UPDATE: Manager Hugo Langras released a statement confirming the split and denying “any moral or ethical disagreements.” The full statement is included below.
Billboard has learned that Afrojack last month parted ways with manager Hugo Langras, owner of Dutch management firm Montana ECI.
In an exclusive interview, the Dutch artist — born Nick van de Wall — confirmed the split occurred on Sept. 1, citing “ethical and moral disagreements” with his manager of three years. Asked to elaborate on the issues, van de Wall declined to comment further.
“I have no idea why they still use my name on the website,” he says. “I’m not supposed to say that, but, there you go. You can see for yourself.”
Langras released the following statement on the matter:
I can confirm that Nick wants to part ways with Montana ECI BV. Nick and I have had a very pleasant and extremely successful relationship for the last six years. Since we have several agreements in place that were closed with an eye to continuing this relationship for many more years, actually arranging this departure is complex. Our lawyers are working on a solution. I do not want to harm this process, so all I am willing to say is that I categorically deny that we had any moral or ethical disagreements. We have a business dispute. As Nick states himself in his interview with you, he wants to leave Montana ECI to try and do his own management and has started a firm which is involved in the same business as Montana ECI. I wish him all the best with his efforts. He is an amazing talent and a true visionary and I am certain he will be very successful. I am confident we will find a way to separate as friends.
Van de Wall says he plans to keep Afrojack management under his own control with a new team going forward, aiming to create a platform for young artist development.
“I already set up my own back office, so there’s a group of great people around me that are helping out with social media, financial and legal stuff,” he says. “I’m really focused right now to create what I feel is necessary from a company standing by an artist and artist needs.”
Van de Wall says he envisions providing up-and-coming talent he’s working with learning opportunities that he was never afforded in his own career.
“You can’t go to school to be an artist. Everything you learn, you learn as you go up,” he says. “It’s really good to be able to give the experience that I have to other artists, and where there are questions to actually given them answers. Because when I started and I had questions, there were never answers.”
Afrojack also plans to share his touring success with the artists he supports by giving them spots on the festivals and gigs he plays.
“If you go on my social media, you see all the stuff I do. Getting into fancy hotels, the private jets, being like I’m so lucky that I get to play for tens of thousands of fans every night around the world,” he says. “I know from my own experience how difficult it is to get in there and no one wants to share. Everyone’s always scared about their own careers and worried about, ‘am I gonna make my millions next year?’ I’m not worried about that shit. I just want to make it as fun as possible and give people the life that I’ve been given.”