Afrojack Opens Up On Chris Brown, Ultra Music Festival 2013 … Oh, and Wrecking That New Ferrari
Afrojack is one of the biggest DJs on the electronic music scene nowadays, thanks in no part to his collaborations with huge artists, his flair for dramatic displays behind the decks and his tremendous talent in the studio. At only age 25, he’s one of several Dutch DJs who are taking the world by storm; he was already as high as No. 9 on DJ Mag’s “Top 100 DJs of 2012.” Moreover, he invaded the mainstream on U.S. shores when he collaborated with Pitbull and Ne-Yo one of the biggest songs of 2011, “Give Me Everything.”
After playing both weekends at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Afrojack’s out today with the music video for his latest track, a collaboration with Chris Brown called “As Your Friend.” In the futuristic medieval video, Afrojack (birth name: Nick van de Wall), lords over a kingdom of dancers who seem to bow to his every whim, much like his legions of followers at festivals and clubs around the world.
We caught up with Afrojack in-between gigs to ask him all about what’s going on in his universe right now.
You just finished playing the Ultra Music Festival this year? How would you describe what did fans got from your set?
I gave them lots of energy during my shows so that they [could] dance all day long! It was massive! [Fans got] new tracks that were played and surprise guest appearances by my Wall Recordings artists.
Which other acts were you most excited about seeing at Ultra this year?
I wanted to see a lot of them, but this year I had my own ‘’Jacked’’ stage and the DJ’s who played there gave fans a performance they won’t ever forget! It's amazing to see them have successful careers [as they] are able to play all over the world.
The Festival was also a showcase for some of your own Wall Recordings artists -- how did you prepare them for Ultra?
They all have a lot of experience playing around the world, so they know a little bit about what to expect. I told them to just enjoy and make it your best set ever! Miami Music Week feels like a homecoming for the whole Wall family.
Tell me about "Air Guitar" -- which is your new single and one of the official anthems for UMF this year (and available on the ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2013 compilation album, out April 2) -- how did it come about? Did the festival commission it with you?
I was asked by Ultra to create an Anthem for Ultra Music Festival. With a new crossover single out called “As Your Friend,” I felt it was time to release something that would please my core fan base and so it did, the reactions have been overwhelming.
What's the inspiration for you behind this track?
When they asked me to create an anthem for them, I wanted something different than a lot of other tracks and wanted to create something edgier. “Air Guitar” is more like a dance/rock track. I like to try out different styles of electronic music and this was a kind of track that I haven’t really done. I think it really fits for Ultra Music Festival.
What do you think is behind the huge influx of DJ's coming out of the Netherlands right now? Why do you think there's so much talent from the Dutch on the electronic music scene?
One of the reasons probably is that electronic music was already very famous here a long time ago. We all grew up with this music because we were listening to it when we were young and all tried to experiment with it when we got older. A lot of the different styles of electronic music started in the Netherlands, so I don’t think it’s crazy that a small country like ours is bringing a lot of talented DJs into the world.