Hardwell in 2013
|Birth name||Robbert van de Corput|
|Born||7 January 1988|
Breda, North Brabant, Netherlands
Robbert van de Corput (Dutch: [ˈrɔbərt fɑn də ˈkɔrpʏt]; born 7 January 1988), known professionally as Hardwell, is a Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer from Breda, North Brabant. Hardwell was voted the world's number one DJ on DJ Mag in 2013 and again in 2014. He was ranked at number three in the top 100 DJs 2018 poll by DJ Mag. Hardwell is best known for his sets at music festivals, including Ultra Music Festival, Sunburn and Tomorrowland.
Hardwell first gained recognition in 2009 for his bootleg of "Show Me Love vs. Be". He founded the record label Revealed Recordings in 2010 and a radio show and podcast Hardwell On Air in 2011. He has released eight compilation albums through his label, as well as a documentary film. His debut studio album, United We Are, was released in 2015.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Pseudonym
- 1.2 Early life
- 1.3 Musical beginnings
- 1.4 2007–2010: Musical breakthrough and "Revealed Recordings"
- 1.5 2011-2012: "Hardwell on Air" & "Spaceman"
- 1.6 2013: Opening of the "I Am Hardwell Tour" & "Best DJ of the World"
- 1.7 2014: Documentary & works on the debut album
- 1.8 2015: "United We Are"
- 1.9 2016: Final "I Am Hardwell" performance and movement to hardstyle
- 1.10 2017: Second studio album
- 1.11 2018
- 1.12 2019
- 2 Musical style
- 3 Merchandise
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Discography
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Hardwell's pseudonym comes from an idea of his father, who translated his surname into Latin and English, "Cor" meaning "heart" and "Put" meaning "well". However, he changed the "heart" to "hard", to make it sound more appealing.
Robbert Van de Corput was born on 7 January 1988 in Breda, to Anneke and Cor van de Corput. At the age of four he began taking piano lessons and attended a music school. At the age of twelve, he produced his first songs in the field of electro, while performing as a hip-hop-DJ. At a young age, he was also active in various areas of martial arts, including Judo.
As hip-hop became an underground scene, Hardwell changed his genre to commercial electronic dance music. He started producing remixes and uploaded them on several platforms on the Internet. At the age of 14 in 2002, he was offered a record deal with "Digidance" by Dutch producer duo Klubbheads. Three weeks later he made a first official release with the two-disc-record "Bubbling Beats 1", whereupon he toured through the Netherlands and appeared in a number of dance clubs. His first official single "Play It Around" came out in 2006, and was played in German clubs. The single featured a combination of popular musical genres, as well as his own style.
2007–2010: Musical breakthrough and "Revealed Recordings"
At the end of 2007 Hardwell released the song "Never Knew Love", which was produced as a collaboration with Greatski; the song placed on the official German single-charts. Remixes for Gregor Salto's and Chuckie’s "Toys Are" together with Dutch DJ and producer R3hab as well as a mix of "You Do not Love Me" Sidney Samson and Skitzofrenix in 2008 remained at the top of the dance charts for weeks. Also in 2008 he produced a mash up of the tracks "Be" by Steve Angello and Laidback Luke and "Show Me Love" by Robin S..
Hardwell's bootleg with the title "Show Be Love", was played by many DJs and was praised by Laidback Luke and Steve Angello. In December 2008 the two producers released the track as an official cover version of "Show Me Love". A new remix by Hardwell was contained on the single.
In 2009, Tiësto invited Hardwell to one of his performances. They performed together on the stage, and this exposure in the Netherlands led to gigs on media events, including the "Dancevalley Festival", whose official anthem was produced by him under the title of "Twilight Zone".
