EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

Jay Hardway & Mike Hawkins Release 'Freedom' [EDM.com Premiere & Interview]

If you’re a fan of big room, you’ll love "Freedom" from Jay Hardway and Mike Hawkins. This EDM.com premiere is a festival-ready tune that will get any party started.

In big room, it’s hard to create original sounding tracks, but Hardway and Hawkins have delivered us "Freedom." It’s not the awesomeness of the build or the filthiness of the drop that makes the song amazing; it’s the distinct sounds that each of the producers put into it. You can hear each producers’ unique styles, but the way that they blend together and add onto each other truly makes the track stand out. They set the song up so that each sound builds on top of the others to form one explosive, synchronized bass machine.

EDM.com wanted the full scoop on the track, so we interviewed the producers. Click play on the track below and find out more about Hardway and Hawkins!

(E = Jimmy Schleisman of EDM.com; M = Mike Hawkins; J = Jay Hardway) 

E: How did you guys meet? 

M: We actually met in Miami for the first time. We knew each other before that through Martin Garrix, as I was asked to remix his and Jay's track "Wizard." One thing led to another, and we ended up hooking up last march in Miami.

E: What made you guys want to collaborate with each other? 

M: I just think we're both pretty picky with who we work with. We coincidentally hooked up in the studio where we spoke about not really feeling comfortable in doing that many collabs, as it's often hard for two artists to find a common ground musically. Ironically, we were like, "So let's try and do a track together?"

J: We were skipping to some projects of each other at the Spinnin' writing sessions and found out we really have the same music taste and same ideas about creativity. Really started throwing around ideas immediately!

E: What aspects about the song do you love the most? 

M: That it jumps around from a happy, summery and almost kid-like melody with some oriental influences into a smashy, different drop, where we tried to keep it really dry, as opposed to saucing it in reverb like so many current tunes. Also, I'm happy we really came together. It's not a Jay or Mike drop. It's not a Jay or Mike break. It's really us.

J: I love that it surprises you with the melodic buildup into an energetic melody. After that, the drop catches you off guard and really gives a fun twist to the track!

E: What were some of the major influences you had for this track? 

J: First, I was focusing on the melody and breakdown and Mike on the drop. After that, we bounced around the parts and started working on both parts together and separately. This really makes it a true collab in my opinion, with both styles clearly noticeable in the entire track!

E: What advice do you guys have for other producers about collaborating?

M: Trying to find what the best skill of your counterpart is. Fill out each other's shortcomings, and be open to your collaborator's ideas. And then generally, just have fun. It's what it's about. It shines through the music.

J: Don't force it! Just try to be creative in your own way and try to find a connection between you and the one you're collaborating with!

Hardway and Hawkins' "Freedom" is living proof that good collaboration comes with fully incorporating each producer’s strengths and filling out their weaknesses. This tag team, hard-hitting track is going to have crowds going crazy when that melody starts playing. If you’re searching through Beatport, Souncloud, or YouTube for fresh festival anthems, look no further. This track is one of the best big-room tracks of the summer.

Written by Jimmy Schleisman

Purchase "Freedom" on Beatport: Buy "Freedom"

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