Jul 16, 2013

Robbert van de Corput, better known as Hardwell, has been preparing himself to be a mainstage DJ since the age of 12 when he was listening to Tiesto records. We sat down with him at Hakkasan during EDC Week to talk about his proteges, working with 30 Seconds To Mars, and how trance influenced his sound.

Hardwell & Dyro feat. Bright Lights - Never Say Goodbye (Original Mix) [Revealed]
LessThan3: Where does EDC rank in festivals for you?
Robbert: Definitely top three, though it’s hard to give them a number because I think every festival has its own experience. It’s like comparing cars–everyone has their own favorite brand. What I like about EDC is that it really gives people an experience; it’s like a theme park for adults. The mainstage is amazing. The energy at American festivals is just unbelievable.
LessThan3: You just released Revealed Volume 4. Any personal favorites of yours on there?
Robbert: There’s a lot of unreleased stuff as well as some already released tracks. My single with Dyro and Heather Bright Never Say Goodbye is on there as well as my remix of Alive by Krewella. The W&W remix of This Is What It Feels Like by Armin van Buuren is on there, a new Dannic track called Rocker, and a new track by Goldfish & Blink, two guys that recently signed to Revealed with their track Here We Go Again. They’re the resident DJs for Zouk Club in Kuala Lumpur–I’ve known those guys for about three or four years already.
LessThan3: What’s your favorite track of 2013 so far?
Robbert: Definitely W&W and Ummet Ozcan’s track The Code. I know it was released in February, but it was the most played track at Ultra Music Festival Miami and was a true game-changer.
LessThan3: You moved up to #6 in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll last year. Does that put a lot of pressure come from that? Being up there with Armin, Avicii, and Tiesto?
Robbert: Pressure is not the right word; I see it from a different perspective. I really trust my fans, and my fans voted me #6 DJ in the world. As long as my fans appreciate what I’m doing and love my work, that’s the only thing that counts for me. Without my fans I wouldn’t be sitting here and doing this interview. It’s not really a competition. You can’t compare Armin to me, or to Skrillex. We’re all totally different and we’re all good friends.
LessThan3: Do you have any new protégés under your wing?
Robbert: I’m still focusing on Dannic and Dyro, even if they’re already so big right now. I have to say Dyro is the biggest upcoming DJ in the world. That’s how I introduced him at Ultra. It’s not just because he’s my protégé; he’s doing it himself. He’s coming up with his own original style in electro house music. Dannic is amazing as well. I’m so proud of the guys; they did their first North American tour together and every gig they did was sold out. They don’t need me anymore!
LessThan3: Are there any artists out there that you really want to collaborate with that you haven’t really talked about yet?
Robbert: I want to do totally unexpected crossovers with artists like 30 Seconds To Mars, The Prodigy, Pharrell, and Timbaland.
LessThan3: Speaking of working with other producers, are you and Tiesto working on a new follow up to Zero 76?
Robbert: We finished a new track together some time ago. It takes a lot of time to get everything done and ready for release. Maybe it’ll come out on his new album that he’s working on, but nothing’s scheduled yet.
LessThan3: What’s your relationship with him like outside of the studio?
Robbert: We call each other every day. We hang out as much as possible even with both our crazy schedules. With that said, we don’t only talk about music; we talk about everything. I’m an only child, so it’s like I finally found my big brother.
LessThan3: If you were asked to surprise an audience with music they wouldn’t expect, what would you play?
Robbert: For me there are no boundaries–good music is good music. I think everybody was super surprised when I dropped Linkin Park at Ultra Music Festival. I’m going to play a hip hop track tonight at EDC. I’m curious to see the reaction of the crowd.
LessThan3: On the subject of different genres, the Carnage remix of Spaceman was very successful and had an official release on Revealed. Do you have any new trap remixes that you may be considering?
Robbert: I don’t play trap myself but I’d welcome a trap remix of Never Say Goodbye.
LessThan3: Who are your all-time favorite producers?
Robbert: Dr. Dre, Swedish House Mafia, and Skrillex, who was such a game changer and an amazing producer.
LessThan3: Who was the DJ that inspired you to start DJing?
Robbert: Tiesto! I was about 12 when I started producing my own sounds.
LessThan3: If you had to pick three tracks that really inspired you to start producing, what would they be?
Robbert: Out Of The Blue by Ferry Corsten, Flight 643 by Tiesto, and Simulated by Marco V.
LessThan3: The Dutch have a very strong trance history.
Robbert: I think you can hear it in my tracks. What I like about trance is that it’s so euphoric. It really connects people; it gives people goosebumps. However with Hardwell, I’ve changed it; I took the elements and the energy, but my style is different.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Robbert:LessThan3:Robbert: That’s a good one. Maybe The Final Countdown by Europe? Or maybe some Whitney Houston.

Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Big Room Energy.
Airplay enabled