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2019 has been a year to take stock for one of the world’s busiest DJs: Hardwell did what very few DJs ever do and took some extended time off to “just be me”. It has allowed him to focus on his health, his family and his friends and to have fun in the studio playing around making music with no pressure or expectation. 

“Who knows what the future will bring?” he asks, before admitting he does have some new material he might put out in the future. He did, however, manage to become the first DJ to release a track through WhatsApp, which was something of a high-point in place of the usual adrenaline rushes that come with playing in front of tens of thousands of people. 

The track from May was called ‘Summer Air’ featuring Trevor Guthrie and was something of a return to his progressive roots, with sing-along vocals and hands in the air synths all riding on big, bouncy drums. He might have had time off this year, then, but Hardwell fans will not forget their hero that easily.

Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?


What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?

“Put less pressure on the artists to be available. We’re only human.” 

Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?

“I am currently on a sabbatical, so no.” 

What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?

“At home, I’m conscious of my waste and utility use, and recycle as much as possible.” 

What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?

“My keyboard.” 

What’s your guilty pleasure?