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Hardwell returns to Ushuaïa Ibiza

The Revealed Recordings boss is back on the White Isle

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm partial to a pocketful of EDM, so getting to interview Hardwell before the launch of Hardwell's DNA at Ushuaïa this season, I was like a kid at Christmas. It's true, the man himself is no stranger to the White Isle - he's held down a residency here for years - but for me, it was to be the first time I'd see him play AND I was getting to chat to him about his time in Ibiza - not too shabby a day in anyone's book, that. In 2016, he's back at Playa d'en Bossa's biggest open air venue for the next eight Tuesdays (until 13 September and excluding 16 August), where he'll unleash his unbeatable brand of big room house to his legions of fans, me among them (yay).

Hardwell has had Ushuaïa on lock down for the past three years now; this summer coming in the form of Hardwell's DNA: “This year we chose a completely different concept. I came up with the idea because it doesn't matter what your DNA is, you will have a good night at Hardwell's DNA regardless.” And with an array of exciting DJs - including Dannic, Ryan Marciano, Chocolate Puma and Alok, among more - joining him on stage, it's hard to imagine that you wouldn't have a fine time. “I pick support acts based on their enthusiasm, their passion and their music taste - I'm a dance music lover so I only pick really great DJs. I didn't pick producers that had had one big hit record - I pick guys who can actually DJ. I pick good friends and guys with really good music taste and who can read the crowd. Everyone from Sunnery James, to Funkerman - one of my favourite DJs ever - to Kill The Buzz, is going to be here."

The night itself was as spectacular as promised, with the Dutch DJ - who's twice been named DJ Mag's number one DJ in the world - appearing undaunted by the adoring crowd. “It is a lot of responsibility playing at Ushuaïa," he explained, "especially because in my case it's my own night. I am involved with everything - from the costumes of the dancers, to the LEDs, to the lights on the stage and how the stage is built - it's almost seven months in preparation for the summer show. It's great to be at Ushuaïa - it's my favourite club in Ibiza”.

With a string of achievements under his belt, and a residency at one of Ibiza's most famous clubs, I was intrigued to know how he manages to remain grounded. “I think staying humble has a lot to do with people you're surrounded by. I love to be surrounded by positive vibes, I always keep my family close and I 've had the same friends for the past 12 years. Great people help to keep your feet on the ground.” And it's true - in the short 10 minutes I spent with him, I didn't see a superstar DJ, just a passionate music lover.

WORDS | Caoimhe Harkin

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