Exclusive Interview With Belgian Born DJ & Producer – Coone
From a young age this Belgian born DJ & Producer has lived and breathed music. Huge amounts of passion and drive helped this boundary breaker climb to the top. Along side his creative music talent, he is also a founder of the award winning label DirtyWorkz.
In 2013 Coone released his second album, Global dedication, with the mission to introduce Hardstyle to the world. 10 years on and he has helped pave the way for the scene to become bigger and better than ever. The legendary Tomorrowland even chose Coone to premier hardstyle on the Mainstage and every year he is a crowd favourite at iconic events such as EDC, Defqon.1, Parookaville, Electric Love, Reverze and Qlimax. He continues to tour in Asia, North & South America and Australia and always stays loyal to his mission, spreading his mantra #JOINHARDSTYLE.
2022 Kicked off with another new triumph. Coone was part of the lineup as Dirty Workz celebrated 15 years in the business by hosting their own dedicated Hardstyle stage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami.
2023 marks 20 years in the business for this Hardstyle Legend and he is ready to bring you a brand new concept. Coone’s new album appropriately called ‘A New Decade’ will be out this year and he is more motivated than ever to share his passion and creativity with all!
Hi Koen, thanks for taking your time to talk to me today! I’m Anna from Soundrive and beyond excited to learn more about you today!
What’s up Soundrive! Thanks for having me here.
In addition to being a DJ and producer, you also founded the label Dirty Workz. Dirty Workz has played a pivotal role in shaping the hardstyle genre. How do you feel the label has contributed to the growth and development of hardstyle, and what makes Dirty Workz stand out from other labels in the scene?
Dirty Workz has definitely played a big roll in the development of Hardstyle. Over the years a wide varity of artists released so many great tracks on our label. I think Dirty Workz is the label in Hardstyle where every type of Hardstyle artist could release any type of track. It’s not only about hard, melodic or whatever; it’s about Hardstyle. In my opinion the best label our there 😉
Having started your music career in the late 90s, you were there right at the birth of Hardstyle. Which era of Hardstyle is the most memorable to you?
Every era has something special, for example the period from 2009 – 2013 was something special. Countless legendary tracks were made in that period and I’m happy I contributed my part during that era with my first ever album ‘The Challenge’ but also ‘Global Dedication’. But if I have to name my favorite period? It’s always the current times we live in… I don’t know, I’m still reinventing my sound, and I have the feeling my best tracks are yet to come! 😉
In 2018 you were the first ever Hardstyle artist performing on the mainstage of Tomorrowland in your home country, Belgium. This was a milestone for the genre that seemed out of reach for the longest time. What impact did this performance have on the scene and how the rest of the EDM world perceives Hardstyle since?
Of course it was a big moment. I’m still proud, but mostly very grateful I got the opportunity to be the first Hardstyle artist on the Mainstage. I think it gave global attention to Hardstyle as a genre and it showed people what Hardstyle has to offer. There’s no way back now haha!
Widely known as a loving father, you dedicated music to your daughters before, reaching the soft spot in Hardstyle lovers’ hearts like mine. How challenging is it to be on the road as much as you are, and balancing a healthy connection with your family at the same time and how do you manage it?
It’s not easy, that’s one thing that’s for sure. It always gives me mixed feelings – I love touring, doing shows and meeting the fans, but I also miss my family a lot while being away. Although I feel we’ve created a good balance. When I’m not on tour I spend a lot of time with them, which I find very important since this automatically charges me up for the shows coming up.
Hardstyle is known for its devoted and passionate fanbase, and you have taken yours on a journey with you, updating them not only about your music, but personal life as well. What do you believe is the main reason for your fans’ decade-long, continuous support and dedication?
Hardstyle fans are something else man. People live and breathe Hardstyle. It’s more than just music for them. I put a lot of effort into giving them something new every now and then, like a cool ’music theme’, or a concept, or merchandise. That’s why I decided to drop yet another album this year called ‘A New Decade’. Keep an eye out on my socials, because a lot of new heat is coming your way the coming months!
From your impressive one-month album challenge in 2011, to recent releases, a considerable proportion of your releases featured other major artists of different EDM genres. Can you share an unexpected or surprising collaboration you’ve had that turned out to be a remarkable experience, and how did it influence your music?
I’ve worked with so many amazing artists over the last decade, but I think one recent collaboration is a good example. My collab ‘Return Of The Return’ with Rooler was quite surprising and unexpected for all the fans, I think. I knew Rooler loves Jumpstyle and of course my roots are within that genre. That’s why I thought it was a good idea to work on something together. Creating a 2023 version of my solo ‘The Return’ was a match made in heaven.
Koen, what advice would you give to those who are just starting their journey in the hardstyle and striving to make a name for themselves in 2023?
Don’t follow the hype, but create a sound that is unique and that you believe in. Only then you will stand out from the masses. Every genre needs young kids who come up with something new and refreshing to keep pushing the scene, so why shouldn’t that be you?
Thanks for your time!
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