The night Manila went Hardwell

/ 06:54 PM October 16, 2014

Image by Janine Villagracia/

MANILA, Philippines – October started right for dance music fans in the Philippines as it was no less than Hardwell, the No. 1 DJ in the world, who played in the country last October 1, Wednesday.

Though his show was scheduled midweek, this didn’t stop his fans from gathering at the Mall Of Asia arena to dance, drink, and party all night long.


But before he set the stage on fire, Hardwell spent almost half an hour with the Philippine press backstage for a quick chat.

On being in Manila


Hardwell, who snatched the top spot in DJ Magazine’s “Top 100 DJs poll” from his fellow Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren last year, shared with the Philippine media that it came as a surprise to him how many people from Manila knew his music when, in fact, he has never played a show in the country prior to Wednesday’s performance.

But though it took him quite a while to reach the Philippine shores, this didn’t hinder Filipino artists from making it to his list of collaborations. Asked if he is open to working with local artists in the Philippines, the Dutch DJ as-a-matter-of-factly shared that he has worked on a Luke song before, pertaining to singer-songwriter Luke Mejares.

And around the world

And though his tour is wrapping up in November, Hardwell only had “happy” words to say about his 2014 tour experience. “I’m really excited to close the tour. It’s been an amazing journey. We’ve been on the road now for a year and a half and we’re really having an amazing time. Every single show sold out so that’s one thing I’m really proud of,” he shared.

And when asked where he draws inspiration from when creating music, the Breda-born electronic musician answered that it always comes from the smiles of his fans, his music-writing inspiration that is. “What else is a more heartfelt inspiration than your own fans? They’re always there and they always support you, so that’s the most important thing too,” he further explained.

On criticisms

And for people who say, or think for that matter, that DJs are not real artists as they “only push buttons,” Hardwell says: “It’s just the way how you look at it.” “In the end when we’re on stage, we push buttons, but when we’re in the studio we’re actually creating music that we play in gigs. From that point I think we’re artists creating something from scratch, and out of nowhere millions of people can relate to that so we’re artists, like any other artist in the world,” he continued.


For aspiring musicians

For the Dutch musician, “staying true” to one’s self is the biggest challenge in the industry. That’s why for him, it is important to “stay happy” about what you’re doing because that way, “the fans will be happy, and you can make people happy.”

He is also advising aspiring musicians to develop their own sound and their own style. “It’s okay to be inspired by somebody else, but don’t copy somebody else,” he said.

And when asked for tips on how music producers can achieve quality sound, Hardwell shared that it’s not about the plug-ins or the VSTs (Virtual Studio Technology) they use in mixing.

“The only thing you create music with is your own creativity and your own ears. And it takes a lot of time to develop your own ears. It’s really important, before you go to the studio, to realize yourself: What do I want to hear? What do I want to create?” the 26-year-old DJ said.

Go Hardwell or go home


Image by Janine Villagracia/

When the press conference concluded, the crowd spent a few more minutes dancing while waiting for the main man of the night. And then when the clock stroke 1 a.m. of October 2, that familiar music played, and then everyone went “Hardwell”, just like how we expected they would.

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TAGS: BIGFISH International, Dance Music, Electronic Music, Hardwell
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