The dance-music world has a new, towering figure: At over 6 feet tall, Afrojack stands above many of his fellow house-music DJ/producers not just physically, but also in sheer production skill.
"Afrojack is really killing it at the moment — any number of his tunes can be a huge tune," Calvin Harris told MTV News recently.
"I feel like Afrojack is one of the most important people to come along in a while," house-music legend Tommie Sunshine said. "I mean, he's just introduced this whole new sonic palette to the whole spectrum of music!"
From Lil Jon to Tiësto to Steve Aoki, virtually every artist we interviewed at the recent Winter Music Conference in Miami lauded the Dutch phenom as dance music's most promising star in the making. What's especially notable about the rise of Afrojack is not only that he is only 22 years old, but that he's been producing music for more than a decade.
"I've been producing for 11 years, but it was just a hobby," Afrojack, born Nick van de Wall, explained. "Five years ago I started taking it seriously, and then three years ago I started under the name Afrojack."
In the past year, Afrojack has created a name for himself with tracks like his remix of Major Lazer's "Pon De Floor" (a collaboration with M.I.A. producer Diplo), his version of DJ Chuckie's "Moombah" and "Pacha on Acid," a track on which he worked with Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello.
"He's doing a lot of stuff," Angello offered. "He's collaborating a lot with David Guetta, he's working on his album and he's doing well. The sound is right at the moment, and it's a phat production. It sounds really good. I think America has really caught on to it."
And it's always good to have current dance-music crossover star David Guetta in your corner. "For me, the most exciting artist right now is Afrojack," Guetta gushed. "He's a fantastic producer, he has a sound that's his sound — and he's so young. I'm like, 'What's going to happen in 10 years, man?' "
Fans will be happy to hear that Guetta and Afrojack have collaborated on a track they premiered at WMC 2010 called "Louder Than Words." "Yeah, we did 'Louder' together," Afrojack said. "That's the new track for this conference and on his new album. It's really crazy."
Be sure to check out more of Afrojack on beatport.com to hear some of what he's been dropping in his set lists. Let us know what you think in the comments!
When you're not showing off your moves at the club, stick with MTV News for Dance Music Week. We'll be catching up with your favorite dance-floor staples as well as introducing you to up-and-coming talent.