Like A Boss: EDM Cash King Afrojack On Being In Charge
Afrojack may be one of the world's richest DJs, so business sense comes second nature. Aside from DJing Afrojack is also the boss of his own label and artist development company which seeks to prepare young artists for the challenges of intense schedules and social media torment.This article originally appeared on Forbes
An alum of the 30 Under 30 class in 2015 and the No 11 earning DJ on Forbes top-earning DJ list in 2016 with 15 million, Dutch producer/DJ Afrojack, who’s worked with Steve Aoki, Hardwell and Thirty Seconds To Mars, among others, has a proven track record of success in the electronic music world.
In the last year though, his attention has turned to being more of an active label head for his Wall Records and taking charge of his career. He switched managers and restructured his team, leaving no doubt who is the boss.
“Company wise the structure is finally in place, I can do what I want to do. I’m the f**king boss, I can decide to do whatever the f**k I want,” he says with a giant smile across his face, “No one can say what I’m supposed to do. I already had my label, but I turned the label into a company, I hired staff and stuff, signed, I think we have 12 artists now.”
Having experienced many of the highs and lows of the music industry, Afrojack is interested in preparing the artists signed to Wall Records for dealing with all the business will throw at them. “We sign artist development deals,” he says. “So instead of just signing artists and delivering them to the mercy of the music industry, we actually try to train the producer or the singer or the writer, in the studio, how to work the best and most efficient, also how to handle the pressure of social media, and, first and foremost, how to be themselves and be comfortable with who they are. Everything I have experienced I want to teach to a younger generation, especially because the kids I sign are unknown. But I hear the music and they’re as musically gifted as a lot of successful people. They just don’t know how the music industry works and the music industry is shady as f**k, so you better pay attention.”
I’ve known Afrojack for at least five years and who he is today is relaxed and comfortable with who he is. That’s what he wants to come across in his new music, like the recent “Gone,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign. “Now I actually am what I wanted to be,” he says. “So music wise people always ask me what genre and I say Afrojack music. The new single with Ty, no one is gonna make that, no one is gonna make a mix of pop, hop-hop, trap and EDM in one song and get Ty Dolla Sign to sing the song.”