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Hardwell - Alive ('The Final' Remix)
Published:
Aug 25, 2013
Total plays:
11,459
Saved:
153 times
Sounds like: Tiesto, Dyro, 3LAU
Why do we like this?
Dutch DJ and producer Robbert Van De Corput, aka Hardwell, is currently one of the world's most popular DJs.  In 2010, at the age of 23, he formed his own record label, Revealed Recordings, which houses artist such as Dyro, Dannic, Kill The Buzz, W&W, and more.  In 2011, Hardwell was ranked at #24 on DJ Mags Top 100 List, and then jumped to #6 in 2012.

He has also co-headlined all of the biggest festivals out there, including Ultra, Tomorrowland, Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Zoo, Sensations -- you name it.  His tracks have been seen at #1 on Billboard and Beatport, and he has been featured on the famous Pete Tong's radio show for an Essential Mix -- his accomplishments are endless.  He is now gearing up for his I Am Hardwell world tour, which kicks off in September.  This guy is on fire.

Last week, Hardwell was in San Francisco and we had the honor of siting down with him before his Ruby Skye show to pick his brain on a few topics ranging from anything between music and life.

So the evolution of Hardwell began back when you were just a youngster watching Dutch MTV, seeing DJs perform, the parties, the vibe, the lifestyle.  Your vision came to an apex after seeing a documentary that featured Tiesto, who is actually from your hometown, and that ultimately helped you decide what you wanted to do with your life -- become a DJ and make electronic music.  With full support from your parents, you began producing at the age of 12, to then signing your first record deal at 14.  Fast forward to today and you have had the special opportunity to be mentored by such great talent, including Tiesto, to get where you are: one of the worlds most popular DJs with your own record label, Revealed Recordings. 

Were you inspired or motivated to create Revealed Recordings as part of an outlet for yourself to be able to give back in a sense and be a mentor to other aspiring artists? 

You are totally right.  So what I am doing with Revealed Recordings is creating a platform for artists and new talent.  I don't want to be a record label, but a platform, to create a family where we all support each other, go on tour together, share production ideas, and mentor each other in a sense.  There are so many great DJs out there, Dannic for example, where we have been touring together now, and its been working really well.  He's blowing up right now.  The thing I like about Revealed Recordings is that we all come from a little bite different of a background, where Dannic is a bit more techy and W&W comes from the trance side, we're super open-minded about things and we all support each other.  So yeah, that was one of my main thoughts about starting Revealed Recordings.

Living in the day and age where streaming music is a big part of the music community, what is your stance on "streaming" verses "buying" albums, as I know you first introduced your tracks long ago via streaming (YouTube) and now have your own record label which may have a conflict in interest with streaming?

Well, I like both, and if I wasn't supportive of streaming I wouldn't be where I am at today.  For Revealed Recordings, we release a preview of a track via streaming networks two weeks leading up to the actual release of a record before it goes on Spotify or whatever.  So streaming works well for us as a promotional platform for sure.

Speaking of buying and selling, would you rather be selling albums or selling out shows?

Selling out shows.  I do this for the fans and I make music for my shows.  I mean, selling tracks is a part of it all, but my show is more important to me than selling tracks.  A great thing to add is this is that my fans decide what track I am going to release next.   For instance, I'll make five tracks, put them up on Beatport, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc., as well as play them at my next show -- see the reactions, then I'll release the one that gets the most hits.  So my fans pick what track I release next, essentially.  But everything revolves around my show for sure.

Regarding shows... some artists, across all genres, don't play their "fan favorites" during their live show for various reasons -- maybe they're tired of playing the track, who knows. What's your take on playing fan favorites verses what you would like to play?

I have a very clear opinion about that.  It should be 50/50.  You can't deny your own fans.  We are at a small club tonight and everybody here bought a ticket to see me, so they expect me to play my singles or what they like.   They probably watched my Ultra set, Tomorrowland set, so they probably expect some of those edits that I played there as well.  For my sets, I always try and keep it 50/50 with fan favorites, new music, new edits, and new tracks from artists on Revealed Recordings.  So I'd say for sure 50/50 and you must have a good balance, because again, it's about your fans.

