As we sat down with Afrojack (real name Nick Van De Wall), his spirits were running high. “I just heard that I’m going to be in Holland for my grandmother’s birthday for the first time in three years,” he announced gleefully.
Currently sitting in 9th place in dance publication DJ Mag’s list of Top 100 DJs, the Dutch electrohouse DJ, who was in Singapore for a gig in Zouk, only pays his hometown a visit a few days each month. Most of the time, he’s riding on a whirlwind of tours and intense recording for his debut album.
Likely to drop in September, his still-unnamed first album remains hush-hush for now. All we managed to uncover is that it will have cameos from a lot of unexpected artists, including Sting, from the dance and pop arena. Out of all the artists he’s teamed up with to date, he’s enjoyed working with Pitbull, Wiz Khalifa and Chris Brown the most. “We’re young, we do the same things, we like to party and have fun – and we did while working together,” he said.
The video for his latest single with Chris Brown, ‘As Your Friend’, is a departure from the usual package of party footage. “The going out and having fun sort of videos will be on the YouTube channel Afrojack TV, but I’m not going to do that anymore for official videos,” he said. “I want to do more artsy shit.”
‘As Your Friend’ definitely leans towards the artsy, with powerful yet enigmatic images like a woman on fire and a gigantic eagle swooping onto Afrojack’s arm. But if it all seems a bit abstract to you, don’t worry – you haven’t lost the plot. “It was meant to be a scripted video with a storyline. It would start of with two people dancing and they were supposed to symbolise a relationship almost breaking off,” Van De Wall explained. “Something went wrong with the final edit, so now it’s just in really random order.”
He admits that getting chummy with a bird of prey took a bit of time. “It’s like a 10 kg beast. When I saw it the first time and it looked at me, it was scary, but when it was sitting on my arm it ended up being really nice,” Van De Wall said.“It was a pretty crazy shoot!”
Afrojack – ‘As Your Friend’ ft. Chris Brown