Holland, often seen as the dance capital of the world, has been always known to churn out world class DJs like Tiësto and Armin van Buuren.
Another name that has been getting popular over the last decade is Robbert van de Corput, better known by his stage name – Hardwell. From a pianist at the age of four to a producer at 12, the transition to Electronic Dance Music (EDM) was inevitable for this music aficionado.
“Being a DJ is the best job in the world. It’s an unbelievable feeling to have the opportunity to play your own music for amazing crowds. That’s what I always dreamed of,” he says during the Bangalore leg of his ‘I Am Hardwell’ world tour. Living out of suitcases and constantly being on tour can become too much even for someone as passionate about his job as him.
So when he’s not behind the console, he views himself as a family man. “I like to be at home with my family and friends because it’s always good to catch up with them. I can’t wait to finish this tour and go back home,” confesses the 25-year-old.His style of music varies between progressive and electro house. But when it comes to personal listening, he also enjoys phasing out of EDM.
“I listen to every style of music — from rock music to hip-hop to deep house. That can be seen in the way I produce music because I always try to make different songs. I never press play and am one of the few DJs who will always prepare a totally new set and never play the same set twice,” he shares.
In fact, the obsession is so strong that he works on his music even during flight journeys and in hotel rooms.Recalling his initial days, he credits the dance music scene in Holland for inspiring him. “It’s fair to say that Holland has the best dance scene in the world. We have a lot of really good clubs and festivals and the scene has always been around. Before I did my first gig outside Holland, I must have done over a 1,000 gigs there itself,” reminisces the Dutch producer. He adds that DJ Tiësto, who is also from his hometown of Breda, will always remain one of his biggest inspirations.
Seeing the changing times for both fans of EDM and the producers is what excites him most these days.
Elaborating this point, he says, “Everything inspires me! What’s going on right now is that people are getting more open-minded. Earlier, you only played electro or trance or progressive. Now, as a DJ, you can play everything you want as long as it fits your sound. That’s the next big thing!”
Despite this being his second time in India, he is unhappy about how little he has seen the place. “Every time I’m in India, I just fly in, do my gig and fly out. I would love to spend some time here, see some of the culture and check out some of Indian DJs. But I’ll be back really soon. I know that for sure,” he grins.