With huge success and wider exposure comes the criticism of being labeled as a sellout, as well as fans old and new commenting on the artist losing his original style and sound. Hardstyle artist Headhunterz (aka Willem Rebergen), who has gained traction in the US – signing on with Ultra Records, being a closer at EDC Chicago and EDC Vegas and collaborating with Krewella and Flosstradamus – has become a target for critics regarding the direction of his music. With hardstyle fans begin to question if Headhunterz is even hardstyle anymore, Rebergen speaks up through an op-ed for the Huffington Post Blog.

Acknowledging the buzz with hardstyle, Rebergen brings up the question: “Will hardstyle be the next big thing?” and continues to say, “If there is one thing I expect from this, is that the least it will do, is bring about a change in our genre.”

He discusses coming out of one’s comfort zone to make that change, and openly talks about the dilemma he faces, “…that [fans] want change and want stability at the same time. Use the same kick twice and you’ll get punished. Slow down the bpm and you’ll get called out.”

Rebergen also makes an indirect comment to the critics who call him a sellout: “A so called sell out is somebody trying to please a crowd, by making what they want to hear, so isn’t that a bit paradoxical?” and ends the op-ed by saying, “I will continue to be me, and do my thing.”

There’s no doubt that hardstyle’s sound has evolved, and the new sound is especially noticeable in Headhunterz’s remixes of tracks by Kaskade, Zedd and Hardwell. But as long as he continues to make music based on the direction he wants to go, and isn’t compromising himself to please more fans, we’re supportive of Headhunterz for speaking out and addressing his critics.

Read the full post here.