Uneek Ibiza editor Andrew interviewed the DJ Mag world’s number 1 DJ Hardwell at Ushuaia at his weekly Carnival event on July 28th 2015. He spoke about his residency at Ushuaia, his rise to the top and of his love for Ibiza.

Click below to listen to the interview in full on our Soundcloud page;

Or read below for the full written translation;

Hardwell, thank you for taking the time to chat to us! We´re looking forward to checking out your Carnival event here tonight at Ushuaia, tell us about the idea and what we can expect tonight at the party?

Well last year I started with my own residency here at Ushuaia, and the first thing I noticed when I came to the island was that the promotion for DJs was black & white and underground so I wanted to do the opposite, a more colourful carnival theme. We’re on an island in the summer time so it should be happy. Tonight we have a crazy night, it’s really busy and Sunnery & Ryan, Domeno & Afrojack are here – we have a great line up and I’m joined by my best friends from Holland. We have a really great night planned and every single week has been great so far so I’m really happy with my 2nd year as a resident here at Ushuaia.

We’re really looking forward to it! We checked out your Tomorrow Land performance in Belgium a few days ago online, that looked really crazy, did you have a good time?

Yeah, definitely. Tomorrow Land is definitely one of my highlights of the year and it was a great party – the stage looked incredible this year. I really enjoy playing every year – it’s a time of the year when you can play out your new tracks, my set was so well received with all the fans so I was really happy with that.

Cool. So what kind of tracks are doing it for you at the moment in your sets?

Definitely my next single, it hasn’t been released but when I play it people already start singing along to it, its a real goose bumps moment for me! It’s called Mad World and is a collaboration with Jake Reese, he’s the singer on the track and I’m really happy with it.

Great! 2011 seen your first entry into the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll at number 24, then number 6 in 2012, before being crowd number 1 DJ in the world in both 2013 and 2014. Can you tell us about your rapid rise to the top, and how do you plan on staying there?

I think still at this moment I’m not doing anything particularly different than what I did before. I’m touring around the world, I’m really busy with my record label and radio show. I’ve always been really dedicated with my fans, I like to give something back – these can be small things like a weekly radio show or a live stream from Tomorrow Land. Even when I entered the DJ Mag Top 100 poll at 24 if you look back then in that list I was surrounded by DJs who had millions of followers online, I had only 150,000 likes back then, but they were super dedicated fans so I always try to stay in touch with my fans, they are like a family to me. I don’t do anything different now to what I did then, I just believe that my fans will support me.

You mentioned that you were surrounded by some big names even when you came in at number 24 in 2012. One of those big names was Tiesto, it must be great  to appear on the same line ups as him as he’s a big inspiration and mentor to you?

Yes definitely, he’s one of the reasons why I started DJing in the first place. We were born and raised in the same city, he was constantly in the news and I was always busy with making music, but I never had a certain direction that I wanted to go then I saw Tiesto and I knew I wanted to become a DJ – this was my eye opener, I knew then what I wanted to do. A couple of years later he invited me to play here with him in Ibiza, we became really good friends, done a couple of world tours together and then last year one of my highlights was when we done our first back to back set together at Tomorrow Land.


Fantastic! You´ve produced some massive tracks, which is your favourite track or remix you´ve produced and could you talk us through the process of producing it?

That’s a hard question – it’s hard to pick one of my songs. I would definitely say Spaceman, as it’s one of the fans favourites and one of my biggest songs. The funny thing is with that track, the basic idea of the track I made in 20-30 minutes. I was full of inspiration, I’d just finished a vacation and the first thing I done was I hit the studio and made that song and I knew I had a really great feeling about it that it could become big, but of course it isn’t me that decides that. My favourite remix is the remix I done recently for Coldplay last year – Sky Full Of Stars, that was a really hard remix to do, especially when you have to keep in mind that when you send in the remix, the whole band has to approve the remix. Also, the remix I done for Mark Knight & Funkagenda – The Man With The Red Face – that’s a personal favourite remix that I’ve done.

That’s a great track! You’ve played some massive gigs at clubs, festivals and stadiums around the world, do you have a favourite all time top gig, or gigs?

One of my best sets I’ve played is Ultra 2013 on the main stage. Also, my first ever I Am Hardwell concert in Amsterdam, that is definitely a moment I will never forget, and finally the closing of the world tour. We done 36 shows and closed it in Madison Square Garden in New York, it was one of the highlights of my career.

That’s crazy! What are your hobbies outside of DJing? What do you like to do on a night off when you´re not DJing?

I always try to meet up with my friends or family, and do regular stuff, watch movies and go to a bar, and just try to be Robert for a second!

As we are here in Ibiza, what are your favourite things to do in Ibiza when you´re not DJing? Any recommendations for the readers of Uneek Ibiza to check out?

I really love Formentera, so when we have time we hire a boat. My parents were here last week, so we hired a boat and went there. I love food also, so this island is great for me, there’s lots of great restaurants. I really love the Fish Shack and the sushi on the island is really great. I just like to hang out, and party at night, go to visit my colleagues.

Cool, what other parties and DJs do you like to check out whilst you’re here?

We had a lot of fun at the Flower Power party at Pacha! Also Solomun at Destino is a great party.

He’s a really good DJ. People come to Ibiza every year and fall in love with the island. What is it about the White Isle you love so much?

What I personally love about Ibiza is that it is the only place in the world that has such a great history when it comes to dance music. You can tell by the people that visit the island, new and old generations. All of the DJs are here, be it underground or mainstream, having their own parties. The crowd are super educated here when it comes to dance music, you can play a dance classic and everybody will sing along to it. If you compare to America, where EDM has just broke through around 4 years ago, it’s completely different.

You mentioned Man With The Red Face before, that’s a big Ibiza classic. Musically, Ibiza has created some absolute classic dance anthems over the years. What are some of your favourite Ibiza classic anthems?

Let’s make a top 3. Number 1 is easy – that’s Daft Punk – One More Time – it is one of the biggest classics on the island. The 2nd is Oxio – Domino, the techno track. And 3rd is Fish Go Deep – The Cure And The Cause (Dennis Ferrer mix).

Brilliant, some good tracks! What does the future hold for Hardwell?

To continue what I’m doing now for as long as I can. I’m enjoying what I’m doing, I have so much fun, I love the residency here at Ushuaia, it’s so great to be on the island every single week so I hope to be back next year of course. Also to continue touring around the world, and I’m enjoying the festival season right now also. After the summer I will be back in the studio, I don’t have plans for a second album, but I have a lot of new music which I hope to finish after the summer.

OK brilliant. Thank you very much for your time Hardwell for the interview, really appreciated!

Thank you, my pleasure!

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