On February 16th, Minneapolis Trance DJ/Producer Euphoric Nation (aka Don Ortega) released his latest track “Sparks Fly”. The anticipated release joins the collection of Ortega’s originals, all of which have been a long time coming since his early days of hosting his radio show “Trance Paradise”. I had the opportunity to chat with Euphoric Nation about his recent work.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Don Ortega and I go by the DJ alias Euphoric Nation. I’m from Minneapolis, MN; which just hosted the Super Bowl for those not as familiar with the Midwest! Back in 2010 I wanted to learn how to DJ, since I was obsessed with the transitions in mixes. At that point I started “Trance Paradise” – a radio show now hosted on AH.FM with over 350 episodes. It airs weekly on Thursdays at 8 PM EST. I’ve also had some releases on international labels Above All and Ohm Music.
You’re originally from Minneapolis. How’s the Trance scene in the Midwest?
Our Trance scene has been growing exponentially. We had a really big Trance scene up until about 2014 and then it sort of tapered off. I think most of the local scene had “grown up” so to say – they had families and careers. There wasn’t as much support for Trance music in Minneapolis. For the last year I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with the largest promotion company for music in Minneapolis – SIMshows. Together we’ve helped bring big acts like Ferry Corsten, Aly & Fila, Darude, Cosmic Gate, and Above & Beyond.
“Sparks Fly” is out now! Amazing stuff! Describe the track and how it came to be.
“Sparks Fly” is my third collaboration track with David Thulin. He’s one of the first friends I made in the Trance scene when he lived in Minneapolis. He’s an amazing producer with awesome musical talent. We feed off each other’s energies in the studio so well, so it only made sense that we keep making more tunes together. For “Sparks Fly” I wanted to write a track about my experience in watching some friends continually go back to their bad relationships. I was always there to support them as a friend but then ‘sparks fly’ and things go south. It pains me to keep watching this happen, but ultimately I’ll always be there to support them as a friend.
This is your second release on OHM. What is your future looking like with this label?
The OHM team is amazing. Omair, who’s the label boss, really gives us the freedom to work within our musical talents in producing the tracks. We accomplished a label milestone of being the first track to reach 100k streams on Spotify. We’re excited to keep releasing great Trance tunes.
2017 ended with a bang for you! You were an opener for Above and Beyond at Minneapolis' brand new venue, The Armory. Tell us about that and your experience.
It was a life changing moment. It was obviously a milestone to open at the revitalized venue. I never thought in a million years that I’d be a part of the DJ lineup for the first few acts to play there again! It’s also a bit mind-blowing that Prince recorded his “1999” music video in this venue as well. So, it puts it into perspective how it was not just another DJ gig. I think this is one of those moments that I won’t forget for the rest of my life. I was so happy to see people show up at doors open to cheer me on. The venue quickly filled up by the time I was done and I don’t think I had ever played that many people before (definitely more than 2500 when I was done).
Last Fall you celebrated your 350th episode of “Trance Paradise”. What can we expect from the show in 2018?
“Trance Paradise” is enjoyed by thousands every week, and it’s an honor that people would tune into the show on a weekly basis. I would love to rebroadcast more of my live gigs on the show in 2018. I also want to try to do a few more live episodes on the show where I’m mixing live and people are hearing it across the world live as well. I also really want to highlight other talent by getting rotating guest mixers. There are so many other amazing DJs out there and I want to give them a chance to showcase their favorite tracks as well.
Where can we find more from you?
Any Trance fan is sure to appreciate a talented guy like Euphoric Nation! I would like the thank Don for taking the time to talk about his latest track with me. I wish him nothing but luck with “Sparks Fly” and future projects.