Just a few days before the reigning #1 DJ in the world took the main stage at EDC Las Vegas, Hardwell sat down with the media for a lengthy Q + A last week. While he didn’t officially confirm the surprise hip-hop set he delivered at the Wide Awake Cart on Saturday Night, he reminded future haters that he started out at a hip-hop DJ before moving to dance music.

There were multiple takeaways from the interview, mainly the future of EDM and some of the new music he’s been working on. Hardwell is set to release a new collaboration with Dannic, a close friend and Revealed Recordings labelmate who’s about to launch his own label. Hopefully, some of that time in the studio together was devoted towards that Dutch supergroup with Dyro that seems to keep popping up in interviews.

Also interesting was Hardwell’s stance on the future of dance music. With the floodgates to Asia wide open, big-room is taking a massive turn and expanding to the new market, rather than continue to face criticism from US fans eager to move on from the sound. “Dance music keeps evolving,” he stated.

Here are some of the questions and answers taken directly from the interview:

On his rumored hip-hop and rumbaton set at EDC?
“I started out as a hip-hop DJ.” He performed a private hip-hop set at EDC last year for EDC head honcho Pasquale Rotella. “It’s been a long time since I’ve performed a proper hip-hop set.”

The future of EDM?
“It’s still getting bigger and bigger. Even though blogs are hating it, it’s betting bigger and bigger.” Bigger in Asia. There was an Ultra Korea this year. Worldwide, the music and kids coming up. “Dance music keeps evolving.”

What’s on your bucket list?
“That’s a good question. I have no clue, to be honest. Do what I do right now and keep doing it. Do it for as long as I can. Work at staying No. 1. Stay relevant.” He has great respect for Ferry Corsten, Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren for their long and successful careers.

Style and sounds coming up in the future?
“Music is always changing. People want to hear more underground music, and that’s a good thing. Deep house and techno. People are developing their own tastes. A constant wave of different genres. It keeps evolving, and that’s a good thing. It will remain relevant.”

How do you decide genres to play to remain relevant and No. 1?
“I don’t think about that. I am Hardwell, and I play Hardwell music. I like to think out of the box. I hate the term big room. I like to do everything. Why should I make one certain genre? Like Armin says, ‘Why be a prisoner of your own style?’ ”

Source: Las Vegas Sun