Music maturity came swiftly for the now seasoned-veteran Robbert van de Corput, better known as Hardwell. At the age of 25, the young Dutch titan capped off a 10 year journey when he was crowned World’s #1 DJ in the 2013 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll cementing his position as the electronic scenes newest superstar DJ and becoming the youngest ever winner of the coveted Top 100 DJs award. In 2014 the Dutch megastar did it again – being crowned World’s #1 DJ in the 2014 edition of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll for a second consecutive year. Despite relinquishing his crown in 2015, though still taking the highly respectable second-place spot, it’s clear that Hardwell has already created a legacy that would put most of his counterparts to shame. This award-winning DJ, producer, musician, label owner and lover of all things music has not only helped shape the current state of EDM, but has left an everlasting imprint on it.
Like his great mentor Tiësto, Hardwell proudly hails from Breda, a city tucked deep within the Netherlands. Having first established his name at the tender age of 14, Hardwell has since elevated his clubland standing to impressive, dizzying heights. His serving of big room bangers over the past year has seen a bundle of anthems sweep charts and dancefloors worldwide. Label boss of Revealed Recordings and collecting a plethora of Beatport #1’s (no less than 7 consecutive #1’s in 2013 alone), his studio output has never been more prolific or more on point. Records such as his anthemic hit ‘Spaceman’, ‘Three Triangles (Losing My Religion)’, ‘Jumper’, ‘Dare You’, alongside the hard-hitting track, ‘Apollo’, the scorching collaboration with Dyro and Bright Lights, titled ‘Never Say Goodbye’, and his more recent remixes like Coldplay’s ‘Sky Full of Stars’ and Calvin Harris Feat. Ellie Goulding – ‘Outside’ have become some of the biggest records over the past couple of years. In 2014 he saw his accumulation of Beatport #1’s rise scoring hit releases with his remix of Deorro & J-Trick’s ‘Rambo’, Armin van Buuren’s ‘Ping Pong’, alongside placing with his own singles ‘Dare You’ featuring Matthow Koma (which broke into the UK Top 20 singles chart, debuting at #18), ‘Everybody is in the place’ and the first single titled ‘Arcadia’ (featuring Joey Dale & Luciana), from his forthcoming debut artist album, straight to the top of the Beatport chart. Now with all eyes on his new artist album, which will include tracks such as his latest single ‘Young Again’ with Chris Young on vocals, Hardwell is building up to the most exciting musical period in his career so far.
Through his refreshing sound that is characterized by complex drum ensembles, daring synths, and emotive chords, Hardwell has created the ultimate recipe for “Big Room House”. His productions are received with such great praise and acclaim; it seems his shelf life is endless. As his reputation grows amongst the world’s partygoers, so does his status. First entering the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll at #24 in 2011, Hardwell rose to #6 in the 2012 edition of the poll, before being crowned World #1 DJ in the 2013 poll – seeing off fierce competition from the likes of Avicii and Armin van Buuren and following in the footsteps of electronic icons Tiësto and David Guetta. The imitating that success once again in the 2014 edition of the Top 100 DJs Poll when he held onto the #1 spot.
The “fresh and open-minded” approach he has taken with his label Revealed Recordings has led to the imprint gaining international momentum and having produced a cluster of hits since its inception back in 2013, as well as giving rise to a new generation of artists that include Dyro, Dannic, Julian Calor, Manse, Thomas Newson and Kill The Buzz. Another success in the labels armoury is its celebrated compilation series ‘Hardwell Presents Revealed’ which offers listeners a true box ready taste into the current trends at the heart of the labels musical output.
Moreover, his record label Revealed Recordings has also grown to become a dominant force as a globetrotting tour brand in its own right named ‘Hardwell presents Revealed’, having staged events in America, Canada, Greece, UK, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria and Netherlands, as well as fronted to North America Bus Tours to date. In 2014 Revealed stepped-up their event plans with the arrival of their own festival arena shows staging parties at the likes of Summerfestival and Creamfields in the UK. Then in 2015 the label locked in arena hosts at festival such as Creamfields, EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland Belgium and the debut Tomorrowland Brasil. Summer 2014 also saw Revealed undertake its first official residency holding down a regular run of shows at the iconic open-air daytime venue Ushuaïa Ibiza. Presenting a congregation of producers that admirably hold an array of top Beatport chart positions and rankings in DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s in the world, Revealed’s handpicked bills for the Ibiza season at Ushuaïa Ibiza ignited the white isle in a truly memorable fashion.
