Afrojack Shares His Ultra Experience & Talks New Music In iEDM Interview
Ultra Miami has launched festival season 2019 full throttle with epic performances from top electronic artists from around the world. One of the most talked about sets was hands down Afrojack.
He premiered new tracks and even brought out special guests to help perform them live. Fans from all over the world even got to watch on the Ultra Live channel.
Afrojack is an Ultra veteran who's also been named one of the 50 Most Influential People in EDM. The Dutch born producer is a pioneer in the EDM world, and was one of the first
He continues to be one of the front runners of EDM, constantly playing at the
iEDM got the chance to chat with Afrojack about his epic Ultra 2019 experience and some of the other projects he's recently worked on.
iEDM: How was your Ultra experience this year?
Afrojack: It was fun.
iEDM: I saw lots of positive feedback, and fans were loving the old tracks, and also the new ones. Did you have a favorite moment?
Afrojack: I think my favorite moment was after the first 40 minute mark, where the first part of the set was done, and it seemed like everything was going the right way. For me, personally, that was like, ah, it's been good, because I prepared this stuff. So it was like, what, 49 tracks or something, 51 tracks, in 90 minutes. So, of course, if something would've happened, I could still divert it, but the whole production was set on a certain plan, so, and when you do the plan and actually working live, that's a good feeling.
iEDM: Yeah, that's awesome. Were you nervous?
Afrojack: I wasn't nervous, but I was definitely prepared, like, over-prepared. And the thing is, free styling, it's a lot easier than when you have a certain order that you prepared with your production team. 'Cause when you're free styling, you can always adjust to how the people are feeling at the moment. When you make a plan, you gotta stick with the plan or else your production team doesn't know what you're doing. So this was a very interesting experience, I only did it once before.
iEDM: Where was that at?
Afrojack: That was my show in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam three or four years ago, which also went very well. But if you make a mistake with the mixing, then everyone is off, and they don't know the times anymore for the fireworks and whatnot, so it's very interesting.
iEDM: You dropped your new track "Sober" and you brought Rae Sremmurd and Stanaj to perform with you on that. How did the track with them come about?
Afrojack: A lot of going back and forth between different countries with different producers, different writers working together.
It's sort of like a, just a networking thing, so you send out messages to each other, or you see who's interested in working, and you met. Sometimes you randomly meet someone at a party. I don't think anyone ever pointed it out, but the reason the question is a lot of times very interesting is because most of the tracks that get made are made by, like, strengths. So it's like, we worked together. We made 20 songs, this is one of them.
Not in this case, actually, this case, we only did one song, but yeah, usually, most of the songs that I make with other people is natural. We were in the studio, we made the song.
iEDM: Yeah, that's awesome. So you guys did a remix competition for the track and chose five winners for a remix EP. How did you choose your five winners for the Global Remix Battle?
Afrojack: No, we were just looking for talent, listening, not just to the remix, but also the music, the other music that they do.
iEDM: Do you have any more interactive things like this remix competitions for fans in the future?
Afrojack: Yes, we're doing one next month, actually. We're starting one.
iEDM: You posted some awesome photos from Miami with Armin van Buuren, Carl Cox, Martin Garrix. What were some of your favorite moments from your Miami Music Week experience this year?
Afrojack: I played twice, I actually played on Friday and Saturday night already at 2 am, because there was something wrong with the shuttle service, so we tried to make a party after hours. So I played from 2 am 'til 3 am on the UMF Radio stage. And the first night, we didn't announce it, so maybe like, 2 or 3000 people came out, and it was a fun party. And then, the next day, right after Martin Garrix finished and Deadmau5 finished, they put up a thing on the app, and I think, like, 50,000 people or something showed up. It was all underground music, like, all my favorites after that, I never really play, unless it's surprise parties.
iEDM: That's awesome.
Afrojack: It was a lot of fun. It was very personal.
iEDM: So that was at Ultra, after hours, because it was so crazy getting out of there?
