This past May at one of Europe’s leading tech conferences, Hardwell took to the stage to share how he made his dream of becoming the world’s number one DJ come true. The Next Web Conference (TNW) had its 12th edition in Amsterdam with speakers including Imran Khan of Snapchat, David Karp of Tumblr and Payal Kadakia of ClassPass. So how did Hardwell get in on this line up full of expert, tech CEOs? He credits much of his success to the internet and his ability to use technology to his advantage.
“I always embraced new technologies to connect with my fans, to spread my music, and basically that’s how I got where I am today,” said Hardwell. “I saw opportunities where other people did not.”
Growing up in Breda, a city in the Netherlands, Hardwell knew from a young age that he wanted to be a famous DJ. He started playing the piano at six years old and decided he wanted to be a DJ at the age of 10. At 12, Hardwell began producing his own music and remixing existing songs. He then started uploading all of his music for free downloads, eventually leading to his first big break and record deal at 14 years old.
Over the next 10 years, Hardwell would release huge records such as ‘Spaceman’, ‘Three Triangles (Losing My Religion)’, ‘Jumper’, ‘Dare You’, as well as record breaking remixes like Coldplay’s ‘Sky Full of Stars’ and Calvin Harris Feat. Ellie Goulding ‘Outside.’ In 2013 at the age of 25, Hardwell was named World’s #1 DJ by the coveted DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll, making him the youngest winner of this title ever. He did it again in 2014 and snagged the crown for a second consecutive year.
Hardwell is passionate about the use of technology and is said to be the first artist to host a 360-degree event live stream. He’s also developed his own Facebook Bot, creating a new digital way to engage with his fans. In his plans for the future, Hardwell wants to keep his momentum going and utilize technology every step of the way, including more personalization with bots and voice assistants with Amazon, Apple and Facebook.
Here’s a quick rundown of the points Hardwell makes in his 20-minute presentation (passion, content, free content, and more content!) Watch the video for full details on these instructions for success.
02. Create free, quality content and a lot of it
03. Get exposure everywhere, using mass distribution, TV, radio, stores
04. Release free content with download gates
05. You only need one viral piece of content to break through
06. Start your own platform, get inspired by others
07. Grow your fan base by collaborating with other artists
08. Release free content with popular brands
09. Release epic quality content
10. Release content soon after an event – “Be the first, the fastest and best”
11. Invest in original content
12. Give back to fans and make premium content available for free
13. Think outside the box, go viral
14. Use partners to distribute your content around the world
15. Be the first to use new technology
16. Interact directly with fans to increase engagement using bots
17. Give back to the community