At the age of 14, Van de Wall started DJ’ing at local pubs and clubs and earning additional income by designing websites for fellow musicians. His 2010 entry into the poll at number 19 was the highest new entry of that year’s list. Afrojack was listed as number 7 on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s of 2011. He ranked at number 9 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ’s of 2012. In 2013, he ranked at number 9 again. In January 2012 Afrojack received a European Border Breakers Award. Afrojack’s newest single “The Spark” featuring Spree Wilson has so far hit number 3 in Australia and New Zealand, and top 10 in over 7 more countries. In 2013, Afrojack was the 7th highest-earning DJ in the world, according to Forbes magazine. In 2011, Afrojack co-produced music with many artists including David Guetta, Mike Brown & Madonna. In 2012, he was a headliner at a number of electronic dance music festivals, including Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, Coachella to name a few. On April 28 2017,he released a new single “Another Life” collaborating with fellow DJ David Guetta featuring Ester Dean.
What originally inspired you to begin producing music?
My mom always told me you’ve gotta do what makes you happy. When I was 15 I wasn’t doing what made me happy, and then I decided well f*ck it, I’m just going to do what makes me happy and I’ll see how it works out. And it worked out, thank God.
How would you say that your sound and music have changed/evolved over the years since you started?
It keeps going in a circle, you know. I started off and was super excited about it, but then I wanted to do something else. Then I like something else for a while, and then did pop-crossover stuff. Later I got really into hip-hop, and then hip-hop basically, believe it or not put me back into the bleepy stuff. I was doing so many hip-hop beats last year and the year before that I slowly got sucked back into the bleepy stuff and now I’m making the old school stuff again. So it’s like full circle.
What can you tell us about your live shows? How would you say they differ between say, your set at Ultra and your residency at Omnia?
Well at Ultra I’ve prepared the shit out of it so I can show everything of how I am and what I do. When I’m at Omnia, it’s like a party. Ultra is like a festival, where you want to see the best of the best of your favorite DJs. When you see your favorite DJ DJ’ing at a party, it’s different. So every time I’m playing Omnia I just play whatever I want, how I want. I take a lot of risks, make a lot of new things up. Ultra is like a big preparation, and you decide beforehand what you’re gonna do. At Omnia it is just experimenting. It’s really weird because you would think in Vegas DJs would never experiment, that it would just be as easy as possible, but it’s actually the other way around. Because it’s Vegas it gives you so much room to experiment and it’s such a challenge because it’s a crowd you’re playing for.
Talk about some of your past collaborations; what specific tracks or artists have been particularly memorable to you?
Well of course I have to give a shout-out to David Guetta. He’s like my brother. Ty Dolla $ign, Ne-Yo. Desiigner last year, Migos. Those are my biggest inspirations right now to pull it through. Basically everyone managed by Coach K.
After playing shows all around the world what are some of your favorite places to travel to?
Well of course Miami during Miami Music Week, but also Miami in general is fun. Then we have Vegas, New York. I always have love for New York. And Tokyo – Tokyo is a lot of fun too.
As one of the world’s top DJs, how do you feel being a part of something that is so huge? Now that EDM is more popular than ever?
It feels good. It’s like, “I told you so.” Back when I started I was telling everyone, “This is so great and the people are so nice and blah blah blah.” And no one believed me. And now everyone is like, “Oh this is so awesome. EDM this, EDM that.” So I am just really happy that people know.
If there were another career path you could’ve chosen for yourself, would there be one or is this it?
Well I always liked designing and drawing and stuff, and I still do that. But I don’t know. I’m pretty sure music was always my calling and always will be.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Same shit as always. New music, good parties, and a good f*cking time.