We catch up with the hardest working man in dance lớn talk his rise khổng lồ fame, his Revealed Recordings label và his bid for world domination...Bạn vẫn xem: Go hardwell or go home
“After I vì chưng a gig, if I’m in a các buổi party mood, it’s my tour manager’s job khổng lồ remind me that this is my job,” says 25-year-old megastar DJ Hardwell. “Even though when I DJ and travel it doesn’t feel lượt thích a job. It feels like a dream come true.”
Living the dream, for the Dutch DJing dynamo, involved doing 250 gigs last year. This year, he says, he’s got as many lined up. Và that includes his very first “solo concert” tour that he’s calling I Am Hardwell. It’ll start in Amsterdam, at the Heineken Music Hall, on 27th April.
“It’s the next step in my career,” says Hardwell, whose CV, so far, includes his own solid-gold big room house hits, co-productions with Tiësto, an Essential Mix and hitting No.6 in DJ Mag’s top 100 poll last year.
“It’s going to lớn be my own show, with my own stage. We’re going to announce the dates one by one and, at the moment, that’s about as good as it gets for me!” ROCKING THE CROWDBefore he starts his I Am Hardwell bid for world domination, the Dutch star is due lớn DJ in Miami, for the Ultra festival (16th March on the Main Stage), and for DJ Mag’s annual Miami Music Week pool tiệc nhỏ (20th), at the South Beach-based temple of opulence known as the Delano.
“I was at the DJ Mag tiệc nhỏ last year,” says Hardwell. “I never expected that I’d be on the line-up this year!”
And then he’s off, talking about his latest re-edits, the original productions he’s going to thử nghiệm out for the show and the tunes he’s A&Red for his own Revealed Recordings label (make sure you reach his Revealed Recordings buổi tiệc nhỏ at Mansion on the 21st), that he’ll play too.
“I never play the same phối twice,” he says. “I couldn’t vì that. My main goal is always to lớn entertain the crowd. That’s why I use CDJs when I DJ. I would never, ever, use a MacBook. I use a Mac and ngắn gọn xúc tích Pro to lớn make music, but I think it’s awful when you see a DJ standing there, fiddling with their laptop on stage, looking like they’re checking their emails instead of engaging with people. I want lớn interact with the crowd. I want to feed off their energy và for them to respond to lớn mine.”
MAGIK MUZIK STORE
That ethos has been the same since the beginning, since Hardwell first started DJing, aged 13, playing everything from salsa khổng lồ hip-hop, early house tunes & pop at a local dance school (where kids learned to tango) in his trang chủ town Breda. “I bought my decks when I was 12,” he says. “They were a mix of Reloops that I got from the local record cửa hàng Magik Muzik store.”
That shop, just a few minutes from where he grew up, isn’t there any more. But, back in the days when Hardwell was better known as Robbert van de Corput, the siêu thị was owned và run by Tiësto. “I used to lớn go in there & buy records and I’d sometimes see him working behind the counter, when he wasn’t touring or away DJing,” recalls Hardwell.
“When I finally did meet him properly, 10 years later, I never mentioned that I’d met him before, when I was a teenager that no-one knew.”
Hardwell’s long-running affair with electronic music started way before he was a teenager. He started playing the piano aged six. As an only child, he spent a lot of time listening to lớn the music his mum & dad would play at home. And, when they weren’t playing music, he’d turn on the radio.“I think the tune that really made things click into place for me, in terms of electronic music, was 2 Unlimited ‘No Limit’,” he remembers.
“It was after I first heard that on the radio that I went onto my dad’s computer and downloaded a program to lớn make music.” Using this program — Magix Music Maker — Hardwell put together his first rudimentary tunes. And, at that stage, he was only nine-years-old. “It was weird because none of my friends were interested, so I did spend a lot of time alone on the computer. It seemed lượt thích all the other kids my age were more interested in playing with Lego.”
MAIN STAGE MASTERY
From those early production building blocks, Hardwell has gone on khổng lồ carve out a career that many people spend a lifetime & more trying to lớn achieve. By the time he was 19-years-old he’d played at every major stadium gig & festival in Holland. At that age, he says, he remembers playing the main stage at Dutch festival Dance Valley.
“I’d get bored if I just had to stand in the DJ booth waiting for one record to nearly finish before I brought the other one in,” he reveals. “That’s why I’ll always showroom acapellas và make weird cuts. I’ve always wanted khổng lồ be a really energetic DJ. That’s something I had in mind since I first started DJing. I’ve always wanted lớn entertain the crowd instead of just playing records.”
BIG ROOM SOUND
This full throttle, flawless approach to lớn his art is probably what draws gargantuan crowds khổng lồ see Hardwell every time he plays. At his gigs there’ll be at least half a dozen people in the crowd holding banners with his name on them.
“The big room, progressive sound I play is ideal when it’s played to lớn bigger crowds,” he says. “And when I first started playing lớn huge audiences, when I was around 17, it was a real eye-opener lớn me. That’s when I really developed my big room sound. When you play lớn big audiences, you can extend records more. & the progressive sound that I play, it’s more euphoric. I think it’s hard khổng lồ create that same feeling in a small club.”
But it’s not all about the DJing. For each phối he plays, he’ll bosh out a fresh batch of re-edits. He put together his Nirvana re-edit and another he did of Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ in four hours apiece. & he’s also well-known for his mash-ups. His ‘Show Me Love vs Be’ bootleg, he says, was one of the “milestones” of his career so far.
“That was the first track I’d done that got picked up by all of the DJs that I really looked up to,” says Hardwell, who made the bootleg in 2008. “Erick Morillo, the Swedish House Mafia, Tiësto, Armin, Fedde — everyone seemed to be playing it. At that point, when I made it, I didn’t think it’d have that impact. I did it as just another edit for my DJ set.”
The booty, an edit of Steve Angello và Laidback Luke’s ‘Be’ that Hardwell had segued with Robin S’s classic ‘Show Me Love’, spread lượt thích a virut during the summer of 2008. But it wasn’t his only career milestone. In a period over just over a decade, Hardwell’s had many magic moments to lớn note, in production terms. When he was 17, it was his remix of Portuguese house tune ‘Cre Sabe’ that won him chart success across Portugal and led to him DJing in Lisbon to his first big crowd — a buổi tiệc nhỏ for 10,000 people.
He’d released his first remix aged just 14 but within five years, he was already penning productions lớn be proud of. The first, ‘Guess What’ (a collaboration with Chuckie), never got an official release but, via the internet, became a cult underground hit. “You can still hear it on YouTube now, but it really doesn’t sound like me. It’s very techy & minimal. Nothing lượt thích the stuff I make now.” Later on, his own tune ‘Voyage’ ended up being his route to lớn properly meeting his hometown nhân vật Tiësto. “After hearing that, in 2010, Tiësto asked me for some more tunes to listen to,” says Hardwell. “I sent him ‘Molotov’, another track I made around that time, and he said he loved that too. It was after that he invited me to xuất hiện up for him for his gig at Privilege in Ibiza.” Hardwell clearly remembers the date, 19th August 2010. It was his first big gig in Ibiza. And, after that, he went on to bởi warm-up slots for Tiësto all over the world.