Throughout his expansive career as a successful DJ, producer, remixer, label boss, filmmaker, and philanthropist, former 2 x World No.1 DJ, Hardwell has carved out a long-lasting legacy within the electronic music world.
Hailing from Breda, a city tucked deep within the Netherlands, Hardwell's journey began at 14, becoming a much sought-after artist on the Dutch dance scene before international attention began to pour in. Fast forward ten years, and Hardwell, aged 25, capped off a perennial journey when he was first crowned World's #1 DJ in 2013. Already on his way to helping shape the EDM explosion at that time, Hardwell emerged as one of the most acclaimed stars of the modern era of electronic music.
His appeal as a producer would catapult his status amongst fans and peers. Hardwell would earn countless Beatport No. 1's with releases like 'Spaceman', 'Apollo' and 'Run Wild' through his dancefloor singles. Whilst remixing for many of pop music's biggest names, including Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Moby, U2, J Balvin, and Coldplay. At the same time, delivering crossover hit singles working alongside major acts like Craig David, Jay Sean, Austin Mahone, and Jason Derulo. And never straying too far from his electronic roots, Hardwell would collaborate with DJ friends like Armin van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Steve Aoki, Afrojack, and Tiësto.
His acclaimed 2015 album 'United We Are' proved to be a ground-breaking moment for Hardwell. A rich and diverse debut release, the album would secure the #2 position on the iTunes worldwide album chart.
As well as the hits, Hardwell's presence as a headline attraction on the biggest main stages in music placed him on every significant festival, including Lollapalooza, Coachella, EDC Las Vegas, Creamfields, Untold Festival, EXIT festival, Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland. His draw on the stadium and arena circuit saw Hardwell complete two world tours with 'I Am Hardwell' in 2014/15 and then 'I Am Hardwell - United We Are' in 2015/16. Concluding in 62 shows across 21 countries with 897,617 fans in attendance. Official documentaries supported the culmination of both tours highlighting Hardwell's career journey and life on the road with sold-out shows at venues like London's Brixton Academy and New York's Madison Square Garden.
Always eager to push the boundaries of his performance environment, Hardwell's continually sought new platforms to share his music with the world. These included one-off shows at events like the UEFA Champions League Final and being the first DJ to perform a solo event at Germany's world-renowned Hockenheim circuit. And the first DJ to play on the podium at Formula 1 when he dazzled music and sports fans at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Along the way, Hardwell maintained a deep-rooted connection to the club scene. From headline shows at Ministry of Sound in the UK to Green Valley in Brazil, Hardwell's also held residencies at Hakkasan Las Vegas, Ushuaia Ibiza and Macau-based Club Cubic, making him the first DJ from the west to have a residency there.
With an established and solid online presence, Hardwell is one of the most ‘clicked on' artists in the electronic scene, with over 8.5 million Facebook followers, 7 million X followers, 5 million Instagram followers and more than 1.2 billion hits on his YouTube channel. In addition, Hardwell has long been a pioneer in the live streaming landscape in a career littered with record-breaking streams at some of the world's biggest events. His 2012 Tomorrowland set famously crashed the festival's live stream server and currently sits at 25 million views on YouTube. His 2013 stream for Ultra Music Festival clocks in at over 34 million views on YouTube. His 2018 performance at Ultra would achieve a staggering 1.6 million views in less than two weeks and prove a standout moment for his fans.
From winning prestigious awards such as an MTV European Music Award and multiple International Dance Music Awards, the seasoned international star has become one of dance music's most decorated artists with a cabinet of awards ranging from 2 x World #1 DJ titles to being awarded a 'Best Electro House DJ' at the DJ Awards in Ibiza, 'Best Global DJ' at the IDMA awards and 'Best DJ' at the Nova Era Awards.
Alongside his artistic endeavours, Hardwell also sought to utilise his position for philanthropic causes. With his United We Are Foundation, the project achieved social change through two aid events labelled the 'World's Biggest Guestlist'. These special aid concerts hosted at Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium in December 2015 and 2017 would raise enough donations to school a combined 122,000 children from the slums of Mumbai. Over the two aid concerts, more than 145,000 attended, and over 20 million people watched via the live streams on the night.
In Autumn 2018, after more than a decade of playing the most significant stages on the planet, Hardwell announced he would be taking a sabbatical from touring. Yet, temporarily stepping out of the limelight, the seasoned veteran gave his fans one final show to enjoy. Hardwell performed a special one-off concert at the Ziggo Dome during Amsterdam Dance Event, collaborating live with Metropole Orkest Symphony. Hardwell took the audience on an explorative trip of dance music history by merging the worlds of pop, jazz, and electronic music.
Although out of the spotlight of touring, Hardwell's creative output continued to flow. Studio singles kept coming for the remainder of 2018 and throughout 2019. In addition, the start of 2020 saw the release of The Story of Hardwell, a unique collective album of his most significant past and present hits.
Time away from touring would allow Hardwell to be more hands-on with his award-winning label, Revealed Recordings, to reorganise and expand the longstanding imprint. This period away from touring also meant he could commit more focus in the studio for artist discovery. During this interval, the fruits of his action resulted in a body of work that would signify a new era in the Hardwell story.
