Robbert van de Corput, who you may know better as the iconic EDM superstar, Hardwell, is a man in no need of an introduction. He does it all: from being a two-time #1 Top 100 DJ, a veteran producer, and even the CEO of one of the finest labels around, Revealed Recordings. We had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with him about what’s ahead for both him and his label for the rest of the year, which contains some extremely exciting news for all of us fans. Enjoy!
What's the genre you like most at the moment? And what do you think about the new pop trend we had with the "future bass" genre?
My live sets are such a mix of sounds and my productions take influence from a lot of genres like trance and hardstyle, but I would say I’m really into the power of dance and pop music together, although these collaborations have been going on forever, it’s great to see the Dutch and American producers collaborating with artists and DJs from different cultures and different scenes. I recently collaborated with Craig David which was something different, he’s from a UK garage and hip-hop background, so bringing his pop vocal and energy into our track was so much fun. I really like the future bass sound, Conro is a producer I think is cool making that sort of sound, he’s released on my label Revealed Recordings and done some big remixes for Martin Garrix…it’s fun to see how these sounds will evolve.
Any hot news you can share with us about your next releases?
I have a very exciting collaboration coming next week that I can’t say too much about yet – but I’m also working on some new releases with KSHMR, Mr. Vegas and Henry Fong. Some of the fans have been waiting a while for my collab with Henry but some of these tracks will come as surprises, I’ll also have some special remixes coming out soon, new versions of tracks just for my fans in certain regions, but again, I can’t say too much! A lot of new music coming your way!
We would like to talk about the future of your label "Revealed". What you have in store for the next months and how you choose the artists you work with? Any advice for the upcoming producers to get a record deal with you?
We have some huge releases from Kura, Row Rocka and Kill The Buzz coming up in the next month or so, we’re planning a lot of exciting things for the Summer months and some more Eps – all will be announced soon!
To get signed to Revealed Recordings can take a lot of different avenues, sometimes it’s demos’ that still need work, sometimes it’s a great remix that we know as a label can be pushed further, and it doesn’t matter what genre. We sign trance tracks, big-room tracks, electro tracks; as long as the track is genuine and the producer has taken the time to try and learn their techniques as well as they can, even as a producer starting out, I think that really shows. Learning to adapt but also having an idea of what you want to make, and how you want to make it, is important.
Please leave a message for your Malaysian fans!
"Thank you for all the support at my live shows and for following my career since the beginning! Malaysia always has a special place in my heart and I hope to visit again and play you all some new music very soon."
Discovering Revealed Recordings:
Hardwell presented his very own imprint Revealed Recordings in 2010. The young house sensation revealed a fresh and open-minded label. Next to Hardwell’s own tracks and collaborations, Revealed Recordings will also release tracks that fit the versatile sound of the label, whether that be progressive -, tech – or electro house influenced. Within a short period the label has built up a distinct label profile in today’s dance scene with a unique sound.
To name a few releases on Revealed Recordings: W&W and Ummet Ozcan's 'The Code', Dyro’s ‘Leprechauns & Unicorns’, 3LAU, Paris & Simo feat. Bright Lights’ ‘Escape’, Dannic’ and Shermanology’s ‘Wait For You’, Julian Calor ‘Space Dial’, Thomas Gold feat Kate Elsworth ‘Colourblind’ J-Trick & Deorro’s ‘Rambo’ plus countless more.
Revealed Recordings has also grown to become a dominant force as a globetrotting tour brand having staged events in America, Greece, Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands.
DISCOVERING HARDWELL ON AIR
Hardwell’s radio show and podcast, Hardwell On Air, is broadcasted on more than 150 international radio stations worldwide, including Holland’s top dance station, Radio 358, Sirius XM in the US, Capital FM in UK and NRJ in France and Germany, as well as stretching further around the global with slots from Taiwan to Hawaii and Argentina to Lebanon. Additionally, the podcast has proven to be one of the best radio shows in the world, occupying a solid spot in the iTunes Top 10 Podcasts and rapidly growing to more than 300,000 views on YouTube each week, which combined with its International syndication prowess makes Hardwell On Air the most listened to weekly station online.
