“Music We Truly Believe In”: 1,000 Releases Later, Hardwell's Vision for Revealed Label Remains the Same

When it comes to Hardwell‘s Revealed Recordings, it’s all in the name. Over a decade since its inception, the label’s legacy is crystallizing not only for its deeply influential music, but also what it’s since revealed about the EDM community.

Revealed launched back in 2010, a time when the relentless kickdrums of big room house uprooted tooth fillings at every major EDM festival. Its 22-year-old founder, Hardwell, emerged at the time as a buccaneering beatsmith intent on changing the fabric of the genre with unconventional mainstage anthems like “Spaceman.”

Hardwell.

c/o Press

But the heyday of big room house disintegrated by 2018, the genre’s popularity cratering due to rampant saturation. Citing the pressures of a grueling tour schedule, Hardwell’s shocking indefinite hiatus threw another wrench into the Revealed rotor.

The label, however, flourished. It continued to act as a magnifying glass on the dance music zeitgeist, highlighting the importance of fresh talent and strong branding. If you frequented EDM blogs at that time, odds are a large portion of the music releases bore the iconic Revealed Recordings triangle.

The brand became a beacon of resilience as its proprietors refocused, signing young, hungry producers who were channeling the euphoria of electro and progressive house to mutate the genres into sounds all their own. Transformative Revealed anthems from Dyro, Paris Blohm, Thomas Newson and countless others continued to decimate every festival mainstage.

A thousand releases later, there’s perhaps no one better with whom Hardwell can savor the milestone than KAAZE, a Revealed ride-or-die who now counts a staggering 102 releases on the imprint. That means the Swedish producer is responsible for roughly a tenth of the label’s entire catalog.

The mighty song that opened the floodgates of Revealed’s next era? “Move,” a mainstage banger from Hardwell and Kaaze that turns the clock back to the label’s golden era.

We caught up with Hardwell to pull the yarn of his storied record label and discuss what the future holds.

EDM.com: Revealed has been a powerhouse in shaping the sound of EDM since its inception in 2010. Looking back at its incredible journey, is there one specific release that stands out as a defining moment for the label?

Hardwell: A great question but it’s also a tough one, because as you can imagine, the label’s had so many. So, 2012 was a colossal leap for the label because not only did that year start with “Spaceman” being released, but it also closed with “Apollo.”—both of which grew into entities all of their own. Together they drew so much attention for the label that everything skyrocketed with Revealed from then onwards.

EDM.com: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in leading such an influential label for so long?

Hardwell: Not getting pulled into focusing purely on established acts. Running a label is a challenging undertaking for any person or team. Everybody wants the big wins—it’s part of the game—and in some ways it’s a safer bet to go with established acts in order to achieve big wins.

But I started Revealed to be a home for my music, as well as a platform for new talent. As a label we of course do sign and work with established acts, but we’re also highly driven to championing new talent.

EDM.com: “Move” feels like a perfect anthem for this milestone. What made this song the right choice to mark such a momentous occasion?

Hardwell: KAAZE has been a part of the label for so many years now and he is such an inspiring figure within our family. To see him rise through the ranks of the industry and grow is pleasing to see.

We’ve always had good chemistry when it comes to music and “Move” is the perfect example of that. The moment we nailed that melody, we both felt this track was going to be something special. The timing of the 1,000th release and “Move” being finished felt like the perfect synergy for having KAAZE join me in celebrating this key moment.

Swedish DJ and electronic music producer KAAZE has now released 102 records on Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings.

KAAZE/Instagram

EDM.com: Did you feel any extra pressure to deliver something truly special for this landmark release?

Hardwell: Of course. I try not to, but I can’t help putting the pressure on myself when it comes to things like this. It’s unavoidable. But I want these moments to be special because they are a marker in the timeline.

EDM.com: EDM has evolved significantly since Revealed’s humble beginnings. How does “Move” bridge the gap between the genre’s past, present and what’s to come for dance music?

Hardwell: Well, there’s big room elements in there of course, but the track steers much more into our current mainstage sound with the hard-hitting kicks and bass elements, leaning on that techno soundspace. It’s high-energy stuff.

The bridge between it all is a driver to keep pushing boundaries, to make music that makes the fans want to “move.” It’s called dance music for a reason and this song hopefully embodies that.

EDM.com: This milestone arrives ahead of your long-awaited headlining set at Ultra Europe next month. Can you discuss the differences between performing at that festival and Ultra Miami, where you’re considered a legend?

Hardwell: Ha, thanks. I’ve always felt a great connection with the Ultra crowd over the years. The festival in Miami has of course been played its part in some really key moments in my career, so it’s a unique place for me to play.

But that said, Ultra Europe has equally given me a platform to spread my music with the fans on this side of the world. Both festivals have their own unique energy and vibe, with very individual settings, but I’d say the passion of the fans never changes.

What is it about the Ultra brand that makes it so special?

Hardwell: Ultra is one of the festivals where it all started for me; it’s a place with a lot of history and memories. I and many other acts have a deep connection with the festival because it has been a platform to help break us, share new music and most of all connect with a crowd of likeminded music loving fans.

Hardwell performing at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival in 2023.

Kelly Knisel/EDM.com

EDM.com: Revealed has become more than just a label; it’s a brand and a movement. What are your hopes for the label’s future impact?

Hardwell: To continue supporting new talent and releasing music we truly believe in. Also, the vision is to further involve our community.

Our core is a record label, but through our events, academy, pop-ups and other social gatherings, we want to be able to bring everyone closer together as a community. We’re constantly looking at ways to do this, both on and offline. So I’m looking forward to implementing new projects and concepts in the future with this in mind.

EDM.com: What excites you most about the next 1,000 releases on Revealed?

Hardwell: The possibilities that lie ahead. The talent that will come through and the exciting new music that will be released. When I look back, we’ve evolved so much as a label over these past 1,000 releases. It excites me with a huge amount of wonder at what the future will bring.

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Facebook: facebook.com/djhardwell
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