Exclusive interview with the boss of his mighty Revealed Recordings ahead of another massive release ‘Apollo’
Welcome back to DMCWORLD Robbert – congratulations on smashing into the DJMag 100 at No. 6. Where were you when you found out your position?
“Thanks for having me back DMC! I was working in the studio when I first heard it, I was so thrilled. It took me a few days to take in the news!”
How accurate do you think this year’s poll is, for instance, do you think the top 10 are the biggest 10 spinners in the world right now?
“I think it’s pretty accurate. The poll is a popularity poll, when you look at the music these artists released this year and their gig schedule throughout the year it’s a good overview I think. When you look at the list compared to for instance the artists Facebook’s it’s not really accurate, however I think there’s more to it than just an online number. It depends on what your fan base consists of.”
Your Revealed label night at ADE smashed Amsterdam’s biggest club Escape last weekend, did your get the opportunity to check any other clubs or DJs out at another fabulous ADE?
“The Revealed night was absolutely amazing! Such an energetic crowd and packed from the very first start. Also label mates Jordy Dazz, Dannic and Dyro played massive sets! I’ve been to the conference for a few days, mostly doing interviews. At night time, I only checked out the two events I was playing, being the Revealed label night and DJ MAG Awards party.”
What was the big record of the conference?
“Of what I’ve heard of the latest release on Revealed Recordings: Firebeatz – Here We F*cking Go has been played out a lot. It sure went off when I played this at the Escape.”
I loved something you said in the summer concerning the label. You said that the main reason you started Revealed was because you didn’t understand how 40 year old A&R managers at the big labels could know what to release as they never went to clubs. When dance music began in the late 80s it was exactly the same, big fat old men who wouldn’t know a BPM from an ATM ! How do you see the future of record labels in the future, at DMC it seems it is the consumers who are making the big decisions these days…
“I think there will be a lot more labels in the next few years. Bigger artists starting their own labels and with that a small company around them. With Revealed we worked really hard to get where the label is right now, and that all with signing music I love. If you keep it close to yourself and people love what you are doing you can’t really go wrong. With all the online possibilities it’s a total different world than 5 years ago but it’s a new and fun way to promote records…”
What are the next plans release wise for Revealed?
“We’ve got so much more bangers coming! End of November I’ll be releasing my new single called ‘Apollo’ which features the vocals of Amba Shepherd. So excited for this release as I’ve been testing this for a few weeks now and can’t wait to put this out! Furthermore I just signed one of the biggest track ever to Revealed I think, can’t give you more info at this point but sure this will be a huge track in 2013! For the coming months got releases planned for some up and comers but also some well known and respected names in the scene already.”
2012 has been a stunning year for you – DJing at the best events and also bringing us some of the biggest tunes of the year. What is your personal highlight of 2012 so far?
“It’s hard to choose as this was a year full of highlights, but to pick two that made the biggest impression on me that would be two festivals Ultra Music Festival as it was my first time mainstage, and that energy in the crowd was just sick! Also to be there with the whole scene gathered made it even more special. The other highlight would be Tomorrowland. Again the crowd was simply amazing, die hard fans from all over the world! And now afterwards my set being on YouTube with over 4.5 million views now, is just sick!”
What is your reaction on Jay Z signing Sander Van Doorn this week?
“Say What!? Sander van Doorn is finally going to rap?”
Ha ha, go google it! Also, another American company this week tried to buy the Sensation group for $100 million – is the Dollar going to take over and crush all of the small, music led promoters who have helped make the industry what it is today?
“No, I don’t see that happening. People forget that most of the people who are already working in the ‘EDM’ scene have been doing so for a long time and they do this because they love it, not just because of making money. There will always be sharks in a business trying to take over but ID&T declined that offer for a reason, because they still love what they are doing and want to keep doing that for another 20 years.”
I interviewed Nicky Romero today and he said he enjoyed playing to American crowds more so than Ibizaan crowds at the moment as they know their music better. Would you agree?
“It’s all so new for the US crowd. For instance, with a festivals this year probably 50% never has been to such an event, so you can see that in the enthusiasm and energy you get back for the crowd. In Ibiza it’s all about the die-hard music lovers who’ve been into electronic dance music probably all their lives.”
How important is it to you to prepare your sets for important events such as Ultra and EDC? I saw an interview with you at Tomorrowland and you said you hadn’t prepared, you were just going to see what the previous DJ played and go with the flow…are all events different?
“With festivals it’s all about going with the flow. When you arrive at a festival you can always feel the atmosphere and by checking out how the first few records work you can really build your story in your set. I love playing festivals! Of course you have a selection in your head of what you definitely want to play but sometimes it just goes a total different direction.”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
ID – ID Hardwell ft Amba Shepherd – Apollo Firebeatz – Here We F*cking Go Dannic – Flare Showtek & Justin Prime – Cannonball W&W – Lift Off Chuckie & JunxterJack – Make Some Noise Nicky Romero & Calvin Harris – Iron (Dyro Remix) Marcel Woods & Allure – Ready Kill The Buzz – Party Hard
You are flying into the UK on Boxing Day for a Cream spectacular with Nicky Romero and Laidback Luke. I take it you are looking forward to this huge night?
“For sure! Last time Cream was amazing as well. That crowd just goes mental! Also real fun to play with my fellow Dutchmen! I’ve just finished a track I did together with Luke on the road, that will be one of the highlights of the night!”
Where will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
“At an airport!? Nope probably at home, with some family, but I’ll disappear in the studio quickly.”
How many people are in ‘team Hardwell’ ensuring your week runs smoothly – and who is the person you couldn’t do without?
“Around 6 people, of course my parents who support me a lot, my dad helps with admin work. My management and bookings agency and record/publishing company. Can’t do without all of them, I’ve got the perfect team and been working with everybody for many years.”
What has been your biggest record of 2012?
“That would be ‘Spaceman’ released this in January and still is going off in every set I play. To see the success for this track as one of the most played tracks of the year and released in over 30 countries is something I couldn’t have dreamed of.”
Who are the young up and coming DJs we should be looking out for in 2013?
“That would Dannic, Dyro and Jordy Dazz, all amazing producers and DJ’s and they are even inspiring me a lot. I Released a lot of records of them on Revealed the past year(s) and they are part of the Revealed concept, all having their own distinct sound but fitting perfect to the Revealed sound.”
And finally, how was Ibiza for you in 2012 – what was the highlight?
“I had a great summer on Ibiza again. This year I’ve played all the major clubs; Space, Amnesia, Pacha and Ushuaia and loved all gigs. Space for it’s wild crowd, Pacha for the real Mediterranean experience and playing with my brother Tiesto of course and Ushuaia for the amazing location!”
Hardwell ft. Amba Shepherd – ‘Apollo’ is released on November 26th on his imprint Revealed Recordings