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We have lost a VIP – an obituary for DELETE

titel photo credit: Wanyama-photo

Ryan Biggs, better known as Delete, passed away. Eleven days ago these shocking news got public. The incredible amount of memories that are floating the social networks and the moments where DJs pay tribute to him give a hint of how huge the grief is – and which gap he leaves behind. The pain stays. And so does his unrivaled music. An obituary that never should have been written.

The man with the Australian accent, the gentle face and the most violent kicks: Delete has been a person who once you saw and heard him, stayed on your mind. Far more than one century in the scene, he did not only influence Raw Hardstyle – but he was part of the ones who invented the genre we love so much. Therefore he has been significantly involved in the evolution and still is a significant part of the success of this kind of music. Together with his friend Vazard he founded Spoontech Records back in 2010 – and with that, he laid the foundation for his Raw empire that he had been building thereafter. His early tracks like ‚D‚ (on the ultimate legendary Pure Spoonage EP together with Vazard in 2010), ‚Malfunction‘ (2010), and ‚Formula‘ (2011) emerged, and that was only the beginning.

As the most successful Australian export, he moved to The Netherlands in 2013 to follow his dream as a DJ and producer in the Hardstyle scene. In the following years tracks like ‚Ghetto‘ (2014), ‚Just Do It‘ (2015), ‚The World Is Yours‘ and ‚Absolute Terror‘ (with Vazard and Main Concern, both 2016) followed. Seeing how perfectly they still work at parties makes it hard to believe how (comparatively) „old“ they actually are. It shows once more what a timeless and uncomparable sound he had been creating. Quite a few fans always started dances of joy whenever they spotted an eagerly awaited Delete classics set on a line-up. His performances like at We Are Hardstyle 2018 and last but not least his final set at Rebirth 2022 stay unforgettable forever – blessed are the ones who had been there.

REBiRTH Festival: Delete & Delete classics

With his urge to always be better than before, he went the extra mile with Delete VIP. He created an act that not only made the ground quake but obviously inspired more than one of his colleagues. After his very first VIP performance at Supremacy 2015, many highly appreciated and even more praised VIP sets followed, like the one at Qapital 2016 – or the legendary one at Defqon.1 2019, which he played exactly during the time of the sacred endshow. Who thinks the BLUE was some kind of empty is mistaking not only Delete but also his fans. Q-dance must have been sure: If there is one DJ able to fully pack the BLUE while the endshow is going, it has to be Delete.

Regardless of whether Spoontech Records, Theracords or End of Line Records – Delete had been reporting understanding and good relationships with his labels and for that, we can be thankful. In 2017 tracks like ‚Munky Shit‘, ‚The Power‘ and ‚Sucka For Pain‘ (with Outbreak) came out. And ‚Unstoppable‘ (with Deetox) which has a special meaning until today – especially today. From the beginning, every track hit like a bomb – even if it was the first time ever played live. ‚Explosions‘ (with Vazard), ‚Take It Back‘, ‚V1P‚, ‚W4RR1OR‚ (with Chris One), and ‚V2P‘ paved the way for another debilitating highlight that came out in 2018: his album ‚Alpha Omega‚.

Delete & Deetox – alone (lyrics)

„I never explained the reason for me delaying the album, but I had a burnout. I tried to make the album much bigger than it was (which in hindsight was stupid of me) and it was really apparent I had some serious underlying mental issues which made it incredibly hard to manage this project.“ No track, no album, no party – nothing in this world is worth it – however, this is so much easier said and written than thought and done. Without wanting to diminish the fantastic success and explosive atmosphere of the album party, it now leaves a bitterish aftertaste. Delete, your album party was uncomparable, unbelievable and unforgettable. What you achieved with among others ‚Victorious‘, ‚Don’t Hold Back‘ (with MC Livid), ‚Lunatic‘, ‚Disco Weapon‘ (with Killshot), and not least ‚Payback‘ (with Tha Watcher) goes down in history. – THANK YOU.

It was a firework in form of a party before it slowly began to become quiet. Then Corona appeared, there were lockdowns and isolation. For all of us, but especially for the ones struggling, a special – a particularly dark – time arose.

Delete: WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE!

Delete had always been staying true to his music style. Even with his anthems ‚Until We Die‘ for Fatality 2017 (with Nolz) and ‚Freedom‘ for Free Festival 2019 he stayed real and proved how refreshing and remarkable it is to create an anthem that goes beyond the typical anthem sound while still bringing up this special feeling.

His posts on social media have been heartbreaking – and now they are breaking one’s heart even more. His apologies he bandies about are not only retrospectively hard to bear. He was never owing anyone anything. His honesty about his mental health problems paired with hopeful trust: „It’s been a long time, but we are almost out of the darkness, and heading into the light. Take my hand and we’ll guide each other.“ (July 2021). His apologies for his absence – paired with hopeful asseverations: „Sorry for being so quiet and canceling bookings. It was hard to post about but I’ll be back in the game ASAP. For sure this time! Love you all for your patience and support!“ (November 2021). His joyful comeback – paired with hopeful promises: „My rebirth process has begun! I’m so grateful for all my fans that have stuck with me the past few years while I was silent. I’ll make sure it was worth the wait. WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE!“ (April 2022)

It is sickening when thinking about some colleagues who said they will avoid working together with him because he is unreliable. Or the persons who were annoyed when he last minute did not appear last to play his Supremacy set. These people clearly did not grasp the seriousness of the situation. For some, it is apparently not possible to grasp that it has nothing to do with unreliability if a track can not be finished in time, if performance has to be canceled last minute or if social media channels remain quiet – that these are symptoms of a serious illness.

