Steven Baan, aka Estiva, went from being a bedroom producer in a small Dutch village to helming widespread tours across Europe and North America. His prowess as a progressive artist has resulted in an expansive and renowned discography, supported by the likes of Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten and Above & Beyond.
Now a familiar name on Anjunabeats, Estiva made his debut on the label in 2010 with his remix of Daniel Kandi’s sunkissed classic, ‘Venice Beach’. He went on to remix tracks by Anjunabeats staples Mat Zo, Super8 & Tab and Spada in the years that followed, before dropping his first original production on the label in 2021 with the ‘Sky EP’.
Estiva kicked off this year by dropping his progressive two-tracker ‘Rays / Aylu’, which quickly shot to #3 in the Beatport Top 100 Progressive House chart, and followed that up with the release of his latest album ‘Infinita’ on Colorize. Most recently, he graced Anjunabeats fans with his 'What Is Love EP’, which has already seen spins from Sultan + Shepard, Cosmic Gate, Markus Schulz, Farius and more.
Learn more about the story behind Estiva, as well as the 'What Is Love EP’, in our Q&A with him below.
Q&A with Estiva
How did you get started DJing and making music?
Growing up in a small village, quite far from all of my friends, meant that I had to entertain myself. Around my early teens I found out about the software Magix Music Maker and Ejay, which taught me the basics of dance music production.
My older brother saw me having fun but he also saw the software was fairly limited so he introduced me to FL Studio. I was around eighteen when I start releasing records which got picked up by Armin van Buuren and Tiesto. Naturally this was a huge encouragement to my passion.
Not long after, club promoters asked me if I wanted to DJ as they loved my music. This was completely new territory to me but I eventually said yes, only to become the most stressed person in the world about two weeks before my first show. Luckily, I had a friend who taught me the basics, and the show was a success. My career started building and as soon as I finished university I was able to go all in.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on you musically?
Professionally, I’d say Tiesto and his ‘In Search Of Sunrise’ series. I think you’re still able to hear the influences; the groove and the warm melodies. But I got my first introduction to dance music as a small child through gabber/happy hardcore, which really planted the seed. I remember loving tracks from the likes of Dune, Nakatomi, Tokyo Ghetto Pussy and Paul Elstak.
What was the inspiration behind the ‘What Is Love EP’? How long did it take to make?
To me, tension and release play is central to the EP. ‘What Is Love’ probably has the most subtle build of any arrangement I’ve ever written. I really advise people to listen to the ‘Extended Mix’ as in that version you’ll hear the full potential. That track is continuously building without obviously peaking; this kind of progression in music works amazing to really get sucked into the track.
‘Nostalgia’ is the most musical piece of the three tracks. I loved going back and forth with the Anjunabeats A&R team to get to its final form. The final track on the EP originates from about four years ago. I remember playing this track in Ibiza a lot. It’s a dancefloor monster and really rounds off the EP.
Do you have a favourite Anjunabeats record? What is it and why?
‘Air For Life’ by Above & Beyond and Andy Moor is such a pivotal record. I remember hearing it for the first time and realising the production was like nothing I’d ever heard before. That bouncy bassline, the way that top melody just floats around together with the strings and the incredible mysterious vocal.
Another mention would go to Signalrunners’ ‘Meet Me In Montauk’ as that’s one of the records that really resonated with me as a more progressive-focused artist in a trance world.
Which other Anjunabeats artists would you love to collaborate with?
I’m thinking a collab with Jerome Isma-Ae or Marsh would be straight fire.
What does it mean to you to be a part of the Anjunafamily?
Music can be a real safe place for people, a place where they find happiness, comfort and anything in between. It’s even more beautiful when you can experience these emotions together with other like minded people. I think the Anjunafamily is a wonderful example of how music unites people, and we seem to need this now more than ever.
What have you got in the diary for the rest of the year?
November will see the release of all the remixes to my album ‘Infinita’ which I released this year. Amazing artists like Marsh, Rose Ringed and Fehrplay remixed some of the tracks on the album and it’s humbling to hear their vision on my music.