When Billboard caught up with Afrojack, he was getting ready to play his trademark blend of Dutch house, radio hip-hop and vocal dance music at the Wynn Las Vegas. It was his third set there in the same week–a rare extended stay for the globe-trotting DJ/producer, born Nick van de Wall in the Netherlands.
But he wasn’t just lounging pool-side in Sin City in between live stints. Afrojack, who produced Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything,” has jetted back and forth to Los Angeles several times, logging long hours in the studio with artists like Will.i.am and Havana Brown while hard at work on his debut album, which is scheduled for a summer release on his own Wall Recordings.
Travel is a constant for Afrojack. Armed with just a laptop and a 64 GB USB stick, he’s prepared to play at any nightclub or festival anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. “My laptop goes with me everywhere, so I can make music everywhere,” he says of his 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro. “Every song I make comes out of the laptop.” He keeps an extra-protective eye on it on the road: “My laptop bag doesn’t go with anyone else-not with bellboys or in different cars. It’s the most important thing in my life.”
He relies on technology not only to create and play his roof-raising music, but to stay connected to his friends and family back in the Netherlands. “My iPhone 5 is my lifesaver when I’m away from home,” he says. “I can see my family with Facetime and keep up with friends on Twitter. I’m really punctual with my emails and texts on the road to make sure everything at my gigs is set up properly. ‘Are there enough bottles of Champagne? OK, let’s party.'”
Another must for life on the road for the 25-year-old gamer is his beloved PlayStation 3. But during this period of intense producing, he resists hooking it up. “If I have 20, 30, 40 tracks ready, and I’m happy, and all my fans are happy, then I’ll hook up the PlayStation, but now is not the time,” he says.
But that doesn’t keep him from indulging in a little casual gaming when the demands of DJ superstardom get to be too much. “Sometimes I go to the kind of party where you have to go to show your face, and there are only businesspeople there and I can’t relate to anybody,” he says. “So I sit at a VIP table and put my hoodie up and play Angry Birds on my iPhone.”