In 2010 Hardwell founded his own record label "Revealed Recordings", for the purpose of releasing electronic dance music by young talents. He contracted with EDM-artists, including the duo W&W as well as his personal friends Dannic and Dyro. Each year Revealed Recordings releases a compilation called "Hardwell Presents Revealed", containing tracks released by the label together with Hardwell's own new songs. On the fifth anniversary, a sampler was released containing the 100 most popular tracks, chosen by a vote through Revealed's website. The top three were Hardwell's "Spaceman", KSHMR and DallasK's "Burn", and "Left Behind" by Paris Blohm & Taylr Renee.
2011-2012: "Hardwell on Air" & "Spaceman"
In 2011, he signed a record deal with the German record label "Kontor Records", giving his releases wider distribution. In March 2011 Hardwell initiated his own podcast "Hardwell On Air", a one-hour selection of songs by various artists. The podcast is broadcast by a number of radio stations, including Slam! In the Netherlands as well as Sirius XM in the United States.
In the same year, Hardwell collaborated with Tiësto to produce the track "Zero 76", named for the telephone prefix "076" of their hometown Breda. The pair also appeared at the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium in 2014. On YouTube their "b2b"-set has been watched by millions of people. The successor single "Cobra" appeared on the Dutch single charts. The track was used as a theme song for the festival "Trance Energy 2011" and reached position 1 of the Beatport charts. "Encoded" followed with a similar success and was used as the intro song for his podcast.
In 2011, Hardwell was ranked in the "Top 100 DJs" category by DJ Mag for the first time and jumped on #24 as the second-highest entry newcomer behind Skrillex. At the International Dance Music Awards 2012, he won the Best Break-Through DJ award.
On 31 July 2012, the track "Spaceman" was released. It sold over half a million times in the US. It was played extensively in clubs and festivals in 2012. Also it gets titled as one of the songs, that created the Big room house genre. A vocal version with Mitch Crown could reach a chart position. In the following years, several remixes of the song were published, as well as a mash-up with a Hardwell-produced hardstyle remix of Blasterjaxx and W&W's "Rocket", which he often used for sets as an outro song. The Mash-Up received very positive criticism and was viewed several hundred thousand times on the internet.
Hardwell appeared as a headliner at several festivals, including Creamfields, Electric Zoo Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra Music Festival and Nature One. He also performed at Tomorrowland 2012, and released a related video which received tens of millions of clicks. In the fall of 2012 Hardwell reached the sixth place in the ranking list DJ Mag Top 100.
2013: Opening of the "I Am Hardwell Tour" & "Best DJ of the World"
On 29 January 2013, Hardwell started a bus tour through Canada, together with his DJ colleagues and best friends Dannic and Dyro. This was done in connection with "Revealed-Recordings" and gave the trio the name "Dutch-House-Mafia". Dyro and Dannic also accompanied Hardwell on his North America tour in summer 2013.
The single "Apollo", released on 1 February 2013, reached the charts of many European countries, including Austria, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The singer of the song is Amba Shepherd. Shortly after, the song "Never Say Goodbye", displaying a similar style, was released. Hardwell recorded the song with his friend Dyro and the American singer Heather Bright a.k.a. Bright Lights. In April 2013, he launched his first worldwide tour entitled "I Am Hardwell." That year he performed on the main stage at the Ultra Music Festival, toppling his Tomorrowland Liveset from the previous year from the first place of the most viewed live-DJ-sets with over 80,000 viewers.
In the summer of 2013 he also appeared as headliner at Tomorrowland. Later in the summer, the single "Jumper" appeared in collaboration with the DJ duo W&W. It represents the biggest club-hit of the whole year together with Martin Garrix’ "Animals" and DVBBS' "Tsunami". Hardwell also adapted his style of the growing big-room house fan base with "Countdown", with which he reached the German single-charts once again. With the American singer Matthew Koma, he released the track "Dare You" at the end of 2013, which followed the success of "Apollo".
In the fall of 2013, he became the youngest DJ to be voted as the #1 DJ by DJ Mag.
