Headhunterz stunned the dance music community last February when he announced his shocking retirement from hardstyle, the genre he himself helped pioneer. Past the desire to begin from a “blank slate” that he outlined in the video announcing his new musical direction, we haven’t gotten much clarification on the future of his music. In the meantime, he’s been seen working in the studio with Martin Garrix and Dyro, and even released a track with W&W to give us a taste of what’s to come.
In the latest episode of his radio show Hard With Style though, he introduced his new track Shocker alongside some bold words concerning his future (you can listen for yourself at :45-1:26).
“I’m ready to provide you again with a blend of sounds from the past and future… I can hear you thinking, ‘is that 130 bpm or what?’ And yes, you’re right. By sounds from the future, I certainly don’t mean something that will be easy to digest for all of you. It really depends on how open you actually are to receive it without clinging too much to what you know from the past. Some of you are ready, some of you may be not, but life does not seem to care about that. The stream of life always continues, and so does the evolution of music.” –Headhunterz
But all that begs the question of what’s to become of Headhunter’z prestigious hardstyle label, Hard With Style. As the episode goes on, we get a taste of his new musical philosophy, namely honoring his musical past while still looking to change and evolve from his hardstyle roots. In the spirit of honoring those roots, he goes on to make perhaps an even bigger announcement: The launch of a brand new sub-label with the prime directive of staying true to the genre he’s been such an integral part of throughout his career (found at 10:05-10:36):
“As you might have read online, we’re about to start doing a prestige project at Hard With Style Records, by launching a new concept that brings honor to the past and my musical path so far by creating a sub-label for all my older work. This will be named “Hard With Style: Origins,” and tells a story complete with new artwork which is actually drawn by my very own father. If you’re watching on YouTube, you can get a sneak peek of some of the beautiful drawings that tell you something about the track you’re hearing.” –Headhunterz
In tandem with a video announcement featuring some truly inspired art done by Willem’s father, we see firsthand that despite his foray into collaborations with artists like Garrix, Dyro, and W&W, hardstyle will always hold a special place in Headhunterz’ heart. Check out the video for yourself below, and let us know: Do you support his new direction?
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