DJ The Prophet sat down with us at Basscon Wasteland before his final shows in North America to discuss his early career, future plans, and more!
For over 35 years, DJ The Prophet has been a leader in the world of hard dance. He has continuously created records that push the envelope of hardcore and hardstyle, while his record label, Scantraxx, has hosted many of the greatest records in hard dance while bringing many new ears to the genre. His ability to stay at the top of his game has given him success from the inception of hardcore to today’s modern era.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and in August last year, DJ The Prophet announced that he would be retiring and closing this chapter of his life. This surprised many, but DJ The Prophet assured fans that they would have one last chance to see him on his final world tour, From The Hard. He kicked off a string of final North American shows with performances at Basscon Wasteland, and EDC Mexico, with a show still to come in April at Academy LA.
During Basscon Wasteland, DJ The Prophet turned the NOS Event Center into a giant party as dedicated fans flocked to see his final appearance at the iconic festival. For an entire hour, DJ The Prophet proved why he’s deservedly still at the top of the industry with a performance that captured the hearts, minds, and ears of everybody in attendance. He took fans back in time to his early beginnings, gave them a taste of the modern era, and ended with fan-favorite records like “Wanna Play?“
Right before his unforgettable performance, we were fortunate enough to chat with DJ The Prophet to get his perspective on the early days of hard music, his career up until now, his plans after retirement, and much more. Make sure to crank up the volume on his latest release, get your tickets for his final show in Los Angeles, and read on for our full conversation with none other than DJ The Prophet!
Stream The Prophet and Frontliner – “The Get Back” on Spotify
Before getting to the present, I want to turn back time to the beginning of your career. How were you exposed to this style of music, and what inspired you to keep creating these records for years to come?
I did hardcore for ten years, from the late ’80s until about 2000. In 1999, I heard some other music around 140/130 BPM, which drew my attention. I liked it very much, and I started to play that after my hardcore period. After that, I totally screwed up that kind of music, and it became hardstyle because hard [music] is in my blood and my veins. It became harder and harder with reverse bass and harder kicks. When I played it, other people saw and heard it, and it became what it is now.
You were a part of the dawn of hardcore and then the rise of hardstyle. Were you a fan of hardstyle in the beginning, or was it hard to embrace?
For me, it was an easy transition because, in 1999, I decided to quit my hardcore career – like I’m doing now with hardstyle. I embrace whatever comes on my path, and that’s what I’m going to do now too. I’m curious to see what’s going to happen.
We’re all very curious about what’s going to happen too. Speaking of retirement, was there a certain moment or experience that made you feel ready and prepared to close this chapter of DJ The Prophet?
No. To me, it’s because I always want to be at the top of everything – in the top 10 of people who are doing the same thing – and it’s always a rat race continuously being in the studio, being busy with performing, and non-stop working. I’m 54 now, so it’s time to get some rest in my head and in my daily routine. I also want to experiment a little bit more with music, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Can you share more with us about what musical endeavors you are going to get into after retiring from DJ The Prophet?
[People] are going to laugh, but at the moment, I’m doing meditation music – totally different! There are no beats, and it’s mostly loops of very quiet melodies around 50 to 80 BPM. It’s very repetitive, mantra kind of music. That’s what I like now, and maybe in a few months, it will be with beats or hard techno, or I don’t know! I think it doesn’t matter because I don’t have to be at the top, and I’m just experimenting. For now, it feels right.
In your retirement announcement, you said that you’d be working on mentoring artists and growing multiple music businesses. Can you share more about what you do for artists and the music industry as a business?
I have my label, Scantraxx, we have Hardstyle.com, and we have a lot of artists. Every day when I go to the office, I go to my studio there as well. I have a business with Joshua (JDX) called Epic Platform, and we have to build that together too. Right now, he’s doing everything on his own with a little help from me, but I want to get more into that as well. Seven days a week is truly not enough, so I have to pull the plug on some things to create more space for other things.
So, you’re not entirely leaving hardstyle, but will you be more of an industry figure behind the scenes?
Exactly. And I’m not retiring! Retiring is like being behind the flowers on the beach with your piña colada doing nothing, but I will be doing a lot. So I’m not retiring at all; I’m only retiring DJ The Prophet.
It was just announced that you are set to play the Closing Ceremony at Defqon.1 for your final set as DJ The Prophet. How are you preparing for such an important task, and what are you planning for the fans in attendance?
Of course, I cannot say too much about what the plan is. However, it will be similar to my set at Qlimax 2022. We will go down memory lane, but I have 300-plus tracks. I have to kill some of my darlings and choose what to do in that one hour. I cannot play them all, and I don’t want to play them all. We have to be very careful with what and when we do things; what kind of visuals go around [the track], fireworks, and all of that stuff.
Looking back at your career, what’s one important thing you’ve learned while being involved in the music industry that the next generation of producers can also benefit from?
This is a good question. It’s that you should embrace every moment. You can make a problem out of every small detail, but when you’re doing what I did and still do, you’re privileged. To see the small things that are good instead of focusing on the small details that are not good. ‘Oh, the hotel room is not good. There is no Coke Zero. Where’s my beer?‘ There’s always something to complain about, so try to see what good is there instead of what is not there. Enjoy everything and look for the positives.
To close off, you’re leaving very big shoes to fill. Do you have any last words of advice or encouragement for the next generation of musicians that are looking to fill your position?
What I would suggest is not to move into anyone’s position. Instead, create your own position. There will only be one me, so try to be you.
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