After an out of this world interview by the Djs From Mars, we had the opportunity of catching up with Hardstyle DJ/Producer MANDY.
[WF]: Hi MANDY, nice to meet you! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!
[M]: Thanks for having me guys!
[WF]: Correct me if I’m wrong, but hardstyle wasn’t your “first choice”, right? You first began with even harder genres, correct?
[M]:Haha, Jumpstyle was the first genre I’ve played in the beginning of my career, I played it for 2 years and then I decided to play Hardstyle, which I found cooler. I was tired of jumpstyle to be honest, even today when I hear it I don’t like it like I should, no offence! So I don’t regret the decision.
[WF]: What made hardstyle “click” inside you originally? And does it still “click” today?
[M]: The kicks and melodies, the kicks are so powerful, and in the melodies are just so much emotions. It gives a lot of energy when I’m performing. It still does, even more! Actually every track I hear at the moment is very good which makes me proud to be a Hardstyle DJ. It really is my passion and I am living my dream life.
[WF] Do you have more genres of dance music that you’re super into personally? Or do you live and breathe purely hardstyle?
[M]: I like a lot of genre’s, I’m very open minded when It comes to music.. In the car I’m listening a lot to techno, EDM and Rap/HipHop aswell 🙂
[WF]: You started out in the dance music world at a very young age. How long did it take before people started taking you seriously and not like “oh, she’s just a kid”?
[M]: It was difficult in the beginning as a young teenager, it was a bit weird aswell too tho. When I was 15 years old I was supposed to go to school like a normal kid so probably people where thinking what is this little girl playing here in this club lol! But now I’m 22 years so people take me serious now because I’m older.
[WF]: Being signed at Dirty Workz right at the very beginning has got to be incredible I assume, with Reset Your Mindset marking your first major single. How do you look back on it today, what changes would you make to the track (if any)?
[M]: Reset your Mindset was special to me when I was signed at Dirty Workz because it was my first release on our label. I wouldn’t change anything because that was my sound back in the days. It revoluted to a whole other sound now, and the sound I have at the moment is the MANDY sound I want. But still very happy with that release.
[WF]: I first got to know your music in “Bitch Is Back”, which still holds up today in my opinion. But your most viral track has got to be “Raggadrop“. When you first released it, did you ever think it would reach 17 million views (and counting!!) on Youtube?
[M]: No I didn’t knew it would explode like that, crazy huh?! I’m still buzzing from all those reactions, people really like it. It’s amazing when I play it and than all the people scream ‘’Gimme some Ragga Drop’’! Love it 🙂
[WF]: Since Raggadrop, you’ve been on absolute fire, with as incredibly addictive remix of Tiesto’s Jackie Chan. It started off as a bootleg, right? How did you react when you first heard the news of it becoming an oficial remix?
[M]: I played the remix for the first time at The Gathering at Dreamville, Tomorrowland. I was standing on the DJ Booth and when the drop released the speakers the confetti popped out and the whole crowd was screaming! A very nice moment, goosebumps everywhere.. My manager caputred the video and I posted it on my Instagram, it actually went viral! with around 150.000 views, So much reactions, even Tiësto, Dzeko and Preme reacted on it because they found it really dope 🙂 I was so happy that the boys wanted it as a official remix! Very nice for a girl with the age of 20 back then..
[WF]: Lately, your Don’t You Worry Child bootleg has been making the rounds, and is experiencing a metheoric rise on its own. So I have to ask: when will you stop making smash hits ahah?
[M]: Haha my team and I are still working hard to give you guys the best music, so we are unstoppable!!
[WF]: Do you feel any pressure by being signed to Dirty Workz? Do you feel like you have to maintain a certain level of quality and a certain “vibe” to the tracks you produce? Or do you get full freedom do just experiment with whatever you want?
[M]: No, they actually like every song we send to them. They are very open minded aswell, we are one big family. What I like about Dirty Workz is that all our artists are unique, we are Hardstyle but so different, our own sound. We are going our own way but we all are very supportive to each other and in the end we are one team :).
[WF]: Steering the conversation to a more
personal side, you’re a big Formula 1 fan! How was it like to have exclusive
access to the Red Bull pit? Did you get to meet Max Verstappen?
[M]: It was insane, I’m in love with cars, especially F1!! Everything about it is so cool 🙂 If I wasn’t a deejay I would probably be a racing driver. I really look up to what they all are doing, To me they are all legends. And it sure was a awesome experience, learned a lot of new stuff.. I really wanted to get in the car and drive it myself haha!
[WF]: We’ve been noticing some interactions with Lando Norris on Instagram as of late, does that mean that he’s a MANDY fan ahah?
[M]: Haha maybe! He told me that he likes my Jackie Chan remix, so thank you Lando!!