That some people can not empathize with these situations and behavior patterns is an indication these persons obviously and luckily have nothing to do with the emotions and lines of thoughts a depressive person has. In hindsight surely some feel guilty about how they thought about him and his alleged „disappointments“. And probably they will feel shame about putting their desire for a Delete set above the understanding of such a tragic illness. He had never been owing anyone anything and simultaneously his intrinsic own expectations of himself and his perfectionism may have been part of his drifted character. Even the idea of letting his VIP concept sit to reduce pressure, stress, and expectation – failed. It seemed that the border he had been running into was the thoughts of what he can accomplish and grant his fans.

Delete’s very last set was the best he ever played

When Delete did not appear in time at Rebirth Festival and Cryex took over the first minutes, some fans left the stage, because they did not expect to welcome the god of raw himself that day anymore. The regrets of missing the second last set of his life because of that is a bitter pain. But that he came out on stage a quarter of an hour after the actual beginning of the set and that he eventually did play, is brave, valiant, lionhearted, incredibly strong and deserves our deepest respect. The opening track of the second last set of his life: ‚Alone‘ (with Deetox).

His performance one day later at the classic stage, which was the last of his life, gave the chance to set aside the regrets of the missed set the day before. The set at this fully packed stage was THE highlight in the history of Hardstyle. Delete seemed highly concentrated, focussed on the music, the buttons, the controllers. And although the atmosphere at the first weekend festival after the corona break was phenomenal, you could feel an unusual heaviness around the DJ desk. It was his very last set ever, it was the best one he ever played and it ended it with a capital ‚D‘.

Delete & Deetox – Unstoppable (lyrics)

He is not only an idol for his fans but also a role model and inspiration for so many artists. Colleagues, fans, and companions describe him as a warmhearted, supportive, down-to-earth, nice and appreciative person. Not only now after his passing but every- and anytime. His unique way of making music, his powerful, punchy and wholehearted kicks not only make him a pioneer in terms of raw hardstyle but also fascinate music lovers beyond 150 bpm.

The energy that has been flowing through the halls when Delete played, the power that developed through his beats, the heat that has been brewing created through his unique drive – all of that and so much more make him one of the most talented and special artists in this scene – if not THE most talented and special. The perfection, the singularity, the passion and the inventiveness make him an absolute exceptional artist. His openness, authenticity and his clearly honest kindness to his fans make him a personal favorite of the Harder Styles lovers.

It will never be possible to fill the gap and void Delete is leaving behind

Symptoms of depression are no unreliability, no laziness and no sign of disinterest. Depression is no weakness. Depression is no taboo issue. Depression is no trifle. Depression is an highly dangerous illness. Judgment can not take place and we can never ever forget that most of the time – like now – we have absolutely no idea.

The worst thing in this world has occurred. It is endlessly sad and it will never be okay again. The pain is unbearable and will never fade away. The gap he is leaving behind is immeasurably big and it will never ever be possible to fill this void. It hurts so much to know that we will never be able to see him on stage again and we will never be able to hear new music of him. But most of all it hurts so much to know it had been impossible to lighten his burden. The only thing that helps to cope with this loss is the hope he has found his peace.

collage by Dedicated to Hardstyle

The expectation to let the reader go out of this article with a good feeling is impossible in this case. It is the absolute disaster beyond all expectations, a nightmare coming true, the real tragedy in extreme form, the darkest darkness the Harder Styles scene has ever experienced.

Ryan Biggs – Delete – rest in peace, you have more than deserved it. The Harder Styles scene will never be the same again. At open-air stages the sun will not shine as bright without you, the colors in the world will not be as colorful without you, the music will not be as fulfilling without you – festivals without you will never be as lighthearted. You are missed already now and you will be missed even more as time goes on. You will never ever be forgotten and you will forever be in our memories in the best way possible. You are our VIP and we will forever be connected with you through your music. We love and miss you so much.

Ryan’s family set up a crowdfunding campaign to bring him home to Australia and bury him. The fundraising goal of 20.000 AU$ got achieved in a short amount of time and is now at more than double the amount they asked for. If you want to support it anyway you still have the chance to. You find the crowd founding campaign here, there you also have the possibility to leave encouraging words.

***If you’re struggling with mental health, please talk to a person you trust and turn to an official aid center or your general practitioner. Crisis lines are available day and night, 365 days per year. Reaching out for help is not a weakness, it is a strength. You are worth it, you are worthy and without you, the world would be a sad place.***

Leo S
“This is the Sempiternal Uprising"

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