'I can't dance to my own music'

Frequent traveller

'I can't dance to my own music'

Dutch progressive and hardstyle DJ and producer Justin Putuhena, better known as Justin Prime, has been toying with electronic music since 2001. After the initial years of struggle trying to find his sound, he became an overnight hit when he released ‘Cannonball’ with ‘Shoktek’ in 2012.

Having performed at ‘Cirkus Indigo’ recently, he tells Metrolife about the ups and downs in his life. 

“I used to play the piano since I was five. But at the age of 14, I went to my best friend’s house where we started playing around with his DJ setup. I really liked it and from that moment on, I was hooked on to EDM. At 16, I started to produce hardstyle music for six years until I got in touch with ‘Showtek’ and signed with their record label.

In 2011, I was a bit bored of that style and wanted to reinvent myself and switched to house music. I stopped DJing for a year and started collaborating and doing remixes for artistes like Flo Rida and Jennifer Lopez. And since ‘Cannonball’ happened, I’ve just been travelling across the world with it,” recalls Justin. Unlike producers who can work wherever they are, this Dutch producer needs his studio environment.

“Sometimes, I can work in a hotel room. But it’s a very basic setup, so I don’t really like it. I prefer working in my own studio near Amsterdam because I can actually hear what I’m doing and the listening experience is different,” notes Justin, who enjoys collaborations as much as solo projects. “I love collaborating because it’s all about music. I get someone else’s expressions in something I created. Plus, you get the best of both worlds,” he shares.

Explaining the process of making the tracks, he says, “I can’t dance to my own music but when I’m in the studio, my head and feet start moving. That’s how I know that I have a good thing going on. The music is in my mind all the time and every morning, I wake up thinking about a new song that doesn’t exist and I’ve to give shape to.”

When he’s not touring or making new music, Justin likes to cook. “I love eating and cooking all kinds of food, even though I don’t have the time for it anymore. I’m in a different country every weekend. So it’s usually others cooking for me now,” he says.

Was this always the dream? “Of course! But the funny thing is that I’ve been doing this for 12 years and whenever I tried too hard, it never worked out. It was tough making a living off music and there were times when I wanted to give up. I’m just glad that I didn’t!” he wraps up.

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