Aftershock – an unknown identity that was one of the best-kept secrets in the Hardstyle scene. But on April 15th this secret got finally unveiled. The reactions on the socials were huge and created a big bang. But already one day later Aftershock announced that he joined the Art of Creation music label. Time for HardstyleMag to meet Aftershock for an interview.
It was during the Hard Bass 2019 when the “I AM Hardstyle” take-over took place. Suddenly a new act performed on stage – Aftershock! “I am Survivor” and “Party Like a Rockstar” kicked off his set. But this guy on stage is masked – so but who is behind?
It’s definitely Geck-O ! Nah I bet it’s a completely new and unknown Artists. When talking about Aftershock, those assumptions about his real identity could be seen everywhere on the socials. Sometimes the discussions and ideas on the socials developed interesting stories. From EDM to Rockstars – all kinds of Artists were actually considered to be the man behind.
But – out of nowhere – Aftershock unveiled his identity on April 15th. A short 22 seconds video showed the man behind the mask. The reactions on the socials even hadn’t stopped yet, when Aftershock announced that he will be part of the Art of Creation music label.
For HardstyleMag we met ‘Wesly’ the man behind, for an interview. We were curious about the person himself, his music, and upcoming projects. So let’s start with the Interview.
Hey Wesley, thanks for having us. Wow, this is Aftershock behind the mask! Can you please introduce the person behind it?
Thanks for having me! Off-stage people call me Wesley. I was born & raised in The Netherlands and I’ve been making Hardstyle for around 15 years already.
Wow, 15 years – that quite a while. The Aftershock secret was one of the best protected so far. Why was it unveiled now?
You won’t believe how many meetings we’ve had with team Aftershock to decide when I should take off the mask. Now, with me joining Art of Creation, it feels like a new chapter for Aftershock. A new journey. We all agreed this is should be the time to take off the mask.
Haha, we can barely imagine how often. Can you share with us a bit more information about this project? Why was created and what does it stand for?
Aftershock stands for energy and powerful party music. Sometimes a little more raw and sometimes more melodic, but often a good blend of both. I just want to make Hardstyle the way I like it. I don’t like to think in boxes, but there is -in my eyes- an amazing middle ground between the energy of euphoric hardstyle with the big bombastic melodies, and the pounding kicks and drive of raw hardstyle. That combination just works for me. And it seems to work for a lot of other people as well, haha.
How did Wesley get in contact with Hardstyle? And when did you decide to step into the scene as a professional Artist?
Back in the days a classmate of mine always listened to hardstyle and he showed me some of his CD’s. In the same period, a friend in college showed me FL studio, a program to create music. From that moment I was hooked. I’ve spent countless days and long nights learning it all. Back in the days, we didn’t have YouTube tutorials or lessons online. We had to figure it out ourselves. I think this helped me a lot to really create my own sounds. I still see (creating) music as my passion. Calling it ‘work’ sometimes feels strange.
There are a lot of producers out there who want to get to where you are now one day. What advice would you give to them, when they read this interview now.
Have a clear vision, never stop, keep on learning, keep on creating new tracks and ideas, and most important: create music that comes from you! Don’t make music for fame, money or to sound like another artist. I believe if you create music which truly comes from you, people can hear that and will appreciate you even more for it. Besides that, it is very important that you find and select people to work with whom are just as motivated as you.
Thanks for the nice words, pretty sure a lot of Producers will follow them. Can you tease a bit about upcoming projects? What can we expect from Aftershock now?
I’m always working on new solo tracks and currently, I’m working on some collaborations which I’m really proud of. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm or reveal the names just yet. I can say though that my next solo release should come out pretty soon!
How got the name Aftershock created?
After the first Shock(erz) comes the Aftershock
If you could pick 3 Artists from any genre for a collab – who would it be and why?
Headhunterz, D-Block & S-te-Fan and Hans Zimmer. I have been following Headhunterz since the first moment he had his great breakthrough, he’s a legend. Honestly, why wouldn’t anyone want to work with him? For DBSTF, well, they’re on top of their game right now, still SO good after all these years and only getting better.
I love big movie scores which make you feel larger than life. Therefore of course, I definitely would like to work with the amazing Hans Zimmer.
Ok Hans Zimmer is a big surprise but indeed, would be an interesting collab. Let’s maybe talk to Wesley as a private person. What hobby’s does Wesley have in his spare time?
Throwing around some weights in the gym, traveling abroad and meeting new people, I love myself some good BBQ and sushi, family, friends and sometimes a good Netflix session. Then again, even in corona times I don’t have that many private time because I choose to spend as many hours in my studio as possible.
How does a normal week in Wesley’s life usually look like?
Get out of bed early, spend time with my son, get a large coffee and a healthy breakfast. After that, I go to the studio until late in the evening. And of course, I try to squeeze in some workouts throughout the week.
Nowadays an artist needs to be a good producer but even more a professional in applying social media. Next to Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat – Twitch and TikTok seem to become also more relevant. What do you think about it? Is it a curse or a blessing?
Marketing is very important, always has been. In the end, I believe good music will always be number one. I think social media is a great tool to get in touch with fans and share fun moments. It motivates me when I see fans getting new Aftershock tattoos or when I get messages from fans saying what my music means to them. I think it’s a blessing as long as you don’t overuse it. Of course, a good balance is always key, otherwise, it definitely can become a curse.
Is there a message you would like to send to your fanbase now?
Thank you all so much for the great support since the start of Aftershock. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us and I hope to see all of you again very soon when the world opens up again.
Next Aftershock Release: Rise of the Machines
On June 3th. Aftershock is going to release his new track “Rise of the Machines” – if you want to presave it go for it here https://aoc.ffm.to/aoc049.rdd
For all those who want to follow Aftershock on his socials
Thanks, Wesley, for this great interview – we really hope to see you on stage soon again. This was the interview with Aftershock – and we are more than confident that this man will bring us a lot of music and magical moments in the upcoming future. We keep you updated.