Luke van Sheppingen is living the dream as one of the most in demand producers, DJs, and record label heads in the EDM industry as Laidback Luke, his more famous alias. The half Filipino, half Dutch artist grew up in the Netherlands where he was influenced early on by the graffiti and old school hip-hop scene. "I started listening to house music when hip-hop got too laid back," he says ironically. Enjoying artist like Cypress Hill and Snoop Dogg (the song "Gin & Juice" was actually inspiration to his DJ moniker), Laidback Luke was into the kind of chunky, energetic hip-hop beats that make you want to jump. "I found that energy again in house music and that's why I still spin the energetic stuff I do today," he adds.
Saying that Laidback Luke's sets are 'energetic' is an understatement. He's managed to blend the hyper sounds of electro house with melodies of big room progressive with enough of what the music ADD kids want to hear today with what he thinks is the next big sound in EDM. "This vibes in well with that unstoppable super hero feeling I want to have at my 'Super You & Me' parties," he says. His famous party which has sold out clubs, amphitheaters and music venues all over the world has also taken over stages at festivals as big as Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy Carnival. It makes it's way to Exchange LA this Saturday for the first time with opening support from Henrix, Moska, and Brazabelle. Given this weekend's fanboy festivities in San Diego, this is a party that sounds perfect for the halls of Comic-Con.
"As a kid I always wanted to be a super hero and my favorites were a combination of Spider-Man and Wolverine," shares Luke. "I like Spider-Man's geekiness and how he's a normal guy who can do stuff like web fling. While Wolverine connects with more of my darker side of someone who's fearless and indestructible." Though his 'Super You & Me' parties and Mixmash Records label are all about having fun and being able to do things that set you free, Laidback Luke has also recently tapped into this darker Wolverine side as an artist. His new 'Revolt' theme at his Hakkasan Las Vegas residency channels this darker side like we've never seen before and proves his versatility as a DJ.
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"Because my wife is such a tech house head I have been very much involved in the underground sound that I came from," shares Luke. Recently, he's been caught wearing 'RUIN EDM' t-shirts with the RUN DMC logo thanks to his sarcastic British tour manager. "EDM is a collection of electronic dance music and to be honest I love everything about it because today I can be making progressive house, tomorrow rave music and then techno." His latest "Skyscraper" remix for Alexander Technique and Discokillah proves that he can still make phenomenal big room progressive house like that of his early "Show Me Love" and "Leave the World Behind" productions with the Swedish House Mafia crew.
As Luke has so perfectly described, "The bigger the scene, the bigger the underground, the longer it will continue." Specifically in America where he has a new found love for touring and where he met his American DJ wife Gina Turner. "We met at a Dim Mak Tuesdays party in LA actually where she introduced me to the late DJ AM," Luke says. Their connection grew and they went from friends to lovers after he went through a hard divorce. "It's interesting and refreshing to find a woman who understands what I do and need to do for this - I don't want to say job because this is my passion."
But don't think that his marriage to Turner is what changed his party rock star ways. Today he's a 'laid back' and reserved DJ, but he's had his share of bacchanalian nights all over the world dating back to memories of his first time stepping on the white island of Ibiza. "Sometimes I'm playing a mash-up of that old Tim Berg (aka Avicii) track 'Alcoholic' with a slight tear in my eye because I do love to party," he says. As seen in a recent documentary, Luke was most worried about becoming a bad father to his kids from a different marriage. "For everyone reading this and partying relentlessly just remember it's fun and all, but you have to take care of your responsibilities." This doesn't mean you shouldn't party your ass off in your Comic-Con best super hero get-up at Exchange, it just means do it responsibly, like a real hero.