A former 2 x World #1 DJ, one of the leading headline DJ/Producers in the world of electronic music, label boss of an award-winning imprint, award winning documentary film maker and a philanthropist behind a global education initiative, these are only a handful of the facets that makeup the impressive spanning career of the Dutch dance music pioneer Hardwell. His continuous development as an artist can be traced all the way back to his early teens, where music maturity came swiftly for the now seasoned-veteran, yet today it is an international presence that has taken his music to the top of numerous music charts, whilst seeing him performing at every major event on the planet.
Hailing proudly from Breda, a city tucked deep within the Netherlands, Hardwell first established his name at the tender age of 14, from which he has since elevated his clubland standing to impressive, dizzying heights. At the age of 25, the young Dutch titan capped off a 10-year journey when he was crowned World’s #1 DJ in the 2013 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll, cementing his position as the electronic scene’s newest superstar DJ that year. In 2014 Hardwell would once again win the coveted Top 100 DJs Award and truly solidify his position amongst the top tier of dance music artists. Today he continues to place within the Poll’s Top 5 rankings. Whilst his critically acclaimed reputation for delivering musical magic has led him to catch the attention of the world at large. From nominations in prestigious awards such as MTV European Music Awards for ‘Best Dutch Act’ and ‘Best Electronic Act’, to being one of one of the most nominated artists in the 2016 awards edition of the IDMA’s in Miami, Hardwell has also walked away with some of electronic music’s biggest accolades. Boasting a cabinet of awards ranging from 2 x World #1 DJ to ‘Best Electro House DJ’ at the DJ Awards in Ibiza to ‘Best Global DJ’ at the 2016 edition of the IDMA awards in Miami and ‘Best DJ’ at the Nova Era Awards 2017, the last few years have been a clear indicator to the level that Hardwell and his very global-focused sound have reached.
Hardwell’s journey to the epitome of dance music stardom has been down to his willingness to not become a prisoner to his own music style. A statement which holds true when you listen to his arsenal of Beatport chart toppers which includes hits like ‘Spaceman’, ‘Apollo’ and ‘Run Wild’. All the way to a cluster of remixes for star names such as Rihanna, Example, Moby, The Wanted and The Naked And Famous, on top of a slew of collaborations with artists that has seen him work with everyone from Craig David, Jason Derulo and Jay Sean, to Austin Mahone and Tiësto. When his debut artist album United We Are was released back January 2015, the Dutch producer showcased his talents across a range of tracks from ‘Follow Me’ to ‘Young Again’ and ‘Arcadia’ to ‘Don’t Stop The Madness’. The album itself claimed the #2 spot on the iTunes worldwide album chart, narrowly missing out on the #1 position due to the surprise release of Icelandic superstar Björk’s artist album ‘Vulnicura’.
As a DJ his global headliner his status has led to endless sold-out shows around the world. His stock as one of the most prominent names on festival billings each year from America to Australia is evident in his relentless mainstage schedule, counting Ultra Music Festival Miami and further international editions including Cape Town and Johannesburg, EDC Las Vegas, Electric Zoo NY, Creamfields, UMF Europe, Coachella, EDC London, EDC Asia, Lollapalooza and Sziget festival as regular destinations you will find Hardwell at each festival season. After a two hiatus from the line-up for the renowned Tomorrowland festival, Hardwell made a triumphant return in 2018 with a headline appearance on the mainstage across both weekends.
His thirst for international touring took a new leap forward with the launch of his very own tour concept – I Am Hardwell. First launched in 2014, this full-scale arena-sized production project spanned six continents with sold out shows in Jakarta, Singapore, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lisbon, London, Mexico City, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Guatemala City, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, making I Am Hardwell one of the must see shows over its 18 month period. For the final phase of the I Am Hardwell tour, Hardwell took to the streets of New York for a Times Square takeover, where he revealed that the closing chapter of this epic world adventure would culminate in North America. The final leg of the global tour took in shows in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Miami before completing its mammoth journey at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden in New York in front of an 18,000-capacity crowd.
To promote the arrival of his debut artist album Hardwell embarked on a new world tour with the second phase I Am Hardwell – United We Are. Launching with two sold out shows at the 17,000 capacity Ziggo Dome arena in Amsterdam, the tour ran for 20 months and featured in 16countries that included cities such as Buenos Aires Lima, Dubai, Singapore Jakarta, San Francisco, Istanbul, Lisbon and Frankfurt’s World Club Dome where the show sold 40,000 tickets in less than 72 hours. Due to the popularity of the Frankfurt event, Hardwell decided to return to Germany for the closing show of the world tour with a special never-before-seen final party, which was held at the world renowned Hockenheim circuit in Germany on August 27th 2016 – the show marked the first time a DJ had performed a solo event at the iconic racing track – but this wasn’t to be his first time gracing the speedway. As the F1
Mexican Grand Prix came to a close, Hardwell in partnership with Heineken’s ‘More Than A Race’ campaign also dazzled music and sports fans alike alongside the world’s best drivers, bringing the competition to a close with a performance on the podium’s grand stage to an audience of thousands in person and millions worldwide online and via TV, with his distinctive and eclectic ‘Hardwell’ sound.
