It’s our first weekend of 2012 and as per usual, I have some news to keep you informed. Today’s stories include Afrojack, Tomorrowland 2012, Knife Party, SOCHI Winter Music Conference, and WMC’s new venue. Please read on after the jump.
Afrojack knows how to party as well as DJ
And now, here’s Afrojack, whose reputation in Vegas is that he might be the most partying DJ-producer there is. What’s his typical Vegas day like?
“I wake up, party, eat, party, eat again, sleep. It’s the same every day,” says the Dutch DJ, who will DJ on Jan. 11 at Surrender.
He told me this on a recent Wednesday night in a quiet VIP lounge at Encore, while Paris Hilton sat waiting for him 4 feet away.
After our interview, he and Hilton (and entourage) strolled into Surrender nightclub, packed with screaming fans, as 500 more people lined up outside, trying to get in.
At 1:15 a.m., Afrojack ambled up to his DJ booth and began spinning, occasionally drinking straight from a bottle of vodka. Hilton stood on the side of the stage, drinking and grooving.
But back to our interview.
“The craziest parties are in Vegas,” says Afrojack, real name Nick van de Wall, 24, of the Netherlands.
“Everyone gets the most (expletive) up here,” compared to other party cities around the world, he says. “Ibiza doesn’t go that crazy.”
Last spring, Afrojack looked like the next big thing. But then DJ-producer Skrillex came along and dominated the buzz of electronic music in the fall and winter.
Regardless, Afrojack remains one of the world’s top A-listers.
In fact, he beat other DJ-producers at collecting a Grammy in 2011 with his remix (in collaboration with David Guetta) of Madonna’s “Revolver.”
Afrojack is again nominated for a Grammy in 2012, for his remix of Leona Lewis’ “Collide.”
With his typical laid-back attitude, he calmly says he’s happy the Grammys have recognized him.
“The most important thing is fans are happy and coming to the shows,” he says.
He hopes to go to the Grammys again — “if I can get a ticket,” he says and laughs.
“Last year, it was hard getting a ticket, even though I was nominated and even though I won. It was a pain in the ass getting in there.”
Afrojack hit it big so young in life, several years ago, that he barely worked jobs outside of music. He labored in catering services for a few months, then in graphic design.
But by 2006, he was releasing his own music.
He picked his DJ name because he used to have an afro, and “jack is a moniker in dance music — jack your body, jack your house music,” he explains.
He headlines the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, including last summer’s Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“EDC was really sick, crazier here” than when EDC previously was set in Los Angeles.
“The crew was stressed” in L.A., he says. “In Vegas, everyone was happy and smiling. It was like an electric Woodstock. I don’t think they can do it any better.”
In the studio and at his DJ booth, Afrojack is always exploring subgenres.
“I’m already doing lots of different types already. I did a few dubsteps just for fun. I did basic dance music, but also some hip-hop stuff. I’ve already done everything, and I’m going to keep doing everything, because it’s fun.”
His new single, “Can’t Stop Me Now,” officially comes out Jan. 23.
The Wynn-Encore plans to keep him booked for 2012.
In his spare time, he plays PlayStation 3 now and then, he says.
But his true hobby is driving fast cars. He used to run a Ferrari and an Audi R8 V10.
But his new car is his fastest yet: an Audi RS6R MTM Tuned 730 HP.
You may have read that last sentence and thought, “Wow, where could he even go to max that car’s speedometer on the road?”
He won’t say.
“I find my way,” he says, with that mischievous Afrojack smile.
Tomorrowland Reveals First 2012 Act
Judging by the popularity of our story on the Tomorrowland 2012 dates, it seems a lot of you have set your sights on a pilgrimage to Belgium this July. From now until the kick-off of the European summer, the festival will be gradually unveiling what’s sure to be a gargantuan line-up (just look at previous years for an idea of the scale).
Tomorrowland is set for 27, 28 and 29 July 2012, and the first headliner was revealed on New Year’s Day. It’s a name you might be familiar with: David Guetta. The chart-climbing Frenchman – who will of course be here in a matter of months at the helm of the Creamfields tour – made his mark on the festival mainstage in 2011, and you can expect his set to pull serious numbers again. Of course, Guetta is just the beginning of what’s set to be a monster bill, so stay tuned (and start saving!).
Inside Story: Knife Party
Having just closed out a whirlwind New Year’s festival tour, Pendulum won’t be taking the stage again anywhere in the world until 2013. While now could be the time for the six-strong band to retreat to a beachside resort somewhere, the members are instead getting busy with other endeavours.
The highest-profile of these side-projects is Knife Party, the club-smashing studio offshoot from Pendulum originals Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen. Knife Party will of course be here at the tail-end of summer to lead their own stage at Future Music Festival, and inthemix caught up with Gareth while he was in Australia to hear straight from the source how the Party started.
“It’s really quite underground and it’s something that we can use as a creative outlet until we’re hit in the face with inspiration for the next Pendulum album,” he explained. “We launched it officially in Ibiza over [the last European] summer and it was for Radio 1.
“Musically the project just comes from different influences. I’ve just been really gripped by two things recently; house music and dubstep. We were just throwing ideas around and using that as a vehicle for stuff that was completely irrelevant to Pendulum. These ideas went from screamo metal tracks to moombahton and dubstep and house.”
The results of the Knife Party experiment were recently showcased on the duo’s free EP 100% No Modern Talking, which ratcheted up 20,000 downloads on the morning it went online. As Gareth explained to us, the distinct four-four influence on the EP was inspired by fratenising with the superstar FMF 2012 headliners.
“We found ourselves hanging out with a lot of the guys on the house circuit like Swedish House Mafia and Steve Angello and as we were writing everything just seemed to take shape,” he went on.
“Steve was on the Future Music Festival tour with us in 2011 and he would be playing after us every night and he’d see the energy that we could create from the crowd and I think that impressed him.
“But in their world those guys are larger than life. There’s something about the Swedes, I think; if you take the top guys in the house scene and look at what you’ve got you’ll see that there’s something that really separates the Swedes from the rest. They might all fly on private jets and act like rock stars but musically they’re just amazing. They’re like Motley Crue for the house scene. They’ve really ‘got’ us and we get them too.”
SOCHI Winter Music Conference Lands In February
Sochi Winter Music Conference is Russia’s answer to Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), a place where the finest minds in clubland and music technology come together to talk shop, discuss ideas and party like it’s, well, 2012.
In fact, one of the people behind ADE, Jonty Skrufff is curating the conference. He’s helped put together a summit that features events including Italian tech-house mainman Luca Bacchetti, App guru and Madonna collaborator Ralph Simon and Bojan Boskovic, the founder of EXIT festival.
Parties will see Perc, X Press 2 and Delete jump behind the controls.
For all information and to get registered, check the Sochi Winter Music Conference website here.
Most people who go to the Miami Winter Music Conference don’t actually attend many conferences as in the past they were held in relatively remote locations (not to mention all of the fun going on outside). But for 2012, WMC organisers are building the Beachplex, a custom designed, air conditioned tent complex at 21st and Collins, right in the thick of things.
Co-founder Louis Possenti said: “This is something WMC has been planning with the City of Miami Beach for a while.
“There is no greater opportunity than the flexibility to design this structure specifically to suit the needs of the WMC participants and no better location than directly on the sand at the center of South Beach.”