The man DJ Magazine named the #1 DJ in the world just kicked off his North American tour in one of his favorite places: Miami Beach.
Robbert van de Corput, also known as Hardwell, spoke to NBC 6 in his hotel room before his gig at Club Mansion last week.
“Miami is one of my favorite cities to be, you know, and as Hardwell, I have such a great history here. Miami was one of the first cities to support my music in the United States,” he said.
In October, DJ Magazine named Hardwell the top DJ in the world.
“It’s an amazing thing, of course, as a little kid I always dreamed to be like in that list and to achieve that #1 position, because since Tiesto and Armin van Buuren were my role models and one day I wanted to become that #1 DJ in the world so the moment I achieved it, it was seriously like a dream come true,” Hardwell said.
Part of Hardwell’s success comes from his friend and mentor, DJ Tiesto.
“He’s in my opinion the godfather of EDM, you know. He was the first DJ who actually sold out arenas and was doing big shows," Hardwell said. "He was the first DJ who actually took over his own name as an artist status, he became more of an artist than a DJ and he was actually the first DJ who started branding himself with a logo and everything, nowadays that’s normal."
Ultra Music Festival officials recently announced that Hardwell will be returning to the main stage in Miami for 2014.
“That’s my favorite festival in the world. So you know, I always have great memories about Miami,” he said.
Although Hardwell enjoys playing at large festivals, he prefers performing inside clubs.
“Those festivals are like the moments you actually DJ for. I love to play in a club and be in touch with my fans like super intimate and smaller rooms. But in those festivals, I always feel like it’s kind of a showcase, I always play the new stuff and try to play some new Hardwell records,” he said.
Hardwell enjoys connecting with his fans via social media. On Dec. 20, he reached a milestone by hitting the 3 million fan mark on his Facebook page. He is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
“It’s super important, well my fans are everything to me. Without my fans, I wouldn’t sit here right now," he said. "I think I treat my fans like a family, I always use hashtag #HardwellFamily and I think it’s super important to stay in touch with your fans."
Hardwell is always trying to help upcoming artists DJs and producers. He hosts a weekly radio show, podcast, and often has Q&A video sessions on his YouTube channel.
“I always try to interact with my fans asking what their favorite tracks are at the moment and you know, I try to be in touch with them as much as possible in every single way,” he said.
Hardwell discovered DJ Dyro through Soundcloud, a social networking site that allows DJs to share music.
“The moment I listened to his tracks, he stood out from the rest, you know, his music was so different. Like, it was a new way of producing electro tracks,” he said.
Dyro is now signed to Hardwell’s record label, Revealed Recordings.
“Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to put out something refreshing. I think a lot of big DJs are looking now for that new refreshing sound,” Hardwell said.
While Hardwell enjoys performing in Miami, he also loves to shop when he's here.
“I’m a big sneaker freak. There are a lot of really good sneaker stores in town, so yeah definitely some sneaker shopping,” he said.
Hardwell revealed to NBC 6 that he is now working on his first artist album, collaborating with singers and songwriters.
“You know it took me a couple of years to decide to start working on it, but I think it’s the right time now to do (it), and yeah I’m really curious what it’s going to be like,” he said.
Hardwell also said that he will continue to work on his club tracks and will debut them at Ultra Music Festival in March 2014.
“What makes Hardwell unique, I think it’s the way I play my music. I really enjoy being on stage and you can tell if you watch me play, I’m always smiling and I’m super into it and I think a lot of DJs are looking down at the mixer and just focusing on the music. Of course I focus on the music but I don’t want to be caught up like in my own mixing skills. I just want to enjoy and experience those festivals in the same way as the crowd is doing,” he said.
During his club performance on Thursday, Hardwell announced that he will return to club Mansion in March during the Winter Music Conference, the same week that he will perform at Ultra.