On March 27th, 2022, after a hiatus from touring for a few years, Hardwell returned to Miami's Ultra Music Festival to perform a surprise closing set. Armed with a new 14-track artist album, REBELS NEVER DIE, released on Revealed Recordings and the announcement of a massive 24-date world tour, Hardwell ignited the attention of fans around the globe. Since his long-awaited return to Ultra Miami. Hardwell has taken his new tour show to arenas in North America, including UBS Arena in New York, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, and the Tradex in Canada. Hardwell has also taken the show to Israel, Ultra Europe in Croatia, Brazil’s Laroc club, Atlas Arena in Poland, Soundstorm in Saudi Arabia, Untold Festival in Romania, Ushuaïa Ibiza, Creamfields and Tomorrowland, where the maverick figure performed mainstage sets across two separate weekends. Further REBELS NEVER DIE tour dates took place across Asia and Europe, including a return to Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome for a special homecoming show.
Featuring entirely solo material, the arrival of the REBELS NEVER DIE album ushered in a new era for one of electronic music's biggest-known stars. Hardwell was inspired to reinvent himself after journeying back to the music he used to listen to as a teenager and rediscovering his old vinyl collection. The result is a timeless long-player release that combines early hard trance riffs with the energy of his big room sounds, all built around a techno-esque musical structure. From goosebump-inducing singles like 'BROKEN MIRROR', 'INTO THE UNKNOWN', and 'I FEEL LIKE DANCING' to seismic club bangers' GODD', 'LASER' and 'PACMAN', the album is a chance to dive headfirst into Hardwell's creative mind.
To celebrate the next phase of the REBELS NEVER DIE world tour, Hardwell closed 2022 with a special DELUXE EDITION of the REBELS NEVER DIE album. Featuring reworks of classic tracks ‘SPACEMAN', 'RETROGRADE' and 'BIG ROOM NEVER DIES', Hardwell's classic collab with Blasterjaxx and Mitch Crown. The DELUXE EDITION also includes a brand-new track called 'OH GOSH' and an epic mashup of ‘F*CKING SOCIETY’ versus Metallica's 'NOTHING ELSE MATTERS'.
Maintaining a unique tapestry of projects, Hardwell teamed up with fellow Dutch artist Maddix to unlock 2023 with a burst of electro-energy. Taking David Guetta's resounding cover of Benny Benassi's classic 'Satisfaction', the Dutch collaborators carve out a new remake filled with raw, up-tempo energy and indestructible bass chords. The pair then crafted an exhilarating rework of the classic 4Strings Eurodance hit 'Take Me Away Again' on Spinnin' Records. Back at the helm of his Revealed imprint, Hardwell tapped rising star VINNE for a dose of vintage main room action on 'Balança', dropped his highly anticipated collaboration 'Twisted' with Australian trailblazer Will Sparks, unveiled his fourth collaboration with Quintino on 'Sloopkogel', and delivered a giant bolt of dancefloor energy with his match-up with Timmy Trumpet and Maddix on 'Revolution'.
Additionally, he linked up with the UK producer Olly James on the ferocious, stadium-sounding 'Seduction' EP, comprising the pulverizing techno-meets-electro tracks 'Seduction' and 'Flatline'. Swiftly followed by Hardwell's exhilarating remix of Calvin Harris and Ellie Golding's 'Miracle', a remix featuring massive synths and influences from old-school trance leads, which Harris used to close out his set at Coachella. Demonstrating his genre-bending prowess, Hardwell returned to Revealed for an anthemic hardstyle collaboration with Sub Zero Project on 'Judgement Day' and linked up with Revealed mainstay Maddix and Luciana for the acid-laced big-room techno track 'ACID'. A massive collaboration with Azteck and Alex Hepburn titled 'Anybody Out There' was next and scored strong airplay across international radio stations. Then the electronic community were treated to a junction of immense stature as Hardwell teamed up with techno's best-selling artist of the past three years, Space 92, for 'The Abyss' – which came out on Oliver Heldens' techno leaning imprint HILOMATIK. Sony Music Germany’s dance imprint NITRON was the home of Harwell’s next release as the Dutch maestro joined forces with the enigmatic spacefaring duo DJs From Mars, and the legendary producer Tomcraft to reimagine Tomcraft's iconic 2002 hit, 'Loneliness.'
On the road, 2023 has already seen Hardwell perform at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Melbourne before playing shows in Thailand and Bali, with an exclusive headline appearance at the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2023 in Baku. In addition, his touring schedule took in a run of shows across North America at venues like Chicago's TAO nightclub, The Harbour Convention Centre in Vancouver, and New York's colossal hotspot, The Brooklyn Mirage. Hardwell has also made headline slots at festivals such as Parookaville, Balaton Sounds, Dreambeach Mysteryland, and Tomorrowland, to name just a few.
"I hate to be caught up in one particular genre. I always try to make music I love to play out. I don't consider myself a mainstream artist, techno, or big room artist, I consider myself Hardwell, and this is what Hardwell is. If it's not a genre, it's not a genre; it's just me."
Always a leader with a quest to evolve, not repeat. The REBELS NEVER DIE chapter of Hardwell's career is a critical point in the musical shift for one of electronic music's iconic artists.