DJ style: “Hardstyle.”
Best known for: “Representing the hardstyle genre and transforming it into something hard but melodic, energetic but touching.”
Fave tune of 2018: “KELTEK ‘Dark Sun’.”
Breakthrough DJ/producer of 2019: “Sound Rush and Sefa.”
Few artists would be able to completely change their production style and still retain the same level of popularity, but that’s exactly what Headhunterz (aka Dutch scene stalwart Willem Rebergen) did earlier in the decade. Having established himself as one of hardstyle’s biggest stars, he decided to mix things up in 2014, producing tracks that were closer to house and EDM than the blistering hard dance tracks he was known for.
At the back end of last year he decided to return to his hardstyle roots, heading back into the studio to make what became comeback album ‘The Return Of Headhunterz’. Released earlier in the year, it remains one of the most talked-about hard dance albums of 2018 and — along with his placing in the poll this year — confirmed his place as hardstyle’s leading DJ/producer.
Ever the workaholic, Rebergen has been touring relentlessly, barely returning to his home in the Netherlands for months on end. Somehow he’s also found time to work on a new Project One mini-album with fellow hardstyle star Wildstylez, and record regular episodes of his popular Hard With Style radio show.
Words: MATT ANNISS