As it happened the first time, all (well, most of them anyway) roads will lead to the MOA Concert Grounds on Friday, Sept. 15, as Hardwell and Zedd topbill the dance party Road To Ultra.
“Hey, guys,” said Hardwell in his message to Filipino fans in an exclusive e-mail interview with Funfare. “I can’t wait to party with you again very soon! Thanks for the support and see you on the dance floor!”
Using Hardwell as a stage name (real name: Robbert van de Corput, born Jan. 7, 1988), the Dutch electro house DJ, record producer and remixer was voted the World’s No. 1 DJ on DJ Mag in 2013 and again in 2014. He is currently ranked at No. 3 on DJ Mag Top 100 DJs 2016 poll.festivals such as Ultra Music Festival, Sunburn and Tomorrowland.
According to a bulletin furnished this corner by Ovation Productions, producer of the show, Hardwell first gained recognition in 2009 for his bootleg of Show Me Love vs. Be. He founded the record label Revealed Recordings in 2010 and his own radio show and podcast Hardwell On Air in 2011. He has since released seven compilation albums through his label, as well as his own documentary film. His debut studio album, United We Are, was released in January 2015. Hardwell’s pseudonym comes from an idea of his father who translated his surname into Latin and English. “Cor” means “heart” and “Put” means “well.” However, he changed the “heart” to “hard.”
Here are excerpts from our interview with Hardwell (Zedd was unable to answer):
What do you remember most from your first trip to the Philippines?
“The country is really beautiful but what stood out for me was my welcome into the country which was something I remember fondly. A lot of fans were at the airport and I was given a bit of a tour of a city, meeting a lot of new people, many of whom were fans.
“I still find it amazing to travel so far from home and meet people so passionate about my music — it was what I dreamt of when I started producing music back when I was 14 years old. On my last trip, the hospitality of the Filipinos was something that was really amazing and made me feel instantly at home.”
Is there any place you want to visit here in the Philippines?
“The waterfront in Manila is really popular and somewhere I enjoyed visiting. I’d like to go back there and check it out again. I hope to have more time on this trip to get to visit more places in the city and see some of the hidden gems of the city.”
What can you say about the current dance music scene?
“The fans love to party! I had such fun last time because the energy was really alive. As a DJ, you always want to play to a crowd who know the music and are into it as much as you are and I found the fans in the country were as passionate about dance music as I am!”
To what do you attribute the impact of your music on millennials around the world?
“Dance music went global after so many years being quite a niche scene. To see it grow in the way it has over these last few years is incredible and I am truly blessed to have been a part of it. I think the impact my music has had on dance music fans is to bring out their inner love for dancing and having a good time. As a producer, I have always made music to create memories and as a DJ, I’ve always been keen to share those good times with fellow like-minded individuals.”
What gives you the biggest “high” during a performance?
“The crowd and their energy and passion for the music! It’s such a rush dancing to an audience who are going crazy and enjoying the music and the occasion.”
How did you get addicted to dance music?
“When I was 13, I saw a documentary on MTV about Dutch dance music and from that moment, I was hooked on electronic music. I’ve never looked back since and dance music, and all music genres, have been a part of my life forever. In fact, before dance music came into my life, I was playing piano and drums so my love for all things music began very early on for me.”
What’s your advice to local professional DJs and aspiring DJs?
“Believe in yourself and the goals you set for yourself. Follow what’s true to you and the music you’re playing and making. Everyone has to find his own path and don’t worry about following trends.”
What’s your favorite track now?
“We have a great new release on Revealed titled Insanity by Rooverb & Alan crown featuring Alicia Madison, which has been remixed by Suyano and it sounds amazing. Definitely one to check out!”
Any upcoming projects you want to share?
“I have a new single coming up with KSHMR called Power which also sounds amazing. I’ve played in some sets and the reaction has been insane. I’m exciting to finally be releasing this.”
From the same Ovation bulletin:
Hardwell’s co-performer Zedd is Anton Zaslavski (Sept. 2, 1989) is a Russian-German musician, DJ, songwriter and record producer. He primarily produces and performs electro house music, but has diversified his genre and musical style, drawing influences from progressive house, dubstep and classical music.
Zedd grew up and began his career in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Zedd’s best-known productions to date are the songs Stay with Alessia Cara, which is his highest-charting single, reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100; his previous one to do so was Clarity featuring Foxes, which charted at No. 8 on the US Hot 100 and at No. 1 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs.
His collaboration with Ariana Grande helped him produced Break Free which peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs. Zedd won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording at the 56th Grammy Awards for Clarity. Most recently, he took home the Best Dance Video VMA for Stay with Alessia Cara.
(Road to Ultra Philippines 2017 is produced by Blackwater and Ovation Productions and presented by San Miguel Beer Oktoberfest. It is also brought to you by Sony Extra Bass, Tag Heuer, Monster Energy Drink, Nobu Hotel and Starworld; media partners are RX 93.1, Crossover 105.1, Mellow 94.7, MYX, Philippine STAR, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Business Mirror. Tickets priced at P5,500/P3,500/P1,500 are available exclusively through smtickets.com and Ultraphilippines.com. For reservations for VIP tables, call 532-8883 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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