Hardwell has played a variety of music when he DJs from the get-go — from hip-hop to trance — but now describes his style as “progressive with a dirty Dutch twist. Do I ever call my style EDM now? I think I’m too European, I’m still saying ‘dance music’ or ‘house music’ — although house is now different. When I say house I’m always thinking about guys like Dennis Ferrer. EDM to me is not like electronic dance music — EDM is a culture.It’s dance music in America, and they’ve made it a culture — almost like a way of living. I dunno, I’m still using the words ‘dance music’.”
In March 2011, Hardwell launched his own radio show and podcast, Hardwell On Air. It is currently being broadcast on various international radio stations. Additionally, the podcast has a spot on iTunes’ Top 10 Podcasts in several countries.
In July of 2012, he went on to perform at the main stage of Tomorrowland and with over 19 million views, it is currently the most watched live set on YouTube.
In April 2013, Hardwell launched his “I Am Hardwell” world tour. The first phase of the tour saw sold-out shows in Jakarta, Singapore, Bangalore, Mumbai, Lisbon, and London with further venues coming up. Following on from his 2012 Tomorrowland performance, he returned to the main stage of the music festival in 2013. This time the live set gained a million views on YouTube in just several days and has been viewed over 16 million times to date.
During ADE in October 2013, Hardwell held the world premiere of his I Am Hardwell documentary at the Tuschinski cinema in Amsterdam. The documentary, filmed by Robin Piree, provides an inside-look at Hardwell’s rise and career over the past few years. The premiere was attended by several other famous DJs, including Armin van Buuren and Tiësto. The film is now being shown in selected cinemas.
The new I Am Hardwell documentary has a great clip of a young Hardwell aged 16, on a Dutch TV programme, talking about wanting to be the No.1 DJ in the world. It also features his philosophy — ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’. “Everything that’s possible, you can do it,” he believes. “Somebody told me that quote and that’s exactly what the documentary is all about — my career. That little boy from Holland had a dream to become the new No.1 DJ in the world, like Tiësto and Armin — and well, here we are. It’s only a dream, what’s happening right now. It’s still unbelievable.”
Shortly after, Hardwell ranked at #1 on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs poll, making him the youngest DJ ever to top the list.