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If there was a better time to catch up with EDM wonder kid Throttle than at Schoolies Week 2014, I’d like to hear it! We sat down with the Launchpad prodigy, AKA Robbie Bergin, who despite feeling a little dusty, has his feet firmly planted on the ground and his eye on the prize. “You’ll just have to excuse my voice – I’m in Byron Bay for Schoolies,” he said, sounding a little gruff. “Unfortunately I lost my voice on day one and I haven’t got it back yet. To tell you the truth, I’m pretty worn out already.”
“Good practice for the future,” I say. “You’ll be in for a lot of late nights in your chosen career.”
“Definitely!” he smiled. “I can’t wait to start touring. I’m playing Future Summer ’15 in February and March. It’s my first big tour as Throttle really – although I did a few shows earlier this year supporting Avicii.”
The transition from school kid to sharing the stage with one of the biggest names in the industry was a smooth one for Robbie – he’s a professional at the ripe old age of 18. “I’ve been playing house parties for years but I’ve held off touring because I’ve been concentrating on finishing school all year. I simply didn’t have a lot of time, but also because I didn’t want to burn out in the local scene.”
Burnt out at 18? That’s a scary prospect. “I don’t mean physically burnt out,” he explained grinning. “It’s a really saturated market at the moment down in Melbourne and it’s quite easy to burn yourself out or for people to lose interest in you very quickly, unless you have a tonne of music.”
Expanding his repertoire is number one on his agenda this summer. “I want most of my set to be my own content – that’s definitely the plan. I’m scheduled to play for an hour at Future and I want my own music to be the focus.”
Robbie says he remembers always wanting to make music and saving up for his first electric guitar when he was 10. From there he learned the piano and keyboard, and before long he noticed he had a flare for electronic music production.
He laughs at the memory of telling his parents that he wanted to be a DJ. “It was a bit of a leap of faith! To imagine your kid having a career as a DJ was a bit out of the ordinary for my family – but I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family, and all my friends loved the music I was making.
“I will admit that my parents were worried it would all become too much, and there were times I wanted to give it all up. But I didn’t and that’s thanks to the support of my family and friends.”
Success may not be possible without support of family and friends – but Robbie says it’s also important to be careful who you work with. “I only started working with a management company [At Night Management alongside Throttle fan Avicii] in the past year or so. A lot of people seem to sign on the dotted line very quickly, but it was important to me to hold off for two or three years until I was sure these were the guys that I wanted to work with. So in 10 years’ time I’ll still be churning out music and making waves in the industry.” It’s time to go full Throttle.
When & Where: Future Music Festival, Flemington Racecourse – March 8, 2015
By Natalie Rogers