20 year old Norwegian prodigy Refuzion has been on the rise in 2016! Boasting an ever-expanding discography that contains melodic hits “Another World” with Noiseshock, “Good Vibes” with Da Tweekaz and of course, “Without You,” which managed to rack up almost one million streams on Spotify, this youngster is unquestionably one of Hardstyle’s most talented new producers.
With his fan-base extending to all corners of the globe, this Dirty Workz representative has taken centre stage at Hardstyle’s most elite events including Defqon.1, The Qontinent and Hardstyle DNA, as well as scoring a place on the line-up for the colossal Reverze in March 2017.
Wanna know more about Euphoric Hardstyle’s most promising name? We caught up with Refuzion to speak about his breakthrough journey, building a signature style, working with Da Tweekaz and much more!
– Yo Benjamin, what’s going on?!
Hi, thanks for having me! Right now I’m in the studio working on some new tracks for next year. We’ve been planning a lot of cool projects and I can’t wait to show everyone!
– Let’s start with the basics; for those who aren’t familiar with Refuzion, can you introduce yourself?
My name is Benjamin Sahba, I’m 20 years old and I recently started studying for a Bachelor in ‘Music Technology’ four months ago. Apart from making music in my igloo, I spend my spare time hunting polar bears in the snowy mountains of Norway and pillaging with my fellow Vikings.
– Can you share some of your highlights from 2016 with our readers?
I think my two biggest highlights from 2016 were Defqon.1 and The Qontinent! The crowd’s response during both of my sets was amazing and it was also really cool to meet fans who travelled from different parts of the world to watch me perform – it’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to! If you see me at a party, don’t hesitate to talk to me because I love interacting with all of you!
On the musical side, I think my biggest highlight would be my collaboration with Noiseshock, “Another World.” The response on this track has been really good and we’re just about to hit 500, 000 views on YouTube!
– You mentioned earlier that you come from Norway. What’s the Hard Dance scene like up there amongst all of that snow?!
The scene in Norway is quite small to be honest, but over the past couple of years it’s been growing. At the moment there are probably 3-4 Hardstyle parties per year, which are all hosted by Hardstyle DNA. The genre is interpreted as a little too ‘rough’ for the majority of people in Norway, however the small bunch of people who enjoy it are extremely dedicated, so the crowd is always great!
– You’ve gained a lot of support from fellow Norwegians Da Tweekaz. How did you get in touch with the guys and what was it like to work with them?
Marcus and Kenth have been supporting me so much and have given me a lot of great opportunities, so I’m really thankful for that. If I remember correctly, I think Kenth slid into my DM’s back in 2014 – that sneaky guy… He then introduced me to Marcus and we’ve kept in touch ever since. Back in August 2015, we collaborated to make “Good Vibes” from scratch during a two-day-Redbull-induced-no-sleep studio session.
– Your productions, especially your 2016 releases, have attained a remarkable quality; what are some of the aspects you feel as though have improved the most since your first releases?
Thank you! Personally I feel as though I’ve become a ‘better’ producer in both technical and creative aspects. I do feel as though I’ve started to find my own sound, which is an important thing that all producers should look for. When producing, a good tip is to pick up inspiration from genres other than Hardstyle; this outside stimulus can help you end up with a unique result and your music won’t end up sounding like a ‘cheap copy’ of existing tracks.
Besides, if one producer already has a style, why would anyone listen to you making the exact same thing? If you have a specific Hardstyle track in mind when you sit down in your studio, chances are that you’re going to end up with something that sounds too similar.
– Can you share some details about your ‘breakthrough’ journey?
In the beginning I had a tough time making a name for myself and I thought that signing to a major label was going to solve everything, however unfortunately that’s not the reality. Although Dirty Workz has helped me reach a much bigger crowd, I still needed good quality music, and for me, “Without You” was the track that helped me gain that attention within the scene. Networking also plays an important role; I’d say it’s a combination of good music, knowing the right kinds of people and of course, you need to be lucky as well.
– Do you feel as though upcoming talent is supported enough?
I think a lot of upcoming artists still need to find their own sound – as I mentioned earlier, no one wants to listen to a copy. As there are so many new artists entering the scene each month, I feel as though it’s becoming more and more difficult for artists to break through and stand out from the crowd. I see myself as an upcoming talent, so I still have a long way to go.
– Your track “Without You” is one of my favourite releases and I have to admit, I listened to it a shitload of times when I broke up with my ex. Is there a story behind this track?
Well, to be honest the track isn’t based on a breakup, although a lot of people seem to think so. I did go through one at the time but the track was made before the initial breakup, so you could say it was good timing, haha! A fun-fact about this track that nobody knows is that at first I didn’t feel as though it was good enough for a release.
“Without You” was probably my first ‘unique’ track, so I didn’t have much faith in it. It’s funny to see, because now the video-clip has nearly 800,000 views on YouTube and has been streamed over 800,000 times on Spotify, making it my most popular track. So, the moral of the story is: don’t be afraid to release something that’s different from the rest of your work.
– You also collaborated with Noiseshock this year to deliver huge melodic bomb “Another World.” Can you tell our readers a little more about this track and the video-clip?
I’ve known Noiseshock for several years now and we’ve always talked about doing a collaboration together. It’s funny, because the majority of the track was completed in 30 minutes and it still turned out to be a great success. To be honest, I think that the best music is made in the shortest time, so when you have a burst of inspiration, get your ass in to the studio and take advantage of it immediately! Doing the video-clip was also quite special because Noiseshock and I had never met in real life, so it was a great first ‘meeting’.
– What are some important lessons you’ve learnt from being in the music industry?
I think it’s important to be patient and work hard. Eventually it will pay off. Don’t take every opportunity that you get, because you could be missing out on something better. Always think things through and don’t rush it. I also think it’s important to hold back from releasing tracks until you’ve approaching a professional level; don’t just release every track you make as soon as it’s done. Think it through.
– Can you share a personal fact about yourself that your fans don’t know?
I love making all kinds of music, especially House music. It’s very important for me to stay open-minded. You can find some of my other productions if you search my real name on Spotify.
– Do you feel as though melodic Hardstyle is going to make a huge comeback in 2017?
I don’t have any predictions for the future of Hardstyle, but I think both euphoric and raw as we know it will change for sure. The same recipe has been used way too many times this year for both sub-genres.
– As 2016 is nearing its end, do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2017?
Get. More. Sleep. I really do need that.
– Finally, what did you eat for breakfast today?
Cooked salmon and rice! Leftovers are the best.
Thanks so much for the interview. Best of luck in 2017 & we hope to catch you for a drink soon! 🙂
Thanks for having me! I’ll probably be around at festivals next year!