Headhunterz addresses fan hypocrisy in Huffington Post op-ed
As dance music’s popularity increases, so does dissent amongst its most ardent supporters. What was once a purely “underground” phenomena has since grown into a worldwide industry, isolating veterans of the scene who feel disparaged by the direction their favorite artists have taken in pursuit of profit, popularity, and mainstream viability. One genre that until recently had managed to avoid the dreaded “Americanization” was hardstyle, who’s number one spokesperson Willem Rebergen, better known as the hardstyle icon Headhunterz, now finds himself suddenly and unfairly the target of vitriol from fans of the genre both old and new.
After previewing his collaboration with Krewella and announcing a planned collaboration with trap-duo Flosstradamus, Rebergen felt the full brunt of music’s internet age, a time when even moderate success will get you martyr’d by your once loyal fans. Modern day Judas’s, the Headhunterz legion attacked their once deified leader — accusing him of being a “sell out” and raising an alarm as if his increase in popularity would spell the death of their beloved genre.
In response, Rebergen penned a Huffington post op-ed, pointing out the hypocrisy of the older hardstyle fans. “We should be grateful to them, and they to us.” he notes, “There is one dilemma, and that is that they want change and want stability at the same time. Use the same kick twice and you’ll get punished. Slow down the bpm and you’ll get called out.” Rebergen’s acknowledges a problem that affects not only hardstyle but dance music in all its forms, in order for the scene to grow and evolve artists must change their sounds — play it too safe and fans attack you for being boring, change too drastically and you’ve abandoned them, try something new and you’ve “sold out” — dance music fans, it seems, are impossible to please.
As the American buzz continues to propel hardstyle into the spotlight, weaving it into the mainstream dance music conversation and facilitating some unlikely collaborations, Rebergen addresses his desire as an artist to challenge himself and leave his comfort zone; “What I have realized is, there is simply no way to keep everybody happy. As an artist, I am up for a new challenge. This counts for everyone who’s passionate or ambitious about their career, in any profession.”
Despite the power that internet anonymity has given the vocal minority of dance music devotees, Willem Rebergen has little concern for the future of his genre or the dissipation of his fan base; “Let’s see what the future will bring. Whatever that is is, you can count on one thing. I will continue to be me, and do my thing.”
Via: Huffington Post