By Scott T. Sterling
There’s an old song that says it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. In the world of EDM, that ascent to the pinnacle of the global DJ mountain moves much faster, but the spoils are no less sweet.
For Dutch DJ Hardwell, who began releasing remixes back in 2006 on his way to becoming the youngest person to ever achieve the coveted top slot on the annual DJ Mag poll at the age of 25 late last year, it’s been a rocket ride that’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
“That’s an amazing feeling. First of all, to become the No. 1 DJ in the world, that was a dream for me,” Hardwell said during an interview with Radio.com while in Miami to headline this year’s edition of the Ultra Music Festival. “To be the youngest, I think that’s a sign that the new generation is coming up, finally. We’re all young kids…We have Avicii now and Afrojack… everybody’s still so young.”
Discussing everything from his position as the most-watched DJ ever during Ultra’s live webcasts to why so many of the world’s top DJs hail from Holland, Hardwell also opened up on the status of his long awaited debut artist album, which is tentatively set for release in 2014.
“I’m aiming for September, maybe October,” he explained. “I’m working on it now and I think we’re 40 percent done now, so there’s another 60 to go. “I think my album is going to sound very diverse. If you check out my sets, you know I’m not afraid to try out new stuff. For example, at EDC Las Vegas I dropped some hip-hop as well. I want to go in every single direction. I never want to get caught up in my own box, in my own studio to copy my latest hit every single time. I try to be diverse as much as possible.”