Kickstarting the dynamic Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2013 was DJ Hardwell who played many hard-hitting dance tracks to a sold-out crowd just yesterday at Fort Canning Park. In the last 4 to 5 years of his career, he requested for numerous gigs to be staged in Singapore because he loves his fans here, and no doubt, his fans love him too.

To sell out this amount of tickets is just ridiculous, it’s unbelievable and I’m really happy to be here.

Hardwell hails from the land of DJ behemoths, Netherlands, and only ventured into the international scene after doing “about a thousand gigs in Holland.” He recounts to us his first DJ set which “was for a best friend and some of his friends, like maybe 40 plus people,” he was “really nervous at the very beginning and super excited“. Hardwell has come a long way since then, having been hailed as MTV’s “Artist to Watch” in 2012 and ranked at #6 for DJ Mag’s 2013 Top 100 DJs.

By far, 2013 has been the “best year” according to Hardwell, and even though there is a lot of pressure on him to perform, he really enjoys himself and trusts that his dedicated fans will stand by him to move him up the DJ charts. Speaking of fans, he reveals that the most memorable thing a fan had done was to faint at the meet-and-greet she won, “It was super weird for me, like.. What did I do wrong” quipped the chatty Hardwell, and cited another incident when fan had sent flowers annonymously to his parents house.

Hardwell is going places, and despite being constantly on the move, he does not miss a beat and continues to reinvent his music and style. He seizes every bit of free time he has, and would even make music on the plane. That’s sheer dedication right there.

When asked to choose a word to describe his style of progressive electro, he chose “Energetic“, and he tells us he is “on the mission to engineer something new all the time” as he hates copying his own style.

On the future of DJ culture in Asia, he says it would be similar to “what you have in America — [DJs] as pop stars“. He also reveals that while he thinks his sound fits better in festivals with biggest stages, he loves playing at smaller clubs too as he can “connect in a different way” and “get intimate“, and that connection he gets with his fans when playing on the same-level at a club, instead of being placed on a pedestal at a big stage, is the “best feeling there is.

With so many accolades under his belt, and everyone dying to get a piece of him, we were curious as to whether fame and fortune changed the 25-year old:

No, never. I think I’m still the same guy I was in High School and I think I have never changed. And if i ever should change, I think my friends would kick me.

He loves experimenting with new sounds, new sets and wisely quips that the “Crowd is the best judge of a track. I can be in the studio making a track and think it’s amazing, but if it’s out and the crowd doesn’t react to it then obviously it sucks.” Judging by how the crowd hit next-level ballistic last night, it was obvious his DJ set rocked.

For those who missed out on the fun, we leave you with a promise from Hardwell: “I will definitely be coming back, Singapore!