Robbert van de Corput (born 30 January 1988 in Breda, Netherlands), better known by his stage name Hardwell, is a Dutch big room house and electro house DJand music producer. He was voted the world’s #1 DJ on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs poll in 2013 and then again in 2014. Hardwell is widely known for his live sets at major music festivals such as Tomorrowland and Ultra. The video streams of his performances on his personal YouTube channel have collectively garnered more than 100 million views.
Hardwell first gained recognition in 2009 for his bootleg of “Show Me Love vs. Be”. He founded record label Revealed Recordings in 2010 and his own radio show and podcast, Hardwell On Air in 2011. He has since released five compilation albums through his label, as well as his own documentary film. His debut album, United We Arewas released on January 23, 2015.
Robbert van de Corput was born on 7 January 1988 in Breda, Netherlands, where he grew up as well. He started learning classical piano when he was six years old and DJing when he was 12. Corput was first inspired to become a DJ at the age of 11 after watching a documentary about DJs on the Dutch MTV. At the age of 13, he was signed to his first record label and by the age of 14, he began DJing at reputable clubs across the Netherlands. However, his parents had to chaperone as he wasn’t allowed into the clubs at such a young age. As a kid, he enrolled at a music oriented school and the Rock Academy. Three months into the Rock Academy, he was advised to quit and to pursue a career in music immediately. He often cited fellow Breda native, Tiësto, as his biggest inspiration and mentor.
Hardwell’s remixing debut came in 2003 when his version of The Underdog Project’s “Summer Jam 2003” hit the clubs, then 2007 found him remixing the stadium techno act Scooter (“Lass Uns Tanzen”) and collaborating with fellow DJ Greatski on the track “Never Knew Love” but it wasn’t until two years later when Hardwell first gained recognition in 2009 for his bootleg of “Show Me Love vs. Be”. The song is a mashupof Robin S.’s “Show Me Love” and the instrumental track “Be” by Steve Angello & Laidback Luke.
In 2010, Hardwell formed his own record label, Revealed Recordings. Soon after the launch, Hardwell started the release of Hardwell presents Revealed, a compilation album released annually which featured some of the label’s biggest tracks of that year.
In March 2011, Hardwell launched his own radio show and podcast, Hardwell On Air. It is being broadcast on various international radio stations. Additionally, the podcast has a spot on iTunes’ Top 10 Podcasts in several countries. His collaboration single with Tiësto, “Zero 76,” was one of the biggest club tracks of that year and his first single to chart at #1 on Beatport and on the American iTunes dance chart. In addition to multiple other hits released by Hardwell in 2011, including “Encoded” and “Cobra,” Hardwell entered DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs annual poll at #24.
In 2012, Hardwell’s biggest track was the solo-original known as “Spaceman,” which has seen more sets, bootlegs, and remixes than any of his previous releases. In July of that year, he went on to perform at themain stage of Tomorrowland. As of March 2014, the performance holds over 21 million views on YouTube and was the most watched live DJ set on the site for over a year. It was dubbed by many as a contender for the best set of the year. Alongside other artists such as Alesso, Nicky Romero and R3hab, Hardwell was named an EDM artist to watch in 2012 by MTV. He then placed at #6 on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs annual poll for 2012.
Hardwell kicked off 2013 with a nationwide “Hardwell presents Revealed: Canadian Bus Tour,” joined by fellow DJs Dyro and Dannic. This was then followed with a nationwide “Go Hardwell Or Go Home” tour that took place in venues across the United States. In March 2013, having featured for the first time on the main stage of Ultra Music Festival only one year prior in 2012, he returned to the Miami event and with over 22 million views, it is the most watched live DJ set on YouTube as of February 2014, surpassing Hardwell’s 2012 Tomorrowland set. Hardwell’s set also broke all records for the most watched Ultra live broadcast with over 80,000 people watching his set online through the live stream.
In April 2013, Hardwell launched his “I Am Hardwell” world tour. The first phase of the tour saw sold-out shows in Jakarta, Singapore, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lisbon, and London with further venues coming up. Following on from his 2012 Tomorrowland performance, he returned to the main stage of the music festival in 2013. This time the live set gained a million views on YouTube in several days and has been viewed over 19 million as of April 2014.
During Amsterdam dance event (ADE) in October 2013, Hardwell held the world premiere of his I Am Hardwell documentary at the Tuschinski cinema in Amsterdam. The documentary, filmed by Robin Piree, provides an inside-look at Hardwell’s rise and career over the past few years. The premiere was attended by several other famous DJs, including Armin van Buuren and Tiësto. Shortly after, Hardwell ranked at #1 onDJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs poll, making him the youngest DJ ever to top the list at 25 years of age. In an interview with DJ magazine, Hardwell stated that he is working on his debut studio album, which is expected to be released sometime in 2014. However, he later stated that the release date has been postponed to early 2015.
In October 2014, he released the music video of the album’s lead single “Young Again,” which features vocals from Chris Jones. A day prior to that, he unveiled the cover art for his debut album which is entitledUnited We Are. On October 18, DJ Magazine announced that Hardwell has topped their annual top 100 DJs poll at #1 for the second year in a row. He was the only DJ on the list to have not move from their previous spot. On November 3, Hardwell announced that he will release another single prior to the album release date, his collaboration with W&W featuring vocals from Fatman Scoop, “Don’t Stop the Madness.” On November 15, Hardwell concluded the North American leg of his “I AM Hardwell” tour at Madison Square Garden, following the way of many other big artists.