Welcome to another episode of our series ‘Spotlight Hardstyle Australia’. In this series, we will take a close look at the scene in Australia and introduce promising newcomers. Cause the scene is surprisingly diverse and dedicated – so definitely worth having a close look at what’s coming there.
His artist name sounds crazy, so is his music. The Australian Raw-Hardstyle Artist Horseplay turns the raw scene upside down with furious music. Time for us to meet up with this animal and to find out – who this guy is.
Hey man, thanks for the time and thanks for having us. Can you briefly introduce yourself and the music project Horseplay.
Thanks for having me! My name is Lewis AKA Horseplay, and I am a 24 year old Raw Hardstyle artist from Melbourne, Australia.I’ve been performing for about 3 years now, and have been signed to Massive-Dynamic Records since mid-2020.
The name Horseplay sounds very interesting. How was this name created?
So the name was actually created by my older brother Jack and myself.
For the sake of context, I’ll mention that around this time my brother had been referring to people who were skilled at what they do as a “horse” (example: “How does Noisecontrollers make such awesome melodies? Man, what a horse!”).
Anyway, when I was brainstorming many ideas for my own name, he simply said; “you should just do something with the word “horse” in it”.
It made a lot of sense for me to choose the word “horseplay” because in the English dictionary it basically means to play rough in a noisy manner.
I love the name, and the meaning behind it, because I’m all about having fun and enjoying myself without taking everything too seriously.
Your releases have been very impressive. How would you describe your music style?
My style is usually quite heavy, but with a fun and energetic twist. I really like my music to be able to fit amongst many different DJ sets and different time slots. Here in Melbourne, a lot of heavier Raw music is doomed to be played only during late or closing sets. This is why I like to keep elements of my music catchy or feel-good, to keep it amongst that headlining sound. It’s hard to find that middle ground, but I think a lot of my music can fit amongst a range of different sets.
Having said all of that, sometimes it’s good to make stuff that’s just crazy, which is what I wanted to do this time with my next release. It’s definitely my heaviest track so far.
How did Horseplay get in touch with Hardstyle/Raw Hardstyle and when did you start to produce?
I started making music a while before I even knew about Hardstyle music.
When I was about 17, I began learning Ableton Live (which I still use to this day) and making all kinds of rubbish. For a while I was only making House/EDM stuff, and eventually I began listening to Hardstyle music.
One of the earliest and most memorable experiences in listening to Hardstyle music was hearing albums like Showtek’s “Analogue Players in a Digital World” and Noisecontrollers’ “E=NC2”. These two albums blew my mind, as I had barely heard any music of this kind before. Eventually artists like Radical Redemption and Warface had caught my attention, and by then I had fallen in love with the Raw sound.
After taking a break from personal projects to study a Bachelor of Audio Engineering here in Melbourne, I started focusing purely on Hard Dance music about 3 years ago, and have been continuing to make Raw Hardstyle ever since.
When you create a new track, do you have a standard procedure or do you start and see how the flow is going?
I almost always start my tracks by mapping out one of the drops first. I believe that the overall drive of a track should revolve around the hardest elements, and be built upon the most impactful points. With my own music, that’s always going to be the drops.
I get very attached to kick patterns and drop layouts, so after creating them it’s just a matter of seeing what melodies and vocals will fit around it in order to keep the energy level high.
When you look at the Hardstyle scene in Australia and compare it to the European scene – do you think there are big differences?
I think the main differences between Europe and Australia is the fact that Hard Dance music seems to be a big part of the culture in places like the Netherlands. Meanwhile in Australia, the listeners of this music are a minority.
I’m not sure how connected the artists are across Europe, but here a lot of us are in very close contact. Many of us DJs and producers across the country are constantly working hard together to help put Australia on the map as a place with a solid Hardstyle scene.
Have you ever been to Europe or even played here?
I have never been to Europe unfortunately, but I would absolutely love to play there. Hopefully after this pandemic is over I can come over!
What goals do you currently have? Where would you like to see Horseplay in 3 years?
My goals are very performance orientated, as I think music production and label signings should be a very natural journey without any particular stepping stones. My next big goal is to perform at a festival, be it in Australia or in Europe. I’ve played at many amazing club events, but I feel like that’s the next step for me.
3 years is a very long time to me, so it’s hard to think that far ahead – but I think as long as I keep working hard on my own music and brand, the possibilities are endless.
The current Raw seems to be pretty hard, do you think it will always go harder?
I think Raw always seems to evolve another step forward when particular elements have more effort put into it. Right now we’ve been seeing a lot of great melodies and catchy compositions. I think anything could happen as long as producers’ sound design keeps getting better, and I honestly have no idea where it could go from here, as the potential is limitless.
I’ve always tried to stay in my own lane with Horseplay music, so I rarely think about predicting trends.
Are there any other genres you could imagine to produce music for? Like for example Hardcore or Uptempto?
I would actually love to make more high-BPM music like Uptempo in the near future. I always love to play a bit of Hardcore in my sets, so it wouldn’t be too off-brand for me to release something like that.
When is your next release coming? And can you tell us a bit about it?
My new track “HOW LOW?” will be out later this month on Massive-Dynamic Records!
Like I said earlier, it’s definitely my heaviest track so far.
I’m keeping another release very secret, but I can say that it will be out in early August.
It’s a collab with another brilliant Melbourne artist, and will be released on a label I’ve never worked with before.
Very exciting stuff.
What do you do in your spare time?
I work full-time while making music and performing, so I don’t get a great deal of spare time. However the spare time that I do get goes mostly to my partner Celine. I couldn’t do what I do without her support, as well as the support of my family. I have a dog also, so he gets most of my attention when I’m free!
If you would describe yourself as an animal. What would it be and why?
I shouldn’t have to answer that! 😂
Any Message to your fanbase
Get ready for some crazy stuff! I’m going to be focusing on a lot more content for you guys to enjoy, so stay tuned for that. Keep up to date by following Horseplay on Instagram, Facebook and Spotify ❤️
For all now, there is the chance to start following this raw machine on the socials and to listen to his music:
- 1. ▶️ Visit Horseplay on Facebook
- 2. ▶️ Listen to Anderex on Spotify
- 3. ▶️ Follow Anderex on Instagram
We cant wait to present you the next Artist – who is also a great and talented machine. So keep us following and we read us next week.