From: The Netherlands
Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “AXMO and KEVU.”
Dutch duo Willem and Wardt, aka W&W, became known for their early career in trance and big room sounds, and have kept themselves focused despite the uncertainties of the past year. “Our label Rave Culture went independent, which was quite a big step for us!” they tell DJ Mag. “It was a bit of a gamble but we’re super happy with how it’s going. Luckily all the artists that we release music from have a lot of trust in what we do with the label, and we can’t wait for all the other amazing releases we have lined up this year.”
They’ve also been keeping themselves busy making music, recently collaborating with R3HAB, Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and plenty more. They also launched a new concept called Rave Culture Live, performed at their own virtual nightclub named Club Mythic in Rave Culture City, plus a run of new merchandise, and have enjoyed watching their new label come to life in 2020.
How was your first gig back after lockdown?
“Playing for a crowd again after 18 months was insane! Our first show was in Austria at Electric Love, and it felt like it was the first party ever on earth!”
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?
“Staying in one place for such a long time and not DJing felt unnatural for us. It gave us a lot more time to figure out stuff that we should have figured out a long time ago, like buying a house! Right now we’ve found a very good balance between work and personal life.”
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?
“We try to take trains when we can instead of flying, but trains only get you so far. It’s most important that every individual realises and acts in a way that our planet is our home, and you don’t want to live in a messy house, do you?”
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?
“We’re loving the new Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000s — they’re stunning! Liking the new design, features, and massive touchscreen!”
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?
“To be honest, we haven’t listened to a lot of music from other people in the last year. So it wouldn’t feel right to name an album now without having done the proper research.”