With a distinctive, pop-centric brand of electronic music, DE HOFNAR has just released two unique singles for Crosswalk Records under his "Superstar" EP. We were curious to find out more about the Dutch based producer, and so got speaking to him in this exclusive interview.
First things first, please tell us a little about yourself… who are you and where are you currently based?
My real name is Jeroen Maas and I’m born and raised in Tilburg, The Netherlands. It’s the 5th city in The Netherlands with 200,000 citizens so it’s not that big. But because of the travelling for my work I really appreciate the quietness, and the fact that my friends and family live near me in my hometown.
How long have you been making music properly for? Do you remember what made you first want to write it?
I think I was around 14 years old. I always was fascinated by dance music. So at that age I bought a small and cheap DJ toy where you could easily mix and 2 tracks. After that, I tried to make the Sneakerz kind of style productions in FL studios, but that wasn’t a great success at that time - haha.
What do you enjoy most about having music as your career?
That’s an easy question. As you could read in my answer on the previous question, I started producing music at a young age and I always kept doing it as a hobby. It was something that I could express my creativity through. I didn’t pass several studies just because I didn’t enjoy them, and I always enjoyed producing music. It is a cliché, but there is nothing better than earning money with the thing you love to do most.
Where do you mostly draw your inspiration? How would you describe the De Hofnar sound to those who haven’t heard it yet?
Inspiration is something you cannot control. Sometimes it’s by just having a nice day with friends, another time it’s because you feel bad for a period and then you make more emotional productions - and sometimes you get inspired at a party by new sounds and other artists. It’s always something different. The only thing I always do is go to the studio when I feel like it, because you cannot push creativity.
My sound is always inspired by real music and different kind of styles. I love classic, deep house, hiphop, reggae and so much more. So they are all combined in my productions. The key element is that it has to stay real music, not like the hard electronic EDM sound.
You’ve just released the fantastic “Fireburn” ft. Bethany and we can’t get enough! How long did you work on it for? What do you feel Bethany brought to the track?
To be honest, we made the first draft with the vocals and production at a writing camp 3 years ago! And I made 10 different productions on it but I never was happy with it. Just 3 months ago I took a look at the vocal and the production again, took it to a whole different kind of vibe and people around me were really digging it. It’s bizarre that you could make a song 3 years ago, never could finish it the way you want to and 3 years later you get the creativity to create something I never did before. It’s maybe stupid to say, but I am quite proud of this one.
Are you happy with the final result? How have fan reactions been?
Yes, really happy because it’s something different to what I've made before. And I love this sound. It was crazy to hear that Tiesto, EDX and Ricky Romero playing it on their radio show. Besides that I never had a support list like this, with David Guetta, Oliver Heldens, Don Diablo and many more loving it. So I'm really happy with that, and my fans are very keen on it too. I’ve got many positive reactions. I was quite nervous about it because it’s another kind of production to what I normally make, but it was awesome that they reacted like this!
Where do you see your sound progressing over the coming months/years?
I hope I can grow and keep doing what I like. My sound is going to be more pop-influenced for the next releases on Armada. I also got a remix of NoMBe coming up, who is a great artist to work with and whole different remix of Adrew Rayal. I love to do things that I love and my taste of music is always in between different things. So would be great if I can do that more.
If you could work with any artist (alive or dead) on a track, who would you choose and why?
That’s a difficult question. Let’s say Justin Bieber and Worakls. Two styles that are far a part from each other, but ones that I both love. I think that’s me, I’m always in the middle of things that people normally don’t connect with each other.
You have your “Superstar” EP on the way… what can we expect from the rest of the collection?
An EP that begins with the old De Hofnar sound that transitions to a more club sound. I wanted to do a little more club for this EP. I don’t know why, but I just felt like it.