Afrojack: Well, the first day it was, but the second day, it was actually pretty good with getting out, but they just wanted to make sure. So I started playing, and a lot of people came, and it was a lot of fun.
iEDM: I saw you'll be at Encore Beach Club during EDC Week. I know you've been a Vegas resident for years, what are some of your favorite clubs to play in Vegas?
Afrojack: Actually, every club I've played there has always been fun.
iEDM: What are some of your favorite US clubs?
Afrojack: The guys over in Miami. They have been supporting me since day one. I think he's been booking me for almost 10 years. Then you have the guys in Washington, Echo Stage. Yeah, that's always fun. Stereo Live in both Houston and another place, Houston and Dallas. Music Box in LA is run by a friend of mine. And all the clubs in Vegas, of course, where I've played has always been fun.
iEDM: I saw that you did the winter Tomorrowland this year. What was that like?
Afrojack: That was fun. It was really a lot of fun to see people being too cold to use their phones, so everyone just dancing and stuff.
iEDM: Yeah, that's funny, and that makes sense. How cold was it?
Afrojack: It was like, -10, -15, or something, Celsius. So it was like, 0 Fahrenheit, I think, 0 or 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
iEDM: Yeah, so people had to move to stay warm. You've got a lot of European festivals under your belt. If you were gonna suggest one festival for somebody from the US to travel for, do you have a suggestion?
Afrojack: Tomorrowland. Always Tomorrowland. Like, if you go to America, go to Ultra, if you go to Europe, go to Tomorrowland.
iEDM: You have a ton of photos with David Guetta. Tell me about your relationship, are you guys good friends?
Afrojack: Yeah, he's like my big brother. We've been friends for what, 10 years now, or something?
iEDM: What other artists have inspired you and where you are today?
Afrojack: Well, David, of course, but outside of that, there's not that many inspiring people. Like, of course, their careers might be inspiring, but then the people are usually very disappointing.
I think Marc Anthony is a very good guy, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith. I met them, and it's always very inspiring when you see people that are at the top of the top of the entertainment industry, and they're just nice about it.
And that's the thing, usually most people on the way there aren't that nice about it, but when they reach that level, suddenly they're all cool.
iEDM: I loved the Ten Things You Can't Live Without that you did with GQ. I saw that you're a big gamer, and you listed your PS4. What game is in your console right now?
Afrojack: Final Fantasy VII. It's like a 25-year-old game or something. I think it's from 1996?
iEDM: You also spoke at the e-sports gaming panel?
Afrojack: Oh, well, that wasn't really my thing. I'm not an expert on games. I love to play video games, and we talked a little bit about how to implement music and branding into gaming and e-sports, but that's it's own industry. I'm not a professional at that.
iEDM: You mentioned you always travel with your audio books. What kinda stuff are you usually listening to?
Afrojack: Neuroscience, philosophy, and a lot of classic stuff, like right now, I have, is it, The Origin of Species, I'm reading, by what's his name? Charles Darwin?
Afrojack: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Danny Kahneman. It's like a ... the guy's a Pulitzer or something? Nobel Prize ... I don't even know. A lot of interesting stuff, so I don't know how to describe it, but I do know that most of the information I got from those books really, how you say, readjusted the way I look at life.
Carl Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious, Alan Watts' Just So, Alan Watts' Out of Your Mind, Deep Work by Cal Newport. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. It's a lot of stuff. I also like to practice it, because it teaches me how to define stuff that I already do to my team. 'Cause I work with a lot of people, and sometimes I'm trying to explain them something, and I can't really explain it, and those books have a lot of explanations about how to work faster and stuff, so I use a lot of those words.
iEDM: Cool. Is there anything else that you'd like to share with your fans?
Afrojack: Well, I love you guys. Thank you for always supporting me, and I hope you like all the new music I'm gonna be putting out this year.
Huge thanks to Afrojack for taking the time to chat with us! You can stay up to date with his new music and tour dates HERE.
For more exclusive interviews with your favorite artists, check out iEDM On Blast HERE.