2014: Documentary & works on the debut album
In January 2014 Hardwell published the documentary "I Am Hardwell", which tells the story of his career. For this documentary he was accompanied by the director Robin Piree for two and a half years. His life's motto is "If you can dream it, you can do it", because as a 16-year-old he dreamed of being the best DJ in the world. The film documents his most successful moments; a soundtrack of the film was released separately.
As the first result of his work the track "Eclipse", which opened each of his Livesets since November 2013 came up. Among fans, the ID track received the unofficial title "Titan", with the demands for its publication a running gag among his fans. In an interview with DJ Magazine, Hardwell promised to release his album in 2014. Many tracks from the new album were introduced by Hardwell at the Ultra Music Festival 2014 as well as the Tomorrowland Festival.
After a first collaboration came out, Hardwell the possibility to work with Tiësto again arose. Hardwell and Tiësto performed a set, "Hardwell & Tiësto b2b", at Tomorrowland 2014, and announced their latest collaboration. One track featured Matthew Koma's vocals. Hardwell then devoted himself to completing his album.
In September 2014 the release of his studio album was postponed to the beginning of 2015. At the same time, the third official single release came out of the album. It is titled "Young Again" and contains vocals from British singer Chris Jones. The song was produced similar to "Dare You", not basing on big-room style, but basing on a melodious progressive house-drop. As with "Dare You", the single missed the entry to the German single-charts, despite high downloads chart placements.
In December 2014 Hardwell announced the official tracklist and cover of the album. Collaborations with DJs like Tiësto or Headhunterz as well as singers like Andreas Moe or Mr. Probz. Also, first previews of some of the songs, including the track "Follow Me", which was recorded in collaboration with R&B-singer Jason Derulo. At the same time, he announced his second world tour called "I Am Hardwell - United We Are" At the end of the year 2014, a minimix of the album unintentionally succeeded in the Internet and was virally distributed within minutes. In January 2015 the instrumental song "Eclipse" was released as a download single.
In the DJ-Mag placements, he held his number-one position for one more year.
2015: "United We Are"
Already prior to the release of the album, his Podcast "Hardwell On Air" celebrated the 200th episode which made new animations being introduced in the video releases. Number 201 of the podcast had the subtitle "United We Are" on it and was a pure presentation of all the tracks of his album.
On 23 January 2015 "United We Are" has been published worldwide. The single "Sally" was released one week before on 16 January 2015. It is a combination of rock music, big-room and Melbourne bounce. The track was recorded with the British singer-songwriter Harrison Shaw and is the first song of the Dutch DJ, which was able to enter the German single charts. As a "Thank you" for the massive support of his album and the celebration of two million followers on Twitter, Hardwell uploaded a video of the first two hours of the kick-off event to his new tour at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 24 January 2015. End of April In 2015, the single "Echo", sung by singer-songwriter Jonathan Mendelsohn, followed. Both the trance-song and the complex music video received positive criticism.
On the "Ultra Music Festival" 2015 Hardwell presented numerous other unpublished songs like "Mad World" with the singer Jake Reese, "Survivors" with Dannic & Haris, "Off the Hook" with Armin Van Buuren, as well as numerous tracks from artists who were signed to his label. In addition, there were performances on "Tomorrowland Brazil" and "Tomorrowland". Together with DJs like Dannic, Dyro, W&W, Kill the Buzz, Headhunterz and Newcomer Julian Calor, he hosted his own "Revealed" Stage, named after his label. In September 2015, there was also a performance at the TomorrowWorld festival in the USA.
In July 2015, the sixth episode of his Revealed-Presents compilation was released in parallel with "Survivors", which, similar to its predecessors, gained great success. In addition, the W&W remix of his song "Birds Fly" and his upcoming single "Chameleon" was presented for the first time. "Chameleon", a Jungle Terror collaboration with producer Wiwek followed one week later as a single. Two months later, the release of his Armin-van-Buuren-Collab "Off the Hook" followed. On the one hand, the old-school touch was praised; on the other hand, the song was also described as a very special. Just some weeks later "Mad World", which has been expected since May 2015, was released and features vocals by Jake Reese. However, the melody of Leadsound contains a melody-sample of the song "Smile with Your Eyes" by the musician Yeck Mar.
