FEB. 4, 2014
You’re from Drunen. Can you tell us more about your hometown?
“Yes, it is a small city in the south of Holland. It is pretty close to Amsterdam. Everything is pretty much close to Amsterdam in Holland (laughs). It is really quite boring, but its home and I love it. Also, my parents are originally from there and still live there. It is a pretty chill place to produce music.”
Being from a small city, do you love or hate New York?
“I love it. Of course, everyone has seen it in the movies but just to see it in real life is amazing. It is my first time here.”
Producing at the tender age of 14, as a teen what sacrifices did you have to make?
“It has always been a hobby for me so every chance I got I was always in my studio. Maybe I ignored some friends sometimes when I was working hard on music, but I wouldn’t call them real sacrifices.”
Your collaboration with Martin Garrix last year, “Error 404”—care to elaborate?
“I know Martin for about three years now and we’ve always really connected on a musical level. We’ve been making tracks together for a while and messing around in the studio so sometimes an amazing track comes out of that like “Error 404” and most recently, “Wizard.” Since we’re friends, I think it’s easier for us to make music together and we have that vibe that sometimes create beautiful music .”
Most big room tracks tend to sound alike, describe your signature sound and how you plan to set yourself apart from the rest?
“I think in my music melody is real important and setting a sort of atmosphere in a track. I plan to set myself apart by having a nice melody, one that you can dream about, it’s in your mind. It is all about the entire atmosphere in the track. You need to feel the track, it needs to have a soul.”
You’ve said Tiesto is one of your inspirations and you mentioned that Holland is quite small. Have you ever bumped into him? Anything in particular, why he inspires you?
“I have not met him in person, but we know each other. We’re in the same business, after all. What I really love about Tiesto is that he changed his entire style from trance to house and he does whatever he pleases. I really respect that he has the guts to do that with so many fans behind him. I think he is really an example of how DJs can work together with like a down to earth style.”
If you had to attend a music festival, not as a performer, which would it be?
“I want to go to Ultra Music Festival in Miami. I have not been there before.”
Can you give us an idea what you’re currently working on?
“A lot of new music and got a lot of gigs, but also working on getting the best edits and tracks for my sets. So yeah, I’ve got loads of new music coming up. It has that Jay Hardway sound and I hope the world will like it as much as they did “Wizard”.
Speaking of tours and being away from home. What has it been like being on tour with your friend, Martin Garrix? What do you guys do on your downtime?
“We just chill—boys will be boys. Being on tour means we rarely have downtime, but when we do we try to have as much fun as we can. Also, we try to enjoy the food wherever we go. Being on the road is just mostly flying and traveling. So that’s about all the fun we get to have on the road—just hanging out chilling, and eating (laughs).”
Your latest collaboration with Martin, “Wizard” reached #1 on Beatport within 2 days. What was your initial reaction?
“When I heard about it, I didn’t really believe it. Not even when I saw it. Complete disbelief, I kept refreshing the page. Two days it almost never happens. It took awhile to let it sink in.”
At the moment, what are some of your favorite tracks? What do you like to put in your sets when you play?
“I love Deorro tracks, that guy is an amazing producer and I love his stuff. It works so well live, every track, people don’t need to know it to really bounce to it. I really love tracks that make the crowd lose their minds. I think that what makes a good track.”
Since you started producing at such an early age, what negative aspects of the music business do you want to change?
“I see in a lot of countries outside of Holland there is a lot of competition between DJs and between labels. I think the advantage of Dutch DJs and why there are so many of us at the moment is because we work together and we try to help each other out. It’s all about the music. We care about our individual careers, but it’s also all about helping each other, making the music scene the best and not just the best DJs. I would like to see less competition and DJs helping each other, that’s the change I’d like to see in the music business.”
Thank you Jay for your time. We’re looking forward to your future releases and hope to see you again in New York.
Jay & Martin are currently on the We Are Animals North American Tour. (Photo from their recent performance in France, Jan. 2014).