So here we are in a small club, obviously it's a way different vibe than being up on the main stage of Tomorrowland, Ultra, or what have you, which must be a special feeling -- seeing tens of thousands of people just raging and bouncing. But what is it for you that makes these small shows so special or worthwhile?

That's a really good question.  Actually, I share the exact same thoughts as Armin Van Buuren.  Armin had a really good answer to this question.  He said, if you play at a festival, you typically only play for one hour, so its like going to a fast food joint like Burger King or McDonalds - you go in, you eat, and then you're full and you leave.  But these small shows are kind of like Christmas, as you're with your family, its super intimate with the fans, you play longer sets, so your fans can experience even more - thats what I like, ya know.  The biggest difference at a festival is that I am coheadling with like twenty other DJs, so people could be coming for any one of the coheadliners, but tonight, everyone here came to see me and Dannic. It's very cool and rewarding.

If you could collaborate with any non-living musician, who would that be?   

Michael Jackson, for sure.

And which living musician?

The Prodigy, because I've always been a huge fan of them.  They inspire me, even thought its way different, their producer, Liam Howlett, is one of the most creative producers in the world.  Also, definitely Pharrell Williams, not because he's doing "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk, but because he's an amazing producer and songwriter.   

If you had to set some timeline goals for yourself, where would you want to be in 1 month, and 10 years from now, career wise?

Well in one month, I want to be at home and resting with my family, because after that I am beginning my I Am Hardwell world tour that kicks off in Amsterdam.  And in ten years, at 35 years old, I hope I can still tour around the world and achieve the same things as Tiesto has, like the endless respect thing.  I don't necessarily want to be the greatest all-time DJ in the world, I just want to be the guy that people respect for what I hope to have accomplished for EDM.

I've always been curious how electronic and/or instrumental songs get their track names.  How do come up with them, like "Spaceman" for example?

My answer is super random, but for "Spaceman," Revealed Recordings was doing very well at that moment, and I had a design in my head for some artwork.  It was an astronaut with a Revealed Recordings flag stuck in the earth, like we're taking over the earth sort of thing.  So then the astronaut became a spaceman, and we named that track "Spaceman."  "Zero 76" with Tiesto got its name by 076 being both mine and Tiesto's area code at the time.  So it's pretty much whatever I'm doing or feeling at the time is how a track gets its name.

I'm sure it varies from time to time, but what is your favorite track to play in your live set right now?

My new track collaborating with W&W called "Jumper."

When did you finally see or know that you've made it... I mean, you have, haven't you?!

Haha, yeah, that's a good question.  Actually, it was the first time I entered the DJ Mag Top 100 List in 2011, when I entered the list, out of nowhere, at the 24 spot.  That whole list was full of all my heros.  It was like a dream, and to be at 24, I was speechless. It was totally unexpected.  I'll never forget that.

If you could do one other profession other than being a DJ/producer, what would that be?

Being a graphic designer, for sure.  I currently do all the graphics and artwork for all of my stuff.

Can you describe what the ultimate setting would look like to play a show at?

I need to come up with something special now... should be like an island somewhere.  Like a lonely island or secluded island.  Everyone gets on a boat together, have a DJ playing on the boat on the way to the island, and then the main thing starts on the island, stay for like 12 or 24 hours, party, rage and then come back.  How sick would that be?!  Like a party paradise!  Let's do it!

Lastly, other than music, what's makes you happy?

That's definitely my family, friends, and all the love I get from my fans.  I think the most important thing in life is love.  Even if it sounds super cliché, but a lot of people forget how important love is, ya know?

I agree 100%.

The only reason why I can do this and go out on the road, is because of the love and support I get from my family and friends.



 

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