While the business of electronic music is often griped over by bloviating bloggers, many of whom have never smelled fresh vinyl; having recently bungeed into the deep house hot streak or bass jumped into the 808s-laden trap.
From: The Netherlands, but with Turkish roots
DJ style: “Electronic music.”
Best known for: “Just being me, a guy who likes to produce music and sounds.”
Fave tune of 2018: “W&W x Vini Vici ‘Chakra’ — officially from 2017, but I’ve played it in every set throughout this year.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2018: “Brooks.”
Ummet Ozcan has had another busy year, but one tainted with sadness. “We’ve lost an inspiring artist and soul this year,” he says of the sad loss of Avicii.
His own tour diary has been dizzyingly busy, with stops in China, the UAE, Cyprus, Singapore, Myanmar, Japan, the USA and all over Europe. In between these shows he has tried to take as much studio time as possible. “I want a constant flow of releases,” he says, and to aid him on his mission, this year he launched his own OZ Records label. It will deal in the same electrifying, hard and big room sounds as his own productions, which this year include ‘Change My Heart’ with Laurell, and ‘Trash Movement’ with Coone and Villain.
“Style-wise, I constantly try to evolve, just because it’s fun to explore other music and experiment a bit,” he explains, while admitting that he and his team have been working hard to create stunning visuals and new elements for his shows, which may well explain his success this year.
Words: KRISTAN J CARYL
Turkish/Dutch talent Ummet Ozcan has made his place in the Top 100 a permanent fixture, thanks to his growing worldwide 'Ozclan'. Still a mainstay on Spinnin', tracks such as 'Bombjack', a fidgety, bassline electro monster featuring the vocals of Ambush, and the ADHD-fuelled 'Showdown', which moves through dubstep, trap, hardstyle and trance like a demented EDM symphony, provided fuel for a non-stop summer of festivals — from TomorrowLand to Ultrasonic. His latest, meanwhile, the chirpy 'Everything Changes' featuring Chris Crone, finds him casting his musical rod into the streaming and radio markets.
2017 was also the year that he took his sound into the huge emerging market of China, playing 13 shows there to build on a global fanbase already cultivated via his weekly and widely syndicated Interstate Radio show.
While he's been forging his own way ahead, Ozcan might also have been unwittingly helping his rivals. Some main stage stars' hits have been surrounded by suspicions of ghost production, but when Ozcan isn't putting out epic belters he's helping produce soft synths and sound banks for the likes of Rob Papen and Access Music. If anyone can, Ozcan can.
Ummet Ozcan's techno-influenced trance made something of a seamless transition to gain huge popularity amongst EDM fans, but that's come as no surprise to the man himself. “I am not bound to any musical conventions, I just produce whatever I like. People tend to put things in boxes. I personally don’t do that,” Ummet tells DJ Mag.
Of course, not every DJ or producer actually has a hand in creating the things that make the actual noises that are used to create tracks either, but Ummet is famous for providing softsynth and soundbank designs for some of the biggest music software houses too.
When it comes to making your own music, Ummet has a tip or two for aspiring producers: “There are certain elements that work better for your song than others, but the magic appears only with the right parts that fit the puzzle… but let’s say it helps to have a festival mindset before you start producing,” he advises.
Citing Tomorrowland 2015 in Belgium as one of the highlights of his past year of playing out, plans for 2016 look likely to see Ummet spending more time in the studio. “Producing is sometimes hard to combine with tour life,” he explains, before quickly adding: “My records are equally important. So that is one of my aims for 2016.”