Within three minutes of talking to Kobi Nigreker – or “Blastoyz” as millions of fans know the 28-year-old master of psytrance – I knew he wasn’t your stereotypical DJ.
Sure, he wants to play the biggest stages in the world and watch his powerful groove flow through millions of blissed out bodies at once.
But Blastoyz also worries what the fan he rushes past on his way to the airport thinks about the fact he’s too busy for a selfie.
And, for every magical on-stage moment we’re a part of, there are a thousand unseen moments spent alone in his small, at-home studio.
Eventful, euphoric, and exhausting – this is what the road to achieving “the biggest level” really looks like.
D: One word to describe your experience of 2018 so far?
It has been going really well. I really feel that things are getting bigger and I have new countries to go to and bigger festivals to play. I was at EDC in Las Vegas and also Ultra in Europe. They weren’t the biggest dance floors, but it was still a big experience for me, you know? Something that huge is hard to be a part of.
D: Is it all about playing to the biggest crowd? Do you have a dream festival you want to play at?
I played in Tomorrowland last year just in a small stage – the psytrance stage. My dreams are to get to the biggest stages with the most people. I just want the biggest level.
D: When the level is big, so is the risk! Tell me about the worst fail you’ve experienced on-stage?
Ah, I have two stories that come to mind!
There was one festival I played in Brazil – which is very tropical – and two hours after my set there was a storm. The huge stage which was made of metal crashed down on the people around the stage. One guy died and there were a lot of injuries. I only escaped because I had to leave straight after my set to play in another place, luckily enough.
The second story is when I played in France at a big festival. I had an intro in my set which had a very big uplift before the drop. There were main speakers on the dance floor and also speakers on the stage. Well, after the uplift I was jumping and going crazy – for about four seconds. But I could hear the crowd screaming. And I realised that in the main speakers there was no music. Only I could hear the music. It was so embarrassing, I was freaking out. So I put down the music and just waited. I recovered though.
D: Craziest fan? Are there people walking around with Blastoyz tattoos on their asses?
There was one really, really crazy fan in Switzerland. She came up to me at one of my shows and she gave me paper and a pen and told me “write your name, Blastoyz, in your handwriting” and she went and got whatever I wrote tattooed on her hand. I know because she saw me at another show in Switzerland and took a picture with me. She goes to all my shows. Imagine that – it’s my handwriting of the logo and it’s still there. Crazy!
D: OK, so now we have an idea what the Swiss are like, what are the Australian audiences’ characteristics?
Is this going in a newspaper? I can say what I want? Ok then, just these words:
“Yeah, fuck yeah.”
Australians are really special to me because Australia is very far away, so they are really supportive whenever I come there. Whenever they catch me in the street, for example, they give me so many compliments – they just don’t stop! When you see someone from so far away they really want to make you feel good. I feel good energy from the Australian people.
D: What do you have to say to everyone coming along to Elements Festival?
I’ve heard great things about Queensland outdoor parties and I’m really excited to be back there. It’s been a while and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone on the dance floor and to have fun.
D: Have you ever doubted the path that brought you here?
I thought it would be a lot smaller when I was young, I never expected it to be so big. Never. I thought that I would maybe… my dream was to go play in some forest party for 100 people and that’s it. But things got so big, you know. I always wanted to do music. Since aged 10 I knew it. I always wanted it, I never doubted it.
D: What do your parents think of your chosen career?
Right now they are really excited because they realise it is something I’ve always wanted. When I was a teenager they didn’t really support it. I mean, they did, but they always asked if I really think it is possible to live from music. They never believed it. But that changed when I came back from a big tour in Brazil and I told them that is what I did, and showed them it’s something I love and I can really live from.
D: What do you think are the reasons for your success?
OK, so… I’ve been producing since a really young age, but I think that my sound signature – which is really important for an artistic name – only came in 2015 when I created the Paverti Valley.
Since then, people realised I have something special in my music and I started to get more bookings because they can recognise “the Blastoyz sound” with my basslines and my structure and my groove.
Before then, I was trying very hard and I did produce a lot of music. But when you don’t have a sound signature – you know when people say “Oh it’s Blastoyz” – success can’t come your way. You can’t force that either – there are so many artists that sound the same. So when you really get this sound signature, this is something special.
D: What motivates you?
The thing that always motivates me is seeing people going crazy on my music on the dancefloor. It is like a drug to see people enjoying your music – something you did in your small studio at home. From a really young age, even when I played to ten people, and I saw them going crazy and it really motivated me to go bigger and bigger and to play to more people and see more reactions. It’s fun, the adrenaline.
D: How do you stay humble?
I never had any ego, like, I don’t remember myself changing. Never has anyone told me that I’ve changed. If you ask me about being humble, I think this is also a part of the success.
You must appreciate your fans. It is hard to know people think you aren’t humble because sometimes after a show you are really in a rush, so people think you’re running away because you don’t want to take pictures with them.
But it is not true. Whenever I have time, I am going directly to the crowd and dancing with them. But when there is no time it does not depend on me. I have to run – there are more people that want to see my shows in other places.
Even when I am running the fans always send me messages. In a week I can get up to a thousand messages. I don’t get notifications, I always go to the message and refresh – sometimes when I’m bored at the airport or other waiting times. It’s fun. So don’t stop – I try to read all of them.
D: Most enjoyable collaboration?
Some of the most fun was with Seven Liars and Fiora – the track’s name is “After Dark”. It was different because all my other collaborations involved going to the DJ and we would sit together in a studio for hours – days and nights you know. This one was something special because we worked online. We were like ping pong – he’s doing something, I’m doing something. Then when we spoke about it we really connected, and it was a really nice experience.
D: Is there a type of music or song that your fans would be surprised to know you like?
I like Eminem, Coldplay, some classics from the past the tracks that remind me of my teenager years – Linkin Park. It’s not always psytrance. I like it, and I used to listen a lot, but I also listen to other stuff. Martin Garrix – I like him.
D: You have covered many of the psy subgenres, how would you describe your sound right now?
Right now it’s progressive power psytrance – not really psychedelic and not really progressive, it’s sort of in the middle. I combine them and bring my style, my power and my bass lines.
D: If you could recommend just one freely available track to people who have yet to witness your wonderful music, what would it be?
If you really want to know Blastoyz, I think you should listen to “Pavarti Valley”. It is really my signature track.
Does the thought of hearing that signature Blastoyz sound reverberating through lush, balmy Queensland hinterland this spring make you smile? Yes? Then come to meet the legendary DJ in person at Elements Festival! You can buy tickets here.
Or, if October can’t come quick enough, check out his tunes on the official Blastoyz SoundCloud or see where he’s playing and what he’s working on next on his Facebook page.