W&W Tells Us How They Keep it Original in an iEDM Exclusive Interview
Dutch producer duo Willem van Hanegem and Wardt van der Harst, better known as W&W are a rare breed. They can be found at the top of the lineup at just about any major festival around the globe, but this isn't done by keeping up with the 'trends' of dance music.
The boys keep it original, as evidenced by their wild performance at Ultra Europe 2017. I was lucky and caught the boys backstage after their performance, here's what they had to say:
iEDM: How does it feel to be back at Ultra Europe?
Ward: It's our 4th year here at Ultra Europe and every year it gets better and better. It's good to be back.
Willem: It's amazing. I hope to come back every year because this city and the crowd is amazing.
Ward: There are so many people from different places! We see flags from Australia, Japan, America, Mexico, Brazil, and God knows where. They look so happy, so it's very good to see everyone so into it.
iEDM: You perform all over the world, you’ve hit number one on Beatport several times, what goals do you have for the future?
Ward: Well, you mentioned goals, and if you're lucky you achieve them. For now, we just enjoy doing this so much, so we just want to keep making music that we like making and enjoy it as much as we can. We are very blessed to do this.
Willem: The most importat thing is that we can do what we love, which is making and playing the music we love for as long as possible. That's the main goal.
iEDM: In addition to all your hit singles, Your record label Mainstage Music has released tracks from the best of the best like Armin van Buuren, Headhunterz, 3lau, and many more. What’s it like working with these artists?
Ward: It's great. We're so lucky that these artists want to release songs on our label. They're all good friends. It's crazy, back then we never thought that we would ever have a label. Imagine having a label with all the guys you just mentioned, it's an honor. We look up to these guys a lot and it's great to be able to release their music.
iEDM: Tell us about your weekly radio show Mainstage.
Willem: We play 18 songs every week. It's sometimes a pain in the ass because I have to find something every week, but I want to play the music we like for everyone. It's Mainstage Music, as in, what would be on the mainstage of the show that we love the most all in one mix. We try to keep it fresh every week. When I started playing music I loved listening to podcasts every week.
Though, right now it's hard. There's not a lot of dance music out there. People need to make more dance music and less pop music. There's a lot of pop artists and not enough dance, let's make some dance music people! I like pop, but let's make some more dance music please. That's all I have to say.
Ward: I agree. It's a big one right now. There are obviously a few guys that do it very very well, and then there are other guys that try to do it well but it's not really working.
Willem: It's just like our boys The Chainsmokers, killing it. Snake, killling it. But everybody copies them! Please stop that shit. You aren't Snake. Be yourself, please. Make some stuff that actually matters, don't copy anyone please.
Ward: We do this because we love dance music, so that's what we make.
iEDM: You’ve been all over the maps at heavy hitter festivals like Tomorrowland, EDC, and of course a few Ultra’s around the world. How would you say festivals in Europe differ from festivals in the US?
Ward: Well they don't wear kandi in European festivals. In the US they react to a different kind of music. US is more hip-hop orientated from their roots. Europe is more about euro-dance, trance, tech-house, that sort of stuff.
iEDM: Have you considered integrating some of those US styles to suit that audience a little more?
Willlem: No. We're W&W, what you see is what you get.
Ward: If you like it, amazing. If you don't that's fine too.
Willlem: If you want to see some hip-hop, do we look like the guys to give you that? Could you imagine us playing a hip-hop set? No. Everyone should stick to what their style is. Those people that jump to the left and the right, that's what we don't like.
Ward: We don't follow whatever's popular, we do what we love. Everybody is best at what they love, because when you love you can make do without trying to adapt. It comes from within. If you're trying to adapt you're actually making something that you don't want to make.
Willem: Keep it close to your heart, that's the most important thing.
iEDM: Do you have anything else you’d like your fans to know?How does it feel to be back at Ultra Europe?
Willem: We love you, and thank you for all the support for all these years. I hope to see you soon!
Ward: If it wasn't for our fans we wouldn't be here talking to you. Thank you all.
I would like to thank the boys from W&W and the good people at Ultra Europe for setting this interview up. Check out more iEDM exclusive artist interviews HERE.