On a beautiful summer’s day this year, Ummet Ozcan played a trance set from the Pyramid: a 19th century, 36-metre high earth pyramid in central Netherlands. The imposing obelisk at the pyramid’s mound was the stunning backdrop for the live stream of Ozcan’s emotional melodic trance; a set designed to uplift his global, growing fanbase, playfully named the 'Ozclan' in a year of few festivals, and precious moments of togetherness.
Just before the pandemic hit, Ozcan was on a roll, touring the US, China and Europe almost without pause, including festivals like Tomorrowland and Dance Valley, and releasing original music on OZ Records, his own sub-label of long-time champions, Spinnin’ Records. His most recent hit track, ‘Toast Hawaii’, is a big room banger with an earworm steel drum melody, in collaboration with German DJ Le Shuuk. Ozcan hopes that the message from the Pyramid, and from his Top 100 DJs Virtual Festival set, reaches his fans: we’ll be raving together again one day, but until then, there’s always trance.
What three things have most helped you through COVID-19?
“Meditation, work-out and martial arts sessions at the gym, and after that being creative in the studio.”
What lessons should the industry learn from this crisis?
“No-one could have foreseen this in the first place, I guess you can never be ready to prepare to battle an invisible enemy like this.”
What steps need to be taken to address the racism in the dance music scene?
“We are all electronic dance music lovers, I am not aware of any racism or inequality in our scene. Just one big family!"
What industry changes are you personally pushing for to make the dance music scene more inclusive?
“Nowadays, it is more difficult to surface because of the vast amount of music which is being released every week. It takes a lot to get noticed. Maybe the ‘veterans’ should take responsibility to provide an apprenticeship for young talent.”
What’s the greatest dance music track of all time?