DJ Madskillz is a conspicuous person, who doesn’t fall easily into a single musical genre. Madskillz, a native of Amsterdam, is in great demand as both a DJ and producer, but also finds time to run the record label Azucar Recordings. His CV already boasts more than 50 productions, which makes him one of the most prolific DJs in the Netherlands. His house, tech house, and Latin house sound always brings a unique, energetic twist to his popular DJ sets. In 2007, DJ Madskillz signed for the popular booking agency ‘1Management’ and he is currently rocking every significant festival in The Netherlands.
Although Madskillz can be found behind his turntables every weekend in clubs throughout the country, he takes producing just as seriously as DJ’ing. Because of his unique sound, DJ Madskillz is a much sought-after producer/re-mixer. He formed a producing partnership with Gregor Salto (G-REX Music) and their first successful collaboration was ‘Embryo’ (DJ Madskillz & Gregor Salto, 2006). The hit was played by all the top DJs throughout the world. They also remix tracks from international artists such as Axwell, Roger Sanchez, Sandy Rivera, Microfunk and Bob Sinclar. These productions have seen them join the ranks of the top DJs. DJ Madskillz’ single ‘Rip it up’ (2007) has been well received by, among others, Laidback Luke, Steve Angello and Roger Sanchez. Together with Sidney Samson, he was been responsible for the underground club hit ‘Viruz’ (2007). They also compiled ‘Sneakerz Festival, Vol. 4’ (2007), the compilation CD of the leading legend Dutch house events of the same name.
DJ Madskillz, aka Gertjan Schonewille (1969), developed his enthusiasm for music when he first encountered the upcoming hiphop and electro sound in 1985. “I can remember that I was particularly fascinated by the music which was played on the well-known pirate stations in those days; music that was completely different from the top-40 tunes of that time.” He discovered house music and he got mad about this new sound after visiting club RoXY in Amsterdam in 1989. “I wasn’t really enthralled by just spinning records; I was particularly interested in new techniques to make music.” Gert bought a drum machine (Roland TR-909) and a bass synthesizer (Roland TB-303) and started to experiment in the studio. And how! In 1991, he produced, together with Dylan Hermelijn, ‘Edge of Motion’, his first 12″ ‘Set Up 707’, which became the ultimate worldwide house classic. From that moment on, he has been producing different styles, from trip-hop to drum & bass, from techno to house, under different aliases. Since 1997, a new and successful period has arrived, as Gert has become well-known because of his Latin-orientated house tracks and DJ sets.
In 2003, DJ Madskillz founded his own record label, Azucar Recordings. He scored a tremendous summer hit with his second release, ‘Caliente’ (DJ Madskillz, 2004). The mix of the minimal hit ‘Pecan’ (DJ Madskillz & Gregor Salto, 2007) and his aforementioned hit single ‘Rip it Up’ (2007) have been released on his own label. Azucar Recordings has set out to be a breeding ground for a new generation of DJs/producers. New releases by DJ Madskillz himself, Gregor Salto, Sidney Samson and a whole wave of new talented names are all ready to go, so keep your eyes out for what’s yet to come!
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