Laidback Luke visited his long-time friend and collaborator Afrojack in the former’s studio, and the two got into the nitty-gritty of pre-recorded sets, the most controversial topic of the famous “DJs.” The short convo is captured in a 13-and-a-half minute video, and it’s a great learning experience for anyone who shows a modicum of interest in the technical aspects of electronic music performance.
Afrojack is nothing if not an honest dude. He’s willing to shed light on whatever you want, no holds barred. He’s also a funny dude, and he’s not afraid to take shots at himself, either. His buddy Luke gives him props, vouching for his abilities as a “real DJ.”
“When I want to be,” Afrojack laughed.
Zedd has said he works off the same setlist every single night. In Mr. Luke’s mind, this doesn’t make Zedd a DJ. He’s more of a solo artist in the same vein as a band. Afrojack made his own observations.
“There’s two perspectives,” he says. “You have what Zedd does, which is proper preparation, which allows for an amazing other feats to be accomplished when you look at live production. And then, there’s the other extreme, which is you, freestyle DJing.
“The way I do it, its in the middle,” he continues. “When I have to play Tomorrowland, I have an hour to play, and if I don’t plan it properly it could be that I forget to play ‘Ten Feet Tall.’ Going into that, being a respected artist being booked on such a high bill with so much marketing and promotion, it is sort of your responsibility to those fans and to Tomorrowland to prepare a set that will give them everything they could expect of you as an artist.”
Afrojack speaks a bit about specifics, how he gets ready for a big set like Ultra Music Festivals, working with a full team to prepare the massive live production, work in special secret guest vocalist performances, and how current technology has skewed the perceptions of what being a DJ is all about.
It’s a really interesting conversation that should lay to rest some confusion fans may have about the whole “press play” controversy. Watch the full real-talk video below.