My debut album, ‘Forget the World,’ is all about not listening to the negativity around you and to continue to do what you love, no matter what people think. I love what I do. Dance music is my passion, my life. There is no greater feeling than being one with my fans, partying to the music we love.
For me, it’s a great thing to tell people anything is possible. When I was 15, people told me ‘You’re not going to be a DJ.’
When I had my first gig, I was 18 in January in 2007. My first gig that I got paid, I was playing for 10 people in a 250 people capacity venue. The promoter wanted to book me because he liked my music. I played a couple of songs that made people dance. To me, that rush has always stayed the same.
You’re going to be way happier doing what you actually love and finding other people that love the same thing than doing something that other people love so you’re just cooler and you have cool friends.
If you really want to be a music producer, stop watching ‘Friends’ when you get home from school. Start trying to make music. If you’re not going to try, then it’s impossible. When you try, it’s always possible.
I was in school – I was a good learner; if I wanted to get something done, I could get it done. I was lazy, though. I was always, like, sort of an outcast. And when I got home, I was always doing music, but when I was doing music, no one was there to judge it, you know? It was just me in my bedroom. It gave me freedom and made me happy.
I always loved cars. I used to play ‘Need for Speed’ all the time… any racing game.
When I started producing, I was just making music under all different names. ‘Black Afro.’ ‘Super Grandmaster.’ ‘Mister Bull.’ Like, the most stupid, idiotic names. ‘Afrojack’ was one of those idiotic names.
The only way you can be happy is if you be completely yourself. You have to be you. Don’t be what you think you should be.
Cars for me are like a piece of art.
People need realness, reality. People can sense when someone is being pretentious or fake. It’s because you feel it; you see it in someone’s body language.
If you never lie to yourself, you’ll always be happy with yourself, and eventually the person you wake up with and the person you go to sleep with is yourself.
The only thing you can do to lead a crowd is prove your passion to them.
People buy a ticket to see your show, so from the moment I get onstage, I can have no insecurities, because they’re already there. You have to get people to listen. If they listen, everything’s cool.
I’m a producer for fun. I’m not a professional schooled musician or anything.
The coolest things in life are things that you have not done before. That’s the key to life: new things always.
When I was growing up, I said to my ex-girlfriend, ‘I will not be successful until everyone in Holland knows my name.’ And it worked.
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.
There’s nothing better than making music and hearing 3,000 people chant, ‘Afrojack! Afrojack!’
I do not like people writing songs and then other people singing them. A lot of people don’t even sing their own songs anymore. It’s like producers these days have ghost producers; ‘I don’t produce, but I am a producer.’
If you really want a radio station to play your song, go to that radio station every day with that song in your hand and say, ‘Please play it.’
Maybe one day there will finally be an education for electronic music.
I’m a DJ, but I’m also a ridiculously high-grossing musician due to doing productions.
People always say, ‘How is it to be so successful?’ I’m not successful yet. Richard Branson is successful. That’s successful. Michael Jackson was successful. U2 was successful. I’m just a guy, doing okay. But I’m a happy guy doing okay.
I’m a DJ who makes dance music who got to play with Sting.
The only person you need to be credible to is yourself. When you stand in front of the mirror and nobody is watching, are you happy with yourself?
One of the reasons why my album is called ‘Forget the World’ is because when you listen to the world, you make stupid mistakes.
Most music that comes out of Holland is basically the harder part of dance music – hip-hop, drum’n’bass.
At a festival, a lot of people came to see other artists, so you have to put on a signature set and performance: ‘This is what I do, this is why I’m here.’ At solo gigs, I’m a DJ – I’ll play two-and-a-half hours, and not just my own music, also my favorite songs by other artists.
When I was a baby, my mom used to have a dance school, and she used to teach classes there. We didn’t have money for a babysitter, so she always brought me with her to the dancing school. Back then, I was already watching and listening to Michael Jackson for a long time.
I was thinking about working with Lady Gaga, not ‘Born This Way’ but more her old stuff that she did with RedOne from her first album. I think that would be really fun – a cool combination.
I think the most important thing about dance music is the connection. If you put 80,000 people together, no one knows each other, and once the music starts, everyone loves each other. That doesn’t happen with a lot of genres. If you go to a hip-hop club, it’s not like when one songs comes on that everyone suddenly loves each other.
I have a good connection with people from America that come to my shows. It’s more the American culture. I like the culture, so I want to spend more time there and make more friends and have some fun.
Holland is a really small country, but with a very strong club and festival scene. Dance music has been huge in Holland since the late eighties. So there were a lot of opportunities for producers and DJs to release records and play live.
Holland is to dance music what Nashville is to country.
I have been fully involved in designing my stage shows; it’s important to me to do something really unique and almost off-the-wall to bring the music and the visuals together. I love design and actually went to school for a bit for graphic design, so it isn’t so much ‘pressure’ for me; it’s a way to be creative, and I really enjoy it.
I actually did a remix for Katy Perry, and her management didn’t respond.
I studied psychology for a couple of years as a personal hobby, so you start learning about people and listening to your intuition, like when you you’re feeling that people are not being entirely straight with you.
When you’re walking down the street or in the car just listening to the radio, and you’re, like, ‘Oh, that’s my song.’ You want to say, ‘Hey Mom!’ That never changes.
I think 2014 for me is going to give me the possibility to do even bigger things than anyone has done. I want to change the party scene – like, stop just being a DJ with lights, a big LED screen, and oh-look-at-me speakers. There’s way more to a party, and I think everyone knows it. I want to make it special.
Every song, every form of art, clothing, shoes, it has to be special.
I have a living room full of clothes. It’s insane.
I even have shoes that don’t fit. They’re just so cool, I wanted to have them.