As a part of their New Years run and Big Week NYC, Pier 94 has hosted a slew of unforgettable shows including appearances by Kaskade, Skrillex, Disclosure and Armin Van Buuren. Veteran DJ Jochen Miller took the stage last Sunday, supporting the latter, and bringing a euphoric, energetic set to a packed house. The Dutch born artist is best known for his signature blend of charged beats and melody and his set at Pier 94 packed a solid punch. The venue was crammed and no one stopped dancing. The DJ showed off his love for trance, big room, and progressive house, but didn’t shy away from EDM crowd pleasers like Alesso’s "Lose My Mind" and Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s “I Need Your Love.” Miller also played a smattering of original tracks like “Bad Rule,” a dance floor dominating track he released last month.
Miller, born Jochen van der Steijn, was raised above his parents nightclub in the Netherlands and got his start on the decks at a notably young age. By 16, he’d secured his first residency and at 19, he won the Dutch Mixing Championships at Dance Valley with a set that involved spinning three turntables. Miller went on to become the first resident DJ at the Dutch taste-making club Matrixx and began garnering international recognition after his appearance on Armin Van Buuren’s annual compilation A State of Trance in 2008.
This past year has been a big one for the dedicated DJ. He’s released a new track each month and performed huge shows alongside some of the biggest names in EDM at international venues and festivals like Creamfields 2014. We caught up with Miller following his performance at Pier 94, one of several North American tour dates supporting Van Buuren.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You’ve been DJing for over a decade. How do you stay inspired after so long?
You have these long nights—like last night I flew in from Hong Kong—and you want to stay there but then you see the people with their hands in the air and smiles on their faces, singing the songs. It gives you so much energy. That’s the way I keep doing it.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: In the past few years the festival circuit has totally exploded, as has the popularity of EDM and other genres of electronic music. Can you tell me a little bit about how you think that’s affected the scene and the music being made?
Yeah, in the US, it's blowing up so fast. There are so many different styles. It's so big. Like trance is still big and i think it's coming up again. There was never a big hype around trance, but it's still coming back right now very big. EDM is still up there. Deep house is taking over right now as well. There are so many different styles of music and I think for everyone who likes EDM and these different genres, everyone’s got a great festival nowadays and I think that's a really good thing.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: In the past you’ve described your sound as a high energy blend of beats and short, catchy melodies. Is that still true?
Yep. That’s the Jochen Miller sound!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I also noticed that with Bad Rule, which you released earlier this month, you released a radio edit as well which was quite different. The drop was moved up, the melody was more prominent in the mix, and the song was quite shorter.
In the club, you take a track and you lengthen it. Whereas, you start a longer version and then you shorten it for radio. That's what happened with "Bad Rule" as well. I’ll be releasing a mini album soon that will be even more direct.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Fantastic! How do you go about choosing new music for your monthly radio show Stay Connected? What’s your process?
Well I get a lot of promos everyday and I definitely use that. A lot of tracks, I won’t play during my DJ set, but I want to show the fans what kind of music I like. I don't want to bring music that people are expecting of me. I want to do something different and I can do that with the radio show and that's a really good thing.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Who are some artists who you really respect or admire?
Armin [Van Buuren]. He's a good friend and he's helped me a lot during my career. We're good friends still. He's still on top. He's doing an amazing job as well.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: And lastly, what’s your New Year’s Resolution?
To keep doing what I'm doing and to stay healthy as well. It's really annoying I know, but it's true.
Fans can check out the December episode of Jochen’s podcast “Stay Connected” which features music by Cosmic Gate, Cash Cash and Dillon Francis or catch one of his New York tour dates later this month.
AUTHOR & PHOTO CREDIT: ALEXANDRA BLAIR