5 Tunes That Changed Our Lives: Showtek
5 Tunes That Changed Our Lives: Showtek

Formed by Dutch siblings Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen, Showtek have taken the dance world by storm with their techno and hardstyle roots while continually flexing, collaborating, and supporting artists that range from Major Lazer to Knife Party, Galantis and Skrillex.

Part of a new wave of crossover dance music blurring genre lines at festivals around the globe, Showtek are determined to inspire a renewed sense of adventure and experimentation in both their fellow producers and fans alike. Commercially successful by any measure of the term, Showtek seem to take pleasure in bucking any preformed expectations on both their Skink imprint and in the studio with their own productions—not to mention each and every time they step up on the decks.

Their recently released two-hour megamix is testament to that vision, as is tapping Dropwizz X Savagez for a festival trap remix of their killer “Swipe.” More recently, their “Anything But Mellow” remix package (out now!) takes the original “Mellow” from Showtek, Technoboy and Tuneboy and turns it over to heads like Onderkoffer, REEZ, Calvo and Sebastien, and YDG for a serious reworking for the dancefloor. The trap-infused bass rework from YDG is our favorite as it takes the tempo down but turns up the heat with just the right touch of elbow-flexing sure to bring down the house. Check out the audio of that beast here before dipping into the eclectic and wide-ranging influences that Sjoerd and Wouter aka Showtek call home.

I remember going to a club and I heard this song for the first time and I went crazy. I didn’t understand what it was doing to me but I loved it.

Faithless “Insomnia” (Cheeky Records, 1995)
Sjoerd: “My first experience with dance music was at 11 years, and I’ve loved it ever since. In the middle of the song, a very big lead is introduced and that has always been a big influence in our production, if not in dance music in general. I loved the urban vocals of singer Maxi Jazz—which are so unique—combined with that dance sound. It was so new! This is definitely nostalgic. Even though I was still very young, I understood the music. I was always into sports, like martial arts and basketball, but I never had a real big passion for music until then. It made me listen to more music and discover many new songs. It opened the world of music to me.”

Michael Jackson “Bad” (Epic, 1987)
Wouter: “This is the first album I bought—my parents got it for me—and probably also the one I have played the most over the span of my childhood. I remember the day I got introduced to MJ’s album by a friend of my parents. The vocals, the music, and the overall vibe got me hooked. Even though I barely spoke English I remember thinking it was so hooky and real. So that friend copied the album to a cassette and I must have been like 6 or 7 years old trying to write down all the lyrics—with help of my older sister. A few months later I got the actual CD and many more followed.”

Crystal Waters “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” (Mercury, 1991)
Wouter: “This is the first electronically sounding song that I fell in love with. That song was released [in the] early ‘90s so I wasn’t going out to clubs yet, but it had more of a poppy vibe to me. I’m a huge fan of songs with a big riff or melodic hook. That organ hook combined with that hypnotic vocal on top was so amazing. Of all my favorite songs in life I remember where I heard them for the first time and even more importantly how it made me feel and how it changed my musical life. This one I heard when we moved to another city and I turned on MTV and they started playing the song. I remember how new and fresh and original it sounded. The reason why I make music is because of what it meant and still means to me. A great song or production or specific kind of tune can completely change your mood or trigger something new inside of you. That’s what I try to do every day and hopefully create the same feeling to other people.”

The Moon “Blow The Speakers” (Byte Progressive, 2000)
Sjoerd: “This was definitely one of the biggest dance tunes at the time. It was the year 2000, I was 16 years old, and clubs and festivals were new to me. Europe was so different compared to the USA. Techno, house, trance, gabber—every genre was doing well, even on the radio. I remember going to a club and I heard this song for the first time and I went crazy. I didn’t understand what it was doing to me but I loved it. Back then it wasn’t as easy to find out what song it was; no Shazam or anything. I went up to the DJ and asked him to write down this song for me. The week after, I bought the vinyl! This song definitely made me love house music even more.”

Underworld “Born Slippy” (Junior Boy’s Own, 1995)
Sjoerd and Wouter: “One of the biggest techno hits of the ‘90s, and you can still hear this song being played in many bootlegs or remixes. This song was a huge influence on the entire dance scene; it brings you into a trance. When we hear this song it makes us think back to where we came from, when it all began. It made us listen to more dance music and this song was really big on festivals and raves back in the day.”