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I’m not EDM: Afrojack

Published : Nov 19, 2015, 8:51 pm IST
Updated : Nov 19, 2015, 8:51 pm IST

Ahead of his multi-city India tour with Sunburn Arena, Dutch electronic sensation Afrojack talks about the changing face of the genre, how he’d hate to be associated with EDM and the kick of playing to the gallery

Dutch  electronic sensation Afrojack
 Dutch electronic sensation Afrojack

Ahead of his multi-city India tour with Sunburn Arena, Dutch electronic sensation Afrojack talks about the changing face of the genre, how he’d hate to be associated with EDM and the kick of playing to the gallery

When did Nick Leonardus van de Wall become Afrojack

When I was a kid, there was a gigantic ‘afro’ on my head, so people always called me Afro. Jack is a word synonymous with dance music hailing from house music’s past.

Given that there are so many sub-sections of electronic music, how do you define your sound

Afrojack music — I’d rather let the people decide for themselves; not a big fan of putting things in a box. The thing is, I have so many different styles of music and genres of music I like to produce. I just really felt like instead of hiding that music away because it doesn’t completely fit the ‘Afrojack idea’, why not just start a moniker, you know

You play the piano, so you’re familiar with instruments too. How do you react to comments that refer to EDM as ‘out-of-the-laptop’ music

I never heard that before! (laughs) I guess you could call it that. I don’t believe that how a cookie is made changes the taste of the cookie. I want to make an album my grandma and my fans are going to like. I want to make my grandma understand a drop and make club fans understand a song. I’m not EDM. If I wanted to be a successful EDM artist, I wouldn’t put 80 per cent of everything back into the show. I would be chilling, demanding 20 hotel rooms, playing for one-and-a-half hours and being miserable as f***. But I don’t want to be an EDM artist. I want to make something that people can be proud of.

While on one hand electronic sounds are getting popular, there are voices that say it’s a ‘wave’ that may wash out. How do you react to the comment

All hypes come and go but I think the music always stays. Right now the entire music scene around the world is really interesting. You have a lot of new genres and sounds popping up. So right now, the music I’m working on is not just about making great songs or making great club tracks; my main focus is to make a sound that is indescribable. I want to use instruments where you’re unable to tell what it is.

What is your ultimate dream — musical or otherwise

My ultimate dream in my life right now is sharing music with as many people as possible. That’s the only thing I ever dreamt of when I was a kid was to have a release on Beatport or on iTunes or whatever. I remember the first time I had a song out, I ran downstairs like ‘Mom! Mom, look! I’m a producer now! I have a song out!’. For me, that’s the most important thing: a continuous flow of music. I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything yet. I feel like I’m on the road to accomplishing something.

You’ve worked with David Guetta, Madonna, Pitbull...how is it sharing space with the big names

It’s great being in the studio with these superstars. They are like family and it’s a bit surreal sometimes. Pitbull, outside of being a great rapper, is a great project manager — he has ideas. He hears music and he’s like, ‘Oh, we should try something like this — this has never been done before’. He always tries to change pop music. David’s like a brother to me.

What are you looking forward to during the India tour

I’ve been here a couple of times and I’m super excited to be back. There’s nothing better than making music and hearing 20,000 people chant, ‘Afrojack! Afrojack!’ People are looking — now it’s time for me to kick a**.

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