Every year the ‘De Zomer Top 538’ is collected by votes of the Radio 538 listeners. Also this year it was time for the summer hit list and every year ‘Wildstylez – Year Of Summer’ scores high in this list. This year he scored high again, the track made it to place #6! We spoke to Radio 538 DJ Barend Van Deelen about ‘Year Of Summer’ and about his affinity with hardstyle at a mainstream radio station like Radio 538.
We all know that “Year Of Summer” became a huge hit. In 2019, the track made it to spot #2 of the biggest summer hits ever. This year it also finishes high, at spot #6. “Year Of Summer by Wildstylez and Niels Geusebroek. A track from the bruising hardstyle genre, a type of music from which no one ever expected a national summer hit.” (Radio 538, 2020)
THE RISE OF ‘YEAR OF SUMMER’
Wildstylez was already a well-known name in the DJ and hardstyle world, but all the daily radio 538 listeners didn’t know him yet. Niels Geusebroek, in turn, was mainly known from The Voice of Holland, where he made it to the semi-finals in 2011. But at the end of 2012, all that changed because the two men made a huge hit. It all started with an email from Wildstylez to Niels asking if he wants to provide the vocals for a track he made – a hardstyle track. That made Niels wonder whether it was something for him but after thinking about it, he said yes, as he told Radio 538 in 2012.
“Then I sat down behind the piano with a notepad next to me,” Niels told Edwin Evers (Radio 538). “And then I wrote the vocal lines, the lyrics and then sang them on my iPhone.” He sent that recording to Wildstylez, who was immediately enthusiastic. The two went into the studio and the end result can still be heard at festivals every year! Or at least, when there were festivals allowed of course…
RADIO 538 DJ BAREND VAN DEELEN: “HOW CAN THIS BE SO BIG”
Barend van Deelen is one of the few hardstyle lovers as a mainstream radio DJ. He got involved with hardstyle in 2012. His radio buddy at the time knew Wietse from Psyko Punkz and played the track ‘Bass Boom’ back then. He got so many positive reactions to that track, that he was completely surprised by at how big that world was “how can this be such a big world, normally I walk with a big bow around this kind of festivals”.
After this, he thought: “This is sick, this is booming, we are going to do something with this”. From then on he started playing Pysko Punkz records every week and 2012 turned into a very good period for Barend. In this period he also went to his first festival ever: Reverze 2012. From that moment on he was sold. “I was totally fascinated by this world, the vibe in the venue, the emotion it brought.”
Nowadays, hardstyle is hard to combine with mainstream radio music. Although, when he plays hardstyle there is always a good response. He also understands that radio is a certain product to which hardstyle does not necessarily fit. He is allowed to play it though and he does every now and then “good commercial hardstyle bangers” as he calls them.
Hardstyle is not always socially accepted. His take on it is that it has never bothered him because he thinks it’s so cool “the positive, good world”.
This is just a very special tune, the only hardstyle hit ever, mainstream-wise.
“It’s really not normal what that record has brought, Year Of Summer is a record that we will still be screaming along to in 30 years’ time. It’s the only track that really made it. I do remember that Headhunterz came out with a kind of follow-up track, a mainstream hardstyle radio track. But that track didn’t make it, I don’t know why that is. There are a lot of tracks that are right up Year Of Summer’s alley, in terms of sing-along content and hit. But this is just a very special tune, the only hardstyle hit ever, mainstream-wise.”
Barend himself prefers listening to classic sets, when we ask him about his favorite hardstyle track, he cannot answer. A full hardstyle fan as a mainstream radio DJ. It was nice to hear his story!