2017 is off to a well, uh, controversial start, but nonetheless, it’s time to ditch the debates for a moment and focus on the positive. And what better way to do that by unveiling our first featured artist for the year?!
Deemed one of the most consistent names in Hardstyle, this particular artist claimed to have experienced the “best year of his life” in 2016, and is set to keep killin’ it in 2017. Hailing from down under, this laidback fella isn’t just one of the country’s finest exports, but he also holds unprecedented value within the global industry.
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for our ‘artist of the month’ for January, 2017 – Code Black!
Sydney-born Corey Soljan grew up with an undeniable passion for music, specifically the sounds of electronic dance music, which he dabbled with during his teenage years. Spending years behind his PC, Corey’s skills and technique endlessly improved to the point where he was ready to showcase himself to the world. Initially teaming up with Sam Gonzalez, aka Audiofreq, the pair set out on their mission under the Bioweapon alias.
It wasn’t long until the sound of Bioweapon made its impact on the Hardstyle scene and placed the duo on everybody’s radar. Gaining international interest from numerous organisations and labels, Bioweapon soon signed with Scantraxx Recordz and went on to release ground-breaking hits such as “Move your Body”, “Bass Power,” “Turn It Up” and their remix of “Toca’s Miracle” by Fragma & Coco Star. Performance-wise, there was absolutely no stopping this dynamic duo from tearing the crowd apart at several large-scale festivals across The Netherlands and Belgium.
The spin-off from Bioweapon’s European tour led the pair to a decision that would ultimately impact their lives. Relocating from Australia to Hardstyle’s central hub, The Netherlands, this big move signified a junction and important resolutions for the pair as shortly after settling, the Bioweapon project came to an end… However this cloud came with a silver lining for Corey, who soon launched his solo alias Code Black at the end of 2011.
With the public already well-acquainted with Corey’s abilities, this allowed him to kick off his solo career with a bang! Signing to Fusion Records, Code Black soon struck gold when he released the monumental hit “Red Planet.” Critically acclaimed as one of Hardstyle’s most time-transcendent gems, this mysterious, melodic knockout inevitably saw Corey’s career soar to all new heights. From performing in clubs to filling out colossal venues, Code Black spread his legacy at eminent festivals like Q-BASE, Defqon.1, Tomorrowland, WiSH Outdoor, Reverze and Bassleader.
Unforgettable tunes continued to flow, as Corey dropped remarkable hits “Your Moment” with Wasted Penguinz, “Can’t Hold Me Back” with Nitrouz and “About The Music” with Toneshifterz. With his signature sound becoming one of the strongest in Hardstyle, it came as no surprise that just one year after the conception of his solo alias, Code Black was one of the most popular acts in the industry.
If this down-to-Earth Aussie knows one thing, it’s how to create larger-than-life melodies and his previous releases were just the tip of the iceberg! In 2013 and after signing to WE R, he dropped “Brighter Day,” an incredible melodic masterpiece that encloses beautiful, emotive vocals and a deep storyline. This stunning success was followed by several game-changing releases “R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N,” “I.N.C.O.N.T.R.O.L” and “Feels Good,” which subsequently pushed Code Black’s name into the stratosphere.
Alongside his ever-expanding discography, Code Black’s performance schedule began filling up to weekends that comprised of back-to-back mainstage performances. However, Corey’s biggest milestone arrived in November 2013, where he had the honour to showcase himself on Hard Dance’s biggest podium – Qlimax. With the spotlight shining bright, Corey mesmerised every soul in the GelreDome as he proudly spun his finest tunes.
2014 was a game-changing year for Code Black, who not only released two outstanding collaborations with fellow melodic titan Atmozfears (“Starting Over” and “Accelerate”), but also reached commercial success when he was voted into the DJ Mag Top 100 at #92. Another turning point in his career arrived when he dropped “Pandora;” this track signified a contemporary freshness that the Hardstyle scene was in dire need of.
2015 saw numerous gigs flooding Code Black’s agenda, as he performed on colossal stages at Defqon.1, Hard Bass, Electric Love Festival, Ground Zero, Hard Island, Airbeat One, The Qontinent and many more. Spending other waking hours in the studio cooking up delicious beats, Corey continued on his creative streak by releasing game-changing melodic tracks such as “New World” featuring Chris Madin, “Draw Me Closer,” “End Like This” with Wasted Penguinz, featuring Insali and “Triangle,” which robustly impacted the scene.
Not only kicking goals in his solo career, but for the first time in years Code Black and Audiofreq stepped back on stage as Bioweapon for a re-union like no other! The hype from this revival performance was incredible and inspired the pair to step back into the studio together and cook up some more magical beats!
During the year we’ve recently fare welled, Code Black kept his legacy on-point as he represented the melodic spectrum of Hardstyle with sophisticated and touching productions. Not only focusing on his own career, but Corey also became a guide for the next generation of producers with his production master classes and Facebook group that’s devoted to providing studio tips to up and comers. A true pioneer and leader, Code Black is an example of an artist who cares about Hardstyle its future.
Alongside juggling a booming performance schedule and guiding the future of the genre, Corey also found time to unleash his creativity through his own productions, unveiling hit-tracks “See The Light” with fellow melodic representatives Da Tweekaz as well as sensational Defqon.1 Australia anthem “Dragonblood” alongside Aussie comrades Toneshifterz and Audiofreq. Ending the year on a high note, Code Black warmed the hearts of fans around the globe with his stunning free-release “You’ve Got The Love,” a track that’s taken the scene by storm this season!
Taking a peek at 2017, we expect no less than fresh melodies and energetic performances from this Aussie pioneer. We’d like to congratulate Code Black on taking out our ‘artist of the month’ title for January and we wish him all the best for the year ahead. To stay up to date with Code Black, be sure to follow him at the social links below.
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