In October 2015 he lost his top position of the DJ Mags to the Belgian brothers Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. In the course of this, a series of criticism followed. As a reason of that was mentioned, that they worked with disproportionate promos-actions.
During the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in October 2015 Hardwell's second documentary "I Am Hardwell - Living The Dream", directed by Robin Piree, was premiered. Two days later, on 13 October 2015, the film went on in cinemas. On 7 November 2015 Hardwell presented the biggest DJ-solo show in Germany, held in collaboration with the "BigCityBeats World Club Dome". It took place in Arena AufSchalke in front of a record crowd of about 40,000 attendees. The normal tickets for this concert were sold out within three days.
A remix version of his studio album "United We Are" was released in December 2015. It contained the original tracklist, but all songs were remixed by different artists, including W&W, Vicetone and Frontliner. The entire tracklist was presented in episode 244 of his Hardwell on Air podcast. In parallel he and Armin van Buuren each presented an action figure; this caused moderate criticism, because of the high price.
On 13 December 2015, Hardwell organized a free concert entitled "The Biggest Guestlist" in Mumbai. With this performance, he did a world record of the same name. In addition, he donated all the proceeds of the festival as well as the ones from the fans to the Magic Bus Charity Project, which enables children from poor backgrounds to achieve better education in cooperation with the "United We Are Foundation" and "Guestlistevents in".
2016: Final "I Am Hardwell" performance and movement to hardstyle
On 8 January 2016, the song Perfect World by the Dutch singer Maan de Steenwinkel appeared. It was released as part of the casting show The Voice of Holland, whose sixth season she won. The title was produced by Hardwell. The song went up to 31st place in the Dutch single charts. He commented on the cooperation:
I’ve met Maan 3 weeks ago as I also followed her performances on ‘The Voice Of Holland’ from the beginning. I think she is a great talent and I know for sure that she will have a successful career in the music industry. She has my full support and I’m proud to be the producer of her first single ‘Perfect World’— Hardwell
"Hollywood" with Afrojack appeared on 25 January 2016 and jumped directly to # 1 on the Beatport charts. The second single of the year was the second collaboration with Jake Reese titled "Run Wild", which found place on 29 February 2016. Just a month later on 29 March 2016, Hardwell published his Kura-collaboration "Calavera". This track reached the first place on the Beatport charts again.[unreliable source?]
At the Ultra Music Festival in 2016, he premiered the final version of his W&W collaboration. The initial version was premiered in 2013 and contained vocals by Harrison, but the producers who aren't satisfied with that release decided to incorporate a new version with Crunk-vocals of US rapper Lil Jon. In addition, Hardwell played his next release, "8Fifty", in collaboration with his Revealed colleague Thomas Newson. However, the release was heavily criticized[by whom?] since Hardwell had several alternative projects running, which included "Live the Night", "MusicBox" or "What We Need".
On 24 June 2016, Hardwell published the seventh part of his "Hardwell-presents-Revealed" compilations. In the course of this release appeared the studio versions of his solo hardstyle debut "Wake Up Call" and the title "Going Crazy". "Wake Up Call" continued to be released on 3 August 2016 as a free download. On 29 August 2016, Hardwell released "Going Crazy" on Beatport, marking his second collaboration with Blasterjaxx.
In his performance at the BigCityBeats World Club Dome, Hardwell announced that his last show of the "I Am Hardwell - United We Are" world tour would be taking place on 27 August, at Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Together with Big City Beats, the largest lighting installation in Germany was built, with it the light show and the design of the Mainstage were described as breathtaking. As warm-up acts, Funkerman, Kill The Buzz and Dannic played from 5:00 to 08:30 pm. Hardwell played for 3½ hours in contrast to his previous 2-hour-long shows. As guests, he brought singer Haris on stage for his upcoming single "What We Need" as well as hardstyle DJ Atmozfears for their collaboration. In spite of temperatures of more than 35 °C, free water was renounced which led to criticism by attendees.
