Maybe this sounds familiar to you. A non-hardstyle friend asks you what music you like. You say: “I’m into hardstyle … ehm … it’s like house or techno but just a bit faster”. Either your friend doesn’t know hardstyle and says: “Cool, I will check it out”, looks for hardstyle on YoutTube and finds a mix with a half naked lady on it OR your friend just labels you like: “He’s a raver!”
However, the outcome is mostly that they are not really convinced and a bad first impression makes it even harder to introduce hardstyle to somebody. Especially, if they have no clue what it is and just listen to standard chart music. By the way: I think “charts” is one of the worst answers, if somebody asks for you music taste.
I got introduced myself and I am also a die-hard promoter, who tries to get everybody around me to listen to hardstyle. So, I gathered all intelligence I could find and prepared this list for hardstylers who have the same difficulties introducing a friend to our awesome music.
Similar or crossover music
Find out what kind of music your target is into and look for hardstyle music with simile aspects. Most people will go with “general EDM music” and don’t really distinguish a genre. Either they never thought about it and just know artists they like or they have no clue that there are hundreds of sub-genres. Ask for examples and set a genre.
If it’s something similar to hardstyle like (hard) techno, goa or hard house, you should recommend him some known tracks which are popular in the scene. But it get’s tricky if they like “softer” music from different genres. You need hardstyle music that fits to their current taste of music. Here is a small selection of crossovers for common genres. I was a bit lazy to find more, so feel free to help me in the comments.
Electro Dance Music or “club music”:
Hip-Hop, Trap, D’n’B, Dubstep:
- Noisecontrollers & Pavelow – Quatre Mains
- Noisecontrollers – The Source Code of Creation
- Kutski & Audiofreq – Vermin
- B-Front & Frequencerz – Psycho
I think you get my point. Just don’t overwhelm them with high pitched screeches and stutter vocals. Find the right track for the right person and get harder over time.
“I guess this is too hard for you”
Challenge your friends and get their attention with some reversed psychologies. I often do this if people ask me to show them some music I like. This will not only give you the chance to show them something new without any prejudges but also challenge them to like hardstyle. “You like it? Or was it too hard for you?”
Most of my involuntary test persons (my friends) tried to listen to the music very carefully to find something they like. After a few replays it was clear that I successfully planted the seed of hardstyle in their minds! You can also do this to introduce more casual hardstylers to rawstyle or hardcore music.
Use tracks with vocals
I think this is one of the easiest ways to get your friends to like hardstyle. Hardstyle tracks with vocals are most likely more familiar and people can easily get started. If I had to go with my best picks for this, it’s Brennan Heart, Code Black and Frontliner.
Not only will the voice of Jonathan Mendelson or Sarah Maria melt his heart 🙂 but also show him the other side of hardstyle. It’s not always about the hardest kick and brutal screeches. Our music, like every music, evokes different emotions and it’s important to deliver this message.
And finally it’s the contrasts between a soft vocal intro and the hardstyle kick in the main part, that we enjoy so much. If you have somebody who is already into the techno genre you can show him this old school classic.
Visit a hardstyle event
Most importantly: show them your music in action! Two simple reasons why most people don’t get why you love hardstyle more then anything else.
- They first heard it on a bad sound system
- They don’t get the “full experience” – Traveling, meeting friends at festivals, light shows
So, if they have never been on a EDM festival start with something like Mysteryland, Rebirth or any other EDM festival with hardstyle and alternative stages. Put them in front of the stage, let them experience some hardstyle basses and even if they don’t like it, you can always go to another stage.
If you are more experienced try Qlimax, Hardbass, Defqon.1, Decibel Outdoor. Especially the first two will be unforgettable!
But a good dance with your friends to pounding kicks; it’s likely to convince them and as you already know, if hardstyle got you hooked once, you are lost in it forever!
If you have difficulties to convince them to visit a EDM festival start with some aftermovies. I also did a little collection why hardstyle is sexy.
Mysteryland 2013 | Official Aftermovie
Talk about cliches
Ask somebody what they associate with hardstyle. I always hear: ravers, drugs and flared trousers.
Even if we really originate from the Dutch rave culture it’s not fair to label every hardstyler like this. Not everybody takes drugs, and hardstylers are just normal human beings.
In Germany and most other countries it’s hard to talk about my music without being judged. So, I like to talk about cliches and show my friends that my lifestyle is something normal. Something I’m not ashamed off and that makes me special. Maybe they have questions that you can answer for them?
All in all, you shouldn’t annoy your friends with your music, but if you try to introduce hardstyle step-by-step your chances are good.
Let me know in the comments below how you introduced hardstyle to your friends. Anything I forgot?