Jeffrey Sutorius – A Story of Courage, Commitment and Triumph
Raver Magazine Artist of the Year
Interview by Kristine Kennedy and Michael Beas
Jeffrey Sutorius – the comeback kid of electronic music – is back where he belongs in the studio producing, on stage performing, and connecting with fans worldwide. When the news first broke about the separation of Dash Berlin, we were saddened and left wondering what would come of this fallout. Then news began to break little by little as Jeffrey began to tell his story. What this man had to overcome was a great hurdle in life and it is one that could have easily deterred anybody from losing their love for their passion in life. For Jeffrey Sutorius that passion is music and he was making sure nothing would step in the path between him and connecting his music to his fans. It is this achievement, this act of courage, this triumph, that we are honored to name Jeffrey Sutorius as Raver Magazine’s Artist of the Year.
We were able to meet with Jeffrey in Miami this past March to speak with him and provide him with his award. We’re more than proud to present this award to him and nobody deserved this year’s award more. We hope you enjoy this interview and we hope you find inspiration whether you are struggling through your own personal hurdle or even if your life is fabulous at the moment. Everybody can take time to appreciate and respect how Jeffrey turned his life around and found happiness in his passion once again.
Raver Magazine: Your story from your transition as the frontman of Dash Berlin to your return to dance music as your own name, Jeffrey Sutorius, is one of courage, commitment and triumph. Can you talk to us about this?
Jeffrey Sutorius: I don’t give up. I’m not that kind of guy. I think I’m really easy to get along with. But I’m definitely a Scorpio – we don’t let go until we’re satisfied. What I do is what I love the most in life and that is interacting with people on stage – that’s my core. I love translating music to people and making a connection with them. It’s been like that since I first started DJ’ing.
It is a form of craft. I see it as a craft. You know, everybody can press a start and stop button – that’s not so hard. You can make a whole prepared mix on your laptop and pretend like you’re mixing but I’m a little bit old-school in a sense. It’s almost philosophical, like you want to tell a story with music and for the people who have been following Dash Berlin over the years, they actually do understand what’s been going on because that is a very sincere way of connecting with people – people also feel it’s real. Now even on my new social media, people can sense a difference. We’re just all being real people and everyone is so happy. We can finally speak here. I’m able to interact with people all over the world. It’s crazy – I love it!
Raver Magazine: We hear you have a new label now also! Tell us about it.
Jeffrey Sutorius: So I’ve started up a new label called BODYWRMR. The philosophy comes from two parts. First, if you’re at a party and you start dancing you’re actually warming up your body. Secondly, if you meet people in that party and give them a hug, your warmness transmits with that hug. That’s how the label name came about. We’ve been releasing new tracks on the label and the support has been amazing. I have big plans to release original tracks with some trance remixes and a little bit of future house remixes.
I’ve also been able to sign new talent to the new label. I’m working with a 17 year old from India and people from the Netherlands – really raw talent. I’m working with two guys about 25 years old who made their first track and the worked on it for two years. It’s amazing – they did such a great job with it. I’m also working with a guy from Russia currently – there is so much talent from Russia! He’s a sheer genius and I’m really happy that with BODYWRMR I can have a platform to share this talent with fans. More of what I used to do in my sets was about 90% old material and I am slowing that down a bit to create a little bit more of a mix with other work from producers and new talent. I think with that mix, I can create my own signature.
Raver Magazine: How is it different now when you step into the studio to record?
Jeffrey Sutorius: Creatively I’m like a blank sheet now. It’s like a blank canvas and I can start painting the colors that I like, so that’s really cool.
Raver Magazine: Do you see yourself continuing to play some Dash Berlin classic tracks in your future sets as Jeffrey Sutorius?
Jeffrey Sutorius: I get this question a lot and the answer is yes. A lot of people think I am not able to play them legally anymore, but I’ve become a bit of a lawyer myself during the past few months, and these tracks are public works, so everybody can play them. If I would make a remix of one of the Dash Berlin classics as Jeffrey Sutorius, nothing can be done to hold me back from that. So there are no worries for that at all. I can keep supporting classics, I can play recent material. Now I get to fill my sets with new material, my own material, as well as material of new talent that is really unknown to people but I know it will be picked up quickly. It’s funny to play something new and see people trying to Shazam the track and they look so confused when there is zero results. They just have to wait a little bit longer for this new talent to come out!
Raver Magazine: What was your first show out as Jeffrey Sutorius after your break?
Jeffrey Sutorius: It was ZoukOut in Singapore. It’s known as the Tomorrowland of Asia. It’s huge but it’s also an amazing party. I was so happy to have my first show back as Jeffrey Sutorius there. I’m fortunate with so much support from this industry as a whole.
Raver Magazine: Your residency at Marquee in Las Vegas is pretty special to you. Tell us about that and what it’s like there.
Jeffrey Sutorius: Well I’m really fortunate that my contract with Marquee in Las Vegas has been renewed this year. That puts me with Tiesto as the longest resident DJ in Las Vegas this year – 8 years straight! Vegas is a bit of a second home for me at this point. I think each of the years I’ve held a residency there, I’ve probably spent about a third of my nights there. It’s a great location to play there then head south and play in Central America or go north and head to a show in Canada. Also, everybody goes to Las Vegas at some point, so we get people coming from the Netherlands, even Australia, who fly in for the weekend. It’s amazing and it makes it so special.
I just try to do my best so that people will have a good night out and usually they come hang out or I get to speak to them after the show and that’s very nice. I really like that interaction phase.
Raver Magazine: What is one thing you want to tell your fans, new and old alike?
Jeffrey Sutorius: You know, someone recently told me a story of how they started tearing up during a part of one of my Dash Berlin sets. Honestly I was crying myself too because I can feel the same thing. It’s not that I’m crying because you’re crying, but we are crying because of the same reason. We can feel the music. We can feel the power of what music can really do to you and that story that’s been told with the music emotionally or melodically is just the icing on the cake. You’re broken down with something so beautiful but also so fragile and that’s music. I’m so thankful and lucky I can connect with people this way because it only happens when people are really open for it, and that says a lot about my fans right there.