Robbert van de Corput, from Netherlands more famously known as Hardwell, will be performing in the national Capital in the Sunburn festival on October 1. He talks about his artist name, his passion for music and memorable moments in an interview with Millennium Post.
How did you find inspiration in music?
The fans, the shows, the countries and culture, and my family. It’s a combination of them all. Tiesto. When I was 11-12 years old, I saw a documentary on Dutch TV about Tiesto and it really inspired me. Tiesto has and will always be my role-model. I and Tiesto have worked together now for the last 6 years. To me, Tiesto is the Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley of dance music. He was the first DJ to open the Olympic Games, he was the first DJ to ever play his own concert or go overseas from Holland.
What is the story behind your name (Hardwell)?
My artist name was actually my dad’s idea. I played my first set, at a friend’s birthday party, when I was 12 years old in front of just 100 people. After that party, my father suggested that I take on the alter-ego Hardwell, derived from the family’s surname, Corput, where Cor translates to “hart” in Latin, while put literally means “well” in Dutch. I thought it sounded cool so I decided to keep it.
You have been voted World’s No.1 DJ twice, and you still are amongst the top five. How much hard work was involved to hold ground?
The key thing is you have to love what you do. It can be a lot of work, long days, tough travelling all the day but I can’t ever complain because I love it. This is what I’ve wanted to do all my life. I like to keep busy and work hard to achieve my goals. Life would be boring otherwise. It’s a question I get asked a lot and the truth is, not as much as people imagine. Most of the pressure is from myself, to grow and outdo last year’s successes. The fans have supported me throughout so I never feel like they’re only interested because of the title. The music and the people are the reason why we are all into this scene, so any pressure that comes with the title of world number one DJ is purely from myself.
Which has been your favourite performance till date?
This is always a difficult question to answer because there are so many shows and I love them all so differently, but getting the chance to close my first I Am Hardwell show at Madison Square Garden to a sold out crowd was definitely one of them. I recently closed my second world tour, I Am Hardwell – United We Are, at the famous Hockenheim circuit in Germany. I was the first DJ to ever play a solo show there so it was an extra special moment for me and the fans were incredible all night! Also hosting the ‘World’s Biggest Guestlist’ as part of my aid concert in Mumbai for my United We Are Foundation ranks as one of the best nights.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I have about 20 tracks which need finishing, so a lot of music will soon be coming from me. On the road I have a lot of great parties in my tour dairy from Ultra Brazil, Ultra Boliva,Storm Festival Shanghai China, EDC Orlando, as well as some dates coming up in Asia and also ADE where I’ll be hosting my ‘Hardwell Presents Revealed’ party again at the Heineken Music Hall. So yeah a busy few weeks ahead!
Would you like to share some memorable experience from your career?
The release of my debut artist album ‘United We Are’, which went to #2 in the Global iTunes album chart, winning ‘Best Global’ DJ at the IDMA awards in Miami in 2014 was a great moment because I had always wanted to win the award, playing b2b with Tiësto at Tomorrowland’s 10th anniversary, plus many more. Also launching my United We Are Foundation in India was a very memorable experience for me. 10 million people tuned in via the livestream, to help raise enough money to send over 18,000 kids to school for 10 years.