A regular on the airwaves since 2011, ‘Harwell On Air’ celebrated its 300th episode on January 20th 2017 with its founder and host Hardwell holding a special live broadcast treating fans to a sizzling selection of named artists including Martin Garrix and Don Diablo plus a plethora of music that ensured this celebration was one of the biggest ‘On Air’ parties to date.
United We Are Foundation
Utilising his global appeal for social change, Hardwell, along with Anna Agency launched the United We Are Foundation. Created to “give something back’” to the children of the world, the United We Are Foundation is a charity project that has global ambitions to educate young children in different communities around the world.
World’s Biggest Guest list
The first project launched on Sunday December 13th in one of India’s largest stadiums, the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai, saw Hardwell joined by 70,000+ fans on his own personal guest list to unite for an occasion to “make a social difference” against the lack of education for underprivileged children living in the slums of Mumbai. With over 125,000 fans registering for the opportunity to attend this historic event and to be a part of creating a brighter future for thousands of children, the concert billed as the ‘World’s Biggest Guest List’ has sparked a revolution in live entertainment in India, that it now plans to extend to other countries around the globe.
After the event in Mumbai, Hardwell was invited to take part in a special event organised by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Johan Cruijff Foundation at the UN headquarters in New York. This event put the spotlight on sport as a medium for development and peace and invite famed sport stars from the world of football to discuss this topic in a global forum. Among them were ex-footballers as well as dignitaries from all the United Nations. Hardwell’s DJ appearance at this UN event presented him with the opportunity to talk about his own United We Are Foundation and highlight to UN delegates the work the foundation is doing to change the welfare of young children through education.
The highly prodigious DJ and producer "Sheezan" entered into deejaying at the age of 14.
After his first experience with deejaying, he only had one dream playing his own music all over the world.
Since his early beginnings as a producer at the age of 16, Sheezan has continuously worked to hone his skills and fuse his creativity in his music, and his hard work is beginning to show some impressive results.
Supported by his friends and family in the beginning days, Sheezan’s productions slowly drew the attention of the bigger DJ’s in the scene.
Sheezan first broke into the dance music scene in extravagant fashion with the release of his collaborative track with LA based producer "Jake Sgarlato" titled “Inside Out” & "SuperFly".
Not only his tracks garnered the support of fans from across the globe, it also earned the praise of prominent names such as "Lucky Date, Steve Aoki, Tom Swoon, Swanky Tunes, Yves V, Uberjakd, D.O.D" many more.
Recently Sheezan released his brand new big room tune "Throne of Thorns" on Sativ Records , an Indepent multi-genre record label from Germany.
Sheezan - Throne of Thorns
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Those who are familiar with the musical vision of Mike Hawkins know he's always been one who tries to stay ahead of whatever sound has the world of dance music buzzing. Instead, he challenges himself to change the face of electronic music, to level the playing field in favor of all whose talent exceeds the so-far established sounds of the industry. In collaboration with Armada Music, Mike Hawkins has found the right way to do so: VAYPOR.
Maykel Piron, CEO of Armada Music: "Electronic music isn't just evolving in one single direction. There are lots of artists out there who steer clear from the beaten paths and try to find their own way through the dance music jungle. VAYPOR doesn't carve out the trail for them, but instead hands them a machete and lets them go whichever direction they please. I strongly believe that this is the way to go if you want your artists to fulfill their full potential. It's why I believe in VAYPOR."
The first release on VAYPOR is 'Bad Blood', a – what else – genre-defying production of Mike Hawkins.
Your new label VAYPOR has just made its debut on Armada Music. Why you decided to start this new journey? And what about the “WAVE Genre”?
