After really breaking through in the EDM scene with his smash hit track "Spaceman," 28-year-old Dutch DJ/producer Robbert van de Corput, better known as Hardwell, has taken the dance music world by storm. Hardwell initially caught my attention when his 2013 live set at Ultra Miami was posted on YouTube, and he's been my favorite music artist for years. This is the case for many reasons, which I will share. While you read do yourself a favor and play Hardwell's recent hit track "Mad World" featuring Dutch vocalist Jake Reese, who won the Dutch X Factor competition in 2010.
1. His Energy Is Unmatched.
Historically, DJs in clubs around the world were known to just stand behind their tables and not really engage with their audience or act as a showman in any way, shape or form. Not this man. Hardwell is most likely going to be the most active person at the venue, including everyone in the audience. I've seen Hardwell live twice now, and he immediately sets the tone of high energy fun right off the bat. There's a good chance Hardwell is enjoying the show just as much as everyone in the crowd and that energy truly resonates throughout everyone that he is playing in front of.
2. Crowd Engagement.
Five minutes into every show Hardwell will have already interacted with the audience in some way. As you can see, Hardwell has everyone involved and acting as a giant unit together. There is no question that people in the audience are brought in and enjoying the set with him. In 2014, Hardwell released a remix to Armin van Buuren's track "Ping Pong" and waves his hands to the melody of the song, which keeps everyone in tune with his performance.
3. His Music Selection.
It is no surprise how quickly Hardwell was able to establish and develop his record label (Revealed Recordings.) Hardwell made his way to main stages around the world largely in part of his music and other tracks he selects during his shows. Hardwell undoubtedly puts plenty of thought into all of his set lists and where the show is held. For instance, when he performed at EDC New York last year, he played a mashup including "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra and "Empire State of Mind" by Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys.
For anyone who has been to an EDM show before, you know what the speakers they wield are capable of. Hardwell's tracks sound amazing when you're standing in front of state-of-the-art speakers and massive subwoofers. Everyone in the crowd can feel the kick drum pumping through their stomach and that feeling is definitely one that makes you want to jump along!
Go buy your tickets
Hardwell is currently on his North American Bus Tour with label mates Thomas Newson and Kill the Buzz. He's making stops all across the northeast and has two shows scheduled in Canada as well. Check out the rest of the dates. I'm going to his show at the F-Shed in Syracuse on March 4th, I hope to see you there!