Afrojack Breaks Down His 14-Track 'Press Play' EP: Exclusive

Sander Nagel
Afrojack

Afrojack is the type of producer who can do it all -- electro house, moombahton, progressive house, you name it. The Dutch-born, Grammy-Award-winning producer now puts his productions skills front and center on his new 14-track Press Play EP, which sees him exploring festival-sized anthems and club bangers across all genres.

There are even remnants of Afrojack's early Dutch house days on opener "Bringin It Back," which throws it all the way back to his 2010 dance floor hit "Bangduck." The body of work also features artists from Afrojack’s own Wall Recordings imprint, including Chico Rose, Chasner and DISTO.

Press Play is out today (Aug. 31) via Wall Recordings. While diverse in sound, all 14 of the EP's tracks feature one thing in common: big beats for massive stages.

Billboard Dance received the exclusive scoop from Afrojack on each track. Check out the breakdown below.

"Bringin It Back"

The first part I made for that record was the drop. I made a mash up with Move Bitch and that’s how it came about. It was the first time I did this type of track since I made Bangduck almost 10 years ago; that’s when I used that lead sound. This is one of my favorites on the whole EP.

"Let It Rip" Feat. Brohug & Titus

I was influenced from the Day n Night record and I said, “Yo, we need to find someone to rap on this,” and I thought of Brohug & Titus because I’ve heard them before and we worked on it. Big shout out to those guys for being a part of this!

"Step Back" with MC Ambush

It took me probably 10 times to remix the sub-base because the first couple times, every time it dropped, it felt like the decibels lowered 20 decibels. But now, I’m happy with the final results with Ambush’s vocals added and it’s a really cool big room type of track.

"Own Game" with Chasner

I recently singed Chasner to my label and he sent me a lot of songs. He made the bass set up for this one. The drop was a little off at first, but the vocals were cool. Later, we got Fais involved -- he is the one singing -- and worked on the record for a full day to finish it. Chasner is from Holland and is going to be 21 years old and is a talented producer. He’s young but works very hard, so working on the record with him was a lot of fun, especially seeing his reaction when I played it live for the first time. And for me, I wanted to try and turn it into a Tomorrowland sound: big room, big build up, big drop and big boom boom sound. So, that’s what it’s based on.

"Another Level"

This was a record two years in the making. It started in the studio when I was with Martin Garrix doing "Turn Up The Speakers 2.0," then we basically did the touches for a very long time because we were both working on new music while touring. He got very busy and I called him up to finish the rest on my own and he said, "Yeah, sure go for it." So, I finished the record and that’s how it became Another Level. Martin Garrix co-produced it.

"When You're Gone" Feat. Jewelz & Sparkz & Ester Dean

The collaboration process was a lot of fun. There’s one guy that’s unmentioned, a composer named Robin. He did the cord progression on it. Then Jewels and Sparks and I did a lot of mixing, a lot of post production, a lot of trying different edits for drops, and different cadences. But I was such a big fan of the weird baseline and the kind of animal-sounding pluck, so that’s how we did that. Then we found the Ester vocal that we put over it where she sings, “When you’re gone,” and I called her asking if we can use it. She was like, “Sure, go ahead." Ester’s great -- very awesome to work with!

"One More Day" With Jewelz & Sparks (Nicky Romero Remix) 

I've been in the studio with Jewelz & Sparks for a couple of weeks. It's actually funny, I've known their music for a very long time and they always made sick love tracks. And then they sent me this vocal demo that they already made and started playing me all kinds of other songs they did around their club music. I think the most surprising music is the most fun. They’re very good at making pop, trap, and all kinds of music as very talented producers. Nicky came in and did his own take, which took off!

"Time"

This is a club record I did that is very fast-paced. Its 130 bpm and is very "old-school inspired." The chord progression is, dare I say, 2012 inspired: you can probably recognize the sound from that time and it has a very fast-paced drop. It’s co-produced by a talented producer who will remain anonymous, but it was a lot of fun. He came to Amsterdam in the studio and we were working on that a long time ago.

"2012" with Chico Rose 

We were preparing for Chico Rose’s new EP and came across this track. This is DJ Ravitez’s first record using his real name. It is a big room, hard-hitting track with emotive melodies and my signature bass injection.

"Bassride"

I made this one for Ultra this year for the first time. I wanted a cool bass house track that I made myself. A lot of hours went into it and I made it when I was doing a show in Dubai while on tour. It’s almost always the second record I play in my sets at big shows.

 

Who’s going hard on ‘Bassride’? Pre-order the whole EP ➡ ( link in bio )

A post shared by Nick (@afrojack) on

"My City" with Disto

This song is my intro for a very long time together with Disto. Disto is a talented and crazy producer all the way from Costa Rica, who’s recently signed to LDH and my label. I learned from working on this that if you don’t have inspiration for something, do stuff for other people, and they will end up inspiring you.

"Put It Down" with Disto

The idea for this song came into my head because I was inspired by Wuki & Benzi’s "We Like To Fuck That Shit Up." With Disto, he is by far the sickest producer I’ve met over the last two years. He’s been working on his mixing, but the reactions are sick. Make sure you check him out on SoundCloud. This track because is very hard and fun.

"Flawless Victory" with Ricky Breaker

Flawless Victory is a track I did with the great Ricky Breaker, who I worked with before on "No Tomorrow." First, I did the record’s original drop and it was only one minute. Then I sent it to Dillon Francis; he did a version of that song but then I got back to the track and worked on it again and I had an idea and said, “Yo, Ricky! Come to the studio and let’s make this shit hard!” Then, with Ricky, we made the very hard second drop and the crazy break. I think it’s the most aggressive drop I’ve ever made. I’ve never made anything in that hard style level, in that way. This is like 150 bpm. Even though it’s only for eight seconds, it’s still the hardest I’ve ever done. It’s been a lot of fun to play it at shows.

"Pop That" Feat. Oliver Twizt & Angger Dimas & MC Ambush

Oliver Twizt has been my friend for many years and we really wanted to work together. He did the cool remix of my track "Polkadots" back in 2010 that Zedd is still playing. Angger Dimas is from Indonesia. We did this record together and it was very fun. I played it for the first time at a club this year and it blew up the dance floor. The second drop in particular is very crazy, because it has a hip-hop crossover drop that I hope one day to also be able to use for a pop or hip-hop record.


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