For summer 2015 Hardwell returns to Ibiza and Ushuaïa with a new event concept titled ‘Hardwell’s Carnival’, which will illuminate the island’s party calendar with stunning visuals, performers and some guest stars.
In March of 2011, Hardwell launched his very own radio show and podcast, Hardwell On Air, which is broadcasted on more than 115 international radio stations, including Holland’s top dance station, Radio 538, Sirius XM in the US, and NRJ in France and Germany. Additionally, the podcast has a solid spot in the iTunes Top 10 Podcasts in more than 45 countries and according to 1001tracklists.com is the hottest show in the scene right now.
As a producer his ratio of releases to hits is extraordinary. In 2011 his collaboration single with Tiësto – ‘Zero 76’ was one of the biggest club tracks of that year and to date the music video has received over 14 million views on YouTube. The single went #1 in the Beatport and #1 in the US iTunes chart. That same year his solo record ‘Cobra’ went to #1 in the dance charts in Holland and Top 10 on Beatport.
2012 saw even more success with his remixes of Rihanna’s track ‘Where Have You Been’ and The Wanted’s ‘Chasing the Sun’ both reaching #1 on Billboard’s Dance Chart. His collaboration remix with Dannic for UK pop star Example’s, ‘Say Nothing’, received a #1 spot in the Cool Cut Chart, while Tiësto and Hardwell’s remix for ‘Young Blood’, by the indie rock band The Naked And Famous, became the festival circuit’s summer anthem.
Hardwell also collaborated alongside Showtek to produce the track ‘How We Do’, with the music video premiering on MTV US. However, Hardwell’s biggest track of 2012 was the solo original known as ‘Spaceman’, which is regarded by media critics and peers alike as one of the EDM scenes biggest timeless anthems. ‘Spaceman’ was released in over 25 countries worldwide, scored a #1 place in the Beatport chart and to date has clocked in more than 15 million views on YouTube.
At the tail end of 2012 Hardwell released the hard-hitting organic track, ‘Apollo’, featuring Amba Shepherd. Much like its predecessor, ‘Apollo’ would propel Hardwell’s name into the spotlight and ignite a global phenomenon around his infectious releases and DJ sets. Such was the foray around his name at this time that dance music icon Pete Tong invited Hardwell to make his debut on the hallowed decks of BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix in November 2012, where Hardwell’s prowess was so distinctively displayed.
Having featured for the first time on the mainstage of Ultra Music Festival only one-year prior (2012), Hardwell’s position as a mainstage stealing DJ was affirmed in 2013 when he returned to the renowned Miami event. Armed with a body of fresh and unheard music, most notably is landmark hit single ‘Never Say Goodbye’, his performance at the 2013 Miami Ultra Music Festival would go on to become the stuff of legend. Clocking up a staggering 6 million views in just 8 weeks, Hardwell’s set broke all records for the most watched Ultra live broadcast during UMF with over 80,000 people watching his set via the feed. During his set, Hardwell’s Twitter account was using 20% of Twitter’s overall bandwidth with his name was trending worldwide with such intensity that it caused Twitter to temporarily shut down his account – yes, he broke Twitter! 2014 saw Hardwell back at Ultra Music Festival but this time to close the entire festival proceedings. Showcasing a plethora of new music and delivering every inch the grand finale show the fans and organisers had hotly anticipated, Hardwell’s dominance as a mainstage titan was once again set in stone. A feat that is further backed by the 9.5 million views his liveset has, to-date, clocked up on his official YouTube channel.
Hardwell returned to the Ultra Main stage at the event’s iconic cityscape Miami setting in 2015, adding even further impressive numbers to his viewer counts that already delve in their millions and make him the single most in demand liveset artist, in the electronic scene today. With over 170,000 fans tuning in to witness history be made as Hardwell teased exclusive new tracks, was joined by some familiar faces and commanded the stage as his own, Ultra 2015 has proven to be one of Hardwell’s most successful trips to the city yet. Impacted even further with the hosting of his own Hardwell Presents Revealed party, which descended upon Miami’s unparalleled Story nightclub.
Following on from his 2012 Tomorrowland set, which to date has received over 21 millions views on YouTube and was dubbed by many as a contender for the best set of the year, Hardwell returned to the mainstage of Tomorrowland in 2013 where he played yet another inimitable set that took a frenzied Tomorrowland audience on a ride of a lifetime. This time the liveset amassed in excess of 1 million views in just a few days and has currently been viewed over 22 million times on YouTube; the inexorable rate at which his DJ sets are viewed by fans around the world has made him the single most in demand liveset artist in the electronic scene today.