Whilst these days his weekends are predominately filled with festival and arena shows, Hardwell remains a passionate advocate of the club setting and environment it offers both the DJ and the fans. From Ministry of Sound in London to Green Valley in Brazil and Zouk in Singapore to his residency at Hakkasan in Las Vegas with his Go Hardwell or Go Home shows, and an exclusive ADE live collaboration with Armin van Buuren named ‘II = I’, the passion to evolve his music with his fans both solo and with the industry’s best, show that being centre stage is one of the driving forces behind his every show. Which was exactly the premise of his road trip tour show the Revealed North America Bus Tour, putting himself and some of the other artists from the label family right up-close and personal with the fans in some of the best club environments possible, allowing the label boss to keep an ever-present connection with his growing army of loyal fans.
Back in Europe Hardwell’s fast-tracked his way to immense popularity on the dance mecca of Ibiza thanks to his relentless work ethic and many, memory-making summers worth of flawless parties. Making his first appearance in Ibiza following an invitation from Tiësto to perform with him at his famed Club Life party at Privilege back in 2010, Hardwell has since gone on to become a seasoned veteran of the island. His 2013 excursion to the White Isle has become the stuff of legend following roadblock shows at Ushuaïa, Pacha, Space, Cream @ Amnesia, plus Cream’s Radio 1 Live event @ Privilege –which led to him claiming the award for ‘Best Electro House DJ’ at the 2013 Ibiza DJ Awards (an award he later won again in 2014, 2015 2016, as well as winning ‘Best Big Room House DJ in 2017 and ‘Best International DJ’ in 2015 and 2017). Having completed his fourth consecutive summer playing Ushuaïa Ibiza, previously holding down weekly residencies with shows I Am Hardwell, Hardwell’s Carnival and DNA, summer 2017 saw Hardwell decide to step outside of a fixed residency and free himself up to multiple clubs on the island. Across the summer he headlined shows at not just Ushuaïa Ibiza but Amnesia and also the newest club on the island, Hï Ibiza. He returned again in 2018 with another string of headline shows at Ushuaïa Ibiza and Hï Ibiza.
Hardwell’s high-profile presence in the Asian market was reaffirmed when Macau based Club Cubic introduced him as the club’s new headline resident from April 2017, making him the first DJ from the west to hold a residency there. The news of his first residency in Asia grabbed the attention of fans and media alike signifying his ever-growing appeal in the Asian dance music market, as the scene over there continues to explode to the attention of the rest of the world.
An offshoot from his high-profiled touring schedule came a philanthropic project on a truly grand scale. Focused on bringing about social change through education for individuals living in under-privileged communities, Hardwell founded the United We Are Foundation in 2015.Setting about creating a charity initiative with global ambitions to educate young children in different communities around the world, Hardwell aims to use his profile to “give something back”. On December 2015 he hosted an aid event labelled the ‘World’s Biggest Guestlist’ in Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium where he was joined by 70,000 fans on his own personal guestlist. Watched by over 10 million people via the livestream the event raised enough money to school over 22,000 children for the next 10 years. Announcing the return of the charity project in a revitalised form after its previous success, Hardwell and Guestlist 4 Good hosted a second aid concert at Mumbai’s D.Y.Patil Stadium on December 3rd, 2017, with a range of local and international acts culminating in a closing headline set form the man himself over the two day extravaganza – and Hardwell has continued on making waves and bringing crowds and cultures together throughout his career as in May 2018, he also took his high-octane, uniting sound to headline the UEFA Champions League Final Festival in Kiev and rocked the tens of thousands of fans to their core.
The reaches of his successes have carried over into many other facets of his career. Now immortalised as a life-size wax replica at Madame Tussauds, younger fans can also own their own Hardwell action figure, others can also smell like the trailblazer with his debut ‘Eclipse’ fragrance, whilst those eager to get a real fly-on-the-wall experience of what life as the then World’s #1 DJ looks like, can plug in and tune out to his documentaries. The first titled ‘I Am Hardwell’ (released 2013) provides a captivating inside-look on Hardwell’s rise to claim the heavily coveted DJ crown. The sequel released 2015 was titled ‘I AM Hardwell – Living The Dream’ and follows Hardwell on his world tour, asking the question “The problem with dreams is what happens once they’ve come true?”. The film is a gateway into the life of a musical pioneer on his personal journey to accessing the peak of his artistic powers, but this wasn’t Hardwell’s only foray into film. In 2018 the mega-smash Netflix hit film Ibiza that was one of the streaming platform’s best-loved hits of the Summer, both his best loved hits ‘Spacemen (Carnage remix)’ and newer favoured releases ‘We Are One’ sound tracked the fun-loving, party-starting vibe of the island via cinema.
