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Hard Rock Sofa’s big break came in 2011

Hard Rock Sofa are the Russian duo clocking up huge electro house hits, remixes and plays from the stadium DJ bigwigs. With Las Vegas residencies and support slots on the Swedish House Mafia's farewell tour, their ubiquity seems assured...

Hard Rock Sofa’s big break came in 2011 when Axwell signed the Russian duo to his Axtone label. The aptly-titled ‘Blow Up’, an anthemic collaboration with St. Brothers, was the fruition of years of hard work, determination and profile building for Alexander Shapovalov and Denis Chepikov.

“We got big support from Swedish House Mafia and many other famous DJs — it was a great step forward,” says Denis, alluding to the props they’ve received from everyone from David Guetta and Afrojack to Above & Beyond and Tiësto.

Hailing from Smolensk in Western Russia, Hard Rock Sofa have been plying their trade as DJs and producers since 2005. “At that time, we were under the influence of Daft Punk and '80s music, so our music sounded like French house,” says Denis. But it’s the past two years, and their switch to an audaciously full-on blend of progressive house and electro house, that have truly placed their star in the ascendant.

Among the scores of original productions and remixes they’ve released to date, they’ve regularly hooked up with fellow Smolensk locals, Swanky Tunes, most notably for their remix of The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ on Sander van Doorn’s Doorn Records, which has now garnered nearly 2.5 million YouTube views.

“They’re our good friends and Alexander is also the cousin of Vadim from Swanky Tunes,” says Denis.

Last year’s brooding, building ‘Quasar’ saw Hard Rock Sofa score another Axtone release — gaining an airing at Swedish House Mafia’s huge Madison Square Garden gig — and their profile was further boosted by their recent ‘Big Room Mix’ of David Guetta’s ‘Just One Last Time’.

As for 2013? Expect to hear even more from the duo as they support Swedish House Mafia for some of their farewell shows, plan their Ibizan assault and continue to play alongside EDM royalty as residents at XS in Las Vegas.

“We are currently working on a lot of big stuff,” reveals Denis. “We’ve started a collaboration with Steve Angello for his upcoming album and we have two original tracks on the way, too, so we’re really excited about it.”