Since his breakout tune “Take Over Control” featuring Eva Shaw in 2007, Afrojack‘s career trajectory has been impressive to say the very least. From playing every major festival in the world to a illustrious hit discography, the Dutch producer has proven himself time and time again in a constantly evolving dance music scene.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Afrojack discussed his new collaboration “Gone” featuring rapper Ty Dolla $ign to be released on Latiument/RCA Records. While the sound is a clear departure from his 128 BPM persona, he embraces the change. “I want to diversify more as the artist Afrojack instead of just the producer Afrojack. I feel more confident as my sets have diversified as well,” Afrojack says.
Further he also discussed his Las Vegas residences, future collaborations, the current state of dance music and more. Check out the highlights below and read the full conversation here.
On his new single with Ty Dolla $ign
“I really wanted to do something different: a radio-friendly record that had enough of both but wasn’t like full-on banging; more chilled out and hip-hoppy. We did the first take in one day.”
On his new hip-hop sound
“I play more hip-hop and trap now. Because I became famous as a dance producer, my shows automatically became dance-oriented. At one point, my entire set was 128 bpm. But I didn’t grow up as a 128 bpm person. I love EDM but I do more than that. A lot of people don’t appreciate that and have tried to put me back in a box. I don’t like boxes.”
On Kanye West
“I like the more out-of-the-ordinary artists. I’d love to do something for Kanye West sometime. Same thing with Rihanna. I love when artists are so out of the box that every song they make is like, what is it? It’s not describable in words.”
On dance music pop crossovers
“It’s really funny because Europe and America came together over the last couple of years and now they’re splitting up again. House is key in Europe and everything in America is hip-hop oriented. I can’t say what the next thing is going to be because if I say it, everyone’s going to do it. And I didn’t do it yet. But I have an awesome idea that’s ready.”
On how the dance music scene changed
“Well, it didn’t change at all. It’s just gotten bigger. It’s changed through the perception of the masses. But within the dance industry and culture, nothing has changed. Internally there is no such sense of what people have been talking about: that the EDM bubble is going to burst. It’s not. It’s the same thing with rock. Rock used to be the biggest thing and now it’s not the biggest thing. But it actually still is one of the biggest things: U2 continues to tour all over the world and sell out gigantic stadiums.”
On the term EDM
“It’s really an American term. In Europe they just say dance music. As I first perceived the term, I thought it was a certain sound. Like “Everybody f—ing jump, 1-2-3 go!” But later, I learned that EDM isn’t a term for just a sound; it’s a term for theory.”