With almost 9 million ‘likes’ on Facebook, more than 7.7 million followers on Twitter, 5.3 million followers on Instagram and in excess of 928 million hits on his YouTube channel, Hardwell has rapidly solidified his place as one of the electronic scenes most ‘clicked on’ artists. A statement backed up by enormous fan-support of his livestream sets. From hitting over 25 million YouTube views with his 2012 Tomorrowland set to crashing the livestream server and trending on Twitter following his 2013 Miami Ultra Music Festival set, which has since clocked in an impressive 33.9 million YouTube views. His 2013 and 2014 Tomorrowland sets both chalked in at over 25 million YouTube views each, proving the first year was far from a fluke, as for ULTRA 2018 – his most recent set with the world-famous festival – Hardwell played avalanche of new music including his collaborations with Steve Aoki (‘Anthem’), Wildstylez (‘Shine A Light’) and KAAZE (‘This Is Love’). Not only that, but Hardwell’s spectacular intro proved one of his best yet: a unique union of dance and classical with Jeff Buckley’s Grammy-award winning Metropole Orchestra that can be viewed on Hardwell’s YouTube now, with the live set also impressively reigning in over 1.6 million views in 2 weeks.
Whilst for Autumn 2018, Hardwell announced his collaboration with the Metropole Orchestra one step further with a unique one-off show at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) called ‘Symphony: The Global Revolution of Dance’. This special concert saw Hardwell merge with the world’s leading pop & jazz orchestra to take the audience on a musical journey through the history of dance music, with an all ages concert that starts with the rise of dance music in the 80’s and ends with the mega hits of today; the show concluded in his final explosive live show in the wake of announcing his temporary retirement from live touring to take a step back, after a decade of arena shows and career-defining moments on the road. Still remaining present for his highly loyal fanbase and legions of admirers as one of the most clicked-on artists in modern dance music, his prolific, top-quality studio output remains active and sounding better than ever as recent tracks including the multi-million streamed ‘Summer Air’ with Trevor Guthrie, ‘Being Alive’ with JGUAR and fans can continue to step into Hardwell’s retrospective trip down memory lane across social media, featuring unseen photographs, exclusive footage and personal memories across #TheStoryOfHardwell.
From the internet to the radio waves Hardwell’s reach remains ever present. For anyone seeking a weekly dose of the freshest dance tracks by one of its biggest proprietors then look no further than his Hardwell On Air radio show. Available on over 93 FM stations worldwide, reaching over tens of millions of listeners and consistently one of the most downloaded shows in the world, Hardwell’s weekly show continues to be as in-demand as it is on-demand. 2017 opened with the celebration of the shows 300th episode marking a milestone moment and was one of the biggest ‘On Air’ live broadcasts to date, as January 2019 saw him strike the landmark of #HOA400, making Hardwell on Air one of the most in-demand, well-received and highly syndicated shows in the scene today. Hardwell also took this concept to new, relatable levels with the launch of a brand-new hour to the show called ‘Off The Record’ in 2018, giving fans a peek into his home listening and diverse palate of music that he enjoys playing both on and off the road.
In a bid to satisfy his hungry for growth within the music scene, Hardwell created his own record label Revealed Recordings back in 2010. A base for his own releases, as well as platform for other artists to realise their musical goals, Revealed has achieved a staggering rise in a little over six years to become one of the most preeminent record labels not just within Hardwell’s respective scene, but the electronic music industry as a whole. From launching the careers of artists such as Dyro, Dannic and Thomas Newson to featuring releases from A-list artists such as Tiësto, W&W, Afrojack, the Dutch based imprint has been responsible for some of its most memorable dance hits over the last few years. Releasing his first ever Hardwell & Friends EP which included artists such as Henry Fong, Maddix, Kura and more, Hardwell later followed up this by releasing Hardwell & Friends Vol.2 and a Vol.3 edition, featuring Kill The Buzz, Timmy Trumpet, Jewelz & Sparks, Henry Fong, Dr.Phunk, Moksi & Haris. His renowned compilation series Hardwell Presents Revealed is also presently on Volume 9. Additionally, the label has marked itself as a leading globetrotting brand promoting numerous tours and events that include festival arena hosts at the likes of Creamfields, Tomorrowland, EDC Las Vegas, as well as takeovers at venues the include Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, Mansion in Miami and many more.
With the motto “If you can dream it, you can do it” still reigning supreme in 2016, the 2-time #1 DJ on the planet has proved that drive and determination to succeed can bring a wealth of results. With a profile still hitting the epitome of dance music success, Hardwell’s musical force is set to continue to rise alongside the industries elite for many years to come.