Toneshifterz: Countdown to IQON

In a series of artist features, we are putting the spotlight on some of the line-up stars set to take part in the premiere edition of IQON on 20 of April. First up are Australian hardstyle heavyweights Toneshifterz.

Since their move to The Netherlands in 2011, Elie and Olcay (aka Toneshifterz) have been making a name all over Europe with mainstage performances at the biggest festivals, and a string of successful productions. Because of their success, there are many young Australia producers aspiring to an illustrious career in hardstyle. However it hasn’t all been a dream run for the duo. When Elie was confronted with some personal health issues in July last year, he was forced to return to Australia for an unknown period of time and leave Olcay on his own in the land of tulips, cheese and windmills.

We had a chat to them both to see what this sudden move meant for their artist career, what their plans are for the future, and of course to talk about IQON.

Being on the forefront of the Australian hardstyle scene, how do you feel about the fact Q-dance is launching a new major event in your mother country?

Both: To be honest, this is very exciting news for us. At the moment, hardstyle is definitely making a positive impression in Australia, and is gaining more exposure than ever – the Australian scene is on the rise. For us personally, it has been our dream for many years now to have a thriving hardstyle scene in Australia. All Australian artists and promoters are contributing their bit to the current successes, and of course we will keep working hard to maintain our position as the main Ambassadors for Australian hardstyle on a global scale.

You just mentioned the Australian scene is on the rise. Which artists do you think we should keep an eye out for the coming year?

Both: There is plenty of fresh talent to keep an eye out for. While listening to the first show of Down Underground [the new radio show from Q-dance dedicated to Australian hard dance], two producers caught our ears: Atlas and Dillytek.

The first one is a young guy from Brisbane, and did a great job on his track, called Rise Of The Titan. We had never heard of him before, so to suddenly hear such a good track came as a pleasant surprise. Then Dillytek, a duo from Sydney, produced two new tracks called Alive and Abandoned, which both have a great vibe.

Elie: I find myself whistling the melody of Abandoned without even noticing it. Nice work guys!

Lately your track Last Night got supported (and is now being played regularly) on one of Holland’s biggest radio stations. What was your reaction to this? And what was the feedback like from your Dutch fans?

Olcay: It came as a big surprise for us! Our first question was: how did our track made it to this commercial radio station? We did not submit the track, and neither did anyone we knew about. We both were dumbfounded by the fact how our track made it on air. Ever since then, it has been crazy on our social media portals. We picked up that the Dutch seem to love hearing hardstyle on commercial radio, whether they are driving in the car, or are having a busy day at work.

What can we expect from Toneshifterz in 2013?

Olcay: Since the move from Elie back to Australia in July last year, there has been some confusion around Toneshifterz. As our fans in Europe where used to see us both on stage, and ever since it was just me. Of course, this is not the most ideal situation but the response has actually been great, and everyone seems really understanding for the situation. And therefore we want to take a moment thank all those who have kept supporting us during the last few months.

Elie: Unfortunately, my current health situation will not allow me settle back in with Olcay in The Netherlands soon, as I am not allowed to leave my home situation in Australia for a longer period of time. But of course with the current growth of our scene worldwide, this is definitely no time to step back, which is why we have been hitting the studio harder than ever before lately. We now work from my studio back home, and Olcay of course from Holland, and this long-distance way of working has already resulted in lots of great new productions.

In the coming time, I will try to keep you all updated about my health situation, as I regularly received lots of kind messages from people all over the world wishing me well. This is really heart-warming. And what to expect for IQON? As I said we have a lot of new material ready, so expect a new wave of Toneshifterz mayhem at IQON, where we will perform together. We hope to see you there or at any other dancefloor soon.

Keep up with Toneshifterz on Facebook and Soundcloud.