite a bit longer than usual on this track. Since it was the Sunday closing track of an amazing and hectic Defqon.1 weekend – literally the last piece of music people would hear this year – it had to be a bit more special. We kept the essence of the firework show in mind and tried to capture the emotion of closing such a special occasion. Working with Sian Evans and Heady all in one room was inspiring. She wrote down all the parts in no time – something from which I can still learn a lot.
You have shown your amazing range of vocals through your groundbreaking live act, Dimension X, and on previously released tracks of yours. Have you had formal vocal training growing up, or are you self-taught?
I must admit, I do have a decent range for a male vocalist, indeed. I could have been better, though, without all the abuse I have done to it in the past. I’ve never had any proper vocal training. Actually, I never considered [my vocals] to be good. I thought everyone could do it until people started telling me otherwise. I did a lot of practice throughout the years unconsciously by doing whatever feels right. I don’t think I want to learn how to do it “properly” anyway because that will take the fun away.
Your vocals are on the track, “Goodbye,” which also premiered at Defqon.1. What’s the intent and message behind this melodic farewell track?
I made this track for everyone to interpret in their own way, as everyone has experienced having to say goodbye to someone meaningful at some point [in their lives]. I really love musical compositions that make you think and make you feel melancholic, so I really try to capture that in some type of way.
At Defqon.1, you also premiered a collaboration with Sub Zero Project featuring several types of kicks that combine your unique styles. What was the collaboration process like with Thomas and Nigel? How did you ultimately find a balance between their melodic, techno-inspired kicks and your compositions of emotional melodies with heavy rawstyle kicks?
It wasn’t a hard task to find a balance with them as we’re all very certain about what we want as producers. It was mostly a matter of being in a room together, making jokes, doing whatever, and having fun. We had to make sure that there was a good balance between the two sounds obviously, which later was fine-tuned and listened to. We’re all nerds to the core, so it went smoothly.
As a relatively fresh face to the production side of the scene, you’ve had quite the exponential rise from your INDIGO debut in 2019 to mainstage RED in 2023 by capturing the attention of audiences, producers, and Q-dance alike. How has this quick rise been going for you, and what can we expect in the near future from this project?
This is such a hectic time in my life, and it only has just begun. With so many insane moments happening right now and ahead of me, I try to enjoy it to the absolute max and be in the moment. With the new live act, I feel like I opened up a new chapter to express myself on another level, which I really want to build and experiment with in the near future. With that in mind, I also want to keep pushing the musicality and keep pushing myself to do greater things. Keep your eyes open!
Having joined powers with some of the biggest names in hard dance right now, such as Rebelion, D-Sturb, and Adaro, do you have any dream collaborations in mind, both within and outside of the hard dance realm?
If I were to aim for the stars, collaborating with someone like Skrillex would be absolutely mind blowing. As a vocalist, Oliver Sykes would be incredibly awesome. Of course, I know these are unrealistic long shots, but you have to keep on dreaming, you know?
Let’s end with a fun question. You have quite the passion for early 2000s punk/rock. If you could join any band from that era, which group would you choose and why?
This is not really a punk/rock band, but I would have loved to join Asking Alexandria during their early 2008-2010 stage. I’ve been a fan of their early work since it came out, and I still listen to it today. The reason is that they were young, edgy kids that screamed and made controversial music. Who wouldn’t want to be in a band like that?