I felt like the scene needed a label to represent upcoming and emerging genres, and luckily Armada felt the same. I’m very happy to be able to work with them on this. Wave is really an anti-thesis to a lot of the dance music out there. It’s really clean cut and atmospheric but with strong rhythmic influences. I’m a big fan of the sound myself. It’s a new genre and it has a lot of room to grow, but I’m excited to see where it’s going in the future!
You’ve collaborated with many artists within your DJ career, what other artists do you wish to collaborate with?
A ton! I think I’d have to look around outside of electronic music per se. Maybe electronic acts like Chemical Brothers or Prodigy. Those would be a dream. But other than that I’d be looking towards rock and alternative acts. It’s hard to say. I’d love to do something with Serj Tankian one day, purely because I’m a fan of him and what he does. Moby as well, if we could work on an ambient project. He’s vegan too. I really like his worldview.
Until now your music had an huge success. What would you like to happen in your career that hasn’t happened yet?
I’d love to one day sell out a large stadium gig purely on my own credentials. I think it’s a dream for many and I really admire the ones who did manage.
Skit and Kareful will be the first act to release on your new label with their song “Palace”. What do you think about them?
I really like the guys. I think they have a healthy attitude towards the scene. They’re hustlers, and I respect that a lot. They go for what they believe in and don’t let anything stop them.
Your track “Hollywood” is just amazing. How you produced it? how you created the main synth and what’s your favorite VST? Do you have any particular technique to make your songs sound so fat?
Hollywood started out as a bit of a gimmick, I thought the “upscale” sound was quite cool and worked it from there. I work a lot with tube saturation and similar plugins. I believe a lot in making one sound very big / wide instead of a million layers. It takes a lot of work and doesn’t “sound good fast”, but at the end of the day it means a much cleaner, fatter mix. Spend time working the music and ‘retain your vision’ with the sound while you’re working it, it won’t sound like you want it to to begin with, and that’s okay. Keep working it. Also, read up on mixing techniques; 80% of a fat record is in knowing how to get there technically. There’s not really a one-size-fits-all, it’s a mixture of practice and smart technical choices. If anything, keep it simple!
Your song “Bad Blood” featuring “RAPHAELLA” is something we didn’t expected.
As always you tried to reinvent yourself and your sound, should we
expect more releases like that?
Definitely, I’m really interested in diving further into the left-of-centre records. I want to explore music that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m still going to be releasing the odd club banger though. I need to do artful and emotive music to feel good, but without the floor-shakers it doesn’t make sense either.
Stream / Download "Bad Blood" here : https://vay001.lnk.to/BBPR
Follow VAYPOR: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter
Follow Mike Hawkins: Facebook - Soundcloud - Twitter
@DJ Mag Malaysia 2017
Meet Justin Prime!
A highly talented Dutch DJ and sound engineer graduate, there’s no doubt this guy has got the skills! Prime and Showtek took over the charts world wide with their instant hit ‘Cannonball’.
Justin has received one platinum-plated record and two golden records for this track.
He is currently working behind the scene with several top-notch names in the music industry.
This super talented DJ/Producer has spent only a few years in the trade so far but he already has released tracks under the highly acclaimed labels like Musical Freedom, Spinnin’, Def Jam and Ultra Records.
Prime also remixed Jenifer Lopez, Flo Rida, Rihanna and David Guetta to name but a few.
He also worked with the legendary U2 singer Bono.
Currently Justin is demolishing dance floors all around the globe with his bangin’ originals like: Thunderbolt, Cannonball and Poing!
After teaming up with We Are Loud for ‘Drowning’ and ‘Tomorrow Sounds’, Justin Prime has come forth with a smash song of his own. Through ‘Wasteland’, the Dutch DJ, producer and sound engineer offers a splendid crossover song, released on the Amsterdam-based record label Armada Music.
Listen to Justin Prime feat. Cristi Vaughan - Wasteland
An infectious blend of electronic music and pop-flavored deliciousness, ‘Wasteland’ is a song that sticks.
