Dutch electronic dance producer Oliver Heldens is regarded as one of the primary figures of the future house scene of the 2010s. While he incorporates elements of numerous styles of dance music, including techno and breakbeat house, his most well-known tracks, including the 2014 U.K. chart-topper "Gecko (Overdrive)," combine deep house with big room and progressive house. His tracks produced under his own name tend to be melodic while maintaining a funky edge. Since 2015, he has additionally released darker, heavier club tracks under the name HI-LO. Heldens began his career with a handful of singles on the CR2 label in early 2013. This was a pivotal year for Heldens, and saw him remix Martin Garrix's smash hit "Animals" as well as release two singles for Spinnin' Records ("Stinger" and "Thumper"). Later that year, he teamed up with Oxygen Records and released "Onya" featuring Alvar and Millas. In the meantime, "Gecko" was picked up by major DJs and producers including Pete Tong, who named the track his "Essential New Tune" in January 2014. It also led to Tiësto releasing the track on his Musical Freedom label. Heldens remixed Robin Thicke's "Feel Good" and made headline appearances at several of Europe's top EDM festivals that summer, including Tomorrowland and Creamfields. A vocal version of "Gecko" titled "Gecko (Overdrive)," featuring The Voice U.K. contestant Becky Hill, was released in June of 2014 and hit number one on the U.K. singles charts. At the end of the year, Heldens had another Top Five hit in the U.K. with "Last Night (Koala)" featuring KStewart. Heldens ranked at number 34 on DJ Mag's Top 100 DJs of 2014 survey, and following his Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1, Tong named Heldens "one of the breakthrough producers of the year." In 2015, Heldens launched his Heldeep Records label with the single "Renegade Mastah" by HI-LO, which was later revealed to be a new Heldens project. Under his own name, he continued to release solo singles such as "Melody" and "Bunnydance," as well as collaborations with Da Hool, Zeds Dead, and Tiësto (including the 2016 U.K. Top 40 hit "The Right Song"). He also remixed songs by the Chainsmokers, Katy Perry, Calvin Harris, and others. In 2017, he released the single "What the Funk" (featuring Danny Shah); Steve Aoki released his remix of the track on his Dim Mak label. The following year, Heldens remixed Sofi Tukker's "Best Friend," which featured Nervo, the Knocks, and Alisa Ueno. He also teamed up with Sidney Samson for the single "Riverside 2099." Early 2019 saw the release of the single "Summer Lover" (feat. Devin & Nile Rodgers).
© Aneet Nijjar /TiVo
© Aneet Nijjar /TiVo
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The Annual 2021: The Best in Dance Music!
Ministry of Sound’s selection of the greatest dance tracks of the year doesn’t disappoint. This yearly compilation album kicks off with Paul Woodford and Diplo’s sensual Looking for me, a chill piano house track featuring 90s classic house basslines and synth pads. Imanbek brings his iconic gritt...