THE HARD WAY. DA MAN talks to DJ Hardwell about his charitable projects, which include the United We Are Foundation and a record-breaking show
After spending two years in a row at the number-one position in DJ Mag’s Top 100, 27-year-old Dutch DJ Hardwell took the second place earlier in 2015. But to call that a setback is downright wrong. Maybe, at least in Hardwell’s case, numbers are just, well, numbers.
In 2015 alone, Hardwell has accomplished more than what most people have probably done in their lifetimes. In January, he released his debut album, “United We Are.” In October, he premiered “I AM Hardwell—Living the Dream,” a documentary about his “I AM Hardwell” global tour.
And this December, he’s creating history.
As a way to give back, Hardwell, together with electronic music agency Anna Agency and United Welfare Trust, launched the United We Are Foundation, which focuses its efforts on education.
The first order of business for the United We Are Foundation is a charity show in Mumbai, India. Held on December 13, the show will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Biggest Guest List. To do this, Hardwell himself will open up his personal guest list, allowing fans to attend the show free of charge. Hardwell will not receive his usual appearance fee for the show and will instead donate what would be his earnings for the education of children in India.
But enough from us; check out our interview with the DJ below, and let’s hear it from the man himself.
DA MAN: Can you tell us about United We Are Foundation?
Hardwell: With the United We Are Foundation, I am trying to do something positive and make a social difference to give these children a better start in life through education. We’re donating the money to the magic bus program, and they’ll be putting the money toward brightening the future of children who live in poverty and are without education.
DA MAN: What or who inspired you to start the foundation? Or was it a particular moment in your life that motivated you?
Hardwell: The idea came from a tour of India I did recently. Driving through Mumbai, we passed a huge billboard with my name and face all over it. It’s naturally a moment any artist should be proud of, but what struck me more was that underneath the billboard there were children sleeping while using the sign as shelter. I just felt like I needed to do something here; I need to use this position I’m in to try and make a difference and help these young kids.
DA MAN: Is that why you chose India as the first stop?
Hardwell: Yes, as I previously mentioned, the idea was born in India. The passion in setting up this project has led us all to feel we want to extend this on a global scale, and that’s where we’ll go next with this.
“I just felt like I needed to do something here; I need to use this position I’m in to try and make a difference and help these young kids”
DA MAN: Why is education the main focus of this charity show? Why is it important for you?
Hardwell: It’s not important to just me; it’s important to everyone. Education is an important part of life, and through education we are able to give children a better chance in life. This is the purpose for the United We Are Foundation: To help improve the lives of these children for the better and for their future.
DA MAN: How can guests donate to the cause, considering this is a free concert?
Hardwell: People who are keen to show their support can pledge via the official website for the foundation (foundation.djhardwell.com/mumbai). It will make all the difference for those that are interested in supporting the cause.
DA MAN: Is there any way for fans with no access to this concert to make a donation too?
Hardwell: Yes, fans who can’t access the show can also be part of the experience via the official live stream.
“It’s a very special occasion and the work we’re doing will have a big impact for the children there”
DA MAN: What can people expect to see in this concert? Will there be a special performance?
Hardwell: There will be many surprises and lots of entertainment throughout the entire show. I’m afraid I’m keeping tight-lipped about this until we’re closer to the time of the event because I want to surprise the fans. It will be very exciting, I can assure you!
DA MAN: Where will this charity show take place next? Any plans yet?
Hardwell: For now all the focus is on this historic event in Mumbai. Afterwards, we’ll reveal more about any future shows, but I want to keep all focus and eyes on this opening show in India. It’s a very special occasion and the work we’re doing will have a big impact for the children there.
Text M. Berlian
Photos Courtesy of Urban Rebel PR