Hardwell on His EDM Documentary: "You See Things Going Wrong, You See the Highlights"
Photo by: Rukes
Three years ago, Holland's Hardwell barely broke onto the DJ Mag radar, coming in around 300 on the publication's fan-voted list of top DJs. A year later, he broke through to 24, and last year, he came in at number six, something he said was one of the proudest moments in his career.
At 25, he's had more than a decade of DJing experience and he's skyrocketing toward being the biggest name in the business. He's even got his own documentary coming out, though it might not be the pretty promo fest you'd imagine.
We sat down with Hardwell in the Story green room on South Beach before his big gig and got to know him a little better. Oh, and to all you aspiring DJs, make sure you come correct on your Soundcloud. Because Hardwell is listening.
Crossfade: What does it mean to you to sign this wall, at the green-room in Story?
Hardwell: Well, it's cool right? I've been in this club like two times now, I've never played here, though. I'm looking forward to being here, and I see the wall with all my colleagues and friends; Chuckie, Allesso, Bingo Players, and Dannic right now. Everybody is here. So I feel like it's about time for me to be here.
Was the last time you were in Miami for Ultra?
Yes, the last time we were here was in March for Ultra.
How was it doing the back-to-back Ultra sets? How did you spice it up, make it different for each of the crowds?
Well, the main stage was definitely one of my favorite sets I ever played, something magical happened. The other weekend I played more, I don't want to say less commercial, I want to say like more what's next, what's next from my label, more upcoming stuff, maybe a bit more underground, even though I hate the word underground. Like, more unknown songs, because if you play on a main stage, you need to tease every single body, every DJ plays more commercial.
You've had a crazy explosion in popularity; the last two years have been such a journey. What has been the most surreal moment for you on your come-up so far?
I think it's really corny to say, but I think the DJ Mag position on number six, to enter into the top ten. I never expected myself to enter the top ten of DJ Mag, especially like three years ago. Two years ago, I ended up number 300-whatever. Like, out of nowhere, I was 24 and then number 6.