You’ll know the Netsky as one of the most prolific names in the drum and bass industry, but what you may not know is how much he loves New Zealand. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of his debut album & another Summer spent in New Zealand, we’re taking a look back at Netsky’s rise to fame and how New Zealand found a special spot in his heart.
Netsky, aka Boris Daenan, hails from Belgium and started producing music and DJ’ing as a teenager. His talent for liquid funk drum and bass quickly caught the attention of heavyweight label Hospital Records who also work with some of the biggest drum and bass industry names such as High Contrast and Danny Byrd. In May 2010, Netsky released his self-titled debut album that was met with critical acclaim. It was during this time Netsky ventured to New Zealand and played one of his first shows here that still stands out as one of his favourites – celebrating the new year at the 2010 Rhythm & Vines in Gisborne.
As Netsky has catapulted into fame in the last decade, he has played some of the world’s biggest festivals like Coachella, Tomorrowland, Glastonbury, and Ultra, just to name a few, as well as selling out his shows to crowds of 18,000 in Europe. It only took one visit for New Zealand to capture his heart though, with Netsky playing the following two Rhythm & Vines before returning for the 2014, 2016, and 2017 festivals, making his Summers spent in New Zealand an annual event.
Fast forward to 2020, and Netsky has released two more chart topping albums, ‘2’ and more recently 2016’s ‘3’ which featured some of his biggest tracks to date such as ‘Rio’ that became the unofficial 2016 Olympics anthem and ‘Thunder’ with Emeli Sande. 2018 was another big year for Netsky as he embarked to Los Angeles to work with one of pops biggest producers, Stargate, who became like a mentor to him as he stayed at his LA house and recorded in his studio. The result was the pop-infused EP ‘Abbott Kinney’ that starred names like 1991 & KYLE, while also coming out with ‘Ice Cold’, a David Guetta collaboration prior to the EP release . This year, he had another massive win with the release the pop infused electro number, ‘I Don’t Even Know You Anymore’ with Bazzi & Lil Wayne, amassing a giant 28 million streams and counting. Netsky has made waves in the EDM industry as he bought his unique drum and bass style to the mainstream, becoming a highlight at festivals all around the world.
Netsky’s relationship with little old New Zealand has just gotten stronger and stronger over the years, fondly talking of the Kiwi hospitality and how kind the people here are, “I think it’s a combination of amazing people and a really warm community over here,” the 29-year-old shared. He’s also a fan of how great our festival crowds are – “It’s just insane how people here in New Zealand combine the energy with just a good attitude”. With Netsky making tour stop offs in New Zealand as well as making his way through the Summer festival circuit, the feeling is mutual as New Zealand fans sell out his shows time and time again.
In addition to being a festival favourite, Netsky has had some pretty epic New Zealand gigs. Last February as a special stop off on his New Zealand tour, Netsky teamed up with George FM, Heineken, & The Sugar Club to throw an exclusive ‘Netsky In The Sky’ party 53 floors up at Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower. 100 lucky fans won tickets through a series of competitions and got to experience a party like no other as they watched the sun set while listening to Netsky throw down one of his dance inducing sets.
And that’s not the only time Boris has gotten creative with his New Zealand shows. Netsky chose New Zealand to host an intimate party for fans to celebrate 10 Years of Netsky – that’s 10 years since he released his debut album and 10 years of playing in NZ. Boris has been here enjoying the Kiwi Summer and performing at series of summer festivals including Bay Dreams, a surprise performance at Rhythm & Vines with local producer Montell2099, as well as Area 51 in Napier.
Tickets for the 10 Years of Netsky party were given away by Spark, Spotify and George FM, where winners got to see Netsky perform live alongside Kiwi friends SACHI, Montell2099, Teto and Hollwoo at Te Hihi Estate in Auckland.
Aotearoa continues to be Netsky’s second home, and we can’t wait for him to return.