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Poll 2023: Afrojack

From: “Spijkenisse (now Milan).”

DJ style: “How we feel.”

Best known for: “Hopefully many good parties around the world.”

Nick Leonardus van de Wall, better known as Afrojack, began making tunes at age 11, started DJing at 14 and released his first tune as Afrojack, ‘In Your Face’, when he was only 20. Since then the Dutch DJ, producer and remixer has amassed an impressive back catalogue of his trademark super-sized main stage anthems and ultra-slick club-ready remixes, working with dance music luminaries including Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Snoop Dogg, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Missy Elliott and Laidback Luke. He’s also shone in the mainstream too, remixing artists including Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and U2. Afrojack has also released four full-length artist albums and received four Grammy nominations, winning the Grammy award for Best Remix in 2011. 

His high-energy, no-holds-barred DJ appearances over the last decade have propelled him into the upper reaches electronic music, and he’s played at pretty much any major event or festival you could name. Afrojack has also become a familiar face in the Top 100 DJs Poll, appearing in the chart eleven times in total since 2010, with this year being his seventh consecutive top ten placing. 

2023 has been another year of high productivity for Afrojack, who continues to turn out top-quality releases ready-made for festival headlining DJs the world over. He started this year with a pair of full-on, no-nonsense festival scorchers: his collab with Mougleta on Chico Rose’s super-catchy ‘Alone Again’and his and R3HAB’s ‘Shockwave’. Afrojack’s Wall record label has served up some top-level solo Afrojack projects this year too, like the highly distinctive, stripped-back vibe of ‘Polkadots’ and the asteroid-sized wonky synth riff of ‘Chain Gang’. Wall have also put out feel-good emotive vocal bangers like Afrojack’s ‘All I Need’ and ‘Alone’ with vocalists Julian Cross and Mike Williams respectively, along with high-paced, bass-heavy main stage anthems like ‘Lift Me Up’with LNY TNZ and ‘Danger’, his collaboration with Cesqaeux and NLW.

Afrojack’s heavy-weight, futuristic, party-targeted productions are always an exercise in tension and release, precision-engineered to hit hard on some of the world’s biggest stages. Dedicated to his craft, the producer and DJ is looking forward to the coming year, and has no plans beyond his one, single-minded goal: “To really focus on the music and live shows for 2024!” 

Hero of 2023: “Reinier Zonneveld.”

Fave tune of 2023: “Odd Mob ‘Losing Control’.”

Best DJ set you’ve seen in 2023: “Solomun at Mute.”

What was the most exciting tech development of 2023?: “AI, both to up creative abilities, and to garnish more respect for human efforts.”

Rising star DJ/producer of 2023: “Julian Cross.”

What gives you hope for 2024? “Seeing the techno and tech-house takeover go BIG.”