Where's the hardstyle? Pete Tong debuts Headhunterz and Krewella collaboration 'United Kids of the World'
When the collaboration between Headhunterz and Krewella was first announced, hardstyle fanatics the world over cried out in disgust, lambasting Willem Rebergen, the hardstyle icon, for “selling out.” The accusations struck a chord with Rebergen, who drafted up a Huffington Post op-ed to squelch the haters and detail his concerns for the future and advancement of the genre he calls home. As dance music grows and evolves, it is only natural for unlikely collaborations to spring up — and what better way to solidify hardstyle’s presence in the US then for the king of the kicks to team up with one of the most popular dance acts in America. However, it’s doubtful the collaboration will appeal to Rebergen faithfuls, as the production feels less like classic Headhunterz and more like Krewella with a hardstyle kick. It’s an Americanized version of hardstyle and one that will likely be objected to by the genre’s most diehard supporters.
Is “United Kids of the World” a bad track? Definitely not. Yasmine and Jahan’s vocals are as on point as ever, framing the mix with an anti-bullying message and catchy dub-pop hooks that are only enhanced by Rebergen’s subdued presence, but, for traditional hardstyle fans, this may be too far removed from the genre’s roots for their liking.