“I like to surround myself with people who inspire me and give me a different perspective…”
Jeffrey Haster is a young Dutch beatsmith based in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Best known as JFRY, he deals strictly in highly emotional electronic music that takes reference and inspiration across the beats and bass spectrum. What took root in Dutch hip-hop is now sprawling out into breaks, future bass and even subtle shades of R&B. Very soon he’ll also be sporting a fine line of drum & bass tracks in his repertoire. But for now they’ve just been experienced in his DJ sets.
“Strangely enough I was never that much Dutch hip-hop. I was into making it but I wasn’t into listening to lots of it,” admits Jeffrey who is constantly on the eye out for new inspirations and ideas. One of his most recent sources of inspiration has been through dancing.
“Becoming friends with a lot of shuffle dancers has inspired me,” he tells 1 More Thing. “I got in touch with a whole community of them called Amsterdam Ravers. It was a real eye opener. I experienced music in a different way and got a different perspective. If you hang out with dancers longer enough you’ll become a dancer. It actually shaped my desire for more clarity in productions. If you’re a producer you want to include as much cool stuff as possible. But when you’re a dancer you want something different…”
His latest single Always U is a great snapshot of where JFRY is at as a producer. An intoxicating blend of staggered beats and yearning vocals, it strikes that delicate balance between cool stuff and clarity. The lavish splash of late entering pianos hints at his musical past, too; while JFRY is a new name, his musical roots go back to some of his earliest memories.
“I started super young,” he confirms. “My grandparents had a piano and sometimes my mum would play it. I’d sit on her lap and that was my first instrument. I eventually took piano lessons to get the technique right and learnt a bit of sheet music. Eventually I had a couple of minor gigs. I still love playing it now. At some point I thought I’m going to be a pianist… But I guess things change over time.”
Growing up to that epic wave of major league EDM acts such as Swedish House Mafia, Major Lazer and Yellow Claw definitely had a big influence on his transition from pianist to producer. But for Jeffrey there’s plenty more to discover and find out about himself.
“I always want to be the full package and be an artist, not just the producer,” he explains. “Understanding the difference between the role of an artist and producer and help me find my way and always try to take things to the next level business wise and artistically.”
Most recently JFRY’s been taking things to the next level as a DJ. Looking back over his busiest summer to date, highlights include Cloud 7 Festival and Liquicity, which he was attending as a raver but was invited to play at the very last minute. “I’m not sure how it went exactly,” he ponders. “But during Liquicity they like to have a pool party and my friend was doing the line-up. I took my USB anyway and he called me the evening before and said can you play? It wasn’t the biggest of stages but that was pretty amazing!”
Plenty more amazing things are likely to be store for JFRY as he continues this trajectory, forever adding new elements and inspirations to his vibrant, heavily emotional musical melting pot. “I have a broad taste and want to create a sound that has all those elements,” he beams. “I’m on a journey towards that.”
For now the next stages on the journey include a few more releases before 2022 is out and more DJ bookings, which has become one of JFRY’s biggest sources for inspiration so far. “DJing has influenced my productions in a major way,” he explains. “This year I started to get deeper into DJing and getting more gigs so I’ve been able to test out new productions. They are some of my favourite things I’ve made so far, they’ll be coming out in the next months and next year…”