Jengi, a rising star in the dance music scene, is known for his unique sound that blends elements of the house music era of the late 80s/90s with modern influences. His track “Bel Mercy” went viral last year, catapulting him to global success and leading to performances at high-profile gigs like Tomorrowland Winter.

Congratulations on your debut with Three Six Zero Recordings! Can you tell us about the journey of creating “Da Feeling” and what inspired you to revive this underground house classic?

Thank you for having me! I’ve been making this track during my break of touring and had the opportunity to work on this acapella of Sweet Tee with GFDM. They offered me this project and I immediately heard that this needed to be a summer track with blends of old school house elements. I think the famous track of Technotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam” gave me the inspiration.

Your track “Bel Mercy” went viral last year. How has that success influenced your approach to music since then?

I had the honor to play a lot of shows and make a lot of debuts at big festivals and clubs around the world. Since then I got to know a lot of people from the industry and labels are interested in my music. It definitely changed my career as a producer and DJ, now it’s time to build up and work further on the journey.

You’ve mentioned a fascination with the house music era of the late 80s/90s. How do you incorporate that influence into your modern sound?

Yes, it is, I love it and so do a lot of artists in the scene. In this saturated area, you have to find your own unique sound which is challenging of course because everything is already invented. I make use of the classic instruments from the 90s house era (the siren and piano) combined with a little bit of my own twist with vocal chops (I used it a lot back in the days).

With a performance at Tomorrowland Winter and upcoming sets at venues like Amsterdam’s Melkweg and London’s Ministry of Sound, how do you prepare for such high-profile gigs?

I often organize pretty well for each set. I’m checking the lineup, which artist is playing before and after me so I can predict a little what the mood for the event will be. Set time is pretty important as well, sometimes I start early sometimes I’m closing an event so you have to adapt the energy so the party makes sense. I make a bunch of folders for each genre/mood, for example, a map including only Chill House music, House, UK Garage and for emergencies I have Mainstream music as well in case the crowd doesn’t want you (as a DJ you sometimes you have to please the audience and put your ego aside). And there’s a difference between festival gigs and club gigs. At festival gigs I play dance music with lots of climaxes and drops, in clubs I mix tracks more fluently that keeps the crowd moving without too much build-ups. In clubs, I’m allowed to do random genres as well, it doesn’t feel like I always have to promote my music and get stuck on 1 genre, in the meantime on festivals it’s more like a presentation to show who you are as an artist.

As a rising star in the music scene, what are your main goals for the rest of the year, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Making a track that highlights my shows again (and hopefully other DJ’s gigs as well). Collaboration with big artists, releasing music on respected record labels that fits my genre. Selling out tickets would be awesome! To achieve these goals, I need to release more music at the first place. It means I have to spend more time in my studio, ask artists for help in case it’s too much work. Need to think about who I really am and how I can attract people to my music and persona. I have to find a way how I’ll use my artist page on social media, what fits me the most and how can I be myself, that is still a struggle for me on social media because I’m not that guy who puts his face on these platforms. All these aspects are essential for achieving my goals. I’m on the good way right now though, I’m playing on very good shows, I met lots of awesome people from the industry over the past year and my music is getting better and better.

How much effort do you put into social media and do you feel it’s necessary to fit a mould or be an individual when it comes to sharing content?

Social media is important but I’m not putting a lot of effort in it and I know that. It’s just not me, what I said previously: I have to find a way to feel comfortable with it. I think it’s necessary to be an individual on social media, people want to follow the real artist, not a marketing account. Though you have tricks and formula’s to crack the code so you can boost your social media following.

Collaborations can be a key part of an artist’s growth. Are there any artists or producers you’re looking to collaborate with in the future?

Yes definitely it is important, it will help introducing yourself to a new audience. I’ve got a various list of totally different artists, it would be dope making a track with artists such as Kerri Chandler, Underworld, Mau P, Mall Grab, making a track with the legend Tiësto would be awesome too!

What can your fans expect from you in the coming months? Any hints or teasers you can share about upcoming projects?

I’m working on some music right now, so expect to see some releases the next few months. I can’t say much with who or what label. I’ve got more free time to work in my studio now, which I couldn’t do last year when Bel Mercy exploded due to touring. I’ll be performing as well, on festivals like Tomorrowland in July and I’ll make my debut in The States in June which I’m really excited about.