Dec 12, 2016
Dr. Phunk Brings Hardstyle To Revealed
How do you think you would fare with the task of remixing one of the top electronic music artist's most iconic tracks with the intention of the artist playing it as the closing song at some of his biggest shows? Dr. Phunk proved more than up to the task! After delivering his incredible remix of “Apollo,” he has gone to also remix two more of Hardwell’s biggest vocal tracks, “Nothing Can Hold Us Down” and “Run Wild.” He joined us to celebrate the release of all three remixes on Revealed last week with an in depth look at what has quickly become a career highlight.
Your remixes of Hardwell’s tracks have generated incredible hype, especially here on 1001tracklists, where your remixes have consistently risen to the top of our Most Heard chart. What’s all the buzz around the remixes been like for you?
It’s unbelievable to see how incredible everyone’s response is. So many people are messaging me about how much they love the tracks. That gives me a great feeling and I can’t thank everyone enough for the support.
How did you come to remix these three tracks from Hardwell?
I was playing a show in Holland last summer when Robbert decided to visit, it was in his hometown of Breda. We started talking about music and he told me that he likes hardstyle a lot and likes to play it during his shows. He said he needed a good up-to-date hardstyle remix of “Apollo” so he could close his set with a harder version of that track. I made the joke that I was the man to do it, and all of a sudden he sent me the stems. The whole thing started with one remix, and later it became three.
What was it like remixing one of Hardwell’s most iconic tracks, “Apollo”? Did you feel added pressure because of the popularity of the original?
I think every producer has a bit of pressure when they get asked to remix for one of their favourite artists. Of course I felt nervous because it is a huge honour for me to do it and the original is so good, but luckily they were good nerves. I wanted to keep the value of the original because of the amazing vibe and vocals. I’ve been listening to “Apollo” since it came out and it still gives me shivers to this day. So I wanted to keep that feeling while turning it into a hardstyle track.
Can you talk a little about the inspiration behind your “Nothing Can Hold Us Down” remix?
Headhunterz is and always has been a real inspiration for me, however I couldn’t find the right blend with his signature touch on the track. That’s why I decided to only use the vocal and make the rest of the track “my own.” I like to use melodies that make people feel good, combined with rough pounding kicks. Oh and to add a little bit of “Dr Phunk” flavour of course!
You took your “Run Wild” remix a little harder than the other remixes. Can you talk us through that remix?
After seeing people going nuts on the “Apollo” remix, I started creating a remix of “Run Wild” just for fun. After a few hours, I sent Robbert a voice clip on WhatsApp. He was like, “DUDE! That’s Sick! Can you finish that for my final I AM Hardwell Show?” So I finished the track straight away. The reason why I made it a little harder is because I like to try different ways of approaching a track. Luckily it turned out great and the crowd seems to really enjoy it.
What was it like having Hardwell play the “Run Wild” remix as the last song of his last I AM Hardwell show [tracklist]? And then overall what’s the feeling like knowing that he’s been playing your remixes on the biggest stages at the biggest festivals across the world?
It’s a real honour for me to have a name like Hardwell supporting my music around the globe. Seeing him closing down the final I AM Hardwell show gave me goosebumps all over. It’s definitely one of my career highlights so far.
What can you tell us about your collaborations with Hardwell? What was it like working with him in the studio?
I hardly slept the night before we went into the studio because of the excitement and also some nerves, haha. The moment that we sat down to start working, all the nerves were gone. We had a lot of laughs and we share the same passion for making music. It felt like I was making music with someone who could easily be one of my closest friends.
How do you view the state of hardstyle music currently? Where do you see the genre heading in 2017?
Hardstyle is becoming bigger and bigger across the globe which is great! I don’t really define myself as a 100% pure hardstyle artist though as I like to combine multiple genres into a production. I’m more of a “freestyle” (the normal term here in Holland) kind of guy; I just create what I like to create! Time to get rid of those boxes, right? I think that freestyle/hardstyle has a lot of potential to become a really popular genre as long as there is a big variety of music. In that way there is always something good for everyone and it doesn’t get boring.
And finally, how is your 2017 shaping up?
2016 was a great year for me! I’ve released my first studio album named Phunked Up, did three official remixes for Hardwell and a collab, did some solo releases and worked with big hardstyle artists such as Frontliner, B-Front and DJ The Prophet. My team and I are working hard on future plans for 2017 and my schedule towards the summer is filling up quickly! Oh and there’s still loads of new music on the way!
You can stream/download your own copies of the Dr. Phunk remixes here: https://fanlink.to/DRPHUNK
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