Four years ago, Hardwell did the unthinkable.
Ranked 4th dj mug The Dutch spinner and producer, who has made the Top 100 list of 2018 and headlined major dance music festivals, has announced an indefinite hiatus.
The move was unprecedented for a DJ of his fame and ability, but not entirely surprising.
That year, 2018, the dance music world mourned the death of Swedish DJ Avicii, who committed suicide in Muscat, Oman.
His physical and mental struggles were chronicled in an unflinching documentary Avicii: True Stories And his death sparked a much-needed industry debate over the welfare of DJs in the fiercely competitive world of dance music.
For Hardwell, who was 30 by then and had a 16-year career, it was time to give his mind and body the rest they so desperately needed.
in an exclusive interview with The Nationalhe describes the return to normal performance from March as being as refreshing as it is tweaked.
“I enjoy touring a lot right now. I limit myself to doing a maximum of 40 shows a year because I can work in the studio and spend time with family and friends.” he says.
“I really feel like I’m enjoying life to the fullest. It makes me a happier person. I think people see that on stage.”
much needed conversation
This is a far cry from previous years, when the show’s sheer adrenaline couldn’t offset the constant travel and increasing fatigue of over 100 shows in 12 months.
Hardwell understands that the glamorous life many DJs portray online makes such complaints sound hollow.
“That’s the point that we need to talk about this so people don’t think we’re bragging,” he says.
“Listen, people know I appreciate everything I have in my life and love what I do, but when I get to a certain point, I’m afraid I’ll have to take another tour. I’m too tired to look forward to it. When you find yourself wanting to make music in the studio, this is the biggest sign of burnout.
“When I got to that moment, I realized I needed a break.”
The benefit was a rejuvenated Hardwell releasing a great new album. rebels never die Playing a blazing set at the Soundstorm Festival in Saudi Arabia in December.
Hardwell now wants to help seasoned and ambitious DJs find their own sense of balance.
In December, she appeared at a provocative session on mental health as part of the XP Music Futures conference in Riyadh.
The remixer and record producer believes that discussions like this will inspire the dance music industry as a whole, and that initiatives are needed to build effective frameworks and address the mental health issues experienced primarily by young artists. says there is.
“When it comes to DJs, there is no good guidance.
“example [non-EDM] Singers can go on tour, come back, take time off and work on an album,” says Hardwell.
“For some reason, we DJs are working to the limit. With the pressure to put on shows, do social media, create music, and have DJ sets, many DJs now have their own radio show. you have to do that too.
“The workload is so high, it’s like having five full-time jobs at the same time, so you have to ask if this is the way we need it.”
help each other among friends
Hardwell disagrees that DJs should band together to demand better working conditions.
Effective change, he says, begins when industry sectors abandon the zero-sum attitudes that prevail within the scene.
“It’s hard to ask for something like this and I think it should be done by the DJs themselves, not through the organization,” he says.
“You don’t have to do 200 shows a year because doing 30 shows a year gives you more financial stability, more time to work on music and more time with your family.
“Now we know that all of these shows seem fun at first because they’re trying so hard to achieve.
“Ten gigs a month turned into 40 gigs, I’m living my dream, I just want to go and perform anywhere.
“But after doing this for two years in a row, I find it tiring and not very enjoyable. Managers and booking agencies need to be more aware of the physical and mental health of their artists.”
In the meantime, hopefully the EDM scene will eventually dance in a different tone when it comes to mental health, but Hardwell (real name Robbert van de Corput) is content to build a career to his rhythm. I’m here.
his re-entry dj mug This year’s 43rd place in the Top 100 is a far cry from 2013’s 1st place, but it sounds like he’s really above it.
Updated: Jan 2, 2023, 3:01 AM