Comprising the silky vocals of U.S.-based songstress Cristi Vaughan and big-synth melodies that have listeners reeling for more, it not only serves as a testament to the Dutchman’s production skill, but also paves the way for many more of his whiffs of brilliance to follow.
1.Where did you found the inspiration to produce “Wasteland”?
At the beginning of 2016 I decided that I wanted to expand my horizon as a musician.
I didn't feel happy anymore in my own studio, with the music I was creating and where I was heading to. I'm that kind of person who get's pretty bored after sticking with something for too long. I always want to reinvent and keep developing myself as a musician.
I started to feel caged and not able to express myself, based on what I thought people would expect from me. Now I understand that the person who caged me, was actually me.
Music must come from the hearth, and that's exactly what I decided to do. So I pushed the reset button and looked into the mirror, searching for myself, who I am as a person, what I feel and what makes me happy. I started to play new instruments, and I don't only produce, but also write my own lyrics now.
'Drowning' and 'Tomorrow Sounds' were one of the first songs were I've set a new sound for myself, and so it only came natural with Wasteland.
That doesn't mean I won't make club records anymore, so don't worry ;)
2. Could you elaborate a little more about your collaboration with Cristi Vaughan?
I received Cristi's vocal through my manager, and I immediately felt that mellow kinda vibe. I was like “wow.. this vocal is pretty neat, I need to work on this one”.
So Basically I just got behind my piano and started playing around with the chords progression and once that was done the rest followed naturally.
In most cases you first start off producing the instrumental and then create the top line.
With this project I actually worked the other way around an let Cristi's vocal guide me through the whole production.
Because the vocals are so dreamy, I didn't want to transform the song into a standard 128bpm dance track, but rather create this laid back kinda vibe which compliments the vocal.
3. How and why you started your music career? Who inspired you the most?
In my family it's normal to play music. Everybody plays a piano, guitar, saxophone or sings. My grandfather was a really good musician and he could play so many different instruments that it's actually ridiculous, not to mention he was a really good singer too.
When I was 5 years old, my mom told me I had to choose an instrument to play.
So I chose the piano (good choice afterwards) , so my mom bought me my first electric piano and my grandfather started to school me twice a week and give me homework.
Sometimes I didn't felt like it, and I just wanted to play my Super Nintendo.
But he could tell exactly when I haven't done my homework, and as punishment I had to practice for another hour or so hahaha.
When I became 16 years old I started to produce my own songs with Fruiyloops and quickly switched over to Cubase.
I received my first record deal when I was 18 years old.
As a child I used to listen a lot to Michael Jackson and a lot of American pop bands.
I also listened to a lot of Dutch dance music and film score music. I think this really influenced my taste for music and is also the reason why I have such a broad view based on my productions. I have two sides, dance related productions but also more pop related productions and I believe both can exist perfectly next to each other.
I've actually just finished a collaboration with Onderkoffer where I also bring back a little touch of that 80's/filmscore vibe. (Can't wait to let you hear this one)
4. With which artists or vocalists would you still like to work with in the future?
Sia, Adele, Ellie Goulding to name a few.
I really like working with great songwriters and artistic people, they really inspire me to also get the best out of myself.
5. Any “hot news” about on your future projects or special gigs around the globe?
Yeah I have a lot of new songs coming up. Wasteland has just been released, so for those who haven't checked it yet, it's out now on Spotify, iTunes and every major portal.
And on June 16th my next single 'Light It Up' is coming out on Armada.
6. What's your favourite DAW? And which VST or instrument you like to use more?
Definitely Steinberg Cubase. I think I'll keep using this DAW for a very long time.
I still like using the Sylenth VST and Serum for some of my lead sounds, and I actually used my Virus Ti2 hardware synthesiser again today.
Ohh and Kontakt, there are some killer banks out there like Exhale, Signal, Gravity and some more.
I also recommend everyone to buy an UAD card for mixing/mastering purposes, because it really makes a difference.
Make sure to follow Justin Prime on: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter