If you can dream it, you can do it.
Those are the words from the man himself, Hardwell, and boy do we see where it\’s gotten him. Starting off as a small DJ in his hometown Breda in the Netherlands, Robbert van de Corput has turned himself into one of the biggest electronic dance names on the planet, and has risen exponentially in the past 2 years. Whether it be the world\’s biggest festival or an underground club, Hardwell has left his mark everywhere, with fans loving any set he plays. Hardwell hasn\’t only made himself a success in the EDM scene, but has turned his name into a marketable entity, with his online presence skyrocketing – garnering him new fans each and everyday. This online presence led Hardwell to win the fan-aggregated DJ Mag 100 poll, which determines the top 100 DJs, twice. More recently, Hardwell ventured on his own and created his own experience, dubbed \”I AM HARDWELL\”, which is geared more towards Hardwell\’s progression, as well as his label\’s progression, which really constructs a more personal and singular event. Just a short while ago, Hardwell\’s tour kicked off in North America, with the first show happening in Chicago. While Hardwell was here in Chicago, we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his career, his tour, as well as upcoming album, \”United We Are\”.
EDM Chicago: Hey Hardwell, thanks so much for chatting with us here at EDM Chicago. I appreciate you taking time out of your hectic schedule to talk to us, so to begin, have any experiences in your life shaped the way you view or create your music?
Hardwell: I was always inspired by the electronic music scene from Breda and Holland, but I knew I wanted to establish my own sound. I experimented with a few different styles, but when I would sign my track to record labels the A&Rs would always tell me how to shape my own music. This is why I eventually started my own label, Revealed Recordings. Starting Revealed really allowed me to have creative freedom and push me to make music that I wanted to create, not music that others wanted me to create for them. This really helped me shape my sound and the signature “Hardwell style” you hear in my music.
EDMC: Now, you have your first artist album, \”United We Are\”, upcoming so besides the collaborations with Chris Jones, W&W, and Tiesto, how many Hardwell-only tracks and collaborations can we expect to see?
HW: Unfortunately, I can’t reveal too much more about my new album and the artists I will be collaborating with. One thing I can tell you is that there will be a collab with Headhunterz that I’m really excited about, and another collaboration with Tiesto. The rest is still a secret.
EDMC: What do you have to say to those who say your style is redundant? Do you think this album is the outlet to showcase your experimentation with different sounds?
HW: This album is definitely an outlet to showcase my experimentation with different sounds. You can expect to see a lot more variety in this album in addition to my traditional dance floor minded songs. I have always loved listening to all kinds of music and this album will really reflect that. I think that there is going to be a little something for everyone and for every occasion on this album, but will all be ultimately Hardwell.
EDMC: How do you feel knowing that your fans have voted you the world\’s number one DJ for two years in a row with other upcoming DJs quickly coming on the rise?
HW: I am very grateful to all my fans that voted for me this year and last year. It’s an amazing feeling, but I’m just really just happy to know that my fans still appreciate what I’m doing.
EDMC: So far, what has been the most amazing experience and/or point in your DJing or producing career?
HW: Touring around the world with my own I AM HARDWELL concert series has been incredibly special for me. Having the ability to really connect with my fans and take them on a 3-hour musical journey through a performance is just an amazing experience. Also, headlining and closing out Ultra Music Festival this year was always a life goal of mine.
EDMC: What is the ultimate goal you want to set with the I AM HARDWELL Tour?
HW: I want to give fans the best time of their lives, while expressing myself in the best way possible. Just about every detail of the tour has been created with my vision and music in mind, so it all comes back to who I am as a person and artist. I\’ll be able to take fans on a journey using my music combined with all of my production, and I think for a Hardwell fan this is the ultimate Hardwell experience.
EDMC: Thanks so much, Hardwell. I speak on behalf of all of us at EDM Chicago when I say we\’re giant fans of your work and your innovation and creativity that goes into your productions and performances.
HW: Thank you!