Afrojack first entered the Top 100 DJs poll in 2010, but having hit the top of the charts all over the world last year with his Nicki Minaj and David Guetta collaboration, ‘Hey Mama’, the Dutchman — real name Nick van de Wall — has seen a huge change in both his musical output and the industry as a whole in that time. Following his shift into pop last year, 2016 has seen the EDM star adopt trap, dubstep, hip-hop, alternative music and more into his sprawling sets.
“A lot of people are narrow-minded and think you can only do one thing,” van de Wall tells DJ Mag from the studio during his recent tour of Japan. “Or that if you do more than one thing, you’re just selling out. But I’m really proud that my fans accept what I do and like to see me moving between genres. It’s healthy, it’s the same as dinner: if you love chicken, it doesn’t mean you’re going to eat it every day for the rest of your life, as you might like pizza and pancakes too.”
During his career van de Wall has also collaborated with a number of the world’s biggest artists, including Madonna, Snoop Dogg and Pitbull. This year he’s worked alongside Ty Dolla $ign, as well as on main room anthem ‘Hollywood’ with Hardwell.
Despite all this, van de Wall says his biggest achievement has been pushing new artists through his label, Wall Recordings. “Fais’ new song ‘Hey’ has over 100 million views on YouTube, 67 million streams on Spotify and hit No.1 in a couple of countries,” he explains. “In order to launch a new artist you usually need a major label, manager and all that type of stuff, but we did it by ourselves with our little recording team, so I'm really proud of that. It’s something we’re looking to do more of in the future — launching new artists, producers and DJs.