[WF]:Not only are you passionate about F1, but for exotic cars as well! As a massive petrolhead myself, I have to ask a couple of quick fire questions!:
Dream Car: [M] Porsche GT3rs, Nissan GTR, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, Ferarri F8 Tributo
Favorite Driver: [M] Max Verstappen because he is crazy af, and so am I!
Best Car you’ve driven: [M] Lamborghini Huracan
Fastest you’ve ever been in a car (in km/h): [M] Around 240, dangerous question lol
Ferrari or Lamborghini? [M] Lambooooooo
Thoughts on hybrid/fully electric exotic cars: [M] I don’t like that actually, I need to hear the engine and smell the fuel
[WF]: Last year, you did a photo shoot/modeling work for a Belgian publication. How was it? Are you a natural in front of the camera?
[M]: I did it for P-Magazine, yeah it was nice to do actually, I like it to be on a picture. Maybe I want to do it again in the future! My goal is to be on a cover of Cosmopolitan or Vogue 🙂
[WF]: Picking up on the last question, you’re a woman kicking ass in a mainly men-dominated world. Have you faced any obstacles because you’re a woman? If so, which ones?
[M]: I don’t actually read a lot of the reactions I recieve. I came to the point that female and male are the same. I do whatever I want. Girls can be a deejay, doctor, bricklayer etc… We all are human and nobody is more than someone else. That’s my opinion.
[WF]: Have you ever been dismissed because you were a female DJ? Or do you think that women like Nicole Moudaber, Annie Mac, Nina Kraviz, Black Madonna and more paved the way for females to be taken seriously in the dance music world?
[M]: Because in Techno for example they are more alternative I think, I’m a blonde girl with green eyes haha. But that doesn’t say anything tho, I’m one of the guys when I perform 🙂 Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
[WF]: In your opinion, are there still any stigmas regarding females in the dance music world? What can you personally do to fight them?
[M]: Not giving a damn, I go with the flow. Everyone has their opinion about someone and that’s good for them but that’s no reason that the deejane will listen to it haha 🙂
[WF]: Being young, talented, good looking and successful means that you inevitably have haters. How do you fight them back if at all?
[M]: I need my haters, they made me what I am today. Unstoppable and strong.
[WF]: Does being very active on social media make you more susceptible to them, or does it allow for more fan interactions?
[M]: I give my fullest attention to my fans, I don’t make time to give it to my haters.
[WF]: What can we expect from MANDY until the end of 2019? Can you give us a sneak peek?
[M]: Haha I have some huge news! My remix of Instagram of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, David Guetta, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha and Afro Bros will be released TOMORROW on the label of Sony Music! This is absolutely dope. So excited! And there is a collab coming too with Jelle van Dael, we still working on it.
[WF]: What advice do you have for younger female fans trying to break into the hardstyle scene?
[M]: Don’t be scared, Don’t listen to bad reactions, and never give up 😉
[WF]: Last year, Coone showed the world that hardstyle is alive and fast growing by performing on Tomorrowland’s mainstage. How do you compare the Hardstyle scene in 2019 vs when you started?
[M]: I’m really proud of Coone, he showed our dance scene what’s up. Someone needed to do it you know, because a lot of people think that hardstyle is underrated but it is actually bigger than you might think. It’s good to see that our music genre is growing and taking steps. It changed a lot to me, first we had small parties in clubs, and some bigger hard dance indoor events (only) in Belgium. Compared with now we are all traveling the world to play our music, we are even playing at Mainstages! The revolution is insane, I hope it will be much bigger. 🙂
[WF]: Dream collab?
[M]: MANDY x Charlotte De Witte
[WF]: Biggest hardstyle inspiration?
[M]: Da Tweekaz at the moment
[WF]: Have you been to Portugal? If not, what is your perceived perspective of our beautiful little country?
[M]: I sadly never been to Portugal, and I still haven’t planned to come! We should work on that, maybe I’ll play there in the future. I think Portugal is very romantic, the pictures I already have seen looking interesting I’m curious to visit one day.
[WF]: Would you be open for a guestmix on our Future Connection radioshow on that sweet Pioneer Controller you got a couple of weeks back ahah?
[M]: Sure !!! Let’s go guys 😉
[WF]: All that’s left is to roll out the red carpet: you’re by now both a rising talent AND a force to be reckoned with, not only in the dance music world but in hardstyle as well. You represent females to the highest level, and you showed everyone what you first set out to achieve. With all of that in mind, how high are you aiming for, what is the next step? I imagine MANDY won’t stop until she rules the world…?
[M]: My main goal is to play at huge mainstages all around the world to represent female Belgian Hardstyle and would be cooler if I can share it with even more people, I love being on stage. It’s the best thing ever and I want to show that ladies can deejay too. I just became 22 years so I still have a lot of years to go! Still got time to reach my goals, if I want something I’ll work hard for it till I get it and never give up! That’s my mindset.
Keep an eye out for MANDY as she proves the dance music world she’s here to stay!