Shortly before the beginning of his set at Breda Live 2023, Robbert van de Corput, better known worldwide as Hardwell, was surprised by Mayor Paul Depla with an appointment as an honorary citizen of his hometown, Breda. Only two other Breda residents carry this prestigious title – former Mayor van der Velden and Tijs Verwest, aka Tiësto. Throughout his career, Hardwell has delivered an extensive list of outstanding achievements, and the pride he speaks of ‘his city’ and his involvement with Breda is the reason behind this appointment.
Mayor Paul Depla: “Robbert is an example for many. In addition to his successful music career and twice being crowned the World’s No. 1 DJ, he has helped talented people (from Breda) to develop further. Alongside this, he works as an ambassador for local charities. If you mention Hardwell, Breda often follows in the same breath. Robbert puts Breda on the international map with his talent and achievements and by speaking with pride about our city. Breda is just as proud of him as he is of our city. We gain a valuable ambassador with him as an honorary citizen.”
Hardwell: “I’m beyond grateful and deeply honoured to be named an honorary citizen of my hometown, Breda. This recognition means everything to me. Breda has been my inspiration and my home from the very beginning. It’s where my dreams took flight.
Wherever I’ve travelled through my djing or whenever asked about my music or journey as an artist, I have always been proud to represent my hometown. For a small city in the southern part of The Netherlands, it makes me so proud to see Breda play its part in the fabric of Dutch electronic music and then export it to music fans across the globe.
The city helped me get my start, and I always dreamt of giving back, something my label Revealed Recordings has helped me do by supporting local talent. Being a positive force in the community and promoting cultural richness have been essential parts of my mission, and I look forward to continuing my work as an ambassador for Breda and its inhabitants. To inspire young people and talents not just in Breda but across the country and the World is something I hold dear.
I am incredibly grateful to Mayor Depla, the Executive Board of B&W, and the City Council for this prestigious title. I would also like to add that I am eternally grateful for the immense support I have received from the whole Breda community throughout my career. It means so much to me. Thank you, and together, let’s continue to inspire, uplift, and spread the love of music.”
Based on his achievements and merits, both the College of Mayor and Aldermen and the city council have appointed Robbert as ‘Honorary Citizen of Breda’. This prestigious title is also held by former Mayor van der Velden and Tijs Verwest (Tiësto). Mayor Depla awarded the medal of honour linked to the title to Robbert van de Corput during his 7th performance at Breda Live, a festival in his city for which he refuses performances all over the World to be available for the local event. Following Hardwell’s surprise announcement on stage, he performed for his fellow Breda inhabitants.
Merits and accomplishments of Hardwell
Robbert van de Corput (1988) was born, raised and continues to live in Breda. The successful international DJ, music producer and businessman known worldwide under his stage name Hardwell has twice been voted the best DJ in the World. He has won numerous international awards and is one of the most successful artist exports of the Netherlands. In 2014 Hardwell also received the Breda Culture Prize for his achievements and commitment to the city.
Throughout his career, Robbert has acted as a proud ambassador of Breda across the world. The connection with Breda is also reflected in his work: together with his friend Tijs Verwest (Tiësto), he made an ode to the city with the song ‘Zero 76’. With his great passions, music, and DJing, he has achieved world-class performances at many of the biggest dance festivals in the world. From these passions, Hardwell realised his dream of becoming the World No.1 DJ at a very young age. Leading to his motto, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” gaining a literal meaning for him. This makes him an example and an inspiration for others in and around Breda, as well as the world. He inspires and stimulates young people, nurtures talents helping them to develop further, and indirectly contributes to developments in dance education in Breda and the local region.
Also, for economic reasons, Hardwell is important for the city and its inhabitants. Many companies from Breda are involved in his world tour, whilst 50% of his employees for his record label Revealed Recordings come from the DJ scene in Breda. In addition, many DJs and producers from Breda were given the opportunity to present themselves internationally by performing alongside Hardwell on his world tour, or at his Revealed events worldwide. These artists include Dannic, Kill The Buzz, Tim Hox, Funkerman, Suyano and W&W.