Willem & Wardt have kept all the necessary plates spinning over the last twelve months and thrown a couple of new ones up for good measure. To expand both their musical and overall scope, last October their Mainstage Music label was replaced by Rave Culture. That’s already been the platform for ‘Let The Music Take Control’ — their pairing with Blasterjaxx — and enjoyed more weighty success with their Maurice West team-up, ‘Matrix’. Rave Culture is “more than just a record label” though, emphasises Willem, with the pair capping off a busy spring by launching their associated streetwear line.
Elsewhere on the music front, it’s been a collaboration-centric year, which has seen them partner with Armin van Buuren and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike on ‘Repeat After Me’. A larger studio may be on next year’s shopping list too.
“Working hard to develop our side project NWYR into a more mature act” has also paid dividends for the lads. Solo outing ‘Artificial Intelligence’ came out at the end of April, and ‘The Melody’ found them linking up in the studio with Andrew Rayel.
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“We try to, but our publisher always has to remind us as we keep forgetting to do it.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Artists need to surround themselves with people who have the best interests in their career, but also as happy and healthy human beings. You see more and more that family members are involved in the management functions of DJs, because a parent will always want the best for their kids.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“DJs should be booked based on individual qualities and not their gender. That being said, it’s amazing to see the techno girls ruling the DJ game at the moment!”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“Stop taking plastic bags whenever we buy something at the airport, for example. We can easily carry those four water bottles from the shop to the gate.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
Willem: “A football. Ward: “Lego.”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“We love to play video games and games in general. We’re really into League Of Legends and Magic: The Gathering.”