Laurens van Beers
By Laurens van Beers

Hardwell and Hardstyle seem to be a perfect blend lately. Besides his own solo-track, which he played at Ultra Miami, he also released a remix of the track ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ from Chainsmokers. Even though he has been playing Hardstyle in his sets pretty often, it was still a big surprise when he released it. We felt it was about time to sit down with him and have a chat about it.

That’s why we made an appointment and asked the former #1 Dj of the world some questions about, oh yes, Hardstyle!

You recently sent a shockwave throughout the Hardstyle scene when it became clear that you made a remix together with Dirty Workz talent Sephyx. How did this collab happen and why did you chose Sephyx?
It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I wanted to work with someone I really admire and Sephyx was the perfect fit. I’m really happy with the final result. If you’ve been following my sets over the years, you’ll know I love to include hardstyle tracks in my sets from time to time. So for me it was a natural thing to work on an official Hardstyle track and a remix was the best way to introduce that idea. I’ve been making my own edits for years so why not release something officially, right?

How did the collaboration go? Did you notice a big difference between hardstyle and your ‘familiar’ studio work? People say Hardstyle is an extremely hard genre to produce.
They’re right! It’s funny because if you look at Hardstyle producers, when some move to making music in different genre, they pick it up really quickly and they absolute smash it! I believe I’ve got a good ear for the sound and I’m confident in the studio, but it’s still a tough genre to work with. My appreciation for the Hardstyle producers has always been high, because these guys really know how to get the best out of their ideas and sounds.

The remix has already been viewed more than 3,500,000 on YouTube alone! Do you believe that Hardstyle is ready for the world, or better yet, do you think the world is ready for Hardstyle?
I know it’s crazy!! I knew it would be popular, well I felt in my heart it would, I just had a really positive vibe about this record. So I’m happy to see it doing well. It’s a genre I have a lot of love for and I’m proud be able to join in the amazing Hardstyle community. For me it’s a bit of both really, it’s long overdue to see Hardstyle bigger in the mainstream than it is, but also the mainstream is long overdue fully understanding how big Hardstyle already is. But it’s started and that’s a good thing!

hardwell hardstyle interview
Earlier this year you did a performance at Ultra Miami, where you played your ‘first’ solo-Hardstyle track. That’s something else than a remix together with a hardstyle artist! How did the crowd respond to this new Hardwell sound?
They went nuts! Like seriously crazy. It was a fun part of my set and definitely something I am keen to include more of in future sets.

Will this track get an official release on Revealed Recordings somewhere in the near future? That would mean that you’re going to link Hardstyle to the Hardwell brand.
Who knows? Maybe? But only time will tell. I have some ideas and I’m hoping they will happen but it’s difficult. My schedule is really hectic right now and Revealed has a very busy schedule of releases, new artists, events and so on coming up. Never say never.

Revealed is a platform for a wide range of musical genres, and you have already released several Hardstyle remixes of your tracks. This means Revealed is open for innovation and experimenting. Was this also your original intention when you started the label?
Absolutely! The label is not fixed to anyone’s sound, idea or avenue. I always wanted it to be open and full of forward thinking innovation. For me, the label welcomes all artists and sounds. We have our trademark sound and vision but this is constantly evolving. You have to be open minded with your music and ideas in order to progress.

It’s also a great platform for Hardstyle. A quick peak on the YouTube channel shows that the remixes have over five million views. A lot of artists envy those numbers. Do you get a lot of remix requests from Hardstyle artists, or do you pick them yourself?
It’s a mix really. We have a lot of artists that reach out to us, and we’ll also pick them ourselves. It really varies from project to project as each release is different in how we like to put the remixes together for them.

hardwell interview hardstyle
The world of Hardstyle is no secret to you, because you have been playing several tracks in your sets for quite some time now. Can your interest in Hardstyle be called ‘love’? And where did this interest/love come from?
I’m definitely a big fan. I’ve got a lot of love for the scene, the fans and what the artists are doing. I love the unique aspect Hardstyle artists bring to their productions and respect how hard it is for many producers to try and find that level of studio perfection. Growing up in Holland it’s always been a genre I’ve known and it has had a big connection with me since my early years.

In an earlier interview you stated that you would have never gotten this far without your parents. In the Hardstyle scene we’re used to parents calling the music ‘uninspired noise’. How do they feel about that
Haha, I think every DJ / dance music fan has heard that from their parents at some time. Hardstyle, because of its heavy sound, will of course be a style most parents won’t love. It was certainly a sound I loved to play loud and hard when I was DJ’ing in my early years.

Is there a chance that we might see Hardwell on the line-up of a Hardstyle event, with a Hardstyle set, anytime soon?
No plans right now so it’s unlikely anytime soon, but never say never.

Besides Sephyx we also saw pictures of you together with Atmozfears in the studio. It appears that it doesn’t stop here. What else can we expect, Hardstyle-wise, from you?
For now I’m keeping my cards close to my chest. I have some surprises but exactly what and which genre those are is a secret for now. Guess you’ll have to wait.

Robbert, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. It’s really great to see someone as big as you showing love for our beloved scene.
Thanks for the interview and keep supporting the amazing Hardstyle scene. It’s great to see a team like yours with such fantastic passion!

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  • jan walter 22 July 2016 - 16:00

    Name of the Hardstyle track he played? And is it available at Youtube or spotify?

  • Ignacio 23 July 2016 - 21:58

    I guess it is “Wake up Call”


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