What could RPGs, the Internet, Disney cartoons, the Grammys, and dirty Dutch house beats possibly have in common? Simply, 24-year-old Nick van de Wall, better known to Miami's party crowd as superstar DJ Afrojack.
The award-winning, chart-topping, Pitbull-collabing import from the Netherlands is embarking on his massive Jacked summer tour, though production delays have caused some cities to reschedule.
But Miami is special. So instead of cancelling the shindig, he simply moved the party from Bayfront Park's Klipsch Ampitheater to Mansion and added another date. Now, he'll be here both June 15 and 16, and you're invited.
Even though the guy has seen massive success in the last few years, he doesn't see himself as some kind of arena rock god. He'd rather create a hyped environment where everyone can party together, on the same level. Because deep-down, he's just a fan too.
"My main thing is playing my favorite music to people that like the same music and just having a party together," he insists. "I'm going to party with you. I'm going have a drink with you. I'm going to chill there, and I'm going to watch the show, and I'm going make sure everyone experiences a spectacular concert."
Van de Wall has been DJing for about nine years. And in that time, he's seen a lot of things change. EDM, a fixture of popular culture in Europe for decades, has only recently exploded in the states. Kids who have otherwise been locked into metal, punk, and hip-hop are discovering new genres, in part because of people like Afrojack. And he couldn't be more pleased.
"The dance community, there's so much love in there. I'm so proud that we're expanding so much," he says. "I want to share that. I want to have people know how crazy it is and how much fun it is. And the people that already know are just going to have one of those great, legendary nights that you wake up the next day [and say], 'Oh, my god, what? That was so insane!'"
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But Van de Wall makes a point to hold it down for the old-school fans, promising to play both his more popular, radio-friendly tunes like "Give Me Everything" and "Take Over Control" as well as more underground hits like "No Beef" and "Replica." And of course, he promised to drop that new-new no one's ever heard before.
Clearly, he knows how to make fans happy and bring a little something for everyone. He does it by staying true to his roots and just remaining a regular guy. In fact, you probably have more in common with this Grammy winner than you'd ever expect.
"I take a lot of inspiration out of my childhood," he said. "I'm only 24. I have a lot of people going to my show that are the same age.
"What I try to stand for, if I stand for anything, is have fun on the Internet, make sure you're on the nice networks, talk with people, communication. I love Playstation. I love old Disney movies. I love stupid, weird role-playing games."
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Amid a nation-wide tour, constant praise, a high-profile lifestyle, and nightly champagne showers, van de Wall refuses to forget where he comes from, who he is, and the people that matter most - the fans.
"I hope to see all those people I have already, including the tall guy with the weird glasses and the big afro, that's at all my shows in Miami. And of course, everyone that's never ever went to my shows," he says. "Miami, I love you guys! It's good to be coming back. It feels like home."
Afrojack's Jacked Summer Tour with R3hab and Shermanology. Friday June 15, and Saturday, June 16. Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets cost $50 to $60 plus fees via wantickets.com. Call 305-695-8411 or mansionmiami.com.