‘My Daughter Enjoys My Music’: Afrojack
The 28-year-old Dutch DJ talks about being a single dad to his toddler daughter, managing a jet-setting career and why he is taking his time on getting things right for a new album
Nick Leonardus van de Wall, better known by his stage name Afrojack, isn’t one to settle. Whether it’s his decadent collection of luxury cars or more relevantly, the release of his upcoming second album, the Dutch-based DJ is all about having things his own way. “ It’s [the new album is] not going to be coming out until it is exactly what I want,” he says. As Afrojack comes to the close of what was a particularly successful year — he bagged a spot in Forbes’ 30 under 30, returned to play Belgian mega-festival Tomorrowland for the fourth time, celebrated two chart toppers with “Hey Mama” and “SummerThing!” and even indulged in a $2.5million Bugatti Chiron — he is already prepping for next year, with plans to release his second full-length album. Ahead of his fourth return to India, the global electronic music icon spoke to ROLLING STONE INDIA about his as-yet- untitled album [and its all-star collaborations], managing his career and parenthood, and his take on EDM.
What does it feel like to return to India to play not one, but five cities this time?
It feels great to be back in India. I’m also excited to be playing at the Smirnoff Experience Music Festival, and give the people of Mumbai a taste of great EDM music.
You have your own record label ‘Wall Recordings’, run a studio, as well compose, produce and tour. How challenging is it to juggle these roles?
Wall Recordings was a dream come true! It is a juggle but a good one since it gives me the time to explore more music which in turn makes me extremely happy.
What do you look out for in artists that you sign onto your label?
Passion and ear for good music! Ideally that’s what is needed for someone to reach their potential. There is always going to be learning and good ones.
You’re also a single dad. Is it difficult being one when you’re a much sought-after artist? Also, does your daughter enjoy your music?
Yes, she does enjoy my music and it’s not difficult as it seems. I didn’t want it to change my work. It changed not really the way I am with my money, but it gave me just a separate responsibility. Work comes first for me and that is the best way for me to be there for her. So instead of just completely dropping everything, I just made sure that everything is arranged for the future and for my family’s future. And I still try to put the pressure on myself to keep performing and keep taking everything to the next level, which is difficult sometimes, but I think in the long run, it’s going to be best for all.
Your upcoming album already includes star collaborations with the likes of Martin Garrix, Ludacris and Rita Ora. Are there any more guest appearances we don’t know about?
There is still plenty of work to get things just right for the album. It’s not going to be coming out until it is exactly what I want. Right now I’m just cruising along, just making music by heart and selecting the songs that I like really want to put on there. Right now, the most important thing is that every song gets the attention it deserves. I’m bringing everything in-house and making sure everything is perfectly organized. Trust me, it’s a lot of work, but nothing is better than bringing the experiences I’ve had to other artists who are just starting.
Afrojack’s five-city tour begins tomorrow and includes the following cities:
November 28th, Pune, venue TBA
November 29th, Mumbai, Dome@ NSCI-SVP
December 4th, Delhi, venue TBA
December 5th, Chennai, venue TBA
December 6th, Kolkata, venue TBA