Never in my life have I played the same set as somewhere else. And I never want to do that.
story by Lisa Mrock
In the past two years, Nick van de Wall (known internationally as Afrojack) has garnered two Grammy awards, collaborations with Pitbull and Neyo, and the number seven spot on DJ Magazine’s “Top 100 DJs of 2011” list. And with the breakout year he’s just had, he might be topping every such list in explosive fashion in 2012.
Between touring, traveling, remixing, producing, and making his own music, Van de Wall found time to talk to Chicago Innerview about the upcoming leg of his Jacked Tour, his height, the future, and things that are generally going on in the party-centric world of Afrojack.
Chicago Innerview: So, I know who you are and a lot of other people know who you are. But for those who don’t know you, describe yourself.
Afrojack: Okay well, I’m Nick. I’m 6-foot-9. I was born in Holland and raised in Holland. I make music for a living and I produce music and I also do it for fun, which is basically why I started it. And I like to party. That’s me!
Chicago Innerview: To start us off, how are you?
Afrojack: I’m okay. Actually, I’m just recovering from a cold, making more music, and getting ready for the Jacked Tour.
CI: Yeah, you have the new tour coming up. What can concertgoers expect out of the tour?
Afrojack: A lot of people ask me that. I just did a tour a while ago in America and basically I was really happy. Everything was really crazy, all the parties were really crazy, and everybody was having the time of their lives, so I’m not gonna change much. I have some new visuals, but the vibe was awesome last time.
CI: Joining you on the road will be DJs and musicians like R3hab, Sidney Samson, and Shermanology — who are all on your label Wall Recordings, just to name a few. Now these guys are good friends of yours and you’ve worked with them before, so can we expect some live onstage collaboration of sorts?
Afrojack: You can’t really expect live onstage collaborations because we’re DJs, but there may be some back-to-back action. The most important thing with this tour with the guys from my label is that we’re all there for the same idea. We want to have a great time and play new music. I would like to get ready for 2013. We’re not those guys who play the hits; we know those songs already. We want to bring the ‘next-level new shit.’ That’s what we’re gonna try and do. And because of our connection, because we’ve known each other so long, I think we’re gonna make a great team. I’m happy I have such a great team joining me. I think it’s gonna be dope.
CI: So this tour’s gonna be about looking toward the future?
Afrojack: Yeah, that’s what basically an Afrojack party is. We’re always playing future music. It’s not like shows I see in America. I see DJs do the same choreographed show all around America and I can’t do that. I’m a DJ. I wanna play new stuff. I want to make it different every time. Never in my life have I played the same set as somewhere else. And I never want to do that.
CI: Think back to when you did your first tour in America and think about the upcoming American leg of the Jacked Tour. Do you have a lot of the same feelings you had back when you did the first tour? Do you feel differently?
Afrojack: It’s mostly the same feeling. I mean, the first time I performed my own show in New York [it] was like 6,000 people, and it was sold out within a couple hours…and that was scary. And then it turned out to be one of the greatest parties ever. Now I’m going to try to do that all the time. The last Jacked Tour was really crazy and it was exactly how it was supposed to be. People go there for a certain kind of music and just want to have a great party. That’s what I’m going to try to keep now. I’m not an artist that does a show wearing a funky computer hat. I’m a DJ; I want to play a great party. I want to connect with fans. I think that’s a nice aspect of being a DJ, that you have a live feel to it. It’s the type of music where I can play it and I can turn it around and I can twist it.
Afrojack :: Congress Theater :: November 17.