Wouter de Vink
By Wouter de Vink

In a period of extremely few events, Hard Driver decided to put his back into it, resulting in a brand new album. Chemistry will be out next Friday and this shows that the DJ (if we do say so ourselves) is in the shape of his life: “This album won’t be the only one I’ll be releasing this year.”

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Dutch producer Freek van Kempen (Hard Driver) has been at the top of the hardstyle scene for quite some time, with two albums to his name: #NOSLEEP and Point Break. At the beginning of the corona pandemic, he decided not to sit still, but to put in the effort: resulting in his forthcoming album Chemistry. An album that showcases his strongest qualities – as far as we’re concerned, this is a prelude of even more successful years for Hard Driver to come.

“We knew there was a good chance that Chemistry  would come out in a time without events”

Hard Driver last released an album in 2017 and was packed with ideas at the beginning of 2020. “It started to get excited again”, he explains. After several brainstorming sessions with his management, the theme ‘Chemistry’ was born. “At that time we were deep in the corona crisis and we knew that there was a good chance that this album would be released in a time without parties. However, this did not make me doubt for a single moment to release an album. It was important to continue to provide my fans with new music. I thought the connection/chemistry between my fans and I had to remain strong. With that in mind, we have merged the two definitions of ‘Chemistry’ into one, as it were. I locked myself in my ‘music laboratory’ to create the perfect musical formula to strengthen the connection between me and my fans through my music during this strange time.”


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The composition of the album seems like a chemical formula – the tracklist was even guessed by fans in this interactive way in recent weeks. 10 tracks, of which 5 solos and 5 collaborations: with artists with whom he personally has a good click. “When I do a collab with someone, I think it’s important that there is a personal click. I’ve worked with Joram (Wildstylez) and Bob (B-Front) before, so I knew this was right”, Hard Driver explains. “Sound Rush, Act of Rage and DV8 were new collaborations for me, but all great guys! At such a moment I look forward to diving into the studio with them. I also like the sounds of these artists and in addition their sounds vary a lot from each other. This variation has partly ensured that there is a nice balance on the album, which is important to me. I am very proud that these names are on my album and the result makes me even more proud!”

“I just love to spend hours in the studio”

Hard Driver is clearly in a flow. Not only as part of The Elite (with Coone and Da Tweekaz), but also several solos and collabs with Warface and Ran-D were picked up excellently last year. Hard Driver’s name is being mentioned more and more when it comes down to line-ups or hardstyle in general – and it looks like he’s feeling good. Is Chemistry the result of his excellent form? “It’s going really well! I just love to put in hours in the studio. At the end of 2019, me and my team have set up a (music) tactic for the coming years and I feel very comfortable with that. I personally think this album is my strongest material to date, and I hope the fans feel the same way.”

The response to the upcoming album are very positive. “The fact that I receive a lot of signals that people are looking forward to the album, and also that many people have already pre-ordered the album, is in any case very motivating for me”, says Hard Driver. “So I keep going strong and I am grateful for the support! In recent periods I have released a lot of music while there were no events, but I have not regretted it for a single moment. The support I get in return makes me realize even more how special our scene is. I hope to see everyone again soon at an event, so we can enjoy the music as it was meant to be.”

On to the events: “The live experience is just part of hardstyle”

Finally, there is light again at the end of the corona tunnel: the events are now (luckily) starting to come again. Hard Driver is eager: “If everything goes according to plan, I have a nice six months on the schedule with several cool bookings. I can’t wait to be on-stage again and finally play all new album tracks live. That live experience is just part of hardstyle, and we are already working on plans for after the album. And also next year, because this album won’t be the only one I’ll be releasing this year. Enough to look forward to!”

Hard Driver’s Chemistry album will be released on Friday the 11th of June 2021 on the Dirty Workz label. Order the hardcopy or pre-save the album here via the available platforms.

Footage taken from Instagram page Hard Driver

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