Photo by Masaya Sato
Finnish bandoneón player and tango musician Ville Hiltula has been also DJing actively at the milongas and tango festivals widely all over the world since the beginning of 2015 at more than 150 different milongas in 8 different countries,
including Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Ireland, USA, South Korea & Japan.
His extensive collection of high quality tango recordings and the knowledge of the music, combined with his exceptional talent of making your feet itch to dance, make the evening unforgettable and enjoyable experience for the dancers.
Main DJ events
Antwerp Tango Festival
Antwerp, Belgium, 2019
Tango auf der Winterinsel
Spiekeroog, Germany 2019
World Tango Congress
The Hague, Netherlands, 2019
Tango Summer Camp
Järvenpää, Finland, 2019
Ireland Tango Festival
Dublin, Ireland 2018
Helsinki, Finland 2017 & 2018
Tango Summer Camp
Petäys, Finland, 2016 & 2018
More than 150 local milongas in Netherlands, Belgium,
Germany, Finland, Ireland, USA,
South Korea & Japan since the beginning of 2015.
10 questions with DJ Ville
a question of taste:
Your favorite music style when DJing?
When DJing the priority is that the music is highly danceable. It´s very difficult to name any favorite style. I like so many of them, and it depends on the mood of the moment. I like to be versatile as a DJ, and adapt to any situation. There are many different styles with great orchestras, and the question is just how to combine them together to keep the flow of the evening, and the floor crowded.
Do you dance yourself?
Yes. Not so much as I would like to since I am often busy either with playing bandoneón, or DJing, but I love dancing.
When did you start to DJ?
At the beginning of 2015.
What made you start DJing?
I´ve been actively playing bandoneón and Argentine tango professionally since 2002, performing widely all over the world at big concert venues, theaters, TV shows, international tango festivals, and local milongas. As a bandoneón player I´m playing all styles from traditional to contemporary tango music. Traditional danceable tango and playing for dancing at milongas has always been one of my favorite things to do, and close to my heart. I have also always loved playing all kinds of recordings to people to make them happy, alongside of being a professional tango musician myself. To combine these passions of mine, becoming a tango DJ seemed like a natural thing to do. Over the years I´ve been also collecting a huge library of all kinds of tango recordings, so together with my knowledge of music and different tango styles, and trained musical ear it was kind of easy to get started. Starting DJing made me also get more into dancing myself.
What is the main quality as a DJ from your point of view?
It´s all about observing people and creating an atmosphere which makes you to get up on dancing and fill the floor. Every night is different, so it´s important to be sensitive about dancers needs on that very moment, and adapt to every situation, and be versatile. You also need to have a good knowledge about the music and different styles, and to know how to combine them, as well as sensitive ears about the good recording quality, and the sound coming out of the PA. All these little things together creates the atmosphere, and makes the dancers fill the floor.
About the cortinas: How long, why and which kind of music?
In my point of view cortinas are as important as the music you play in tandas. With the right kind of cortinas you can combine different styles, create contrasts and certain atmospheres, and make the flow of the evening as smooth as possible. Usually something rhythmical to keep the feet moving, but can be also something more lyrical when it´s needed. I often use swing, rock n´roll, all kind of latin, jazz and world music, but I also always like to explore something new and exciting. The length of the cortinas depends on the situation. Usually between 30-60 seconds. I tend to play longer cortinas when the floor is crowded, or after high tempo tandas, so the dancers have some time to catch a breath and get off the floor. Sometimes I also play longer cortinas when I see that people like to dance them. I go with the flow, and adapt to every situation. It´s all about maintaining the atmosphere and keeping the flow of the evening as smooth as possible.
Is your playlist system always the same, or do you adjust it? When and why?
Always different! I do normally use the regular tanda rotation with cortinas, but adapt to every situation when it´s needed. I never make my playlists in advance, and never use the same playlist twice. Every night is different. I decide on the spot. It´s important to observe the dancers and the general mood, adapt to every situation and make the flow of the evening as smooth as possible, and be versatile with your music selection.
Do you take any special requests during the milonga?
I try to be polite, and see what I can do about it. I might include it into my playlist if it fits in the moment, but I usually prefer not to take any requests because it can easily break the flow of the evening.
What do you like to play as a last tanda of the evening?
Depends totally on the mood of the dancers. Sometimes I end with the high energy tanda, sometimes with some more romantic and lyrical, it depends on the moment, I adapt to every situation. It´s important to maintain the atmosphere, and keep the flow of the evening until the very end.
At which milonga or festival would you like to DJ in the future?
I´d love to DJ at some big milonga or festival in Buenos Aires. I would also love to explore more festivals in Asia. My advantage is that I can always also combine DJing with live music if needed. I can easily come to play as a duo, trio, or quartet, or even with a bigger group if there´s budget for it, and combine it with my DJing, to make the evening an unforgettable experience for the dancers.
Japanese translation coming soon...