A hundred feet away from the crowd, tucked in the DJ booth, Afrojack, is having his own party. Jumping up and down, he pumps his fist in the air, looking just like any other club kid high on music in the middle of the dancefloor.
The 25-year-old Dutch producer started spinning records in his teens. In 2010, he achieved breakout success with the club hit "Take Over Control." Since then, he's produced dance hits for pop stars such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias.
Most DJs will tell you they enjoy what they do, but spinning has a special effect on Afrojack, otherwise known as Nick van de Wall. "What I enjoy most is the love I get from the crowd that come to my shows," he says in a recent phone interview. "That's why I always party with them. I understand where they come from, because five years ago, I was that guy, going to parties and going wild on my favorite DJs."
We chatted with Van de Wall before New Year's on the phone.
How much has your life changed since the release of your single "Take Over Control"? Does it feel like you're dreaming?
It absolutely does. It feels like I'm living a dream all the time. I strongly feel that you can create your own dreams. Since I started getting into music, this was what I always wanted and nobody could stop me from reaching my goal. My advice to everybody would be don't stop believing.
Over the past few years, the DJ has become more of a mainstream act. What factors do you feel helped attribute to DJs' success?
I still don't think we are mainstream yet. we're getting there, that's for sure, but it will take one or two more years. At least, what's changed is that DJs are now producing and remixing for mainstream pop acts. The single "Give Me Everything," with Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Nayer gave me a big breakthrough into the music industry. Since it was one of the most-played songs on the radio last year, it touched so many people. That hardly happens with a more club-orientated record.
Of all the musicians you've worked with, what has been your most-unforgettable experience?
This year's Amsterdam Dance Event. Besides opening the week with my own Jacked party, I spend a lot of my time in the studio. Top producers like Polow da Don and artists like David Guetta and Akon came by to work on new music with me.
In your video "Rock the House," you're seen flying around the world in your own airplane. Do you really have an "Afrojet"?
We use the Afrojet for our tours due to the heavy scheduling. I could not play around the world if I had to be at the airport every time, two hours in advance, and going through customs. It sounds like a luxury, but with my schedule, there isn't an alternative.
What are your plans for the new year?
I'll be releasing my new single called "As Your Friend," featuring Chris Brown. It will be out in January or February. And I'm finally completing my album, also to be released sometime this year.