The parents of some of the Netherlands’ most successful djs have formed a foundation to make sure their offspring and others are not ripped off by managers and promoters.
The dance world is a multi-million euro business and a lot of people are in it to make money, the parents say. The aim of the Dutch DJ Foundation is to represent the interests of Dutch djs and producers and offer advice to youngsters who are just starting out.
The foundation’s board includes the fathers of Hardwell, Martin Garrix en Quintino and the stepfather of Headhunterz. Older djs such as Oliver Heldens and Nicky Romero have given their support, broadcaster Nos says.
‘It seems to be normal that every dj is massively ripped off at least once in their career, Headhunterz’s stepfather Michiel van Kleef told broadcaster Nos. ‘We have to put an end to this.’
‘These lads end up in a world they do not know, and sit on the other side of the table from people who have been in the business a long time,’ Hardwell’s father Cor van de Corput said. ‘They are happy that their ambitions have been recognised and are quick to sign a contract.’
The parents decided to join forces after discussing the issues when they met at major performances. ‘We often talk about our sons and we realised that we have all made mistakes,’ Van de Corput said.
Managers, for example, have a commercial interest in their signings. ‘We want to be involved as a neutral party, to ensure the personal interests of the boys and girls are represented,’ Hardwell’s father said. ‘The industry is booming in the Netherlands and so many youngsters want to become djs.’
One recent conflict is that involving Martin Garrix and his former management Spinning Records. Garrix was 16 when he signed the contract but, says Van de Corput, had no idea of the consequences. ‘He did not realise that he is actually not the owner of his own music,’ Van de Corput says.
Forbes estimated earlier this year that Garrix earned $17m over the past year.