Starpicker interview alert! I’ve been working on this for a while and I am pretty happy Dan has finally agreed to answer to my questions. Interviewing close friends is always the hardest thing to do. :)) But it had to be done. He is an amazing trance producer and deserves this. So, enjoy the read!

Hello Dan! Where in the world is this interview catching you and what were you doing right before starting reading this?

Weekend, watching series and chill.

Let’s start with the beginning: Who is Starpicker -the artist? How did it all started? The love for music, the producing, the DJing?

For trance it all started in general school when my sister bought some compilation cds with tracks from ATB, Schiller, Marc van Linden. I remember I was listening a lot to the track that started the love for trance music: Marc van Linden – Clubiemus. It was more like a euro house track but the lead melody sounded a lot like uplifting tracks so it did the job. After that I knew I want to learn how to produce music and in college I started with FL Studio and then I switched to Ableton.

Who is Starpicker in the day by day life? Beside producer, DJ, artist?

Automation Engineer, love travels, soccer videogames .

Why Trance? What does this genre mean to you? How does it make you feel?

I listen to all kinds of music but trance just has that special something if you know what I mean.

What would you say it is your biggest musical accomplishment till now?

Playing this year at Afterhills Festival. 🙂

Which single track that you’ve produced had the biggest impact on your career?

I also had tracks under other aliases but the biggest track so far is “The Traveler”.

How do you actually produce your music? Do your tracks tell a story? What is the inspiration behind your tracks?

Usually I open my DAW and play with something or go through older projects and and if something new comes to mind, I write it down. But mostly the good ideas come when I have to do something else with a close deadline. :))

Who influenced your work the most? Simple people, other artists, works, etc.

People inspires me a lot. From other artists I can say that Giuseppe Ottaviani inspires me along side Thrillseekers and Solarstone.

What do you think makes a perfect track?

I think that the melody is the main reason you will look again for a track.

Have you ever experienced the creator’s block? And if yes, how did you snap out of it?

For me there is a time of the year when I write some melodies and then all the year work on finishing them.

Let’s go a bit into some technicalities: what’s your studio setup?

A nice PC with a Komplete audio 6, Audio Technica M50 and recently I got a pair of Yamaha HS7 who are not at full power because of my room but at least I don’t have to work on headphones all the time.

Favorite DAW?


Can you name your top 3 VSTs?

Spire, Sylenth, Serum.

Soundbanks or sound design? Which is the way to go?

Sound design usually, it takes longer but its worth it. Sometimes I use presets too.

What is the simplest advice you’d give to someone else that is starting this journey?

Dream big and work hard. If you love this enough you will get where you want.

You favourite trance subgenre?


Any favorite artists?

Giuseppe Ottaviani, Solarstone, Thrillseekers, Ferry Corsten, Suncatcher, Exolight, Daniel Kandi.

Any artist a trancer should definitely follow these days?

If you want nice melodies with alot of energy and a driving bassline Nikolauss is your man. His tracks are insane these days, you should definitely check him out. Suncatcher and Exolight are also top producers with big support lately and with a good year with great tracks. Also check Sundancer, Bogdan Vix and Keyplayer, they are on fire.

Any new projects coming up? What can we expect from you in the next months?

Solo projects a few and 2 collaborations.

How was the Romanian Trance Gathering party? What can you say about that night? You had a very special b2b with Nikolauss.

I really enjoyed the party. I meet great people there and made new connections. My set with Nikolauss was the first b2b for us and we did a great combination of our styles.

What can you tell us about your work with Nikolauss? When can we actually hear something from you 2?

We worked for a while at a few projects, finally one is ready now and will be soon out there. I think I may give it a spin at Afterhills Festival.

What about the work with Exolight and Suncatcher? How was it? Working with these 2? Anything new coming up?

It was awesome, the fastest collaboration ever ha ha. I sent over something and then they came up with some great ideas about it. With Exolight is another one in progress and I think will be a good one.

Congrats of becoming part of the Afterhills line up. What can we expect from you?

Thank you! I am very happy for being part of it. I will do my best and hope you will enjoy the my set.

What do you think about the trance community – the fans?

I think it’s a great community all around the globe and it’s bigger every year.

And what about the trance community the DJs/ producers (the ones you encountered till now?

I met a few of them and they are good fellows helping each other.

If you could change your place for one day with another artist, not necessarily trance artist, with whom would you change places and why?

Giuseppe Ottaviani. His Live 2.0 set is insane and I think it’s amazing to watch and learn from it but no one could do it better than him.

Hardest question of all: Can you tell me the top 10 trance tracks of all times?

There are so many! Here are 10 that came to me right now but not in a specific order.

  1. The Thrillseekers Pres. Hydra – Amber
  2. Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella – Venera (Vee’s Theme)
  3. NuNrg – Free Fall
  4. Ram – Ramsterdam (Jorn Van Deynhoven Remix)
  5. Darren Porter – Spellbound
  6. Paul van Dyk – For An Angel 
  7. Kamaya Painters – Northern Spirit
  8. Chicane – Saltwater
  9. Solarstone – Seven Cities
  10. Airbase – Modus Operandi

Do you have a message for our readers?

If you think my writing is good then you didn’t listen to my tracks.

Everyone has a hidden talent. What’s yours?

Finding everything funny and making jokes about it especially in serious situations. I don’t this is something that helps but I can’t change it :))