By Akshay Bhansali and Kunal Merchant
My, how the Big Apple savors a visit from jolly Saint Nick. No, we're not referring to the affable silver-haired bestower of gifts that visits at Christmas each year (although there was a different silver-haired guest present), rather a crowd pleaser of another kind.
In fact, as has now become customary, fans began to call out to Nick van de Wall, a.k.a. Afrojack, almost an hour and a half before he was to take the decks at Pacha NY for his set Thursday night, letting him know they were ready to take in his sermon.
"Afrojack! Afrojack! Afrojack!" they chanted in unison.
With each appearance in New York, Dutch DJ/producer Afrojack has stood before dance-music enthusiasts during a different milestone in his career. And last night was no different.
The DJ currently has two bangers he's helped create that are among the most popular mainstream songs in the country: Chris Brown's single "Look at Me Now," featuring Busta Rhymes, Brown and Lil Wayne, and "Give Me Everything," Pitbull's latest single, featuring Ne-Yo and Nayer, an Afrojack-produced joint that currently stands at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
To show his solidarity with the sold-out crowd, Afrojack approached the booth with a New York hometown hero, house music legend Tommie Sunshine, a champion of the young EDM star — both of them donning hooded overcoats before revealing to fans just who was standing before them. The room went mental.
And with that, Van de Wall launched into an onslaught of his many hits, dropping "How I Like It," his hit with Eva Simons "Take Over Control," Swedish House Mafia's "Leave the World Behind," Calvin Harris' "Awooga," and his ever-popular "Bangduck" amid his nearly three-hour set.
Interestingly, fans transitioned seamlessly from frantic fist pumpery to groovy hip-hop flow when Afrojack segued into Brown's "Look at Me Now," his co-production with Diplo.
Afrojack is currently on a world tour that will touch down in Las Vegas and Hollywood before heading to Australia and Southeast Asia, and then the summer Ibiza, Spain, season.
Thanks go out to Rob and Charlotte at Pacha NY for their hospitality.