“ Keeping family and friends close is a good way to keep your head and heart close to the ground. I’m not in this for fame but to just share good music with my fans. ”
Exhibit: We’re thrilled as you have been the number 1 DJ of the world twice and are currently one of the reigning DJs of the world. How does that feel?
Hardwell: I’ll forever be grateful to my fans for voting me as their #1 DJ, not once but twice too. It was a goal of mine since I was about 13 years old and to achieve it nearly 10 years later was incredible. My focus has and always will be to bring them the best experience I can as a DJ and give them the best music I can as a producer.
Exhibit: What’s the Tour life like?
Hardwell: For me, it’s always a busy schedule. I’m on the road for much of the year which means when I am not at festivals or in arena halls then I am spending a lot of time at airports, on planes and riding in cars to my next destination. I like it though because I love to travel and meet my fans.
Exhibit: DJ, music producer, record label owner- how do you juggle these different roles?
Hardwell: Through a lot of management of my time but most of all, I juggle them each with care and passion.
Exhibit: Can you describe your style of music?
Hardwell: I don’t like to put music into a box or category if it were up to me, so I like to just call it “Hardwell Music”.
Exhibit: Tell us about the transition between different genres and what you’re currently working on.
Hardwell: I’ve always been forward facing with my music. I like to experiment and explore new areas of sounds and genres. My music and sets are always evolving.
Exhibit: Talk about your favourite music collaborations and the one you’re looking forward to.
Hardwell: It’s a very common question but the answer is that I can’t really pin point to one person because each collation is so different and unique. I enjoyed working with Afrojack on our recent collaboration (‘Hands Up’), as well as KSHMR for our track ‘Power’ has been something the fans really loved from all the feedback we’ve received. Working with Austin Mahone on our ‘Creatures of the night’ record was another fun collaboration; he’s a super talented guy. I’d love the chance to work with Dr Dre or Pharrell. They’re two artists whose work I admire and working with them in the studio would be really cool
Exhibit: How important is it for you top a chart?
Hardwell: I make music for my fans. My focus is on what I love and what they are enjoying. I enjoy the charts but it’s not my goal in life to have music in the charts – if it happens great but I like to make music for dancing to.
Exhibit: The best and the worst thing about being a DJ?
Hardwell: Broken equipment at a show is the worst. The best is sharing those magical music moments with the fans at a show.
Exhibit: How has the EDM scene changed and where do you see it heading?
Hardwell: It’s now global and we’re still growing. I believe dance music will continue to grow and become an even bigger force within the entire music industry, which is only a good thing for us all.
Exhibit: How was your show in Mumbai with you United We Are project? The country was going wild about your return to India!
Hardwell: India has one of the most exciting scenes in the world right now. At my World’s Biggest Guestlist concert in Mumbai with my United We Are Foundation, the fans were so passionate! It was an incredible event with so much love and energy! We had so much support and backing for this second trip, it was truly amazing. This time around we attempted to raise enough donations to school 100,000 children. Ambitious but it’s something we all believe is possible. And on the day, when we saw the support, we knew that the desire to Unite people through music is there. By working with the World’s Biggest Guestlist team and Magic Bus we were able to return and once again make history.
Exhibit: The next big thing in the field of Dance Music.
Hardwell: Virtual Reality will have a part to play in it I imagine.
Exhibit: Thoughts on digital streaming of music.
Hardwell: I am pro-streaming. It’s been a long part of dance music’s history and has served many of us well. We’ve now seen the growth of streaming take over physical sales around the world and this is just the beginning.
Exhibit: Give us music recommendations and tell us about the artists you’re currently listening to.
Hardwell: Outside of dance music, I spend a lot of time listening to old hip hop records so artists like Dr Dre, Eminem, Tupac, Biggie etc. One great way to get a sense of the artists I am supporting in dance music right now is to check out my weekly radio show Hardwell On Air.
Exhibit: How do you stay grounded?
Hardwell: Keeping family and friends close is a good way to keep your head and heart close to the ground. I’m not in this for fame but to just share good music with my fans. I love DJing and producing music and it is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Exhibit: Does the super popular Hardwell have any regrets?
Hardwell: No regrets. Only goals.
Exhibit: What do you like to do when not working?
Hardwell: I like to relax with friends and family and my pug Jager. Maybe have a meal, watch a film. But the problem for me is I always want to be either in the studio making music or on the road DJing.
Exhibit: Advice for aspiring DJs?
Hardwell: Believe in yourself. If you can dream it, you can do it!
Exhibit: One mistake you think DJs often make.
Hardwell: Rushing to become the headline act. It’s a journey; enjoy it, however long it takes.
Exhibit: Message for fans in India and those that supported the World’s Biggest Guestlist festival?
Hardwell: Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I love you all and I’m truly blown away by the love and support you continue to show us and for all your backing of this incredible project to help bring a better start in life to many, many children.
- Most expensive tech buy: Genelec 1034b – My main room monitors were probably the most expensive, but accurate monitoring is the most important thing when producing music so it’s the one thing producers should always spend money on.
- Phone you use: iPhone X
- Cary our own and the one you’d like to get: I own an Audi R8 v10. I would love to test drive a Bugatti Veyron
- Tech toys in your music studio- Name some essentials: Access Virus Ti, Tube-Tech SMC Multiband Compressor, Apogee Quartet interface, Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite and also my own Sylenth 1 Soundset, which is a partnership with Alonso Sound for their ‘Artist Series’.