Heart Beat Turns four on Dec. 16 and they’re bringing in not one but two Belgian DJs to celebrate
This December, Belgian DJs Amelie Lens and Sam Deliart aka Farrago will be gracing the booth at Saigon underground venue, The Observatory. Promoter and record label, Heart Beat Saigon, booked the couple earlier this year for the label’s four-year anniversary.
“I was fascinated by Amelie’s music,” says Heart Beat joint founder Paul Tonkes. “I was amazed that this sound could come from her. She is very petite and yet she makes such big, powerful music.”
In Ho Chi Minh City for one night, headliner Amelie and opening act Sam will bring a whole new avour to The Observatory’s underground repertoire. Throughout her career, Amelie has always been a multitasker.
“I like to keep busy, working on many different projects at once,” she says. “Before I began doing music full-time, I modelled, designed a collection for women’s line Friday, DJ’d on the weekends, and I opened a breakfast company with Sam, called Baerbar.”
Unlike Amelie’s many other projects, music has always been more of a passion than a job.
“Music is something I do for myself,” she says. “I never expected it to become so big, but it did and now I have quit everything to focus on it full-time.”
Growing up, Amelie was not interested in the music scene. “I didn’t have any strong feelings for music in general,” she says. “This all changed when I was 15, at the Dour Festival. People were dancing to this loopy, electronic music, most of them with their eyes closed. I just fell in love.”
Now, many years later, Amelie’s rich, techno sound is inspiring new generations of music lovers. “I write my tracks for the crowd,” she says. “When I’m in the studio I imagine myself playing or dancing to what I am writing.”
Although she draws inspiration from the music she hears, Amelie is always focused on keeping her work original. “I want my tracks to be recognisable,” she says, “I like a warm and full sound, and I often build my songs around a single lyric. My voice has become one of my signatures.”
To Heartbeat’s Paul Tonkes, Amelie’s tracks are the kind of music you can’t help but move to. “Heart Beat is about ‘body music’,” he says. “We book music that you feel in your body, and you just have to dance.”
Amelie’s rst EP, Exhale, was released in February 2016.
“This track was where it all started for me,” she says, “I signed with Lyase Records when I was still working on the EP, so no one actually heard my music until it came out. I think that’s what made it so special.”
Surrounded by friends and contacts, Amelie was able to crack into the techno scene very quickly.
“A few weeks before I released the EP, I saw a video of Maceo Plex playing my track at this huge venue — I literally started crying. It was the rst time I had ever heard someone play my music.”
Soon after, Amelie began playing her rst big gigs. She signed to Second State and moved into the European festival scene. “Both Tomorrowland and Awakenings used Exhale in their promotional videos,” she says. “Extrema Outdoor Festival last May was my rst big stage experience — I was so nervous.”
Taking her music global, Amelie will be in Asia this December with her partner and fellow DJ Sam Deliart.
“My boyfriend Sam (aka Farrago), taught me everything I know about producing,” she says. “We decided to make an EP together — it really is something special. It will be released in 2017.”
With his own music and EP, Sam is signed to Italian record label ARTS. “Amelie is always the rst one to eld-test my music,” he says. “In the audience, I can really tell if I am on to something or not. I give her feedback this way too.”
Amelie and Sam travel and play together both on their home circuit and abroad, supporting each other professionally and personally.
“Amelie is doing so well right now and I am happy this is something we can do together,” says Sam. “We can’t wait to play in this beautiful part of the world.”
They will only be playing one show in Vietnam, and as Dec. 16 draws closer, Ho Chi Minh City’s budding techno scene gets ready for them to hit the decks.
Amelie Lens supported by Farrago will be playing at Heart Beat’s fourth anniversary on Dec. 16 at The Observatory (5 Nguyen Tat Thanh, Q4, HCMC). For more information click on facebook.com/HeartBeatSaigon