Author Archives: Bryn Carter

[TMN Resident Artist] Hardwell discusses I AM HARDWELL, his adoration of penguins, and future plans

Hardwell-1

Another month means another exciting resident artist. This month I have the pleasure of sitting down with Hardwell and talking to him about his upcoming tour ‘I Am Hardwell’ coming to North American for the first time since it launched back in 2013. The first show is set for Chicago on Halloween night, talk about a little treat for those Midwest kids. But before he arrives we had to chat with him about this once in a lifetime experience and of course get some other information while we had him.

TMN: Hardwell! Hello! We have to start by saying thank you so much for being our resident artist this month, it really is an honor to have you take over The Music Ninja website!

H: Hello to you! Thanks so much for having me.

TMN: So I guess let’s start at the beginning of the whole ‘I Am Hardwell’ concept, can you tell us about your inspiration for this tour and what it was like introducing this amazing musical experience in Amsterdam to a group of over 6,000 present fans and then broadcasted to over 100,000 fans all over the globe?

H: Well before this came about, I was playing a lot of festival gigs and club tours all the time, and it got to the point where it was definitely time to take the next step. For me, that was doing my own concert series that you now know as I AM HARDWELL. Myself and Alda developed the stage design and I’ve been involved with it from the very beginning. This was exactly the way I wanted to bring it to the crowd. Once we developed the whole concept, I started taking it around the world. Amsterdam was the first I AM HARDWELL show that we did, so it was truly an incredible feeling to deliver on what we’ve worked so hard on to my fans from home. Knowing that over 100,000 fans could watch from their home made debuting I AM HARDWELL even more special.

TMN: Now talk to us more about how this is different from any other show you have done before because it is based on your rise in the music scene correct? Talk to us a little bit about your musical background and where you started from, how about even before you were a DJ, were you involved in any musical elements as a young child? Could music be found in your household?

H: Yes, I really wanted this show to be about my music and experiences. For the I AM HARDWELL shows I decided to make my performances 3-hour sets so I can take the crowd on a musical journey. I’m lucky to have my own stage design, sound, and production as well. The one thing I wanted to achieve with my I AM HARDWELL shows was to give my fans the best experience they’ve ever had and unite them with my music.
As for my musical background, I started when I was four years old playing classical and jazz music on the piano. I discovered dance music when I was about 10 years old because the top DJs in the world like Tiesto were from my city. From then I started producing dance music. I was so lucky to start being recognized at such a young age. I started playing more clubs and shows around the world. I can’t remember one day when music wasn’t playing in my family home. My parents were basically into all kinds of music from Abba, to Elvis Presley, and even James Brown.

TMN: And what about the moto for this whole show, ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’, tell us what that personally means for you as an artist and a person, and what you hope your fans take away with them from that message?

H: This entire journey has been a dream for me. It’s been a goal that I’ve set out to achieve ever since I was a child. Every step I’ve made and the hard work I’ve put in throughout my life was for me to become a top DJ and to be able to tour around the world. I want to inspire my fans and be an example for anyone else with a dream. This may sound corny, but if you work hard enough, and put in the time and effort, dreams can come true.

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[New Artist] RAYE – Need Me

RAYE
RAYE.
NEED ME

Before I introduce this artist let me tell you, she is only sixteen but sounds like she is in her twenties and has been writing/singing for quite a while. Truth is, London artist RAYE has been writing and singing music since she was ten years old. Her first release ever ‘Need Me’ has lyrics and feelings far beyond her young years. A seductive voice that entices listeners, RAYE has found a way to mix her strong vocals with the perfect touch of electronic melodies and rhythms. Pretty excited to hear what more this young artist will have in store for us as her career continues to blossom, keep an eye out for her.

