One of the most talented DJ’s on the planet, Robbert Van De Corput, or better known as DJ Hardwell, is a musical maestro who has been playing the piano since he was 4 years old, when he found his initial spark.
Being born in the Netherlands in a small town, Hardwell was destined for music and producing. The ‘Dutch’ have been long acknowledged for blooming a ton of house DJ legends. It’s like the Netherlands are equivalent to the school of Hogwart’s, instead of wands and wizards – it’s turntable’s, speakers and headphones and every club goer is obsessed with the sounds of bass and dance tunes. Nonetheless, the country was the perfect fit for a kid who embraced music.
By age 6, Hardwell was learning instruments, and in particular he was gaining a real sense for the piano. He remembers his early memories of his father playing the guitar to such greats as James Brown and Michael Jackson.
His world would change forever when he got his revelation at age 11 after watching a documentary about DJ’s on the Dutch MTV. This moment inspired him heavily enough to make a daring decision.
At 12, Hardwell would get his first taste for performing a gig at his friend’s birthday party in front of 100 plus people. This event would foreshadow what his entire future held, so long as he dared to believe in it. His parents were always supportive of his interests, in fact his father encouraged him to change his name to Hardwell, which was the Latin Dutch form of his last name Robbert, converted into English.
He would enroll at a musically inclined school and eventually attended The Rock Academy. However, upon 3 months, he was encouraged to make an early break for his career. Hardwell did not wait, ponder or hesitate; he took massive action immediately to pursue his calling. Looking hindsight, his lyrics from ‘Never Say Goodbye’ seem very applicable:
“You’ll never fly, if you’re too scared of the height, woah. You’ll never live if you’re just too scared to die, woah. Everybody wants heaven, I know. But darling freedom ain’t free, it’s a long road. You’ll never find your place up there in the sky. If you never say goodbye.”
At just age 13, he was signed to his first label, and by 14 until about 18, he was DJ’ing across Holland with other pretty famous Dj’s. Oddly enough, Hardwell’s parents would have to chaperone at his events because he was too young. Today, Hardwell also heavily credits Tiesto as his inspirational role model and mentor who not only paved a way and showed him the ropes, but he also created a mental belief of possibility.
It’s very obvious that DJ Hardwell had a driving force within that was much deeper than anything we could see on the outside surface. Well, you can surely see the level of pure enjoyment on his face, and the enthusiasm in his fist pumps, but most people would probably do the same if they were in his shoes playing music for millions. But there is a reason he is where he is and others are not, and that directly comes down to that driving force which stimulates from the same passion he has always had for music. This same force is what truly propelled his biggest dreams to reality. As he states “I can not live a day without dance music.”
“It’s all about the love for music.” – Hardwell