A true festival–straddling superstar his sets have conquered arena’s at the most prestigious and crowd-pleasing of parties in the world such as Ultra Music Festival Miami, Electronic Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Electric Zoo, Creamfields, UMF Europe, Coachella, EDC London, Future Music Festival, TomorrowWorld, Global Gathering, The Flying Dutch, Mysteryland, Dance Valley and various Sensation’s, including Amsterdam’s. At each and every show his fans litter the crowd awash in banners, flags and t-shirts’ bearing his name. A gesture Hardwell still finds touching, stating; “the commitment and effort the fans put into the shows with their signs and energy on the dancefloor is incredible. I’ll never be able to thank them enough.”
As a DJ his global headliner status has led to endless sold-out shows around the world at venues from Ministry of Sound in London to Green Valley in Brazil. Debuting in Ibiza in 2010 when he was personally invited by Tiësto to perform with him at his now legendary Club Life event at Privilege. Hardwell’s 2013 Ibiza excursion saw him grow into one of the biggest headline acts on the island with roadblock shows at Ushuaia, Pacha, Space, Cream @ Amnesia, plus Cream’s Radio 1 live event @ Privilege, and led to him winning the ‘Electro House DJ’ award at the 2013 Ibiza DJ Awards at Pacha and then again at the 2014 Ibiza DJ Awards ceremony. 2015 saw him win the same award for the third year in a row, also adding the prestigious Best International DJ award.
Added these to his growing awards cabinet which already contains the accolade for ‘Best Breakthrough DJ’ from the 2012 Miami IDMA awards, a double of victories from the 2013 ceremony where he scooped ‘Best Remixer’ and ‘Best European DJ’, and his 2014 IDMA Awards for winning ‘Best Global DJ’ and ‘Best Progressive House/Electro DJ’. At the 30th annual International Dance Music Awards (IDMAs) in 2015, Hardwell became the most nominated artist in the year’s categories taking away an impressive 5 coveted awards. These included ‘Best Electro/Progressive House Track’ with ‘Arcadia’, Best Album with ‘United We Are’, ‘Best Global DJ’, ‘Best Progressive House/Electro DJ’ and ‘Best Podcast or Radio Mixshow’ for his ‘Hardwell On Air’ broadcasts, bringing Hardwell’s IDMA count now up to a total of 10 awards.
Hardwell also found himself nominated in the 2014 MTV European Music Awards, competing in the category for the ‘Best Dutch Act’, ‘Best World Stage Performance’ and ‘Best Electronic Act’ – which is an indicator to the level to which Hardwell and his very club-focused sound has grown during these past few years.
These accolades reiterate the wide-scale belief from his fans in his music and DJ sets. North America, one of Hardwell’s biggest territories, has seen him deliver some impressive shows, on top of sell-out nationwide tours. For instances in 2013 he embarked on a Revealed Presents Canadian Bus Tour, where Hardwell, joined by support DJs Dyro and Dannic, took in the country’s finest clubs from New City Gas in Montreal to The Guvernment in Toronto and left a colossal marker of musical intent. His exclusive residency at Hakkasan Las Vegas with his ‘Go Hardwell Or Go Home’ event series has cemented his position as one of the forerunning DJ stars in the US club scene, generating much acclaim from the worlds media and clubbers alike. This was also followed with a nationwide ‘Go Hardwell Or Go Home’ tour that took in venues across America.
In April 2013 Hardwell launched his most ambitious project to date when he unveiled his I Am Hardwell world tour concept at Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall to a 6000 capacity crowd. A spectacle of unprecedented musical vision and production detail, the entire show was broadcast live on a HD feed to 100,000’s of fans around the world and placed a solid marker to the immense popularity of Hardwell’s position within the dance community. After a hugely successful launch event, Hardwell took his exciting and innovative tour concept on the road for a worldwide tour. Spanning 6 continents the tour saw sold-out shows in Jakarta, Singapore, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lisbon, London, Mexico City, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Guatemala City, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, making I Am Hardwell one of the must see shows over its 19 month period. For the final phase of the I Am Hardwell tour, Hardwell took to the streets of New York for a Times Square takeover where he revealed that the closing chapter of this epic world adventure would culminate in North America. The final leg of the global tour took in shows in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Miami before completing its mammoth journey at the world renowned Madison Square Garden in New York, in front of an 18,000 capacity crowd, for what was a spectacle finale for Hardwell’s international scaling party concept.