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[Folk] Marika Hackman – Drown

Marika Hackman
Marika Hackman
Drown

There is something about the way London artist Marika Hackman sings, it is not easily put into words but let me try my best. When this folk songstress opens her mouth a mix of depth and beauty escape and play delicately on your ears. Hackman has a deep, rich voice that meditates in your brain as she quietly sings dark yet realistic lyrics. Her latest single ‘Drown’ the first song off her forthcoming debut album ‘We Slept At Last’, continues to show the complexity of Hackman’s personal sound and what continues to set her apart from other singer-songwriters. Feel free to drown in this stunning song, it will leave you feeling at ease with life.

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[Electronic/Chill] Gorgon City – Doing It Wrong ft. Liv (Drake Cover)

Sirens - Gorgon City
Gorgon City
Doing It Wrong ft. Liv (Drake Cover)

I can’t even begin to talk about how much I adore this song.
The highly talented duo Gorgon City have released many a songs this past month off of their EP ‘Sirens’, a group of eclectic addictive songs, many have the vocal power from some heavy hitters. The one song I can’t get over though is their cover of Drake’s ‘Doing It Wrong’ with some help from the insanely talented Liv. It is a brutally honest song about a relationship that has gone bad and how that particular world will end but life itself will continue on. The guys start the song off slow, with Liv’s vocals seductively inviting you into the song. Before adding that Gorgon City touch of upbeat electronic melodies that add a certain flair to the seriousness of the lyrics. One thing is evident, these boys know how to turn any song into an original of their own. My repeat is getting angry at me and my neighbors probably hate this song by now but there’s no changing it to anything else, promise you that.

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[Indie/Rock] Naomi Pilgrim – It’s All Good

Naomi-Pilgrim
Naomi Pilgrim
It's All Good

Swedish/Barbadian artist Naomi Pilgrim has released the stream of her new single ‘It’s All Good’. Pilgrim turns up the melody on this song with a much quicker beat than her previous releases. She shows her vast strengths and how she is a multiple talented artist, a sophisticated singer who can also ‘talk’ clearly through her songs, a producer who can keep up with any combination of instruments/beats put before her, and one who tells a specific and telling story through her vocals. Like this new single, about time wasted on a relationship that wasn’t meant to be but having no regrets and continuing to live her life fully, something many of us need to be reminded of in our own relationships. Always a pleasure listening to this artist, she really shows us it is all good.

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[Beautifully Unique] Tove Styrke – Borderline

Tove S
Tove Styrke
Borderline

Touch of reggae anyone?
Swedish artist Tove Styrke is back with her unique flair on her single ‘Borderline’. The title track from the forthcoming ‘Borderline’ EP due out the end of November mixes Styrke’s unique voice with the melodies of reggae mixed with indie/pop. It’s an addicting song, one you have to listen to a few times to feel the depth of the lyrics and really embrace the beauty that is Styrke’s voice. She takes you on a musical journey, telling the story of how she is borderline good and borderline bad, a trait many of us can relate to. A song and voice that are sure to stick in your head and keep you coming back for more, we are excited to hear this beauty’s full EP at the end of next month.

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[Rock n' Blues] The Lone Bellow – Then Came The Morning

The Lone Bellow
Descendant Records
Then Came the Morning

If any movie needs a good song within the soundtrack, this song, right here, is a must. This beautiful first single off their forthcoming album, ‘Then Came The Morning’ from Brooklyn-based trio The Lone Bellow, is one of my favorite new songs I have heard in quite a while. Lead singer Zach Williams has a voice that just bellows every single feel in every word of each lyric. From truth to pain to the revealing of the first morning light, Williams’ voice is a beautiful mix of hardy and rock and roll. With the support of guitarist Brian Elmquist and fellow singer Kanene Pipkin, this trio has a strength and a sound unmatched by many. A mix of rock and roll, jazz, and a pinch of blues, ‘Then Came The Morning’ is a beautiful song of a love and what happens when that first light comes sneaking through the bedroom window. Don’t wait until morning to listen to this song.

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