Brooks – making a name for himself

Dutch producer and DJ, Thijs Westbroek, better known as Brooks, has carved out a solid name for himself over the past two years with a selection of outstanding originals and remixes which have caught the world’s attention. Brooks will be spinning his fresh sounds at Sky Garden on Friday, June 1. The Beat managed to find a few moments with Brooks just after he picked up this year’s SLAM! Award for ‘Best Talent’ – and the first thing we wanted to ask was how his meteoric rise in the electronic dance music world has come about.

The Beat: Background. How old are you, how long have you been DJ-ing and how did you get involved in dance music?
I’m 23 and have been DJing since my cousin got me started on his old CDJ’s, back in his basement when we’d hang out and just listen to beats for hours on end. Not sure of the exact point in time, but a few years back now! When I got to a certain point of mixing, I craved that next level of immersion in the music and decided I wanted to take things to the next level. I started teaching myself how to produce beats and it all snowballed from there.
TB: What was your first big break?
It’s hard to pinpoint, but around the time I started working with Showtek on our track ‘On Our Own’ and when Martin, Bassjackers and Mike Williams started hitting me up for music on a regular basis. I feel like that must have been the time that people really started taking notice. It’s a tricky one to judge something like that by yourself as you’re constantly critiquing your own work, but I guess that activity was a big indicator I had broken through a wall. It hasn’t really stopped since.
TB: What were you doing when you heard that Martin Garrix had played your track and how did you feel about that at the time?
It was pretty surreal. I still get that feeling a bit these days, too. Martin and I have worked together for a while now, and we’d swap music back and forth before we actually got working on music together.  Despite our communication, it still shook me up when I heard my track start playing and I just had to have a little moment of… did that really just happen?
TB: And a couple of months ago you released another track with Garrix and David Guetta. Now really, does it get any better than that? What has happened since that track “Like I Do” was released?
Haha, I’m still hearing it played about on the radio and in sets! It’s one of my own favourites to play out while DJ’ing, purely for the reaction it gets from the crowd. It’s been a flurry of activity to be honest – I’ve got a whole load of awesome shows to work my way through this year which I’m pumped about. That being said, I’m still finding time to lock myself away in the studio for hours. There’s more coming up from where that came from!
TB: How much time do you spend in the studio and what can we expect from Brooks in the near future? Any new collaborations and releases?
It varies, but at the moment I’m in the studio as much as possible. I generally tend to work through the night as I find that’s when I’m most productive, so I’m doing a lot of ‘night shifts’. I’m putting out the occasional track at the moment because I have SO much new material to finish off… I hate to say it, but it’s all a secret until it’s not a secret 😉
TB: What are some of the best shows you have played lately?
This month I’ve played at Landstreff Stavanger in Norway, which was insane, as well as Browar Perler in Poland. Freshtival in my home country, The Netherlands was just this past weekend – the home town shows are my favourites because I see a lot of fans who have stood by me since the beginning! I’m just generally loving festival season this year.
TB: I’ve heard you put on quite a show. What can we expect at Sky Garden from Brooks?
Thank you! I try to bring the energy every time. I know a lot of DJ’s say that, but I really feel like I give each performance my all. What’s the point of spinning at shows if you’re not giving 110% to your audience every time? I hope the Sky Garden crowd is ready for a seriously upbeat show – no standing on the walls for this one J
TB: Any last words to your Indonesian fans and the international crowd in Bali?
I will see you very, very soon! Thank you guys for your ongoing support – I can’t wait to party with you at the legendary Sky Garden. Hopefully can meet a few friendly faces while I’m there. Looking forward to this one a lot J
And here’s the video “Like I Do”

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