In October 2013, during Amsterdam Dance Event, Hardwell held the world premiere of his ‘I Am Hardwell’ documentary in Amsterdam’s oldest and most famous cinema, Tuschinski. The documentary provides a captivating inside-look on Hardwell’s rise. With the motto – “If you can dream it, you can do it”. 2015 saw the release of the sequel film ‘I AM Hardwell – Living The Dream’, again premiered during Amsterdam Dance Event and following Hardwell on his world tour, asking the question “The problem with dreams is what happens once they’ve come true?”. Hardwell unveiled the sequel to his 2013 documentary with a new film in 2015 titled ‘I Am Hardwell – Living The Dream’. Even more than the previous documentary ‘I AM Hardwell – Living the dream’ lets you experience the music. Starting with the 27-year-old Robbert van de Corput, working on new musical ideas in his studio, followed by the mass hysteria in Delhi and unprecedented footage of the ‘I AM Hardwell’ concert shows where ten thousands of people worldwide shared in the music, passion and energy of what a Hardwell show is all about. It’s a gateway into the life of a musical pioneer on the road to accessing the peak of his artistic powers.
But it’s his relationship with his fans that sets him apart from his peers. Through his popular Q&A series on YouTube Hardwell’s personal side is displayed, where he answers the most begging of questions his fans have to offer. As said by Hardwell himself, “With the opportunities of social media today, it’s super easy to be in direct contact with your fans, however it’s impossible to respond to each and everyone through Twitter or Facebook. That’s why I came up with this idea, to give my fans the opportunity to ask me their questions and to have the chance to answer them in a fun and engaging way!” And talking of social media his meteoric rise up into the higher echelons of the dance community has seen his fan base swell in recent months. With over 7.4 million ‘likes’ on Facebook, more than 1.95 million followers on Twitter and in excess of 200 million hits on his YouTube channel, Hardwell has rapidly solidified his place as one of the electronic scenes most ‘clicked on’ artists.
Will his dial fully set to musical creation, Hardwell’s 2014 was filled with large amounts of studio as he poured numerous man-hours into his debut artist album – United We Are – alongside continuing to circumnavigate the globe appearing at all the major festivals, alongside countless arena and exclusive club shows. Hardwell opened 2015 with the news that his collaboration with W&W and Fatman Scoop, which is a big-room attack that captures the live intensity of Hardwell’s arena-spanning shows, had claimed the Beatport #1.
‘Sally’ was the next single to be taken from United We Are and featured UK singer/songwriter Harrison. The single shot to #2 on the Dutch iTunes Singles Chart, whilst United We Are also reached the #2 spot on iTunes Worldwide Album Chart, narrowly missing on the #1 position due to the surprise release of Icelandic superstar Björk’s artist album Vulnicura.
Released January 23rd 2015 the album features a host of collaborations that include Jason Derulo, Fatman Scoop, W&W, Bright Lights, Harrison, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Amba Shepherd, Joey Dale, Luciana, Headhunterz, Chris Jones, Haris, Mr Probz, Funkerman feat. I-fan and DallasK, as well as a track together with Tiësto and singer-songwriter Andreas Moe.
The album’s release coincided with a launch event that took in two sold out nights at Amsterdam’s impressive Ziggo Dome, where Hardwell also unveiled his new tour concept I Am Hardwell – United We Are.
2015 also saw Hardwell team up with fellow dance music pioneer Armin van Buuren for the club-charged track ‘Off The Hook’, which had countless dance floor bubbling with excitement during the weeks of its release. And the year saw Revealed Recordings hit its 200th release when label boss Hardwell unveiled his hot new record ‘Mad World’ featuring Jake Reese.
One project of keynote in 2015 was Hardwell’s step into the world of charity work. Utilising his global appeal for social change, Hardwell, along with international electronic music agency, Anna Agency and United Welfare Trust, launched the United We Are Foundation. Created as a way to ‘give something back’ to the children of the world, the United We Are Foundation is a charity project that has global ambitions to educate young children in different communities around the world. First launching in India with an historic show that will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Biggest Guest List’ by opening his own personal guest list up to 100,000 fans for free. The foundation will then travel to different countries around the globe undertaking in an international development agenda that will aim to deliver a ‘magic bus’ educational programme to children in India.
The rise of Hardwell as a young boy from the city of Breda into a ripened international super-heavyweight has become an inspiring tale for many. Coming full circle from a dream to reality of wanting to become the ‘#1 DJ in the World’, we can be assured that the global artist Hardwell is a musical force that will drive electronic dance music for many years to come….