Electronic Dance Music DJ’s are the new rockstars with income and fan bases to rival mega hit pop stars. Unlike rockstars they travel light. For the most part it’s a couple of rooms, sometimes some lighting travels with them but the entourages, roadies and support teams are a fraction of what they are for "live acts". World tours are easy and the music streamed through the internet is global.
Afrojack is a young EDM star who just finished a four year residency at XS in Las Vegas and is heading over to Hakkasan where he will debut a few new tracks. Nightclub & Bar caught up with Afrokjack to check in on his DJing career.
Nightclub & Bar (NCB): How did you evolve from being a local DJ to a global DJ?
Afrojack: I got really lucky. EDM really started to grow and explode around the same time my career was taking off. The timing of everything just really worked out for me and when dance music started expanding to the US, I was on-board to test it out and take my music global.
NCB: What can you tell us about your new album with Island Records?
Afrojack: ''Forget The World'' will be released officially on May 19th, but I debuted it at the Ultra Music Festival at my listening party, on March 27th. I'm pumped to get the reaction of fans and music industry in general. I waited until it was perfect, and now it's ready to be shared.
NCB: How do you stay "fresh" to keep your sound moving forward and not repetitive?
Afrojack: Music is constantly changing and evolving and you have to change with it. That's part of why I love doing what I do. I can grow with music as the times change.
NCB: How similar are your sets or do they vary from city to city?
Afrojack: I like to play up to what the crowd is feeling that night. I can tell when the crowd is really into certain beats or drops and I like to switch it up based on that to keep the crowd going. Being a good DJ is about understanding your audience.
NCB: How do you deal with the stress, fatigue and traveling so frequently?
Afrojack: Look, it's hard to be stressed when you live the life you dreamed of. I never let myself forget how fortunate I am. Oh, and I also have my Afrojet - that allows for pretty comfortable travelling!
NCB: What type of audio/DJ equipment do you prefer to use?
Afrojack: I live off of my MAC, but I also recently teamed up with Razer, the world leader in high-performance gaming hardware. I'm working on Razer Blade Pro with them - it's a software developed especially for DJs and Producers - whether you are professional DJ or not.
NCB: How many people are involved in the Afrojack business and brand?
Afrojack: I couldn't do any of this without my team. I have a full force behind me supporting me through each of these steps and constantly pushing me to be better. They're as close as family. I recently teamed up with G-Star to develop my own Spring/Summer '14 collection, the guys there are awesome.
NCB: What excites you the most about playing at Hakkasan Las Vegas Nightclub for the first time?
Afrojack: New opportunity, new people, new crowd. Change is good, and I'm excited to start the next chapter.
Here is his tour schedule posted to provide a glimpse of his worldwide career:
March 14th: Purim Festival at Israel Trade Fairs & Convention Center, Tel Aviv
March 21st: Hakkasan at MGM Grand, Las Vegas; KMVQ San Francisco at San Jose Event Center, San Jose
March 22nd: KAMP Los Angeles at Hollywood Paladium
March 23rd: Cumbre Tajin Festival at Parque Takihsukut in Papantla de Olarte
March 26th: Kings of Ace at Shelborne Pool in Miami Beach
March 29th: Jacked at Mansion Nightclub in Miami Beach
March 30th: Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park in Miami Beach
April 10th: El Domo in San Luis Potosi
April 11th: Auditorio Banamex in Monterrey
April 12th: Empo Awards at Expo Bancomer in Sante Fe
April 16th: Club Vertigo in San Jose
April 17th: Empire Music Festival at Guatemala Raceway in Escuintla
April 18th: Mayan Madness Festival at Caletah Tankah in Tulum
April 19th: Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana
May 3rd: Wet Republic in Las Vegas
May 18th: Wasserfarb Traum at Friedrichsbau Ulm
June 28th: Only Open Air Festival at Zlate Piesky in Bratislava
June 29th: Summerfestival 2014 at Nieuw-Zuid in Antwerpen
July 19th: Tomorrowland at De Scorre in Boom
August 2nd: Sky City at Amsterdam Arena Park; Big Slap Festival 2014 at Tallriekn Pildammsparken in Malmo
August 23rd: Creamfields in Daresbury