Interview: Top 100 DJ Hardwell Reveals New Label Artists, Tour And Studio Album Plans

At this year’s ADE (aka Amsterdam Dance Event), local homeboy Hardwell sits down for a quick chat with VIBE as he peruses through our latest print issue. Read below as the future Top DJ (we’ll tell you why here) ‘reveals’ his thoughts on the winning title, his plans for a new album next year, his latest artists and why he wants Drake on his next single:

VIBE: Many DJs have said they don’t care about winning DJ Mag’s No. 1 DJ spot in the Top 100, but in truth the coveted spot is a form of validation. How are you going to feel if you win?
Hardwell: I have no idea if it’s going to happen. I’m already super happy where I am and where I’m standing right now. They named me number six last year, so if I go up a few places that would be really amazing. To win the Top 100 would be really amazing, but we will see… I have no idea for now.

Imagine this: it’s the day after your documentary, ‘I AM Hardwell’ premieres, and you win Top 100. What’s the first thing you do next?
First of all, celebrating with my friends of course and the whole ADE. Everyone had an amazing year, and all my friends are here now so we’re going to party a lot after ADE. Then I’m going straight to the [United] States for a tour.

Your work ethic is one that is very admirable; especially with all the accomplishments you have achieved this year. Was it planned since the beginning?
It wasn’t seriously mapped out. Of course, me and my management came up with a lot of different ideas like Q&A’s on YouTube and the documentary, but then again I think this year really helped me with my personal life since Ultra and TomorrowLand two of my best sets and put me on the EDM spotlight. I’ve been touring a lot, but I’ve been doing that for two or three years.

Now do you want to go into the studio for a year, and make an album?
Maybe. I’m taking the whole month of January off to stay in the studio and start the beginning of my album.

It seems a necessary step to disappear for a while to make a life-changing album…
It’s a hard decision, because I like touring so much. Of course I like producing as well, but now I’ve just been constantly on the road. To produce a proper album, you have to be in the studio and collaborate with all your singers. It takes a lot of time.

If you were to collaborate with a rapper, who would that be?
Oh, definitely Drake.

Well, I love his tracks. Even in my Hardwell sets I’ve been playing Drake songs and even from the beginning I’ve been in love with his tracks. I love the way he raps and sings. He can write his own songs and is involved with the production of this beats. It’s amazing… being such an independent artist. You can tell he knows exactly what he wants.

Would you remix something off his new album, Nothing Was The Same?
Oh yeah, if he asked me to.

Which song?
“Hold On, We’re Going Home.” I already did a bootleg of “Started From The Bottom.”

Now what’s next for your label, Revealed Recordings?
Label party tomorrow (October 17 at ADE), “Hardwell Presents Revealed.” On the release side, we have a lot of new talents coming up. Julian Calor and Kill The Buzz are two new guys from Holland, both incredible producers. The moment I picked Dannic and Dyro up two years, they both have had an incredible rise, playing all around the world. I think seriously Julian Calor and Kill The Buzz are definitely the two new guys that will blow up in the next year.

You guys all share a very similar look. Coincidence?
We are almost like a boy band.

Can you give us a crazy, funny tour story?
I don’t know, I have a lot. We always have a lot of fun touring together. I think Dyro is the funniest out of all of us, but he’s always asleep though. I heard a lot of rumors of what he did last night… it’s typical Dyro.