Jobke Heiblom is quite a mouthful, so let’s just call him Jay Hardway. I’m not a huge house fan. However, I am very intrigued by Jay‘s strong work ethic and intricate creation of sound. He’s the type of DJ that has what it takes to convince my stubborn-ass friend that EDM is not a complete ripoff of other musical artists’ arrangements.
Jay Hardway‘s 30-minute mashup took my brain on a whirlwind adventure with its avant-garde nightclub feel. I’m impressed with each track’s delightfully unique appeal that touches bassheads and trap queens alike.
We sat down with Jay for an interview, which you can check out below, along with his exclusive 30-minute guest mix for us.
How did you meet Martin Garrix?
We met through the Vato Gonzalez Forum. It’s a small online community with beginning producers/dj’s in Holland. A lot of people are helping each other out there and giving feedback on each others tracks. When I heard Martin’s tracks I was really impressed and same goes for him. So we decided to meet in real life!
Describe the concept behind the “Somnia” music video.
The Somnia music video is about the birth of a legend, the ‘Electric Elephant’. He is born in ancient Japan, and the birth is seen through the eyes of a girl, who notices it from far away by a light, and she travels to see where the light is coming from. So the video is set before the Electric Elephants video. If you pay close attention you can see all my solo track music video’s are linked
Why the stage name Jay Hardway?
For me, doing things the ‘Hardway’ represents following my dreams, even if it takes a lot of effort and isn’t easy. School was always easy for me, and the ‘easy way’ would have been to get a normal job. I decided to do things the ‘Hardway’ by trying to be a superstar DJ, which was really far from who I was 10 years ago, because I was a typical nerd. (Still kinda am haha)
What differentiates you from other Dutch artists? Are there any similarities based on geographical influence?
There are a lot of other Dutch artist from the south of Holland (Noord-Brabant), including me. We seem to have the same kind of humor and we are really down to earth. This is really different from, let’s say, artists from Amsterdam. It’s not that I don’t like them, but there is definitely a better connection with artist from the same area.
What was your most memorable live set and why?
Sziget festival 2016. It was one of those sets where everything was perfect. I happened to read the crowd right, play the right tracks at the right time and the crowd was going CRAZY. For a good set you really need the crowd to ‘get’ what you are doing as a DJ, and I felt like this was the perfect crowd!
You have few lyrics in your songs. How do you keep listeners engaged?
I try to capture listeners with my melodies. I choose to make the melodies a bit more complex and therefore there is more feeling in my tracks, compared to other instrumental tracks. Having said that, I’m currently also working on several vocal tracks, and I really need to learn to keep the melodies more basic in the break, so the vocal really is in the center of the track.
When did you first hear Bingo Players’ “Rattle?” How did it make you feel?
That track still gives me goosebumps. It was so original when it first came out. And still is. You can still play it everywhere and people will still go crazy.
Tell us what went through your head the day you were asked to sign with Spinnin’ Records.
I was super happy, but I also realized that the music doesn’t make itself. Big contracts seem really interesting, but they’re not gonna help you produce new music in the studio haha! So even working with big companies, as a producer you still have to keep both feet firmly on the ground and put in the hard work in the studio.
Check out Jay Hardway’s exclusive guest mix for us on YouTube and SoundCloud below.