From playing small clubs around Europe to headlining New York’s Madison Square Garden, Robbert ‘Hardwell’ van de Corput has achieved everything a DJ could dream of. He recently released his debut album ‘United We Are‘ which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Dance/Electronic chart. The album includes collaborations with Jason Derulo, FatMan Scoop, and lots more.
Minutes before headlining the first night of EDC New York, Examiner got the opportunity to chat with Hardwell to talk about everything from his start as a DJ to his future plans for this year.
What would you say is your favorite song at the moment?
I would have to say ‘Legend’ by Drake. I love his new album, I’m a big fan of Drake, I have the album on repeat so I would have to say ‘Legend’.
You tour so much, you go all over the world, what would you say is your biggest inspiration to make new music while you’re on the road?
The fans and the crowd. I get a lot of inspiration from them. When I’m in the studio working on a new song, the song become alive because of the crowd. It doesn’t matter which city or what country I’m in. It’s always the fans, they’re the ones feeling the songs and listening to the songs so it always comes down to them.
Let’s talk about Sally, is she real?
Sally is not real. I didn’t write the lyrics to it, I only produced it. You should ask this question to Harrison. He said he wrote the song about a girl but her name is not sally.
How did you discover dance music and when did you decide that this is what you wanted to do?
I think I was 8 years old when I first heard a dance music song on the radio in Holland and I think I was about 10 years old when I saw a documentary on Dutch MTV about Tiesto and Armin van Buuren. That was my eye opener and turning point in my life. I was always into music, mostly classical music but when I saw that documentary I told my mom and dad that I wanted to become a DJ.
Do you remember the first show that you ever played?
Yeah, I started playing at a dancing school in my hometown. I was like 13 years old when I played there.
You’re so many people’s favorite DJ, who would you say is your personal favorite DJ?
My favorite DJ is by far Tiesto, he got me into dance music. He’s like the godfather of DJs, he’s the legend.
You pretty much play every major dance music festival, what would you say is your favorite one to play?
I like a lot of them but I definitely have to say Ultra Miami and Tomorrowland Belgium.
Are there any songs that didn’t make ‘United We Are’? If so, do you ever plan on releasing them?
I don’t plan on releasing them. I think we had about 12 other songs that just never made it to the album.
What is your favorite collaboration on this album?
Jason Derulo. I’ve never collaborated with a pop artist before. Working with him was super nice, we had a great connection. It is definitely a song that I’m really proud of.
Who would be your dream collaboration?
What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?
The single with Jason Derulo which is called ‘Follow Me’ is officially coming out with a video in the beginning of next month. From that point I’m gonna release at least one song per month. I’ve been working on a lot of new music. It’s going to be a very busy year for me music wise!
After our interview, Hardwell closed the first night of EDC New York with a fully energetic set leaving fans with nothing but good memories.
Click here to find out when Hardwell will be in a town near you. ‘United We Are’ is now available on iTunes.