On 13 October 2016, single "Thinking About You" was released together with singer Jay Sean. The single contained elements of pop and R&B, and was highly received on download charts. Together with Revealed colleague Kaaze, Hardwell produced a progressive house "Festival Mix" of "Thinking About You" at the end of October 2016. Hardwell's "Get Down" together with W&W was premiered a few weeks later on Hardwell on Air, and was released on 18 November 2016.
In the DJ-Mag placements, Hardwell fell down the rankings from his previous year position, this time ranking third. In addition, Martin Garrix reached the top, with which he got the rank as the youngest number one. In the course of the controversy surrounding the 2016 DJ Mag awards, he held a statement at his ADE-performance on 21 October 2016, where he challenged the guidelines of the rankings. He explained using Atmozfears as an example that production talent would not be taken into account, as Atmozfears had exceptional production skills but failed to receive a list placing.
On 12 December 2016, Hardwell released "Baldadig", which was produced in collaboration with Quintino. Shortly thereafter, a reworked version of the song "Crank" from Jewelz & Sparks appeared on Revealed Recordings, produced by Hardwell under his pseudonym "HWL".
2017: Second studio album
Spring 2017: Reformation of the label & UMF-performance
On 2 January 2017, Hardwell released the song "Break the House Down", which was produced together with Kill The Buzz in December 2015. This was the first publication in the new "Revealed" design. For his 29th birthday on 7 January 2017, Hardwell released "Party till the Daylight" as a birthday gift for free, which marks his entry into bass house. He also announced that the 300th episode of his "Hardwell-on-Air" on 20 January 2017 would be a special episode. Guest appearances were done by Blasterjaxx, Wiwek, Jay Hardway, Don Diablo, Suyano, and Kill The Buzz.
From 2 to 3 February 2017, Hardwell made a reworked version of the song "Spaceman" available as a free download for its 5-year anniversary, which included vocals by singer Heather Bright. In the year 2012, Hardwell organised a competition for a vocalised version of the song after the instrumental version was released, where at that time Bright sent her winning version to Hardwell. His management however, settled on Mitch Crown's "Call Me A Spaceman". Since 2015, the common version was available as a free-track from Bright Light's site.
On 10 February 2017, the song "Go Down Low" by Badd Dimes was premiered on the 300th "Hardwell-on-Air" episode, and released as an edit by Hardwell on the same day. At the Ultra Music Festival on 25 March 2017, Hardwell premiered new productions with Austin Mahone, Maddix, Moksi and Henry Fong.
On 12 May 2017 Hardwell released his single "Creatures Of The Night" featuring Austin Mahone. This track did not represent his typical big-room style, but more of the future bass style which was very popular in 2017. In his home country, the song entered the official single charts. In other European countries, "Creatures of the Night" achieved high rankings in both streaming and download portals.
Summer 2017 "Make the World Ours" & "Hardwell & Friends EP'S"
On 20 June 2017, Hardwell released the first version of the song "We Are One" on Taiwanese record label Eternal Music. This version was done for the Asian market and features vocals of Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai.
At the end of June 2017, a track by Hardwell could be heard during the so-called "Endshow" of the Saturday of the Defqon.1-Festival. The footage that was used in the video revealed the official name as "Make The World Ours", and the track will subsequently confirmed by Hardwell on Twitter. This song was classified into the genre hardstyle and received very positive feedback.[by whom?] Two days later, on 30 June 2017, Hardwell published it officially on his own record label. It was speculated beforehand that the track would be released on "Q-Dance".
For summer 2017, the publication of two EPs was announced. At Ultra Europe, Hardwell premiered a collaboration with the Dutch DJ duo Sick Individuals, who had been working with his record label for years. He also played a second collaboration with Afrojack, which had previously been rumored to be an Afrojack & KIIDA production. The song was completed after Hardwell's private jet had to make an emergency landing and Afrojack took him to his plane.
