Beltek (AKA Martin Bijelic), the eclectic DJ/Producer from Slovenia, has just joined the Morgan Page 3D experience tour bus last week and is ready to start the 2nd Canadian leg of the tour starting tomorrow in Calgary. Beltek's first big break happened in 2007 when he won the Producer of the Year competition organized by Pete Tong. Since then Martin has created an extensive and diverse discography that spans across many genres and styles. But recently his style has converged more towards a mixture between electron and progressive house. Makes sense since Beltek's live sets are definitely high energy. In this following interview Beltek tells EDM Canada about his beginnings, his evolution as an artist, first impressions of the new tour with Morgan Page, and his view on the perfect track. Check it out:
EDM Canada: How did you get started as a DJ/Producer? Did you become a DJ or Producer First?
Beltek: It all started maybe 10 years ago when my brother brought home mixtapes from various DJs. At first I didn't understand electronic music because it all sounded the same to me. Back in the day it wasn't so much vocal or melodic, it was pretty harsh in Europe as it was more techno and hard house. After a while I started picking it up, especially hard house and progressive from the UK. So I started listening to that and checking out all sorts of DJs. I also wanted to produce but at the beginning it was really a hard struggle especially because at that time I was still in school and later on I had gotten a job so I wasn't a full time producer. I would say that I've been a professional producer for the last 4-5 years. At first I had become a producer and secondly I became a DJ when I started with vinyl at that time.
When did you start DJ'ing?
I started around 7 years ago but I'd consider myself more as a producer than a DJ.
Describe the Beltek style.
My main goal is to always evolve. My current style is a mixture between electro and progressive house. So something in between and everything out of the box as well. I like all sorts of music and not just EDM. Sometimes I'd mix in some drum and bass track at the end of my set so I'm not bound to just one genre. A good track is a good track, right?
You have a lot of diversity in your discography from trance, techno, electro house, and progressive house – have you purposely tried to create different styled tracks or have you created them based on inspiration at the time?
Just based on inspiration. When I start to produce a track in my studio it's never like “oh wow this style is popular or this guy is popular, let's do a copy of that track!”, it's not like that at all as I create tracks based on what I feel. I like to play some melodic tracks, hard tracks, breaks, so it all depends on my current inspiration. Techno was a big part of my life, especially in the beginning. I am Slovenian and we have a very successful techno DJ named UMEK. He was one of the biggest influences when I started.
I noticed that you two created a track together. Has UMEK played a role in your career?
Yeah definitely, he's certainly one of my role models. Before I started to take music more seriously I was into more non melodic stuff, but now I am around 99% all about melodies. For me a perfect track, needs to have at least one live instrument (guitar, piano), a vocal, and a cool bass drum rhythm section. It doesn't depend on the genre of course.
Have you created that perfect track yet?
Fortunately not. (Laughs) If I'm honest I don't know if I ever will because I'm never satisfied with my work as I always try to evolve and discover new things and better myself. It's a struggle but that's what keeps me going.
You just entered the Morgan Page tour bus – Is this your first tour bus experience?
This is actually my first bus tour so I'm excited as *beep*. (Laughs) I just had my first gig yesterday at Park City, Utah and it was sold out. I must say that I was totally impressed because it's a city of only 7,000 and the crowd was so energetic and they knew almost all of my tracks. I didn't even know that I had fans in Park City and it was such an amazing feeling. To kick start the tour with that kind of performance was a dream.
What can fans expect from Beltek at your upcoming gigs in Vancouver, Vernon, Calgary, and Edmonton?
The basic point of my performance is to get the maximum energy out of me and try to transform it to the crowd on the dancefloor. Every time that people try to see me they will experience a real energetic performance with a lot of positive energy and powerful tracks. I'm not a really easy going radio type of DJ (Laughs) as I try to create a lot of energy in the crowd. I can't wait. Especially Canadians because I love the crowd in Canada as the crowd was nuts in Vancouver the last time I was there in August. Can't wait to go back.
My thanks to Beltek for the interview!
Beltek, along with Morgan Page and Topher Jones will be playing 3 Canadian dates this week starting with Calgary tomorrow night, Edmonton on Thursday, and finally on Saturday for a sold out show in Vancouver.
Want to know what Beltek mean't about going hard in his sets? Well check out these two original tracks that he made and you'll know exactly what he's talking about:
Beltek - "Inhale" (Flashover Recordings) with support from Ferry Corsten, Armin, Steve Aoki and many more)
Beltek - "Party Voice" (Dim Mak)