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Poll 2023: Hardwell

From: Breda, The Netherlands

DJ style: “Energetic big room techno.”

Best known for: “Former #1 DJ of the world, smashing festivals around the globe and founder of Revealed Recordings.”

Don’t call it a comeback — Hardwell has been here for many years, and he has the tunes, Top 100 DJs poll wins, and loyal fanbase to prove it. Nevertheless, 2023 has been one of the most significant for Robbert van de Corput, and for more reasons than the fact that authorities in his hometown of Breda opted to give him the keys to their city in July. And the title of honorary citizen as a result of his services to loud, fast noise.

Having returned to the touring circuit with a closing set at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival 2022 following four years off stage, the stylistic shift evident in releases during the preceding period finally came to fruition, with the EDM titan reinventing himself as a main stage techno player — a move cemented further with the arrival of his studio album, ‘REBELS NEVER DIE’. Skip on to today, and the journey shows no sign of stopping, as exemplified in sets from Singapore to Philadelphia, Boston to Frankfurt. Meanwhile, September’s single, ‘Anybody Out There’, which throws more emotional electronic pop details into the mix, is clear evidence that Hardwell’s evolution as a producer and musician is far from complete.

Hero of 2023: “Maddix.”

Fave tune of 2023: “Calvin Harris ‘Miracle’.”

Best DJ set you’ve seen in 2023: “Ahadadream, Boiler Room London.”

What was the most exciting tech development of 2023? “DALL-E 3.”

Rising star DJ/producer of 2023: “AVAO.”

What gives you hope for 2024? “I'm feeling super confident and passionate about the direction I'm currently developing in the studio.”