“ I don’t really have a dream. I just want artists in my label to perform at the same places that I’ve performed at. Now I want to make other people’s dreams come true. ”
Exhibit: 10 years in the Music industry, a Grammy in your repertoire and thousands of performances- we’re super-thrilled. How do you feel about it at this point?
Afrojack: I’m just having fun right now to be honest. Even though I have completed 10 years, I still feel like I am just getting started, you know?! I’m a record label owner too so right now, I’m really experimenting on the artist development side of things, and how these artists do the recordings. Of course we have enough experience with that now but that is really where my main focus is right now- more talent and artist development, and helping them get bigger. And on the side, I’m also focusing on making music for myself. I just did a song with David Guetta and Charli XCX so of course I make music myself, too.
Exhibit: Catch me up to speed – you are a Music producer, label owner, super performer – how do you manage to juggle them all?
Afrojack: It’s just a question of doing it! I don’t have to spend a lot of time doing fun things because for me, it’s like saying that my hobby has become my work in every facet. Everything I do is a part of my job so it’s easy to just spend my time doing my job. Since I started out doing what I love and am doing what I love, I try to keep things in perspective by asking, “Do I like what I’m doing and what will make this bigger and better?”. Whatever I do when I’m in the studio or when I have to choose how I’m going to divide my time, my thing is always looking at the bigger picture and seeing what will make me happy and enhance the other facets of the company because it’s not just me anymore! When I started out, yes it was, but now I have all these artists, the staff and team that I have to work together with.
Exhibit: Your popularity keeps you on tour almost all the time. Give us a peek into what your tour life is like.
Afrojack: I don’t go out to see the place when I’m touring, I save that for more private occasions. So I usually go to the hotel and just work on my music; I keep working all the time!
Exhibit: We’ve never heard you sing on any of your tracks. Do you sing? Or would you like to in the future?
Afrojack: (laughs) No, I’m not a singer! Sometimes I give my voice to record a demo but I’m not thinking about pursuing a singing career. It’s not that my record wouldn’t allow me (laughs) but I’m not intending on making a singing debut, haha!
Exhibit: Music charts and numbers- what significance do they hold for you? Do numbers impact you?
Afrojack: Personally, it doesn’t matter but every time a song does well I’m just proud of my fans. That’s the biggest reward I could ask for because first of all, I would want my fans to like it and it would make me happy if they’re listening to the song and are excited about the song hitting number one. Like I said, personally I don’t care if it’s number 1 or number 100; I just want my fans, who call themselves the A team, to like it. As long as I get to celebrate it with them, it’s awesome!
Exhibit: Who is your favourite to collaborate with and whom are you looking to collaborate with?
Afrojack: David Guetta of course! He’s like one of my best friends and he’s like family to me. He’s also the No. 1 collaborator. Then there are a lot of other people in the music industry too that I’ve already collaborated with. In the future, I think I’d like to work with Kendrick Lamar. I’ve been following him for a while and I really love his music.
Exhibit: How would you like to describe your style of music?
Afrojack: Since it’s all over the place, I always just like to call it the Afrojack music! I like different styles of music- hip-hop, EDM, pop- I produce them too so if anytime anyone else asks me what do you do, I say I make Afrojack music! I don’t want to piss anyone off or want anyone to say that my genre of music is something they don’t agree with.
Exhibit: Do you have any plans to divert from Dance music and try your hands on any other genre?
Afrojack: I’ve met a lot of Indian artists but I can’t say anything about them yet but I’m really looking into making a collaboration with incorporation of EDM into Indian music. EDM is still big in India and you guys have been supportive for such a long time so I really want to try and come there and do a crossover you know!
Exhibit: You have a sea of fans in India. How has your experience coming to India been like?
Afrojack: I’ve been performing a lot in India but also every year when it comes to MTV Awards and other such event, they have a lot of shows in India and they’ve called me and many other DJs many times. So I really feel like India is one of the main hubs of the world when it comes to EDM. There might just be more fans of EDM in the world just in India!
Exhibit: How is the EDM scene different from the world in India?
Afrojack: I think the main difference between the EDM scene in India and the rest of the world is that in India, it just started a few years ago in a big way even though you’ve always had the big dancing scene with the Goa trance and the Sunburn stage. In the last couple of years, India has hit it really big there. The EDM scene has been bubbling for a long time so people are happy for it to finally pop up! The biggest difference between India and the rest of the world is that people in India are way more hands-on when it comes down to being a part of something. In America, people would be like, ‘Oh yeah, I like it,’ but they won’t be fans of something. In India, I have a lot of die-hard fans. I really appreciate people coming all the way to see me!
Exhibit: What is different in all the places you’ve performed at now that you’ve experienced the EDM scenes in almost all parts of the world?
Afrojack: There are only two places in the world where it’s really, really at a high point right now and that’s India and Mexico. It’s like EDM is at its highest peak. Rest of the world is kind of like been there done that so it’s kind of steady but in India and Mexico they’re really growing.
Exhibit: It’s safe to say that you’ve performed at all major music festivals all around the world. Which one is your favourite? Any favourite place to perform at?
Afrojack: I think my favourite festival is Tomorrowland; it’s an awesome music festival! And when it comes to the place, I really like performing in Mexico.
Exhibit: Any firsts when it comes to your favourite performances till date?
Afrojack: I try to count each concert as the best one. So the next one has to be better than the last one!
Exhibit: Do you have a dream gig in mind (that is if you haven’t performed there already)?
Afrojack: I just want artists in my label to perform at the same places that I’ve performed at. Now I want to make other people’s dreams come true. I don’t really have a dream; I just want to make music and have the audience enjoy my music!
Exhibit: Name the best and the worst things about being a DJ?
Afrojack: I think the only thing that puts me off is that sometimes you have to be in airplanes for a really long time in a row. This once we were flying for 25 hours in 2 days and that is kind of boring but there’s nothing I can do about it. And the best thing is obviously that you get to do what you love!
Exhibit: Any super-special career moment that stands out for you?
Afrojack: I think it’s yet to come (laughs). All of the stuff I’ve done has always given me great moments; every moment is really cool!
Exhibit: Which Afrojack song is your favourite?
Afrojack: I think it’s Dirty Sexy Money, the one I did with Charli XCX and Take over control.
Exhibit: Name some of your must-have tech gadgets.
Afrojack: My most favourite gadget is my laptop of course because I use it to make my music on it.
Exhibit: Afrojack the movie : the title would be?
Afrojack: I think I would just call it Afrojack.
Exhibit: Having been around in the music industry since so many years, how do you think has the EDM scene changed over the years and where do you see it heading in the next 5 years?
Afrojack: Not a lot of things have changed actually! It’s just got bigger with a little more style and special effects. Like there are fireworks and back in the day we didn’t have fireworks. But, we’ve definitely gotten bigger!
Exhibit: What according to you is the next big thing in the field of Dance Music?
Afrojack: Definitely, it’s Future bass. It’s like the chill out, lounge, chord progression stuff unlike 75 bpm; that’s what I’m falling in love right now.