In the 326th episode of his "Hardwell-on-Air" podcast, published on 21 July 2017, he announced that the first part of his "Hardwell & Friends EP" would be released on upcoming Friday. Until then, he wanted to release the songs as singles day by day. The song "We Are Legends", which developed in collaboration with Kaaze and Jonathan Mendelsohn, represented the beginning of that project on 24 July 2017. On 25 July there appeared the official "Revealed" version of his track "We Are One". This version did not include Jolin Tsai's vocals, but instead of that the voice of Alexander Tidebrink. "Police (You Ain't Ready)" with Kura was released the next day, a track which represents a crossover of genres reggae, big-room, hardstyle and trap. Also named on the single, was reggae artist Anthony B, whose vocals were part of a sampled, and was used in the break. The tracks roots reach back to January 2016, where Kura already presented the first drop of the song in his podcast "Ambush Radioshow". The releasing series continued on the following day by the track "All That We Are Living For". This song developed in cooperation with Dutch hardstyle DJ Atmozfears and singer M.Bronx and was already premiered a year earlier at the final "I Am Hardwell Show" at "Hockenheimring" in Germany. The release of "Smash This Beat" ended the week.
In the 330th episode of his radio show, he teased the tracklist of the second part of the second volume of his "Hardwell & Friends EP". Several days before, the cover was released which features all collaboration partners. "Badam", which was recorded together DJ Henry Fong and vocalist Mr. Vegas, was already announced to be part of the EP in June 2017 in an interview at Ultra Singapore, and was released on 21 August 2017. The next track was an official collaboration with Kill the Buzz, after multiple collaborations on the tracks "Don't Give Up" and "Break the House Down". Titled as "Still the One", the song was released on 22 August 2017. "What We Need", which was premiered at Queens Domain in early 2015, was released on 23 August 2017. Beside a bass house track with Moksi titled "Powermove", a collaboration with Dr Phunk was also part of the EP titled "Here Once Again".
Autumn 2017: "Power" with KSHMR
At the end of August 2017, Hardwell confirmed that he is working on the third "Hardwell & Friends EP". In an interview he also announced the third part of his "Hardwell & Friends EPs". He also announced the completion of the ninth collaboration with W&W.
On 22 September 2017 Hardwell and KSHMR released their collaboration track "Power", premiered in April 2017, was published on KSHMR's "Spinnin' Records" imprint "Dharma Worldwide". This track represents Hardwell's first release on "Spinnin' Records" since "Zero 76" with Tiësto came out on that label back in 2011. As a co-writer, Shermanology-member Andy Sherman as well as Jarrad Kritzstein worked together with them. After the release was announced in late August 2017, Hardwell premiered the studio version on 1 September 2017 in his "Hardwell On Air" podcast. In the course of their collaboration, they hosted one episode of the "Spinnin' Sessions" and on the other an episode of "Revealed Radio".
On 6 October 2017 Hardwell published his third collaboration with Afrojack, titled "Hands Up". Like the predecessor "Hollywood", the track is based on a classic Dirty Dutch style. Another part of the track is Afrojack's live show supporter MC Ambush. In contrast to the two previous collaborations, Afrojack's record label "Wall Recordings" acted as the main label.
After the official announcement of the eighth volume of his "Hardwell presents Revealed" series via Instagram-Story at the beginning of September 2017, the volume was released on 13 October 2017. In addition to the songs of his two Hardwell & Friends EPs, it also contains the intro of his 2017 live shows, "Who's in the House", as well as the unpublished track "The Universe".
Also on Instagram, Hardwell announced on 2 October 2017, to publish his first own perfume called "Hardwell Eclipse". The fragrance is available as of 20 October 2017 with the motto "The New Sound in Fragrance".
