UP 5

“Hardstyle/hard dance.”
Best known for:
“‘Imaginary’, ‘All On Me’ with Armin van Buuren, ‘Fight For Something’, ‘Lose My Mind’.”
Tune of the year:
“Wildfyre ‘La La La’.”

From: The Netherlands

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Thyron.”

Brennam Heart emerges from lockdown “ready for the future”, whatever that may bring. If there’s a confidence looking forward, it’s perhaps because the last twelve months have seen the Dutch hardstyle DJ and producer mark his pedigree with plenty of milestones. Compilation album ‘20 Years Of Brennan Heart’ underlined his prolific studio work over two decades, laying the ground for a celebratory party at this year’s ADE. His I Am Hardstyle radio show then celebrated its 100th edition, with a huge cast of guests joining him on air. And if you had any doubt about the esteem he’s held in, ‘Brennan Heart And Friends’, released at the end of 2020, showcased a host of collaborations he co-wrote during lockdown.

With an ear and eye for the grand, June saw Heart DJ in the middle of the Formula 1 track in Zandvoort. And as the future arrives he meets it head-on, newest single ‘Thunder’ leading you from its sweet chorus to a slamming drop.

How was your first gig back after lockdown?

“Surreal! After such a long period of not having any events, each show I do only feels real now once I come off stage. Then I know it really happened.”
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?

“At the moment, I feel better than ever! For example, yesterday I did a 155km mountain bike ride on my own, which was one of the best feelings ever. I’m really grateful for the things I’m able to learn at the moment.”
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?

“I don’t think it’s something for the industry in particular. It all starts with awareness on a personal level.”
What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?

“I just built a radio studio for my show that I’ve been doing since 2013. In my production studio, I’ve added an original Roland TB-303, built in 1982. Nothing beats the sound of these analogue synths!”
What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?

“‘20 Years Of Brennan Heart’!”