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We yak with Afrojack


Afrojack, one of the most sought-after DJs and producers in the world, is set to embark on his most extensive tour to date this summer - with more than 30 headlining dates and festival stops across North America.

Where does the tour kick off? Right here in Kelowna!

The Netherlands born DJ who brought you the club hit and platinum single “Take Over Control”, will also be visiting major cities, including Chicago, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Boston, Miami and Toronto.

Afrojack, whose real name is Nick van de Wall, is just coming off a successful headlining gig at the Coachella Music Festival. He is ready to bring his popular dance beats, electrical new stage show and previews from his upcoming debut album to Kelowna this Friday, May 18th as part of the “Jacked” North America tour.

“Jacked” was created by Afrojack as a super dance music party and has become one of the world’s most popular club nights. “Jacked” parties feature Afrojack alongside many of the popular artists from his label, Wall Recordings including R3hab, Bobby Burns, Shermanology and Quintino, who will be joining Afrojack on select dates of the “Jacked” tour.

Afrojack’s worldwide popularity continued to surge in 2011 as he was voted the number seven DJ in the world in DJ Mag’s Top 100 list of 2011, which ranks the top DJs from around the globe based on fan voting. This is just one of a lengthy list of recent awards, accomplishments and acknowledgements for the Dutch DJ and Producer Nick van de Wall – a.k.a. Afrojack. He won a Grammy award in 2011 for his remix of Madonna’s “‘Revolver”’ with David Guetta and was nominated for two Grammy’s in 2012. At one point in 2011, Afrojack had four listings on the Billboard Top 100 Charts, including the massive mainstream radio success, “Give Me Everything” with Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Nayer at the number one spot. His single, “Take Over Control” featuring Eva Simons recently reached platinum status in the US.

Wall Recordings released a string of immensely successful releases by some of the most influential EDM artists, including R3hab, Shermanology, Sidney Samson, Bobby Burns, Quintino and Apster. The label recently released Afrojack’s single ‘Can’t Stop Me’ featuring Shermanology and will have a home on his upcoming debut album. Many artists from Wall Recordings will join him on the “Jacked” North America tour, creating a unique dance music experience for fans.

I got a chance to speak with Afrojack this week, and he is very excited to be playing in Kelowna.

Not sure what to expect from his show? He gave me all the details on his show, his music, and even his well-publicized friendship with Paris Hilton.

So first off, tell us all about your new album.

What’s up! I’m chilling in the office right now downloading some tracks from the new album. Of course I’ve been doing a lot of music with many other artists like Pitbull and Ne-Yo, and it’s been fun. But now I am doing my own album and take all those people that know me from “Give Me Everything” or “Look At Me Now” and have all those people from the commercial projects to introduce them to my music. I’m really happy to do it, the dance music fans that party with me around the world, those people get something special.

It’s not just 10 random songs, you know? It’s not like a compilation of 5 hit songs and 5 normal songs just to make some **king money… it’s about giving them an experience like what we do in the clubs and festivals around the world every night and I want to give them my perspective on the nightlife and dance music and put them all on one CD and make them experience them all over again but in an even deeper way… like beautiful melodies, crazy stuff, angry stuff, sad stuff. All those things. I want to make it an experience, like when you’re in a movie or something.

That’s a lot of pressure, to try to accomplish that!

But it’s my first album. I want to create something I’m proud of, you know? Not some bullsh*t 10 random song album. It’s got to be something special. I don’t know if it will be that way, but so far… I made a lot of the tracks, and I’ve played some during my sets… so far, the reaction has been really good. I’m happy.

When does the album drop?

It actually drops on my birthday, the ninth of September.

What can we expect from your stage show? For those who can’t get their heads around the thought of a DJ doing a concert, what can you say to get them excited about a DJ concert? We are honoured to have you play here!

Thank you very much. The thing is… a DJ concert… like I’ve been to some concerts, like I’ve seen U2 in Sydney and I’ve seen Eminem, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella and it’s like a different thing. They are the best concerts I’ve seen. You get to experience them up close, and then you leave. But what we do as DJs, the nice thing when I think about our concerts, we don’t just play our songs we play the songs we like from other people so it gives us a way broader musical sense, and we stay all night. It’s not like I’m playing for one hour and playing my most famous songs and going back to the hotel and going to sleep. We are going there, I’m going with Robbie Burns – he’s starting, plays his favorite music, R3hab starts, plays his favorite music, then I start and I play my music but I’m already there with you and starting the party! We will make an experience and that’s what I want to do with my show. I want you to go there, and after we will go to an afterparty… it has to be a special night. I have to make sure that when you go somewhere and you pay money for a ticket you’re going to have a great night. It has to be a night out, it has to be amazing, and I don’t want it to be a waste of money!

What is more fun to you - remixing someone else’s track or creating something from scratch?

Believe me, man, it’s all one big thing. Remixing, DJing, producing, creating, it’s all one good thing. It’s like saying to someone, ‘What do you like more, a nice piece of chicken from KFC or a cheeseburger?’ You can’t choose between that, it’s two different things but they’re both so nice it’s hard to choose. You can have a festival with U2 on one stage and Metallica on another stage. They’re both legendary but it would be very hard to choose. It’s the same for me with the music. I love them both so much but I can’t do the one without the other. They each inspire me equally. It’s like a vicious circle!

Do you think DJs are finally being recognized as true musical artists or has that day still not arrived yet?

It depends… hard to explain. Of course you have DJs that just go out to play other people’s music, but for me, you have to use other people’s songs to make a STORY.  A DJ is a serious musical artist because he is composing a 2-hour piece of music with other people’s tracks. But it’s still composing, you’re still creating a vibe and creating an atmosphere and story. Producers, by far, are musical composers and artists as well. It doesn’t matter whether you sing a song, do a dance, whatever, do backflips in the air… it’s a performing art. Us as musicians and producers, we choose to perform our music by DJing. Chris Brown chooses to perform by dancing… and I saw some guy at the video awards flying through the air… that’s his way of performing. If we choose to use turntables or a laptop, that’s our thing.

Gotta ask: Paris Hilton! You executive produced her album and are good friends with her. She gets a lot of flack for not being talented. Do you think she’s got talent and what is it about her that rubs people the wrong way?

We are really good friends. It’s simple. Like people say as producers, ‘You can’t work with Paris Hilton, you can’t work with Pitbull, they’re too commercial.’ But they’re my friends. If a friend asks you, would you produce my album… I’m going to do it. She’s my friend, I had the time, I was already working on my own album and I like working in a fast pace so I did some tracks on the album, and did a few tracks and helped her out with some connections with other producers and writers. She created some nice magic.

The thing is with her… she’s like one of the most talented performers I know. She may not be a Celine Dion, but she knows how to perform on stage. She knows how to sing, believe it or not. In the studio with her for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the girl can sing. And she loves the dance music so we made some nice music. And it was fun. That’s the most important thing to have fun with the people you like.

Can’t wait to see your show!

I will do my best to make it as crazy as possible. We will make it a long night, I don’t care where or how but it’s going to be the first one so we have to kick it off with a bang!

For more information on Afrojack, exclusive updates and more visit www.afrojack.com or follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/djafrojack; and on Twitter @djafrojack.

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