DJ Spotlight: HIIO Talks Tomorrowland And New Music

The promising South American duo are accelerating the EDM pulse one record at a time. “Rock & Roll” is the latest from HIIO in collaboration with John Dish, in which euphoric synths are swallowed by a spiralling build. Refocused and re-energized, HIIO get back to the studio after a busy summer which included a coveted slot at Belgium’s Tomorrowland. Vibe had the pleasure of catching up with the guys:

First off, congratulations on an epic Tomorrowland set. Tell us about it: how did you prepare, what was the energy like from your perspective, and how did it rank against other festival performances?
Nico: Thank you! Wow! Tomorrowland was amazing for us! Well, to prepare for this special Tomorrowland set, we finished all the projects we were working on so we could play them for the first time at Tomorrowland. We also did a lot of bootlegs with new and known records for this set. We played at the Samsung Galaxy Secret Forest Stage, which was floating on a small lake, which was literally shaking from all the party people raging out to our set. We thought the whole thing was going to sink! Haha That set for us, was something really special. It’s a huge move in our career and we are so happy to have had that moment. The energy coming out from the crowd was something else!
Ortzy: Since the stage was covered with a plastic tarp on the ceiling, it was so hot on the stage that the CDJ’s were burning our fingers! Haha But we loved every moment.
Nico: Tomorrowland is definitely on the top of our list of festivals that we’ve played in the past. It’s something so different and magical. Everyone must experience it at least once in their life.

HIIO – ELEMENTS Radio Show Episode #012 (Tomorrowland Edition)

We’re loving the new collab with John Dish, “Rock & Roll”! How did it come about?
Glad you like it! Yes, John Dish is an amazing up-and-coming producer from Colombia. We actually did another collaboration with him last year on a track called “CUBIC.” We really like working with him. Rock & Roll is climbing the Beatport charts now at #36!

You guys have certainly been busy. With recent releases on some big labels such as Cr2, Flamingo Recordings, Strictly Rhythm, and Spinnin. What can we expect from you next?
Well, our next release is out soon on Tiger Records and it’s called “La Fiesta.” It’s an anthem that we can’t wait to share with you!

What current artists are you looking to as inspiration, sonically speaking?
Many talented artists always inspire us, but if we have to choose, then right now we are really inspired by the sounds of CHUCKIE, Steve Angello, Michael Woods, Tommy Trash and Deniz Koyu.

How did you get involved with dance music?
Nico: I was 15 years old, and my best friend was a DJ and I always went to see his sets, and I thought to myself “I wanna be a DJ.” I began to DJ when I heard one specific DJ playing songs from Rock and Roll bands, but dance music versions. His name? Paul Oakenfold. When I saw him playing songs from U2, which made the crowd go crazy with his remixes, I said to myself “I want to be like him!”
Ortzy: When I went to my first EDM event, Mauro Piccoto was playing, and I just couldn’t believe how one man was making 5,000 people dance. The show, the crowd and the energy that was there was just amazing. That was the moment that I decide to become a DJ. HIIO came together when a mutual friend introduced us when Nico came to Colombia for a gig two years back. We kept in touch, and created a collaborationwith our track “Something About You.” We realized we worked very well together and had a lot in common at the time to produce. Ortzy then made the move from Colombia to Buenos Aires so we could produce, and from there we built the HIIO brand!

How do you stay original in a market in which many records are starting to sound the same?
We are always trying to stay current with new sounds, trends and technology to adapt it with our style of music. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and be different to find the sounds you’re looking for. It’s not easy, that’s for sure!

When you’re not touring or in the studio, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Ortzy: Hitting up soccer games to support Colombia baby!!!!
Nico: For me, supporting ARGENTINA soccer games all the way!!!

If you could collaborate with any singer, songwriter, band, DJ, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Nico: Michael Jackson 100% – He is the ICON of music
Ortzy: Coldplay – I love their lyrics, melodies and emotions in every record

Do you have plans to come to the US anytime soon?
HIIO hope’s to be at Winter Music Conference in March 2014!

Last but not least, what’s your favorite track of the summer?
Nico: Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)
Ortzy: Armin Van Buuren – This Is What It Feels Like

Thanks so much for having us! It’s an honor VIBE Magazine!
“Good Vibes and House Music To Everyone!” – HIIO

For warm weather-seeking travelers and South America,
Upcoming shows:
September 14 – PACHA (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
September 15 – Club One (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
October 12 – Valle Verde Festival (Acacias, Colombia)
October 19 – Purgatory Private Event (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
December 07 – MISSION Anniversary (Cali, Colombia)
January 18 – PACHA – (Florianopolis, Brazil)