“Ninety-nine point nine percent of New York has no clue who the f- I am,” says Nick van de Wall, better known as Afrojack, in an interview with Billboard.

The rest of the interview centers around his forthcoming debut album Forget the World fast approaching on May 19th, and his goal of crossing over into mainstream with a glimpse into his busy touring schedule (which he wants to cut back from upwards of 25 gigs per month to 20 in order to concentrate on headline slots at major festivals and clubs). In talking about these concepts, he definitely makes a few bold (and perhaps a bit jarring, head-turning) comments around his ambitions.

Despite a long list of accomplishments already — earning the No. 7 position on Forbes’ 2013 list of top-earning DJs, producing and songwriting for Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s “Give Me Everything,” David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium” and Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” and launching his own clothing line with G Star Raw — Afrojack hopes to achieve even more success with his debut album that will be released through Def Jam, which has helped Avicii cross over into the top 40s.

Afrojack’s definition of success? In his own words, it is as follows: “I won’t be successful until everyone on the streets here knows who I am.” Ambitious, but not entirely far-fetched if he can effectively cater to that mainstream crowd.

I have no problem with him wanting to achieve mainstream success — if he wants to reach a larger audience, and if they embrace his music, that’s all good and fine. But, what really struck me was what came next.

In what seems like a controversial statement that I’m sure a number of artists will disagree with, he states: “I’m not EDM, If I wanted to be a successful EDM artist, I wouldn’t put 80 percent of everything back into the show. I would be chilling, demanding 20 hotel rooms, playing for one-and-a-half hours and being miserable as f-. But I don’t want to be an EDM artist – I want to make something that people can be proud of.”

I am sure that a number devoted fans are proud of EDM artists that they look up to. Are successful EDM artists really “miserable as f-“? Sure, it’s not an easy road being an artist, but for those who are really in it for the love of producing music and sharing an experience with their fans, as long as they’re doing what they love (making music and giving fans a good time with their music), I don’t see how that can be portrayed as being miserable. And although some artists (or should I say “artists“) gain success and fame through luck or other means (such as having ghost producers), I would like to think the genuine ones definitely are not chilling in their 20 hotel rooms but instead are constantly working hard at improving and mastering their craft and looking for ways to go beyond their comfort zone, all without feeling miserable.

What are your thoughts?

Read the full Billboard interview here.

Photo Credit: LessThan3