During the Amsterdam Music Festival on 21 October 2017, which included the release of this year's DJ-Mag Top 100 list, he first played a "back2back" live set with Armin van Buuren, which was previously announced as "Two is One". They gave a foretaste of their collab appearance in August 2017 with their 15-minute surprise performance at Dam Square in Amsterdam. As in the previous year, Hardwell lost a place in the DJ-Mag ranking and slipped to fourth place; third place went to Armin van Buuren.
Winter 2017: "Hardwell On Air: Off The Record"
After the first episode was published on Sirius XM on 26 May 2017, Hardwell officially announced a second hour of "Hardwell On Air" on 16 November 2017. This is called "Off The Record" and consists of a selection of songs that are stylistically different from his normal style, with the genres being future bass, deep house and tech house.
Spring 2018: "Hardwell and Friends EP Vol 3", Gemstone Records and New Alias
On 18 January 2018, Hardwell announced that the third volume of his Hardwell and Friends EP would be releasing soon, with a new track coming out everyday as of 19 January. The next day, Hardwell premiered the EP in the 350th episode of "Hardwell On Air". On 22 January 2018, he released "The Underground", a collaboration with Timmy Trumpet. The track was first premiered at Ultra Europe 2017. On 23 January 2018, he released "Woest", a collaboration with Quintino. On 24 January 2018, he released "Get Low", a collaboration with Sick Individuals. The track was also first premiered at Ultra Europe 2017. On 25 January 2018, he released "Safari", a collaboration with Jewelz & Sparks.
Hardwell later released a track titled "Thunder" with Julian Calor under the name Magnomite on 23 April 2018 on Revealed Recordings. It was Hardwell's first release under an alias.
Hardwell announced on his Twitter account on 24 April 2018 that he has launched a new electronic pop sub-label titled "Gemstone Records", whose main goal is to promote new talent and reach a larger audience, while encompassing multiple genres such as deep house, future house, future bass and electro pop.
Summer 2018: "Earthquake" and "Conquerors"
On 11 May 2018, Hardwell released "Earthquake". The track features vocals from Harrison, and was first premiered in the 350th episode of Hardwell on Air. On 25 May 2018, he collaborated with Netherlands-based jazz and pop orchestra Metropole Orkest to release an episodic two-part EP titled "Conquerors".
Later, Hardwell collaborated with Dutch producers Blasterjaxx to release "Bigroom Never Dies" on 13 July 2018, which was notably teased during his live performance on Dutch radio station Slam. The song incorporates elements of multiple genres other than its prevalent big room sound, including hardstyle, house, and techno. He collaborated with Kaaze again on "This Is Love", which was released on 31 August 2018 and featured vocals from Loren Allred who has previously performed on The Voice.
Autumn — Winter 2018: Hiatus and "How You Love Me"
On 7 September 2018, Hardwell announced via his Instagram page that he would be clearing his touring schedule indefinitely to take time off for his personal life. He promised that he will still continue to produce new music and will "never let it go". His last performance was at the Ziggo Dome for the Amsterdam Dance Event on 18 October 2018. The performance was closed with a speech where he stated: "Thank you so much, I will be back!" . On 7 July 2019 Hardwell made his first comeback at the stage as a guest to Afrojack's Breda Live Show.
Hardwell continued to release a series of singles after his announcement: reggae-influenced "Light It Up" with Suyano, "Out Of This Town" with Vinai and Cam Meekins, and "Kicking It Hard". On 7 December 2018, he released electronic pop-influenced single "How You Love Me" with Snoop Dogg and Conor Maynard through Spinnin' Records.
Spring 2019: "Being Alive" and "I'm Not Sorry"
On 4 January 2019, he released the track "Being Alive". The track features vocals from Jguar, and is a follow-up to his 2012 song "Apollo". On 7 February 2019, he released the track "Chase the Sun" with Dannic. The track features vocals from Kelli-Leigh. On 13 March 2019, he released the future house-influenced track "I'm Not Sorry" with Mike Williams. The track was first premiered at Amsterdam Dance Event 2018.
