Afrojack Talks New Album, Skrillex & Sticking To His Guns
Afrojack is a busy man. From traveling the world for sold-out performances, holding down a residency in Las Vegas, and working with David Guetta and Nicki Minaj on the hit single "Hey Mama," it's a wonder he has any time to worry about future releases. However, the dutch producer, real name Nick Van de Wall, is already gearing up to release his follow up to Forget The World early next year and has released the first single from his new material, "Summerthing!" featuring Mike Taylor. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he discusses his new album, sticking to his guns and his connection with Skrillex.
Afrojack explains how the experience of working on his debut album, Forget The World, has affected his approach to his sophomore effort.
"The first album, it was really difficult for me to have so many people and labels involved. It was a lot of pressure. Now, instead of what I did with the last album, accepting the pressure, I'm just choosing to ignore it and do whatever I feel is right. The main lesson I learned from my last album was trust your own instinct and follow your balls."
Speaking about his recent single, "Summerthing!" Afrojack states that it was the song to get his new album started and explains its creation.
"I was going for a fun summer song. I've been working on a lot of different styles of music, but I think this is the one that was closest to myself and great for a first single. After you're done with your first album, you have to start a new cycle, and this is the single to get to another album, basically."
He also explains the role he played on "Hey Mama" while working with David Guetta and Nicki Minaj.
"I did all the mixing and the pre-masterings but also all the beats, all the crazy sounds you hear. Especially during Nicki's verse, when she starts rapping. All those weird sounds, that's what I do. But I think my biggest contribution was the beats, making it street."
Van De Wall explains how he deals with the prevalence of copycats in the EDM genre.
"I used to constantly be bothered by people copying my sounds or just other genres going totally different ways. After making 'Take Over Control' a couple of years ago, everyone started to use the bleepy pitch sounds. I was like, 'Ahh,' you know? 'Should I try to do something else now that everybody is doing the same, or should I try to keep doing this?' Eventually, it was neither of the two. It was just sit in the studio and do whatever feels right."
Afrojack reveals a high profile influence when questioned about what current sound he's inspired by.
"The Skrillex sound, but more the hip-hop side of it.I really love the song that Skrillex did with Diplo, the Jack Ü song 'Where Are Ü Now.' It's so weird, but still it's a cool song. It's indescribable. Skrillex is one of the few artists in the world where every time I hear his shit I'm like, 'What is this?' I saw his set at Ultra, and it was super amped."
In fact, he mentions that he had a hand in getting Skrillex booked for the closing set at Ultra Music Festival.
"I'm good friends with Adam Russakoff, the guy that basically books all the DJs and runs all the legal stuff for Ultra, and he asked me who should close Ultra on the main stage on Sunday. I was like, 'Dude, get Skrillex!' You have all these EDM DJs, a lot of them play the same stuff, but every time I saw Skrillex he always came with new shit."