Hardwell is old friend for Billboard Radio China's audience; he is not only a renowned DJ from the Netherlands, but also the host of “Hardwell on Air”, a programme exclusively on Billboard Radio China in China. This time he sat down with us at Macao Club Cubic to talk about his tours, collaboration with other artists and future plans.
Being one of the headliners of first-ever EDC China, Hardwell is ready to rock the stage with his uplifting beats, but it’s actually not his first time playing for the EDC. “I have been part of the EDC for a long time. It is one of the best festivals in the world, it is an honour to be there and play, so I think people should definitely buy a ticket and experience themselves.” He enjoys his time in China, as he can drive his fans crazy. “I love being in China, I love the shows here. I am so happy that dance music has come a long way here and it is becoming so big right now. People sing along to every single song that I am playing, so yeah, it has been a really amazing tour.” He also feels excited about the development of EDM here [in China]. “It’s getting bigger and better now, you see a lot of American or European music festivals are also coming to China, I think it’s really great for the development of dance music and I am happy to be part of it.”
Fans of Hardwell all knew that the beat maker loves to collaborate with different artists, and his latest EP, Hardwell & Friends, Vol. 03, is a collection of all the great work he does with his friends. For him, collaborating is an important process to find new possibilities in his own music. “I really love doing all those collabs, I can stick to my sound but my friends give a twist to it. I think it makes the crossover sounds more interesting, and you can be exposed to different genres. Actually we are working on Hardwell and Friends Vol. 4, so there is more new music coming as well.”
Talking about collaboration, another Dutch DJ Quintino also participated in the production of the EP, and Hardwell really enjoys the process. “Me and Quintino have been friends for a long long time, like 15 to 16 years now. We started DJing at Holland at exactly the same time, and we did a lot of tours in Europe together. Collaborating with him again is great.” Perhaps it’s the unique Dutchy vibe and energetic beat that make their music so catchy.
Other than Quintino, one big collaboration for Hardwell last year is sharing stage with Armin van Buuren in AMF Amsterdam. It is an unforgettable experience for him. “Sharing stage with Armin is amazing. The Amsterdam Arena is full of people, that was definitely something I will never forget. It was a once in a lifetime thing, the whole set, everything was flawless, we had so much fun on stage together, so that was a really amazing show. It was actually the first time we play back to back, but when I watched back the video, to me it felt like we have been doing this for years. “
But what surprises fans the most is his collaboration with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike in Tomorrowland last year. In 2015, it was reported that Hardwell had arguments with the duo over the Top 100 DJ poll in DJ Mag. Hardwell explains that he does not hate the two at all. “I have never been in a fight with them. Actually I really support their music, if you look back at my sets, I always play their music. Everything started with a couple of tweets. I gave my opinion and somebody took it the wrong way. When we finally acte like adult people, get to talk about this together, we know that we are in the same genre and let’s embrace what we do together, that's why we start the new collab. If there is any voting coming right now like on DJ Mag and fans are welcome to vote, just let music do the talking.”
Two years ago, Hardwell did festival in Mumbai and India raising money for charity, and that went for a Guinness world record for biggest guest list. He has just finished round two, which is even bigger than round one. “Round two is even bigger and better. Besides how great the festival was, I finally brought some support acts like WNW. Being there two years later and met the kids that you actually helped by doing the first event was an emotional thing. Playing cricket and some other games with them was a lot of fun.”
Hardwell on Air, the well-received programme has just reached a milestone – the 350 episode is aired. For him, it’s a really big achievement. “Time really flew by, 350 episodes is crazy. We are close to having 35 million listeners a week on Hardwell on Air, that’s why we talk about doing something different with Hardwell on Air Off the Record. I am a big fan of the more underground genre, so I wanna provide my taste of music, I don't wanna be an underground DJ, don't get me wrong, I just wanna share my music with everybody.”
Besides continuing with the radio programme, Hardwell will have a really busy schedule in the rest of the year. “I’ve a crazy summer schedule, and I will basically play all the major festivals this summer, like Ultra Miami is the start for me to play out some new club tracks. And I am working on the new EP, can’t reveal the name yet, but it’s gonna be focused on a more commercial side of dance music.” The production of the new EP is definitely the best news for all Hardwell’s fans!
Hardwell is not only a successful DJ, but also a philanthropist trying to make a change in the world and help those in need with the power of his music. With his new music yet to be released later, we know that he is going to bring new surprises to the music industry!