Autumn — Winter 2019: "Left Right" with Deorro and Makj, and "Mr X"
On 18 October 2019, he released the Big room house track "Left Right" with Deorro and Makj featuring Fatman Scoop.. Also in October 2019, during the Amsterdam Dance Event, Hardwell was rumoured to secretly play a DJ set during the event. A Reddit post alleged that a 'mysterious' Mr X played at Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano's event, much believed to be Hardwell. However Hardwell's manager, Anna Knaup, confirmed that Mr X was not Hardwell. In a statement, Knaup said, "I would like to officially confirm that whilst Robbert did make an appearance at Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano’s ADE party, he was not there to perform but merely there to support his friends' event and to enjoy the night."
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Hardwell's style can be classified in different sub genres of the electro-house music. He describes his starting style as influenced by the hip-hop underground scene. Between 2005 and 2006, he developed his style more commercially and over time his productions were increasingly based on a mix of tech house and dirty Dutch. Around the year 2008, his songs became slower and more commercial. In parallel, he experimented with elements from other genres. During that time, he came up already with build-ups, which were very similar to the big-room genre that had emerged years later. With the release of the single "Feel So High" in 2009, he published a tech-house song that corresponded to the classical progressive house, which was dying out, especially at the time.
At the beginning of 2010, he joined the growing EDM genre and increased his talent in the area of production with singles like "Move It 2 the Drum" and "Asteroid". In 2011, his first successful singles in the field of electro house appeared with "Zero 76" and "Encoded". With "Spaceman", he co-founded the big-room scene in 2012 and established himself permanently in this subgenre. One year later, his singles "Apollo" and "Never Say Goodbye" gave him a place in the modern progressive house style.
On his debut studio album, United We Are, he used trance music synths for the first time for his track "Echo" as well as deep house sounds for "Birds Fly". In addition, "Chameleon" is based on the jungle-terror genre, which was similar with the W&W single "Get Down". For the first time since "Don't Stop the Madness", "Hollywood" embodies a track corresponded to the dirty-German-music.
Starting from 2015, his syntheses were increasingly oriented on hardstyle samples. His Headhunterz collaboration "Nothing Can Hold Us Down" was created solely on hardstyle-based sounds. His solo productions "Run Wild" and "What We Need" contain features of this genre too. He also presented the song "Wake Up Call" at the Biggest Guestlist Festival in Mumbai, which was initially suspected as the collaboration with hardstyle producer Atmozfears, but later was confirmed by Hardwell as a solo production.
His 2016 single "No Holding Back", represents his first movement into the UK garage. The track represents elements of deep and tech house scene as well for the first time since his Funkerman collaboration "Where Is Here Now".
On 7 January 2017, he released the song "Party Till the Daylight", which was Hardwell's debut bass house production. At the Ultra Music Festival, he premiered his first future bass single, "Creatures of the Night".
By the year 2015 Hardwell still produced in his parents' house in Breda. On 20 January 2015, Hardwell first presented his current studio. It was designed by studio designer Jan Morel.
In the studio he works with a Roland A-49 MIDI Keyboard Controller White, Crane Song Avocet Remote II, and a Solid State Logic XLogic G Series Compressor. "reFX Nexus 2" is one of his favourite plugins. On 11 March 2015 he published a soundset for the synthesizer software "Sylenth1".
On his performances, Hardwell is mostly seen with Sennheiser HD 25 II headphones. According to his Technical Rider, he works with a Pioneer DJM-800 Nexus or a DJM-900 Nexus mixer. In addition, his set-up contains four interconnected Pioneer CDJ 2000s.
Hardwell's parents are active in a foundation for DJs that helps young artists deal with contracts, managers and record labels.
Since 2014, he was in a relationship with the Dutch event manager Yanicke Agnes. They met in a bar in his hometown of Breda in 2013. However, they split up in 2016.
- United We Are (2015)
Awards and nominations
- In isolation, van is pronounced [vɑn].
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