Hardwell, our favorite DJ had a quick chat with us about his start into this genre of music, his journey so far, what he thinks about the Indian Electronic scene, his inspiration and much more.
Tell us about how you decided to get into this genre of music
At the age of 10, I got my own turntables and spent my allowance on records— in the record store that Tiesto opened in Breda. I used to lock myself in my room, practice smooth transitions and the right mixes. I was already playing the piano since the age of 4. I used to plays at friends’ birthday parties and win turntable competitions. I was 14 when I signed my first record deal, so I was 14 and 15 when I started touring in Holland, and I was 17 when I was headlining the major festivals in Holland. It’s really crazy, but like, every week, I was just at home in the studio, I started touring more worldwide. I wasn’t allowed to go into the clubs by myself until I was 18. For four years, my parents drove me to every appearance, and accompanied me into the club. My parents supported me incredibly
How has your journey in this space been so far?
When I look back on my career, I was always really positive about my career. Everything grew really natural. And of course, when Tiesto picked me up, that was a big boost for me. Especially in the States, because it was exactly the time that EDM blew up here in the U.S., so I was able to actually tour in the States, join him on his tour, and we did a lot of gigs in Europe. Well the key thing is you have to love what you do. It can be a lot of work, long days, tough travelling all the day but I can’t ever complain because I love it. This is what I’ve wanted to do all my life. I like to keep busy and work hard to achieve my goals. Life would be boring otherwise. You have got to think about what’s really important in life and the most important thing about having success and being popular is that you’re in a position to give something back to the world. That’s the most beautiful thing you have. If you have success the most beautiful thing you can do is share that success with other people in the world. So I started with the idea to start my own foundation ‘United We Are Foundation’ and give something back to the world. That’s when we came up with the idea of the ‘World’s Biggest Guestlist’ in India. There were over 100,000 people in that stadium and we raised enough money to send more than 18,000 kids to school for the next 10 years. It was an amazing charity event and we are definitely going to do some more of those charity events in the future in different countries.
Considering that this genre of music is received the best across the world, is there more pressure to make better music?
There’s a constant need to reinvent oneself for any genre of music. Diversity is the key to creativity. If you are not experimenting with newer sounds, the experience will be a repetitive one.
How has your shows in India always been?
I’ve always had a strong relationship with the Indian fans. They’ve been some of my biggest supporters and I am so grateful for their belief in me and my music. Connecting with my fans in India, whether at gigs or via social media, has always shown me how special the passion in the country is. Not just for music, but for life. It’s magical. It’s seriously one of the best fan experiences I’ve ever had. Seriously, the crowd is so dedicated, they know every song that I play. That’s why I am coming back again. As a DJ you want to play in front of passionate audiences and the fans here are second to none, they love dance music like I do and this always makes me so happy when DJing at an Indian event
What’s your take on the Indian EDM scene in contrast to other countries?
India has opened its arms wide open to dance music in a phenomenal manner and today all the top festivals are making their way to India. Dance music is no stranger to India anymore with most of the big DJs wanting to perform here time and again. Sunburn has opened up the avenue for dance music in India. I think India is one of the emerging powerhouses of dance music right now, the pace at which the scene is growing has been so impressive. The fans really driving that and it really separates the Indian fans from other countries in the world.
Which Indian artists would you like to collaborate with and why?
There a lot of artists I’d like to collaborate with but nothing is planned as yet. India has some very interesting talent.
Few key highlights of Hardwell
- Hardwell has collaborated with Sartek, Zaeden
- He has always been part of the Sunburn shows from day 1
- He has done the I AM Hardwell show
- He has executed the World’s Biggest Guest List for United We Are Foundation in India with over 70k fans for charity